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Old 03-18-2014, 08:51 PM   #15
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Granted, it has been some time, but I was formerly a City of Tallahassee, Florida, Police Department Motorcycle Officer. During that several year period, I dealt almost exclusively with traffic enforcement and motor vehicle accident investigation.

I do not recall any statute of the Uniform Traffic Code that prohibited the operation of a motor vehicle with a trailer hitch attached to the rear. The only regulation along that line that I can recall is that a load or object that extends 36" or more past the rear of a vehicle must be marked by a red flag or light.


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Old 03-18-2014, 09:34 PM   #16
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I hate people who leave their hitch in the receiver - it's simply lazy. I watched a woman driving a truck with the hitch in back into my parked car which was in the space behind her. Then, she left me with a nice dent in my front bumper.
I take mine out of the receiver even if I've just pulled forward from the trailer in my driveway, and stow it under the trailer. It keeps me from walking into it, or getting grease on my clothes.

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Old 03-19-2014, 12:07 AM   #17
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A person should only need to walk into a hitch once to thereafter watch where they are walking.

I am conscious of , and watch for hitches in parking lots.

And yea, it freaking hurts, but I knew whose fault it was when I did it.
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 03-19-2014, 07:43 PM   #18
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Urban myth in Illinois, rare you will ever see a farm truck without some kind if hitch and we have lots of farms.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:30 AM   #19
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I searched the Illinois web site for any bill that has anything to do with trailer hitches and found nothing. I found a web site where someone had posted that there was a bill HB3669 first proposed in 2009 but when I search that bill number I find a bill that references a penalty for concealed carry permits.

I know in my state (KY) you cannot block the license plate with a hitch or one of those metal grates in the hitch (or block it with anything else). But having a law and having the police enforce it are two different things. I boat with a number of guys, we all tow boats, no one has ever been stopped for having the hitch still in the receiver. I've never even heard of anyone getting a ticket for this. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

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Old 03-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #20
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I used to leave the one for the B190 in place, but it was a small hitch bar and ball for towing the dolly, and it didn't stick out much beyond the spare tire and ladder, so the odds of walking into it were practically zero.

I never leave our Reese hitch head in the truck. Much easier to walk into it, and much easier to back into something with it in place.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:03 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Sbb View Post
The reason for law is if I am In a parking lot, no one walking by can walk into it and get hurt.
Growing up, Dad always referred to his hitch insert as his "life line" and he knew without it he would be stuck with no way to move the trailer, so he always removed it as soon as possible once set up at the campsite or arriving back in the driveway. The insert was never in the receiver unless it was absolutely needed. He worried it would disappear into the hands of some unscrupulous fellow.

I do the same...but say to each his own. I can't believe there are laws, even though there apparently are, about leaving it in. Whose business is it, really, and no one should be walking that close to your tow vehicle anyway, and if they do, then they deserve a good shin splint!!
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:06 AM   #22
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I remember hearing that if a car rear-ends a vehicle with a hitch sticking out, even at very slow speed, the ball can hit the airbag sensor causing the airbag to deploy resulting in serious injury in a low speed collision.

Not sure if any that is true, but makes me think twice about leaving the hitch head in.

I always remove my hitch head when not in use, first to keep ball grease off my pants, and second to prevent theft.
How inconvenient would it be to be on vacation and have someone walk off with my hitch head, there goes $300 not to mention I'd probably end up driving around on a Sunday looking for a store that was open and had a new hitch in stock.
I usually latch the hitch head in the trailer coupler and lock it while camping. No chance of theft, no greasy pant legs, and I know exactly where my hitch is when it's time to leave.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:37 AM   #23
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I do use a locking pin to keep the head from disappearing. Had a bit of a problem finding a longer one to work with the 2.5 inch receiver on most the new trucks.

I was under the impression airbags were set off by something detecting the deceleration rate. Not sure though.

If leaving it on I cover the ball with a piece of tinfoil. Serves as a grease cover and makes the hitch easier to see. I just leave the foil on when I hitch up and use a new piece next time. Being I park at the back of parking lots , if you walk into my hitch I wonder why you were so close to the back of my truck anyway.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:39 AM   #24
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hitch laws

I live in the twin cities of champaign/Urbana Illinois. Illinois does not have that law as far as I know, but the City of Urbana has a law and they seem to like to ticket vehicles that have hitches on them while not towing anything. They like anything that can cause revenue to come to their coffers
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:08 AM   #25
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We have a Reese Dual Cam WD hitch.

Because the combined cost of the drop shank and hitch/trunnion bar mount is what it is, I leave this on with we're out on the road.

I suspect most citations would be less. ;-)
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:10 AM   #26
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Aldeanfan, the trailer hitch ball will not hit the airbag sensors in most cases for airbags ,there are three airbag sensors on most vehicles one mounted inside the air bag module (airbag computer) and two other sensors mounted to usually the frame or on unibody car (frame rails) for airbag deployment you need one internal sensor in module and one external frame mounted sensor to make contact at the SAME time for airbag deployment, one is the power source battery positive( the internal sensor) and the other sensor battery negative( either external sensors) these air bag sensors work on g force , oh forgot to mention the external ones on the frame of the vehicle are mounted one on the left frame rail and other on right frame rails, so your hitch is in the Center it does not have to hit the sensor for deployment of the airbag all is needed is a very fast deceleration of the vehicle for airbag deployment.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:58 AM   #27
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For whatever it's worth, common sense would dictate that the hitch would be removed when not towing. It's not a difficult thing to do when you are unhooking and leveling at the park...
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:10 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
For whatever it's worth, common sense would dictate that the hitch would be removed when not towing. It's not a difficult thing to do when you are unhooking and leveling at the park...
Actually for many elderly people or those with bad backs it is a very difficult thing to do.
I know people who changed to a motor home because they could no longer bend and lift a 40 ot 50lb hitch head.

While I can still handle mine ok at 73 I can see the time could come where I can not.
I would rather lug around a full 30 lb propane bottle as deal with an awkward hitch head

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