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Old 02-24-2020, 03:37 PM   #1
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How to make hitching easier?

Hey All
Just pulled the ‘19 Sport 16 out of storage and heading to warmer climate tomorrow.

I almost forgot what a pain in the butt it is getting the hitch to seat properly. It usually takes a fair bit of back and forth with sudden braking to get it to seat so the clasp lock down and holes line up. I was hoping it would get easier over time but almost a year out and it’s still a struggle. I even cleaned out the hutch tongue and greased both pieces nicely.

I have a dealer installed Reese anti sway hitch with 2 5/16 ball.

Does anyone know of a trick to make this easier so I don’t scare the hell out of other campers when I’m trying to seat it?

Many thanks!
Mike
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hopmonster View Post
Hey All
Just pulled the ‘19 Sport 16 out of storage and heading to warmer climate tomorrow.

I almost forgot what a pain in the butt it is getting the hitch to seat properly. It usually takes a fair bit of back and forth with sudden braking to get it to seat so the clasp lock down and holes line up. I was hoping it would get easier over time but almost a year out and it’s still a struggle. I even cleaned out the hutch tongue and greased both pieces nicely.

I have a dealer installed Reese anti sway hitch with 2 5/16 ball.

Does anyone know of a trick to make this easier so I don’t scare the hell out of other campers when I’m trying to seat it?

Many thanks!
Mike
first I would spray up inside with WD or light oil and move the hitch latch a few times to lube everything up. What I have always done is leave the wheel chocks in place on the front of the trailer tires and gently give it a little tug forward after dropping it on the ball. That has always worked for me. *You should do this before you put any tension on the rigs with the WD hitch*. If you have the trailer set so that it cannot move it really only takes putting the tow vehicle in drive and you will here the hitch lock.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:31 PM   #3
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Your coupler may need adjustment. It should sit down on the ball without difficulty. Try letting it down until it just seats and then lock it, don't pull the foot all the way up until it is locked.

There are multiple coupler types. The one on my 25 I would lift up and then lever down. The one on my 30 just slides fore and aft. Make sure you are operating yours correctly.

If you still can't couple it easily, it may need adjustment. Mine has a nylock nut that adjusts the tension. Back the nut out a half turn at a time. Once you get it where it couples easily, put a jack under the tongue while it is latched and make sure it won't come uncoupled. The coupler on my small utility trailer worked perfectly for years and then suddenly started coming uncoupled when hitting a bump. I had to tighten up the adjusting nut.

Al
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:33 PM   #4
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I usually align the ball slightly forward of the trailer coupler. Then as the coupler is lowered onto the ball, the coupler (and trailer) will move forward a fraction of an inch and fall into place (usually). I think the biggest issue is having the ball aligned too far back on the coupler, interfering with the locking mechanism.

If I run into that situation, I’ll put the Truck into drive and bump it forward with trailer wheel chocks in place. Easy does it. You shouldn’t have to slam anything around too hard.

I hope that helps.

Jim
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:24 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone! I’ll try the using the chocks to help in the morning, never tried that trick.The tongue seems to move freely in the coupler. I’m not sure if it can be adjusted but I’ll have a look through the manual. It’s just a simple WD Reese unit.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:29 PM   #6
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You might want to check out this thread.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f14...ks-203926.html
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by hopmonster View Post
Thanks everyone! I’ll try the using the chocks to help in the morning, never tried that trick.The tongue seems to move freely in the coupler. I’m not sure if it can be adjusted but I’ll have a look through the manual. It’s just a simple WD Reese unit.
The adjustment nut is on the trailer side under the coupler. Stick a mirror under the coupler and you will see it.
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:18 AM   #8
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:40 AM   #9
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Hi

Get a can of white lithium spray grease and *flood* the coupler. If it's not a total mess, you didn't use enough . It will clean out any road grit *and* act as a lube once the cleaning is done. (Yes, you should also put something thicker on the ball)

Once all the guck is off the coupler, take a close look at it in good light. If it's the one that came on the trailer back in 1977, it's lived a long life. Check for bent / broke bits. Take a look at somebody else's coupler to understand what should be there. That way you can also look for "missing" bits.

Assuming all that goes ok, then alignment as you hook up is indeed what's left on the list.

Bob
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:01 AM   #10
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I installed a backup camera, and use one of these: https://www.harborfreight.com/magnet...kit-69778.html I can hitch up by myself, sometimes with only one try! I keep all the rub points greased up, and the coupler just slides right on
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:35 AM   #11
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I would first LUBE the receiver, in and around, on top top, don't be shy, LUBE the heck out of it. Also LUBE your ball. You will need to that several times if you have never LUBE your hitch before.

