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Author Topic: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.  (Read 3998 times)

tbwrench

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I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:37:29 AM »
Hello,

I have a 2015 21BHS. It currently has the 2" trailer hitch coupler and I'd like to replace it with a 2 5/16" coupler. Has anyone done so? If so which brand / model coupler did you end up choosing? Does anyone know what the one brand / model is that Livinlite used from the factory? Thanks.

Travis

charliem

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 11:30:09 AM »
Travis,

Before you attempt a coupler change you should read the bent coupler threads on this and the predecessor forum. http://archive.aluminiumcamperforum.com/index.php?topic=606.0  When the problem was originally discovered in late 2104 several of us went through the research and work of replacing the factory coupler. The original coupler was smaller and improperly installed. Much later the factory began supplying a more robust coupler but still improperly installed. Recently they have been adding the side bolts which seem to have solved the problem. The complete coupler change requires the larger (2-5/16) coupler, precise alignment and drilling, and the additional side bolts. See this https://aluminumcamperforum.com/index.php?topic=210.msg1194#msg1194 , reposted by djsamuel. At the time I got the heavier coupler from the factory but that was before Thor.  It required careful drilling and has no model or manufacturer marking except "made in china".  I don't know what the factory is currently supplying or how it is installed but it's worth an inquiry. However Thor seems reluctant to deal with it's customers on a retail basis so they may refer you to a dealer. Good luck.
TinkeringTechie found a another heavy coupler from Bulldog that may be easier to install. Send him a PM if he doesn't jump in here.
Any 20 minute job can be stretched to a week with proper planning

Charlie
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DavidM

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 11:44:32 AM »
I took a look at all the couplers offered on etrailer.com, both Bulldog and others. I didn't see one I particularly liked. They all had a short frame mounting base, maybe 4" at most. That will work ok for a steel frame but I think you need more base, at least 6" for an aluminum frame.

The original 2" Chinese made coupler has adequate frame base if you install two bolts in the side as per Charlie's post. That 2" coupler is rated for 10,000 lbs, double what even the heaviest LL weighs and has been proven not to bend if attached with two forward bolts.

So why upgrade? Just bolt your existing coupler on the sides.

David

charliem

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 11:56:48 AM »
David,

The original 2" coupler supplied with the 21s was only rated at 5000#, which was less than the 7000# GVWR of the trailer at the time. Things have changed since then so I don't know what combination of coupler/axles/GVWR Travis may have with his 2015. If indeed he has the 10000# rated coupler I agree the addition of the side bolts would be the easy way out. That said, I still like my 2-5/16 setup better than the old 2". A better, beefier coupler and it seems to couple and lock better. Something more for Travis to cogitate on  ;) .
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Charlie
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tinkeringtechie

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 01:04:55 PM »

TinkeringTechie found a another heavy coupler from Bulldog that may be easier to install. Send him a PM if he doesn't jump in here.


Did someone say my name?  ;) Here's a side-by-side of the stock 2" vs the bulldog. Everything is stronger and bigger...



Here's another pic with the completed install:



The hardest part of the install was drilling the top of the bulldog in the exact same spots as the stock coupler. It already had holes in the sides that served as guides for the side bolts. I would definitely recommend it.

DavidM

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 03:24:40 PM »
Yes, I didn't see that one on etrailer. It looks tough. Call them or email the picture to them and I am sure that they can find and price the Bulldog coupler for you. Looks like the way to go.

David

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 12:25:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies! :)

tbwrench

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 12:44:35 AM »

Merlin

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 04:34:33 PM »
eTrailer.com carries it if you want to do an Internet order. O'Reilly's Auto Parts can order it if you have one locally.
Michigan

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 11:10:31 AM »
Adding side bolts to the 2" Ball coupler, is it needed if your NOT using Weight distribution hitch while towing 2014 21BHS? I had forgot about this topic and I haven't done the modification. I don't know how much tongue weight I have when loaded up, maybe I should figure that out some how. Any thoughts are appreciated.

charliem

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 03:20:36 PM »
Adding side bolts to the 2" Ball coupler, is it needed if your NOT using Weight distribution hitch while towing 2014 21BHS? I had forgot about this topic and I haven't done the modification. I don't know how much tongue weight I have when loaded up, maybe I should figure that out some how. Any thoughts are appreciated.
IF you are not using WDH and IF you have the newer and heavier 2-5/16" coupler I think you will be alright without the side bolts. However, the 2014 models usually came with a lighter 2" coupler. if you have this 5000# coupler I recommend you add the side bolts even without WDH. This coupler really should be replaced.
Any 20 minute job can be stretched to a week with proper planning

Charlie
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Fatdog2

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 04:16:45 PM »
I have the 5000# coupler / 2" ball. So the newer campers came with heavier coupler? Do you have a recommendation on which one or is the one that's on this post what folks are using? Thank you for the advise on this topic.
Peter

charliem

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2018, 08:30:18 PM »
The Bulldog 2-5/16" coupler found by @tinkeringtechie seems to be the easiest to install. I used one supplied by LL before Thor took over. No name or model; just "Made in China". Search this forum and the archives for bent coupler posts.
Any 20 minute job can be stretched to a week with proper planning

Charlie
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Fatdog2

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2018, 09:40:16 PM »
Thanks for the info, I found the bent coupler post going to read through it again.

Steve Sanders

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Re: I'd like to change me trailer hitch coupler.
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 01:47:25 AM »
For something like a trailer coupler, my opinion is that all of the mounting bolt holes should have a bolt in them unless some are blocked by other mounting bolts. If they aren't needed, then why did they put the holes there? Extra bolts won't hurt anything.

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