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mysticmd

Needed Help and Escapees Jumped in - Thank You!

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Hi - Our Hensley Air Ride Hitch for fifth wheel in our F350 dually will not lock in when husband backs up.  Jaws don't close and pin doesn't click (may not be describing this accurately here). Hensley has an emergency number 24/7 - and no call back at this point and here we sit.  Husband is no rookie at trailering, he kjnows what he is doing, understands how these mechanisms work - but he has tried about 10 times to back into the fifth wheel at varying degrees of force and the hitch will not lock.   Any Ideas, Pls?   Thanks for any help.

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Any chance the “ locking” handle is in the wrong position?

Also check height and “ angle” of the trailer king pin to the hitch. 

 

Edited by MrSeas

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Hi Kirk - thanks for your alertness and answer:  Husband still out there.  I found this on line: (which I think he has already done, read it to him, and he will 'relook' at it all.  I'll keep you posted, of course, if we find anything, fix it, or decide to push it off a cliff with a bulldozer. - Mary

 

 

Tra
ilerSaver
TS3
Owner’s
Manual V4.5
Hensley Mfg, Inc.
32
January 15, 2013
7
TROUBLESHOOTING
7.1
General Troubleshooting
7.1.1
I cannot get the TrailerSaver to lock around the kingpin.
32.
Check the handle and be sure it is in the 9
o’clock position.
33.
Determine if the trailer has a standard ¼” lube plate; if so remove the
lube plate and attempt hooking up again.
34.
Inspect the kingpin to ensure there are no burrs or high spots. Should
burrs be found, file it off and make sure the kingpin
and hitch jaws are
clean and free of any debris.

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We're both backing up truck as the other watches -- the jaws clamp completely closed around the king pin.  But it will not lock.  The gold handle that sticks out - moves somewhat but there is a red line that should get buried when it locks, and it never moves that far.  Yes, it is lubed.  We have tried on YouTube - found nothing.  No call back from Hensley's emergency number.  I appreciate you all answering and coming up with ideas.

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We also just did as recommended via Troubleshooting by pushing the handle to 10 o'clock and then back to 9 to  'release safety pin' --- no results.   This hitch is about 1.5 yrs old, we are not full-timers yet, but it gets used relatively often.   This is fun, right?

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I wish that I could do more but online research is all that I can base any help on and I don't find anything that you have not already listed. 

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Thanks for trying, just out there again, more lube, more backing up, working the handle - just will not lock into that 8 o'clock position. soooooo, he said : We are done, we are dead.      He's going to pull the (fill in blank as you wish) >>>>> hitch out of the truck bed; it's a simple mechanical device that refuses to work.       At least we are home.   We travel with two handicapped, elderly dogs - one blind, one in an actual wheelchair -- I am THANKFUL we are home.

 

Thank you everyone that replied.... Mr. Seas, DevilishJim !

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Is the little handle pulled so it is not inserted in the hole in the block. If the jaws lock, can you push the block to the rear to lock the jaws closed?

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Ronbo -- I believe I saw him trying with a screwdriver behind the bar - you can see the yellow at the end of the bar - which shows it is unlocked and the red is exposed at the other end.  If the handle is pulled, the red should get buried (locked) and the yellow gets pushed up against a plate so you can't see the color - but something simple in there is not happening, he globbed on the lube at this point to try working it.  I'll doublecheck with him, Ronbo, thanks.

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The only times my hitch has failed to lock, it's been either slightly too far off-centre, and the hitch head was slightly canted to the side, or else the pin was slightly too high.

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Sounds like you have talked with the maker, and everyone here is suggesting the right things.  Take a break and then try it again, starting from scratch.  Good luck.

Edited by HERO Maker
removed #

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Husband got callback from Hensley -- he said:  You're right it is something mechanical, so go ahead and beat on the bar.   Anything you break, we will warranty.   He said usually something like this will happen right away and it is a burr, but doesn't happen at this late stage after numerous hitching/unhitchings.     To be continued,....... we're not leaving tonight and rain coming in for tomorrow.

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7 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

The only times my hitch has failed to lock, it's been either slightly too far off-centre, and the hitch head was slightly canted to the side, or else the pin was slightly too high.

Daryl said it..... once you get it on the plate try lowering it a little more.. I think you may be too high...trust me I,ve been there

Edited by Devilishjim

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4 minutes ago, mysticmd said:

Husband got callback from Hensley -- he said:  You're right it is something mechanical, so go ahead and beat on the bar.   Anything you break, we will warranty.   He said usually something like this will happen right away and it is a burr, but doesn't happen at this late stage after numerous hitching/unhitchings.     To be continued,....... we're not leaving tonight and rain coming in for tomorrow.

Be sure and let us know the amount of tranquilizer you had to drink to fix it ;)

kk

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Okay -- LOCKED, and unlocked and RE-LOCKED, AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Beat on the bar and it locked as Hensley said.   Husband calls this a design flaw -- and showed me - way too much play with the bar from side to side and doesn't sit in the groove.  Perhaps it initially did, but with too much play, worn now a bit, the bar is sloppy, and he says the spring no longer has the strength to push it into the locked position - so now we know so he says "not a problem" - so to speak.  But a heck of a lot of money to have to go through this.

I can't say enough how much I appreciate each and every one of you jumping in here, offering ideas as well as your phone number, and hanging in while I run back and forth like a loonie.  I will try to alter the title so people are no longer looking at the HELP NOW.

Husband also sends his thank yous.

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I may be able to help out here.  I had the same problem just under 2 yrs ago with a new hitch head sent by TrailerSaver.  The problem I had was when disconnecting the trailer and pushing the lever forward to the front of the truck, the hitch lockout pin would not spring in and keep the handle disconnected.

Also when hooking up the handle would come rearward but the hitch pin would not stay in and keep the handle and jaws locked.

TrailerSaver at the plant replaced the whole hitch but the problem could have been resolved by drilling out the hole the springloaded hitch pin goes into.

The hole was either too small or off centered.

Randy A's buddy Tom made a metal wedge to prevent the hitch pin from moving when trailer is connected.  My recollection is the pin does not have a lot of bearing surface to catch on on the non handle end.

To sum up, check and make sure the springloaded hitch pin you pull to disconnect the trailer keeps the handle forward to the front of the truck when disconnecting and rearward when connecting the trailer.

I had to hit the handle end or drivers side end of the pin to drive it into the hole on the other end.

If you think it has locked, the white or red paint on top of the lever should disappear into the hitch head.  Do a tug test with the jacks down to be sure.

Apologies for a not so clear explanation but others can feel free to chime in with a something better worded.

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Mr Dickinson, thank you for taking the time to spell it out -- will definitely forward to husband.  He has since written to Hensley's contact man for emergency calls to apprise him of the sloppiness of the bar and why it is not locking the king pin, and if we get any kind of answer/resolution/solution - I will definitely post.

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16 hours ago, mysticmd said:

I can't say enough how much I appreciate each and every one of you jumping in here, offering ideas as well as your phone number, and hanging in while I run back and forth like a loonie.

Helping each other is the main reason that the Escapee forums exist and the club too for that matter. Each of us needs assistance and support at one time or another. Your success is enjoyed by all of us, just as we try to share your problems. 

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Mr. Dickinson:  Husband relied to your post:   That is EXACTLY it!   So he will most definitely be contacting Hensley and we'll update this down the road.

Kirk:   Correct! and hopefully these posts help us get through a problem or avoid a situation all together, or in this case, perhaps someone else will see this and not lose an entire day of travel/reservations, etc. when a hammer would have fixed it! - Mary

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