First, for the Class A RV folks out there—how’s this for a toad?
OK, just kidding. Looks like somebody has a new pipe bender and too much time on their hands!
Best New Trailer Hitch & Ball Round-up
Having hauled a fifth wheel for the past 8+ years, I was happy to see the folks from Pullrite at SEMA 2015. I love my 3300 Superglide! But as far as RV accessories go, it was these trailer hitches and related products that grabbed my attention.
Curt Gooseneck Ball
I’ve hitched up a few gooseneck trailers while workamping at Vickers Ranch, and honestly it’s always been a pain. I may just be used to hitching up our fifth wheel, but on more than one occasion somebody was crawling under a truck to release some pin or various methods of persuasion were used to pull the ball out.
I first noticed this quick release gooseneck ball from Curt Manufacturing in the New Products Showcase after picking up the free SEMA press passes I scored us. When we finally found the Curt booth, all the reps seemed too busy talking to each other to give us a demo. But I quickly discovered how easy this ball is to remove from the truck bed: flip up the tab, turn 90º and lift out the ball.
Apparently this CURT Gooseneck Ball and Safety Chain Kit fits newer model Ford and Ram pickup trucks with OEM gooseneck hitches.
Weigh Safe Drop Hitch
Another RV and towing related product that caught my eye on the show floor was the Weigh Safe Drop Hitch with integrated tongue weight scale. The Weigh Safe is the first and only hitch with a built-in scale to measure tongue weight to ensure safe towing. This brilliant design from Leap Innovations earned them a SEMA New Products Award in 2014.
Common towing guidelines suggest that for safety and proper handling, your trailer’s tongue weight should be no less than 10 percent of gross trailer weight (GTW) but no more than 15 percent. What better way to monitor that weight in your bumper-pull trailer than with a scale built right into the hitch?
Convert-A-Ball Hitch System
Another ingenious new product we found for RVers—and anyone who tows different trailers—is the Convert-A-Ball Hitch System. These interchangeable trailer hitch kits come with a 3/4″ or 1″ shank and three sizes of balls. Integrated locking pins secure the balls on to the shaft, so switching out your hitch takes only seconds.
Got a travel trailer, small boat and utility trailer that all require a different size ball? Now you can connect them all with the same hitch! Just swap out your balls. the Convert-A-Ball rep we spoke to suggests keeping the shank and balls clean and well maintained. The company offers storage accessories to do just that.
Favorite quote from the SEMA Show:
You gotta lubricate your balls and keep your shaft covered.
Trailer Valet Tongue Jack Dolly
Traveling alone? Here’s a handy tool to help you easily park your trailer in small sites! Use the Trailer Valet Tongue Jack Dolly to easily maneuver any small trailer. Hitching and unhitching your RV, boat or utility trailer by yourself is a cinch with this dolly.
Need to stow the trailer in in a garage or other tight spot? No problem! The automatic cranking system on the Trailer Valet XL allows you to attach an 18v cordless drill to power the dolly for even easier maneuvering.
Bonus Find: Titan Trailer Brake Conversion Kit
Ever since first reading about it in Escapees magazine, I’ve been thinking about doing a hydraulic over electric trailer brake conversion. Then I talked to the guys from Titan International at SEMA. It makes perfect sense to use their BrakeRite system, rather than piecing together components from various vendors.
I definitely intend to investigate this more thoroughly. If you have any thoughts about trailer brake conversion or any of these products, please leave a comment!
And just for fun…
As far as toads go, the Motoped we discovered at SEMA is much more our style!