Skipper and I have been towing boat trailers for several decades, and almost all the vehicles we’ve used to get to the water were equipped with 2″ frame-mounted receiver hitches and drawbars.
Whether the trailer is being towed loaded or unloaded, a drawbar can knock and rattle inside the receiver, which not only makes a lot of annoying noise while driving but also causes wear on both the receiver and drawbar. This is especially true with light boats, light trailers, and light tongue weights where the drawbar isn’t consistently pressed tight in the receiver. The dents and scratches caused by the movement of the drawbar can lead to corrosion and a reduction in the integrity of the hitch system.
We recently found a device that reduces that wear and eliminates the noise, the Silent Hitch Pin by Let’s Go Aero. It installs easily in minutes. The hitch pin has a heavy-duty steel block with a threaded hole and an attached spring. When inserted into the receiver, the spring is compressed and holds the block in place once it is aligned with the holes in the sides of the receiver. A 5⁄8″ partially threaded steel pin with heavy-duty flat washer and lock washer is inserted through the holes and, with its threads engaged, pulls the steel block and the drawbar snug against the inside of the receiver tube. The pin’s hex head is tightened with a 5⁄8″ wrench (not provided) to 30 foot-pounds, which prevents the drawbar from moving or vibrating inside the receiver. The washers allow the pin to be tightened without scratching the side of the receiver. A steel 5⁄8″ sleeve, inserted through the other side of the receiver and the spring inside it, captures the pin, reinforces it, and reduces its potential for movement.
To finish things off, a 90-degree swivel lock snaps on without requiring its key, easing installation. The lock adds extra security for the hitch, the trailer, or any other racks that are receiver mounted, like our canoe loader. The lock has a nylon cover and weather-resistant dust cap. We recommend a squirt of dry lubricant for the lock and threaded block to limit corrosion. Drawbars should be removed when not towing to limit corrosion inside the receiver and eliminate the whacking of shins.
The Silent Hitch Pin is rated for Class IV towing—up to 12,000 lbs gross trailer weight (GTW) and 1,200 lbs tongue weight. While this is overkill for the Class III receivers on our two tow vehicles, which are rated for 3,500 lbs GTW and 350 lbs tongue weight, the pin offers additional peace of mind when a trailer is rattled by railroad crossings or hammered by potholes. We also tow with a higher-rated drawbar and hitch ball, but always keep the gross trailer weight well below our receiver’s limit. Safe, secure, and quiet—that’s how we like our towing.
Audrey (Skipper) and Kent Lewis have trailered the nation from California to Virginia, and from the Gulf of Mexico to Niagara Falls since 1969. The current number of trailers for Skipper’s armada is six, with one being a multi-role utility trailer.
The 5⁄8″ Press-On Locking Anti-Rattle Silent Hitch Pin for 2″ Hitches is available from Let’s Go Aero for $43.19. Multiple pins will be common-keyed when ordered through Let’s Go Aero, unless requested otherwise. Two keys are provided. Pins are also available for 1.2″, 2.5″, and 3″ receivers.
Is there a product that might be useful for boatbuilding, cruising, or shore-side camping that you’d like us to review? Please email your suggestions.