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  1. #1
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    Default How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Excuse my vocab, ive only owned a boat for a couple years. The locking clip on the trailer end of the hitch is broken. I can no longer "lock this down" on the ball hitch. I would just replace the whole hitch on the end of the trailer frame but the trailer has its hitch welded to the frame. I have tried to find just this problem piece without luck. What can I do or should I give in and take it to a boat shop?

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Welcome to iboats.

    Sounds like your in the market for a "coupler repair kit".
    Look here as a start:
    http://www.iboats.com/Trailer-Couple...view_id.217575

    You might find one to fit yours without replacing the entire coupler.
    If it was bolted on it would likely be cheaper to replace the whole thing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    you don't say what size boat you have, but since that piece is so important to the survival of the whole boat and trailer, and the people behind you, I'd replace the whole thing, even if it means having the tongue piece unwelded. I'mm all about short cuts, old stuff and making-do, but that's one place not to mess with.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  4. #4
    Petty Officer 1st Class Cannondale's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Cookin' View Post
    you don't say what size boat you have, but since that piece is so important to the survival of the whole boat and trailer, and the people behind you, I'd replace the whole thing, even if it means having the tongue piece unwelded. I'mm all about short cuts, old stuff and making-do, but that's one place not to mess with.

    Why? The coupler does actually come apart like the repair kit indicates.....so if the coupler itself isn't damaged in any way, why not repair the locking mechanism itself? Do you replace the wheel every time you get new tires on your car?

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral LippCJ7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    I think it would be a good time to check the overall condition of the coupler and see if it is rebuildable or if it just looks like its time to replace it, both Home Cookin' and Cannondale have valid points but without seeing the coupler its hard for any of us to judge the overall condition of the coupler itself, but its true as stated this is a pretty important piece to cut corners on. Replacing the coupler is not very difficult as described in this thread http://forums.iboats.com/trailers-towing/replacing-tongue-465939.html

    Good luck!!
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  6. #6
    Lieutenant 12vMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    I also agree to check the overall condition of the coupler. Is it rusted? What's the problem that made it break? If you install a new coupler lock, will it just break again? These are questions you should find the answers to.
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  7. #7
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    It has been a long time, but I remember repairing a coupler by swapping parts from a coupler I had picked up at a garage sale. I later discovered the repair kits and fixed it again with new parts.

    It is a simple job, not expensive and does not require exotic tools or skills.

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral LippCJ7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    It is a simple job, not expensive and does not require exotic tools or skills.
    Your killing my credibility here JB!!
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Thanks for the suggestions. It seems after taking a good look at what Im dealing with that replacing the coupler is the best option. So since I cant take my trailer anywhere to be repaired, what am looking at for someone to come and do some welding? Is this a pain in the butt and costly?

  10. #10
    Admiral smokeonthewater's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    I could do it in 10 minutes..... it would likely be cheaper to pay a towing company to take it to a shop on a rollback than to pay a welder to come to your house.... portable welding rigs bring a premium $$$$
    Kevin

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    well I paid $50 for the trailer. other than the coupler its in good shape. The thought of spending hundreds to get the thing towed away and fixed is depressing. Sounds like i need to find a kind soul with a welding rig who would accept a case of beer and some food.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Quote Originally Posted by achrisk View Post
    well I paid $50 for the trailer. other than the coupler its in good shape. The thought of spending hundreds to get the thing towed away and fixed is depressing. Sounds like i need to find a kind soul with a welding rig who would accept a case of beer and some food.
    Beer and food! wish that I was your neighbor! Seriously, go to wally world or Harbor Freight buy a coupler and a angle grinder (you can get both at HF for less than $40) Grind off the old weld joints and bolt the new one on. Then celebrate with a beer or two.

  13. #13
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdee View Post
    Grind off the old weld joints and bolt the new one on. Then celebrate with a beer or two.
    That would have been my suggestion as well.
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  14. #14
    Vice Admiral LippCJ7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    your location would be a big help achrisk, possibly someone could throw you a hand for a case of beer if they knew where you were located..


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  15. #15
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Im in Erie, PA. Do I need a certain drill bit to make the bolt holes in the trailer frame? The frame in constructed from circular tubing

  16. #16
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Any metal bit should work fine.

    I've done this project and I'm not particularly mechanical
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  17. #17
    Vice Admiral LippCJ7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Round tube? ok we need pics that would be a first for me on a trailer!!
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  18. #18
    Rear Admiral lncoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Quote Originally Posted by LippCJ7 View Post
    Round tube? ok we need pics that would be a first for me on a trailer!!
    Round tubing is fairly common on older trailers. Might need some of JB's exotic tools after all. I always thought of JB as an exotic kind of guy!
    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    So bolting on the squared coupler on round tubing is not safe or not ideal?

  20. #20
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
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    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Nice. Thanks ezmob. Those would seem to solve my problem but not sure if i need the round straight or round tubular. How do these attach to the frame? Still wondering if the square coupler bolted on the tubular frame would be a problem. Im trying to get out of this cheap because i only have $50 into the trailer. Its a 14ft trailer with a light load so I was hoping the square coupler on round tube would be ok. I only tow 2mi to the ramp no faster than 30mph.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    now that I know what you are towing, and how far, i'd just get the small parts and rebuild. You r safety chains will be your back-up.

    Another example of why context (information) is essential for advice around here.

    But while we're at it--take a good hard look at the trailer frame. Round tubes = old steel trailer--they rust out from the inside. Especially if you are around salt water.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    Im on lake erie so no salt but the coupler is getting pretty rusted so I would be more comfortable replacing it. It looks like the tubular couplers are weld ons so Im not sure about that route. My main question at this point would be whether or not the square coupler on a tubular frame is safe just bolted on? thx home cookin

  24. #24
    Vice Admiral LippCJ7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    No it is not, either way you do this it involves getting it welded, unless you get a round tube coupler then I can see it being bolted safely.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: How do I fix my broken trailer hitch???

    wow ok thanks. That puts me right back at the start. Does anyone have a safety conscious suggestion that doesnt involve me having my trailer towed or finding someone to come to the trailer and weld without spending a lot? Whats a ballpark figure that someone would ask for to come to a location and do that work? Is there anything I could do to prep or get started that would help (ie getting an angle grinder and taking off the old coupler)?

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