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Bulldog Hitch: struggles ..>> Solved ‘Senior Moment’


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UPDATE: Senior Moment, I thought the spring rise was the unweighting of the coupling.

Just turned 70 and seems this was senior moment….. We are towing with Toyota Tacoma and there is significant settling of rear suspension due to tongue weight. I was confusing the lifting of the hitch ball with unweighting of the hitch ball. Totally different RIGHT. ……  I went out for a final look over and last try. It came to me in a flash. I let hitch continue to rise and VOILA !!!!  The helpful generosity of all responders will not be forgotten and I will pay it forward as I am able. Thanks again 



Both hitching and unhitching have been difficult. The hitching process needs the ball located slightly away from the swing gate opening else the gate will not shut and just that inconvenience makes me question why the bulldog coupler is desirable when the old standard couplers are more forgiving when hooking up . UNHITCHING has been the worst. Most often the trailer jack lifts the truck . My current thought is to carry a pry bar that will shift the ball off the shelf and towards the open gate just as the down force of coupler switches to upward lift.  ............. looked all over the web and cannot find any complaints so it is either this particular coupler or it is me. Seems like it’s probably me that is missing something ????  Don’t have a suitable pry with us now so the trailer will stay behind the truck till we get home. It has been challenging to unhook every time since pickup at factory and fortunately this is the last stop of this trip and we can manage w/o disconnecting.  Tempted to switch to same old coupler I have used for last 50 years, never a problem?

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'There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us,it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us'

> 2021 OTT EII , TAB Teardrop has good home after 10,000 miles of pleasant learning <

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When unhitching, chock the trailer tires, shift truck to neutral, release the brake while in neutral, press and hold the brake, shift to park, set parking brake while still pressing the brake pedal, then try raising the tongue off the ball. 

Are you putting grease on the ball?

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Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax


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The Bulldog hitch is a great hitch! Please don't take a pry bar to it🤯.
Something is amiss. It's a very simple, solid design. As soon as you lift the lever and the retaining collar slides back, the hitch should pop open releasing the ball.
So I would say what Mike and Carol said about the swing gate not opening fully is a good place to start. Is the spring in place that opens the spring gate when the collar is retracted? When open, is the back of the spring gate pressing against the inside of the retaining collar? The hinge is at the front of the hitch and the retaining collar is what limits how far the swing gate will open. If these are both yes, I'd call Bulldog and see what they say. I can't think of what else it may be other than a faulty hitch if the above questions are both positive. And yes, be sure to keep a light coat of grease on the hitch ball! Good luck. Mine has worked flawlessly for over 5 years.


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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107

1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Sometimes it's kind of tight, even when the lever is completely released, because of the positioning of the ball against the side of the hitch, or tight to the front.

Try what townesw said. If the jack still wants to "lift" the rear end of the truck, try sitting/bouncing  on the side of the bumper when it's lifted an inch or two (enough that it should have disengaged) to break it free. It doesn't take a lot. Paul can do it by pushing down on the lifted bumper. I have to bounce my body  weight on the bumper.

Yes, put a tiny bit of grease on the ball. 

Don't use a pry bar. 

This is the best hitch ever, imo, and might just be a learning curve thing since you're used to the old school hitch. The reason it "sticks"  occasionally is also the reason it's so bulletproof.

When hitching back up, check to see if the ball is not centered, but is actually resting against the side of the latch. It won't close if it is resting next to the latch. If it is, you need to  raise the jack, and reposition the truck so that the ball is centered in the actual hitch,  mostly to the non-nonlatch side, so you can close the lever. 

Btw, this is so obvious I hate to ask, but you are retracting the collar, right?

Reed Lukens did a nice video a few years back explaining (with video) the working concept of the bulldog. Maybe you (or someone else) will find it helpful. 


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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12



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I'm sure this is not the case, but just to be sure: the hitch size is the same size as the ball, right?  A 2 5/16" ball in a 2" hitch would be difficult to separate (if it fits at all...).

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2021 Oliver LE2
Ram 2500 diesel

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  • The title was changed to Bulldog Hitch: struggles ..>> Solved ‘Senior Moment’

I am glad you got it figured out, these Andersen hitches can indeed be kind of tricky, especially if you get get TV angled too far, but they are not impossible to use. Senior moments, part if the joy of growing old….😬

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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