Fastway e2 Hitch help needed - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-10-2017, 09:21 PM   #1
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Fastway e2 Hitch help needed

We've got the truck hitched to the trailer. Photos attached of that.

Yes, the 7-pin cable isn't attached as I didn't know if it would drain the truck battery by being hooked up ahead of time. Is this true or not? Clueless, so figured it was better to leave it unplugged until I get ready to leave on Sunday for my driving lessons through RV Driving School.

I know someone on this forum will supply an answer for me.

(Which reminds me that I'll probably leave the trailer hitched to the truck while I'm at the campsite since I'll be taking it out for lessons for 2 days and then leaving the next day. Should I unplug the 7-pin cable when I'm not towing? The trailer will be hooked to shore power. Thanks.)

I've also discovered that the pin for the sway bar is hooked up incorrectly, so after you're through laughing over that, no need to tell me it's wrong.

Dirk needed the sway bars taken off (long story there I won't go into right now), so I told him it was an easy 2 second job. HA! The laugh is on me!

Took forever and we could have lost some toes when that bar came off. I'm assuming there's a simple, easy way to take those bars off, but we sure couldn't figure it out. I looked through the manual from Fastway and they tell ya how to hook them in to place, but not how to remove 'em.

I used the "snap-up lever" (that's what they call it; I call it a pry bar thingie) to get the spring arms in place. But I sure couldn't figure out how to use it to get them off.

A solution is desperately needed!

Also, is the hitch ball cover thingie correctly in place? We weren't sure about that. Tomorrow I do plan to pull the truck and trailer forward a bit, but I wanted to know about the hitch ball cover thingie first before doing that.

Thanks!
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File Type: jpg DSC05191.jpg (406.0 KB, 142 views)
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:32 PM   #2
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Oh, no. The coupler is not completely engaged. Take a look at the following video and it will explain. Remove the coupler pin and try again. Please notice that in the video, there is no coupler pin in the coupler - if it is inserted, the coupler will not lock properly.

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Old 03-10-2017, 09:36 PM   #3
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Here is another one that might help.

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Old 03-10-2017, 09:41 PM   #4
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As far as leaving the trailer hooked up at the camp sight that is fine if the trailer is level. But there are too many camp sights where you have to unhook to be level and the refrigerator is one of the things in the trailer that needs to be level to work properly. I have also read that it can be permanently damaged after a while. A little work to unhook and hook up is cheap insurance for everything. Loren
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:42 PM   #5
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Your hitch is not properly installed on the ball. You need to disconnect everything and get the ball properly in the hitch.

You remove and install the WDH bars by raising the trailer jack before installing the bars while it's attached to the truck raising the back of the truck and trailer together. Be careful reconnecting or raising it now because it looks like it is not properly hitched and there is a lot of tension on the bars. You relieve the tension normally by raising the front of the trailer while hitched to the truck.
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:51 PM   #6
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THANKS!

Will watch the videos and learn. I never remember to look on YouTube for stuff, so I greatly appreciate you finding them for me.

Yeah, I'm aware of the leveling situation for the frig, so I will keep that in mind when I get there. I know I might have to unhitch and re-do it each day, so am prepared for that, just in case. Fingers crossed it'll be a level site, but knowing my luck ... um, yeah.

I had wondered if I had to raise the jack. And glad to know the ball is all wrong. Will fix all that tomorrow since it's too dark now to futz with it.

Whew! Sure was easier with that motorhome rental - just got in and drove (basically).
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:59 PM   #7
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Keep in mind that you don't have to hook up the WDH bars - just leave them off and the WDH will work just like a regular hitch.

When I picked up my trailer in Chilliwack back in Jan, the WDH was not installed correctly so I drove the trailer back to Texas with the bars removed. No problem.

If it was me and I was just driving a short way and had to hitch and unhitch daily, I would leave the bars off. Less drama.

ps. I have the same truck and trailer you have.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:01 PM   #8
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Our WDH is a little different and I can't see yours all that well but can tell you some things. When you go to take the bars off, you are using the lever, and stand back away when doing that. Otherwise, not knowing what you are doing in the beginning, you can hurt yourself by slamming them down (which you found out apparently). As tdf says, you need to crank your coupler shaft. You do that before trying to remove the bars. If a bar does not come off easily and safely, stop. Crank some more. Try it again. Until the bar removes easily. Both bars do not always remove easily but at least one should.

We use a lock through the coupler latch. It appears that you can do the same and some others here can say if they have latch locks and use them for that specific WDH. We do not go anywhere without a latch lock. I agree that it appears that you are not latched. You have to learn to look at that very carefully each time and check it to make sure you are completely latched. If you are not, it may be obvious just looking or you may have to try checking it another way.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:05 PM   #9
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Don't back all the way under the hitch as it may cause it to bind the ball on the rear catch of the hitch which results in what's called a false hitch. That's what you have now and the trailer will come off the ball when you hit a bump. A easy way I have found to avoid this is to have only about 1/2 the ball under the hitch. Then when you lower the trailer on the ball it will drop properly onto the ball and not bind the rear latch of the hitch that locks it on the ball.

When you think you are properly hitched raise the jack while hooked up to the truck and raise both the trailer and back of the truck to make sure.

As TDF says just leave the bars off for now.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:13 PM   #10
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Thanks again!

I thought the bars were for anti-sway, which I certainly don't want to happen. I'm driving about 2.5-3 hours away (to Sequim, for those that know the area). It's windy right now around Seattle, so wouldn't I want the anti-sway bars on?

Dang!

