E2 Trunnion Hitch on the Road - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-07-2016, 06:15 PM   #1
Member
 
dbawden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Anacortes, Washington
Trailer: 2016 Escape 21 "BE NICE"
Posts: 51
E2 Trunnion Hitch on the Road

So I'm going across the US on a six month trip in my 21' Escape. We are now into 4-5000+ miles using this hitch. It still clunks on tight uneven corners and scares the begeezes out of my wife. Manual says to expect this during break in and some noise is to be expected. No problem. What bothers me is the link plates that support the stabilization rods keep shifting out of vertical. You'd think...just tighten them. Right. The manual says...tighten to 65-75 pounds (check) and have no further than 30" from ball (check).

My link plates keep moving out of vertical no matter how I tighten them. There is also serious abrasion where the bars hit the link plates. In addition the both "L" retaining mechanism have bent on both sides. (The manual says to just switch sides to "increase positive contact".) Okay.

Are others experiencing this?
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg image.jpeg (142.1 KB, 104 views)
__________________

dbawden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 06:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape born Dec 28, 2016, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 912
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbawden View Post
So I'm going across the US on a six month trip in my 21' Escape. We are now into 4-5000+ miles using this hitch. It still clunks on tight uneven corners and scares the begeezes out of my wife. Manual says to expect this during break in and some noise is to be expected. No problem. What bothers me is the link plates that support the stabilization rods keep shifting out of vertical. You'd think...just tighten them. Right. The manual says...tighten to 65-75 pounds (check) and have no further than 30" from ball (check).

My link plates keep moving out of vertical no matter how I tighten them. There is also serious abrasion where the bars hit the link plates. In addition the both "L" retaining mechanism have bent on both sides. (The manual says to just switch sides to "increase positive contact".) Okay.

Are others experiencing this?
we were planning on getting this same hitch, as ETI said that this one is best for the bigger trailers

but your post does make me wonder.

we dont own our 21' yet.....

anyone else having these issues?

and....

have you tried calling the manufacturer?
__________________

Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
tdf-texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Baytown, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape
Posts: 331
1. Be sure that the link plates are parallel to each other. The installation manual shows the correct and incorrect mounting.

2. From your picture, there seems to be a gap between the link plate bolts and the frame allowing room for the link plates to pivot. Installing shims to take up the gaps should stop the pivoting.

3. The spring arms should be lying flat on the L bracket tab. It looks like the pivoting link plates are causing the back edge of the L brackets to wear excessively. Wear should be even along the bottom - fixing the pivoting should take care of that.

4. The L pins are going to bend if the link plates are allowed to pivot. Stop the pivoting and the L pins will stop bending.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FA92-00-0600_9_1000.jpg (124.1 KB, 40 views)
tdf-texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 07:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape born Dec 28, 2016, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 912
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
1. Be sure that the link plates are parallel to each other. The installation manual shows the correct and incorrect mounting.

2. From your picture, there seems to be a gap between the link plate bolts and the frame allowing room for the link plates to pivot. Installing shims to take up the gaps should stop the pivoting.

3. The spring arms should be lying flat on the L bracket tab. It looks like the pivoting link plates are causing the back edge of the L brackets to wear excessively. Wear should be even along the bottom - fixing the pivoting should take care of that.

4. The L pins are going to bend if the link plates are allowed to pivot. Stop the pivoting and the L pins will stop bending.
Whoah all this seems complicated.

I was hoping it will be easy enough for me.

Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 07:15 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
tdf-texas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Baytown, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape
Posts: 331
Sorry, I tend to talk that way (retired engineer). It's really not that bad. Just take a look at the link plates and make sure that they lay flat on the sides of the frame. If not, loosen the nut on the bolt that is too short and tighten the nut on the one that is too long until the plates are flat against the frame.

