Trailer came off the hitch

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On Wed, 6 Jul 2011 09:14:43 -0700 (PDT), gpsman
Idiot plonked.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Another thing I do is crisscross my safety chains (ensuring there is just enough slack for tight turns) so that if the tongue of the trailer detaches from the hitch it will be cradled in the chain and not drag on or catch on the ground. I can't tell you how many time I have seen people connect their chains in line with the tongue and hitch. If their trailer detached it would probably catch on the ground and snap the chains.
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On 07/04/2011 08:53 AM, Ned Flanders wrote:

that is absolutely a good idea, and I thought that that was SOP for attaching them. I know I've seen that recommendation on some official instructions somewhere, but I've been doing it that way as long as I can remember. I know my grandfather did it that way when towing a boat trailer. Once it was explained to me the way you did above, it didn't make sense to do it any other way.
nate
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On Mon, 4 Jul 2011 20:44:47 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

PLUS the fact that the hitch ends up "in the cradle" if it jumps off the ball.
I've had it happen ONCE, back in my early days of trailer towing, and the crossed chains saved the day.
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The obvious question.....was it a 2" coupler on a 1-7/8" ball??
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On Jul 2, 12:36am, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

you know, I've thought about this a bit, and I have another theory for you...
If you just dropped the hitch on the ball and tightened it down, the trailer might have been pushing forward slightly on the ball and therefore you didn't really have it tight. Since you'd loaded it slightly tail heavy the hitch was trying to pull up on the ball. if it was too loose and you backed up. if everything flexed just right (truck flat, trailer downhill maybe?) so that the movable piece of the hitch was above rather than below the center of the ball, the act of backing up could force the hitch off the ball. I could see this being exacerbated if the trailer had surge brakes.
Two things, then:
1) I like to pull forward slightly and then recheck the hitch to make sure that it is in fact well and truly tight before driving off. That way if there is any pressure on the hitch/ball interface it's on the front part of the hitch/ball not the rear where the moveable bit is. If the only place to hitch up is facing downhill, I'd stop on a flat or uphill and recheck it as soon as possible.
2) never, ever, ever load a trailer tail-heavy if there is any way around it. There's a good reason for the recommendation to load it front-heavy. (I know, that part has already been covered.)
nate
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On 7/5/2011 1:03 PM, N8N wrote: ...

...
I'm wondering if he didn't just put a 2" hitch on a 1-7/8" ball...
Add the rear-heavy load and it's magic to think it's on but it isn't...
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2) never, ever, ever load a trailer tail-heavy if there is any way around it. There's a good reason for the recommendation to load it front-heavy. (I know, that part has already been covered.)
nate
never, ever, ever load a trailer tail-heavy if there is any way around it. (?)
Huh?
But I do understand it. I once wanted to move a rock that was about 400#. I backed up to it with my ATV trailer, disconnected it, then stood up the ATV trailer. I strapped the rock to the tail of the trailer. I then used a come-along to bring the tongue down to the hitch. I did not move it far, but it did work.
So, I guess the never, ever, ever rule doesn't always apply.
If never doesn't mean never, what's never for?
Point is that you can bend the rules, it's just whether or not you get caught. Tail heavy trailers can be managed by a stout tow vehicle, or going low speeds. Any way you go, though, they are a recipe for trouble. Maybe even disaster. Or at least reason to exercise extreme caution.
Steve
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On 07/05/2011 06:27 PM, Steve B wrote:

That's what I meant. For high speed towing on the highway, everything has to be 100% right and by-the-book. If you're going a block or two and it's impossible to load it weighted on the hitch, I guess you'll probably be OK, but KNOW that what you're doing is wrong and keep that in mind at all times (no high speeds, make double-damn-sure that the hitch is securely locked to the ball, don't pull into any mud or wet grass, etc. etc. etc.)
nate
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I was a crane operator and rigger in the oilfield for about six years. We did all sorts of "stuff" that was hairy, but there were lines that one just did not cross. Never. Ever.
Steve ;-)
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