Need help with Boler hitch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-12-2013, 12:42 AM   #1
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Name: Don
Trailer: 1978 Boler 13'
British Columbia
Posts: 29
Need help with Boler hitch

We bought our Boler a few months back, and have it at a point where we're going to take a weekend camp in it, about 2 hours from where we live. To this point we've only really towed it home, and before we go I would like to make sure that we can trust that our hitch is secure.

I'm attaching some photos of the hitch. Not sure if this is the standard original hitch for the Boler, but hope it looks familiar to some of you. What I'm trying to figure out is whether the hitch is secure as it is, or whether I should find some way to lock the hitch down to make sure it's secure? If I do need to lock it down somehow to make it secure, hoping someone can offer a solution for that, because I can't figure out a way to jury-rig anything.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:36 AM   #2
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I had this coupler on my horse trailers. Not sure about a Boler but I would spray it down with WD40 inside the upper and outer area and the sleeve should move freely around the outer lip. When in the down position there should be a hole that is in the release handle where a pin/lock can go through so that the slidding lip (for the lack of a better word) wont come up. If you connect to your ball and then look underneath with a flashlight the curved lip of the hitch should engage and lock under the curve of the ball stem. It should not be anywhere up on the rounded area of the ball with the ball clip lip. I think I have a picture that I will post in about 5 min that will show it.
This shows how it engages about 4min into the video
How To Tow a Trailer Video | etrailer.com
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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Name: andy
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot 17"
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As long as it locks around the ball you're safe. I towed my Bigfoot all the way from Port Alberni, BC through the ferry, through BC, through the mountains and finally to Edmonton, AB. My hitch is in worse condition and I used one of those interchangeable ball systems made by Reese (they don't look very sturdy to begin with.)

All these said, I made it home safely. Just make sure the release handle is engaged all the way down and the rearwards tongue (for lack of a better term) inside the hitch wraps around the ball.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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After you get the coupler on the ball and securely latched and the chains from tow to tug, crank the tongue jack back up a couple of turns. The rear of the tow vehicle should start to comeup and the couple should stay securely fastened. It's a simple double-check so you know the trailer doesn't have a false hitch up.

Safe travels!
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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From what I can see in Don's photos he does not have the coupler shown in the etrailer video or in the drawing that Mike shows. One of my trailers has a similar coupler, I think it is my daughter's Jayco popup. But hers has a hole where a pin or padlock can be inserted to prevent the latch from opening. I don't see that hole in Don's. What I would do in this case if I wanted to lock the coupler is to weld an eye or chain link to the latch handle, and something similar to the base of the coupler in a way so that a padlock could be inserted. The advice about checking to be sure the ball is seated is good, my daughter didn't get it on right one time, but realized it before moving the trailer. Always double check.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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As far as security goes, welding isn't something I'd go with. All it takes is a hammer blow and that ring will fly right off the weld. For stationary I got myself this thing, and while towing I have two covered heavy duty padlocks keyed alike, that I am attaching to the ends of the safety chains and then to the vehicle, also where the safety chains attach.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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Yes you are correct. I couldnt find the drawing for that particular hitch but my emphasis is getting that lip under the ball and per Donna trying to lift it off is good. I didnt see a hole either but it looked like it was there but covered with paint????
Anyway get several opinons. Those hitch heads can be cut off and replaced with a ton of different ones. (well a half ton).
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Name: Don
Trailer: 1978 Boler 13'
British Columbia
Posts: 29
Thanks for the responses

Thanks to all who responded. I'm a bit hampered in asking about this issue because I don't know the names of the various parts of the hitch, so please bear with me.

I'm also realizing that one of my photos may have been a bit misleading, where I showed the locking mechanism on the hitch partly pulled back. I should point out that the "main" locking mechanism (by this I mean the band of metal that wraps around the front of the hitch) comes fully down. When that locking mechanism is in place, the underside piece that sits up against the back of the ball does wrap around the bottom of the ball to hold everything in place.

The parts that I'm unsure about are the following:
- When the hitch is locked down, there remains some "play" in the piece that comes up against the back of the ball, I'm assuming this is necessary so that the hitch can continue to move around on the ball when driving? Should I be concerned about too much play?

