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Winterhoff Un-Coupling Problem


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Has anyone else with a Winterhoff 3000 experienced an issue in getting the device to let go of the tow ball?

 

Just got back from 5 days away and we used the wheel leveller wedges for the first time. Only on one side to take up around say 5 inches or so of slope. Pulled the unit onto the wedge and stuff me the coupling would not let go. It was beginning to lift the back of my car when winding down the jockey wheel. I started the whole process again and this time reversed it onto the wedge and that seemed to work however 5 days later the stupid thing would not re-couple even after a number of attempts so I moved the car forward and released the handbrake which allowed the van to move down and off the wedge, bingo, coupled up first time.

 

Any thoughts anyone other than the angle of dangle may have been wrong :o

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when I am un hitching my mrs sits in the car lets the hand brake off, then i wind the jockey wheel down and if its stuck lean on the back of the car and then it usually comes off. i do all this on level ground and then use the mover to position/level the van.

paul

Vw Passat V6 4 Motion
2009 Compass Corona Club 544

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as with alko its always worth pulling forward after revers to let presure off dont know about winter hooff but the same may be needed

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Not had this with the Winterhoff but used to happen quite often when levelling with my old al-ko hitch. I agree with hfturbo, asking someone to sit in the car and release the handbrake usually does the trick.

 

Mark.

Bailey Unicorn 3 Barcelona

Hyundai Santa Fe Premium 7 seater

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With the Winterhoff the handle needs to be lifted very high and pulled hard before it will release.

Edited by Jaydug

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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always had this problem with my last 2 winterhoff's and to be honest have never found a solution. I would say about half the times I want to unhook its stuck even ona 4 year old van so the pads in the hitch sould be worn by now and the paint on the ball worn off, which some say is the cause of the problem. If its stuck when i want to unhook I normally reverse the caravan with the mover this seems to loosen it. It also seems to unhook first time when the caravan and car are on the flat and they both are level. Or I just jump up and down a bit on the cars towbar that normally works as well and loosens it. .

dave:

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Thanks everyone. This problem has never happened before and I was wondering whether it was something to do with the angle of the unit in terms of its position on the ball. The car was clearly not level but the van was thanks to the wedges. It seemed as though the pads inside the coupling simply did not want to let go. It was released to its highest position which should release all of the coupling and friction plates. If it does it again then I will try the handbrake off technique or at least put a little bit of reverse on to see if it helps.

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With ours I make sure that the coupling is midway between compressed and extended, make sure that the handle is fully up, needs to lifted to the first position then pulled backwards and upwards to its fully up position.

 

I find that once the handle is fully up, rocking the coupling head from side to side with the handle as I wind the jockey up helps to free it from the ball.

 

Don't usually have problem then.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front - Discovery 4. Wheels at the back - Bessacarr 845.

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If there is any tension on the Winterhoff it needs to be reduced by moving the towing vehicle either backwards or forwards a little, the friction pads unlike Alko grip the front to rear axis of the towball.

Steve

2017 Dethleffs Globus I1 Motorhome.

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Thank you all for your replies. I now have a plan and will try it out in a couple of weeks. It looks as though it was a combination of tension on the coupling and the angle of dangle of the van and it was the latter that could have putting additional tension on the friction pads themselves :D

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Had same trouble numerous times,When you arrive on site if you release the stabiliser but leave the van hooked up by the time you have moved onto your pitch the friction pads will have released their grip and the van will come off easily. Since using this method never had a problem again

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I find both hand brakes off (if possible) and no compression on the bellows works.

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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  • 7 years later...

Hi all, Have just bought a 2007 Crussader and I am unable to unhitch ,same symptoms as over posts, however the only way to seperate car from caravan was to remove tow ball from car, ball is still locked into WS3000 hitch and still will not drop out, any ideas before my disc cutter comes out to play lol ?????????

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When the hitch is undone, it first moves to about 45 degrees quite easily but then the hitch handle has to be pulled back whilst also pulling it up to move it higher and then it should release the tow ball.

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Yes, the hitch handle has to be almost vertical in order to be able to unhitch. Sometimes it needs quite a tug to get it there.

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11 hours ago, Stewart Graham said:

 The ball is still locked into WS3000 hitch and still will not drop out,

The Winterhoff takes a bit of getting used to.   After lifting the handle, the handle then needs pulling backwards slightly, then lifting again.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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Reverse car slightly to ‘just’ depress the gaitor, lift and pull the handle at the same time and the coupling should unhitch.

Powrtouch AWD Movers. E & P Compact Levelling System.

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13 hours ago, Jaydug said:

 

The poster has already unbolted the towball from the car.;)

Yes i read that, this was to try to prevent having to do this for the sake of the OP or anyone else with a similar problem who may stumble across this post in due course.

Ironically it may be more difficult to remove the ball now it has been unbolted from the car - unless the hitch has broken inside of course but they are fairly robust, in my experience.

Powrtouch AWD Movers. E & P Compact Levelling System.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for these solutions.  I have had the same problem with my Winterhoff and after 2 hrs resorted to manually removing the towball from the car!  Only then was it possible to pull the handle into the upright position and the towball was released.  However now there is another problem.  The handle is now stuck in the upright position - it has somehow located  too far forward - and cannot be released at all - to relocate back to its original position.

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2 hours ago, Chandra Easton said:

Thanks for these solutions.  I have had the same problem with my Winterhoff and after 2 hrs resorted to manually removing the towball from the car!  Only then was it possible to pull the handle into the upright position and the towball was released.  However now there is another problem.  The handle is now stuck in the upright position - it has somehow located  too far forward - and cannot be released at all - to relocate back to its original position.

 

I had a Winterhoff for 11 years and did not experience this problem but it did operate in a completely different manner to my previous AL-KO which basically only swung up and down.

 

With the WS3000 hitch, once lifted upwards to what appears to be its full extent, it must be then pulled outwards away from its fulcrum to enable it to continue the final part of its lift in order to release its jaws from the ball, the handle then being not far from vertical.

 

It did need a really firm yank away from its fulcrum at times to enable the final part of the upward swing of the action to take place.

 

Mine would never release by pulling the handle up alone.

 

Also I found that the draw bar concertina always needed to be towards its mid point to allow easy release.

 

You may be already doing this of course and have a separate issue.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front - Discovery 4. Wheels at the back - Bessacarr 845.

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does this only happen with older caravans, what I'm thinking is what general maintenance  is required on the stabiliser. 

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No, my previous 2 caravans were purchased at 1-2 years old and both were ‘tricky’ to unhitch UNTIL i mastered the technique which was to ensure the concertina was slightly depressed (ie not fully out or fully in) and the handle pulled all the way up before it would release. Once mastered I never had a problem and no special servicing carried out on the hitch either.

Current van has the AL-KO hitch/stabiliser and have to say I preferred the Winterhoff.

Powrtouch AWD Movers. E & P Compact Levelling System.

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