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By MichaelRead
April 10, 2002

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I trailer a 20-ft Bayliner Walkaround (about 4500 lb all up with fuel and stuff) with a GMC Yukon Denali as the tow vehicle. Class three hitch (up to 5,000 lb.). The problem is that clunk period between braking the car and the time it takes for the trailer's inertial brakes to grab.

The problem was that when I braked there was this annoying space when the hitch took up the slack so the trailer brakes could initiate. It was noisy and it scared Elly who thought something was wrong. Start off: clunk; brake: clunk. I tried padding the draw bar but it wasn't a lateral movement that caused the clunk. It was the parallel forces.

I bought a Schuck cushion hitch to even out the clunk period. Schuck should pay me for this: their model 340 (up to 500 lb. tongue weight and 20,000 lb. total trainer weight) solved the clunk. No, not partially, no clunk.

If you're thinking of a cushion hitch go to and check them out. However, some things you should know. A cushion hitch adds about 10 inches. My safety chains were too short and I had to replace with a longer set. Your breakaway cable may also be too short. Also, since these hitches aren't cheap, get a locking pin so the five-finger crowd can't take it.

I trailered the boat back from the yard recently and I plan to take it to Campbell River (hey, it's salmon fishing!) this summer. It means driving to the ferry and then driving up Vancouver Island. Usually takes about eight-ten hours. When I did this before I was tired when I arrived and mostly because of this clunk clunk clunk coming from the back.

If you're into trailering, take a look at and, if you trailer a boat, get the magazine. Just remember Michael's Rule: a boat can be judged to its meeting your needs by the number of bikinis shown in the picture of the boat. Many bikinis, forget it. Few bikinis, take a longer look. This is particularly apt if you live in the Pacific North West as I do. It can get a mite cold up here on the water even in the summer. But let me tell you a story.

Elly and I were out fishing and it was one of those warm days. It got hotter and I got down to shorts and Elly got down to a swim suit. I don't know about you but a woman in a swim suit holding a mooching rod and running a downrigger is sexy. Things went from that point to where you know it could go: both her and I starkers. We were having a great old time and I looked up to find ourselves surrounded by many boats. I hightailed it outta there. That night, we entered the lodge at where we were staying and the entire dining room stood up and applauded.

You know, I just love salmon fishing.


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