- I'm not sure whether there is intended to be some kind of "secondary" locking mechanism to prevent the main locking mechanism from coming up during towing? There are holes in a few places (the handle at the top of the hitch, a hole in the underside piece that sits against the back of the ball, a hole on the side of the hitch, a slot on the top of the hitch), all of which give the impression of being places to put some kind of pin or bolt in place as a lock. I don't know if maybe originally something like this existed and has been lost over the years?

Again, thanks for any input, maybe I'm overworrying this, but don't want to take any chances on our inaugural trip turning into some kind of chaos.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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I took Don's question as how to secure the coupler while towing, thus my comment on welding on a ring or two as a means to keep it from opening. I agree that may not be sufficient theft prevention, but that 's not the issue I was addressing. As for the excess play between coupler and ball, there may be a means of adjustment but I can't see any in the photos. Best solution may be a new coupler.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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Yes there will be some play that is normal and you should grease the ball up as there is metal to metal friction. They make a ball grease but many just use and extra thick axle grease. As Donna mentioned if after you couple up and then jack the trailer back up -see if it lifts the car upwards if its bad it will pull off and thats a no no. Also you will have safety chains connected. I dont know how much is needed $$ to put on a new coupler but we have trailer shops down here that do it all the time and its not a difficult job in the right hands.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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Name: Don
Trailer: 1978 Boler 13'
British Columbia
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Thanks again for the suggestions. Would probably look at replacing the whole thing at some point rather than getting welds done on the existing one, but neither of these is an option at this point prior to our first trip. I'll give it a good check before we head out and assuming it's holding well should be ok I guess.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #12
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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The part that includes a socket and latches down over a tow ball is called a "coupler". "Hitch" means more generally the combination of parts linking the tow vehicle to the trailer, or more specifically the part of the system mounted to the tow vehicle.

That style of coupler is the "yoke" style: the yoke is the part wrapping around the outside which comes down over the front of the coupler to pull the inside part forward and trap the ball. This style is usually associated with Atwood, but Atwood also makes several other styles and other manufacturers also make the yoke style.

I don't see any reason to weld anything. If it fits the ball too loosely when latched there is probably no adjustment, but rebuild kits are available to replace any worn bits. Rather than custom-weld any fix, I would grind off the old coupler and have a new one - the same style would be fine - welded on.

This may be the original equipment from Boler; my 1979 Boler came with the same style, and a few decades of reliable service is normal for this hardware.

The secondary latching mechanism is the two tabs on the bottom of the lever dropping into the corresponding slots on the top of the coupler. This prevents the yoke from moving back unless the lever is lifted.

If an additional method of securing the coupler is desired, for safety or theft/vandalism prevention, a small padlock is inserted through the hole near the bottom lip just behind the yoke in its forward (latched) position. Not all couplers of this design have this hole, but as far as I know one could be added. A previous discussion (there have been at least two such discussions in this forum) of this lock hole: Can you lock this style of trailer hitch
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:38 AM   #13
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Name: Don
Trailer: 1978 Boler 13'
British Columbia
Posts: 29
Thanks for all the info Brian, good to know. My coupler does have the hole by the lip, just behind the yoke (when it's in the forward position), but when I put a pin through the hole it didn't seem to prevent me from moving the yoke assembly back. I'll have to experiment a bit more with it.

Hoping I can run one more question by you: Regarding the two tabs under the top lever, that drop into the two slots to secure the yoke. I was a bit uncertain about them because when I seat the tabs down into the slots, the yoke sits up a bit from it's lower-most position around the front of the ball cap. Don't think it's enough to create a risk of uncoupling during towing, but wasn't sure whether this was the intended position (i.e. the yoke slightly up on the front of the ball cap) or if mine was simply no longer sitting right because of age. Hope that all makes sense.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:00 AM   #14
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andix View Post
As far as security goes, welding isn't something I'd go with. All it takes is a hammer blow and that ring will fly right off the weld. For stationary I got myself this thing, and while towing I have two covered heavy duty padlocks keyed alike, that I am attaching to the ends of the safety chains and then to the vehicle, also where the safety chains attach.
Only if its a crappy weld. Otherwise, they'll destroy half of it to get it off. Of they're that determined…

I don't know how you have the padlocks hooked up, but I hope they aren't whats keeping the safety chain on the vehicle.
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