First tow: It towed easily when we took it home, with no sway and only a little bronco bounce when we hit bumpy pavement. However, getting started was a little more interesting.
One, my regular hitch was too high, so I got the lowest drop down hitch from the U-Haul
store up the street (lucky location).
Two: Then the latch/lever on top of the coupler would just flop around--my experience is that they can be "snapped down", but not this one. We were certain the ball was being properly clamped on by the coupler since we tested it both attached (cranking up the tongue jack) and when the hitch was not in the receiver (two grown men yanking it about and whacking at it with a sizable rubber mallet). Temporary solution was to wire the latch/lever so it wouldn't flop. (See old coupler side view)
Three: Then the saftety chain hooks wouldn't go over the bar at the receiver they were suppose to hook on to: various hooks, shackles and caribiners on hand didn't suffice. Back to the U-Haul
for a solution they normally didn't stock for, but they did sell me some chains. Ok, that worked. We were set to go.
So I took care of these three tiems by investing in a new coupler (see new coupler side view). While there, I also had the wheel bearings repacked and checked the electric brakes--one required a new magnet. My TV is a 2002 Ford Explorer V8 FWD which had factory tow package including the 7 pin plug, but no brake controller and no transmission cooler. I had a brake controller added since the wiring was all in place.
Here's the question scenario: When they were welding on the new coupler, they cleaned up the safety chain connectors, but left me with an interesting connection, or lack of one. Note that little beam that comes up to the attachment of the A-frame of the coupler--just under the hole in the new coupler where a tongue jack cound be. (See new coupler over view.)That beam is not connected to the frame at forward end. I can't tell if it ever was--at one point there was a plate and two bolts welded in there which was the old safety chain connectors (see old coupler over view). That beam ends under the trailer just before the axle
. It runs under the cross pieces of the frame but is connected to each by a bracket. (I'll include view of it on next post.) I can wiggle the bracket a little at the loose front end, but by less than 1/4 of an inch.
And the question: So is that normal?
I'm thinking that maybe I should have this beam cut off a couple of inches so I could put a tongue jack through the hole in the coupler and then have a cross bar welded just behind the coupler that would attach this beam to the frame--any reason not too?