Tow Pin Came Out

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camperAL

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Oct 24, 2011
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Greetings,

While traveling on a recent trip, I noticed my tow safety pin came out. The one that is attached to the tow bar that connects the car to the Y part that is attached to the plate. The pin that slides in and has a hole in it, then the safety pin with a ring that is spring loaded and flips down to prevent it from coming out. The only way I can figure that coming out is one, I didn't flip it down and it fell out. Two someone purposely pulled the pin on me.

I remember putting the piece in and flipping it down. So the only thing I can think of is someone might have removed the pin to cause me trouble. I see no other way for that to have come out. We were on a rough road at the time. The pin that holds the tow bar to the car on one side was almost ready to fall out. I usually check things each time I stop but don't remember the pin not being there. I may have over looked it.

So I guess I am saying just be careful and inspect your rig when stopped.
 

jayc2640

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Jan 9, 2011
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I always check my towing connections when I initially hookup (double check), and every time I get gas.  When I get gas, I do a full walk around because I have time to kill while pumping, and it just seems like a good idea.
 

ChasA

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Mar 21, 2009
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Those lynch pins (the pin with the flip-over ring) do break. There is constant strain on the ends of the rings where they go into the pins. I used to own a hardware store and sometimes we would get one of those that was broken right out of the box.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
We had the same thing happen on our maiden voyage. Turns out the ones we had were directional! They only completely shut turned one direction. Scary as hell.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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What UTTransplant said!  One of the many little things nobody tells you about your RV!  I had a similar experience when my nephew helped me hook up the toad one day - I forgot to check which way he flipped the retainer on the clevis pin. They WILL pop loose if turned the wrong way.  I can tell by the feel (a definite SNAP when it's right).
 

jubileee

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I always used harbor freight keyed alike 4 for $6 padlocks. If you did lose all those keys, you could knock them off with a hammer, but much stronger and safer than those Mickey Mouse pins.
 

NY_Dutch

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I noticed early on the connector pins in our tow bar always moved in the same direction during travel. Now I make sure I insert them so they travel towards the handle/shoulder, away from the safety clip. In theory, the pins should stay in place even without the safety clips installed, although I have no intentions of testing that.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
I was not so lucky. a pin came out (Hairpin type not the flip ring type) and the pin came out and disaster.. About 2 grand worth of disaster. Plus towing.

Now one thing that sometimes happens (Not in this case) is you stop for lunch. some jerk kid pulls the pin on you and then laughs when he reads of the resluting fatal accident (Hopefuly not fatal).

IN my case. that is NOT what happened. 100% sure of it. but still the pin came out I believe I know why and have taken steps to insure it won;t happen again
 

kdbgoat

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NY_Dutch said:
I'd rather have pins that can be released quickly in the event of an accident or fire...

Pull the pin that holds the tow bar in the receiver.
 

John From Detroit

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NY_Dutch said:
I'd rather have pins that can be released quickly in the event of an accident or fire...

LIkwise.  So of the 4 pins in my system (2 receiver and two car to tow bar) only the Receiver pins are locked. and I mean LOCKED (That's what failed on me). the car's pins are the snap down ring kind. I've not had an issue with them save for losing a pin once while NOT HOOKED UP.. I had a pare so no problemo.
 

camperAL

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NY_Dutch said:
I noticed early on the connector pins in our tow bar always moved in the same direction during travel. Now I make sure I insert them so they travel towards the handle/shoulder, away from the safety clip. In theory, the pins should stay in place even without the safety clips installed, although I have no intentions of testing that.

Hi,

I turned my lynch pin up while traveling the other day and noticed it also slowly turned downward and upside down. If the ring was flipped the wrong way it could have popped open and then the weight of the ring would have allowed the pin to fall out. It seems like this is the most plausible explanation of what happened. I bought two cotter keys to insert in the pin and since those aren't under constant pressure should work better. Hoping this is safe.

I think I am going with the suggestion Arch Hoagland suggested of locked pins. While it might not be the best route in the event of a fire, insurance would cover it and I think what could happen if a car got loose and harmed someone else. Lots of things to consider when RV'n but for the miles I have traveled, mostly smooth sailing. Thanks for the comments and hope this helps others by bringing it to the forefront.
 

Arch Hoagland

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My thoughts on disconnecting the car in case of fire.   

I'd be about four feet away from my 75 gallon gas tank in a burning motorhome as I try to disconnect.

No thanks, I'm headed as far away from that bomb as I can get and stopping traffic coming towards it.
 

NY_Dutch

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The majority of all vehicle fires are engine or driveline related, so with a front engine gasser there's likely time to disconnect the toad without significant risk as long as it can be done fairly quickly. Even then, gas tank explosions are actually quite rare, despite what we see on TV and in the movies. DP's of course, are a different situation. Even LP tanks rarely explode in a fire. More commonly they just vent off through the pressure relief valve.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Famous last words:

"Oh I've got plenty of time to disconnect my toad, besides gas tanks seldom explode."


Do we have any firemen on here? I'd like an experts opinion.  Or any insurance company people?
 
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