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Old 02-03-2013, 10:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
It's my understanding that MOST dropped hitches are from user error. The 2 biggest reasons that I've read about are:

A) High-hitching where the pin ends up being too high. The latch closes, but the pin isn't really grabbed. I think this is more prevalent on some hitch types than others (e.g. draw bars).

B) A break down in process (e.g. missing a step or doing things out of order) - missing a step like forgetting to latch the arm. Or doing things out of order - like unhitching before lowering the landing gear.

That all said- (I've never used these devices) I personally don't like what I have read and imagined to Butch's hitch saver device - my problem is generally that I sometimes turn into a space cadet (I moved the fiver with my between-the-wheel chocks still in place once). I don't like that I actually have to do something with Butch's hitch saver. I want it to always be engaged in case I fluck up.

It's my understanding that the Blue Ox Bedsaver is just that- it's always engaged and only catches the pin if you drop that FW. Though, I think it's close to $300 vs. Butch's bed saver which is way less.

Just my $0.02 from reading forums.

Doug
Thanks for clearing that up. I had always assumed that was the case. I have a Curt 16k drawbar hitch, that I've been thinking of changing out for either a Curt 20k with jaws that fully wrap the pin, or an Air Safe with the Valley head. I have a little play in the head and a little in the rail pins. The clunks are driving me crazy. I'm working on rail/pin design that should solve that issue, but the hitch will require replacement for what I want.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #22
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I have dropped mine ONCE. It's very scary. Fortunately it dropped onto the super glide rails and caught at the end so I stopped. After I cleaned my pants and quit shaking, I hooked it up again, with no problem.

In retrospect, I had been relying on the sound of the latch up and was not actually tugging on the bar nor visually inspecting the latch itself. Not any more. The safety is a good idea, but a diligent attention to the hookup prevents any problems.

My son dropped a jet ski double once when the hitch sat on top of the ball. The jets skiis went down the hill into a ditch, jumped the trailer and took out some small trees in the national forest. They were Yamaha's and survived fine except for a bit of cracked gel coat on the bow... Whew. Must of been a comical sight, with 3 20ish year olds fragging a couple of jetskiis up a hill through a forest.

Carelessness can cause problems with ANY tow situation or any rig for that matter. If there are actual mechanical issues with 5er's that make them inferior to a tag trailer, I would be surprised. IMHO. once you have pulled a 5er the tag trailers seem to be primitive and dangerous, unless u have a pull right or such tha timitaes a 5th wheel.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #23
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I installed a Butch's Services hitch latch kit about a year ago. Never dropped my 5er but heard it happen in the space next to me once and the resulting damage to the truck bed wasn't pretty.

I bought it with the thought of "cheap insurance" because it adds a step to the hitching process and keeps me from being careless.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by B47 View Post
Thanks - I have a Husky 16 ks and his site doesn't really show a picture of the kit installed on that model. It does say the kit can be installed on the Husky. Guess i will call him.

Does the kit come with the required drill bit?
I have the same hitch and have dropped my fiver. I am 99.9% it was my fault. I do not know exactly what happened, but I believe I high-hitched it. I left out one step being I was in a hurry. My wife wants to make sure it was not any chance of it happening again. To calm her fears I will get the hitch latch kit.

I contacted Butch concerning this hitch and the model OP 14-25 will fit it. The pictures show that a drill bit comes with it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ttrost65 View Post
I'm curious, how does one actually drop a a fifth wheel? Is it user error or a mechanical failure? With the hitch I have now(draw bar), it's possible to drop a fifth, it's either closed or open. There is no mistaking it. I'm upgrading hitch, but is there that much uncertainty of whether the hitch is closed or not, that you have to add additional equipment for safety?
I posted this in another thread regarding a different bed saver device, but will repeat it here.

In Yuma, AZ several years ago kids were going through the various shopping center parking lots pulling the handles on 5th wheel hitches. The owner would get back in their vehicle, and BAM!

Of course there would be nothing to prevent them from also pulling the rod out of the Latch Kit, but I would imagine that they would not want to linger that long.

When this happened, I started putting a "lock" on my latching device. At the time it was a RBW hitch, and I enlarged the hole where the safety pin went through the clevis pin to hold the arm, and then used a small lock in place of the safety pin.

RodeoGeorge
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #26
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Syencer,
I'd just give Butch a call with your make and model maybe a photo. He'll tell you what you need.


Ttrost65,
Agreed, in a perfect word all hitches close securely every time no worries. In my world it only took a handful of onlookers to distract me out of my routine and BAM I" dropped" the trailer on the bed of the pickup because the hitch hadn't closed securely. It wasn't a good day!

Nev
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:56 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ttrost65 View Post
I understand concept, but still wonder if its a user error or a malfunction of a jaw type hitch. There is no doubt in a draw bar hitch being fully engaged. But there is play in the hitch, and is the reason for my upgrade. I just want to know if there is a mechanical flaw inherent with these hitches or if its a human error problem. If its human error in not checking whether hitch is locked, how would you remember to close a bar on a safety device? If its a design flaw, maybe I should engineer a new hitch.
It's user error more then anything else. I have a BD-3 Hensley and I was setting up in a park and had to move my 5er about 2 feet for the electric cord to reach and I backed under it again and and raised my front jacks enough to clear the pads and moved forward....the truck moved forward and the 5er dropped down. My expensive error for not doing a physical visual on the jaws. It's possible to do that on any hitch so I learned the hard way to look into the jaws and make sure the jaws are completely around the pin. I drove a semi for 30 years and even with one of them it's a good look to make sure the hook-up is secure is a good idea.
So answer to your question..yep driver error.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsthetwoofus View Post
It's user error more then anything else. I have a BD-3 Hensley and I was setting up in a park and had to move my 5er about 2 feet for the electric cord to reach and I backed under it again and and raised my front jacks enough to clear the pads and moved forward....the truck moved forward and the 5er dropped down. My expensive error for not doing a physical visual on the jaws. It's possible to do that on any hitch so I learned the hard way to look into the jaws and make sure the jaws are completely around the pin. I drove a semi for 30 years and even with one of them it's a good look to make sure the hook-up is secure is a good idea.
So answer to your question..yep driver error.
I've been religious on checking and double checking everything when hitching up. My routine involves doing everything that is necessary, getting everyone in the truck and buckled in, then, before I put the truck in drive I get out check hitch, walk around, check doors, lights, antenna, make sure nothing is left behind, check hitch, get in truck and pull out. EVERYONE knows not to bother me with questions or problems while I'm in the middle of doing my initial hitch. Thus, I'm not concerned about human error, but was concerned if jaw hitches gave a false indication of being latched, even if checked.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #29
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am not sure if that would bolt onto mine or not
This is the same one we have as well. You can visually see the jaws wrapped around it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:41 PM   #30
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My wife wants to make sure it was not any chance of it happening again. To calm her fears I will get the hitch latch kit.
Unless you get something that requires no input to protect you, you haven't done anything to guarantee that it won't happen again. IMO, this Butch's kit doesn't do that. It's an extra step that if you do that, THEN you'll be protected. If you forget (because something obviously buggered your procedure), you're just as likely to forget this step.
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