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View Full Version : Having A Hard Time Reaching Your Hitch Locking Pin?



BigGuy82
01-18-2017, 02:26 PM
I'm 6' tall and can't reach this locking pin on my hitch without a ladder. The ladder is OK, but I have to lean into the bed and I've had some close calls with slipping off of it in lousy weather. The solution? The Powerbuilt Tire Step.

49363

It slips over the tire and provides a solid, non-slip step. Adjsutable step height. It folds and stores in the bed easily and compactly. $39 at eTrailer - http://www.etrailer.com/Truck_Bed_Accessories/Powerbuilt/ALL647596.html

Shortest Straw
01-18-2017, 03:07 PM
The better half got me a HitchMate for Christmas last year and I love it.

https://www.amazon.com/Heininger-4040-HitchMate-TireStep/dp/B0002Z9KE0

She got the idea from our HOC chapter leader.

Oregon_Camper
01-18-2017, 03:09 PM
I went with a permanently mounted step. All you have to do is pull it down with front of your shoe and when done, just push it back up out of the way. (image is from their web site...not my truck)

49364

BigGuy82
01-18-2017, 03:23 PM
I went with a permanently mounted step. All you have to do is pull it down with front of your shoe and when done, just push it back up out of the way. (image is from their web site...not my truck)

49364

I looked at that and the step is excellent. The price, not so much plus I live in salt heaven - I didn't want a metal appendage that would just rust. The best solution I've seen yet is on the new 2017 Ford Super Cuty trucks - the running boards go all the way to the rear wheel (optional).

Oregon_Camper
01-18-2017, 03:43 PM
No salt in Oregon.... Just a LOT of rain. :)

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Shortest Straw
01-18-2017, 03:47 PM
I looked at that and the step is excellent. The price, not so much plus I live in salt heaven - I didn't want a metal appendage that would just rust. The best solution I've seen yet is on the new 2017 Ford Super Cuty trucks - the running boards go all the way to the rear wheel (optional).


You are right those steps are pretty nice but they are not usable when you need to do motor stuff.

sengli
01-18-2017, 04:24 PM
The ladder that slips over the tire is what I bought last year too. Its great to not only get to the stuff in the bed of the truck. But I can clean my windshield now without a ladder. Plus when I wash the truck, I use it to again get to the hood, and windshield to wash.

JohnDar
01-18-2017, 04:53 PM
No need to mount/dismount/store anything with the nerf bars I replaced the stock step rails with. The StepDaddy ladder on the tailgate makes getting into the bed (sans trailer) much less painful than smacking your shin on the edge of it.

BigGuy82
01-18-2017, 04:56 PM
No need to mount/dismount/store anything with the nerf bars I replaced the stock step rails with. The StepDaddy ladder on the tailgate makes getting into the bed (sans trailer) much less painful than smacking your shin on the edge of it.

Those of us with Ford Super Duties have a built in step and handrail (optional):cool:

Oregon_Camper
01-18-2017, 05:45 PM
No need to mount/dismount/store anything with the nerf bars I replaced the stock step rails with. The StepDaddy ladder on the tailgate makes getting into the bed (sans trailer) much less painful than smacking your shin on the edge of it.


That step is a nice way into the truck bed for sure. I have the integreated step from Ford....which I think is a great solution.

Now...you guys remember the jab Chevy took at Ford when Ford came out with this step. Kinda funny...but I think Ford wins in the long run, as having that step is nice on these old knees. :)

Here is a link to the video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK5TfBelfFg

BusManRG
01-18-2017, 07:08 PM
I'm 6' tall and can't reach this locking pin on my hitch without a ladder. The ladder is OK, but I have to lean into the bed and I've had some close calls with slipping off of it in lousy weather. The solution? The Powerbuilt Tire Step.

49363

It slips over the tire and provides a solid, non-slip step. Adjsutable step height. It folds and stores in the bed easily and compactly. $39 at eTrailer - http://www.etrailer.com/Truck_Bed_Accessories/Powerbuilt/ALL647596.html I bought one for Rich and now he wouldn't be without it. I got ours at Pep Boys. It was about the same price and definitely less than what I found on Amazon, which is unusual.

Sandy

Lynn1130
01-18-2017, 07:42 PM
I went to an Anderson Ultimate hitch and don't have to get to the ball at all.

BigGuy82
01-18-2017, 07:53 PM
I went to an Anderson Ultimate hitch and don't have to get to the ball at all.

BUT, you need safety chains, teflon tape to compensate for some sort of .020 gap and you risk your Heartland warranty. How do you hook up those chains without reaching into the bed?

All a matter of preferences ...

TravelTiger
01-18-2017, 11:19 PM
No need to mount/dismount/store anything with the nerf bars I replaced the stock step rails with. The StepDaddy ladder on the tailgate makes getting into the bed (sans trailer) much less painful than smacking your shin on the edge of it.

