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-   -   A Question for ProPride owners (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464/a-question-for-propride-owners-201114.html)

Ephraim 09-22-2019 09:10 AM

A Question for ProPride owners
 
Let me be clear here right upfront. This question is for those who have owned a ProPride in the past or currently own a ProPride hitch. If you are not a ProPride owner, I'm not interested in your opinion.

A couple of months ago, I was making a very tight turn because a car had trapped me in the parking lot of a DQ in TX. During the jockeying to get out, I hear a very loud "Pop" like something had given way in the hitch. I got out and looked everything over, but could find no problems. Sometime later, I noticed that the trailer wasn't pulling as well as it should have been. After reading the PP problems that turk123 had, I inspected my PP and found the same issue where the yoke was shifted to the side. After correcting this (by re-centering the clamp that lives under the propane tanks), everything went back to normal. I have no proof, but I assume the loud pop was this clamp giving way in the VERY tight turns that were having to be made in that parking lot.

Yesterday, I spoke to a friend who had the same problem. He heard a loud pop and upon inspection, found that the clamp had moved. This makes at least three people who have had the same thing happen (that I know of). Given that the spec on these clamp bolts is only 50ft/lb, I'm guessing that this is a design feature to keep bad things from happening to the hitch or the AS frame. Can someone confirm this? If so, shouldn't this be documented so that if you hear the noise, you inspected immediately?

Daquenzer 09-22-2019 09:43 AM

About a year ago I noticed it wasn't pulling as well as it should. I went back and inspected and the yoke had shifted some, but also the reason was the bolts were loose. I was a bit shocked it had come loose so quickly. I realigned everything, tightened everything to specs, and it pulled like before. This is why inspect the yoke every so often to make sure the bolts are tight.

Having said that I haven't experienced it again. I do regularly inspect the yoke to make sure it is level and that it is at the proper placement (i.e. not to one side or the other). Also I think sometimes we put the towers too far back and as a result there isn't enough play in the system. Thus the bars are too tight to move back and forth like they should. So my towers are really right up against the LP tank. As a result I no longer hear it turn as much as before.

My last campsite I had to make some really tight turns to get in and out. Everything was just fine after I inspected things. I think allowing for more play in the system is important. Interesting to hear what Sean would have to say.

Al and Missy 09-22-2019 10:38 AM

I have to ask - You do have the chains coming down between the bars, right? There have been reports of damage when the chains were brought out over the bars.

That said, I have not had a problem with the yoke shifting except after my initial installation. I think I either did not tighten the bolts sufficiently or maybe didn't torque them at all. I have made some really tight turns, mostly while backing, without a problem.

Al

Pete B55 09-22-2019 11:17 AM

Iíve had the yoke shift but canít say it was associated with a pop.

But the comment about the chains between the bars has thrown me. Iíve been using mine always with the chains outside the bars and they cross on the front edge- never considered putting between the bars and curious what most others do. I can see how outside the bars could pull tight on a sharp turn.

SteveSueMac 09-22-2019 11:22 AM

Iíve hade the yoke shift without a pop as well though Iím sure there were some wider than necessary turns that had some impact there. I think any loud noise is a good reason to inspect and basic inspection anytime is good. It takes 3 seconds to look at it when youíre hitching up. If it looks uneven, reposition and tighten.

Ephraim 09-22-2019 11:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Al and Missy (Post 2291312)
I have to ask - You do have the chains coming down between the bars, right? There have been reports of damage when the chains were brought out over the bars.

That said, I have not had a problem with the yoke shifting except after my initial installation. I think I either did not tighten the bolts sufficiently or maybe didn't torque them at all. I have made some really tight turns, mostly while backing, without a problem.

Al

I do. Under normal turning, Even when the truck is on as tight a turning radius as it can get, I still have slack in the chains. However, when jockeying to get out of tight spots, I can see where a partial jack-knife can occur. I have no idea what happens then.

Daquenzer 09-22-2019 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete B55 (Post 2291333)
Iíve had the yoke shift but canít say it was associated with a pop.

But the comment about the chains between the bars has thrown me. Iíve been using mine always with the chains outside the bars and they cross on the front edge- never considered putting between the bars and curious what most others do. I can see how outside the bars could pull tight on a sharp turn.

The chains are suppose to be inside the bars like the photograph. Look at your manual. And this was stressed by Sean when I asked about installation.

I have quite a bit of slack in the chains as well. Mine hang only a few inches from the ground. If those chains are too tight it could cause a problem.

turk123 09-22-2019 12:04 PM

Ephraim, as I remember back, I too had the loud pop from my ProPride. I remember it now just as I read your post. I remember it very clearly as I got out to inspect and did not notice the yoke shift. I wish I had. That is probably when all my problems started.

