Easier hookups with the DuraSafe Coupler Connect
Total Score: 8.25 -
you’re ready to grab the boat and go fishing and depending on how your boat
trailer is situated it can be as easy as rolling it to your truck hitch or as
painful as doing the back and forth dance to perfectly back your hitch up to
your trailer for a proper hookup. For the second scenario DuraSafe has created
a product called the “Coupler Connect” which is designed to make both trailer
hookups and tows easier and more secure.
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Made in the
The Coupler Connect Plus Protect comes in a
I first saw the Coupler Connect at ICAST just three months ago and remarked that
I thought the solution was rather ingenious. My boat used to reside in my garage
but two years ago it sadly had to go outside to make room. The only problem was
that my homemade launch holds the boat at an angle which doesn’t allow me to
wheel the boat to my trailer hitch. Instead I have to perfectly align the hitch
directly below the receiver each and every time.
Inside you will find three main components
Without a back up camera I do this mostly by “feel,” and while I have actually
got it pretty much down I have on previous occasions backed the receiver both
into the hitch arm and my bumper, especially when hooking up before sunrise and
I am one coffee cup short of being fully awake.
My current hitch, see the damage to the label,
that's where I have backed right into my trailer tongue
What the Coupler Connect essentially consists of is a bracket mounted under your
hitch ball that holds a steel “V” shaped plate that is designed to help guide
your trailer tongue and receiver directly over the hitch ball when backing up
your tow vehicle. What we describe as the "V-bracket" is called the
"Coupler Connect" by DuraSafe and acts as a shield protecting your bumper from accidental
impacts with the trailer tongue.
The main bracket and "hold down"
The Coupler Connect comes in two versions, the standard which features a two
piece construction of the mounting bracket and guide plate and the Coupler
Connect Plus which also includes a separate hold down device that not only
prevents the coupler from accidently popping off the tow ball during travel but
can also be locked with a padlock to secure the trailer to the tow vehicle.
The first thing to do during installation is line
up the bracket
Real World Test:
To test the Coupler Connect Plus we went through the installation process as
well as hookups and tows just like we normally would have done. This particular
test only encompassed a two month period so while we can report on functionality
we cannot comment on long term durability just yet. We utilized the Coupler
Connect Plus on two trucks and two different trailers to get a better sample of
just how the accessory performed with different setups.
The Coupler Connect works with 1" diameter ball
We kicked things off with the installation process and because I wanted to
evaluate the hitching process side by side with my current traditional hitch I
set the Coupler Connect up on a new second hitch. The bracket is designed to
accommodate standard 1” diameter ball shank. The first thing you do is position
the bracket on the empty hitch and you will notice that there is room to install
the bracket closer or further away from your bumper, this allows you to position
the bracket to match the depth of your receiver. The entire installation process
took less than five minutes and was both quick and easy, just make sure that
bolt underneath the hitch is suitably tightened.
Tighten the bolt to secure the system
When I first installed the
bracket I positioned it right in the center of the receiver hitch and found that
my particular trailer tongue required me to unscrew the bolt and reposition the
bracket further away from the bumper so that contact with the plate meant I was
directly over the hitch. Backing up my trailer I did feel like I had a little
more confidence to properly position the distance without worrying about putting
a new dent in my bumper.
Insert the V-Bracket and your ready to back up
difference in trailer tongues though minute will have an effect on alignment,
for example Cal has a different make of trailer for his Skeeter and this
required a slightly different alignment, but still the Coupler Connect did make
it quicker for hookups.
To lock a trailer in place remove the V-Bracket
aka the "Coupler Connect." It is important to remove the bracket before towing
as it can interfere with turning or fall off unintentionally
Even without a line of
sight out the back window the Coupler Connect made it possible to hook up my
trailer without having to go in and out of truck to check distance and
alignment. The Coupler Connect made hooking up my trailer take 30-50% less time
than when I’m hooking up the boat by myself. However, this accessory doesn’t
offer as much gain in time savings when you are not flying solo have the luxury
of a fishing buddy helping guide you with hand signals.
You can insert the bundled pin to keep it in