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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Do you lock or unlock the hitch while pulling your TT?

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Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 08/08/22 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gldetrailer wrote:

So in reality, only the TW was keeping the tongue on the ball and no WD is needed to keep it on the ball either and your whole premise of WD keeping it on the ball is not true.


Do you read what you write? Do you understand it?
You actually make my point quite well. That trailer did not come off the ball in spite of not being latched on. If he had used WD, it would not have mattered as it could not have come off... As it was with no WD, it sure could have. Think of WD as a huge multi layered very stout coupler pin.



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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/08/22 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

This topic is a hot button issue.

Like many other subjects, some have an irrational fear of potential bad things.Lightening, towing with the propane on, guns, etc.,etc,, A common theme is that they do not fully understand how low the risk really is... I am more likely to have a heart attack while towing and crash into someone... Yet I doubt many would give up driving based on that risk.....
And standard fare for these discussions is someone making a imppassioned, overly dramatic argument, complete with name calling, telling some story that may or may have happened to somone.

I try to keeps risks in perspective. I tend to not believe I will be hit by lightening, and I do not buy lottery tickets.


Your WD does not "superseded" or "replace" OTHER safety items.

Manufacturers of tongue couplers provide (IE drill, punch) a hole through the tongue latch for some reason.

That reason is to ensure that the latch cannot flip to the open position at any time with a pin installed.

Manufacturers would never waste money drilling those holes in the manufacturing phase if it didn't serve a purpose. It does cost manufacturers money and time to drill holes in other wise perfect hole free material.

I have personally have had those latches flip open. I had several lawn tractors which used a simple bolt to hitch lawn trailers.. I added a ball to the tractors and on the lawn trailer I added a ball hitch. Best upgrade ever, no more fighting a lousy bolt.

The latch on the ball hitch had a hair trigger and without a pin installed in the latch would easily allow the lawn trailer to disconnect.

While not quite the same as a RV trailer the idea is the same.

I have also owned a variety of on the road trailers and some have had decent latches that would stay put and some that just defied anything short of installing a pin to stop it from popping unlatched around my yard.

I get it, you believe you are smarter than the folks that put that hole in the latch, go ahead and believe that. But please, lets be a bit smarter about telling others that it is safe to not use all required safety measures. That hole is there for everyone's safety whether you agree with it or not.

Pin the latch hole, lock is optional but pin you will find is going to be required by every state DOT.

You do realize that if you were to drop or lose your load you can be fined for failing to properly secure your load? Your trailer is your load and as a driver it is your responsibility to ensure you have taken every measure required to secure the load at all times.

I don't understand your position as to why it is so inconvenient to insert a $1.30 pin into the latch [image]

Those simple pins I linked have the potential to prevent your good day turning bad and possibly ruining other motorists day or life.

As a side note, after that chipper accident, PA enacted tougher towing laws. Simple open hooks on safety chains are no longer allowed, all safety chains must be secured using self closing hooks or any device that can be fully closed to prevent the chains from accidentally disconnecting.

dedmiston

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Posted: 08/08/22 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Latch = safe.

Lock = secure.

Except...

The locks aren't as secure as we think. I'll never forget the time I arrived at camp and my key was back at home. At first I thought I'd have to stay hitched, but the site wasn't level and I really needed to disconnect.

One whack in the right spot with a hammer and my lock fell off into two pieces. It was never secure. It was safe, but not secure against theft.

For the drive home, I used a couple of zip ties to keep the latch locked, but the trailer wasn't secured against roadside bantitos who might have wanted to hijack it from us.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/08/22 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

Gldetrailer wrote:

So in reality, only the TW was keeping the tongue on the ball and no WD is needed to keep it on the ball either and your whole premise of WD keeping it on the ball is not true.


Do you read what you write? Do you understand it?
You actually make my point quite well. That trailer did not come off the ball in spite of not being latched on. If he had used WD, it would not have mattered as it could not have come off... As it was with no WD, it sure could have. Think of WD as a huge multi layered very stout coupler pin.


No, you don't seem to understand, TWO "WRONGS" DOES NOT MAKE IT "RIGHT".

