Thank God for safety chains! - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2012, 06:26 PM   #43
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We used to grease the ball/coupler interface but now we give it a spray with silicon. It seems to work fine and keeps the grease off us and our clothes.

I also occasionally coat the contacts of the 7 pin plug with contact grease to insure continual good contact.
Norm mentions spray silicone. I too keep a can of this handy dandy lube in the tool bag in the camper. My latest "find" of this handy multi-use spray lube is "Liquid Wrench" brand, and can be bought at Lowe's. Great stuff, and as Norm points out, it's a whole lot "cleaner" than other greases if (when, in my case ) you get it on your clothes. It's great stuff for general purpose use around the camper, like drawer slides/hinges, etc.

As for the hitch couplers themselves, my favorites are the bulldog brand couplers we have on a couple of the horse trailers. If I ever have occasion to replace the coupler on the camper, that is what I will use.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #44
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Thanks Raz.

Is the type that Raz posted photos of a Bulldog? I am looking at the photos and trying to figure out how it locks on - obviously when the top latch section is dropped down over the front something happens underneath :-) . hummmm
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:02 PM   #45
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George,

Silicoln also works well on the window sliders.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:02 PM   #46
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That is an interesting looking coupler, I have not seen one like it. Having no adjustment does not seem like a great idea, but I guess if it is holding good with little or no play, there is no issue.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:17 PM   #47
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I have the same type as Raz just a different manufacture they are called wrap around couplers.

They do lock in place the latch slides forward when on locking around the ball.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:19 PM   #48
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Think is is an Atwood 80071 video on etrailer as to how it works. if not the same mfg definitely similar. also similar to Bulldog which has more fans on other forums.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #49
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Yep, Michael, you are correct about the Atwood. That is what is on my Funfinder, and I'm not real impressed with it. The Bulldog couplers are made from steel forgings, and the 'clamp' comes in from the side. They are very strong, and cost about double what the Atwood does.

And yes too to Norm on using the silicone spray on the windows ! My camper has the "bus style" slider windows, and that spray lube is nice and clean, and works well on the sliders and the locking latches too.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:45 AM   #50
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Yes, the coupler is an Atwood. When you lift the lever and push forward, the "hood" moves forward and drops down. It in turn pulls the clamping mechanism forward against the lower back of the ball. The tabs on the handle and the locking pin hold everything in place. When the trailer is pulled, the ball pushes on the locking mechanism which is held in place by the wrap around hood.

At one time I used Super Lube, a Teflon lubricant on the ball but it didn't last long enough. Now I use grease and cover the ball with a tennis ball. Raz
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #51
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We have a 1987 17' Bigfoot and the coupler on our trailer looks similar to the one in the pictures posted by P. Raz, although I don't think ours has any kind of hole to put a locking pin through. It might be more like the one pictured in this post by Rick N, titled "Updating a hitch": updating a hitch. I can't go physically examine it because the trailer is at the shop at the moment getting a new water heater installed. All of this talk of the trailer coming unhitched while going down the road has me a little spooked. Maybe this would be a good time to update our coupler?

My husband had the same thought as Daniel A. about a weight distributing hitch adding to the security of the set-up. We have WDH but have never used it, but maybe it would be a good idea to start doing so? Would that be just as good an option as getting a new coupler? Any thoughts and suggestions on this would be much appreciated. Our trailer has towed with absolutely no difficulties on the trips we've taken it on so far, but we leave on a 4-6 week trip in about 10 days and I sure don't want anything happening on the road.

Mike, I'm really glad that no one was hurt in your unfortunate - and scary - incident.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:32 PM   #52
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Quote:
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At one time I used Super Lube, a Teflon lubricant on the ball but it didn't last long enough. Now I use grease and cover the ball with a tennis ball. Raz
I too much prefer grease to a dry lube. I just leave the ball locked in the coupler when not towing.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:34 AM   #53
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The WDH will be more than enough Evergreengirl, it pulls the coupler and hitch ends level. I've never really been concerned with my coupler it is good to know that such things can happen for awareness sake though.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #54
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I went to the shop and looked at our trailer and talked to the guy who does a lot of the hitch installation work there. He seemed very knowledgable. He looked at our coupler and judged it OK. He told me that to replace it they would have to cut off part of the tongue to weld on the new coupler. With shop time and the cost of the new coupler the job would add up to maybe $150 - $200. He thought that using the WDH which we already have would be a simpler way to insure peace of mind - and we'd not be out of pocket any money either.

I agree with you that a coupler coming off the ball is probably not an everyday occurrence, but I also agree that it pays to check everything out before you go rolling down the road. We will check our hook-ups more carefully from now on.

Oh, BTW, when I went to the shop the first guy I talked to showed me a coupler and how it would work and why it couldn't come off. The fit on the ball seemed really sloppy to me and I kept questioning him until he suggested we talk to the technician/installer. Turned out the first guy was showing me a coupler that was the wrong size! No wonder it was so sloppy. Sometimes the people working the "front office" just don't really know their stuff. I think this just goes to show that it pays to keep asking questions - and find the right person to answer them - until you're satisfied.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #55
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I have no idea what the fine might be in various places for towing without a hitch pin where its law but it may be worth looking into just in case the fine is greater than the cost of a new coupler. Not to mention that having a hitch pin is not a bad thing to have for safety reasons.

I know it was suggested on another thread here that if the trailer coupler did not come with a way of installing a hitch pin that due to its age it didnt need to be upgraded the same as Collector cars dont need seat belts...... only problem with that is that in not all places are all Collector cars permitted to run without seat belts just because they didnt have them originally. In my province any car manufactured or assembled after December 1, 1963, must have seat belts installed even though they may not have come with seat belts originally.

Not a big thing but it might be worth looking into.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:02 PM   #56
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I don't think ours has any kind of hole to put a locking pin through. .
Double check that and look closely. I can't remember ever seeing a hitch coupler that did not have a provision for putting a lock or hitch pin in, although I suppose some have been made that way ?
I have a little 3 rail motorcycle trailer that I bought in 1971, and even it has a hole to put a lock thru.

As far as making sure you don't have a "false hitch", it's mostly just a case of good visual inspection. Get it hitched to where you know it is correct, and get down there with a flashlight and look at it closely, and it will be obvious to you what it looks like when it's right. Make that step part of your pre-flight checklist, and you'll be good to go.

I use a written ( laminated ) checklist each and every time before rolling. Last thing on my checklist is "Schipperke in ?!" LOL....don't wanna leave the dog behind !!
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