Safety wiring your balls……. - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:04 AM   #11
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All becomes unnecessary if you have an Anderson hitch. On the other hand, I too, have never had a ball loosen if torqued correctly. In fact, there was no way as an individual I could torque my Equal-I-zer hitch ball to the required foot pounds. It had to be done at a dealership. It is on there so we'll it may never come off easily.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:34 AM   #12
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Other discussions of this topic - such as in FiberglassRV - have mentioned the verification washer included in the special U-Haul ball nut system: the washer (or "Exclusive clamp indicating fastener") squishes out from between the nut and washer when the nut is sufficiently tightened, a reminder that proper tightening is important, and without it one might be concerned about the nut loosening.

The same system from U-Haul includes a cotter pin, but it also uses a "Hardened flat washer instead of a lock washer". Properly tightening, using a lock washer (or locking nut) and wiring or pinning just seems excessive to me. The more complex an operation, the more likely an important step will be missed or done improperly - a reason why aftermarket "safety" gadgets generally seem like bad ideas to me.

I suspect that all this attention to keeping the ball nut on at U-Haul stems from three sources:
  1. U-Haul staff are supposed to assist customers with hook-up, but the clerk at the convenience store / liquor outlet / U-Haul franchise is neither qualified nor inclined to ensure that anything is done, let alone done correctly;
  2. many U-Haul customers are first-timers who have no clue what they are doing; and,
  3. the idiotic "fits everything from 1-7/8 inch to 2-1/8 inch" handwheel coupler favoured by U-Haul has no correct setting (because it doesn't fit any particular ball size) and thus may be cranked down tight by enthusiastic users, causing the trailer to apply turning torque to the ball in corners, perhaps loosening the ball.
None of those factors apply to me, so I don't feel the need for the cotter pin (or safety wire). Everyone's situation is a little different.

I note that even U-Haul also sells normal balls, with a split washer and no cotter pin (or safety wire hole). To their credit, it looks like all of their balls have wrench flats at the base of the ball itself... handy to get the tightening started, or sometimes to hold the ball when breaking the nut loose.


If I wanted a safety backup, I would rather buy the U-Haul fancy ball system than drill the nut and shank of a stock ball.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:56 PM   #13
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According to the Equal-i-zer manual:

Now my question for Tim: did the dealership actually use a torque wrench? Just guessing, I doubt it.
Ahh… that is a good question. I did not accompany anyone into the work area but I did ask and they did say they torqued it. Now, were they telling the truth?? That I cannot say. I will say that the Equal-i-zer ball attachment is tricky. It needs their ball because the stem needs to be short enough to clear the moving parts, so it fits in a tight, recessed area and requires a thin wall socket (which is big). I would have had to put a "very" long extension on my wrench to get enough leverage to go to the 430 foot pounds, plus I would have had to do some fancy calculations to figure how to get my torque wrenches up to 430 also. So… it went to the dealership, authorized installer of Equal-i-zer and I did take their install on a matter of faith.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:01 PM   #14
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… it went to the dealership, authorized installer of Equal-i-zer and I did take their install on a matter of faith.
Probably the most practical approach in this case, and there's no reason to doubt the nut is tight enough... it's just that having someone else do the job is no guarantee that it will be done right.

For an example, I've certainly removed wheel nuts to find that the "professional" who put them on applied far too much torque - in one case cracking the stud. On the other hand, I have recently found Toyota and Ford dealerships, and Kal Tire store, all properly installing wheel nuts. I would have less faith in a hitch installer, because I doubt (even if they're an "authorized dealer") that there is any oversight of their operation. You just never know...
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:21 PM   #15
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Now if we could fix the loose nuts behind the wheel of some vehicles that would be great❇
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:06 PM   #16
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Now if we could fix the loose nuts behind the wheel of some vehicles that would be great❇
It is not the nut loose behind the wheel in my case, but the ones in me wee heed making it a bit unstable.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:34 PM   #17
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The only thing worse than a loose nut behind the wheel would be a wired up wing nut
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:41 PM   #18
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I donno, I've always had good luck at U-haul (knock wood). They've applied a new hitch ball to my stinger(s), used new teflon washers and then used a torque wrench. The trailer hasn't falled off yet!

Maybe I'M the loose nut?
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:48 PM   #19
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I donno, I've always had good luck at U-haul (knock wood). They've applied a new hitch ball to my stinger(s), used new teflon washers and then used a torque wrench. The trailer hasn't falled off yet!?
And I've never used that U-Haul stuff, and a hitch ball hasn't loosened yet. There's nothing wrong with the U-Haul stuff, and there are even competent and helpful U-Haul staff (look for company stores, not franchises renting trailers as a sideline)... it's just that it's far from the only way to go for a good installation.
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