Oh, and thanks for the tip on positioning the ball and hitch. We were just commenting that it was far easier to hitch up our enclosed trailer than this thing. Tomorrow we'll be busy, busy, busy!
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
It's windy right now around Seattle, so wouldn't I want the anti-sway bars on?
I have a Tundra Crewmax pulling my 21'. I pulled it from Canada to Texas with sometimes 50mph crosswinds, no bars attached, and never had a problem with sway. Keep it under 65mph and it should be fine.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:32 PM   #12
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As far as I see, you have a weight-distributing hitch (which many call a WDH) that has sway control included. I call that a WDH, not sway bars. The bars move weight up to the front of the vehicle and back to the trailer. At least, that is what I think you have, unless someone knows differently. It is a slightly different version of what we have from Escape.

And again, as someone said, you need to start over. The bars need to come off and you need to take the coupler off and do it again. You should not go anywhere with what you have in the photo.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:07 PM   #13
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As far as I see, you have a weight-distributing hitch (which many call a WDH) that has sway control included. I call that a WDH, not sway bars. The bars move weight up to the front of the vehicle and back to the trailer. At least, that is what I think you have, unless someone knows differently. It is a slightly different version of what we have from Escape.

And again, as someone said, you need to start over. The bars need to come off and you need to take the coupler off and do it again. You should not go anywhere with what you have in the photo.
On our 21', going into production on Monday, we selected what I believe Laura has. Our build sheet shows "E2 by FastWay Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch" so it looks like it does both sway control and weight distribution.

From what I've been told you have to crank the trailer up and down a couple of times to connect and disconnect the trailer. Which is why I opted for the power tongue jack (thanks, John!) and I'm certainly going to make sure that I learn that process at orientation. Maybe Linda will take a video.

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Old 03-10-2017, 11:11 PM   #14
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I will post more photos tomorrow after we've redone the hitch, to make sure it really is correct!

I told Dirk I'm so thankful I have this forum to turn to for answers. At times it's very frustrating when certain folks get on your (or others) case about what you post, but overall it's been very helpful to me and I've made some new friends due to it.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by garysd View Post
On our 21', going into production on Monday, we selected what I believe Laura has. Our build sheet shows "E2 by FastWay Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch" so it looks like it does both sway control and weight distribution.

From what I've been told you have to crank the trailer up and down a couple of times to connect and disconnect the trailer. Which is why I opted for the power tongue jack (thanks, John!) and I'm certainly going to make sure that I learn that process at orientation. Maybe Linda will take a video.

Gary


I was commenting to Dirk earlier this evening that I'm sure my questions/frustrations will be helpful to others (either now or in the future when they're reading this thread). So, by asking these questions, I'm helping others. Especially those that don't know they need help until they start fiddling with it! (Can't think who that comment would relate to! HA!)

Not to say you're one of those folks, Gary and Linda. Just relating your post to what I was telling Dirk earlier.

I know this was covered in the orientation, but I was so overwhelmed and knew I wasn't remembering everything (anything??). And it was long enough ago that I don't remember even how I unhitched it all (plus a neighbor helped with it, so he might have ended up doing it all for me; I don't remember as I was pretty exhausted by that point).

And congrats on the new trailer!

And yeah, I got the power jack as well. No way I'm cranking that sucker up and down!
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:10 AM   #16
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They're spring bars, not sway bars.

Quote:
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I thought the bars were for anti-sway...
The fundamental function of this hitch system is to transfer load from the tug's rear axle to the tug's front axle and to the trailer's axles - it sort of re-distributes the weight, so it's called a weight-distributing hitch. The bars are springs, which pull down on the trailer when you bend them into place.

A secondary effect of this particular design - and the main reason that some people choose it - is that there's lots of friction between the rear ends of the bars and the brackets, which reduces sway. But please don't call them sway bars: that's a term which means something else.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:06 AM   #17
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They're spring bars, not sway bars.


The fundamental function of this hitch system is to transfer load from the tug's rear axle to the tug's front axle and to the trailer's axles - it sort of re-distributes the weight, so it's called a weight-distributing hitch. The bars are springs, which pull down on the trailer when you bend them into place.

A secondary effect of this particular design - and the main reason that some people choose it - is that there's lots of friction between the rear ends of the bars and the brackets, which reduces sway. But please don't call them sway bars: that's a term which means something else.
Thank you for confirming not to call them sway bars (since they aren't). I have the idea that many people are incorrectly using that phrase and it is (wrongly) in common usage.. Then we don't know what someone is talking about.

Our WDH, which is on many Escapes, has bars, but not sway control. Many of us who have that think that the bars actually do serve that function in some little way but, if so, not the same at all as actual sway control does. Not sure there is any sway control at all on ours.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I will post more photos tomorrow after we've redone the hitch, to make sure it really is correct!

I told Dirk I'm so thankful I have this forum to turn to for answers. At times it's very frustrating when certain folks get on your (or others) case about what you post, but overall it's been very helpful to me and I've made some new friends due to it.
I would suggest that you get a friend or someone else if possible who knows trailers and have them see to it that you know how to get the coupler properly on the ball. A coupler lock is essential to us. There are those, however, who say that they can put the lock on when the coupler is not on the ball properly. Don't think we have that situation. Anyway, we can look at a photo but we can't necessarily know if it is on and latched properly whereas someone there can tell you and show you what to do.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:41 AM   #19
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You can always use your power tongue jack to raise both the trailer and tow vehicle a little, this will take some weight off the system and allow you to remove the bars easier. You can do the same in reverse when hooking up. But first you must be properly on the ball, so to speak.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:52 AM   #20
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Hi: All... I'm glad we have the 5.0TA. Makes it almost impossible to "Drop the ball". I did manage to pinch the breakaway switch wire under the EZRoller and pull the pin. Just glad I was maneuvering in the campground as the trailer becomes unmovable. Alf
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