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flagmanruss

Trouble uncoupling WD hitch from ball.

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Yesterday we took the old & abused Tahoe Transport Toy Hauler to an independent shop to have repairs done and a new rubber roof put on. There will be more on this but what's on my mind right now is how hard this trailer is to uncouple the WD hitch after use. I hate WD hitches but it is more than needed to keep the truck steering wheels in contact with the road to steer... kind of necessary... more so than lima beans! But I digress!

I don't recall a brand on the ball socket... it's OEM, welded to the trailer tongue of course. I don't know if I've got a picture anywhere... I'll look. After the WD Torsion bars are released & removed, the safety hitch pin is removed, there's a lift handle on the top that must be lifted from the rear & drawn rearward & held while the tongue is lifted (came with a power jack installed). There is some type of part which completes the circle sphere around the hitch ball... only loosely attached to the release lever on top.

We are having trouble getting the release lever to fully release... and the underneath part to move so we can disconnect.

We have found a mini-bungee (1/4" D cord) which is just the right length to go around the release lever & catch on the jack base. It will only fit if the lever is fully released. BUT, I think now, that it's pulling partially in the wrong direction... back & down instead of back & up. Even then, (yesterday) we could not get the underneath latch to let go.

(We are resorting to devises because there's not enough room for too many hands in there & the parts are hard to keep holding.) My thought of the morning is that I need to pull this release lever up & back... in the direction of the jack. I could clamp a ring to the jack body & bungee to that release handle. My good wife thinks we need to grease the ball more. So do I, but not what she had in mind!

I sure could use a cut away drawing...

SORRY for the long rant.

Posted Image

Cropped from another pict... the only one I have & the trailer is locked in the contractor's shop.

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Russ, forgive me for not quite understanding, are you having a problem with unhitching the w/d hitch or actually unhitching the trailer itself? The only type of w/d hitch I am familiar with is the type that uses the length of chain on the trailer side and you increase tension by removing the number of links to the tension side of the bars. I am not seeing any mounts for a w/d system on your trailer tongue? JR now Free

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Like on my WD hitch all I do to unhitch.1. Chock wheels2. Release WD bars3. Unhook power, lights, safety chains, and breakaway cable.4. Setup jack blocks under jack.5. Release coupler6. Jack trailer till free of the hitch. Hitching up is a bit different and there is a extra step of jacking the trailer up while hitch to make it easy to latch the WD bars.Unless I'm missing something?

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I have a similar ball clasp on my 72 Avion TT. The trick to all ball style hitches it to make sue you do not have any rearward force applied to the ball, always best to chock the trailer wheels if not on level ground and then let the pickup roll forward or after chocked put the pickup in gear and pull ahead, these things will make unhooking a lot easier. This same trick also works for hooking up set the trailer on the ball and then snug the ball up by pulling forward, the ball clasp will latch much easier.:smart:I can't count how many folks I see beating on these things at camp grounds and jumping on the bumper to get things to release ect, I would tell them the easy way but with a beer in hand I find this to be cheap entertainment. :lol2:

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Well, folks, we tried it exactly as you describe... then rocked the trailer forward & back but the underneath part of the coupler would not release. The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that coupler was not releasing either because of jamming or because we weren't able to get the release fully disengaged. So the hitch was trying to prevent a disaster (run away trailer) by staying / re-latching itself. When I get access again, I'm going to have to look underneath while someone works it... maybe a grease job while I'm there... I am still suspicious that we've not getting the latch released & this one doesn't have a relaxed, disengaged position to my knowledge.

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The latch mechanisms are very well known to wear out and not release properly on ball couplers. You used to be able to get rebuild kits for them but most all companies steered away from that for legal reasons. The trick now is to just have the coupler replaced. They are cheap and most every trailer shop will do it for a reasonable price.

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I'm confused, what does this have to do with a w/d set up? Going by the title I was under the impression that was what you were having problems with. Sorry, sometimes the simplest of things can confuse me. OK, going back over the first post with a different mind set I understand more better. "I see said the blind man as he picked up the hammer and saw". JR now Free

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I guess it's not directly related to the WD devise. I've never had a latch wear out but then again, I do not know the history of the trailer. I thank you. I'm thinking that I should inspect the coupler internals while someone holds the release from above... depending what I find... greasing it makes a lot of sense... but to be open to the possibility that it might be worn / damaged. The trailer is an 01, started life in California now on the East Coast 12 years & several owners later... who knows what else?? WD hitches put different stresses on the ball & coupler.

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Russ, another thing that I have seen is a lack of lubrication causing a lot of friction with the internal parts of a coupler. I have a smaller trailer that has a slightly different set up, but if it gets rusty I cannot release it or have one hell of a time trying to hook it up.

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I normally keep a small can of grease in the RV. Every time I hitch up I put a dab of grease right on top of the ball so as the trailer sits down it squeezes the grease around in the hitch and latch. Never had a latch problem.

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I have done the grease on ball trick but only occasionally. If I can't see any damaged parts, I'm going to grease from underneath, work with pliers, THEN grease on top of the ball.Has to wait until I get the trailer out of jail (the shop). I've been trying to find pictures of a similar coupler on line, to see if I can get more information. I have an email in to THOR to see if I can get an ID on this hitch (Make / Model) or even better, instructions... maybe I can get some information. Not holding my breath!*** I did stop in a RV dealer... decent folks... and they have a similar coupler new on the shelf which I was able to turn over while I worked the mechanism. I think the reason we can not get the handle fully into the release position is the tongue is jammed. The release mechanism is pretty directly connected to the coupler tongue... not much to it. When the release handle is in it's fully released position, it sits in a notch. We want to take white model paint to mark the correct position. The tongue is forward of the latch slot... some spray oil or grease might be introduced from there. Alternately, try to work some grease in from the ball area. Or both.

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Flagmanruss, can you just get a ball by its self, stick it in and see what's going on?

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We're thinking that we're manipulating the release wrong, not getting full travel. We are thinking that both the front & back of the release must be up in order for tongue to move far enough back. In any event, I'm going to be backing a pry bar in the future. LOL!! The trailer is not home... in the shop getting a new rubber roof... so I can't access it until it's done.

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Got the call to go get the ToyHauler out of the shop... a new rubber roof is installed, repairs to the roof seams, windows & compartment doors. We had no trouble hooking up & the shop owner drove it out in one maneuver. Cool! We found the local Route to our house closed because of paving & turned around on our way out. Much longer narrow & twisting local roads... brought the camper back the same way. Met a lot of interesting people... going too fast... I needed the whole road & was naturally driving slow. We leveled the camper side to side but I ran out of jack travel front to rear. I can go back & raise the front more if we decide to use the fridge but more likely to tow out before so not going to worry. We released the WD bars first & manipulated the hitch release so it sat in the correct notch & the trailer dropped off the ball. I can see how pressure on the hitch could jam things. I'm going to try to remove pressure in the future... easy on god ground, not always the case in the field. I have added a medium pry bar to the tools to relieve stress if necessary but hopefully will not be. I hooked up & moved the landscaper's trailer which I'd moved for clearance... back again. That was on a steep slope (we live on a hill) & I think I tweaked my back hooking it up alone.

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