Do not buy Westfalia hitches - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-17-2018, 02:45 PM   #1
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Do not buy Westfalia hitches

I bought a new mercedes coupe and mercedes would not sell me thier hitch.
I wanted the hidden style of removable hitch. I was towing my second trip on one of the Ontario Major highways when the trailer started to wobble, jacknifed into the car and then flipped and slide down the highway on its side--My 2011 Escape 19 cracked open along with other damage. most suprising the grey water tank then emptied through the kitchen sink and sprayed the kichen and ran down the highway.

THe main connection for the cast tow bar cracked open, and that disconnected the hitch entirely, the safety chains came loose as well

Moral of the story after $12,000 damage to the car and loss of the trailer Do not buy a European hitch even if they are sold through a USA vendor.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:52 PM   #2
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Sorry to here this Paul but the main thing is that you are safe and ok
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:35 PM   #3
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My stomach just hit the floor. I'm so very sorry to hear this Paul. But like David said, you're safe and okay. Oh man...
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:31 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about what happened, glad everyone was okay.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:36 PM   #5
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Paul,
News like that hits you in a powerful way. Bet it was scary as all get out!!
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:40 PM   #6
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Wow that sounds scary. Don't see many Mercedes coupes towing an Escape. What was the towing capacity on your Mercedes?
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul View Post
I bought a new mercedes coupe and mercedes would not sell me thier hitch.

Have to ask. Why would they not sell you their hitch?
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:32 PM   #8
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So sorry, Paul. When the trailer started to "wobble", were you able to manually activate the trailer's brakes with your brake controller, and if so, was that of no help?
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:59 AM   #9
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Have to ask. Why would they not sell you their hitch?
I was wondering the same thing...
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:23 AM   #10
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So sorry to hear. Glad you are all okay. Trailers can be replaced.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:30 AM   #11
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towing capacity in England is 4500 pounds, MB marketing tries to sell SUV's which have a higher profit. They do not wish to sponsor a hitch in North America, I have heard of one customer who arranged for a British agent to supply the specialized electronics which modify the Blind spot assist and stability control.
Brakes were triggered but then the breakaway kicked in until one of the batteries fell of the trailer.

If not for the original stability control I would not have been able to avoid collision witht he concrete median.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:48 PM   #12
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Hey Paul, why would they not sell you the hitch
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:16 PM   #13
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Extreme sway

If the tow vehicle was not braking it would be really extreme sway for the trailer to jackknife into the tow vehicle. Can't visualize the trailer coming around past 90 degrees without the tow vehicle braking or having a tire failure.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:19 PM   #14
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For those who are not already aware, Westfalia is a major manufacturer of towing equipment, proven over decades on huge numbers of vehicles of various brands towing trailers much heavier than an Escape 19'. That doesn't change the severity of this one incident, but perhaps it puts the condemnation of all Westfalia products and all European hitches in context.

It is not uncommon for vehicle manufacturers to decline to sell hitches for sedan models in North America, even though those same vehicles are widely used for towing in other areas. Towing ratings and towing equipment are also usually different between North America and Europe, even for those models for which towing is endorsed by the vehicle manufacturer in both markets. As an example, the OEM hitch for a Porsche Cayenne or VW Touareg - rated and used for up to 7700 pounds of trailer in North America - is from Westfalia.

I'm curious about the model of Mercedes, the model of Westfalia towing equipment, the hitch weight rating of the hitch and the tongue weight of the trailer, any use of other towing equipment (such as a weight distribution system), and the details of the failure... but none of that is relevant specifically to Escape trailers, and I'm not asking paul to provide any information.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:41 AM   #15
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I have about 20,000 miles of towing my 17B and other smaller trailers with my 2003 Audi A4, which doesn't have the Westfalia hitch, but a very similar detachable swan-neck from Bosal. I bought it online from England and has worked very well for me. I added a 7-way connector w/brake and charge lines, and also installed the Audi module for the trailer lights.


Very happy with my setup. The hitch replaces the rear bumper crash bar, is constructed of much heavier steel, and slides into and bolts to the 'frame' rails. The Bosal has a chain attachment loop welded to the bumper bar; and I attach my other chain to the tie-down loop.


The accident described must have been a pretty violent one, to have trailer sway so bad to jackknife the trailer, break the swan neck connection, and then break or tear free the safety chains.
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:15 PM   #16
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Westfalia

THE SOCKET FOR THE SWAN NECK BROKE AT THE CRASH BAR. THUS THE TRAILER BECAME DETACHED AT 100 KMS PER HOUR. THE HITCH DID NOT HAVE HOOKS FOR SAFETY CHAINS. THE TRAILER SIDES WIPPED THE CAR WHEN I ATTEMPTED TO SLOW EVERY THING DOWN. THE EMERGENCY TRAILER BRAKES ONLY CAME ON BRIEFLY One of batteries fell off the trailer when the swaying started thus ending the breakaway which was attached TO the hitch

THE SOCKET OPENED JUST LIKE A WILTED TULIP.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:17 PM   #17
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THE SOCKET OPENED JUST LIKE A WILTED TULIP.
Yikes! I'd be asking for some reimbursement from someone in that case!
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:42 PM   #18
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westfailia

The hitch was ordered through a USA website by transaction and shipping was from Poland. So much for Polish steel.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:07 PM   #19
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what was the tow and tongue weight rating of this hitch assembly?

which mercedes coupe is this? I sure wouldn't tow a 4000 lb trailer with a E class coupe like my 1993 300CE, dreading to think of how fast that would eat up the CV joints, differential mounts, multilink rear suspension, and transmission.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:10 PM   #20
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Yikes..... being the curious person that I am, do you have any photos of the accident?

On my way back from Chilliwack several weeks ago, I came across an accident involving an older stick built motor home. I have no idea what happened, but they were scooping up the motor home with a front-end loader.

Glad everyone is OK.
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