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Old 09-19-2019, 01:51 PM   #1
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New 2020 Demco Hitch Separates

Hi all. I just wanted folks to be aware of a serious problem I encountered on my new 2020 Globetrotter 27FBT. 2020 models have a new Demco hitch coupler. This coupler has a spring loaded engaging pawl that allows free upward movement of the pawl so that the hitch can be lowered onto the pawl and engaged without the need to lift the coupler lever. The problem is that, at least on my Globetrotter, the coupler will separate after being properly engaged. The problem appears to be the engaging pawl in the coupler allows too much clearance between the ball and the pawl. When the tongue moves up the ball forces the engaging pawl to move backwards and up the ramp allowing enough clearance to cause the coupler to separate from the hitch ball. There is a link below to a video in the emails below showing the problem. I noticed this when raising the tongue to engage the equalizing hitch trunnions. There is no adjustment for the pawl although I did try turning the screw to raise and lower the position of the pawl with no difference in the results. Airstream said the hitch is defective and needs to be replaced. The dealer, Southland RV, has been very responsive in attempting to get this resolved but it took several calls to Airstream customer support to get parts approved to be shipped to the dealer. Once I got the right person involved things started happening. Thanks Corry!


https://youtu.be/1eLG_v6rD-A
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:58 AM   #2
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Lamar,

Ouch. Any pics of the old v new parts for folks to ponder?

Gary
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:16 PM   #3
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Yipes! I'm closing on buying a 2020 GT. This isn't encouraging. Did the new parts fix the DEMCO hitch? Are there any insights as to why the failure occurred?

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:39 PM   #4
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I know nothing about these couplers. Is there supposed to be a horizontal pin going through that hole at the top?? What does AS believe is defective? Good luck!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:46 PM   #5
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This deserves a bumparoo for sure, what a frightening thing to witness. Please update us on what the situation is with this coupler, what the issue was, and what the remedy is.

Scary stuff here.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:02 PM   #6
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Just an FYI, I do not own this setup.

www.demco-products.com

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Old 09-24-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
I know nothing about these couplers. Is there supposed to be a horizontal pin going through that hole at the top?? What does AS believe is defective? Good luck!!


Having a pin inserted made no difference. The pawls still travels freely upward. The pin only appears to lock the latch lever. AS didnít specify. Last I heard they instructed the dealer to replace the whole hitch. Basically cut it all off and weld on a new one. Parts should be in tomorrow so Iíll know for sure this weekend.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:53 PM   #8
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Wow
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:17 PM   #9
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Ours has worked beautifully, sounds like a problem, hopefully an isolated one. I'm not a fan of plastic parts but the design seems to function very well as far as we've seen. It will be interesting to see how it does in the long run.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:07 AM   #10
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Here's the diagram of the interior of the hitch from the Demco video posted above. I think the way it works is that the plastic release has a thickened end of the right. It acts as a fulcrum when you lift up the downward swooping tail to the left, and that moves the Plastic Release lever clockwise, pulling the pin on the slug up.

I think.

The problem I see is that (1) the release is plastic, so you can't put any pressure on it. And (2) because the channel that the slug travels in is at a 10 degree slant from the vertical, if your truck and trailer are at an angle of any kind, the weight of the truck or trailer jams against the slug. That's where I am right now.

Jammed.

Needless to say, I expected some issues with the AS--hinges, some electronics, door locks, keys, the awnings. But not having my truck and trailer fused together. I am not a happy camper this morning.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:22 AM   #11
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Good morning Members ,
I am the product manager for Demco Trailer Components, I would like to take a minute to address some of the Posts in this Thread.

Per the OP in this thread, Sorry you had an issue with your Coupler . Let me preface that statement with the fact that we completely stand behind our product. These couplers are welded and assembled in Boyden IA, and we have taken every measure to ensure that we are producing a quality product. If anybody has any concerns about their coupler, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

#2 - The pin hole in the side of the body -
The pin hole in the body is there only for anti-theft purposes. A safety pin/ snapper pin is not need for safe towing. When a pin is inserted, it immobilizes the Coupler from opening. A pin would not have affected the issue the OP is having. The reason the pin is not needed is our coupler is opposite of most others out there. It is biased to close rather than open. When the gold ball keeper is under the ball, it is "locked" in place (think Chinese finger trap) the harder the ball tries to pull out the harder the ball keeper is crushed in place.