Is it built into the design to relieve pressure from bending the yoke? It does make sense, but I do not believe it is reported that way in the manual. Only Sean would know. I will ask him!

mojo 09-22-2019 12:59 PM

I had the "pop" on a tight backing turn and found a chain quick link on the AS frame had pulled apart. I proceeded to install larger quick links than AS had provided and added a couple of slack links to both chains.

rmkrum 09-22-2019 02:18 PM

The yoke bracket is probably designed to shift under extreme pressure to avoid breaking things. I have marks on it and the WD jack bases to detect any shifting. Torque on the crossbar has to be measured. When I first installed the hitch it shifted on the first trip around the block. Reposition and proper torque and it has stayed in correct place ever since.

I have pulled up to 90 degree turns without popping anything, but I go real slow and gentle under these conditions.

My safety chains are routed between the bars as in the photo and are just short enough to prevent dragging them when Iím sitting dead level.

Just got done towing over 2500 miles with zero hitch issues of any sort. Love that ProPride system!

Ephraim 09-23-2019 09:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
My friend spoke with Brent at ProPride and this was Brent's solution. apparently, this is not a safety release and should not be happening.

wulfraat 09-23-2019 10:06 AM

Makes total sense that the yoke would be forced to shift (pivot on the ball) on a tight enough turn.

If main hitch head binds up at the extreme angle, and rotational force continues to be applied, the hitch head will want to try and rotate around the ball, forcing the yoke and related head assembly to pivot on the ball / slide the rear cross member.

I would imagine that something has to give if the hitch head binds up and you continue to try and turn (slide / bend or break) with enough force...

Sean Woodruff 09-23-2019 10:42 AM

Just a quick post to confirm what others have said above.

Yes, when the main hitch head is up against the stop (the 1/4" plate welded above the opening on the hitch head) the forces will shift the frame bracket to prevent anything from bending. The stop on the main hitch head prevents the links from reversing on themselves. Rotate your main hitch head by hand to its extreme and you'll see the link bump up against the stop.

The "popping" you hear is from the u-bolt plate friction releasing and the bracket shifting.

Ephraim 09-23-2019 10:51 AM

Thanks for that. Always good to hear from the expert! I'll let my friend know about this discussion.

rmkrum 09-23-2019 12:50 PM

A Question for ProPride owners
 
Thanks for responding, Sean!

Just finished a marathon trip with the ProPride setup with absolutely no issues through some very tight turns.

Note to self-stay out of gas stations where the lanes are perpendicular to the building and the parking spots are full of vehicles. Takes a long time for the area to clear...

My thought would be to mark the position of the bracket with a paint line to make it easier to detect a shift in position once itís properly installed.

dmassey321 09-23-2019 03:13 PM

Me too on the loud pop...but thinking something different...
 
I too have the heard the loud POP while turning sharply. For me, I believe it was the round foot on the bottom of the jack stand... that when raised was at the same level as the bars. Upon turning, it hits a bar until the tension is too large and it slides either over or under the offending bar...consequently the POP.

I may be wrong but every since I repositioned the jack foot to be higher via the pin and cotter, I have not had the loud POP any more.

Dave

ghaynes755 09-23-2019 07:56 PM

And I would opine that unless the yoke ubolts are exactly the same width as your frame that much more than 50# torque will only bend the bolts.


And yes a paint line/metallic marker/piece of tape to mark center of bolt on each side makes an easy check while hitching up for any shifting that might have happened.

turk123 09-24-2019 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dmassey321 (Post 2291812)
I too have the heard the loud POP while turning sharply. For me, I believe it was the round foot on the bottom of the jack stand... that when raised was at the same level as the bars. Upon turning, it hits a bar until the tension is too large and it slides either over or under the offending bar...consequently the POP.

I may be wrong but every since I repositioned the jack foot to be higher via the pin and cotter, I have not had the loud POP any more.

Dave

Dave, I take the foot off and store it in the bed of the truck. I can then run the jack up elimininating all those issues. It doesn't take that long to add the foot.

james.mileur 09-24-2019 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ephraim (Post 2291341)
I do. Under normal turning, Even when the truck is on as tight a turning radius as it can get, I still have slack in the chains. However, when jockeying to get out of tight spots, I can see where a partial jack-knife can occur. I have no idea what happens then.


Ahoy ProPride Mate,
your picture shows some crossed chains? Might check your ProPride Manual to verify the instruction for hooking up that specifies, "Do not cross the Safety Chains."

I've found getting into tight spots is more difficult than getting out, as far as jack-knife concerns go. Also, dropping the foot off, BEFORE backing in sometimes will preclude having to pull out again to move the bars enough to drop the foot. It's easy enough to install the foot below the bar. I've never been at an angle that blocked the jack post, but routinely, blocks the foot flange, if installed.

ghaynes755 09-24-2019 09:26 AM

Nothing in the current ProPride manual mentioning the crossing of chains. Page 24


Step 9: IMPORTANT – IMPORTANT – IMPORTANT – Route your tow chains UNDER the Main Hitch Unit and BETWEEN where the Spring Bars insert in the bottom of the Main Hitch Unit. When you are straight in line with your trailer the chains are the longest they ever need to be. When routed properly they should hang about 1” from the bottom of the Main Hitch Unit. *See Page 25 for photo.


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