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Old 05-15-2020, 08:52 PM   #1
uechikid
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Hitch Gets Stuck On The Ball

This is the fourth or fifth time we have towed this trailer. One of the times we took the trailer out to get the hitch setup we had a hard time getting the hitch to come free from the ball. Today after getting the trailer where we wanted it at a camp site, it happened again. For the life of me I couldnít get the hitch and ball to come loose. I finally got the hitch to where there was no tension on it, and pulled the pin from the receiver then pulled forward. When the shank came out of the receiver, the hitch and ball just fell apart, like there was no problem.
I have a husky WD hitch, round bar.
Any help would be great.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:15 PM   #2
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Sometimes I have to look at the ball in the hitch to see if it is up against the hitch wall. I move the truck the slightest bit to free up the ball. Sometimes shifting to neutral and letting the truck settle will help (remember to shift back to park).

You can and should apply grease to the ball. That should help. Also, sometimes I step on the side of the receiver hitch closest to me and rock it a little as I’m raising the tongue.

I hope that helps.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:40 AM   #3
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The tolerances are pretty close and the angle of the ball mount due to the WD might make it a bit tighter. A bit of grease will help, as will stepping on the hitch/bumper to jostle it loose.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:21 AM   #4
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I grease the ball and spray WD40 around the clamp and that helps.
I have found that only the TT or the TV can be locked in place.
I use wheel chucks on the TT so I do not set the parking brake on the TV. There needs to be a little movement.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.
I did grease the ball this time, that didn’t help. When I get home I’ll spray silicone up inside the mechanism. Will see if that helps too.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:54 AM   #6
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As one of the previous posts mentioned, letting the truck/ball/hitch unbind themselves has always worked for us (except when DW forgot to pull the latch pin and tried to set the trailer down on the ball ). I usually chocked the trailer then raised the hitch. If it just wanted to pick the truck up I lowered it a bit but left a little tension on it then released the parking brake. If it did not move and free up just looked at the hitch to see which way the ball had gone too far and let the truck move in that direction a tiny bit until the truck dropped off - now I'm talking a tiny bit....not a foot! Could never tell if not setting the parking brake helped or not but did it both ways if it was flat. Also greased the ball and lubed the latch pin mechanism.
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uechikid View Post
When I get home Iíll spray silicone up inside the mechanism. Will see if that helps too.
I've found on certain of my hitch mechanisms that the lock lever on top allows the lock piece inside to move away from the ball, but doesn't positively move it away. If it isn't kept properly lubed, it just sits tight until it's jarred enough to move out.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:43 AM   #8
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As a newbie I found this and even getting the coupler down never easy until commonsense prevailed I'm sure this has been mentioned...when I hook up, drop on the ball with chocks in place move slightly forward and the wife gets the coupler down and pin in every time now. Unhooking wasn't easy at first either...you must grease the ball for sure, I use wheel bearing grease...chocks of course, move forward to lift coupler easily...the ball has to be in the middle so back up ever so slightly...with the coupler up I can see a gap and use that as a guage to center the ball...lower the jack if, it doesn't come off easy, bounce on the bumper...works every time.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:05 AM   #9
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Eat a log of pizza and french fries. Lift little lever. Get on bumper and jump up and down.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingRobert View Post
As a newbie I found this and even getting the coupler down never easy until commonsense prevailed I'm sure this has been mentioned...when I hook up, drop on the ball with chocks in place move slightly forward and the wife gets the coupler down and pin in every time now. Unhooking wasn't easy at first either...you must grease the ball for sure, I use wheel bearing grease...chocks of course, move forward to lift coupler easily...the ball has to be in the middle so back up ever so slightly...with the coupler up I can see a gap and use that as a guage to center the ball...lower the jack if, it doesn't come off easy, bounce on the bumper...works every time.
I couldnít get the coupler lever to come up and back.
Thanks for your advise. Iíll keep all these suggestions in mind the next time.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uechikid View Post
I couldnít get the coupler lever to come up and back.
Thanks for your advise. Iíll keep all these suggestions in mind the next time.
Sometimes, when the coupler is "weight on" the ball, it forces the coupler rearward (as the ball rides in the cup on the coupler). That pushes against the "fingers" that sit under the back of the ball, pushing on the fingers with enough pressure that you can't unlock the lever.

