HOLY CRAP! That could have been bad!

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by DelorFamily, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. DelorFamily

    DelorFamily Member

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    Well, we pulled in from out trip to Lakeport SP, MI. We had a great trip but the drive home with a 2 year old and 6 year old took FOREVER (about 12 hours with pit stops and eating and such). I was too tired to mess with the PUP last night, so I just left it in the driveway and went to bed. I woke up this morning and went to unhook it from the TV and noticed that the nut had come off of the ball sometime during our trip. I have no idea if it was the ride up or ride down, but either way, that could have been REALLY BAD! I guess I was just one good bump from losing the entire thing... Not the way I really would want to test the criss-cross chain theory.

    I just this serves as a reminder for everyone to check ALL the bolts, from the wheels to the ball!
     
  2. TwistedElvis

    TwistedElvis New Member

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    WOW! Glad you all are safe yes you are correct that could have been reel bad!
     
  3. Twisty

    Twisty New Member

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    Glad you are OK.
    Hitch balls should have a split washer under the nut, not a star washer or flat washer. Some hitch balls require 160 foot pounds of torque - or more.
     
  4. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Glad that worked out in your favor!!

    Reminds me of a time many years ago when we were moving across country. We had travelled about 1000 miles and were in Utah or somewhere close. We were stopped and I was checking the hitch. I happen to read on the coupler that it took a 2 5/16" ball. I knew my dad hadn't purchased a new ball when we bought the trailer and that we had a 2" ball!!! We quickly hit the first store with trailer supplies and bought the right one - the only thing holding the trailer on had been the tension in the equalizer bars [:O]

    Happy Trails!
     
  5. yogi

    yogi New Member

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    I'm sure glad you got home ok. That is quite a terrifying thought of what could have happened.
     
  6. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly Terra Alta, West Virginia

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    Sounds like you had enough tongue weight to keep pressure on the ball to keep if from popping off. Glad to hear it all work out okay for you!
     
  7. cksteele

    cksteele now where did i put that hot dog

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    The thought of what could have happened is real scarry. I am glad that you all made it all home safe.
     
  8. sarc33

    sarc33 New Member

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    Hey look kids....There goes a pup just like ours..... [:O]
    One more thing to add to my departure walk-around check. Glad you made it home safe.
     
  9. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    I've had the same thing happen, too. From previous experiences with trailers of one kind or another, I now use a "check list" when I hook-up. Getting to that age where if I get distracted sometimes kinda forget where I might have left off, hence the list. Typed it out on a 3 X 5 card and keep it in the map case and when I hitch up I go over the list. Also, when I'm on the road and make a "pit stop", I go over some things ... like checking the tires and wheel hubs; and I give the hitch a check over and one of those items is checking the nut on the hitching ball.
     
  10. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

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    Is it possible someone tried to steal the camper?

    I'm glad it ended well for you.
     
  11. horrocks family

    horrocks family Boone, NC

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    I like the idea of some sort of checklist. I hitched up to tow the PUP to work this morning (so I can leave for camping as soon as 5pm hits) and it just seemed to be a mindless task to hitch up and go. I was 1/2 way to work and wondered if I had done everything I was supposed to have done. As it turns out I did hitch up correctly and all that, but still, a checklist would serve as a little peace of mind.

    Glad everything turned out well for you. I think I'll go check my hitch ball at lunch.
     
  12. DelorFamily

    DelorFamily Member

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    I always do a "pre-flight" inspection walk around before I leave, but I never thought to check the ball. I need to buy a new but and washer today and I think I am going to get some locktite too!

    I am going to blame it on those bumpy Michigan roads... [LOL]
     
  13. Tomminny

    Tomminny 2004 Jayco Qwest 10K

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    Wow...glad to hear you and your family and you PUP are ok! I had an older pup jump off the ball once....the chains and the breakaway switch did their job and I pulled over...rehooked it and it never happened again...
     
  14. jwolfe01

    jwolfe01 Honeoye, NY

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    Sheesh, thats a scary thing to find! The ball should have a lock washer on it, and I have had a few in the past that had a hole for a cotter pin on them. I have thought about drilling a hole in the two I have now and installing a cotter pin just so the nut doesnt find its way off for any reason, but to be honest, as long as you have the lock washer on it, and the nut is torqued on correctly, you shouldnt have a problem.
     
  15. Poodle

    Poodle New Member

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    Glad y'all got home safe though, because that could have been just terrible.
     
  16. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Onward, thru the fog...

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    Great to hear that it was a "near miss" and not a disaster. Kinda makes the heart go thumpthump when thinking about it.
    MR
     
  17. Tricky

    Tricky Ontario

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    Lucky for you!

    Last weekend, on our way home from Nicholston Dam Trailer Park in Ontario (great place, BTW), our PUP jumped off the ball, after hitting a large bump in the road. [:O]
    I drive a 2000 Chevy Venture, towing a 10' 1979 Venture.

    I was driving south towards Toronto in the middle lane of HWY 400, at about 115 kph. I managed to slow us down, while keeping the PUP behind me all the way to the shoulder. All the while, the wife was freaking out... wondering if the trailer will pass us! The kid slept peacefully in his carseat.

    Upon inspection, the ball was still attached to the hitch. The latch that locks the ball to the trailer was also still in its proper locked down position. The cranking leveler (or whatever you call it) was shaved down about an inch from the pavement, and reeked of burnt metal. No idea how the trailer came off. I have the correct size ball for the trailer.

    After checking all the connections, lights, chains, I hitched it back up. Drove the rest of the way home... much slower than before. Now, I need to figure out what happened. Could the latch that locks the ball to the trailer be too loose underneath?

    On the bright side, I no longer scrape my driveway when backing the PUP into the garage.

    The wife rewarded me later for a great save! [;)]
     
  18. Sun Valley

    Sun Valley "The Rain King"

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    I like the cotter pin idea. Also I was thinking if you coated the threads with RTV silicone it would be just enough to keep the nut from vibrating off if it were to come loose, yet still be easily removed if need be. You could use threadlocker but it would be tougher to get it loose if needed.
     

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