Bear trailer issue

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the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

This morning while towing to my local lake, the hitch cap came undone from the hitch and sent the trailer tongue crashing to the road.
With the assistance of a couple of guys I was able to get the trailer back onto hitch and get home. This is the second time that it’s happened. The first time, it was in the lake parking lot and I thought it was just a couple of jokers. This time there was no mistaking it, the trailer and hitch separated.
I’m a checklister and go over step when getting ready for the trip, I KNOW the hitch and trailer were attached when I left.
When I got home, I looked under the hitch and noticed the nut underneath where the ball goes was loose. Is possible that’s what caused it?
Any ideas?
thanks

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MN Fisher
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Bear trailer issue

Post by MN Fisher »

That's exactly the problem

With the nut loose, the lip that presses against the ball when you close the latch isn't tight to the ball. You need to put the trailer on the hitch, close the latch, then tighten that nut until the lip is just snug to the ball...not cranked down hard.

If the nut is loosening on it's own - lock nut and/or Locktite Threadlocker Red

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LDUBS
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Bear trailer issue

Post by LDUBS »

Yikes, that is kind of scary.

What do you mean by "hitch cap"? I'm visualizing the coupler separating from the ball. And, that the nut under the wedge part that latches the coupler to the ball was loose. It shouldn't be loose when the trailer is hitched up. First thing I would check is to make sure the ball and coupler sizes are the same. Additionally, I would check if the wedge that latches under the ball got bent, broken, or turned sideways when you hitched up the trailer? I would remove that nut and the latch to give it a good inspection. Replacements are available.

Oops, MN Fisher's post came through while I was pressing send. Mine has a spring between that nut and the latch. I think that is common. I wonder why a Nylock style nut isn't used.
Have Rod - Will Fish

the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

LDUBS wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 13:06 Yikes, that is kind of scary.


What do you mean by "hitch cap"? I'm visualizing the coupler separating from the ball. And, that the nut under the wedge part that latches the coupler to the ball was loose. It shouldn't be loose when the trailer is hitched up. First thing I would check is to make sure the ball and coupler sizes are the same. Additionally, I would check if the wedge that latches under the ball got bent, broken, or turned sideways when you hitched up the trailer? I would remove that nut and the latch to give it a good inspection. Replacements are available.

Oops, MN Fisher's post came through while I was pressing send. Mine has a spring between that nut and the latch. I think that is common. I wonder why a Nylock style nut isn't used.
“Hitch cap” - that part of the thing that goes over the hitch ball and you lock the other thing and press it down and put the lock into, you know!

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MN Fisher
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Bear trailer issue

Post by MN Fisher »

LDUBS wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 13:06 Oops, MN Fisher's post came through while I was pressing send. Mine has a spring between that nut and the latch. I think that is common. I wonder why a Nylock style nut isn't used.
Mine has a flat and lock washer between the spring and the nut.

Different styles - I think newer trailers have all gone to a lock-nut, but mine is an early 70s model.

the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

MN Fisher wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 13:05 That's exactly the problem

With the nut loose, the lip that presses against the ball when you close the latch isn't tight to the ball. You need to put the trailer on the hitch, close the latch, then tighten that nut until the lip is just snug to the ball...not cranked down hard.

If the nut is loosening on it's own - lock nut and/or Locktite Threadlocker Red
I called Dutton-Lainson, the manufacturer, the rep said the same thing. Well, the three of us can’t be wrong!
I also noticed the hitch receiver also looks a bit too large, like it wasn’t snug. I know I have a 2” ball. Just doesn’t look right.

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MN Fisher
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Bear trailer issue

Post by MN Fisher »

the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 14:11
I called Dutton-Lainson, the manufacturer, the rep said the same thing. Well, the three of us can’t be wrong!
I also noticed the hitch receiver also looks a bit too large, like it wasn’t snug. I know I have a 2” ball. Just doesn’t look right.
Could the coupler be for a 2-5/16 ball? That's the next size up.

the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

MN Fisher wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 14:14
the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 14:11
I called Dutton-Lainson, the manufacturer, the rep said the same thing. Well, the three of us can’t be wrong!
I also noticed the hitch receiver also looks a bit too large, like it wasn’t snug. I know I have a 2” ball. Just doesn’t look right.
Could the coupler be for a 2-5/16 ball? That's the next size up.
I don’t think so. Looks like 2 1/8 but both coupler and ball say 2”.

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MN Fisher
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Bear trailer issue

Post by MN Fisher »

the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 15:22
I don’t think so. Looks like 2 1/8 but both coupler and ball say 2”.
Okay - well until the latch is closed and properly set, a 2" ball in a 2" coupler will feel loose.

If the nut won't tighten to the point that the coupler can still come off the ball - need to replace the coupler-mechanism...not the whole coupler - you can get a coupler repair kit for about $12 or less that replaces all the moving parts.

the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

MN Fisher wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 16:00
the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 15:22
I don’t think so. Looks like 2 1/8 but both coupler and ball say 2”.
Okay - well until the latch is closed and properly set, a 2" ball in a 2" coupler will feel loose.

If the nut won't tighten to the point that the coupler can still come off the ball - need to replace the coupler-mechanism...not the whole coupler - you can get a coupler repair kit for about $12 or less that replaces all the moving parts.
The guy I talked to said that is available.

the hammer
Posts: 325
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

MN Fisher wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 16:00
the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 15:22
I don’t think so. Looks like 2 1/8 but both coupler and ball say 2”.
Okay - well until the latch is closed and properly set, a 2" ball in a 2" coupler will feel loose.

If the nut won't tighten to the point that the coupler can still come off the ball - need to replace the coupler-mechanism...not the whole coupler - you can get a coupler repair kit for about $12 or less that replaces all the moving parts.
Do you think it would be a good idea to preemptively just get the kit?

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MN Fisher
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Bear trailer issue

Post by MN Fisher »

the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 17:46
Do you think it would be a good idea to preemptively just get the kit?
Probably couldn't hurt - usually includes instruction on how to set it properly too...tight enough to hold, loose enough that the ball can swivel in the coupler for turns.

the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

MN Fisher wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 18:02
the hammer wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 17:46
Do you think it would be a good idea to preemptively just get the kit?
Probably couldn't hurt - usually includes instruction on how to set it properly too...tight enough to hold, loose enough that the ball can swivel in the coupler for turns.
I’m actually going to do a bit more inspecting before I go further beyond the winch I’m replacing. The whole bow area deck and hull, trolling motor bolts and nuts, contents of storage lockers, livewell hose (it’s located on the bow deck, bow mounted depth finder, last but certainly not least, fuel tank. G3 had their fuel tank near the front deck. I didn’t smell gas during the day but …

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LDUBS
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Bear trailer issue

Post by LDUBS »

I'm glad there is an easy fix. The trailer coming unhitched is at the top of the list of things no one wants to have happen!
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the hammer
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Bear trailer issue

Post by the hammer »

A few pix of the hitch underside after I adjusted.
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