We have the running boards that go to the kickout like John's. I'm the one reaching in to pin the B&W. the handle's not the problem, it's getting to that pin on the chain! I'm a tall gal at 5'8" and I need about 2 more inches in reach...... but I love our hitch and our running boards!!


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Kbvols
01-18-2017, 11:35 PM
49371

Here is what I use 5 or 6 bucks at Wally World. Works great! And is inexpensive.


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Lynn1130
01-19-2017, 10:08 AM
BUT, you need safety chains, teflon tape to compensate for some sort of .020 gap and you risk your Heartland warranty. How do you hook up those chains without reaching into the bed?

All a matter of preferences ...

I am out of warranty. I have chains and either reach from the rear or hook them to the hitch prior to hooking up and then fasten to the pinbox. What .020 gap?

BigGuy82
01-19-2017, 10:46 AM
I am out of warranty. I have chains and either reach from the rear or hook them to the hitch prior to hooking up and then fasten to the pinbox. What .020 gap?

I was reading a recent thread about the merits of the Anderson because I'll be upgrading my RV to a toy hauler in 6 mo. or so and wanted to consider all the options. Here's the post from a recent Anderson related thread:


Originally Posted by Garypowell
To 212pilot.

Can you share how they told you to shim the ball for a better fit?

The folks at Anderson recommended using teflon tape or similar to shim the ball here it fits into the hitch. I used aluminum duct sealing tape because I had some on hand. One wrap was enough to take up the slack which was about .0020".


A tape shim (or any kind of shim) on a device pulling a 15K trailer? OK - just not my choice.

I did do more research outside of this forum on the merits of ball hitches on fivers vs. using a traditional fifth wheel hitch. Regarding ride quality, it would be hard to beat the ride I get with a Flex Air pinbox and Air Lifts. The connection with the traditional fiver hitch, I believe, is stronger (which may not matter much if you don't have an accident). This connection type is used on semi's is because it is stronger - if a ball design was more robust, the industry would have adopted it. In particular, the locking mechanism that holds the trailer to the ball is not as robust as the jaw locking mechanism on a standard hitch, so it doesn't resist abnormal vertical movement well. This is probably also the reason that most (all?) states require safety chains with any type of ball hitch - because under certain circumstances it is more likely to disconnect.

I'm aware of the advantages of the Anderson - lightweight, easier hookup, ability to hook up off axis, smooth ride, less expensive (at least less than a standard fiver hitch with a custom pinbox). Just not my cup of tea for the reasons mentioned above AND because I'm still in warranty.

Doublegranch
01-19-2017, 10:59 AM
I just spoke to Archie at the Anderson plant and the teflon tape is only to be used on the taper end of the goose ball "Never on the Head"....The taper end fits into the Anderson frame and may have a slight wiggle, there has never been a problem with this, but if you want to stop the wiggle or any noise, then teflon tape is placed on the taper end and slide into the frame and pinned.

Hope this helps clarify where to use the tape and again it is NEVER ON THE BALL HEAD...

Lynn1130
01-19-2017, 11:23 AM
That's funny because I just got off the phone with "Tiger" at Anderson and he had never heard of using tape on anything and said that that was nothing that they would recommend for ball fitting. He said that if the ball did not fit correctly they need it back to correct it.

And just as an after thought. Over all of the years of working accidents I don't recall a ball hitched trailer coming off of the ball. They usually flipped the tow vehicle when they went over.

Doublegranch
01-19-2017, 11:27 AM
Archie is the guy in charge of the plant and production....perhaps the other guy is in sales or???

Archie said they have tight tolerances and test everything before they are sent out but with aluminum it can swell when heated up and hence a little play will come into consideration when manufacturing the parts.
Again, he said it has never been an issue....not sure how you would know if you have wiggle except when the rig is not hooked up....going down the road it is so minute, how would you know???

Lynn1130
01-19-2017, 11:36 AM
Don't know but when they asked where I was they transferred me to Tiger with my question.

They other issue that I have always had with climbing over or leaning over the side of the truck is possible damage to paint and metal on the truck. I am more than a little fussy about the looks of my truck and the paint damage and small dents I have seen where people lean in to release the pin always caused me to throw something over the quarter panel to try to avoid that. I don't worry about that now. I am sure that is not always the case but I don't want a "ranch" truck at this stage in my life.

BigGuy82
01-19-2017, 11:41 AM
That's funny because I just got off the phone with "Tiger" at Anderson and he had never heard of using tape on anything and said that that was nothing that they would recommend for ball fitting. He said that if the ball did not fit correctly they need it back to correct it.

And just as an after thought. Over all of the years of working accidents I don't recall a ball hitched trailer coming off of the ball. They usually flipped the tow vehicle when they went over.

