Coupler not uncoupling on 21' - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-14-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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Coupler not uncoupling on 21'

Sometimes when unhitching I can't get the coupler to release after removing the spring bars. Have had to jockey the truck forward or back slightly and then can raise the coupler off the ball. ETI's coupler is a little different than I'm used to. Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiman View Post
Sometimes when unhitching I can't get the coupler to release after removing the spring bars. Have had to jockey the truck forward or back slightly and then can raise the coupler off the ball. ETI's coupler is a little different than I'm used to. Am I doing something wrong?
Hi: skiman...I've heard of this before. It requires an adjustment. I believe that was accomplished by a farm implement dealers mechanic with a sledge hammer. Once done it seemed never to require it again. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:02 PM   #3
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Our 21 has the same problem. I stand on the hitch while raising the electric jack and it finally breaks free.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:03 PM   #4
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Carl these new type couplers are more of a positive lock than the ones I have had in the past on my Scamp and our old utility trailer. Sometimes I have to put my foot on the stinger behind the ball on sort of jump on it to get it pop loose. Same thing sometimes with coupling. I have to rock it back and forth a bit to get it to drop on..
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:10 PM   #5
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I think the ETI coupler is a type of "bulldog" coupler - you can't lock it unless the ball is actually captured. When I futzed with undoing mine I found that there is a point of minimum pressure on the ball (tow not too high or too low) where the catch folds back without a lot of pressure - anywhere else it takes a pry bar to get the sucker to let go. I think wear may prove to be a factor in time - only used mine half a dozen times so far.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:11 PM   #6
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Has happened many times with our 19 too.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:13 PM   #7
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There is some play in the way the ball fits in the hitch. If the ball is towards the back of that play, then the coupler won't release. If the ball is towards the front of the play, it releases easily. If I think of it, I try to end the parking manouvre moving forward, or I apply the trailer brakes on full and let the truck roll forward.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #8
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Hmm. I've had the same issue. It seems to me this may be caused by the black coating on the trailer side of the coupler being applied in too thick a coat on the latch. It seems possible the coating of paint or whatever it is, is binding in the hinge mechanism of the latch, causing the latch to stick closed. That latch just does not operate smoothly at all and I have also found if I open the latch all the way with the trailer unhitched, it will stick open too. And once its stuck, it is really stuck.

My solution has been to use a small block of wood and a mallet to tap it loose. Each time I do I see a little bit of that coating chip away, seemingly from the inside of the hinge. It might be my imagination, but it also seems the latch is becoming progressively easier to operate each time I force it open and closed. Meanwhile, a touch of primer and gloss black lacquer and the appearance is none the worse for wear. YMMV.

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Old 10-14-2014, 11:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
There is some play in the way the ball fits in the hitch. If the ball is towards the back of that play, then the coupler won't release. If the ball is towards the front of the play, it releases easily. If I think of it, I try to end the parking manouvre moving forward, or I apply the trailer brakes on full and let the truck roll forward.
Your experience is similar to my own. I usually put the tow into drive and move forward an inch or so before hooking or detaching the coupler (jerking forward is best). Makes the whole process work much more smoothly.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:46 PM   #10
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(jerking forward is best). Me thinks that is it...just like trying to seat the tongue latch for placing the pin you need to suddenly back up sometimes.
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