Can this site use your data to personalize useful ads for you?
By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand these
policies. You can change this setting later on the Disclosure page.
While on our fall RV trip which took us from Texas to Arizona and back, we noticed a problem when disconnecting our tow vehicle from our trailer. One of the pins that connects the anti-sway bar to the trailer had broken off. We were still on the early part of our journey and we wanted to ensure safety as we traveled along the remainder of our route. Fortunately, I was able to create a temporary fix while waiting for the part that I needed for a more permanent fix.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, this post is a good one to read now and also to save for later - just in case you run into a similar issue. You'll find both instructions and photos on the temporary fix that worked beautifully until the necessary parts were delivered. You will also find information on how to find the part that you'll need for your permanent repair!
Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch
When purchasing our travel trailer, I searched for a weight distributing hitch that would provide increased safety when towing the trailer. I wanted a hitch that would distribute the force on the hitch between the tow vehicle and the trailer. I also wanted the trailer and our Expedition to have a level alignment to avoid sagging. Finally, I wanted a hitch with anti-sway capabilities (without having to connect two different control rods).
During my extensive research, I found the Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch. This hitch provides weight distribution as well as prevents trailer sway. I also really like the fact that the hitch is very easy to both attach and unattach.
Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch
Background on Need for Hitch Repair
I've been using the same Blue Ox hitch setup for over two years now. It has been working great and my wife and I both like the simplicity of only having to attach one bar on each side.
Recently, I needed to make a tight left u-turn. The turn caused the right weight distributing bar to overextend. Consequently, the pin that holds the bar to the hitch was sheared and broke off. Luckily I was traveling at a slow speed and was very near where I would be parking.
The way that the security pin on the Blue Ox works is quite interesting. There is a hole in both the hitch and the bar. When aligned correctly, the security pin fits through both holes so that the bar cannot come out. The pin is secured to the hitch by a piece of metal that acts like a spring. This metal piece is riveted to the hitch on one end and fits into a slot on the other end.
The pin, which is only about 1/4 inch in diameter, has a small slot in it. A tiny "spring" fits in this slot to keep the bar from disconnecting. (This means that the actual strength of the pin is provided by only half of its diameter - which is, of course, right where the pin broke!)
Temporary Hitch Repair
I was able to fabricate an "on the road" temporary replacement that worked very well. The temporary fix consisted of a bolt that fit into the two holes. I tied a piece of string on the bolt to act as a tether and to secure the bolt so that it wouldn't get lost. The other end was tied to a zip-tie which I used to attach it to the hitch. For further security, I also attached a velcro-wrap (normally used for controlling an extension cord) to the tether assembly. I wrapped the velcro tightly around the bolt so that it wouldn't easily come out.
On the Road Fix for Weight Bar Pin
The result was that I was able to secure the weight distribution bar to the hitch using a bolt. (The bolt was actually stronger than the factory supplied bolt.) The bar stayed in the holes as it was wrapped tightly with the velcro strap.
Secured with Velcro wrap
Permanent Repair of Blue Ox SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch
For the long term, I wanted to fix the hitch properly as I didn't want to buy a completely new hitch. While researching what others had done when encountering this issue, I found a replacement part at etrailer.com. I ordered the part and it was very easy to install by following the instructions that came along.
Replacement Weight Bar Pin
Original Weight Bar Pin
Parts for Repair of Blue Ox Weight Distributing Hitch
For the replacement part, see etrailer.com and search Replacement Locking Pin Kit for Blue Ox SwayPro.
Safety Chain Quick Links
Don't miss our post titled "Speed Up and Simplify Your Trailer Hitching Process with Safety Chain Quick Links". This article will let you in on what makes hitching (and unhitching) our trailer from our tow vehicle so much quicker and easier. Now, my wife doesn't even mind helping when we are setting up or getting ready to bug out!
DIY Travel Trailer Repairs
What repairs have you had to do "in a pinch" in order to avoid changing your plans for a trip with your travel trailer?