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Old 05-10-2018, 10:50 AM   #1
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Please help! SOS! cannot unhitch ball from coupler

hello all,
after years of planning, I picked up my Sport 16 yesterday. This is my first time with a TT and my first time trailering... Took me a lot to get over my fear of doing this on my own. There's just so much to get from dreaming about this to making it a successful reality.

I purchased an Andersen Anti-Sway Hitch used from someone on here. They said the 2" ball was not right and wouldn't put it on. They gave me 2" drop ball hitch and hooked it up for me. I drove home the 200 plus miles without an anti-sway hitch and fortunately it was easy going. Never really even felt like I had the trailer behind me (TV is a V8 hemi Ram 1500 so maybe that is why?).

I struggled SOOOOO much backing the trailer into my driver. Was an exercise in frustration that nearly brought me to tears, but after a million attempts, I got it in. I then went to unhitch the trailer from the truck because my driveway is not long enough to keep them connecting - my truck is hanging out into the street.

This T shaped thing that I am supposed to pull back on will not budge. I took the pressure off by engaging the jack, still nothing. I put some vaseline on it thinking perhaps some lubricant would help, nothing.

Please, what am I missing? Picture included.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:55 AM   #2
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Is your driveway slightly downhill? I bet your hitch is bound up a bit with rearward pressure. Chock your trailer tires so it won’t roll, and pull the tow vehicle forward a couple of inches. That should take the pressure off, and you should be able to release the hitch.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverie room View Post
hello all,
after years of planning, I picked up my Sport 16 yesterday. This is my first time with a TT and my first time trailering... Took me a lot to get over my fear of doing this on my own. There's just so much to get from dreaming about this to making it a successful reality.

I purchased an Andersen Anti-Sway Hitch used from someone on here. They said the 2" ball was not right and wouldn't put it on. They gave me 2" drop ball hitch and hooked it up for me. I drove home the 200 plus miles without an anti-sway hitch and fortunately it was easy going. Never really even felt like I had the trailer behind me (TV is a V8 hemi Ram 1500 so maybe that is why?).

I struggled SOOOOO much backing the trailer into my driver. Was an exercise in frustration that nearly brought me to tears, but after a million attempts, I got it in. I then went to unhitch the trailer from the truck because my driveway is not long enough to keep them connecting - my truck is hanging out into the street.

This T shaped thing that I am supposed to pull back on will not budge. I took the pressure off by engaging the jack, still nothing. I put some vaseline on it thinking perhaps some lubricant would help, nothing.

Please, what am I missing? Picture included.

check you PM if you are still having problems
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by reverie room View Post
...I then went to unhitch the trailer ...

This T shaped thing that I am supposed to pull back on will not budge. I took the pressure off by engaging the jack, still nothing. I put some vaseline on it thinking perhaps some lubricant would help, nothing.

Please, what am I missing? Picture included.
First - chock the wheels on the trailer. Sometime on a slight grade the trailer will want to move when uncoupled.

The t-handle is pushed forward (towards the ball), not back and then flips up. Lifting with the trailer jack will only bind the coupler - make sure there is no weight on the ball at all when uncoupling. Then use the jack to lift the coupler off of the ball.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:01 AM   #5
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"push" the hitch latch forward (towards the front of the vehicle) before lifting up on it. It slides parallell to the hitch prior to being able to lift up to release.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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Thank you!

Oh my gosh, I am so very grateful for the quick and accurate help. I was making two mistakes… I was taking the pressure off the tow vehicle which I guess is what was binding things. I was also pulling not pushing the T-shaped thing. Once I corrected those two mistakes it worked quickly and easily. I am so very thankful for all of you.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:09 PM   #7
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No worries, the very first time we towed our brand new trailer to storage, we had to call AAA to help us get the trailer off the ball. 🤣[emoji38]🤣[emoji38]
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:13 PM   #8
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I seem to recall 15-20 minutes trying to get the hitch to release when I first got the Airstream. Took a gentle tap from a rubber hammer once we read the very faint directions on the T-handle. Sigh...a little WD-40 helped a lot.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:47 PM   #9
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Glad it all worked out reverie room!

If the center of the concave hitch socket on the trailer tongue is aligned vertically with the center of the ball, everything should work as designed, effortlessly more or less. Sometimes, after chocking the trailer into a fixed and stable location, you may have to put the tow vehicle in Neutral to get things aligned. [assuming the ground is not too sloped] If the tow vehicle is pulling forward, or pushing back, the lip or safety latch of the socket will catch on the underside of the ball.

