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 > New trailer came off hitch!!

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er78mph

Chula Vista, CA

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So I bought a new 2018 Jayco jay feather travel trailer 6 weeks ago and the trailer came off the hitch as I was driving! Luckily I was going slow up a hill and the trailer fell onto the safety chains, then bumper, and skidded to the ground! I had it towed to the storage facility with no major damage. This was our first time out with the new trailer but I've pulled a trailer for the past 4 years with no such problem at all hitcing hitching up. I lowered the jack over the ball,engaged the ball and TV hitch, slid over coupler locking device, then slid a pin through the coupler locking device to prevent it from moving. The only difference from any other trip was that I did not use weight distribution bars as we were camping locally. My weight numbers are almost the same as my previous trailer? I'm good with staying within ratings numbers.Any insight of what could have gone wrong? Just when I was getting comfortable with towing! Thanks all in advance!

Lynnmor

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guesses are that you didn't have the coupler down on the ball, or you have a 2" ball and a 2-5/16" coupler.





ReneeG

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had that happen but with a pop up camper. Upon further inspection, the locking couple needed adjusted. It felt like it locked in place but was loose. Following isntructions online (Youtube), we made an adjustment and it didn't happen again. Don't let this scare you. Be cautious and always use your weight distributing bars even if you are camping locally. You just never know.


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Lwiddis

Kern County, CA

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I vote for a two inch ball and a two and five sixteenths receiver. Please confirm.


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DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree with above poster, ball was smaller than the coupler. Make sure the ball is 2-5/16 inch

mobeewan

Hampton, Va

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It could also be that the coupler latch is not tight enough. You can adjust how tight the coupler jaw engages against the ball. There is a nut that tightens against a spring which pushes the jaw against the ball. If not tight enough when hitting a bump or pot hole, with enough upward force the coupler can be snatched right off the ball even with the coupler pin in place. It might not have been set tight enough at the factory. The dealer should have checked it when setting up the WDH when you bought it. Then you should have checked it before driving off the lot. If you installed it, you should have checked it.

This happened to a friend of mine. He borrowed my utility trailer to take his Harley to Florida when he took his wife to visit her mother and stepfather. He wanted to ride his Harley on the beach down there. He came over a hill in NC with no warning that there was a construction site starting. He hit a big bump and the rear of the trailer went about 30 degrees into the air. When it bounced on the tires it came off the ball. The tongue went under the back of the TV and rested on the safety chains and wiring harness while dragging on the pavement. He ground through the wires and almost through the chains before he finally got it stopped on the shoulder. No damage to the TV or Harley. After he got it rehitched he took it slow and easy to the nearest Walmart for a new chain and some butt connectors for the wiring. The coupler was tight enough for normal towing, but not for 1500 lbs of trailer and Harley going airborne.

When I bought my 28 ft TT new, it was the first time I ever used a WDH, since it was the largest trailer I ever owned.

I got it home and unhitched in the street so I could turn around and use the front hitch to push it in the yard, I found out the guy that set up the WDH forgot to tighten the nut on the ball for the hitch head. The only reason I made it home after 8 miles on the interstate and 4 miles on city streets was that the WDH spring bars kept enough downward force that the ball stayed in place. The nut must have been finger tight when I left the dealer. It was almost to the end of the threaded shank when I uncoupled at home

It was the guys fault for not tightening and torquing the nut, but I'm partly to blame. I should have checked the ball and everything else as he showed me how to hook everything up instead of just watching. I would have found the loose nut.

* This post was edited 09/15/19 08:02pm by mobeewan *

er78mph

Chula Vista, CA

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Posted: 09/15/19 07:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The ball is 2 5/16?

mobeewan

Hampton, Va

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Posted: 09/15/19 08:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, there are 3 sizes. 1-7/8 inches, 2 inches and 2-5/16 inches. Travel trailers are usually 2-5/16.

Look at the coupler. It should be stamped on the top of the coupler. It will tell the manufacturer, model number, the size of the correct ball and weight rating of the coupler.

er78mph

Chula Vista, CA

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Posted: 09/15/19 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was saying that my current hitch ball size is 2 5/16, so maybe a coupler adjustment?

opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 09/15/19 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do find that you have the wrong ball, make sure that the one you buy has a heavy enough rating. My trailer weights around 6,000 on a heavy day and my ball is rated for 10,000.

As far as the weight distribution bars, they might have prevented the detach.In the end this might have been a blessing in disguise as there was no real damage and nobody was hurt.

edit: I see you already have a 2 5/16 ball. I wonder if you somehow accidentally closed the latch before the ball was up inside it. It would look closed, but obviously it would just pop off on a bump.


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