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Old 09-03-2018, 09:54 AM   #1
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Newby hitch ball question

I am having a hard time getting the hitch to let go of the ball. It takes a lot of having my wife try to advance and reverse a centimeter at a time while I worry that this is putting too much strain on the hitch jack before it finally and slowly releases the ball.
Is this common? Is there an easy solution?
Thanks for any input!
-John
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:11 AM   #2
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I've found it unhitched easier if you make sure it's greased good and on level ground if possible ,
We fight with it too at times ,,try and be sure and put your parking brake on when putting your TV in park, so the vehicle doesn't go forward when parking
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #3
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Easy solution? I've discovered cursing doesn't seem to help.
I thought I had the mother of all stuck couplers last year.
Usually, if you open the coupler latch, then raise the tongue jack, eventually it will let go of the ball. Mine didn't. Also spraying grease into the coupler, rocking the truck, standing on the WD bars, jumping on the bumper, and rocking the truck in neutral all failed. I even removed the hitch pin and pulled forward so the shank would pull out, it didn't.
Eventually, it just decided the fun was over, and it fell out. (Nearby campers must have thought I'd gone crazy)

My solution? White Lithium grease on the ball so that after driving it's all lubed up in there. Then a rubber cap for the ball and gloves and a "Hitch Grabber" to help keep the grease off you and your clothes.
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #4
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There should not be anything that would cause the ball to release from the hitch Slowly. Stick yes.

To remove the trailer from the TV, release the latch on top of the hitch, use the the tongue jack to raise the coupler of the hitch off the ball. That should do it.

If the ball refuses to come out of the coupler some times the TV is pressing against the pawl in the hitch and not releasing when you release the latch. In that case, if you are in a valley or on a hill, just put the TV in neutral for a second to remove the rearward pressure on the pawl, or chuck the trailer wheels and put the TV in drive for a second.

This is not a function of lubrication but rather one of reward mechanical pressure between the TV and the trailer not allowing the pawl to move when the latch is released.


The latch allows the pawl to move and increases the opening in the bottom of the coupler less the a 1/4 in. allowing the ball to clear it while jacking the trailer
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:27 AM   #5
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Wow, what great advice, thank you! I just copied and pasted your instructions into a Word doc and filed it away in my "Airstream" file on my desktop.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:39 AM   #6
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Agree with Mollysdad. I also now use white lithium grease (spray). I've seen others use some type of black goo out of a can and applying with a paint brush (one fellow said it's all around 'grease' he buys from the auto parts store). Still haven't figured out how to get my clothes clean. Am now searching the internet for a hitch grip to see if I really want yet another tool to cart around.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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Short Answer: LUBE it. Lube the ball. Lube the inside of the coupler. Pull handle, LUBE, release it LUBE.

There are various LUBE's and I won't sponsor or say which one is better over the other.

Just LUBE it!
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:00 AM   #8
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That's a good tip about putting the truck in neutral for a bit before attempting hitch release.
Lately after leveling, parking brake on, chocking the trailer wheels, and attempting unhitching, I get a surprise bounce, usually impacting the trailer, which strains the hitch jack assembly. If I can release that tension in advance, so much the better.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acheron2010 View Post
That's a good tip about putting the truck in neutral for a bit before attempting hitch release.
Lately after leveling, parking brake on, chocking the trailer wheels, and attempting unhitching, I get a surprise bounce, usually impacting the trailer, which strains the hitch jack assembly. If I can release that tension in advance, so much the better.