Hard to put into words, but the proof is in the pudding when you lift the trailer off the ball -- there should be no interference. After a couple of times it becomes second nature.

Peter

PS -- If you want some guidance on backing up the trailer, you might want to enter "backing up trailer" in the blue-bordered search box above. Like learning to ride a bicycle -- once mastered, fairly easy.
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:17 PM   #10
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Backing is a skill that takes repetition. A lot of repetition. I won't tell you how long it took me to finally make it easy. Then I bought another trailer, 15" longer, and the dynamics changed and I had to learn again, though it didn't take as long.

Glad to hear you got unhitched. Several weeks ago I went to hitch up after winter was over and the jack must have sunk into the ground enough so that the coupler was too low. After some pondering, I got some 2/10 scraps I always take with me to lift up wheels if I get a flat, and put them just behind the front wheels of the truck and backed up onto them, thus lowering the ball enough to get under the coupler.

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Old 05-10-2018, 04:48 PM   #11
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Above posts are right on--chock the trailer wheels first.

Then, as you put the jack down, watch for the first sign of relative movement between the coupler and the ball mount. That should be the no-load point where the coupler will open easily. It won't open if there is weight on the ball and it won't open if the jack is causing it to pull upward on the ball.
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:51 PM   #12
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And ALWAYS CHOCK before you unhook anything!
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:59 PM   #13
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I think I had the Mac Daddy of stuck couplers.
I had just arrived at Alumilina, and went to drop the trailer.
It refused to let go.
I had the latch opened, the jack on a block of wood, and I'd lifted the rear of the truck almost off the ground, jumped on the sway bars, rocked the bumper, and that sucker held tight.
I then removed the pin holding the shank in the receiver, put everything as level as possible and slowly pulled forward. I almost pulled the trailer off the block, but the coupler refused to let go. (and the shank remained in the receiver with no pin!)
I sprayed white lithium grease in the slot by the latch.
People around me were getting curious who this crazy man was jumping up and down.
Suddenly, with a "swoosh", it let go. (Yes, I returned the pin into the shank.)

At home it wasn't that big a deal, I think I finally got enough white lithium grease all over the ball. I now carry a squeeze tube.
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:03 PM   #14
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I had a momentary lapse of memory after a few years owning and using our AS. I pulled into campsite but I could not lift the T hitch lock up up! After a few exasperating minutes, I realized I had fogotten to “slide forward toward tow vehicle” the release first, then lift. This after hooking and unhooking dozens of times before. Glab I didn’t pull out sawzall and grinder....
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:20 PM   #15
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Ditto--sometimes us old Pharts have an momentary episode of "CRS"*** disease, in spite of endless repetitions...




***Politely, "Can't Remember Stuff" syndrome.
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RFP View Post
And ALWAYS CHOCK before you unhook anything!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

The first time your trailer moves after you uncouple it will teach you that lesson quickly. Fortunately when it happened to us, the trailer fell back on the ball.
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:39 PM   #17
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...and the other one is TV in PARK, hand brake SET, and ignition OFF with keys in driver's pocket before leaving the command seat... Checklists rule!

It's the best way to prevent being featured in a "runaway trailer" video, which are way to easy to find on YouTube nowadays.

There are also some sad but totally funny videos of boat trailer, boat, and TV being launched/sunk simultaneously whilst the owner/driver watches helplessly from the ramp. At least the boat floated for a while...(he left the drain plugs out, just to add to the "fun".....)
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:45 PM   #18
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Isn't this forum incredible.

I read the post and said "oh no poor trailer owner", we've been right there before. Thought we should answer promptly and try to explain that the T pull handle isn't exactly a straight pull up.

Read further and several others described it well enough for you to already have it figure out.

The backing gets easier in time:
We try to back up over left shoulder versus right

We try to put hands on bottom of steering and make small movements

Spotter needs to stay in mirror if you have one ( spotter not mirror)
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:22 PM   #19
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To practice backing up find an empty parking lot, set out some cones or whatever soft things as a target slot and practice. Remember smaller actions on your part and give it a moment for the trailer to start to react.
Watch the YouTube videos first some have great visual tips.
Somewhere I posted a result of a backing into the driveway gone wrong. Looked but could not find them, will post when I do.

Matti
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:23 AM   #20
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Please help! SOS! cannot unhitch ball from coupler

Another trick of the trade: even though we always chock the trailer wheels before lifting the trailer off the ball, we also leave the safety chains and emergency brake cable connected until the trailer hitch has cleared the ball and we’re certain the trailer isn’t going to try and go somewhere without us. [emoji6]
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