Thank God for safety chains! - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #57
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Name: Carol
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George I didnt think there was a hitch out there any more either that could not be locked ..... that was until I saw this recent thread here.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
George I didnt think there was a hitch out there any more either that could not be locked ..... that was until I saw this recent thread here.
Hmmm......yep sure enough. That coupler is the same basic design as what is on my trailer, except mine has a welded tab with a hole, and corresponding holes in the sleeve that a lock or pin passes thru. And yes, I'm with the rest of you on this deal..... I like having the hole for a pin just as one more safety check.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:27 AM   #59
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Hmmm - I'll look at ours again, but I'm pretty certain there's no provision for a locking pin. I suppose one could be made.

I did some searching online and this site, Trailer Hitch/Signals | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws, from AAA/CAA has a comprehensive summary of towing laws in all the states and provinces. Looks like only Maryland has a law requiring "a suitable locking device". Virtually every other state or province just mentions having safety chains in addition to the hitch and coupler, except North Carolina which says that with a locking pin no chains are required.

Of course this is just AAA/CAA's summary of the laws, but I did search for the rules in WA and OR and as far as I can tell no locking pin is required in either of those states, the ones we travel the most in. I'm not saying it isn't a good idea mind you, just that as far as I can tell only one state actually requires it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #60
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Kathy I think you will find there are *a lot* more than just Maryland. Actually read the other day on boating list that officers where checking the trailers at a boat ramp (in either North or South Carolina) to make sure they had hitch pins. Virginia does have a law as well under SB 646 which reads in part: "be provided with a locking device that prevents accidental separation of the vehicles."

In BC its buried deep in the laws and its actually under #9 Misc - and funny enough its not on their nice little Towing Rules PDF or handout. LOL In BC it reads: "A tow bar shall not have a locking pin missing and shall not be cracked or broken."

The towing law websites are great for fast simple answers to the basics but many of the states/provinces if you search their full laws you will find lingo such as "device to secure the coupling" or a "secondary device" - some don't use the term locking pin. Maybe they just like confusing us!

Oregon may have something in their fine print someplace as well who knows! - but maybe not - Their little towing hand out found here - reads in part "The draw bar then slides into the hitch receiver on the tow vehicle and is secured with a locking pin. " They also show 2 photos both with couplings with holes for a pin.... go figure! LOL

Then again it may be that some states are assuming that everyone is using an approved classed coupling which are manufactured under SAE Standards that have been around for a large number of years and as such have provisions for hitch pins. They are used to dealing with mostly stick trailers so maybe they dont think anyone has a trailer older than the SAE standard

As mentioned either way it really is a safety feature that you will be thankful for spending the money on whether its the law where you tow or not. Just ask anyone who has ever had a coupling pop off a ball.
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #61
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Thanks Carol. I was kind of thinking that more rules and regulations might lie buried in the various state's codes. Why do they make it so difficult for the average guy or gal? I'll give this some more thought.
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:53 PM   #62
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Kathy, if the rest of your coupler is still good and functional, it would be really quite simple to add something to make it to where you could put a lock pin or a padlock on it. I could take a photo of my coupler if a visual would make it easier to think of something to add.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:43 AM   #63
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George, that would be great! My husband is pretty handy and has already suggested a couple of fixes that either he or the shop could do. I think I'd rather go that route if we can than have to cut off part of the tongue to weld on a new coupler.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #64
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Here you go, this is what mine looks like in various open and closed positions, including a wasp that was curious what the heck was going on. He gave it his approval.

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:41 PM   #65
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[QUOTE=gmw photos;330923]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.
QUOTE]

When I re-built my Scamp, I had a shop install a Bulldog hitch. The original one was rusted and would not stay on. I'm really impressed with the construction and concept of the bulldog. The way the mechanism fits and locks on, I don't think it's possible to have it not attached correctly when the collar is locked. I feel very secure that it's on correctly with this setup.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #66
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Thanks George. Our coupler is more like the one shown in the thread "Updating a hitch" that Rick n started here: updating a hitch

We don't have any hole to put a padlock through. We'd have to drill a hole and then fabricate something like your "ring" for it to go through. I do see how yours works though.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #67
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The coupler on our 2003 16' Scamp seems to have a problem. I noticed that the fit was loose when latched. It has some considerable rattle. I tightened the adjuster bolt until it had just enough working clearance and no rattle. After unlatching the coupler it would not release from the 2" ball. To get it to release I had to back off the adjuster quite far. Perhaps my coupler is a 1 7/8" ? I'll inspect it when I get back home. This trailer is really low hours, so I doubt this condition was caused by wear. If the coupler turns out to be a 2" I will probably take a light cut with a grinder along the ball end of the holding pawl until I can get the ball on AND have the adjuster tightened sufficiently to eliminate play. Anyone else experience this?
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #68
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Taking yet another look at our coupler with both my husband and the shop technician to see if we could modify it for some sort of locking pin we discovered that there was indeed a hole through which such a thing could be inserted. We think it was a modification made by a PO, however the couple we bought the trailer from never mentioned using it and it was totally obscured when the coupler latch was open because it slid back obscuring the hole. We'll put a carabiner, bolt or padlock through it and that should do the trick. The coupler will then not be able to either slide back nor come up. Here are some pictures so you can see what I mean. Thanks for everyone's input on this.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8532.jpg   IMG_8534.jpg  

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Old 09-06-2012, 06:51 AM   #69
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I hit railroad tracks on the Southern Nevada Cali border with my Trillium and literally busted the pin that holds the bottom lever in place. After looking at it I realized that it was pretty beat up probably from some past abuse, and should have been inspected earlier. Be Careful and always use safety chains.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:29 PM   #70
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Kathy,
I had the same coupler like yours on a tent trailer I built. It had the same hole location. I just hung a padlock there as I remember.
Russ
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