We at Couplemate™ often get asked whether tow bar rattle is normal. Unfortunately, it is a common issue that a lot of Australians experience while towing.
So, why do trailer hitches rattle? Hitch rattle happens when you have excess space between your tow bar and hitch (also known as a receiver). Most Australian tow bars have a box section around the 50mm mark, which is why our premium cast receivers have a 50.8mm shank. However, not all tow bars on the market are this size, meaning that there is a potential for excess space on the top, bottom, or sides surrounding your tow hitch.
With excess space comes vibration, which causes that infamous rattling noise we all know. Especially if you are towing with an empty trailer, the rattling can be more pronounced as there is little weight on your tow ball.
How Do You Fix Hitch Rattle?
Luckily, there are a few ways to reduce that annoying rattle coming from your tow bar.
Our experts have come up with a simple checklist:
- Measure the internal size of your tow bar. Make sure that the size of your receiver is close enough to the tow bar size.
- Check for signs of wear. If there is uneven wear or cracks, this may be contributing to the noise and may be time to replace your tow hitch.
- Install Anti-Rattle Hitch Shims. Often, rattle will just be caused by small little gaps that need to be filled. This is why the Couplemate™ Kit is customisable, meaning you can get the shims to sit exactly how you need it.
- Check hitch pin and R-Clip. Sometimes, rattle can come from the hitch pin that secures your receiver into your tow bar. Check to make sure there is no excess play, and replace if necessary.
Couplemate™ Engineers generally recommend steering away from Hitch Clamps, as the installation is difficult to do correctly and safely. Instead, customers chasing an anti-rattle tow hitch may have a better experience using our Stainless Anti-Rattle Shim Kit.
If you need to replace your hitch pin, we highly recommend going with a high-tensile pin if you’re towing 4500kg and over.
How to Install Anti-Rattle Hitch Shim?
Installing Couplemate™ tow bar shims takes less than 5 minutes and requires no special tools.
Again, most people only need to fill small, little gaps in between their tow bar and receiver hitch. This is why the Couplemate™ Kit is supplied with both 0.9mm and 0.05mm shims, meaning they can effectively and cheaply fill these little gaps.
Watch the quick video below to see how simple it really is.