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Review of Ark Straight Tongue Trailer Coupler - Off Road Coupler - AR44FR

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Ark Straight Tongue Trailer Coupler - Off Road Coupler - AR44FR Review

Today we're going to take a look at the Ark trailer side articulating off-road coupler for 2" receivers. This coupler is ideal for off-road towing. It's a fully articulating coupler that'll insert into your trailers 2" receiver, and attaches to this included 2" hitch ball which would be mounted on your tow vehicle's ball mount. Most of the off-road trailers will use a 2" hitch receiver on the tongue of the trailer, and this articulating couplers would install into that 2" hitch receiver. It's ideal for the rigors of off-road towing. Does use a quick hitch locking system, which saves you time during hookup.

I'm going to demonstrate that. So what we're going to do is install it into this, have an example here of a 2" by 2" hitch receiver opening.What you'll do is just take your coupler and slide it all the way in till you get the hitch pin holes to line up. Once you got the hitch pin hole lined up, go ahead and put your pin through there. Put your clip on there, and now you'd be all ready to go. You can see there's an articulating feature.

It articulates this way. The quick hitch locking system is pretty nice because what you can do is here's the ball that'll be on your ball mount. It's showing unlocked. So right here, if I turn this, you'll see this red area that says unlock. That means you're ready to go onto the hitch ball.

So what you'll do is align this coupling head over the tow ball and then lower that head over the tow ball completely. Once it's completely onto the tow ball, what you'll do is just raise the safety catch lever here and you can see that it engages the auto locking. So the ball's automatically locked in there, and then it releases it to allow it to articulate this way. And then you can even articulate this way. So when you're doing your off-road trailering, it's not going to come disconnected.And then to remove it, all you have to do is push up on this safety catch lever, twist this over to where it'll say unlocked, and it latches into place and unlocks from the ball.

And now you're all ready to hook up again. You do want to always make sure that when it releases that the screen that says locked would be showing before you do any towing. It does have grease Zerk fittings on all the moving components. There's two right here. You can see that you're going attach your grease gun to lubricate it to ensure the couplers lubricate it for anything and there's even a Zerk fitting right here to lubricate the movement for it right here. This is a nice steel construction. It's tough enough to handle any environment. It is J684 compliant, has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, and the ball is also stamped at the top 5,000 pounds.Last thing I want to do is just give you the measurement. Let me turn it this way so you can see from the center of this hitch pin hole to the center of the ball coupler. If we go from the center right here to the hitch pin holes are 13-3/4". But again, just to demonstrate one more time, it's all ready to be coupled, so you just lower this down over the ball. Once it gets completely down over the ball, just push that up and then you can see the green showing, it means it's locked and you're all ready to go just like that. That should do it for the review on the Ark trailer side articulating off-road coupler for 2" receivers.

Jeff B.


I've had one for two years and It's a great hitch...Until it's time to take the auto-locking mechanism for maintenance! It's easy to take apart but virtually impossible to re-assemble with a clock spring and a swivelling head you cannot easily lock in place to work on it. Add to that the the clock spring assembly has to be twisted to load it and place the auto-locking lever into the correct position - all while holding the internal ball clamp in perfect position while blindly fiddling two small machine screws into holes you cannot see -all at the same time. Add to that the two machine screws have lock washers on the other side (gravity pulls them off regardless of grease you daub on to keep them in place) and you have a disposable hitch. As a mechanical engineer, this is one of the poorest designed mechanical assemblies I've seen - and I've seen a few in 32 years.

Les D.


It sounds like you think this is a very good hitch while in service, but it would be easier for two people to do the annual maintenance.

Jeff B.


@LesD It is a very good offroad hitch but the internal design was executed without field maintainability in mind. Even with two people, reassembling the lock and latch mechanisms - they must be done simultaneously - is an impossibility without ARK's own jigs and tools. These hitches are among many popular offroad brands competing for the Australian market and each has a chain of dozens of sales & service centres across that country, so a problem like mine is only a short drive away from a fix - not so in North America. I've written them about the sales and maintenance issues there hitches will ultimately face in North America until a few servicing depots are established or tool/technique kits are provided for North American customers. We'll see what they say and I'll post their response here.

Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
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Jeff D

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