When that happens, I find that if I apply "unlocking pressure to the lever" as I lift the trailer tongue with the jack, there's a "sweet spot" where the fingers will slip out from under the ball and the coupler will unlock.

It's "sort of like" when the tow vehicle "rolls back just enough to prevent the trailer from uncoupling".
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:50 AM   #12
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Exactly what John said. If the lever won't move I apply pressure with one hand while raising the tongue jack with the other. Typically when it hits that "sweet spot" it will easily move.
Sometimes if the truck to trailer are at extremes angles to level it can cause a bind.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:35 PM   #13
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Today, when we put the trailer away, the hitch lifted right off of the ball. I noticed that the head of the receiver, where the ball bolts to, was fairly level to the ground and on the same plane as the hitch. Our driveway has a pretty good slope to it. That means that when the truck is on a level surface, the ball is actually tilted back, toward the trailer. Could the hitch and the ball be getting jammed up because the ball is not pointing straight up?
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:47 PM   #14
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I have a similar issue in our driveway. One of the advantages of the air bags on the truck. With the bags, I can lift the rear of the truck to takes the strain off the latch as the ball is pushing up into the coupler. Using the tongue jack does the opposite. By lifting the tongue and the truck the ball is being raised by the latch under the coupler. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:52 PM   #15
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Some people assume that all trailer balls are the same, they aren't. In some applications, the brand of the coupler, the way it's built and the type of trailer ball make a HUGE difference. Looking at this cross section of a coupler, you can see how the ball "fits into the cavity" moving forward slightly as the fingers grip under the ball. Notice how the coupler cavity "sort of grips under the ball in front as the fingers push against the ball in the back?

Now, look at the three shank designs on these photos of trailer ball. You can see how some would "bind on the fingers" if the front lip of the coupler pushes against the shaft, forcing the ball back tight against the fingers if the rear of the trailer is higher than the ball. The same can happen if the rear of the trailer is lower than the ball, by pushing the fingers against the rear of the shaft, forcing the front of the ball tighter against the coupler lip on the front part of the shaft...

Sometimes, just changing the trailer ball to a different shaft machining will make all the difference in the world in how easy it is to uncouple and/or to lock the fingers behind the ball while hitching...
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:18 AM   #16
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Thanks for the great explanation, pics and diagram.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:22 AM   #17
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Try using grease, you'll be surprised.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiredgeorge View Post
Eat a log of pizza and french fries. Lift little lever. Get on bumper and jump up and down.
I actually heard that Chocolate pudding helps too! :-)
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:30 AM   #19
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A couple of things need to be done

1) If that rusty ball in the photo is your current one, throw it away and get a new one. One with the largest diameter shaft that will fit in a properly rated hitch for your trailer weight.
2) The adjusting nut on the underside of the trailer tongue is so named because you should adjust it. New trailer, new ball, new year - adjust it. Not tight, but barely touching. Everyone thinks they are "factory or dealer adjusted", they aren't. They are owner adjusted based on the ball style, the trailer, wear and tear, etc. After initial adjustment, I check mine every year.
3) Grease the ball. I use thick, "high-pressure" full synthetic marine-grade grease, but that's me. What's important is you have a metal-on-metal (ball and trailer) situation and it requires grease.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:35 AM   #20
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Hitch stuck to ball

I keep grease on the ball, and my jeans when my ball cover is not on. When the ball and hitch get stuck though (happens a lot of the time), it really depends on the campsite pad angle between the trailer and truck. Try releasing the parking brake and see if that helps. It usually does the trick for me. The DW loves the grease on my jeans, LOL.
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