I'm not disputing your statement one way or the other. However, why are safety chains required for all ball hitches (including fivers) and not for traditional fiver hitches?

Alan_B
01-19-2017, 04:47 PM
... The best solution I've seen yet is on the new 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks - the running boards go all the way to the rear wheel (optional).

True dat

wdk450
01-20-2017, 09:31 AM
The better half got me a HitchMate for Christmas last year and I love it.

https://www.amazon.com/Heininger-4040-HitchMate-TireStep/dp/B0002Z9KE0

She got the idea from our HOC chapter leader.

I keep a collapsable windshield squeegee/scrubber in my truck toolbox. I use this turned sideways (rubber blade vertical) to position the trailer emergency brake lanyard loop, and hammer down the drawbar locking clip onto the hitch drawbar. I do the reverse when unhitching.

HornedToad
01-20-2017, 11:51 AM
They other issue that I have always had with climbing over or leaning over the side of the truck...

I don't know how many times I've walked into the office, after dropping the trailer off at storage on the way to work Monday morning, with road grime all over my slacks and shirt!!!

Oregon_Camper
01-20-2017, 03:28 PM
I don't know how many times I've walked into the office, after dropping the trailer off at storage on the way to work Monday morning, with road grime all over my slacks and shirt!!!


You need to keep one of these in your truck... :)

49395

Jv75353
01-20-2017, 07:58 PM
I can reach the hitch locking pin with no problem since I'm 6' 5" tall. The problems that I have are that I have duck to go through the patio door to our garage and my feet hang off the bed. Lol!

BigGuy82
01-20-2017, 08:19 PM
You need to keep one of these in your truck... :)

49395

Yeah, but then you would look silly ...

HornedToad
01-21-2017, 10:35 AM
Yeah, but then you would look silly ...

I'm good at that...


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nfa1eab
01-21-2017, 10:41 AM
49404
Just keep a simple step stool in back of truck.

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Rollin_Free
01-21-2017, 11:14 AM
I'm good at that...


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X2 - I'm well past the fashion conscious stage. Give me something that works and I'll use it.

TravelTiger
01-21-2017, 11:27 AM
Maybe we need a quick little apron to throw on when accessing the hitch. [emoji23]


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roger80465
01-21-2017, 11:43 AM
Maybe we need a quick little apron to throw on when accessing the hitch. [emoji23]


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Great minds think alike! I was just going to suggest that.

Roger

A newbie waiting for the arrival of my Bighorn

Rollin_Free
01-21-2017, 11:45 AM
Maybe we need a quick little apron to throw on when accessing the hitch. [emoji23]


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Whatever works best for you. Doesn't matter what it looks like just that it works.

IronJ
01-21-2017, 01:31 PM
I keep a towel in my bakbox just for that...had to have my paint guy fix a nice scratch my belt buckle put in once too many times...

As for the step i have the amp ones...pricy yes...and they are aluminum so corrosion isnt an issue....

Sometimes i have to use the amp step to climb up the tires to reach in the back...lol...

Life of a lifted dually....

sent from space via an invisible beam from a flying metal dish

BigGuy82
01-21-2017, 01:40 PM
I keep a towel in my bakbox just for that...had to have my paint guy fix a nice scratch my belt buckle put in once too many times...

As for the step i have the amp ones...pricy yes...and they are aluminum so corrosion isnt an issue....

Sometimes i have to use the amp step to climb up the tires to reach in the back...lol...

Life of a lifted dually....

sent from space via an invisible beam from a flying metal dish

Don't need no special clothes, don't need no towel, don't need to rub my belt buckle on the truck, don't need to worry about slipping off a narrow ladder step. Just put my non-slip step on the tire, reach over without touching the side of the truck, insert the lock (I don't use the PITA pin that is very difficult to unlatch) and I'm on my way. No muss, no fuss, no carrying coveralls, no dressing up AND, if I am of a mind to clean the windshield, I just hang the same step on my front tire. Never a need to cover my tuxedo with anything.:cool:

49411

IronJ
01-21-2017, 01:45 PM
Heck even with that step i doubt my short arms could reach the latch....my old girl has them wiiiiiiide hips......id for sure be laying out like a beach model across the dually fender!! Hahahaj

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Rollin_Free
01-21-2017, 02:07 PM
Heck even with that step i doubt my short arms could reach the latch....my old girl has them wiiiiiiide hips......id for sure be laying out like a beach model across the dually fender!! Hahahaj

sent from space via an invisible beam from a flying metal dish

While I have no issue picturing a dually I'm having a hard time with that beach model picture!! 😁

BigGuy82
01-21-2017, 02:12 PM
Heck even with that step i doubt my short arms could reach the latch....my old girl has them wiiiiiiide hips......id for sure be laying out like a beach model across the dually fender!! Hahahaj

sent from space via an invisible beam from a flying metal dish

Of course, if you want a 100% guarantee of keeping clean, you could send the better half back to do it ...

