I had a problem pin binding problem a while ago and wrote this;
Binding Hitch Pins
I have been towing four down for well over 100,000 miles with Towmaster tow bars and baseplates. After a lot of pin binding making unhooking a pain, I switched to their AllTerain series tow bars. The binding problem improved considerably, but there were still some times that the pins would bind and require a lot of work to disconnect.
The tow bar storage system on my Falcon II tow bar failed and caused me to drag the tow bar for several miles which ruined it. After researching the price of a new tow bar, I decided to get a Demco Commander tow bar to replace the Roadmaster Falcon II.
All went well, and I was impressed until unhooking the first time. What a pain! After finally getting unhooked, I re-read the owner’s manual several times. I was doing what the manual specified, but binding was very bad.
I only had several hundred miles and maybe 10 times to connect and disconnect. Each time was a hassle. Time to call Demco! The customer service person was very kind, but just read me what was in the manual. After my third call to customer service, they referred me to an engineer. He tried to explain the engineering concept of the tow bar. Well, in an earlier life, I also was an engineer and understand the engineering concept of the Demco unlocking system – that’s why I bought it. He was no help and after he said, “well, the design is what it is”, I hung up and called again and asked to speak to the President of Demco. I was surprised that the operator actually did transfer the call. I didn’t actually get transferred to the President, but to Mr. Kevin Ten Haken, Executive VP.
We exchanged several phone calls and finally he offered to send someone to me and my motorhome to try to get the issue fixed. I agreed to his proposal and in due time Mr. Jerry Childers arrived at my motorhome. We spent almost three hours discussing and analyzing the problem. Mr. Childers suggested several procedures to prevent the binding problem. Then we concluded with a road test to determine, to my satisfaction, that the procedures he suggested would remove the problem. The road test included several 90 degree turns and a stop for fuel.
I am happy to report that when we finally unhooked the toad, there was absolutely no binging problem. We unhooked in exactly the same place with exactly the same conditions where severe binding problems had occurred before. I am very much impressed with the way Demco handled and solved this problem. I can highly recommend them.
I think the binding problem isn’t just a Demco problem, but can become an issue with any system unless the procedures directed by Mr. Childers are followed. Demco and most other tow bar manufacturers have systems that unlock the tow bar for unhooking, and these procedures apply to those kinds of systems only.
The reason the pin binds is that there is pressure on the pin and clevis. The unlocking mechanism can remove that pressure if that pressure is trying to push the toad toward the MH. It can’t remove that pressure if it is trying to pull the toad backwards from the MH. In rare cases there will be no pressure on the tow bars and no problems will occur.
Here are the steps to make it all work easy from Mr. Childers.
1. Apply the parking brake to the Motor Home. If it has a park position for the transmission, put the transmission in park. Always apply the parking brake first.
2. With the toad brakes petal depressed, put the toad transmission in drive and then creep forward until the toad stops because of the resistance it receives because it can’t move the tow bar any further – a snug fit --, and has taken up all the slack in both tow bar and hitch mounting hardware. Getting rid of the slack is essential. If you watch this step while someone else does the driving, you can see just how much slack there is – more than you would suspect.
3. With the transmission still in drive, depress the toad brake pedal. Do not let the toad drift backwards.
4. Engage the toad emergency/parking brake fully. Do not let the toad drift backwards.
5. Only after the toad emergency brake is engaged, put the toad transmission in park. If the toad drifts backward, you’ve done something wrong! Shut the toad engine off. If you put the transmission in park first and take your foot off the toad brake pedal, you can see the toad jump backwards. That keeps the tension on the tow bar – not what you want.
6. Go to the tow bar and operate its unlock mechanism on both bars. Unlock the one with the most tension first if that can be determined. The tow bar with the most tension should jump a little toward the collapsed position and all tension should be gone from its clevis and pin. You can now remove that pin and shorten the tow bar.
7. In most cases, the other tow bar will have no tension now and the pin can be removed and the tow bar stored.
8. If the second tow bar does still have tension. Repeat the steps from 2 above for this bar, but is unlikely to be necessary.
Demco has helped me with my pin binding problem, and I hope this helps you.
2007 Newmar Kountry Star DP
Cummins ISL, Cummins E-Brake