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Old 03-18-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Unhappy ~ Marvel Hitch Coupler Safety Problem ?? ~

I have what I think might be an odd problem. My hitch coupler appears to be worn out, bent, or in need of repair or rebuild. I am looking for any advice applicable.

The equipment:

1973 31' Sovereign-Marvel 2 5/16 inch trailer coupler with Eaz-Lift Load Distributing Hitch.

The symptom:

The hitch ball assemply ( the ball, the male side of the receiver hitch & spring bar receiver) will fall out of the coupler when in the coupler is in the latched position. Fully locked-Safety pin in.

So this means that the only thing keeping the coupler attached to the ball is the hitch or tongue weight and the downward force of the cocked load distributing spring bars. This scare me.

I only discovered this today after coming back from a 3,300 mile trip to Florida and back. I sometimes unhitch by uncocking the LD spring bars and using the electric jack to pickup the load/tongue weight-then remove the reciever hitch pin and pull away. This leaves the spring bars-sway control bar and hitch ball assembly all stored on the trailer-up off the ground (still latched in the coupler).

This seem unsafe at best.

1. Is this normal?
2. Has any one else experience this?
3. Can the couple components be rebuilt?
4. Would stretching/elongation of the vertical tension bar (connects the flip latch and the dog/pawl on the bottom) cause this)
5. Can I weld to build up the seat on the pawl/dog to correct this?
6. Is complete removal and replacement of the couple my only option?

Thanks,
Trevis
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:59 PM   #2
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Trevis,

I have seen some re-builds on utility trailers and a small flat bed, but never on a travel trailer. If it were mine, I would go for REPLACEMENT! You just have too much riding on that ball to rely on anything other than a perfectly functioning coupler.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevisgardne
This seem unsafe at best.

1. Is this normal?
2. Has any one else experience this?
3. Can the couple components be rebuilt?
4. Would stretching/elongation of the vertical tension bar (connects the flip latch and the dog/pawl on the bottom) cause this)
5. Can I weld to build up the seat on the pawl/dog to correct this?
6. Is complete removal and replacement of the couple my only option?

Thanks,
Trevis
Trevis, to answer your questions:
1: No, it is a sign of wear, and needs to be addressed ASAP.
2: At least one forums member has experienced this problem, and has had the trailer jump off the ball while towing.
3: They can be rebuilt, but for peace of mind, replacement is best.
4: It is only one part of the assembly, and it has all worn together.
5: You can, but it is not recommended.
6: It is the safest, best, longest-term solution.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
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These parts can be replaced.


Is that the part you said is worn / bent?
The part number at Inland RV is 12684.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:43 PM   #5
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If I replace the entire coupler are there any brands or types recommended over others?
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:31 PM   #6
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If it is those parts most decent RV places should have them.
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevisgardne
If I replace the entire coupler are there any brands or types recommended over others?
I used an Attwood replacement on my SOB a few years back. Worked great ! It costs me about $225 to have a shop weld on a new one. Everything included.
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:54 AM   #8
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Possibly the 2 5/16 ball?

Does anyone check for wear of their hitch ball? I replace mine every 8-10 years. Keep the ball lubricated and check it for wear. It does happen.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:08 AM   #9
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This is a good thread to add that every time you hitch up, you should make the tongue jack lift the trailer tongue AND rear of the tow vehicle to ensure that a) you're connected properly, and b) that you're coupler isn't so worn as to have the coupler jump the ball as is described here. I've had it happen with a Trillium 4500 and believe me, it's no fun.

Specifically regarding your Marvel coupler, parts are available to rebuild the spoon. I have chosen on a couple of different older trailers to just replace the coupler with a more modern coupler. The parts are usually around $35 and whatever a welder will charge you to cut the old one off and re-weld the new one on.

Roger
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:32 AM   #10
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Adding a Question

Rebuilding my hitch latch using the part azflycaster is showing. There is a hallow metal pin that goes in the latch handle to hold the whole assembly together. It's inserted and mushroomed slightly on the ends to keep it from sliding out.

Does anyone have experience with this pin and the easiest way to get a proper expansion on the ends - to be sure it does not come out. I'm thinking of just cutting the old one off using a Dremel......
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:20 AM   #11
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i think if you hit the center with a pointed punch, it will spread the ends. you have to support the opposite end.
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