Bulldog Coupler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-18-2015, 10:49 AM   #1
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Name: Wendy Lee
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Bulldog Coupler

Dear Fellow FGRVers,
I'm going to change out my coupler and tongue jack in spring on my 2012 Scamp 13er. Long story short, PO had trailer pop off ball, and everything dragged for a while. Not happy with that, and would feel better changing everything out for peace of mind and safety.
Has anybody had any experience with the Bulldog collar type coupler? I've provided a link below to eTrailer. Heard various bits and pieces about it here, and thought I'd ask:

Bulldog Collar-Lok Coupler w/ Low-Profile Latch - 2" Ball - A-Frame - 5,000 lbs Bulldog Trailer Coupler BD028288

Wendy
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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Wendy,
I looked at the bulldog on etrailer. It is made for heavy duty pulling, just the opposite of what your trailer is. The bulldog weighs 13 1/2 pounds, something to consider since everything else is designed to be lite and it costs $69.00. There is another on the same website for $17.95 and weighs 6.9 pounds and is rated for 5000 pound pull. The only way a ball would pop off would be due to it not being properly adjusted, which is easy to adjust. It should clamp down loose on the ball and locked in place with the latch preventing it to lifted off the ball. There is a nut on the underside for this. That's it! Oh yah, always put a pin or lock though the latch. Some people put a lite dab of lubrication on the ball but I don't. There are millions of trailers on the road using the lest expensive hitches with no problems. You don't have to over think it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:31 AM   #3
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The first line in the description mentions everything except RV/Vacation trailers as it's intended application.


We went down this road a few months back with another hitches' claim that "Trailers pop-off the ball all the time" etc."


And, there is almost no documentation that a "Properly Adjusted" conventional hitch has "Popped Off" the ball. As I remember, most incidents that were actually investigated or fessed up to, were usually laid to the hitch not being locked, properly adjusted or being used on the wrong size ball.


Safer? Maybe Yes, Needed? Maybe Not.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:51 AM   #4
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Just for the record these Bulldog hitches are standard on Oliver's. its my understanding they are used extensively in the farm and ranch industry, i.e. towing large and heavy field implements/equipment. It might be overkill for your scamp but doubt you will have problems with it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
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I got one with my Trillium 1300, "Wedding Gift". My neighbor says they are very good.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:34 PM   #6
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Name: Ray
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Wendy,

In one of the previous posts, Bob mentioned "properly adjusted".
Have you looked into that?

As Kenny described, looking at the bottom of the coupler, you should
see a nut that is used to tighten the "ears" that come up on the bottom
side of the ball when the locking lever is activated.

You might have a trailer place check that for you and adjust it just a bit.

If you try to do it yourself, just be careful not to over tighten that nut.
You do want the ball to be able to move a little bit without constant
chafing on that locking mechanism. You just don't want too much
"slop" that would allow the tongue to come up and down excessively
when going over bumps. A slight (half a turn to a turn) adjustment
may be all you really need?

Remember that you may hear some noise/rattle from the tow bar
moving up and down within the receiver. That sound doesn't necessarily
mean that there is excess slop in the locking mechanism adjustment.

Out of curiosity, was the PO maybe trying to use a ball that was too
small? ( i.e. an inch and seven eighths instead of 2 inches)

You may get better advice from others as to what constitutes
"properly adjusted"?

Good luck!

Ray


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Old 02-18-2015, 02:03 PM   #7
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Name: Jack L
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I have used this type hitch on equipment trailers. They work well. They are considered to be more "heavy duty" . I did see one come off the ball because the collar that locks everything together was not in the correct position. If you feel you need a heavier coupler, this would be a good choice but the regular coupler is probably more than adequate. Any trailer coupler is subject to human error.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:06 PM   #8
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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I just rebuilt the frame on my 16' Scsmp and I installed the Bull dog hitch. I don't know if the others are as good or better, but the thing seems to be heavy duty to the max.
Welded into the VEE with new 12 Gauge 3 X 1 1/2" tubing the replace the old 14 Gauge.
Other hitches are probably OK, but..........
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:23 PM   #9
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Name: Wendy Lee
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My reason for wanting to switch all out is due to the dragging that occurred when the PO did not latch the coupler onto the ball properly. I just want all that crap out of there...don't trust it, and would feel better if all was new. I don't know any better, just heard talk of the bulldog and thought I'd ask all of you. The attwood coupler would probably do just fine, so long as it is new.

