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Old 07-27-2013, 06:31 AM   #1
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campin'dude
The Importance of a Properly Hitched Trailer

I came across this story that really shows the importance of making sure your trailer is properly hitched every time you head out on the road.

Mother who lost husband, daughter shares warning for people pull - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:09 AM   #2
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Yes it is not as uncommon as one might think.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:12 AM   #3
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We just had an accident up here in upstate NY where a sailboat on a trailer broke loose and went thru the windshield of an oncoming car......thank the Lord no one was hurt...it was a young mother and father with two children in the car on their way to a cabin in the woods for a weeks vacation.

If you could see a photo of their vehicle you would wonder how the survived!

Not only is it important to mak sure the trailer is hitched correctly BUT PLEASE make sure the load you have is also secure - I know many of us carry kayaks, canoes and bikes on our vehicles/trailers.....it is important to do a walk around of your trailer and your load!
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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Yes and don't forget to try your brake away switch once in awhile pull it and make sure it locks the brakes often they don't. It's an easy test while your hooked up just pull it and try to drive off with your trailer connection disconnected.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:03 PM   #5
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That was an awesome test they did! They should put that on Youtube alone, without the rest of the report. I'm so anal that I know the importance of how everything is hooked up and that it's done right, but many people just don't know or don't care. Luckily with our most of our Sunlines (that use weight distribution hitches), I doubt one could make it to a highway without the spring bars springing it up off the ball, if it could even stay on the ball when initially putting tension on them.

Of course hardware does malfunction, in which case this is an excellent reminder to check the operation of your breakaway switch every so often, check the condition of the cable, and ensure that it's always connected to the tow vehicle.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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There was a fatal accident (2 local volunteer FFs, a father and son, and another person) on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge a couple of years ago that was caused by a homemade utility trailer that came loose.

Firemen Who have been killed or hurt by loose trailers: Father, Son Killed in Horrific Bay Bridge Crash

I agree with Jon, it's harder to miss something on a weight distributing hitch, but I'm always double and triple checking my hitch!!!
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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I pull a box trailer for the food bank and our boat trailer and I'm anal about putting a lock in the trailer clasp also about working lights. Last week I was 45 min late delivering the food cause I wouldn't move until I had working lights.

PS: Make sure chains are strong enough. I've seen some pretty wimpy chains on trailers.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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Mainah, Thanks for the hitch brake test information! We will definitely do that.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #9
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Some time ago I got a lock for my drawbar and one for my hitch clip that use the same key. I make darn sure they are secure before starting out AND after each rest/coffee stop. (I had heard there are "kids" that like to release pins if they can) Also, before we start out it has become standard routine for my wife to go behind the trailer and we do a standard "light check" and she confirms each with hand signals.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #10
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Gene,
The "kids" thing is something I never would have thought of. The idea of doing a walk around and inspection every stop or "X" miles is a very good one.
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