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Allentc2

Locking hitch pins

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I am thinking of getting locking hitch pins for both the tow bar (ReadyBrute Elite, if it's important) and the bike rack on the toad. The one on the RV will ALWAYS be on.

 

Does any one brand stand out among the others for durability/corrosion-resistance? Or is it pretty much six of one and a half dozen of the other?

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I have used quite a few different locking hitch pins over the years.  I can’t think of one brand that stands out over another.  I do like to buy sets that use the same key though, so I don’t have to hunt for the right key for the right pin.

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Over eight years we've had two sets of Blue Ox locking pins.  The first set used a "conventional" key and the ends snapped into place over the tip of the pin as you pushed them on.  That was fine until one day one of the bases came off and left our toad dangling from one tow arm.

The current set of pins uses rotary barrel keys and the ends lock very securely on the pins.  Furthermore, the key can't be removed until the end is securely seated on the pin.  A much better design IMO.

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I noticed early on that the attaching pins on our ReadyBrute Elite towbar and BlueOx base plate always worked themselves in the same direction while underway. Because of that, I insert the pins so the locking end works itself away from the "knuckles". Even if the locks or keeper clips were left off, the pins should still stay in place. I have no intentions of testing that though...

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This would be for the tow bar assembly going into the receiver on the RV, not the tow bar arms onto the toad.

Or is the principle the same? 

Docj, what you're talking about is a "flat" key, where the pins in the lock are all in a line, versus one of those round keys, where the pins are arranged in a circle, correct?

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2 hours ago, Allentc2 said:

This would be for the tow bar assembly going into the receiver on the RV, not the tow bar arms onto the toad.

While I have long used a locking pin to keep the tow bar or the hitch in the receiver, I did also use locking pins to attach the tow-bar arms to the towed base-plate when we first began to travel. One day we came upon a diesel pusher that was pulling to the side due to smoke from his engine space and I stopped behind to see if I could help. The driver ran back to the rear just in time to see flames burst from the engine area. I shouted to him that we need to get the car unhooked and away but he had left the key to the tow-bar pins in the RV. By the time that driver got back with those keys, it was far too hot and dangerous for us to unlock that car and the result was that they lost both the RV and the car. The fire department got there in time to save most of the motorhome but the entire front of the car was blackened and I suspect that it wasn't drivable. That evening I got rid of the locking attaching pins and never used them again.

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If you do not use the tow bar pin locks, you do need to check the pins after every stop that you were away from the RV and dinghy.  You have some less than intelligent folks that like to pull the pins as they think it is funny.

I agree with Kirk in that you do want to be able to get the dinghy unhitch and back in an emergency.

Ken

 

Ken\\

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23 minutes ago, TXiceman said:

If you do not use the tow bar pin locks, you do need to check the pins after every stop that you were away from the RV and dinghy.

While I have never known first had of an incident of someone fooling with tow-bar pins, to me it only makes good sense to check everything there every time before you travel. In fact, I have made a practice of doing that with all towing equipment, trailers, tow-bars, etc., prior to starting travel every time since my father taught me to do that back on the farm when a boy. 

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No kidding?!?! People do that? WTF do they think is so funny about that?

I can't recall the exact name of the pin I used to attach the clevii to the toad. Black pin, red d-handles, the retaining pin attached by a lanyard. I'll make it a habit to do a walkaround each time before I leave.

I chose one off etrailer. InfiniteRule. Looks to be pretty resistant to prying or being snapped off, and I think it'd be difficult to pick.

Thanks all!

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12 minutes ago, Allentc2 said:

No kidding?!?! People do that?

Reports of that persist and have for some time, but I only know of antidotal stories of it. But I do that same thing every time that we stop and I did once discover that the retaining pin that keeps a tow-bar pin from backing out had somehow gone missing. I had no idea of how it was lost, but I used a makeshift pin to complete the days travel and have carried a spare ever since. I do that same thing now with our travel trailer. As a part of the walk-around, I also check the safety chains and the break-away switch cable.

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I lock my Tow Bar in the receiver and the cross bar to the Toad, the tow bar to toad connection I just use the Road Master supplied pins.  I am to lazy to take the removable parts off the toad when we are traveling and locking them on eases the worry of someone stealing the parts while I am a long way from home.  On local trips of a few hours from home, we don't bother with the locks, as one of us can drive the toad home, it is the over night trips I start to worry especially when we are sight seeing in the cites.

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I've never locked my tow-bar; for the reason Kirk assigned. I simply do a walk-around each time we prepare to drive again. When we traveled in 5ers I locked the pull-rod lock. I began locking the pull-rod latch after we saw a 5er dropped onto the truck bed rails at a rest area. I don't have a clue why it came unlocked from the 5er pin, but I did see where my pull-rod latch/lock had vibrated almost out of the locking groove in the pull-rod a few times. BTW, that latch/locking lever is the only thing that prevents the hitch from opening.

 

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We use Blue Ox locked pins on the hitch to the RV. We did use the same pins, keyed the same, for the toad. We did not learn about the forces of the pins on the knuckles working outwards - before we lost a 'lock' and a pin fell out. (No damage to the coach. Minor abrasions to the rubber part of the bumper to our CRV. One bent Stirling arm. (Replaced the full unit, as we did not have time to send in for a rebuild.). And very lucky in the minimal damage all up:)!)

We now know which way the force of the pins work while driving. And place the Solid base of the bins on the inside of the knuckles. And, we now use Circle Clips, vs locks.

We went wit the Circle Clips for two reasons: 1) No key required, and that might allow us time to disconnect the Toad if ever needed; 2) A good quality Circle Clip, seemed to be the most robust to us in staying power... 

A side note. I've watched many people who pull in to a fuel stop, rest stop, or go into eat say at a restaurant. Then leave, WITHOUT walking their rig, and or Toad connections... Since day one. Due to San Diego Trailer Supply (A very long 6-7 decade company here in San Diego.), telling us the importance of at each stop - inspect your rig, ALL OF IT! We've never had a problem with someone messing with the RV and or Toad connections to the RV. But, we do know that 'Stuff happen's!'. We could have a pin with a lost clip/lock, and find it. We could have a pin where someone deliberately played with it. We could have safety cables disconnected... YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!! And it takes lest then 60 seconds to do a quick 360 walk around visual inspection... 

Safety is not an accident, it is a habit.. 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Here are the type of 5/8"  locking pin I use for the toe bar to MH

locks

I suspect they can be supplied keyed alike if 2 are needed.. Mine are

The same company should supply keyed alike locks in 1/2" for the toe bar to toad.

Mine have performed flawlessly for about 5 years. Key goes into lock easy and the tumblers are always willing to cooperate.

 

Richard

Edited by rls7201

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When I first started out I got Blue Ox locking pins for the receiver hitch and tow bars. They had a plastic cover over the key hole to keep dirt out. The covers all came off and the holes got so dirty it was difficult to unlock the pin. I got rid of them and have used regular cotter pins for 7 years with no problem. I always check them every morning before hitting the road and at every fuel stop. 

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1 hour ago, Twotoes said:

got rid of them and have used regular cotter pins for 7 years with no problem.

I stopped locking the car to the coach after I watched a fellow stop with a pusher engine fire and lose his tow car too because he couldn't get the pins unlocked. By the time he found his keys it was too hot to use them. 

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