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Old 06-26-2013, 05:51 AM   #21
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While this thread is focused on the receiver pin, I had a situation where the ball nut came loose. I did not lose the trailer, but the draw bar hole was enlarged considerably in one trip as a result of the ball shank moving within the draw bar. The shop claimed they had torqued it properly during installation, but I suspect not. Since then, I use 2 nylon zip ties just past the tightened not on the ball hitch shank to provide a visual check from the top of the hitch (leave the ends of the ties uncut). If the ties are present, I know that the ball nut is still secure (would shear the ties if any movement).

I do a quick walk down of the trailer, hitch, lights, bearing temps, tires, lug nuts EACH AND EVERY stop (gas, food, etc). Takes only a minute.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:23 AM   #22
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I purchased my first travel trailer a few months ago...

Call me OCD if you will, but I have a checklist with two columns, one that I check, then my wife goes back behind me and checks.

No one is perfect, and try as you may to remember everything...sometimes one will get distracted for a few seconds.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:22 AM   #23
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This is the same hitch pin I've been using since I started towing a camper 7 years ago. It's been on both my popup and htt
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:42 AM   #24
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This is why we check double check and then triple check, and then on longer trips check everthing at every stop, can never be to careful. And yes we have a locking hitch pin also.!
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #25
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Every accident is the culmination of a series of errors, usually minor taken seperately. This situation really proved that.

Sometimes just backing away from the situation and looking at the big picture is all that is needed to catch a fatal error. Safety requires vigillance and top priority in any effort.

That said, my heart breaks for all involved.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:28 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by billt01 View Post
I purchased my first travel trailer a few months ago...

Call me OCD if you will, but I have a checklist with two columns, one that I check, then my wife goes back behind me and checks.

No one is perfect, and try as you may to remember everything...sometimes one will get distracted for a few seconds.
Wise words. Father in law and friend both drove off from camping sites last summer with awnings out. Both were ripped off by trees. Neither were using their check lists. Even big items can be missed.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #27
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Was at a rest stop 10 years or so ago, was pulling a boat. Family had to use restroom. Came out first and saw some younger teenage boys running thru the parking lot. Didn't think to much about it, but decided to check everything. They had pulled my cotter key to my draw bar pin. They had also pulled everyone's they could. It was a game to see how many they could collect. We were able to stop anyone from pulling out with a trailer till the cotter keys were replaced. Their parent's reply, " Boys will be boys".
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:47 AM   #28
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I use this combo lock pin. What I didn't need was another key!

Trimax MAG200 Resettable Combination Bent Pin 5/8" Receiver Lock : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:49 AM   #29
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Was at a rest stop 10 years or so ago, was pulling a boat. Family had to use restroom. Came out first and saw some younger teenage boys running thru the parking lot. Didn't think to much about it, but decided to check everything. They had pulled my cotter key to my draw bar pin. They had also pulled everyone's they could. It was a game to see how many they could collect. We were able to stop anyone from pulling out with a trailer till the cotter keys were replaced. Their parent's reply, " Boys will be boys".
Yep. and lousy parents will be lousy parents.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rbneron View Post
While this thread is focused on the receiver pin, I had a situation where the ball nut came loose. I did not lose the trailer, but the draw bar hole was enlarged considerably in one trip as a result of the ball shank moving within the draw bar. The shop claimed they had torqued it properly during installation, but I suspect not. Since then, I use 2 nylon zip ties just past the tightened not on the ball hitch shank to provide a visual check from the top of the hitch (leave the ends of the ties uncut). If the ties are present, I know that the ball nut is still secure (would shear the ties if any movement).
Have done both of the following, once the nut is torqued to the ball, I have drilled a hole thru the nut and inserted a cotter pin. Have also tack welded the nut on the bottom to the threads. Both are easily removed with no damage to the ball shank.
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