Coupler Concern - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-27-2006, 10:22 AM   #1
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Hey Folks,

The coupler on our Chubby Bunny has these two springs that snap a metal piece (name?) to secure the ball so the trailer doesn't pop off. You with me? Anyway, the metal piece to which the springs are attached broke due to rust I assume. The piece doesn't snap into place anymore, but it is still functional; I just have to push it down by hand and then secure it with the cotter pin. Should I be concerned? It worked fine on our recent trip to the beach, but in the long term, should I think about having that fixed? Where in Portland, OR could I take that? I've attached a couple of pics to illustrate what I'm talking about. Thanks!


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Old 07-27-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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[quote]Hey Folks,

The coupler on our Chubby Bunny has these two springs that snap a metal piece (name?) to secure the ball so the trailer doesn't pop off. You with me? Anyway, the metal piece to which the springs are attached broke due to rust I assume. The piece doesn't snap into place anymore, but it is still functional; I just have to push it down by hand and then secure it with the cotter pin. Should I be concerned? It worked fine on our recent trip to the beach, but in the long term, should I think about having that fixed? Where in Portland, OR could I take that? I've attached a couple of pics to illustrate what I'm talking about. Thanks!


Attachment 4220



Attachment 4221

Chris73
I just had the locking part of my Trillum replaced. Cost about $30.00 Can.
I would get it looked at ASAP do not want to loose your Bunny.
Pat
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:50 PM   #3
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[quote]The coupler on our Chubby Bunny has these two springs that snap a metal piece ([b]name?) to secure the ball so the trailer doesn't pop off.

The piece doesn't snap into place anymore, but it is still functional;
I just have to push [b]it down by hand and then secure it with the cotter pin.

Attachment 4220


Should I be concerned?
In the long term, should I think about having that fixed?

Attachment 4221

I have the exact same Hitch coupler on my Fiber Stream!

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I do not know if I am using the correct terminology; but I call the "Handle-like" part with the 2 holes a "Bail."

Quote:
bail (n.)

1. The arched hooplike handle of a container, such as a pail.
The part underneath, that opens and closes to either release, or capture the hitch ball, is what I call a "Jaw."

Quote:
jaw (n.)

2. Either of two opposed hinged parts in a mechanical device.
My "Bail" has [b]NEVER snapped in 2 years of ownership / 10,000 miles of towing! I did not think it ever had springs, but the "Jaw" has always performed correctly. My first instinct is to tell you to not be concerned.
My second thought is to inspect mine more closely.
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:46 AM   #4
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Where in Portland, OR could I take that?
Check with anyplace that builds utility trailers...maybe they can help you OR, you could have the entire coupler replaced...any professional welder can do that. I'm going to have the coupler replaced on my Scamp this fall. I want to go to a 2" ball, and I know the spoon and ears are getting worn on a nearly 20 year old trailer....new coupler and welding shouldn't run more than $75-100 (and probably less)...seems a cheap price to pay for peace of mind.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for the coupler terminology lesson Fred! I had other terminology for those parts when they broke.

I called Potter Webster, a company in Portland that replaced my axle, and they said it should be fine as long as I have a coupler pin holding the "bail" down while towing, BUT I should think about getting the coupler replaced, so I may just do that this fall. I don't like all that rust underneath there... especially on the "jaw." 33 years of NW weather... poor Chubby Bunny! Thanks again.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:09 AM   #6
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Chris...

Worst comes to worst, just take the trailer to an RV repair shop or competent welder and have the entire coupler replaced. It only takes a couple of hours, and you can choose the style coupling you like best. I like the style you have now, personally, but there are others. Replacing the entire coupler ensures that you have all new components and no rust issues. I've had it done on a couple of trailers now, and it's good peace of mind.

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Old 07-28-2006, 08:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Thanks for the [b]coupler terminology lesson Fred! I had other terminology for those parts when they broke.

I called Potter Webster, a company in Portland that replaced my axle, and they said it should be fine as long as I have a coupler pin holding the "bail" down while towing, BUT I should think about getting the coupler replaced, so I may just do that this fall. [b]I don't like all that rust underneath there... especially on the "jaw." 33 years of NW weather... poor Chubby Bunny! Thanks again.
Quote:
I have the exact same Hitch coupler on my Fiber Stream!
My first instinct is to tell you to not be concerned.
My second thought is to [b]inspect mine more closely.
It looks to me that what actually broke was the spring collar around the Bail's hinge pin. I would speculate that the repeated opening and closing of the bail weakened the collar by bending it first one way, then the opposite way. My coupler's spring collar had broken off before I had purchased my trailer. I had never considered that [b]my assembly might not be "complete" before this post. Rust was probably not your primary culprit, but it might have contributed to the weakening. Having said that, it is my opinion that those springs were a solution in search of a problem. A trailer newbie might have relied on the springs to hold the bail and jaw assembly closed, and neglected to "pin" it secure. Missing those springs alone would not be a cause for concern for me.

However, My coupler assembly has virtually no rust. I have witnessed severely rusted metal suddenly disintegrate under continued stress when the rust condition had been ignored for many years. From your photos your rust condition does not look immidiately severe to me, but I feel that you are wise in planning to replace your coupler near the end of this camping season.
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:26 PM   #8
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They make replacement parts kits for the other kind of standard coupler (the ones with the lever on top), so you might check with ETrailer? to see if this coupler has a repair kit because I don't know the name and not all the kits have photos.

BTW, here's a link to the Bulldog Coupler , highly recommended by one of the Yahoo Scampers from his commercial experience. A different version of the Bulldog is available from Northern Tools.
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