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Old 07-12-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default My hitch is slightly out of alignment

I think my hitch has always been out of alignment. My neighbor said he noticed it when he first say my trailer in April. He told me then, but I was so overwhelmed I probably didn't understand what he was talking about.

I've taken two trips with this trailer before I noticed this. I bought it used, a FF x139, the smallest. It seems like maybe someone hit the tow vehicle when it was hitched, causing the hitch to get out-of-kilter. I see no damage to the trailer, making me think the tow vehicle, not the trailer, was hit.

Take a look at these pics. I don't expect anyone to dianose it with a picture. But let me know what you think.

Is this a safety issue? Can I safely tow with the hitch slightly out-of-alignment? I've taken two trips without incicent. Am I just lucky, or it this no big deal?


Link to pictures:

http://tinypic.com/r/fkcoxz/3
http://tinypic.com/r/oqxbno/3
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:54 PM   #2
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Please.....do not go on any more trips until you get that fixed.. Definitely a safety issue. The hitch has lost all of it's structural integrity. I'd say you are VERY lucky you didn't have any problems with that.
Please go to a hitch shop and get it fixed before you end up wrecking on a highway.

The Alignment is a big issue also, as trailer will not track straight and sway more than normal.

I can not stress this enough... Please get it fixed asap..
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:58 PM   #3
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I know you can't tell from a picture alone, but can a hitch be repaired WITHOUT having to replace the entire piece the trailer sits on? It looks like it's all one big piece shaped like a retangle/triangle, like this:

___
|xx|
|xx|
\xx/
-V
In some cases, can the hitch alone be repaired or replaced without replacing this entire piece which the trailer sits on, which would probably cost thousands of $'s? Maybe more than we paid for the trailer?


[img][/img]
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:27 AM   #4
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I'd have to take a look at my trailer (I'm at work now), but from what I remember, there is two structural members /\, and then one piece that includes the "hitch" section ^. looking at your pictures it doesn't appear that the two members are bent. Take a look from underneath. IF it is not bent, then that ^ piece can be replaced. If the /\ are bent, there is alot more work in store. Although if you know any welders, I'm sure they could easily repair it for a 24. Just take a good look at the rest of the frame and make sure that there is no more bends anywhere else.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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Ok. I got the terminology right.

The tongue is bent. Just the tongue.

I think the tongue can be replaced.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Yes, the tongue can be replaced. Just requires grinding out some welds.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:21 PM   #7
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I saw this post at work, but all picture hosting sites are blocked. When I opened it at home, HOLY SMOKE!! Definitly do not continue to use the trailer like that. It is safe to tow to a repair shop, but be careful, not only has it been weakened, but the trailer is now several degrees off of the centerline axis and during hard braking the trailer will be more likely to kick sideways.

The part that is bent is called a Trailer Coupler, they cost around $30.00 for one rated at 5000lbs, which should be simular to the one on your trailer.

http://www.etrailer.com/pc-COUPLER~80071.htm

The best bet is take it to a RV repair facility, if you do have a friend do it, pay him the beer AFTER he gets done!!

Good luck with the repair!
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
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Thank you, thank you, thank you, one and all.

I had a mobile RV repair guy come to my driveway and replace the whole hitch/coupler/Y-shaped piece of metal. It cost $500.

I didn't realize how bad it was. Neither me, my wife, nor my non-trailer-owner neighbor noticed it until after our 2nd trip. We're all dense...

The trailer was delivered to us from the dealer. We bought it used. The tow truck driver needed a hammer to pry the hitch off the ball when he first delivered it. I questioned this, but since I never owned a trailer, I figured maybe this was normal.

NOT!

It is now fixed, and I want to thank all you fine posters for giving the advise to fix it. We took it on trip #3 of the summer, to Donner Lake, near Lake Tahoe. The hitch and ball meshed perfectly, like they should.

You may have saved some lives.

Thanks!

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