: Trailer ball hitch won't release

05-24-2010, 07:14 AM
I have a brand new Wesco trailer that is only 2 months old and I am having a problem getting the hitch to release from the ball. The day I brought it home it seemed to work fine but since then has been a real problem. I've tried different ball heights and currently when hooked to my vehicle the trailer is level. The dealer said to loosen the hitch nut by half a turn which I did with no improvement. I have to jump on my bumper while my wife cranks to get it to release. I even tried a different ball. Any ideas?

Phil T
05-24-2010, 09:57 AM
Is it parked so that the trailer is pushing on the ball? That will bind the locking tab in the coupler. Try chocking the trailer wheels and letting the tow rig move forward to take the pressure off that tab.

Hot Runr Guy
05-24-2010, 10:13 AM
are both the ball and the coupler well greased?

05-24-2010, 12:08 PM
The locking tab is plenty loose and I have greased the heck out of it. It seems to me that the ball is getting hung up in the front of the hitch. From this pic you can see that it is shaped like a ball and what I think is happening is that it is getting stuck in the forward section. I was thinking of blocking the backs of my trailer wheels and backing up a bit to release it. A quick search on line found a bunch of people with the same problem that I have. Not sure why I'm having this issue on a new trailer.

05-24-2010, 02:30 PM
Hi. I have the same problem sometime and this is what i do. you have to relieve the pressure on the latch. chock the front of the trailer wheels and then pull the tow vehicle forward a hair. then with the wheeled heist on the front crank it up the trailer tongue. the pressure on the latch has to be released. I dont the wrong size ball would cause this problem.

05-24-2010, 05:06 PM
Most ball sizes change by only 1/8 of an inch. My guess is yours is wrong.

05-24-2010, 05:18 PM
Looking at your picture, the movable latch is dropped down, and your trailer should release from the ball if you don't have a load on it from parking on an incline. Is the movable latch in the lowered position when you are having the difficulty, or is it hanging up inside the coupler?

05-24-2010, 08:41 PM
Get some grease/WD40 on the cross pin that the lower latch jaw rotates on. Your coupler is new and it could also have too tite of tolerance or even burrs that does not let the jaw to rotate smoothly.

05-25-2010, 05:10 AM
did you turn too sharp and bend the part where the ball goes in ?
I did this once myself when I first got my Yukon, it turns much sharper than my Tahoe and the coupler where the ball goes in got bent a little. I had a heck of a time unhooking the trailer.

T Mac
05-25-2010, 03:26 PM
Many good responses.

How about .....Level?
If the hitch ball is higher...so that the trailer is sloping uphill when attached to the tow vehicle, they are hard, if not impossible, to uncouple.

05-25-2010, 04:16 PM
While my driveway is slightly uphill I have tried to unhitch it on the level road with no success. I will give it another try this weekend and report on any progress.

T Mac
05-25-2010, 04:36 PM
While my driveway is slightly uphill I have tried to unhitch it on the level road with no success. I will give it another try this weekend and report on any progress.

No... Not talking about the ground.
Is your hitch on your tow vehicle high...so that the trailer frame is higher off the ground at the coupler than at the back end of the trailer?

05-25-2010, 07:28 PM
Might also give the nut underneath another 1/2 turn or maybe its a 2" ball and should be a 1 7/8ths.

05-25-2010, 07:58 PM
It's a 2" ball and the hitch says 2" on it. (as mentioned earlier, I've tried two different 2" balls)

When I had it on the street I put a level on the trailer and it was just about perfectly level.

05-26-2010, 12:14 AM
Hi. if none of this has helped take it back to the dealer. this is supposed to be a fun venture!

Hot Runr Guy
05-26-2010, 05:27 AM
If all else fails, I would contact the coupler manufacturer (Fulton, Reese, Bulldog, etc). There may very well be a problem with the stamping, especially the forward section, where it wraps under the ball. There could be a burr or distorted area, maybe a little "polishing" with a Dremel tool could take care of it.
Since you mentioned having another ball, try inserting and clamping it in, and see if it sticks, without the tow vehicle in the equation.

05-26-2010, 05:33 AM
are you sure you didn't turn too sharp or in some other way bend the front of the coupler where the ball goes in ?

T Mac
05-26-2010, 10:27 AM
It's a 2" ball and the hitch says 2" on it. (as mentioned earlier, I've tried two different 2" balls)

When I had it on the street I put a level on the trailer and it was just about perfectly level.

Try some WD-40 ....or REM Oil
Spray it on the ball and all over under the coupler.

If that doesn't "get it"... install a new coupler.

06-05-2010, 08:46 AM
This is a simple issue.
First - take the adjusting nut on the hitch and loosen it about 5 or 6 turns.
Be sure that all elements of the hitch are well greased.

Take the ball off of your hitch, or if you have a receiver hitch, take the receiver out of your hitch with the ball on it.

Now, with just the ball in your hand, insert it into the hitch. Snap the hitch closed and check to see how tight the ball is on the hitch.
If you loosened the adjusting nut several turns, it will likely be quite loose.

Now, still leaving the ball out of the tow vehicle, continue to adjust the hitch so that the hitch just comes tight on the ball. You want to be able to feel just a slight amount of play between the hitch and the ball.
Again, continue to be sure that everything is well greased.

Finally, when the adjusting nut is just right, put the hitch next to your tow vehicle and align the receiver so that the receiver will be at the same height as the height of the tow vehicle. Now, open the hitch and remove the ball and reinsert it - while holding the receiver at the same angle as it would be if it were in the tow vehicle.

If you find that you are now getting a jam on the ball due to hitch angle, you need to adjust the height of your ball so that the trailer tongue can sit level and have it just rest fully on the ball. If you have a pickup you may need to drop the ball as much as 10 to 15 inches. The hitch on the trailer should not be angled up or down. It should sit level when the trailer tongue is off the jack stand.

Now that everything is properly adjusted, reinsert the receiver into your tow vehicle and put the hitch on and off a few times. I suspect that your problems will be gone.


06-05-2010, 08:48 AM
If you have a ball on your hitch that is not removable and if you don't have a receiver hitch, go to a store and pick up an inexpensive trailer hitch ball of the same size that is on your tow vehicle.
Use the spare to make all of your adjustments.

Easier to pick up a spare ball than to take the ball on and off a non removable hitch.

Much easier to make hitch adjustments with just the ball rather than fighting the weight of the loaded trailer.

Take care

06-06-2010, 09:00 AM
REW, it sounds like your theory should solve the problem...we won't know til TapOut responds, but getting a reply like that is what everyone with a problem is hoping for. If your suggestion works: You da man:cheers:

06-06-2010, 04:52 PM
I'll give it a try and let you know. Thanks for the input.