hitch retainer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-02-2007, 04:11 PM   #1
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My Casita came off its hitch. It looked and felt like it was on correctly but nevertheless it came off, thankfully at a very low speed. The chains came loose from the trailer in the mishap. At least in 94, Casita did an inadequate job of fastening the chains to the trailer.

All this leads in to my question. I've seen a gadget that fits over the hitch that prevents it from raising up and coming loose. It fastens to the tow vehicle and has an arm that reaches over the hitch and ball at a hight just slightly higher than the hitch top. Does anyone have a link for this item?

Thanks.

-Don
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:44 PM   #2
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Perhaps you mean the device discussed in this topic:
The Trailer Guardian
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:44 PM   #3
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Called the Trailer Guardian.

Here's the thread on it
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:22 PM   #4
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My Casita came off its hitch. It looked and felt like it was on correctly but nevertheless it came off, thankfully at a very low speed. The chains came loose from the trailer in the mishap. At least in 94, Casita did an inadequate job of fastening the chains to the trailer.

All this leads in to my question. I've seen a gadget that fits over the hitch that prevents it from raising up and coming loose. It fastens to the tow vehicle and has an arm that reaches over the hitch and ball at a hight just slightly higher than the hitch top. Does anyone have a link for this item?

Thanks.

-Don
The first thing I would want to know is why it came off. It's important that what ever caused it to come off be fixed.
If it was operator problems then you might want to consider getting into the habit of cranking the tongue jack back up enough to raise the rear of the tow vehicle a bit. It's much much better to correct a problem than put a band-aid on it.
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:49 PM   #5
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A "Bulldog" coupler (cost more $70) is on my list of modifications, lenghten tongue, add genny mount. This style coupler closes like your hands around a coffee cup on a cold morning. Not a casita problem, I've seen this happen to several people with some style of couplers. Not sure it wasn't operator error, but everyone said they were hitched, before problems. I've pulled livestock walking and firewood load with a Bulldog never lost a coupling.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:09 PM   #6
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A "Bulldog" coupler (cost more $70) is on my list of modifications, ...
This style coupler closes like your hands around a coffee cup on a cold morning.
The Bulldog forged coupler is used on the new Oliver Legacy egg. I've tried opening and closing this coupler on a trailer at a dealership, and find it very awkward. I can believe that it is secure once latched, and it is relatively clear whether or not it is latched. I'm not sold on it, but have no real experience on which to base a judgement.

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Not sure it wasn't operator error, but everyone said they were hitched, before problems.
Just like everyone was not speeding before they crashed, checked their tire pressure before the tires failed, etc...
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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Just like everyone was not speeding before they crashed, checked their tire pressure before the tires failed, etc...
And I thought [b]I was a cynic
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:03 PM   #8
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My Casita came off its hitch. It looked and felt like it was on correctly but nevertheless it came off, thankfully at a very low speed. The chains came loose from the trailer in the mishap. At least in 94, Casita did an inadequate job of fastening the chains to the trailer.

All this leads in to my question. I've seen a gadget that fits over the hitch that prevents it from raising up and coming loose. It fastens to the tow vehicle and has an arm that reaches over the hitch and ball at a hight just slightly higher than the hitch top. Does anyone have a link for this item?

Thanks.

-Don
Hey Don. You didn't mention if you have a padlock through the hole in the coupler. I believe that the coupler has to be in the right place for the holes to line up for a padlock to go through the coupler. Also as mentioned, if you crank up the jack, to the point of lifting the rear of the tow vehicle, you know that all is fastened. What I did for my tow chains, is bought the connections that screw into themselves to make a continuous circle when they are screwed together. I am not explaining myself very well. The connectors are like a "c" clamp where the ends screw together through a link of the chain.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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What I did for my tow chains, is bought the connections that screw into themselves to make a continuous circle when they are screwed together.
They're usually called "quick links". I have used them on safety chains, but they're a pain to use for connections which are frequently attached and removed, compared to hooks with spring-loaded catches.

As I read Don's description, the chains came off at the Casita end. In that location, where they are attached permanently to a loop or some other fitting normally welded to the trailer frame, I think that the quick link would work well... if the fitting is properly attached.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:13 AM   #10
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And I thought [b]I was a cynic
cheers
Ian
Cynic... realist... same thing.

Seriously... it is easy to think that you did things right, especially in cases of routine tasks which don't get much conscious attention. It's very tempting to blame the hardware, rather than one's self.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:17 PM   #11
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I bought a guardian retainer and did some reading on hitch attachment. I jack up the hitch after I attach it, and it had passed this test. I also had put a lock thought the retaining pin. No doubt I made an error, but it is very hard to detect. The chains came off on the trailer side - Casita owners should beware. On mine, there was an oval loop welded to the trailer and the chains were attached to the oval at factory prior to the oval being welded down. No evident rust. The oval link broke when the trailer came loose - a case of an unengineered attachment. I've drilled a hole and attached a stainless eyebolt and hope this would hold. If I run across a welder, I'll probably also have it welded.

From my reading, you should stick a finger under the coupler - too much room indicates a bad attachment.

My newest test is to walk along side when we start out, and after a block, testing the connection again. I can just imagine the results if this had happened on an interstate.

Don
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:49 PM   #12
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From my reading, you should stick a finger under the coupler -
I don't recommend that. I broke a nail.. and not the dainty end, split it across the meat, and had a black mousing finger for a LONG time when I did that once. The trailer must have been teetering on seating, and it picked the very moment to jump down on the ball. Pinched my finger between the c shaped latch thingy (Sorry if thats too technical or ya ) and the side of the ball.

I am getting sick just thinking about how much that hurt!
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Old 10-09-2007, 04:05 AM   #13
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Don,

Assuming you are using the correct sized ball, I would carefully check the condition of the coupler, especially for breakage or excessive wear. Put the tongue jack as high as it will go and take a look from underneath. I had a 97 Casita 17 footer and don't remember if there was an adjustment. If so, it may need to be tightened. Mine took a 2" ball.

If the coupler is not in good condition, you may need to go to a hitch shop and have a new one welded on. The safety chains could be beefed up at the same time.

FWIW, mine never came off in 4.5 years of towing. The Casita hitch was easier to use than my current one, but you do have to check for a false hitch, especially with the Casita type. Quite a few Casitans have reported having trouble with this!
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:07 AM   #14
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From my reading, you should stick a finger under the coupler - too much room indicates a bad attachment.
My Dad used this method until the trailer dropped during a test and took his index finger off at the second joint. My Dad wasn't crazy; but to stick your finger under, into, around, near a coupling you're not sure about ...

I have used the bulldog coupler on a previously owned trailer and I find it simple and reliable. I will have a bulldog coupler on my next trailer.

Dean
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