Any Hitch-up Hints and Techniques? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-09-2017, 07:40 PM   #1
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Any Hitch-up Hints and Techniques?

Hi folks;

You know the routine . . . backup, get out and eyeball, pull forward 1 inch, get out and eyeball, back up 1/2 inch . . . repeat, repeat, repeat.

Surely some of you must have some techniques for backing up to the trailer hitch and nailing it every time (you must, I hope!).

If you do, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
BTW, like IPA?

Chuck
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by citabria90 View Post
Hi folks;

You know the routine . . . backup, get out and eyeball, pull forward 1 inch, get out and eyeball, back up 1/2 inch . . . repeat, repeat, repeat.

Surely some of you must have some techniques for backing up to the trailer hitch and nailing it every time (you must, I hope!).

If you do, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
BTW, like IPA?

Chuck
We purchased a I Ball . I am kind of on a incline at home and absolutely love this product . It is a camera that is magnetized so it stays on the stinger real well . Plug the moniter into 12 volt and I get lined up right every time May half to go forward 1/2 in or so and that's it . Pat
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:11 PM   #3
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The most accurate is a full time back up camera on the tow vehicle. I had that with my RAV4 & it made hooking up a snap.

The Tacoma has a built in back up camera, but only "lights up" when the truck is in reverse. Works, but it would be nice to see what is happening when you pull forward. There is a kit that lets you turn on the camera anytime with a switch, but it requires the removal of the entertainment center to install. I'm not going there!
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:19 PM   #4
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Fifteen years of towing a Scamp as a bumper pull... taught me that the in-out-move left-now move right... was my exercise for the day! THEN, I realized all I needed to do was look in both of my side rear view mirrors and make certain I could see an equal amount of the Scamp on both sides! Didn't help a whole lot for how close I was to the ball, but it sure helped a bunch. Then, I just eyeballed how much further I needed to back up... 12", got back in the truck, looked over at my left shoulder and figured 12" on the ground.. backed up that amount. SCORE!

In the end, it's all about practice and patience. You'll get it, I did
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:23 PM   #5
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I had a Mrs and hand signals. Can be kind of expensive though.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #6
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I use this camera available from etrailer.com
I had to glue a metal disc to my spare tire cover as it has a magnetic mount and most of my RAV4 where I want to mount it is plastic.
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File Type: png Swift Hitch.png (43.3 KB, 14 views)
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:29 PM   #7
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I had a Mrs and hand signals. Can be kind of expensive though.
Ha! Yeah . . . the old "I meant whoa, not go!"
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Fifteen years of towing a Scamp as a bumper pull... taught me that the in-out-move left-now move right... was my exercise for the day! THEN, I realized all I needed to do was look in both of my side rear view mirrors and make certain I could see an equal amount of the Scamp on both sides! Didn't help a whole lot for how close I was to the ball, but it sure helped a bunch. Then, I just eyeballed how much further I needed to back up... 12", got back in the truck, looked over at my left shoulder and figured 12" on the ground.. backed up that amount. SCORE!

In the end, it's all about practice and patience. You'll get it, I did
Right on, Donna! This is just the technique I'm working on. Thanks!

Chuck
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:42 PM   #9
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Rear view camera on your tow vehicle. ETI also put a green/yellow reflective piece of tape on the hitch cover thingie that goes over the hitch ball. I can see it in the camera and I've learned exactly where to stop so it's over the hitch ball on the truck. Another camera might have a slightly different spot. I do better getting it lined up on my own than when Dirk is there to direct me. I'm going to ignore him in the future and tell him to stand out of the way. I think seeing him in the camera distracts me.

Lower the trailer with the electric jack and it's over the hitch ball. I usually will pull forward (or back) a teeny tiny bit and the cover thingie gets seated enough that I can close and lock it.

I do get out to double check the trailer is up high enough so I don't bang in to it with the hitch ball. Did that once. Yeah, double check that height when you get close to it.

And yeah, it gets lots easier with practice. At first I was getting in and out of the truck a million times. Now I'm down to usually two or three times and I impress the heck out of myself when that happens. (I'm doing this on my own most of the time as Dirk isn't with me.)
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
We purchased a I Ball . I am kind of on a incline at home and absolutely love this product . It is a camera that is magnetized so it stays on the stinger real well . Plug the moniter into 12 volt and I get lined up right every time May half to go forward 1/2 in or so and that's it . Pat
The I Ball is 169. With free shipping . It recharges with USB . Pat
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:55 PM   #11
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The Swift Hitch camera is positioned so that it is looking down on the ball. You can see the hitch approaching and stop when it is precisely over the ball. You still want to ensure that the hitch isn't too high or too low as you get close.
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What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:57 PM   #12
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The I Ball is 169. With free shipping . It recharges with USB . Pat
Also camera is adjustable .Very simple and easy . Pat
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
I do better getting it lined up on my own than when Dirk is there to direct me.
I couldn't agree more. It seems that most "directors" want to vocalize directions (turn your wheel to the left...no, the other left) which is just plain confusing. Duct tape over his or her mouth and hand signals as to which way the trailer should go work best for me if someone is trying to help.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Rear view camera on your tow vehicle. ETI also put a green/yellow reflective piece of tape on the hitch cover thingie that goes over the hitch ball. I can see it in the camera and I've learned exactly where to stop so it's over the hitch ball on the truck. Another camera might have a slightly different spot. I do better getting it lined up on my own than when Dirk is there to direct me. I'm going to ignore him in the future and tell him to stand out of the way. I think seeing him in the camera distracts me.

Lower the trailer with the electric jack and it's over the hitch ball. I usually will pull forward (or back) a teeny tiny bit and the cover thingie gets seated enough that I can close and lock it.

I do get out to double check the trailer is up high enough so I don't bang in to it with the hitch ball. Did that once. Yeah, double check that height when you get close to it.

And yeah, it gets lots easier with practice. At first I was getting in and out of the truck a million times. Now I'm down to usually two or three times and I impress the heck out of myself when that happens. (I'm doing this on my own most of the time as Dirk isn't with me.)
Last trip hooked up by myself , pretty fast . Linda comes out sees it is already done . Actually it goes better without all the directions and hand signals Pat
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:00 PM   #15
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Any Hitch-up Hints and Techniques?

As to the problem of hitting a too low trailer front end, I have bought, yet to install in my yet to be delivered 21, the “LevelMatePro”. One of the features of this device is when you raise the trailer to lift off the ball, you can “save” that non-level, nose up height in the smartphone app. Then later, after you have leveled, camped, explored, stored, etc. you come back to hook up, you can raise the front end to that prior “saved” height and you know you are high enough to clear.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:14 PM   #16
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Clever.
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What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:34 PM   #17
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The backup camera on my F150, with the zoom enabled once I get close. Makes hookup easy peezy. I'd never had a camera in the tailgate before this, but now I wouldn't be without it.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
I couldn't agree more. It seems that most "directors" want to vocalize directions (turn your wheel to the left...no, the other left) which is just plain confusing. Duct tape over his or her mouth and hand signals as to which way the trailer should go work best for me if someone is trying to help.
Excellent, Karen! The duct tape over the mouth has lots of applications outside of the Escape realm.

Chuck
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:44 PM   #19
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Low Tech hitch alignment system:
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:52 PM   #20
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The balls work too, and don't require batteries.
I have them and the camera. The balls get you in the right spot and the camera is for fine tuning.
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