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Old 06-02-2004, 07:03 AM   #15
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The chains were crossed, maybe with too much slack ~ 2". The jack wasn't fully retracted - maybe 2" out - so that could be why it hit the road and didn't land on the chains. I'll replace the ball. It's 3 years old and I do lube it, check the catching mechanism and hope this never happens again.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-02-2004, 07:42 AM   #16
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Take the pledge. I promise to never drive away without raising the back of the truck with the trailer hitch jack to proof it is attached.
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:55 AM   #17
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Do you use weight distribution on your hitch? My husband and I were discussing it last night and thinking it seems much more unlikely that the trailer could come off the ball with the extra tension added by the bars.

Either way this has been a very interesting discussion.
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
so you just have to slide it into the receiver to hook up.
what happens here is that some folks forget to put on the pin the receiver shank.

There are several reasons why the coupler can come loose.

One is, as mentioned, the coupler latch wasn't latched.

Another is that the latch failed - yes they do wear and can be easily replaced.

Yet another is that the ball comes loose. When is the last time you checked the torgue on the ball nut? It is supposed to be tightened to 400 lb ft or so.

To reduce the risk of these kinds of accidents you have to have policy and procedure that become habit. The hitch raise to mount spring bars is a good example of an effective procedure. A mental or even written checklist (think airplanes) is also necessary to make sure that all bolts, pins, and other things are installed properly. Don't forget to shake the propane tanks and kick the coupler and otherwise test anything that might be loose.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:37 PM   #19
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YIKES IS RIGHT.
6 Years ago I lost the whole rig, 64 Scotty teardrop, canoe, and the pickup shell it was attached to in what is now refered to as the "Great U.P. Deer Herd Crossing Incident". The old girl popped the ball and ran into the back of the truck.
Now my 67 GT has an Reese equalizing hitch, and, while repainting the tongue between downpours this spring, I installed a hitch repair kit from Inland RV. Knock on aluminum I will never loose a vintage trailer again.

See You Down The Road ,
Tom
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:46 AM   #20
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Tom.

What is a hitch repair kit?
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Old 06-05-2004, 01:23 AM   #21
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Tim

Here is the link for the repair kit:
http://www.inlandrv.com/parts/12670couplerkit.jpg
Leonard
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Old 06-05-2004, 09:29 AM   #22
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Wink Hitch "Safety Chains"

Several years ago there was an article in the "Trailer Life" that said California Highway Patrol "CHiPs" could stop a trailer and inspect the hitch, If the safety chains would allow the tongue to touch the ground you could be cited for unsafe conditions. Keep them short and crossed. Cal or not it makes good sense.


Ernie and Jan
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:42 PM   #23
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Hitch latching mechanisms do wear and therefore fail.

If the mileage is not know, simply replacing the coupler lock, will not dent the pocketbook very much, but it will ease the mind from worrying about it failing.

Twenty bucks or so, and the potential problem goes away.

Andy
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:38 AM   #24
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Thanks Andy - I've already got it on my to buy list before our next trip!
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:06 PM   #25
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I've never experienced this, but it scares me......

to think about it. When I first read the beginning of the thread, my initial thought was that perhaps the hitch-to-ground/trailer-to-hitch measurements were improper, and there was not enough tongue weight on the ball. Obviously, the heavier the trailer, the less likely it will bounce off a tow ball. There is a hitch measurement guide available somewhere in this forum. I remember seeing it recently when someone posted it again. You may wish to review it to insure your hitch ball is the correct distance from the ground in relation to your trailer hitch. I know the propoer distance is 18 and 3/4 inches for my 31' 1986 Sovereign, as well as many of the larger Airstreams. I don't have a clue what would be proper for your trailer. Good luck with finding the proper cure, and thank the Lord nothing more was damaged, nor anyone was hurt.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:24 PM   #26
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Are there any other checks for a worn hitch?
I've got an old hitch that might even be original, with my 1976 Airstream when I bought it. I've towed about 50,000 kilometers with it so far.
It still feels really solid, and I've never noticed any problems.
I always grease the ball with bearing grease, then clean it up when I park.
Any other checkpoints to look for?

Thanks,
Toby J. H.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyJH
Are there any other checks for a worn hitch?
I've got an old hitch that might even be original, with my 1976 Airstream when I bought it. I've towed about 50,000 kilometers with it so far.
It still feels really solid, and I've never noticed any problems.
I always grease the ball with bearing grease, then clean it up when I park.
Any other checkpoints to look for?

Thanks,
Toby J. H.

Don't mess with checking anything.

With that many miles, replace the coupler lock parts, and, the ball.

They are not that expensive, compared to having the trailer pass you when you hit the brakes.

Then relax and have a cool one, or two.

Andy
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:09 PM   #28
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Thanks

Thanks Andy!

And, by the way, I'm the fellow who was just down from Canada in January, to have a couple rear panels replaced.
Fantastic workmanship as always!

And, when you did my brakes, bearings, and basically rebuilt everything except the axels, absolutely fantastic work again!

I'm always super happy after leaving your shop.

I only wish your business was closer to Alberta!

Best!
Toby J. H.
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