how much noise from hitch when you hit bumps? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2006, 11:34 AM   #1
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took the (77) scamp for a tow last weekend up to the carwash to wash it. i noticed when i hit bumps i got a clattery noise from were the ball meets the coupler. it made me wonder if the trailer was gonna come off the ball. we hit a few good/bad bumps and it never came off, but it did get me worried. how much noise should i expect from these trailers when i hit bumps? ive never towed a thing before this scamp.
i looked at the ball while it was in the coupler, it looked like the right size. with the latch in the down postion it looked like the ball was secure. i did notice the nut that is underneath the latch, does this need to be really tight or adjusted to fit the ball? im just wanting to make sure my trailer is secure before i take it on a long trip. any info would be helpful. thanks
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:57 AM   #2
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We have two different drawbars that we use. One of the drawbars must be a bit smaller becaue we seem to get more noise when we use it. It makes a clunking noise like it is moving within the hitch receiver. This may be your problem as well. Also, slower speeds let you hear more of the noises, too. When we're on the highway, we don't hear the hitch noises beause of tire noises.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:30 PM   #3
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It could be the reciever and stinger aren't snug. Looseness of the pin that holds the stinger in the reciever.

The more concerning would be the proper fit between the ball and the coupler. On my old utility trailer I had the same problem. I adjusted the couple ( mine the clamp piece was the threaded piece, and that's what adjusted) until I couldn't latch the coupler. Then I backed off one turn. That stopped a lot of the banging.

I still got some noise from the reciever, stinger. I verified that by attempting to move the stinger around. There was just a little play, which is normal.

Maybe someelse will have a better way to adjust the coupler.
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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A friend adjusted mine for me. With the ball not attached to anything and held in his hand, he kept sticking it inside the coupler, pulling it out and making the adjustment. Did it about three times until he was satisfied. Byron's right, he adjusted it down until the coupler wouldn't close, then backed the nut off a full turn.

I'm either deaf or haven't noticed any clanking noises to speak of.
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Old 11-11-2006, 02:24 PM   #5
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Usually the noise is from the drawbar as it pivots on the locking pin and the TT is unloaded- thus not much tongue weight to stop the drawbar from moving. I use shims on the top and side to reduce the play. My Hitch guy told me to find a washer and aluminum-tape it to the front of the drawbar. One of his customers had the receiver drilled and tapped allowing an adjustment bolt to be tightened at the "far" end of the drawbar. Seemed like overkill to me. Shims work finefor me.
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:41 PM   #6
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If I`m not mistaken, there is a shim type assembly available that takes up the play between the drawbar and hitch......first thing though would be to adjust the coupler and grease the ball a bit......I don`t get any noises from either of my trailers and that could be because of the tongue weights also....Benny
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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I would check the coupler-ball fit first, per Byron/Donna's posts, because if something isn't right there, it may eventually lead to uncoupling under way...

Several of the receiver manufacturer's are now selling receivers with devices to put tension on the ball mount so it won't move and make noise -- Some require a new hole in the receiver and some don't.

http://www.hitchrider.com/nowobble.htm -- See the movie or animation to see how it works.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:32 PM   #8
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Having come from a farming community I have been around trailers all my life and just a couple of years ago I had a trailer come off the ball because the hitch fit on the ball and I was able to latch and pin it however the hitch was not fully seated on the ball. (It Looked Seated) and it came off at the speed bump in front of our house so I was only going about 5 / 10 mph and the chains held it. This really awakened me to hitching up and triple checking.

I talked to a contractor 3 days ago that had a trailer come off his truck at a bump in the road, it broke the safety chains, hit a lady and they are being sued for 10 Million Dollars. He said the hitch was closed and a safety pin through the hitch. I wonder if it might not have been totally seated as mine was.

I saw a rubber gadget that inserts in the class III to quiet the noise. I think it was at www.northerntool.com.

I would check to insure the ball size is correct then make sure the hitch is adjusted to fit the ball with a minimum of play, hitch it up and take it for a test ride.
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:53 PM   #9
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the hitch fit on the ball and I was able to latch and pin it however the hitch was not fully seated on the ball.
That's why, after I get hooked up and everything LOOKs like it should with the coupler, I use the tongue jack to see if the coupler is going to popoff the ball by jacking the trailer tongue up. When the weight starts coming off the back of the tug and it starts to rise....I know I did everything properly and am good to go. Put the tongue jack up and I'm on my way
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:11 PM   #10
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Donna, that is a most outstanding and foolproof idea and I will start using it.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:18 PM   #11
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I have a cotter pin in the threads of the ball, and we all use a hitch pin to help prevent the coupler lock from moving back.

Would having a similar arrangement THRU the ball and coupler be a compromise in strength?

Imagine a hole thru the center of the ball, left to right, and mating holes on the coupler.

I flunked metalergy.

OK, I never TOOK metalergy, but if I did, I would have flunked it.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:26 PM   #12
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Would having a similar arrangement THRU the ball and coupler be a compromise in strength?

Imagine a hole thru the center of the ball, left to right, and mating holes on the coupler.
The ball is a ball (round) for a reason. Imagine going around a corner with trailer locked inline with the tow vehicle. If I understand your suggest correctly that's what would happen.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:32 PM   #13
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Not if it swiveled, which would be simple enough to do.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:07 PM   #14
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What I do is feel the 'spoon' and adjusting nut underneath the coupler right after I have latched it to check that it is UNDER the ball and not resting on it (this also gives me a clue as to how tight it might be on the ball, but that may change if the ground isn't level, etc.) -- However, sometimes I need to clean grease off my fingers and I have to excercise care not to get my finger caught between parts that might move, so Donna's crank idea might be better (but check the fit occasionally anyway, even if by eyeball from underneath).

The same sort of discussions have been held on Yahoo Scampers and one person noted that a company he worked for had had coupler problems over the years with trailers they towed, so they switched to Bull Dog couplers and have had no problems since -- It's all out in the open, so you can see it -- Of course, it has to be welded on and it doesn't seem to come in 1 7/8" size, so one might have to upsize their ball.

http://www.bulldogproducts.net/bumppul2.html

While we're on the subject, I bought a set of padlocks with one key at Home Depot and use them for various things around the truck and trailer -- I drilled a hole through my ballmount pin, and put padlocks both there and on the coupler so that no one can open them when I am not looking.
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