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Subject Topic: Tow hitch rotating Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by sblyth16/10/2010 at 2:46pm
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  Fife Scotland
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HI,

I have, what seems to me, to be a very silly question. I have an old 1985 CI caravan which I bought second hand (or likely about 8th hand). I have used it on a number of occasions, but am increasingly worried about the hitch on the van. The tow hitch is free to rotate round, so that you can turn it upside down so the handle is on the bottom. When towing I put it on straight, but when we stop off it has rotated about 20 degrees on the tow ball and I'm worried it may not be too stable like that.

Can anyone give any advice? Is there a bolt missing, is this typical of old vans? I can't see the coupling as the plastic cover obscures it and can't be removed very easily.

 

Thanks
Scott


Message posted by LegsDownKettleOn16/10/2010 at 2:53pm
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The hitches on all older caravans were like that. You cannot fit an AlKo hitch to them, but it is quite normal. If memory serves me right they changed to the "fixed" type in the mid to late eighties.

The hitch you described sounds like it is a solid casting rather than the pressed steel ones used afterwards.

Message posted by sblyth16/10/2010 at 3:43pm
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Yes it does seem as you describe. Thanks for the reply, its given me great pease of mind as I'm going away in the van on Monday.


Message posted by LegsDownKettleOn16/10/2010 at 7:49pm
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One possible issue that could affect you is the size. Older hitches were 2" as opposed to 50mm. It's possible but unlikely your van has a 2" hitch. This will fit over a 50mm ball but will be loose and not lock on properly.

The good news is that almost all vans adopted the 50mm ball in the 1970s, but do check the that it securely locked on by dropping the jockey wheel and using it to take the weight off the car. You should always do this to ensure it is securely hitched any way. Hopefully someone will be along soon to confirm that CI changed to 50mm hitches long before 1985.

Indeed I am sure they would have done, but do remember in the 70s my father swapping towballs over because various trailers he had used different sized balls. The 2" ball does not have the flat on the top that the 50mm has, but not sure if their is an easy way to identify the hitches.

Message posted by chrisandwendy16/10/2010 at 8:02pm
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hi there

our second caravan a lunar used to do exactly the same and was nothing to worry about.

all the best!!!


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Message posted by timtheenchanter17/10/2010 at 9:56am
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I doubt it is a 2" ball, my 78 monza was a cast but 50mm ball, yes they rotate a bit, but if the locking is secure it wont come off (in fact I found it useful when hitching if the ball wasnt quite under the hich properly.

Message posted by LegsDownKettleOn17/10/2010 at 2:08pm
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I admit it would be very unlikely to be a 2". It's just that after my first post on the thread, I remembered my dad changing the towball when he changed trailers because one was a 2" and one was a 50mm. He used to curse every time because there was nothing wrong with a 2" towball, why couldn't they leave things alone.

I remember the 50mm ball could be identified by the flat on the top and bottom of the ball whereas the 2" was completely round. I don't remember such an easy way to identify the hitch though.

I also recall that you could force the wrong hitch onto the wrong ball but that they didn't lock on correctly.

However, I am going back to the mid/late 70s and the trailer and caravan we had were far from new even then. I would be confident that the OP has a 50mm hitch, but wanted to cover my own back in case I had incorrectly advised him that it was safe and was infact the wrong size. There is probably a size indicated on the casting somewhere.

Message posted by sblyth17/10/2010 at 7:29pm
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Thanks for the advice. I'm pretty sure its a 50mm hitch as I have used it on a 50mm tow ball many times and have put the jocky wheel down to test before I set off and it was tight on.

I've used this site many times to find recommended camp sites, I'm so glad there is this wealth of knowledge available too.

 

Many Thanks



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