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Hi Guys. still fairly new to boats. I am having a really difficult time lowering the boat trailer down onto the ball of my hitch? does anyone have ideas, suggestions, helpful experience? I have the correct size ball, and at times the trailer loads perfectly. Other times, like this am, it takes 20-30 minutes to get the trailer to come down over the ball of the hitch? does the trailer have an adjustment? any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much.

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C'mon shooter - you can do it!

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https://www.etrailer.com/question-134607.html

Question: How do you properly adjust the hitch latch on a trigger type assembly? Is it normal to have a small amount of forward/reverse play between it and the ball? How much? Thank You

asked by: David H

Expert Reply:To adjust the hitch latch on your trailer's coupler, you will want to adjust the nut at the bottom of the latch. This nut will be tightened or loosened depending on what you need for your coupler. I have attached a diagram showing you the location of the nut that you will want to adjust.

The ball needs to be secured in the coupler and unable to simply come off. However, there should be some room for play. The hitch ball needs to be able to move inside the coupler so that nothing binds up while you are towing. The trailer needs to be able to move and pivot while moving, so the ball should be secure, but not tight, in the coupler.

qu134607_250.jpg
 
Sometimes you also have to hold the underjaw back a little to let it slip on. That might be all you need.

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Not knowing much about what kind of setup you have, my suggestion would be to start off by lubing your hitch ball.

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Jig man... I have done that. I also lubed the assembly in the above diagram. I think there is not enough "play" in the trailer assembly. I will work on that. Thanks so much MN Fisher for the diagram. Also, thanks to detroit1 for the words of encouragement. 

 

Anyone else care to chime in? 

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Can you post a picture of your trailer hitch?  If you have the kind in the diagram above, be sure the lever is in the straight up position before lowering it onto the ball, then "close" it by move the lever in the horizontal position.

 

Pictures would really help us here.

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Just now, Glenn said:

then "close" it by move the lever in the horizontal position.

Also...when it's latched, there should be a 'little' freeplay between the hitch and ball. Enough so that it doesn't screech (metal on metal) when turning or other movement, but not enough that the coupler can disengage from the ball under movement.

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On mine if the trailer isn’t aligned nearly perfectly with the ball, it doesn’t like to go on or come off. Either square it by moving the truck some or the old size 12 comes into action.

good luck 

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The only way to get better at hitching up your boat to your tow vehicle is practice.   Everyone goes through this learning curve.  I find that the spray on garage door grease helps.

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In the beginning, many don't take into consideration that the towing vehicle will move when taking your foot off the break and placing it in park.  Practice makes permanent!

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you ain’t trying to put a 1 7/8” hitch on a 2” ball are you?

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Thanks for all the replies. the hitch and ball are both 2 inch. The problem is when we try to lower the receiver down onto the ball, the receiver seems to get "stuck" on the ball. I have help from my wife so we are looking at the two items and they seem aligned perfectly, yet the receiver will not "slide" onto the ball? 

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Start so that the trailer is “back” on the ball or not far enough forward because the trailer still needs to move slightly forward.

 

Lower the trailer slightly to put some weight on the ball and then push the trailer forward.  This will seat the trailer on the ball properly.

 

Sometimes, depending on the type of incline or decline you’re on, you have to push the trailer back while it’s seated on the ball in order to get it to latch properly. 

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3 minutes ago, shootermcbob said:

Thanks for all the replies. the hitch and ball are both 2 inch. The problem is when we try to lower the receiver down onto the ball, the receiver seems to get "stuck" on the ball. I have help from my wife so we are looking at the two items and they seem aligned perfectly, yet the receiver will not "slide" onto the ball? 

Sounds to me like the 'Underjaw' (see diagram) is settling forward of where you want it to be when connecting/disconnecting the trailer from the hitch. It's getting 'hung up' on the ball, preventing the coupler from settling on properly. CAREFULLY press on the back of the underjaw to make sure it's in the rear-most position with the handle in the 'up' position. Then see if the coupler settles on properly. Carefully because you can pinch your finger in there easily - maybe use a screwdriver.

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19 minutes ago, MN Fisher said:

Sounds to me like the 'Underjaw' (see diagram) is settling forward of where you want it to be when connecting/disconnecting the trailer from the hitch. It's getting 'hung up' on the ball, preventing the coupler from settling on properly. CAREFULLY press on the back of the underjaw to make sure it's in the rear-most position with the handle in the 'up' position. Then see if the coupler settles on properly. Carefully because you can pinch your finger in there easily - maybe use a screwdriver.

I thought the same thing ~ 

 Bet that's it.

A-Jay

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I find that getting it level and the ball towards the front of the receiver makes it easier. Make sure the latch is fully open before lowering the trailer, then jump up and down on the bumper a couple of times, or rock the truck a tad if it gets stubborn. That all assumes that everything matches (including height) and is in good working order. I find morning caffeine helps quite a bit too...

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18 hours ago, MN Fisher said:

Sounds to me like the 'Underjaw' (see diagram) is settling forward of where you want it to be when connecting/disconnecting the trailer from the hitch. It's getting 'hung up' on the ball, preventing the coupler from settling on properly. CAREFULLY press on the back of the underjaw to make sure it's in the rear-most position with the handle in the 'up' position. Then see if the coupler settles on properly. Carefully because you can pinch your finger in there easily - maybe use a screwdriver.

This happened to me when I had somebody else "grease the ball".  I only realized how much grease was used on the ball the previous time when I put my finger into the coupler to push it back. There was so much grease stuck in and around the coupler jaw it wouldn't move back enough to get the coupler onto the ball. I cleaned it out and it seems to be ok now.  I have also corrected my fishing buddy on how to LIGHTLY grease a trailer ball.

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Underjaw...sounds exactly like what is happening. Is there an adjustment that can be made to the trailer to allow for easier hook ups? I have tried to push the mechanism back, and yet it still will get stuck on the ball...like it is just sitting there but wont come down. I have not jumped up and down on the toyota highlander tow vehicle, nor the trailer yet. I have ALMOST succumbed to an idiotic fit of anger...almost. Just wanted to thank everybody who has chimed in. You guys and girls are the best. 

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1 minute ago, shootermcbob said:

Is there an adjustment that can be made to the trailer to allow for easier hook ups?

Only thing you can do is to loosen the locknut beneath the underjaw torsion spring. That will shift the underjaw back slightly. Don't make it too loose or it won't snug down when you latch it.

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