Painful Hitch Experience

IMG_4217Never had any trouble with the Pullrite Slider hitch until our first winter trip to Florida in January.   Spent three wonderful days in the Fort Pickens National Park Campground.  When it came time to leave, the hitch wouldn’t latch.  I removed the hitch head and saw there were some parts that looked bent.  Being cautious, I put on a pair of leather gloves to stick my fingers in there and see if I could understand how the thing was stuck.  I learned a lesson alright. The picture of my pinkey finger is two months after the the thing released and dropped the hammer on me. I think I said something to my wife like “look honey, I’ve learned not to stick my hand in the hitch” or something like that.

IMG_4049As you can see the large spring at the top of the image is stretched tight.  Right about the time it was no longer stretched tight, my finger throbbed really bad.   The pieces that were bent are hard to see in this photo, but you can see a small peg lying on it’s side where it fell out of a hole. I sent email complete with pictures to Pullrite and suggested that their hitch had malfunctioned and asked for a new one under warranty.  They politely suggested that the damage was caused by High-Hitching. That happens when connecting to the hitch with the trailer positioned too high.  I took exception with that since I am very careful about NOT doing that when I connect the trailer to the hitch.  Then I saw the light!  They said that it could have occurred with High-Unhitching.  I never considered that. In any case, the Pullrite rep was kind enough to send me the parts to repair the hitch at no cost to me.  It only took about 10 minutes to repair it and it is as good as new.

How the hitch works is actually pretty simple.  There is a large spring that stretches out when you pull the handle to release the collar that surrounds the pin on the trailer.  When you pull it out, it locks in the open position ready to attach to the truck.  In this picture the hitch has the spring stretched out and the collar is open and locked to receive the pin on the trailer.  When you back the truck up, the trailer pin slides into the slot.  The pin has a ring around it at the bottom that engages the mechanism to release the collar lock. The video shows how this occurs.