I promise you will sit better.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:50 AM   #12
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Most of the time the problem is with the ball being too far back on the hitch. This jams the lock between the ball and the socket. When I get close, I lower the trailer hitch about 1/2-1" below the ball and back up slowly till I hear it pop into the socket. You want to err on the side of the ball being a little too far forward and let gravity help you out a bit as you back up. Make sure everything is lubed well and also that the lock is not too tight. After you do this now lower the trailer hitch till you can lock it in.



Perry
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr View Post
I installed a backup camera, and use one of these: https://www.harborfreight.com/magnet...kit-69778.html I can hitch up by myself, sometimes with only one try! I keep all the rub points greased up, and the coupler just slides right on
I bought a set of those from HFT on our first trip out. Great, simple device to match up without a backup camera. I keep forgetting them, however, especially when I'm picking up the AS from the storage lot. So now I keep some plastic cups in the back of my SUV and stick one on the hitch ball and keep the rear hatch open. I can line up the cup on the ball to the AS hitch without any problem.

I have used wax paper on the ball as a lubricant but I've gone back to a waterproof propeller shaft grease. When hooking up, after dropping the AS on the ball I just drop the SUV in gear (forward then reverse) and the latch drops so I can close it. Then I raise the tongue and set the WD spring arms.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:03 AM   #14
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New coupler

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Get a can of white lithium spray grease and *flood* the coupler. If it's not a total mess, you didn't use enough . It will clean out any road grit *and* act as a lube once the cleaning is done. (Yes, you should also put something thicker on the ball)

Once all the guck is off the coupler, take a close look at it in good light. If it's the one that came on the trailer back in 1977, it's lived a long life. Check for bent / broke bits. Take a look at somebody else's coupler to understand what should be there. That way you can also look for "missing" bits.

Assuming all that goes ok, then alignment as you hook up is indeed what's left on the list.

Bob
Original post states the coupler is on a 2019 model...
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:44 PM   #15
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Update...

Welp cleaned out coupler. Could see anything that can be adjusted in there. Just the tongue or path mechanism. Sprayed with lithium and worked the hasp up and down a hell of a lot. Tried reconnecting and still not seating. Did the chock trick and that wouldn’t seat it either. It gets almost there but the eye holes are off by a few Centimetres.

From new it’s never seated as easily as our Bascamp or old Landyacht.

I used to to have success with installing one of the sway bars and working it up and down to “wiggle” the tongue and ball interface..(that sounds a bit raunchy). When I did this it finally seated and the hasp dropped. So maybe that is the trick until I have the dealer examine if something is off.

We just got into WV for night on way to WDW and Key Largo so I’ll have a few more opportunities to attempt this..

Again thank you for the input and suggestions. See you all on the road.

Mike
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:53 PM   #16
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Mike,

Can you identify the mfgr and mfgr number of the coupler? It might be stamped on it, somewhere.

How about trying a different ball, loose hold it in your hand. Coupler open, insert, try to latch. Feel fit/play etc then release and see how it feels.

Gary
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:59 PM   #17
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Easy Hitching

Best, easiest way: Have the wife do it. Sit back and enjoy.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK4YZ View Post
I usually align the ball slightly forward of the trailer coupler.Then as the coupler is lowered onto the ball, the coupler (and trailer) will move forward a fraction of an inch and fall into place (usually). I think the biggest issue is having the ball aligned too far back on the coupler, interfering with the locking mechanism.

If I run into that situation, I’ll put the Truck into drive and bump it forward with trailer wheel chocks in place. Easy does it. You shouldn’t have to slam anything around too hard.

I hope that helps.

Jim
Hi, Bingo!
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
You might want to check out this thread.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f14...ks-203926.html
That’s a good thread although it deals mostly with difficulty unlatching the coupler from the ball. Whether you have the old style coupler or the new DEMCO coupler, the key is getting the coupler and ball in a “neutral” position. That is, with the coupler neither pushing down on the ball or pulling the ball up. You can usually tell when you’re at that point by watching it he ball & coupler as you raise or lower the jack. You will see slight relative movement between the ball and coupler at that point. Then it should be easy to lift the coupler latch.

I know this by struggling with it myself��

Jim
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:49 AM   #20
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Original post states the coupler is on a 2019 model...
Hi

Poster's "info" states they have a 1977.

A good example of why you need to update your info !!!!

Bob
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