Lose trailer hitches/recievers

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by BDD, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Loose trailer hitches/recievers

    My new raft trailer bangs very loudly when towing and braking on paved roads, let alone gravel roads. I have tried several remedies (different stinger, rubber gasket, even modifying it by welding) but none of these has fixed the problem to my liking. I am now considering running a bolt through both receiver hitch and stinger in an attempt to eliminate or hopefully reduce the banging. Has anyone ever experienced this situation? Would there be any reason not to want to do this? Is a little "slop" necessary?
     
  2. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    i had this issue recently with my new rig.
    it is so annoying that it drives you crazy and makes you worried it's gonna pop loose.
    the solution is actually very simple. just make sure the ball size is correct, too.
    you need to put more weight on the tongue. just put the anchor and cooler
    in the front of the boat. experiment with the amount of weight. i use 55lb
    chain anchor and just put it in front of boat and no more clanging!
    you can also tweak this by flipping your receiver upside down so the plate
    rides lower, or get a 2-3 inch drop receiver and get the center of gravity lower.
     
  3. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Other than making sure you have the right ball size, there is usually an ajustment that can be made (underside of tougue) to tighten up the hitch.

    But I suspect what you are experiencing is the draw bar ratteling up & down in the receiver. They all do that. If they didn't have that little bit of clearance (play) you would never be able to get it together. Try shaking the draw bar up & down when the boat is not attached. Does that sound like what you are hearing?

    One remedy I've heard of, that is if you never plan to removing the draw bar, dip the draw bar in a can of that rubberized stuff used to coat the handels of pliers and such. Put the thing together and let it set up.

    Other than that, make youself a wooden shim and drive in there.
     
  4. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    Is it a fish craft trailer? if it is mine was very loud to.
     
  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Thanks for the ideas guys.

    JD, yep, got the right ball size. The tongue weight is a bit light. I recently put the spare tire up front thinking it might help but it didn't.

    SF, yeah, you guessed it; it is the drawbar or what I call the stinger play within the receiver hitch (up down, side to side). Most every vehicle I have ever used (personal and work) has had some play but I never noticed such loud banging before. I have been towing my little pram for years with the same rig and never noticed it. It could be the relatively short receiver hitch on the factory-installed Honda hitch on my Pilot compared to the longer receivers on most trucks. I have never noticed a way for adjusting the hitch. I'll look into that.

    SK, I looked at those Fishcraft trailers. Really nice; my friend has one but I didn't want to spend the extra grand so I bought a cheap ($1,000) flatbed and had a friend add the removable raft bunkers like what Fishcraft uses.
     
  6. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    if you have enought weight on it, it will stay put.
    check out some auto parts stores. some have
    rubber shims.

    the other option is duck tape! but that is messy.
     
  7. corysean99

    corysean99 New Member

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    I have that problem on my truck only with my drift boat though. It drives me nuts. I have to go at a crawl when I am on a gravel road or at a launch or I think the thing is going pop off. I think the fact that it is the boat/trailer are so light and not enough tongue weight. Even if I were to buy a bigger drop i think the stinger would still bounce around. My receiver only has one pin hole in it, and it is close to the end of the reciever so the stringer only goes a little ways. I think next time i take it out I am putting all gear at the front of the boat and cross my fingers. I tried a cedar door shim, it help a bit but it worked its way out
     
  8. Brett Holmstrom

    Brett Holmstrom New Member

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    A shim will take care of hitch bang. With the stinger in, put a coin or washer on top of the stinger and slide it half way into the receiver. Then make a couple wraps of electrical tape over the part of the shim that's still visible and your good to go.
     
  9. Hamps2001

    Hamps2001 New Member

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    You can purchase a hitch tongue adjuster at Joes or Camping world. They fit over your 2inch hitch bar and secure the bar to the hitch.
     
  10. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Roadmaster, the manufacturer of tow bars, makes this thing thay call "quiet hitch" that attaches to the receiver via the hitch pin. If there is no Camping World near you, try an RV service shop.
     
  11. Bryan Williamson

    Bryan Williamson Willybethere

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    I have this problem with a certain hitch. I own two hitch/ball assemblies. Same boat (or different boats), same weight...everything else constant one hitch rattles and the other does not. I've use this same hitch on different vehicles as well...still rattles. No idea why.
     
  12. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Turns out, Jason was correct (is he ever wrong?). I drilled a hole and put a screw to really clamp down on the receiving hitch but it was still noisy. Turns out by adding weight to the front of the trailer took away most of the noise I heard.
     
  13. Gatorator

    Gatorator Member

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    Go under the hitch and drill a 11/32 hole through the front part of the receiver. Tap it with a 3/8 tap and buy a 3/8x3/4 galvanized bolt and a couple of lock washers.

    Slide in the hitch and tighten up the bolt. It will but a tremendous amount of pressure on the front of the hitch and stop the rattling for as long as you want. To remove the hitch just back out the bolt.
     

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