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Old 02-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #1321
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This is the pin. Not sure if it is broke or not.
I just hooked up for a 2 day trip. The Quickbite is awesome and now is really really easy to hook up.
Joe
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:12 PM   #1322
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The claw does raise just a bit on the Atwood when the Andersen chains are tightened and a liittle bit more once you start pulling the trailer. It's just the mechanics of it. It's safe as it hasn't risen to a level high enough to dislodge the ball. One must be diligent on checking the latch as often as possible and thus just enough for me to look into other couplers to use w/ the wonderful Andersen Hitch.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #1323
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Just installed the Andersen hitch on my 26' Argosy.
I did clean and inspect the coupler prior to the installation. I can't tell what brand of coupler it is. I can read a rating of 20,000 pounds. I can also tell you that the coupler was not welded on the trailer center. When you measure down each side of the "A" frame, there is about 3/4" inch difference from left to right. It appears to be the original.
After towing it a short distance, 20 miles to the scales and back. I saw no sign of the latch lifting. As a matter of fact. When I uncouple the trailer, with the latch released. I had to step on the bumper of the truck to get the ball to release. There is no sign as of yet, that it would release with the latch down, locked and pinned.
At this point there doesn't appear to be any slop in the coupler ball combination. Since the ball rotates horizontally with the coupler, can't see how it could wear any more than it already has. There is no scrubbing of the ball inside the coupler like there would be on a conventional hitch.
I have read on this form, there was one incident of the neoprene springs exploding. Probably from too much tension. So my question is. How much compression can they take? When relaxed, the neoprene spring measure 3 1/4" in length. So how far can you crank them down before they split? Also wondered if a metal sleeve over the neoprene spring would prevent a catastrophic failure. By containing the material within a cylinder.
Planning a 320 mile round trip this weekend. Will report back on how things worked out.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #1324
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post

Is the Atwood latching mechanism replaceable when worn or broken?

doug k
The Atwood latch could be repaired but the nature of that repair would not bee worth it. You would have to cut the current standing fin off the top of the couple and make a new and heavier one. While this might work over time the problem would most likely appear on the lifting rod going down to the claw.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:49 PM   #1325
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There are repair kits available for the latch part of the coupler. Which include the latch handle, new pawl and lift rod along with the springs etc.
In an earlier post I said I could not ID the coupler. Well the sun was shining just right. Turns out it is a MARVEL. Having not heard of that brand, I surfed the web, that's where I came across the repair kit. Vintage Trailer Supply has one for the 2". So in further investigation, I found a kit for the 2 5/16" coupler.
My guess is that Atwood bought out Marvel. But I really don't know.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:10 PM   #1326
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There are repair kits available for the latch part of the coupler. Which include the latch handle, new pawl and lift rod along with the springs etc.
.
This repair kit does not include the part that is failing, the standing fin welded to the top of the coupling frame.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #1327
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Thankfully this latch anomaly does not seem to be affecting Marvel couplers. So no big hurry to fix what ainít broken. I like the design and benefits of the Quickbite and am still considering swapping to one sometime in the future.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:10 AM   #1328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Thankfully this latch anomaly does not seem to be affecting Marvel couplers. So no big hurry to fix what ainít broken. I like the design and benefits of the Quickbite and am still considering swapping to one sometime in the future.
I too have a Marvel coupler and just recently installed the Andersen hitch.

Can this coupler come unlocked at highway speeds and if so, will this be something I notice before losing the trailer?

This doesn't sound like a common occurrence with this system but I don't want to have to worry if my trailer is going to break loose on me. Wondering if I should return this hitch. I don't have 100% confidence in it.