The gaps are easy to fix - just slide a piece of metal flat bar large enough to fill the gap between the bolt and the frame. Getting rid of the gaps will keep the link plates from pivoting - they would have no place to go. You can get pieces of flat bar from Home Depot / Lowes - measure how much gap you have then get them to cut the right size bar in two inch lengths for you to fit under the bolts. You should have to only shim the bottom bolt as the top bolt should be resting on top of the frame to start with.
tdf-texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 08:32 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 8,184
This bracket design drives me nuts. It has been used for the Equal-i-zer for many years, so clearly it works well enough, and Andersen essentially copied it for the No-Sway WD, but it seems like the sorriest excuse for a bracket design anyone could think of. It would be okay if there were nothing but vertical forces; however, the way these hitches damp sway is to put frictional drag force along the spring bars (or tension in the chain, in the case of the Andersen), so the hitch action is always trying to work the brackets loose, and there's nothing but friction between the bracket and the frame to stop it.

The obvious solution is to drill holes in the frame and pin the bracket (the outer link plate, or better the inner link plate, not the L-bracket). This is the solution for the Andersen No-Sway, but it uses only one pin per bracket to prevent sliding along the frame (the Andersen's chains only pull forward, never push back). This system would need two pins (high and low on the frame rail), and I wouldn't be thrilled about drilling those holes in my frame (although I made much bigger holes in my Boler frame to mount shock absorbers, but that's another story).

Although a much better solution would be a much wider inner link plate that wrapped over the top and bottom of the frame, or angle iron sections welded to the inner link plate to brace against the top and bottom of the frame, I think Tom's right and getting the link plates parallel and thus most effectively clamping the frame is an important step toward getting this system to work as intended, without modification.

The clamping action will work best if the bolts between the link plates are as close as possible to the frame. While shims could help the bolts bear against the frame, I don't think the hitch's designers expected the bolts to work that way - I think it's strictly a clamp, with nothing but the link plates ever expected to touch the frame. The pattern of holes allows selection of a hole pair to suit the height of the frame in 1/2" steps from 2-1/2" to 5". For the 4" Escape 21' frame, that means that the bolt above the frame should be in the very top hole (not the one only 1/2" below it), and the bolt below the frame should be in the middle of the three lower holes; it looks like Tom's photo shows this combination.

If the pair of holes corresponding to a 4-1/2" space were used, the bracket wouldn't clamp as well and there there would be room for it to pivot. In the photo I can't see if the bolt positions are correct, because the L-bracket hides them. It would be readily apparent from the other side of the frame rail, so looking at the inner link plate instead of the L-bracket and outer link plate. This image from the installation manual explains these bolt positions:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg E2-BracketBolts.jpg (36.6 KB, 50 views)
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 08:35 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 8,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Whoah all this seems complicated.

I was hoping it will be easy enough for me.

With any luck, either the bolts are just not evenly tightened, or they are simply in the wrong holes. If either of those are the source of the problem, the fix will be easy and the installation is not very complicated... it's just not very tolerant of getting anything wrong.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 08:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 8,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
3. The spring arms should be lying flat on the L bracket tab. It looks like the pivoting link plates are causing the back edge of the L brackets to wear excessively. Wear should be even along the bottom - fixing the pivoting should take care of that.
Excellent observation and analysis of the wear pattern. Much more useful than just flipping them from side to side to spread the problem around.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 08:46 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: los angeles, California
Trailer: 2017-21' Escape born Dec 28, 2016, Casita 17' (sold)
Posts: 912
I feel very fortunate that there are so many very smart, experienced & kind people on this forum.

The posts above are a perfect example. Problem solving, and sharing knowledge.

Seriously. Much appreciated.

I learned a bunch with our first fiberglass trailer (Casita, now sold) but I have learned SOOOO much more in the last year on this forum.

Very excited to finalize the last tiny details on our build sheet.... and get our 21' early in 2017.
Losangeles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2014 Casita SD (Sold) 2017 21' Escape on Jan. 16th
Posts: 559
Holy Cow! I plan to order the E2 for my 2017 21' Escape and 2014 Ford F-150. I hope ETI installs it correctly and I get the correct operating instructions. Should I be worried?
__________________

__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.