Replacing a coupler

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by mrjam2jab, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. mrjam2jab

    mrjam2jab Member

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    May 29, 2014
    1984 Coleman Sun Valley. The coupler is a tad rusty to the point where trying to make any adjustments is likely to break something. Since the trailer did pop off the ball....no the theoretical chain safety net doesn't work...I'm looking to replace the coupler.

    Are there any specific details I need to know to order the correct replacement?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    You can buy a repair kit and just replace the guts.....I did just that after my boat trailer came off the ball. It seems the jaw in the coupler was worn thin and flexed enough when hitting a bump to pull the hitch off the ball.
     
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  3. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Hmmm, I wonder if this what caused our trailer to come off the hitch? Ours is pretty old and yuk, too. Fortunately, our chains worked perfectly.

    @xxxapache , thanks for that info. Just checked out some kits on Amazon and going to replace the innards in ours. I just never knew you could ....
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    I would just repair it also.
     
    J Starsky likes this.
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    repair X3
     
  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It dosent look that bad at all. The trailor has to be seated properly in the reciver and the safety pin put in. I always check to make sure its in by rasing the trailor and making sure it can lift the truck. If it is worn , then replacing the inside is sound advice.
     
  7. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Replace the innards easiest way. I keep a spare repair set available in the shop.
    I usually try raising the tongue back up enough to check and make sure it is hooked solidly to the TV. I also use a lock instead of a pin, the lock stays there until opened, a pin can work itself out.
     
    J Starsky likes this.
  8. Valerie Hall

    Valerie Hall New Member

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    Sep 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    If you have the style I have, there are no longer any repair kits available that I have been able to find! Seems my only option is to replace the welded on coupler with a bolt-on version... all of which makes me nervous.

    Here is the style that I have, e-trailer states they don't sell it since Atwood was bought out and they recommend the bolt on replacement.



    If anyone has information that I haven't found yet, I would really appreciate it. Mine seems to lock on fine, but only with some "gentle persuasion" with a rubber mallet on the top -- and I just don't agree that method is safe or smart in the long term and I'd rather have one that I didn't have to wrestle with each and every time!
     
  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I would disassemble it, clean the rust, grease, put it back together and adjust the nut until the coupler gripped the ball tightly, but didn't require a whack with a mallet to lock.
     
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  10. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    You can replace it, sure. But you're going to need to grind off all the welds, chisel the old one off, clean up the main beams, weld the new one on and repaint it.

    You might be equipped and skilled to do all that, but it might be easier to take it to an RV shop or a welding shop and say "here, fix this". I bet the inner components either have some adjustment left, or could be replaced. If you fear it may break when it's adjusted, I would suggest it's not safe to tow anyway and what do you have to lose? If it breaks under adjustment, you need to replace it. If it won't adjust, you need to replace it. If it does adjust and seats on the ball well, then problem solved and camp on.
     
    Valerie Hall likes this.
  11. Valerie Hall

    Valerie Hall New Member

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    Sep 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    Thank you both for the advice!

    My plan was to buy the repair kit and take it all to an RV repair shop, then thought I couldn’t since no repair kit available and believed my only next step was expensive replacement!

    Sounds like I missed the intermittent step of asking repair shop to take a try at adjusting and cleaning it up real good.

    Off to book an appt.

    Thanks again
     
    Overland likes this.
  12. soft 17

    soft 17 Active Member

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    The internals are relatively simple. Id take it apart and clean it up. If you do please take pictures to help others!
     
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  13. soft 17

    soft 17 Active Member

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    If you take it to a good shop then I wouldnt worry about a weld on unit. Ive probably welded on a hundred of them. All on the road today.
     
  14. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    Great tip! I'd be trying what @xxxapache suggested first: disassembly, cleaning, lubing, and adjusting. There should be a nut underneath to adjust how tight the ball is captured. Once you have it apart you may be able to see if the parts are too worn to rely on. What do you have to lose?
    _
     
    Valerie Hall likes this.
  15. Valerie Hall

    Valerie Hall New Member

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    Sep 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    I certainly will. I will take a look tomorrow when the sun is up. I sprayed some lubricant in all the moving parts before coming in this evening, with plans to do a thorough clean up in the morning and apply the new grease I bought today. Once I have cleaned it up, I'm sure I'll be right back here with some pictures and some QUESTIONS, since this particular style doesn't have a visible adjustment nut or screw of any type that I can actually see -- perhaps I'll see better in the morning.

    Thanks!
     
  16. Valerie Hall

    Valerie Hall New Member

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    Sep 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    Yep, plan on following this advice in the morning. I started this afternoon but when peering underneath? I don't see anything that resembles an adjustment nut or screw of any kind, so I stopped because I was tired and it was gunky in there ... figured tomorrow would be a better day and I'll be better prepared to tackle at least the clean up part.

    There aren't any real bolts of any kind to do disassembly either -- so my DIY is going to be limited to cleaning up the rust and the old grease to see if I can free up anything catching and/or at least get eyes on parts that look promising. Other than that it's going to be calling on a repair shop ;-(

    I've only towed her ONCE though. Makes me sad. :-(
     
  17. Valerie Hall

    Valerie Hall New Member

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    Sep 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    By the way, here is the coupler in question. 2 topside views and one underside (it should look better after cleaning it up in the morning).

    You can see where previous owner had been striking it to get it to close all the way. It was difficult to open as well but after lubricant was applied to the bolt going across and everything else I could reach on top, it does move more freely to open it.



    33197045-B14B-40F8-A27C-B46282BC2FDF.jpeg 900F827C-5133-4336-BBBD-8B74A47AB2CE.jpeg 378E3732-AF04-48A5-8DC9-3EC072F8B133.jpeg
     
  18. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    So your coupler, @Valerie Hall, is different from the OP's coupler; we were responding for the type that was initially posted. It's best to start a new post for your situation in order to get valid responses.

    Obviously yours is a different style and has no adjusting nut underneath it, so the first step is to clean and lube what you can to see if you can free it up so it works properly. If it's rusty under there or stuck, try some PB Blaster and exercise it. Second step, if needed, is to find a repair kit or have the whole hitch part replaced (welding involved) by a competent shop.
    _
     
    Valerie Hall likes this.
  19. Valerie Hall

    Valerie Hall New Member

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    Sep 19, 2018
    North Carolina

    Apologies... I thought it okay to ask for help with a similar issue. Didn't intend to post incorrectly.

    But thanks to all for the advice. I'll give it a good clean up and lube and hope that suffices. Otherwise I'll take it in for replacement.

    Happy Saturday.
     

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