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Trailer Hitch - ball etc question re: safety

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Old 01-21-2002, 10:41 AM
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JHR
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Post Trailer Hitch - ball etc question re: safety

First off I would like to thank all you guys and gals for giving me advise on trailering. We have a real good community hear on OSO and I am proud to be a part. As some of you know this will be my first year trailering my boat and I still have some apprehensions. How does one know when the ball and hitch are on properly and secure I have read some about this but I would like to hear from some of you more seasoned boaters. I have read some horror stories about people pulling their boats and the latch coming up and dropping the trailer on the pavement Some of these stories I read happened on a busy highway I think I would poop my pants if that happened. So my question again is how do you double check and know for sure that you are ready to go and what remote situations could happen where the trailer comes off the ball. Please advise
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Janie
 
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Old 01-21-2002, 10:48 AM
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Make sure they are the same size first off, then the trailer should slip onto the ball and click into place. When you lock it down you can look under to make sure the hitch tightens around the ball.
When you put the chains on, cross them if they reach, make sure they do not drag, and always hook them through the bottom, bringing the hook upwards through the hole.
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Old 01-21-2002, 10:51 AM
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Jane,

for starters, depending on the weight you pull, you should have a solid male receiver connection. Some are hollow square tubing. I use a solid "male" type as it is much stronger.
  • Always make sure the ball is tight to the receiver
  • Always make sure the trailer coupler is in the locked position and once it is, I always lock it (with a key lock) in the down position so that it cannot come off
  • Always make sure your safety chains are properly connected ON BOTH ends
  • Make sure your brake connector is properly connected
  • You can double check (if strong enough) or use leverage to try and lift trailer tongue off of ball hitch before leaving. If you start to lift the back of the tow vehicle up, your good to go.

I happen to also use a hitch type that allows the ball to be raised or lowered depending on the tow vehicle. If you use one of those, make sure that ALL the pins are in and properly secured with the cotter pins.

[ 01-21-2002: Message edited by: hp500efi ]
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Old 01-21-2002, 10:56 AM
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Adding to what Chris has said. I believe you have a larger boat, so more then likely you have a larger then 2" ball. Make sure you get a good one rated to the size of your boat. The tounge that the ball goes into also needs to be the correct strength. I always use solid style recievers as they are the strongest. Cost ya about 50-75 bucks depending on if you go painted or galvanized. When you latch it down it should latch down securely. If it does not go down securely then you can put the truck in gear and give it a quick tug. Sometimes if the ball it back a bit in the trailer it will not allow the latch to close. The quick tug gets the ball in the front. I check my latch at every fuel stop and after I go in to eat or anything like that. You never know when some ******* may think it funny to lift up on that latch. You can also put a screw or lock in there to keep it secure. Good luck and it sounds like you are headed to a great year with your boat
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:00 AM
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Many thanks for all the info The boat is 28 feet and I will be towing it was a chevy suburban 1/2 ton
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:03 AM
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Oh ya do not let your friends help you out with this one except for backing you up to the boat. This is best done as a one man show. The only time that I had one of the nightmare situations that you mentioned was when I thought that the owner of the boat latched it and he thought that I had latched it and LUCKILLY the boat stayed on till we got to the ramp. When I backed it down the ramp the boat took off strait thank god and launched itself in the lake. This brings me to another point. If you have S-hook style hooks that clip to your truck then get rid of them. They bend like nothing is even there and do NO GOOD. Use Turnbuckles they are much stronger and only take another 30 seconds to put on.

Jon
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:13 AM
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28 feet 1/2 ton. OUCH just be carefull. It will only be a problem going down hill on the highway. If it starts to sway DO NOT HIT THE BREAKS!!!!! The trailer set up is not even more importants. You will likely need what they call a drop hitch and have to flip it upside down. Your best bet would be to get the boat to a trailer shop and make sure everything it set up 100%. Make sure that when the trailer is on the truck the traler beams are parrallel to the ground. If they go down the ball has to go up and if they go up the ball has to go down. Hope that helps a little

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Old 01-21-2002, 11:28 AM
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Jane, for 3 years, I pulled my 28' with the wifes 1/2 ton Sub. You might want to check your rear end gears. I had 3:73's and I think a more popular ratio was 3:42's which would make pulling more difficult.

The truck pulled my boat with no problem but as others have mentioned, the sub is set up as a cruiser (soft brakes, soft suspension), those items do take a pounding when towing. Just make sure you leave plenty of room for braking and keep your speed reasonable.
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:30 AM
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do yourself a favor--go to a big parkinglot with no cars in it--put some miles on it backing/turning--wouldn't want you to look like a squid at the ramp--lot of poeple watching/waiting to dip their boats--part of profiling is one shot into the drink- --john
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:31 AM
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Ball is 2 and 5 sixteetth
 
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