#3 - The Plastic parts-
The Composite Coupler Handle (Black Plastic part) is much more than your typical ABS molded plastic. It is an impact modified Nylon 6/6. It is also backed by a lifetime warranty. Here is a link to a you tube video that will give you some more details https://youtu.be/xGVtfZbByI4. Again questions or issues let me take care of them personally for you.

In regard to the last post from Mr.Elbein,
I talked with him personally this morning. In his case the truck was slightly uphill in relationship to the trailer and was loading up the Mechanism as the truck was pushing against the trailer. After a few operating tips, he is unhooked and should have issues moving forward.

I will pass those same tips on here -
#1-- More tongue weight-
the age-old method of jacking up the tongue to relieve pressure and to get the coupler unlatched goes against how our coupler works. Leave all the tongue weight on the coupler and first pull the black handle, then jack the trailer up.

#2 pull forward-
If the truck or trailer are pushing against each other, the coupler will not want to open. Pull the truck forward, or block the wheels on the AS. The idea is get the Hitch ball as far forward in the socket as possible.


Lastly - I know that the forum is pretty large and I will likely not personally be able to catch all Demco related posts, so please share the word- If anybody has an issue with a Demco Product for any reason please feel free to contact me directly. I would love to help or talk through your concerns.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:20 AM   #12
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DEMCO, thanks for being responsive on what could be a safety issue. As you say, "Per the OP in this thread, Yes, we did have a very isolated issue with Couplers," this leads to a couple of questions:

- Assuming these isolated issues were on delivered trailers such as the OP's, have the affected owners been notified?

- As a new AS buyer, is there some way I can tell whether or not a trailer I'm looking at on the dealer's lot is in the group affected with this hitch issue?

Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:28 AM   #13
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Does the thing use grease?
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDlowrider View Post
DEMCO, thanks for being responsive on what could be a safety issue. As you say, "Per the OP in this thread, Yes, we did have a very isolated issue with Couplers," this leads to a couple of questions:

- Assuming these isolated issues were on delivered trailers such as the OP's, have the affected owners been notified?

- As a new AS buyer, is there some way I can tell whether or not a trailer I'm looking at on the dealer's lot is in the group affected with this hitch issue?

Thanks!
Best thing to do is to put a ball in the coupler (ball and or ball and receiver Only) check for movement forward and back. There will be some built in tolerance but not much. There will also be some vertical movement, this is also normal.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mythbuster88 View Post
Does the thing use grease?
You can Grease the coupler if you prefer, but it is not required.
The grease can help slightly with long term Ball/Coupler socket wear.
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:08 PM   #16
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Update: Airstream delivered a new Demco hitch and coupler assembly to the dealer. I had the repair done today. The old hitch assembly was cut out and the new one welded in. The new one works normally, much less free play and no separating. The pawl stays put as it should when the tongue is lifted. Just want to give a shoutout to the Jeremiah and the Southland RV Service Dept. They have been very helpful and responsive in getting this problem fixed. I wish all service departments were this good. The repair took a half day and I made it out of Atlanta before rush hour.
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:36 PM   #17
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Replaced mine with Demco 4 years ago. Great coupler
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:00 PM   #18
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Looks like genuine junk
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Old 09-27-2019, 05:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
Update: Airstream delivered a new Demco hitch and coupler assembly to the dealer. I had the repair done today. The old hitch assembly was cut out and the new one welded in. The new one works normally, much less free play and no separating. The pawl stays put as it should when the tongue is lifted. Just want to give a shoutout to the Jeremiah and the Southland RV Service Dept. They have been very helpful and responsive in getting this problem fixed. I wish all service departments were this good. The repair took a half day and I made it out of Atlanta before rush hour.
Good news its replaced now I guess you'll just be keeping an eye on it.

Safe travels

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Old 09-27-2019, 01:03 PM   #20
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DEMCO - again thanks for being responsive. I'm looking at new GTs now and will have the dealer do the ball/receiver test you suggest.
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