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Troubleshooting Latch Style Coupler vs Collar Lock Coupler For an A Frame Trailer

Question:

I have A frame couples that you think were latch and they were not, thus the trailer popped off the ball. This happened of a small trailer, I would hate for this to happen on my BP horse trailer. How do you insure this doesnt happen vs the collar lok system that you know that is tight on the ball.

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Expert Reply:

I can help you understand the difference between the latch lock style for couplers and the collar lock style.

First let's talk about the latch style. If installed properly this style of coupler will work great. Determining if it is latched properly is a little more visually difficult than the collar style though. If properly installed the bottom of the latch mechanism should sit against the ball with no space. If your coupler is designed for a 2 inch ball size, you should be using a 2 inch ball, nothing else. This can be one reason for the coupler having trouble latching properly because the coupler is only designed to work with a particular sized ball.

If you find that you are having small space or a loose connection, the trigger latch has an adjustable nut that will add more tension to the ball if tightened. Finally, there should be a hole for a locking pin to be inserted to secure your trailer to your vehicle that deters theft. If you see that the holes aren't lined up and you cannot fit a locking pin through this hole then you are more than likely not hooked up properly. Many times there will be a loud snap sound between your ball and the coupler that lets you know that the ball is seated properly in the coupler before you attempt to lower the latch and lock it in place.

I've included an image to help be show how to be able to visually troubleshoot this issue for your convenience.

You are correct when you say that it is easy to visually confirm when the collar style coupler is secured around the hitch ball. The collar will not slide over the hinged spring portion of the coupler. They also typically have a pin and retainer inserted or latch on top to secure the collar in place. The same stipulation on ball size goes for this style of coupler as it does for the trigger latch style, if the coupler is not designed for that size ball it shouldn't be used.

If you would like to tell me what size ball you have I can better recommend a specific setup for your A-Frame style trailer.

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Jackie C

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