Weight alone simply cannot 100% guaranteed that the hitch will "always" stay on the ball.

WD was never, ever designed to "prevent" the tongue to come off the ball.

My illustration shows that absolutely no WD is required to keep the tongue on the ball but only if no freak accidents happen like someone pulling out in front of you, no sudden stops, no sudden changes in directions.. In other words a "perfect world".

Get real, there is no "perfect world", things break, accidents happen and a simple $1.30 pin can help keep your whole world from suddenly being trashed..

I don't trust WD, the bar and contact areas can and do wear out, bars can pop out, brackets can get bent, broken, damaged.. Some of those brackets are so cheaply made even the act of latching them bends them. People have lost WD bars while driving..

The only latch I can say has some sort of chance of not opening without a pin is a "clam shell"..

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

But, even that hitch has a hole for a pin..

in spite of what you may think, the pin hole is there, it should be used..

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/08/22 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

Latch = safe.

Lock = secure.

Except...

The locks aren't as secure as we think. I'll never forget the time I arrived at camp and my key was back at home. At first I thought I'd have to stay hitched, but the site wasn't level and I really needed to disconnect.

One whack in the right spot with a hammer and my lock fell off into two pieces. It was never secure. It was safe, but not secure against theft.

For the drive home, I used a couple of zip ties to keep the latch locked, but the trailer wasn't secured against roadside bantitos who might have wanted to hijack it from us.


Correct.

Locks can be defeated, but, it does stop causal thieves looking for a quick and easy score and the random folks who want to play mischief by unlatching the latch.

Otherwise a simple purpose made $1.30 pin works or even a $.10 1/4" bolt with nut can be used.

Using nothing on that latch, that's a first time green horn approach..

Grit dog

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Posted: 08/08/22 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MitchF150 wrote:

Quote:

Do you lock or unlock the hitch while pulling your TT?


Yes.. [emoticon]

Mitch


Best answer yet!
Need to have a beer or 6 with you some day Mitch!


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Grit dog

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Posted: 08/08/22 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

This topic is a hot button issue.

Like many other subjects, some have an irrational fear of potential bad things.Lightening, towing with the propane on, guns, etc.,etc,, A common theme is that they do not fully understand how low the risk really is... I am more likely to have a heart attack while towing and crash into someone... Yet I doubt many would give up driving based on that risk.....
And standard fare for these discussions is someone making a imppassioned, overly dramatic argument, complete with name calling, telling some story that may or may have happened to somone.

I try to keeps risks in perspective. I tend to not believe I will be hit by lightening, and I do not buy lottery tickets.


Well said! And in introspect, I should probably more thankful that I have the agility to understand many things that others are irrationally afraid of. And at the same time, less critical of others...(which I generally am until someone asserts their irrational stuff as fact).

Grit dog

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Posted: 08/08/22 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

but the trailer wasn't secured against roadside bantitos who might have wanted to hijack it from us.


Classic post!
Hopefully this won't spur the "How to keep Banditos from hijacking my trailer?" thread.

valhalla360

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Posted: 08/08/22 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

ktmrfs wrote:

However if your trailer uses a 2 5/16" ball and the keyed security lock is one that goes through the hitch pin, it's at best a cosmetic lock. that leaves the ball socket on the hitch open and all it takes for someone to drive off with your trailer is for them to drop the hitch onto a 2" ball, and then drive off.


I believe the OP was referring to while driving...so there's already a 2 5/6" ball blocking a thief from dropping it on their 2" ball...not to mention, it's doing 60mph down the freeway.

To the OP: We have a simple spring clip that keeps it from accidentally being released. No key'd lock.


agreed, but if that is also the OP's "lock against possible theft when unhooed" it's not providing much protection while in storage


If they are prepared to steal a trailer, 10 seconds and cordless grinder can get thru just about any padlock you can fit.

They probably won't muck about with a WDH though as it takes a few minutes to hook up the bars.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 08/08/22 03:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

Only if you have so little tension on them as to not be transfering any weight.


Never actually watched a WDH in motion have you. Those bars flex quite a bit in normal operation....yes even when they are already under a good bit of tension.

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