Originally Posted by Jon in AZ
One additional piece of hardware I highly recommend is an anti-rattle device. Most draw bars have some slop in the receiver tube, which makes a lot annoying noises and can damage the receiver tube.
That was a very nice post (#2).
I have always been bothered by the apparent slop in my hitches, from towing about 1,500 lbs of loaded teardrop trailer, to perhaps twice that weight
with our Casita
There has always been some push / pull sensation from the trailer on local roads, accompanied by a bit of banging noises. This would improve when I got a steady pull on the trailer at higher speeds and on smoother roads, such as on arterials and the freeway. However, it bothered me enough that I bought a similar hitch tightener, a StowAway brand; it appears to be very substantially built.
However, before I installed the hitch tightener, I realized that there is an adjustment nut underneath the coupler. It was not very loose, but I went ahead and snugged it up to perhaps about 25 ft/lbs, then backed off a trifle so it would not bind or gall.
Surprisingly, to me at least, this minor adjustment took out the vast majority of the slop and banging around that I had previously experienced.
There is definitely some slop between the drawbar and the receiver tube, and there is some additional play between the drawbar and the locking hitch pin too. I can feel this when I am assembling things.
However, apparently the majority of what I could feel from the driver's seat was eliminated by the coupler adjustment. This was so effective that I just towed 800 miles and did not install the tightener; it remains in the trailer in it's original packaging.
Not to hijack the thread here, this was news to me. As so much about trailers and towing still are.
Regarding Casitas tongue weight
, mine was 450 lbs coming home last week; it's listed as 365 lbs on the Casita
web site (for the 17' Deluxe). Although my tow vehicle is handling it very well, I clearly have more work to do on adjusting the loading.
Regarding jacks, I carry a bottle jack along with an Andersen leveler and some wood blocks. I figure I can drive the flat tire up onto the Andersen to attain enough clearance for the jack if need arises. The Casita
(apparently) came from the factory with a small cross-style lug wrench; or perhaps it was left by the previous owner. Regardless, I carry a good quality 1/2"-drive breaker bar, a six-inch extension and sockets. I figure that changing a tire by the roadside is no time to be messing around with marginal tools.