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Old 01-31-2016, 07:58 AM   #31
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Yes, the first thing Dale asked was if it had air suspension....
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:29 AM   #32
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So, V.I will be the name of BlackJack II, or "VI" as short for Violet.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:41 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I called Trademasters, they say that ETI makes that appointment, your drop off the vehicle and walk over to Escape, do your orientation and paper work and talkback in about 2 hours and it is ready.
I guess I got lucky when Trademasters did mine, they gave me a loner truck for the day.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:30 PM   #34
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Gooseneck hitch security

I, also, have been seriously considering the 5.0TA since our visit to the factory last summer. Having never had a fifth wheel trailer or a gooseneck, I needed to get comfortable with the new (to me) hitch system and also the idea of having hardware permanently mounted in the bed of my truck. I had seen information on the Reese gooseneck hitch that has a lever in the wheel well that flips the ball mounted in the bed over when not in use, leaving a flush bed. I liked that idea, but was unsure of how strong the hitch would be. Just got off the phone with my nephew who owns a crop dusting service in Idaho and also has a 33 ft monster fifth wheel RV that he converted to a gooseneck hitch. He told me that he has never had any problem with the gooseneck hitch on the RV, and that a few trucks ago, he had a diesel pickup with the Reese disappearing ball in the bed. His son was towing his thirty something foot work flatbed trailer loaded with a skid steer and several snow machines on icy roads and let things go south. The rig spun and the loaded trailer pulled the truck off the icy highway backward and into the ditch. All stayed together, and once he got towed back onto the highway he was able to continue on his merry way with no harm done to anything! After that testimonial, I think I'm comfortable with using the same set-up. He said you purchase a bolt-on extension that has the receiver for the ball incorporated on to it, and replace the bolt-on fifth wheel hitch with it. It can be switched back at any time.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:51 PM   #35
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shotgun, I assume you are referring to something like this.



I was strongly advised by a local hitch shop to not use one of these unless I was positive that the frame could handle the added torque that one of these put on it. With a fifth wheel hitch, even the ones that attach to a gooseneck ball, the force on the frame when towing is near straight in line with the kingpin. Using one of these adapters causes torque (twisting action) on the frame where the kingpin attaches.

There are lots of stories out there of people who have had things fail when using them. Most of them are towing bigger fifth wheels, but they also likely had beefier frames. It might just work fine in with the Escape 5.0, but I would definitely run the idea past Reace at Escape to get his take on them.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:38 PM   #36
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Reese sells the Goosebox, which is this type of conversion but by the lighter, simpler and more reliable method of completely replacing the lower part of the pin box, rather than bolting onto it. It also has a shock absorbing feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I was strongly advised by a local hitch shop to not use one of these unless I was positive that the frame could handle the added torque that one of these put on it. With a fifth wheel hitch, even the ones that attach to a gooseneck ball, the force on the frame when towing is near straight in line with the kingpin. Using one of these adapters causes torque (twisting action) on the frame where the kingpin attaches.

There are lots of stories out there of people who have had things fail when using them. Most of them are towing bigger fifth wheels, but they also likely had beefier frames. It might just work fine in with the Escape 5.0, but I would definitely run the idea past Reace at Escape to get his take on them.
I think this is sound advice.

As far as I know, the only Escape owner who has done something like this is Seef, who converted his original-style 5.0 to a ball hitch at bed level (although a European design, not a conventional North American ball). My understanding is that he found that the extra leverage caused the trailer's frame to flex causing a bucking motion, which he fixed by reinforcing the frame (see find the differences - post #20). The current 5.0TA has a larger frame section, so it would be stiffer and might not have the same problem... but there are no guarantees.

I had not heard of failures when using this type of hardware, but that doesn't mean anything because I don't spend much time in forums for people with large fifth-wheel trailers and I've never met anyone who uses one of these conversions. I have seen them, and had the same concern - I'm not surprised by failures.

Although I like the Goosebox design, it does not change the structural concerns.

There is also the issue that when hitching and unhitching the box rearward of the ball would need to empty to avoid having to lift the trailer very high - with a fifth-wheel or ball mounted higher, the trailer tongue can go over low stuff carried in the box.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:49 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I had not heard of failures when using this type of hardware.....
After the Hitch Shop cautioning me when I went in to look at their various fifth wheel offerings, I did a quick search online, and found quite a few stories of failures. Most not catastrophic, but in time certainly could be. With most of the larger fifth wheels, the frame is contained inside the shell. One poster said he noticed screws popping out in the loft, and when he removed the skin found a couple bad cracks in the frame.

Although this is a simpler solution, in that it is quicker to get a clean bed in the truck, I was not willing to risk it, and with the light Anderson hitch, it is only the time to tighten, or loosen, a couple bolts to install or remove.

As you mention, you cannot have anything behind the hitch in the box, as there is minimal clearance to the bed when hitching or docking the trailer. I am going to go without first, but this box is one I am considering for keeping hoses, tools and the such in. It would not work with the gooseneck adaptor.

Fifth Wheel ToolBoxes, 5th Wheel truck Tool boxes, RV Boxes
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:11 PM   #38
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OP here. Wow, want to thank everybody for all your informative responses! Thanks!

LOT of things to think about, especially in terms of whether to use a gooseneck (and Anderson Ultimate Hitch) or a standard 5th wheel hitch. As Brian B-P mentioned, definitely need to check the towing laws in each state we intend to drive through with our proposed rig (tow vehicle towing a 5th wheel Escape 5.0TA with a jetski in tandem).

I managed to get through to Escape Trailers in BC about an hour after I made my post. The lady who answered the phone, who sounded well versed about the Escape 5.0TA, said the 2" receiver was rated for 150 lbs. of tongue weight. Although she didn't give a maximum tow weight, she felt very confident it was strong enough to tow a jetski on a trailer (1000-1100 lbs). According to her a number of Escape 5.0TA owners had towed small boats behind their Escape 5.0TA.

I'm hoping I have an opportunity to see an Escape 5.0TA in person before I commit to a purchase. It would be very helpful to see the 2" rear receiver up-close to get a better idea of its strength.

FWIW, if Escape had only intended for it to support a bicycle rack, gotta wonder why they didn't use a 1 1/4" receiver instead. Even 1 1/4" receivers are typically rated to support at least 100/1000 lbs. (tongue weight/trailer weight).
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:10 PM   #39
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I've posted this before on the Forum about the Anderson 3220 - Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection–Gooseneck version. Take a look: https://www.andersenhitches.com/Prod...k-version.aspx
The 3220 will allow you to have the bed of your truck completely flat when you are not towing. SWEET! I love it.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:30 AM   #40
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The reason Escape uses the 2" receiver is not because of it's size but they have lifts that are used in production that support the trailer, one in front and one in rear. If you take a look at the pictures under "it's Friday" thread you can see the receiver in use as well as some close up pictures. That thread should answer all your questions...
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