I'm a single female that tows solo and I don't want to see my trailer pass me on the highway!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:41 AM   #1329
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link/image of Atwood repair kit. What other part did you mean Howie?
2-5/16" Atwood Coupler Repair Kit | 88061 | Nuera Trailer Parts
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #1330
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kitty, I have over 4000 miles on my Andersen/Marvel combination and it locks up tight and secure. I have seen no indication of it coming unlocked or the ball coming free from the coupler. I use a lock thru the coupler latch (common sense action). If I were you I would not lose too much sleep worrying about this issue. As everyone should keep an eye on your equipment and practice preventive maintenance.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #1331
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link/image of Atwood repair kit. What other part did you mean Howie?
2-5/16" Atwood Coupler Repair Kit | 88061 | Nuera Trailer Parts
The standing fin welded to the top of the coupling has a stop that keeps the pull rod from lifting. That shears off. In order to repair it you would have cut it off and make a new and heavier one. The next point of failure wod most likely be the edge of the pull rod
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #1332
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On the Marvel coupler there is no stop on the standing fin. The lift rod is at least 1/4" in front of the standing fin.
The only thing that keeps the pawl from lifting is the minute amount of pressure of the spring, which does nothing when the ball is in the coupler socket. The fact that the pawl is lower than the largest diameter of the ball is what keeps it from uncoupling. Unless you are using the wrong size ball, or the coupler socket is worn beyond the ability of the new kit. Installing the new kit should help.
The only way I can see the ball dropping out the bottom of the coupler would be if the coupler socket and/or the pawl are worn out. Or that the pawl is missing all together; but that would be very obvious. Unless the pawl gets jammed up in the coupler when hitching. But one should notice that by the fact that the release handle is not resting on it's cam surface and the locking pin holes do not line up properly.
The standing fin on the Marvel coupler only provides a means of locking the handle of the release mechanism to prevent it from flipping open.
The release mechanism handle has a "cam over" function. When the handle is down in the lock position. You must rotate the handle forward to unlatch the pawl. The action of moving the handle forward releases the tension provided by the cam action thus allowing the spring to force the pawl down and out of the way. Providing enough clearance for the ball to be released when the trailer tongue is raised.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #1333
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I would suggest you take another look.

The pawl is held forward against the lower section of the ball by a wedge shaped piece behind the pawl. Once the tongue is sheared off the standing fin on the coupling the pawl is free to ride up that wedge and thus release the grip on the ball.

This is not a wear situation but rather a failure situation once the lower front edge of the fin is sheared off.

While the coupling is off the ball get down and look into the coupling. While there push up on the pawl and you will see the wedged surface I am referring to.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #1334
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No Fin

Perhaps it is because this coupler is rated a 20,000 pounds. I have taken photos as best I could. When I reach up in the coupler behind the socket, I can feel the weld below the fin. There is nothing protruding down from the fin on this coupler.
The pawl is held in a wedge shaped slot. I have circled what I believe to be the "notches" that prevent the pawl from dropping down once it is latched.
One pic shows the ball hanging in the socket. I couldn't hold the ball up like it would be when hitched and get a shot of it. But as is apparent in the pic, there is no way the ball could come out. Unless the pawl was worn severeley or missing completely.

Perhaps others could post pics to make a comparison.


http://s1166.beta.photobucket.com/us...rvel%20Coupler
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:15 PM   #1335
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Here are a couple of pics showing a similar mechanism. Note in the exploded view; the fin does not go below the top plate. The other pic shows the back of the pawl. There is no apparent latch mechanism.
It appears to be a simple wedge that fits in the slot of the coupler socket.



http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/...plodedView.png


http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/...AtwoodPawl.jpg
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #1336
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Thanks for the pictures but they do not show the area of the problem with the Atwood.

It would be great to see the lower half of the of the drawing to see how that hitch does retard lifting of the pawl but without it is meaningless
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #1337
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Here is a complete sectioned drawing of the coupler. Again. No fin.
My trailer has a Marvel coupler. When the pawl is pulled into position. It slides up a wedged groove built into the coupler socket. The pawl has full back side surface contact with the groove as well as the ball. The latch handle will not go over center to the lock position if the pawl is not seated in the groove.
Not sure how the Atwood version pins the pawl. But this is simply a wedge.

http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/...plodedView.png
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #1338
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Hitch Ordered

I ordered a hitch from HitchAnything Tuesday night and they got it shipped right away (today is Thursday). I ordered the model 3350. It looks like the hitch is being shipped directly from Andersen. Here's a capture from the UPS tracking screen. Great service!

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Old 02-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #1339
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These two pages

http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/chassis/80658.pdf

show some additional details.

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #1340
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Thanks Ron for the pictures

Picture 6 shows the fin that fails from contact with the Shoe Lock

Picture 9 shows the incline that the pawl climbs from the rearward force the Andersen puts on the ball
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