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I seem to have "play" in my hitch that is felt under acceleration, then again when braking. I can feel the trailer slide back then 'bump' against its stopping point when taking off at a set of lights, and the reverse happens when braking. I know some small play is normal in any hitch, but this feels more than what I feel should be 'normal'. I've checked all bolts and adjustments on the weight distributing hitch, and all is tight. The only thing I can figure is that maybe there is some play between the ball and coupler? The hitch is brand new.

Thoughts?
 

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Your hitch is sliding in the receiver. It's normal.
 

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Can only be in a couple of places. Either in the ball and coupler, or in the receiver/shank. Have someone do a little forward and backward action when it's hooked with you in the bed watching to see which it might be.
 

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its probably play at the pin. Make sure you have a good fit with the lock pin. there are different sizes.
 

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make sure you have both the right size ball for your trailer and that the lock pin is the right diameter. Find a pin that's the right diameter meaning it fits with no play in the hole. There should be no back and forth play when stopping and starting...I slight amount is fine but if it's enough that it's bothersome, check those items.
 

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HVT beat me to it: wrong ball size. I had someone try to tow the trailer my son's Boy Scout Troop owns using a 2" ball in a 2 5/16" hitch. Bad mojo if they had been going more than a couple miles. The receiver on my Titan has a little slop up/down, left/right. But not much. Not enough that I hear a clunk when accerating/braking or turning when fully loaded.
 

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HVT beat me to it: wrong ball size. I had someone try to tow the trailer my son's Boy Scout Troop owns using a 2" ball in a 2 5/16" hitch. Bad mojo if they had been going more than a couple miles. The receiver on my Titan has a little slop up/down, left/right. But not much. Not enough that I hear a clunk when accerating/braking or turning when fully loaded.

I see so many ruined tailgates from wrong ball size. It might just be the wrong pin size, that usually causes the play.
 

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I've got some play like the OP mentioned. But I guarantee I'm using the right ball for my normal load. I remember the pin being snug, but ill check again tomorrow
 

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I've got some play like the OP mentioned. But I guarantee I'm using the right ball for my normal load. I remember the pin being snug, but ill check again tomorrow
There's no such thing as "the right ball for my normal load". It goes by size...not weight. So if your trailer requires the use of a 2 5/16 ball, you can use no other ball size safely regardless of the weight you'll be pulling. True... smaller ball sizes are usually used for lesser hauling weights but you need to match the ball with the hitch.
 

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Let me rehrase that. By normal load, I mean my cargo trailer that I tow pretty often. And yes its a 2 5/16 ball. I'm not swapping trailers everytime... Haha.
 

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I'm not picking on anyone when I say this: In my opinion there is no such thing as overkill when it comes to the gear you use for towing. I think my ball mount (and ball) is rated to 1,200 lbs tongue weight and 12,000 lbs trailer weight. There is no way my trailer weighs in at more than 6,000 lbs. But I've seen class IV ball mounts that are bent and I'm not letting that happen with my rig.
 

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I'm with you HR. I choose to err on the side of caution and safety.
 

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I felt the same thing you are describing when I used to pull a toy hauler. This is what I found ,where the pin slides through the receiver the hole had started to go out of round on the one side only. Looks strange, you can see where the metal has "crushed".



 

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I'm not picking on anyone when I say this: In my opinion there is no such thing as overkill when it comes to the gear you use for towing. I think my ball mount (and ball) is rated to 1,200 lbs tongue weight and 12,000 lbs trailer weight. There is no way my trailer weighs in at more than 6,000 lbs. But I've seen class IV ball mounts that are bent and I'm not letting that happen with my rig.

I agree. I also use a 1200 LB tongue, 12k LB Reese hitch. I've seen lesser hitches fail even when not used up to their max weights.
 

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Just to be totally clear on this ... you are LOCKING the hitch on the ball, right?

I ask because I have, on occasion, forgot to lock the hitch while hooking up the trailer. When I pull forward or hit the brakes, it makes a thud & thump. Fortunately for me, I have a long driveway and I fix the situation before I hit the road.

The next thing to check, like others have said, is the ball size and the locking pin.

However, keep in mind that some noises are normal to pulling a trailer and if you are new to towing, you may just be hearing those normal noises.

Check everything twice just to be sure.
 

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sounds like your ball mount is rattling and moving inside your reviever.. i have the same problem with my drop hitch. it seems to just pivot on the hitch pin and bounce up and down. i talked to a friend that had the same problem and installed a "J" pin. and his is now silent and has no play. i have mine on the way.... and for installation all you have to do is drill one hole for the "J" part to loop back inside the reciever to hold it tight. hope this helps...



Tow Ready J-Pin Anti-Rattle Lockset for 2 inch Receivers 63201
 

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Does the tongue of the trailer look similar to this? I doubt it on a cargo trailer but my dads boat trailer is like this and instead of using a brake controller the tongue actually slides in and out so when you hit the brakes it slides in and activates trailer brakes. I personally do not like this setup because it feels like you get rear ended if you brake hard, and when you take off you have to roll forward till it is all the way slid out then get on the gas.

I once had to pull this...

a pintle type trailer with a heavy duty slide, on ice, it wasnt pretty because the brakes didn't work but the tongue still had the slide mechanism and it weighed 11,000lbs. Talk about the feeling of getting rear ended. :bangit:
 

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Does the tongue of the trailer look similar to this? I doubt it on a cargo trailer but my dads boat trailer is like this and instead of using a brake controller the tongue actually slides in and out so when you hit the brakes it slides in and activates trailer brakes. I personally do not like this setup because it feels like you get rear ended if you brake hard, and when you take off you have to roll forward till it is all the way slid out then get on the gas.

I once had to pull this...

a pintle type trailer with a heavy duty slide, on ice, it wasnt pretty because the brakes didn't work but the tongue still had the slide mechanism and it weighed 11,000lbs. Talk about the feeling of getting rear ended. :bangit:


That was probably one horrible drive, pulling a bobcat with a Titan in the dry still sucks lol
 
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