Review: Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin

By: Paul Tuzson, Photography by: Paul Tuzson


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The Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin alleviates the maddening sound of a clunking trailer under tow. But how does it rate?

Review: Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin
The Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin we reviewed was an early test model. More than three and a half years later, the quality of materials has improved, while the price has not increased.

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #282, May 2012.

Update 30/10/2015: The Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin reviewed here was, as noted, an early production model. The manufacturer tells us that the quality on several components has since been greatly improved. Note that, after more than three years, the price on the Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin has not increased

 

The Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin (ARHP) from local company BTA Towing Equipment fixes one of those problems that many of us are sadly too familiar with — that of a clunking slip-in trailer ball-mount moving around under load in the hitch receiver tube.

The folded U-plate on the Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin shown is a positioning device that holds a nut in alignment with the holes in the ball-mount and receiver tube. The kit comes pre-supplied with a handy spanner that also has a notch in the handle which engages with a slot in the U-plate for positioning the nut in longer ball-mounts. When installing an Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin I found it very easy to fit or remove.

 

Installing the Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin

The locking collar makes it difficult for thieves to steal your ball mount, but I noticed that the lock is exposed to a lot of water spray. Although the rubber sealing cap supplied proved effective at keeping water spray out of the lock, the end which mates with the pin isn’t sealed. Water can reach the interior of the locking collar through the clearance between the collar and the pin.

The collar I tested was an early production model so this feedback was passed on to the manufacturer. This is actually a fairly common occurrence when testing boats and products for — the products we test are often the first off the production line and subsequently may have characteristics that only become apparent in the field and outside of the lab. At the time of going to press, these findings had only just been passed on to BTA Towing Equipment, so we’ll keep you posted. As far as the product test was concerned, I feel that filling the collar with bearing grease before fitting it would fix the problem. The fitting instructions don’t mention this, because, well, there weren’t any fitting instructions (again, this was an early production unit — we’re told instructions will come standard). I didn’t find this to be a problem because the Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin is so simple to fit that instructions aren’t really needed.

I first tried fitting the ARHP to a Commodore wagon but it wasn’t long enough because of the reinforcing on the sides of the receiver tube. However, BTA warns of this on the company website. Also, the Commodore ball-mount had a guide tube positioned between the holes. The Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin can’t be fitted to ball-mounts with this feature.

Maximum thread size is governed by the size of the pin holes. However, the diameter of the un-threaded section of the pin has to be small enough to pass through the threads in the nut, which makes it thinner than a standard hitch pin. BTA overcomes this by supplying a tube that slips over the pin and effectively increases the diameter to that of a standard pin. This is perfectly acceptable engineering (Paul would know, being an engineer by trade — Ed). However, the fact that the thread extends all the way to the knurled flange is a bit less than ideal. It would be better if this stopped short of the flange by the combined wall thickness of both square tubes. That would remove any shear loading from the threaded section. It must also be said, however, that Class IV hitches are covered by standards which BTA products meet, so the ARHP will certainly tow the specified load safely. I’m just a bit over-sensitive to shear loads on threads.

 

The Trade-a-Boat verdict

Overall the ARHP works well and does what it’s supposed to do. I will say that the chrome plating seems a bit thin, though. After trying to fit it to the Commodore and then fitting it to the final vehicle twice, enough chrome had worn (not flaked) off to reveal the copper under it.

 

Anti-Rattle Hitch Pin price

I know it sounds like I’ve picked on it a bit here but don’t get me wrong, I like the product and I enjoy the silence. I also think it’s excellent value at $38.00.

Visit btatowingequipment.com.au for more information or call BTA on (03) 9752 2642 for more information.

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #282, May 2012. Why not subscribe today?

 


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