Replacing attwood coupler - diy - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-18-2015, 07:04 PM   #1
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Name: JD
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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Replacing attwood coupler - diy

This DIY post if for an Atwood "Yoke style" coupler with a 2" ball, on our Fiber Stream. However, these couplers were used on many different brands, maybe on yours!

After our original Atwood coupler started acting up we decided to replace it before it got worse. Camping in PA, after pulling in, it would not release the hitch ball. We did get it to finally release, but upon returning home we started our task at hand.

After doing some GOOGLE research I discovered that there are still repair kits available for this coupler. These are cheap! $12.00 on Amazon, and no shipping. The kit I ordered was the 15775 "High Strength" repair kit. It arrived the next day before noon...wow.

LIABILITY STATEMENT I'm providing details on how I did this repair, however, please note that I am not suggesting you do this repair. Although I believe nearly anyone who has even a bit of mechanical experience could accomplish this. If you can do minor repair work on your sewing machine you could try this.

FIRST: Tools needed include a hammer, screwdriver, two adjustable wrenches, a Dremel with a couple abrasive cutting wheels (or a larger grinder), OR a course file and LOTS of time! Wear GLOVES- heavy gloves, not opera gloves! Grinding is dangerous. Wear eye protection.

SECOND: Open the repair parts package and follow the instructions over any other descriptions here. Identify the "staked" pin you will have to remove on your old coupler yoke. See pictures. This pin has been pressed to create a ridge around the outer end. This ridge prevents the pin from coming out. You must remove this by grinding it off. I ground off the four high sections, then ground the circumference of the pin until it is rounded.

THIRD: Once rounded, drive the pin out the opposite side with the hammer and screwdriver or other long pin. All the parts will be removable at this point. Take care not to pinch yourself in this process, and note that the coupler is spring loaded and will snap closed. Remove all these parts. See pictures.

FOUR: Clean up the old hitch assembly if necessary. I had to do some minor filing and a little grinding to remove burrs and high spots to make the new parts operate smoothly. Note the position of any upper guide assembly - usually a single bolt holding down this guide can be removed - note its original position so you have a starting point when re-assembling.

Insert the ball capture slider the same way the old one came out.

FIVE: Carefully close the new coupler assembly and place it on the hitch. Note the two protrusions fit down into the two receiving slots- you have to hold this assembly in position.

Insert the steel cylinder through one side of the yoke, through the slider assembly, and through to the other side and insert the bolt. See the pictures to make sure the cylinder is just inside both ends of the yoke. The yoke rides on this cylinder, not on the bolt that inserts through it.

Make sure there is a washer on the outsides of the bolt where it contacts the yoke and under the nut.

SIX: Use your two adjustable wrenches to hold one side of the bolt, and the other to carefully tighten the special nut. This nut is a capture nut that will not back-off once tightened. The instructions say to tighten this nut to 15 foot lbs. This should not be too tight, but tight enough to just bring both sides of the yoke in contact with the cylinder, and then a 1/4 turn more.

Lubricate the whole assembly-underside and front of yoke with white lithium grease or general purpose grease recommended for this purpose.

Test the operation of the assembly. It should open and close without any binding. You may have to operate the assembly a dozen or so times to get it operating smoothly.

Adjust the top guide (if you have one) to assure that contact is made with the ball capture slider in the tougue that the yoke operates. This must hold the ball when closed without much play, but allow the ball to be removed when the yoke is opened fully.

NOTE: Read the instructions provided with the kit and follow those over all others. Any damage to the coupler that does not permit the insertion of the parts means the whole A frame coupler MUST be replaced according to Atwood, the manufacturer.

I hope this helps those of you who are willing to attempt the replacement!

Please feel free to comment and make suggestions/improvements. This is just my experience, and not recommended for anyone else.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:56 PM   #2
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
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Thanks for your detailed sharing of your experience and pictures. I never would have thought of a repairing kit in our throw away society.
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:30 AM   #3
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Name: Lee
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Very informative pictures. I have been a DIYer most of my life and I cant tell you how many projects I have been able to tackle because people like you have posted pictures or videos and instructions on how to do various jobs. Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:56 AM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16
North Carolina
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Thanks for posting this, very helpful!

It's hard to tell from the pic of the original coupler but it looks like the replacement has a lock provision where the original did not. Is that the case? If so I may have to do this on my Amerigo as the original didn't have that safety feature.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:23 PM   #5
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Nice to know this coupler is repairable if need be. I have this type of coupler on my trailer mostly without any problems so far. Once or twice it wouldn't release the tow ball, which I remedied by spraying it thoroughly with WD40 and a few well placed kicks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
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Name: JD
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Thanks.

I have also been able to dislodge the ball by tapping with small hammer, but when you have to do that, and lubrication no longer helps, there is obviously wrong and it needed to be addressed.

I also recommended that if you detect any physical damage to the receiver, A frame, or tongue that the A frame assembly be replaced (welded). This part costs around $60-85 with removal and re-welding costing about $125-175.
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:14 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Gotta say, after seeing the condition inside of the coupler, I would have followed the OP's advice and had a new hitch coupler installed. But that's just MOI.
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