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Trailer Coupler is Stuck on Hitch Ball and Will Not Release

Question:

How do u uncouple an ez trailer we just bought a used one can not get off the trailer ball help

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Expert Reply:

First, release the mechanism that holds the coupler onto the ball. It may be a lever or a knob that has to be turned. Some require a dual action move where you would push back or forward on the lever while lifting up on it.

If you have done this and it seems to be stuck then it is most likely a binding issue. You can try moving the tow vehicle and trailer forward or backward to release the tension between the ball and coupler. Binding can occur if the trailer and tow vehicle are not on level ground or when the tow vehicle is level and the trailer is not (or the other way around).

Using the trailer jack may also help. If there is too much weight still on the ball, it may not release. Raising the jack may free it.

Make sure the coupler is compatible with the ball size you have. The compatible ball sizes are usually stamped into the metal of the coupler on the top. The same goes for the ball (once you can see it).

When the coupler releases from the ball, make sure there is no dirt and corrosion on the ball and in the coupler ball cavity. You can lubricate the ball using grease, # 58117.

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Follow up Questions


Gilbreath
We are long time campers with an RV trailer, so we are familiar with how the coupler works, but recently we got a used Cargo trailer that refuses to unhook. As you lift off the ball lever will not lift off and the ball stays attached. You cannot jump on the bumper to release it. We have used WD 40, grease and it still having problem. We have never had to replace or work on one, so where would I get information or instructions on how to fix it or replace it?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

What type of coupler is used on the trailer? I wonder if the latch itself is damaged. Do you have a picture you could email me if you're unsure of the model?

Reply from Gary G.

@ChrisR It seems to be a regular / common trailer coupler with a latch that when working correctly should grasp the ball as it is lowered on to it, then when unhooking you should be able to lift the lever and begin lifting it off the ball. It seems to lift ok as coupler is lowered to attach, but when wanting to unhook it will neither lift up manually or Unhook from the ball, even when cranked upward, jumping on bumper, etc. Yes, previous owner may have damaged it and that is why I wanted to know if there is info for repairing or replacing the affected parts. I don't have a picture of it at this time, but it really looks like the most common ball receiver I have ever seen on trailers. it takes a 2 5/16th inch ball.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

@GaryG You could use a repair kit like the etrailer # CA-5100-RK (assuming it's compatible with your existing coupler). In either case, I linked an install video on the kit below that should at least offer some clarity on how one is replaced/repaired. Are there any numbers or info stamped anywhere on the coupler itself?

Michael
I had the same trouble with mine. The release lever top was missing when I got it so the people I got it from must have had the same problem. I had a receiver hitch the first time It stuck I needed to use the vehicle so I pulled the pin and left the ball hanging in the coupler. Later I came back and it ped right out. I have it stuck again on a different truck, one with the ball mounted on the bumper. I need to use the truck, so my next step is to remove the ball from the bumper. Its going to be a pain because the threads are rusted up but I see this as the best option at this point considering my experience with the receiver ball setup. I will probably right out after that, then I will get the repair kit for that component and replace it before I use it again.Hope this helps.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Patrick B.

On many couplers, the latch system is adjustable. It may be a little tight so that when you finally get it latched on the ball, there is so much tension on the system that it wont come free. Look for a threaded piece with a nut on the inside of the coupler that secures the wedge. Back this off a bit and see if that does not help. Remember, you want a coupler to latch snugly onto a ball, but you should not have to force the lever down.

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