Rollin_Free
01-21-2017, 06:16 PM
Of course, if you want a 100% guarantee of keeping clean, you could send the better half back to do it ...

🍻 I think I need some popcorn.

TravelTiger
01-21-2017, 10:04 PM
Of course, if you want a 100% guarantee of keeping clean, you could send the better half back to do it ...

I resemble that remark! I'd rather mess with this than the stinky slinky!!! [emoji51]

Erika


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Nuclearcowboy
01-22-2017, 08:43 AM
Don't need no special clothes, don't need no towel, don't need to rub my belt buckle on the truck, don't need to worry about slipping off a narrow ladder step. Just put my non-slip step on the tire, reach over without touching the side of the truck, insert the lock (I don't use the PITA pin that is very difficult to unlatch) and I'm on my way. No muss, no fuss, no carrying coveralls, no dressing up AND, if I am of a mind to clean the windshield, I just hang the same step on my front tire. Never a need to cover my tuxedo with anything.:cool:

49411
i ordered one of these from Amazon this week - $29 - can't wait to see how it works for me!

wdk450
01-22-2017, 09:57 AM
Don't need no special clothes, don't need no towel, don't need to rub my belt buckle on the truck, don't need to worry about slipping off a narrow ladder step. Just put my non-slip step on the tire, reach over without touching the side of the truck, insert the lock (I don't use the PITA pin that is very difficult to unlatch) and I'm on my way. No muss, no fuss, no carrying coveralls, no dressing up AND, if I am of a mind to clean the windshield, I just hang the same step on my front tire. Never a need to cover my tuxedo with anything.:cool:

49411

Does this work with dually tires and the wide fenders in back???

BigGuy82
01-22-2017, 10:01 AM
Does this work with dually tires and the wide fenders in back???


Absolutely - that's why I got it. Just hang it on the outside tire and hop on. You can also adjust the step height.

I have an F350 dually with the step taigate but I used to carry a small stepladder for doing the hitch locking pin. That's gone and I can easily store this thing when it's folded - I stick it between my behind cab toolbox and the side wall.

JWalker
01-22-2017, 12:39 PM
It doesn't look like it would fit on the front dually tires. Might hit the protruding rim sticking out.

TravelTiger
01-22-2017, 01:30 PM
Nander, Dave and Nancy, have one and showed it off on their ford dually.


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BigGuy82
01-22-2017, 01:44 PM
You are right those steps are pretty nice but they are not usable when you need to do motor stuff.


Why? I use mine to check fluids

BigGuy82
01-22-2017, 01:58 PM
It doesn't look like it would fit on the front dually tires. Might hit the protruding rim sticking out.

Don't know why the rear wheel picture keeps coming up sideways because it has the same orientation as the front wheel picture.

Anyway, as you can see and as mentioned previously, it clears the front wheel on my F350 with no problem. However, if your brand of truck has a hub cover that sticks out further, just raise the step one notch (you can see the holes). If you need more "reach" to get under the hood, just raise the step - it's easily adjustable

Bottom line here is simple: in my book, this thing rates right up there with canned beer and sliced bread. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it - it is inexpensive, light weight, safe, well built, strong, universal, easy to use and easy to store. For 30 bucks, I recommend trying one - what have you got to lose? Don't like it? Return it.


49425 49426

HornedToad
01-22-2017, 02:50 PM
One more question please... when it's folded will it fit behind the rear seat???

I don't have a tool box and cannot have anything rattling around in the bed.


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BigGuy82
01-22-2017, 03:10 PM
One more question please... when it's folded will it fit behind the rear seat???

I don't have a tool box and cannot have anything rattling around in the bed.


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Nope. However, you might be able to bungee it if you can find a couple of hook points. Alternatively, you could put it in the basement or the generator compartment in your fiver. I fact, this might be a better idea - easy access and out of the weather. It is very well painted steel (the step and supporting bars look like they are chromed or somehow protected), but steel nevertheless. It may rust if you leave it in the open bed long enough.

PS: in previous pictures, please note how wide and solid the step is. Much safer than light weight ladders and plastic stools.

jassson007
01-23-2017, 09:59 PM
Nander, Dave and Nancy, have one and showed it off on their ford dually.


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We have one too. Got idea from Dave at last goshen rally. Love ours


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IronJ
02-19-2017, 01:50 PM
While I have no issue picturing a dually I'm having a hard time with that beach model picture!! 😁
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170219/f2cc37f6dcbeacce91dd9bfd3b606444.jpg

Come on now!!...lol

(Thats not me btw)...lol

sent from space via an invisible beam from a flying metal dish