Years ago my uncle had a large utility trailer break free of his tow vehicle. The trailer careened into a car dealership taking out three new cars. They were write-offs. Thankfully nobody was hurt. The outcome could have been much worse. In the United States it is reported that over 15,000 lives have been lost to towing-related accidents since 1975 with many more injured. The death toll includes accidents caused by poor lane changes, where control was lost due to trailer sway, or tire blowouts. It also includes cases where trailers broke free of their tow vehicle - something that never needs to happen.
|Found one at this price on EBay|
The coupler is an important but often overlooked trailer component. Many trailer owners take it for granted that their cheap coupler will securely connect their valuable trailer to the ball on their tow vehicle. They never look up at it from below and see the flimsy mechanism that is supposed to engage with the ball. They don't check that it is properly engaged *every-time* before they pull the trailer. (Accidents have happened because curious kids at rest stops etc. have flipped up the catch without the owner noticing). Many don't grease the ball or the coupler to prevent wear & eventual mechanical failure because they find it messy (and don't want to ruin any more good pairs of pants). They simply don't think about their coupler. Besides they have safety chains. They don't realize that although safety chains help, you can still have an accident or significant damage if the coupler comes off the ball. Most realize that severe trailer sway can cause you to loose control. They don't consider how bad sway could be if the trailer is just being towed by the chains!
Better quality and much safer coupler designs are available...
When I was researching the features I wanted on my new travel trailer I came across information on QuickBite Dual Jaw Locking Couplers that are a much safer alternative to the standard trailer coupler. The posted video outlines the convenience and safety issues that the patented QuickBite was designed to address. Potential for human error is practically eliminated. Convenience is increased.
I had Livin' Lite factory install an a-frame QuickBite coupler on the Camplite CL11FDB I ordered. They hadn't installed one before but because it is designed with the same geometry and hole pattern as per typical couplers, it was no more work for them than a standard coupler. When I arrived at the factory to pick up my trailer I had never towed anything before. In the Wakarusa, Indiana, parking lot of Livin' Lite I proceeded to setup my Equl-i-zer weight distribution / anti-sway hitch following the hitch manual's written instructions line-by-line. It was fairly straight forward.
|My QuickBite Coupler|
|Typical Coupler Catch|
|Parked at campground|