I always use a padlock in my coupler and a locking pin in my hitch along w/ cotter pins to hold the clips closed on my WDH. One time I hauled a uhaul car hauler that closed around the ball w/ a screw/nut type set up and no way to lock it. It drove me nuts worrying the entire trip. I agree the internet and more specifically this site is a wonderful source of info on safe towing. I have learned so much here and still continue to learn every day. I greatly appreciate those that have helped me along the way and I try to help others where I can.
2014 Silverado 3500 Duramax, SRW, Crew Cab, 4WD
2014 Palomino Sabre 34REQS - 14 nights camped
2011 Crossroads Zinger ZT26BL - sold after 3 1/2 yrs and 76 nights camped in it!
I always use a pin in the coupler latch, and a pin in the hitch receiver. Why would anyone NOT use a pin in both those locations???? That's just stupid, as well as unsafe.
I too use a pin in both locations. When I was younger I was stupid and didn't use a pin on a boat trailer latch. Was in a hurry to get the boat back to the lake. You guessed it, came unlatched and bounced off the ball. Thank goodness for the safety chains. Got a few dents and scratches in the tail gate of the truck. Lesson learned, always use a pin in the coupler latch! LOL
I don't use a lock on my hitch, just a safety pin type. I used to lock the trailer on but then I watched two people try to get a bass boat off the hitch and pushed away from a burning truck. The key was on the key ring still in the ignition switch inside the burning cab. Truck and the front of the boat burned. I do lock the hitch when not moving.
I guarantee you that most of the people you see running without the pin don't know there's supposed to be a pin there. They didn't have anyone to show them. They didn't read the instructions.
Most of the rest are rebels and pioneers who rail against anyone telling them they have to do something "for safety." They've never had a problem, so they don't feel the need for more "safety."
A few surely forgot.
If there is "supposed to be a pin there", why wasn't it furnished with the hitch?
I have one trailer (flatbed), which I purchased a couple years ago, that came with a pin.
The hitch on my boat trailer came with a pin, but I just recently purchased it (the hitch), as well. The hitch that was put on the trailer in 1970 had no pin.
The hitch on my horse trailer has no pin, and no place to put a pin. It is probably 30 years old. Maybe more. It is the sliding lock clamp type forged iron "Bulldog" type hitch, very similar to the one on the flatbed trailer.
Most of the trailers I had long ago had the hand wheel type hitches that had a "safety latch" to keep the wheel from turning and coming loose. No pin, and no place to put a pin. I still see one of those things now and then.
There was also a sliding latch type that had no pin. I still see them occasionally, too.
Some older hitches just don't have any provision for a "safety pin"!
CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Daily Driver: '06 PT Cruiser Turbo
Toy: 1999 Dodge QC SWB, Cummins, 5 speed, 4X4
Other toys: a pair of Kawasaki Brute Force 750 ATVs and a boat.
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"
...I used to lock the trailer on but then I watched two people try to get a bass boat off the hitch and pushed away from a burning truck...
I've heard this one many times, and it always makes me wonder how I'd react in this type of situation. I've personally seen how quickly an RV can burn to the ground (but that's another story), and I'm not sure I want to be standing near the engine of a DP that's on fire, trying to unhitch a trailer or a toad.
But I remember a time many years back that I was riding down the highway with my parents in their RV (a front engine gas coach) and the transmission blew. As we were coasting off the highway my brother came over the CB radio (he was behind us) to tell us we were on fire. Apparently the trans fluid hit the hot exhaust manifold and burst into flames. My dad quickly got us over to the shoulder of the interstate, and as my mother and I bailed out and ran for cover my dad grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out.
I remember my mom yelling at him - "Get away from it - it's insured - it's not worth you getting hurt". And of course, my dad's response "But my toys are attached!"
In that case, he was able to get the fire put out safely. But I've wondered if things had gone differently - like a in a rear engine DP - would I want to be standing right next to the enigine bay trying to detach whatever I was towing?
2003 Country Coach Intrigue, Cummins ISL 400
Toad: 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) toad, with just a few mods...
Other rig: 2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually / Next Level 38CK Fifth-wheel Toy Hauler w/ quads, sand rail, etc...