SAFETY ALERT Check your Hitch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2020, 04:31 PM   #1
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SAFETY ALERT Check your Hitch

Just back from Canada camping trip and stopped for gas in NH. Low and behold I make it a point to walk around camper, checking hitch and rig. The bumpy road somehow caused the Ball to work loose in the hitch. I decoupled the camper and retorqued the ball and lock washer and nut. I also shortend the chains by 4 links.This is a new 1 7/8 ball and 4 " drop receiver.
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P1000536 copy.jpg   Hitch_1.jpg  

Hitch_2.jpg  
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:20 PM   #2
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ME, I always drill a hole through the hitch threads below the Nut and insert a cotter key. This will prevent the nut from coming off. I also always use a padlock to secure the hitch latch when connected because in years past people have complained the the safety pin had been removed by people unknown. Be safe out there.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:38 PM   #3
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It looks like the ball has a 3/4" shank placed into a 1" hole in the ballmount.

The hole and the shank have to be the same size.

If they are not the same size, that is a problem.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:19 PM   #4
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+10 Shank on ball smaller than hole on receiver. Replace both and be sure they match. Shank needs to be snug on the hole in the receiver, you can get multiple shank diameters.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:12 PM   #5
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They make / sell a 1” to 3/4 “ reducing bushing , that are available at E-Trailer for about $5. . I know for me they have come in handy on several occasions.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:33 PM   #6
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How did you get into Canada?
I wanna go...
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:36 PM   #7
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Every trailer I have ever towed used a 2 inch or larger ball receiver....
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Every trailer I have ever towed used a 2 inch or larger ball receiver....
They are talking about the diameter of the shank, "C" in this diagram.. it should match the size of the hole it goes in so it does not come loose. A reducing bushing is one option when the shank diameter is smaller than the hole, but best practice is to match the shank diameter to the mounting hole diameter.

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Old 08-04-2020, 07:43 PM   #9
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2 inch!

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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
It looks like the ball has a 3/4" shank placed into a 1" hole in the ballmount.

The hole and the shank have to be the same size.

If they are not the same size, that is a problem.

Agree! I used an undersized 3/4 " inch shank for a SHORT haul/distance = NOT a good idea. IMHO, it should be a 2" ball, correct?


And... Yeah! How did you manage to cross the border?
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:55 PM   #10
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1 7/8" ball

Trillium coupler (ball) diameter is 1 7/8" unless someone replaced the coupler with a 2". 1 7/8" ball and 1 1/4" square ball mount are standard for class II hitch (up to 3500 lbs.).

... Of course that trailer was manufactured in the 1970s. Current trailer manufacturers might just slap on a 2" coupler.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:00 PM   #11
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In a bind you can make a reducing bushing out of a short piece of 3/4” EMT conduit
Many smaller boat & utility trailers have 1 7/8” hitches . I probably have a half dozen stingers , some with 1 7/8” balls and some with 2” balls plus an 18” box wrench that fits both .
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:43 PM   #12
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+1 My Trillium uses a 1 7/8 inch ball. Just get a ball and receiver that match each other. Plenty of 1 7/8 inch balls with 1" shanks. You just bought the wrong one.

You can also buy receivers with balls permanently welded in place.


This is a good reminder. Many stores will sell balls with both size shanks. You have to look closely. Do not put a 3/4 inch shank ball into a receiver made for a 1" shank.


https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


1 7/8 ball with 1 inch shank. Note at least in the case of Harbor Freight, they sell both the 3/4 shank and the 1 inch shank versions, same rating, same price! :https://www.harborfreight.com/1-7-8-...tch-93987.html
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Just get a ball and receiver that match each other.
Ball and receiver?

Ball must match coupler (ball diameter). Ball must also match ball mount (shank diameter). Ball mount must match receiver (tube size).

Pretty sure that’s what you meant...

For the OP, in addition to getting the correct shank size and torquing it properly to the ball mount, you can also check the adjustment of the coupler nut to make sure the underjaw inside the coupler has no play when the coupler is latched.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:23 AM   #14
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Great Picture of a serious problem ~ ~ ~

Thank you for posting such a great picture depicting a very serious problem & an easy common mistake !
Play safe ~ ~ ~
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:11 PM   #15
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Thanks for the great pics Governor Bud and gordon2!

I've also just learned that the balls, like hitches, come in different towing capacity as well.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:53 PM   #16
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Thanks for the great pics Governor Bud and gordon2!
...
No need to thank me since I stole the pic from another site..
And I just noticed the "rise" measurement.. dont confuse that rise with the ball mount (drawbar) rise.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:14 PM   #17
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Recently I had leaf springs replaced on the Boler 17. This led to purchasing a new ball mount and ball. Then for the next trip (towing a few hundred miles), for piece of mind I packed the very large box wrench and crescent wrench just in case...
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:19 PM   #18
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I appreciate the responses: I purchased 1980 Trillium a few months ago. Went to walmart and bought the 5" drop hitch (as my 4 Runner is raised a good 2 1/2 inches. I never had any issues with towing when I owned a 1995 Bigfoot and towed with Tundra Pickup 10 years ago. I recall a class 3 hitch and 2 '' ball.

This current setup has seen lots of issues and perhaps mismatches. The ball is indeed a 1 7/8. I didnt realize the 3/4 vs 1" issue with the shaft. Went to UHAUL and bought the 1" shaftwith 1 7/8 ball. Asked my mechanic to use his torque wrench. DONE. Lesson learned and good advice from the forum.

RE CANADA
I'm a Film Producer/Cinematographer and have been producing a documentary on war veterans, Canadians and Americans---crossing the border in VT and NY monthly for the last two years--- and happen to hold dual passports. I was held at the border by Canadian Customs and Revenue while they contacted a quarantine officer. I was told I could go from border to campground (see its very, very, nice and quiet with clean showers in solo yurts) not speak to anyone, no grocery stores or fuel stations and to quarantine for 14 days. I walked the dog and used the showers and left next day. Too many restrictions at this time. And FYI no travel to the maritimes at all. Not worth the trip north until travel is freed up.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:32 PM   #19
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The general rule is for a 3/4" shank tighten to 150 ft/lbs For a 1" shank tighten to 250 ft/lbs, and for a 1-1/4 inch shank 450 ft/lbs.
I bought a ball wrench, threw it in the tow bag, and vaguely wondered in the back of my mind how I would apply the necessary torque required without adding a cheater or a persuader to the kit.

Then I read a post somewhere pointing out that you simply put the ball mount into the hitch receiver sideways and hop onto the wrench to apply a little gravity-enhanced force.

This worked out great as I just happen to already carry an adequate supply of gravity-reacting material stored just behind my belt buckle here.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:53 PM   #20
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"Then I read a post somewhere pointing out that you simply put the ball mount into the hitch receiver sideways and hop onto the wrench to apply a little gravity-enhanced force.

This worked out great as I just happen to already carry an adequate supply of gravity-reacting material stored just behind my belt buckle here."


This is exactly how I very securely install the ball. The tow vehicle barely moves.
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