WARNING: loss of hitch pin - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2015, 05:27 AM   #1
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Name: Dave
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Exclamation WARNING: loss of hitch pin

Last weekend travelling back to Canada I almost lost the Trillium.
Interstate 75 from the Ohio border north to Detroit is like a washboard. There is a constant, rhythmic clatter as the tires click over the lines in the road surface. As a result there is a constant up and down movement at the hitch.
My first stop after the border crossing was at Tim's for coffee and when I did my vehicle check I discovered that the pin holding the hitch in the receiver was gone. Safety chains and sway bars held the units together.
I had a spare in the truck to I was soon safely on my way. The receiver is 2" X 2" and the rating is well above my requirement for the Trillium.
I think that the constant up and down movement between the receiver and the hitch was enough to wear through the locking pin and eventually it must have snapped in two [or three] and the pieces fell out. In all my years of towing trailers of various types and sizes I have never encountered a problem like this.
It is my intention to avoid this stretch of I-75 in future, north or south bound. Scouter Dave.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:55 AM   #2
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I hate that particular stretch of road, Scouter Dave. I have even avoided it by driving miles out of my way, taking 475 around Detroit. It isn't as bad if you are headed south.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:07 AM   #3
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Dave---this is truly scary and even though we don't get over that way, we'll keep it in mind. Thanks for the warning and I'm certainly happy to hear that you got thru it without anything disastrous happening! Safe travels..

....and I bet the Tim's was a the perfect "welcome home!"
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:48 AM   #4
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Instead of a pin I have an actual lock.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:11 AM   #5
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Some people use the "U" bolt device that stops the rattling of the hitch in the receiver, which I think would also eliminate the presumed wear of the securing pin. The real lock would also be stronger than the securing pin.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:28 AM   #6
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I have both a locking pin and the U-bolt. As well I use a pad lock on the ball lock.

When we towed our CRV behind the motorhome we had a pin fatigue fail.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:33 AM   #7
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I would be very surprised to see a hitch pin wear through that way, unless it had been subjected to those conditions constantly for a good number of years. As the dis-similar metals wear, they create a lubricating sludge that slows future wear. Plus, the middle piece would still be caught in the stinger.

What I have seen and heard about on multiple occasions is that there are those folks out there that think it is funny to swipe a hitch pin off of a parked vehicle. "Hey, watch this! Har, har". I always carry a spare pin, for that very reason. It has happened to me. I think the locking pins are a great idea, as long as you take it on and off frequently. The environment back there is really hard on lock mechanisms.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:36 AM   #8
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Some thoughts to prevent that situation, other than changing routes....


1, Can't say that I have ever heard of a receiver pin breaking, they are rated for towing much heavier loads than our FGRV's, but I have heard of locking clips coming off and the pin working its way out.


2. Like rgrugg, I too have a locking drawbar pin. A few years back there were several mentions where a few individuals, that apparently didn't care for trailers parked in their town at night, thought it was cute to steal the locking clips from receiver pins. While it never happened to anyone I know, I thought that a locking pin was an inexpensive way to add an additional layer of security.


3. I always use an "anti-rattle" clamp on my drawbar. Makes towing a lot more pleasant when the clunk-clunk of the drawbar slack is gone.
Here's a link to the one I use.
Roadmaster Quiet Hitch for 2" Trailer Hitches Roadmaster Hitch Accessories RM-061
thus almost eliminating any road condition caused movement and/or damage.


Just a few thoughts.....
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:13 AM   #9
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Yea I agree with an actual long hasp lock it is safer.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:37 AM   #10
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I have never lost a pin but know what you are talking about in road induced vibrations. Last year coming South out of Birmingham the concrete road bed set up a harmonic bouncing that just about beat me to death. The truck would hit a spot then the trailer and this rythmic bouncing insued. Very annoying.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:30 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Thanks

Thanks for the feedback on this issue and for the links to find safer equipment for our rigs.
My initial thought was that the locking pin must have slipped out but when I thought about how tight the locking pin was and how much pull is required to remove it [they are pretty secure] I had second thoughts.
I also realize that the larger pin through the receiver and hitch is designed to take and hold the load but the hitch is not a tight fit in the receiver and I do believe that it is possible for the vibrations and steady friction to wear and break the pin.
The problem of the loose fit will be addressed after I get home.
This is a mystery that will never be solved. The evidence is lost.
Scouter Dave
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:47 AM   #12
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I ride my bike (pedals) 1,000's of klm's a year and over the past 10 years I have found 3 of these on the side of the road. Bet there is a good story behind everyone of them.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:32 AM   #13
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That looks like a locking pin minus the lock? Or do I see it wrong?


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #14
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That's a standard hitch receiver pin that is held in place with a "Hairpin" type clip.
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