My coupler is bent along the outer "rim" edge where it dragged on pavement. Probably not a problem for all of the guts on the inside, but I don't like how it is hesitant to pop off the ball when I'm done camping. Could just be tension...but even on a level surface, it just doesn't seem happy to me. I haven't tried adjusting the nut on the inside at all, guess I'm just playing the safety game being that the whole tongue dragged on the ground and my thoughts are to get rid of it and start afresh. Tongue jack too, as if you've read any of my posts about storage, it seemed to cause a popping noise that reverberated throughout the undercarraige of my trailer at the same spot in jack rotation every time. I'm just being cautious, and I think it's in good order for damage that was done.

If all agree then, I'll just go with the stock attwood coupler and tongue jack that came with my trailer, albeit new, and call it a day. Good stuff and please know I respect and seek out your opinions as a newbie and learner. I, like you, want the best for my trailer and to do the right thing. I just don't have the same knowledge or skill level yet, but I'm learning!
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #10
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Wendy, I agree that the best would be, for your piece of mind, to replace it with the same kind, so you get rid of the damaged parts. The Bulldog looks like an overkill and probably more expensive. You'll never put two 1000 pound horses in your 13' trailer, right?
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:00 PM   #11
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I forgot - about that screw jack snapping - is it possible that the screw is at the end of it's travel? I do not know how they are designed, they should have a travel limit, so this is just a thought.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:48 PM   #12
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I like the the Bulldog couplers and long ago decided that if I ever replace my standard style coupler it will be with a Bulldog.

To my mind there's nothing wrong with a bit of overkill and I like the fact that if the Bulldog is not properly closed and secured it will be immediately obvious - unlike the Atwood style that requires a peek at the underside of the coupler (or sticking a finger up into it).

So, Wendy, I say if you like the looks of the Bulldog, go for it! I don't think there is a right or wrong here - it's just a matter of personal preference.

Steve
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:35 PM   #13
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Name: Wendy Lee
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Don't know either Paul. I took the top off the tongue jack twice,,,didn't notice any obvious teeth missing from the gears, put a bit more grease in there. I just have an unsure feeling so...

While she's in storage I think about the things that will make me either more comfy, more convenient or more safe and satisfied. It's my hobby, and since I'm not a girlie girl, but cute nonetheless , I put money into the trailer instead of clothes and jewelry. Ha ha! Just bought a new pull out sprayer faucet for her too.

Here in buffalo, NY it's so freakin cold and there's so much snow that when time allows I dream of campy time. Hence, my name.

Although the egg has a few cracks from her unfortunate kiss with the pavement, there's nothing major wrong with her and for a 2012, I got a good price. So I nurture what I have could have never afforded a new scampy.

With respect and gratitude,

Wendy


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Old 02-18-2015, 08:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
And, there is almost no documentation that a "Properly Adjusted" conventional hitch has "Popped Off" the ball. As I remember, most incidents that were actually investigated or fessed up to, were usually laid to the hitch not being locked, properly adjusted or being used on the wrong size ball.
Allow me to offer documentation... About 20 years ago after a devastating ice storm a friend and myself were hauling downed pine trees into the backwoods for disposal. There was no road to speak of, only a rutted track thru the trees. I was pulling a 1500 lb utility trailer, single axle with a Jeep Wrangler. The trailer was outfitted with a standard straight tongue coupler with a quick-release latch on a two inch ball. The trailer had been pulled many thousands of miles with no problems concerning the hitch. We had dumped our load and were headed back out empty. We came to a low spot in the trail (a slight ditch actually) about 18 inches deep and as the Jeep came out of the ďditchĒ the trailer simply popped off the ball. Iím sure it was due to the leverage afforded by the extreme angle between the ball and the coupler. One might argue that normally our travel trailers would never be subjected to such a rough road and I would never intentionally put ours in that position. But, if for some reason, I accidently made a right turn too sharp and the curb side wheels fell off into a hole (done that) or perhaps entered an uphill parking lot too steeply (been there) and placed an additional strain on our coupler I would not want the hitch to come loose because of my lack of attention. Itís not likely to, but I can attest to the fact that it can happen.

Iím happy with the bulldog coupler that was standard on both our Oliverís. The collar will, however, pinch the crap out of you at least one time (trust me).
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