Indeed. I use Andersen's and also found that once leveled and chocked the initial release off the ball could be rather violent. So I too put TV in neutral to let everything settle resulting in much happier detachments. However, the jack assembly is way stronger than you would believe it to be (don't ask how I know).
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:48 AM   #10
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I have had a similar challenge - not always so I have noted when I do and when I don't. It seems to be related to the levelness of the TV in relationship to the trailer as well as whether or not it is in line with it. Having those parameters as close in line as possible seems to solve most of the problem. The idea of putting the TV in neutral to release the pressure between the TV and trailer is a good one. Just to be on the safe side I might have someone in the drivers seat ready to apply the brakes in case the TV decides to move further than you need it to. Also I was wondering if not tightly choking the trailer wheels is another way to release some of that tension between the hitch ball and coupler. Since the tongue jack is down the trailer is not going to roll anywhere, but it might move just enough to allow the coupler to release. Just thinking.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Short Answer: LUBE it. Lube the ball. Lube the inside of the coupler. Pull handle, LUBE, release it LUBE.

There are various LUBE's and I won't sponsor or say which one is better over the other.

Just LUBE it!
*******
Works every time after 12 years for us.

Take paper towel and wipe clean when you remove hitch from tow vehicle. Reapply when you connect. I wear a thin latex glove to apply grease on ball and socket. Peel glove off and you are ready to go.

When your trailer is LEVEL after using leveling blocks, your Tow Vehicle is now at an angle to the trailer. This can create tension within the hitch. You may even notice that the jack base move a fraction, when the ball releases, this relieved the tension and the ball drops after a dull... thump.

If truck is at an angle to the trailer, even without leveling blocks... expect this bind, as well. You cannot have everything perfect, all of the time.

On flat surfaces, smooth and easy.

Just keep in mind when you level the trailer, expect some tension before the ball releases. The ball fits very snug into the hitch socket. I grease the inner hitch socket with good bearing grease and wipe it also on the wear area on the ball, which is above the center of the ball. You will easily see the wear ring.

I replace our ball, before the ball gets scoured in this wear area. Grooves from turning while towing. The lack of chrome plating is the first clue. The ball is inexpensive. The trailer side IS expensive to replace. Dust gets into this ball/hitch area and the grit will wear the surface, a little at a time.

Some people have a hitch ball that looks like someone took a grinder to it. They also heard you are not suppose to grease it AND use wax paper or some other option to grease.

Once you recall how you released the ball from the trailer, you will recognize what to expect. This will repeat itself. Once you understand... you will be giving better advice than I can offer.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:11 PM   #12
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When you back into the spot where you want to park, with your foot on the brake, put the truck in D (drive), then put it in park. This will release the pressure which built up when you were in reverse. Then raise the hitch to disconnect your WD bars, lower the hitch to unlock the hitch ball coupler, then raise it off the ball.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:24 PM   #13
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Keep a good attitude. The time will come when all the good advice here will fail.
BTW, I find this a good tool to move the WD hitch once it's got some grease on it.
If I was designing it, I'd make it a little wider but it balances nicely
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:57 PM   #14
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Cool

As others have noted, the attitude of the tow vehicle has a large impact on how easy/hard it is for the hitch to uncouple. Also as noted, be aware and take the tension off the hitch by small ajdustments to the TV. If the last thing you did when hitched was pull slightly forward, the hitch will be tight, and backing off/up just a smidge will lower the tension. Another trick is to be sure you use a "tall" enough support (brick, wood, plastic blocks) under the jack foot, so the jack can rise up higher. Etc., etc.



However, a newbie word of warning. Be sure your chocks are set behind the trailer wheels before you lift the hitch off the tow vehicle. Several years ago in our first major trip with our IS 27, I did not do so. The hitched trailer was pulled back hard against the hitch ball, the trailer pointing just slightly downhill. When the trailer sprang off the hitch ball, the "spring loaded" trailer jumped back about 2-3 inches, and without chocks, the trailer started to roll (jack sliding with a sound like God scraping a shovel across the pavement). The wife is at the camp laundry, the dog is inside the trailer, and I am trying to stop the trailer with my bare hands (screaming cusswords with no effect) as it rolls back toward the pond that's opposite our space. It finally stopped, with assists from the fresh water line and the shore power line. Helpful fellow campers ran over and asked what they could do and I said "CHOCK IT!" It made for a great story later, but it was real scary, especially (I think) for the dog. Chocks first, then unhook......
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