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Old 11-17-2017, 08:42 AM   #1
coyotewind
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Impact 303 coupler

Has anyone had issues with the coupler not wanting to release? My dealer recognizes I have an issue but says its "damaged" because I hit on it to try and release it. Usually takes me awhile to get it to release when setting up. Usually takes moving the truck back and forth till I get the right spot. Keystone won't warranty because dealer says it was "damaged". Being fairly new at the RVing experience, may have handled this incorrectly at the dealer. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
MarcS
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I usually have to move my truck a touch forward or backward for my coupler to release. I also found it helps if the hitch ball is slightly greased.

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Old 11-17-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
coyotewind
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Impact 303 coupler

MarcS,
Thanks, seems like one shouldn't have to do that once you have the strain off the coupler. But I go back and forward trying to find that right spot. Interesting on the grease. Camping world told me not to put grease on the ball. Gums things up. Funny been doing it for years, learned it from my Dad. Appreciate the input.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:59 AM   #4
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I use to have a heck of a time getting the coupler to release from hitch ball until I slightly greased hitch ball. I do clean coupler with brake clean and regrease every once in a while!

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Old 11-17-2017, 12:04 PM   #5
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Just an opinion, I can't find any "engineering drawings" to support my opinon.

Trailer balls are not round. Trailer couplers are not round. Pawls that grip the bottom of a trailer ball (to lock it in the coupler) are not round.

In a "round world" any position on the pawl, coupler or ball would cause an "immediate release".

In "the real world" trailer balls are elongated, sit on a shank and the pawls that lock them into the coupler grip "under the ball". Typically, trailer hitches sit at a 5-10 degree angle and are "levered up" by weight distribution bars. This causes the trailer ball to sit "angled in the coupler". This angle pushes the front edge of the ball shank against the lip of the coupler forcing the top of the ball against the back of the coupler. Now, engage the pawls under the ball, more on the "side of the ball" rather than "underneath the ball" and the "not on the round part" causes the shank of the trailer ball to bind against the coupler lip while pushing the top of the ball against the back of the coupler cavity..... I also find that if I pull up on the pawl lever while raising the hitch, there's a "sweet spot" where the pawls will release as the ball passes through that "unloaded spot". If I wait too long, it binds again. It's the same with locking the ball in the coupler. It's easier to push down on the lever while the coupler is being lowered onto the ball, once it's all the way down, it's hard to engage the pawl.

WHEW!!! All of that to say, try repositioning your hitch to a more vertical position so it sits "straighter" in the coupler and you may find the pawl will release easier.

Grease never hurt any metal to metal "grinding". I'd ignore CW and put a "dab of axle grease" on the top of the ball and "smear a finger full" on the pawls inside the coupler....

As I said at the start, just my opinion, I have never seen any "engineering drawings" to substantiate this (but again, I've never seen any to refute it either)
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:40 PM   #6
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coyotewind......

I have an Impact 303 and I've never had any issues such as your describing. There are a couple of things I do to hook/unhook and this may help you a bit.

When unhitching the trailer from the truck, get the trailer exactly where you want it to be and CHOCK the wheels.....front and back, both sides. Don't just lay a chock down by the tire, use your foot and kick it into place. You don't have to rear back and break your toe kicking them in, but kick them into place. Once that is done, the next thing to do is make sure that you don't have your coupler and the hitch ball in a bind. The easiest way to do that is to get back into your truck, hold your foot on the brake and put the transmission in neutral....then let off the brake pedal for a second or so. The truck should kind of "center" over the ball unless your truck is parked uphill or downhill.....then this may not work. Put the emergency brake on and the truck back into park and start the unhooking process. I like to run the electric jack down so that it starts to lift the back of the truck an inch or so, then I stop and disengage the spring bars on the W.D. hitch, and then continue to raise the trailer coupler off of the hitch ball. I had great success doing it this way. I also keep the hitch ball greased up pretty well and at least a couple of time a year, I squirt some spray on chain oil inside the latching mechanism pivot points.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
coyotewind
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Impact 303 coupler

MarcS, JRTJH, and xrated,
Thanks for the explanations and suggestions. Very helpful hints on techniques to getting the paws to release. I will experiment and try those techniques. Its been very frustrating and when in a park I get some "newbie" looks. Banging on the coupler didn't help. Appreciated the replies!!!
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotewind View Post
MarcS, JRTJH, and xrated,
Thanks for the explanations and suggestions. Very helpful hints on techniques to getting the paws to release. I will experiment and try those techniques. Its been very frustrating and when in a park I get some "newbie" looks. Banging on the coupler didn't help. Appreciated the replies!!!
You're welcome, and I hope you get it figured out sooner rather than later.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:56 AM   #9
coyotewind
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Impact 303 coupler

An update on the coupler. Camping World in Fountain CO was nice enough to go halfway on the cost of replacing the coupler. I didn't leave until I felt the ball and coupler would release fairly easy. Turns out one of the mechanics said that some of the balls installed were not quite round. They replaced the ball and all works well. So we are back enjoying the 303. Hope this helps anyone with the same issue. Appreciate everyones input previously.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the update, and I'm glad you got it resolved.....and at least it didn't cost you full price to have the repair made. Happy camping this coming season.
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