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Old 06-20-2021, 10:26 AM   #21
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Rancho Cucamonga , California
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Chain Loops

I am sure I will take flak for my opinion but looking at latch and ball socket it appears there may be significant wear , the socket looks dry like possibly never lubricated , that being the case IMO I would replace the entire assembly along with new welded loops. Using WD devices certainly increases load and wear on ball and socket. It was mentioned grade 8 bolts don’t have the shear strength required. The cost vs risk factor I see only one way to be safe. In fact look at it this way , the softer parts wear the most , if the loops were thin how about the socket? - I never could understand not lubing ball and socket or for having to use band aids to tow. - there is a price for everything. I have never used a WD hitch- towed over 50 years. I simply buy enough truck. Go ahead tear me apart- just my opinion- thanks
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:35 AM   #22
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1970 25' Tradewind
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[QUOTE=syclone93;2507237]I am sure I will take flak for my opinion but looking at latch and ball socket it appears there may be significant wear , the socket looks dry like possibly never lubricated , that being the case IMO I would replace the entire assembly along with new welded loops. Using WD devices certainly increases load and wear on ball and socket. It was mentioned grade 8 bolts don’t have the shear strength required. The cost vs risk factor I see only one way to be safe. In fact look at it this way , the softer parts wear the most , if the loops were thin how about the socket?

Good call.

Replacement “Bulldog coupler has arrived. Replacing A-Frame coupler and will use the Andersen hitch for now.
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:37 AM   #23
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Can't answer about the wear on the coupler in the photo, as those photos were not mine.

Still confused how a 1/2" grade 8 bolt going through the 2" frame tube (with proper space in the middle) would have any less strength than what appears to have been 3/8 mild steel used to make the factory loops for mounting the chains.
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:50 AM   #24
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I would not drill holes in the frame for those bolts. You are then just introducing the frame to extra rust and stress points. Have new loops welded on. Replace everything, chains and hooks. When is there ever a time to cheap out, lol?
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:56 AM   #25
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By the way, I have the same Marvel hitch coupler on my '76 Excella. The little tab that the lock runs through to lock the latch shut broke off. Where can I buy replacement parts for the Marvel coupler? Thanks ��
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Old 06-20-2021, 01:30 PM   #26
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The Atwood A-Frame Trailer Coupler 2-5/16" Latch Repair Kit used matching parts and was actually discontinued a few years ago. I doubt you will find a supplier with new old stock at the moment. The last pricing I saw was $39-40.

So, if the latch on your Marvel A-Frame coupler is broken then I believe you'll need to replace the whole coupler to effect the repair. The most similar option E-trailer carries when it comes to weight rating and size is this $54 unit which will need to be welded on:

https://www.etrailer.com/p-F44305R0317.html

Of course, you can use whatever brand you want or the one your Airstream dealer has in stock.
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:48 AM   #27
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1970 25' Tradewind
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Replacing the A- Frame Coupler

E Trailer has the replacement coupler in several different manufacturers/designs.

I purchased the Bulldog collar lock - low profile coupler. Also, the coupler ball lock as well.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:05 AM   #28
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I certainly would not compromise the strength and safety of your trailer frame by drilling holes for a bolt used for mounting a safety chain. There is not a single hitch, Reese, Equalizer, Blue Ox, ProPride, Hensley that encourages drilling holes into the trailer frame. They all encourage mounting their hitchs to the frame, without drilling.
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:26 PM   #29
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Problem solved - found a mobile welder

Took a bit of searching, but I was able to find a mobile welding outfit in the next town over that was able to do the repair. The trailer is not road worthy at the moment, so it was not possible to get it to a welding shop, which is why I was looking at an alternative to welding.

I used a 7/16" diameter loop, which is slightly larger than the OEM 3/8" loop, and had the welder install them with the chains held in place permanently as they were from the factory. If I decide to make the chains removable in the future, I'll just cut off the last link on each chain and replace them with a pair of hooks like at the other end. The loops have enough space for the hooks should I go that route.
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:34 PM   #30
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Looks like original. Good fix.
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