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Old 06-03-2018, 02:00 PM   #1
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Help for the hitch!

Of course, today is Sunday, so we can't call Escape.... we are trying to hitch up our 17A to our Tacoma and we just can't seem to get the hitch to lock down in place.
Help?
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty View Post
Of course, today is Sunday, so we can't call Escape.... we are trying to hitch up our 17A to our Tacoma and we just can't seem to get the hitch to lock down in place.
Help?
This happens to me too sometimes and I have found that by letting the tongue / ball support full weight … then putting tow V in gear and "jerking" forward and back a few times will help to get the coupler to settle down.

Alternatively, have jack support full weight and toggle the locking lever to make sure its free. With the ball as far forward in the coupler as you can get it, lower the jack till the ball sits home in the coupler.

The locking lever controls what is almost like a fork that surrounds and locks the neck of the ball into the coupler and sometimes I seem to get that "fork" pinched and then it wont lock.

Another idea: Have you greased your ball?


Good luck and hope this helps,

Tom
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
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Thank you for your quick response - we will try your suggestions - as of course, we are all packed and ready to go..... frustrating!
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:06 PM   #4
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There is an adjustment for the coupler that might be too tight. Also be sure the latch mechanism isn't stuck above the ball. It happens.



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Old 06-03-2018, 03:22 PM   #5
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Hitch up

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty View Post
Thank you for your quick response - we will try your suggestions - as of course, we are all packed and ready to go..... frustrating!
Make sure you have a little grease on the ball and up on the curved part of the front of the coupler. Then make the couple just barely crawl over the ball. That will put the ball to the front of the coupler letting the clamping part of the yoke fit up under the back side of the ball. Don’t get too happy loosening that adjusting nut, you might check it for tightness when you’re done getting it all seated just so it can’t hop off the ball. On you can crank the jack down and watch the crank try to lift the back of the tow vehicle, you’ll know it’s secure that way too. Same advice as in the other post but in farm vernacular.
Sorry you’re having a little delay.
Iowa Dave
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:32 PM   #6
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Sorry …. and understand the frustration. Is your ball the right size? Should be 2".

With coupling jacked up and hoovering above ball, make sure that the locking collar is lifted and all the way back toward the rear of the trailer …. checking alignment, lower jack foot until ball is in coupling …. if it still hasn't seated and if you are on level ground, pull ahead at very slow speed and then slam on the brakes. Expect to hear a loud clank as it seats home. Jack foot should be high enough so it doesn't drag on ground.


Most likely, the locking collar hasn't been pulled up and pushed back enough to open the coupler. When in proper position, there are a couple square teeth that will fit into slots and hold the coupler open for mating. After mating be sure to 'slide' locking collar back forward and down to lock. Be patient … you will get it.


My trailer is a 1000 miles away or I'd go out and take pictures for you. Perhaps someone can help in this regard?

Tom
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
There is an adjustment for the coupler that might be too tight. Also be sure the latch mechanism isn't stuck above the ball. It happens.



Dusty, is your coupler actually like that? While the image shows a common design of coupler, Escape normally uses a yoke-style coupler which works very differently and does not require or have an adjustment.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
The locking lever controls what is almost like a fork that surrounds and locks the neck of the ball into the coupler and sometimes I seem to get that "fork" pinched and then it wont lock.
In the yoke-style coupler the jaw (or "fork") need to be pulled fully back (by lifting and pulling the yoke which wraps around the front) to provide a clear space for the ball to go up into the coupler socket. If the jaw is not out of the way, you can have the coupler sitting on top of the ball. Dusty, is the ball going all the way into the coupler? Without sticking your fingers in there (pinch hazard!), have a look and see if the ball is all the way in, and if the jaw is moving forward to latch.

As the other posts have suggested, once the coupler is properly down over the ball, the usual problem is getting the ball forward in the coupler socket so that the jaw can more forward enough to completely latch. This is why people suggest pulling forward with the tug, or letting the trailer move back.

All of this depends on coupler design. In the many discussions of hitching and unhitching issues, this (or something very similar) is the coupler which is normally identified as recently (for several years) used by Escape:
A-Frame Trailer Coupler - Yoke Latch - Black - 2" Ball - Weld On - 8,000 lbs
That eTrailer listing shows the jaw underneath in open and closed positions.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:24 PM   #9
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Roberta, It will all make a lot more sense if you, without the tow vehicle in the way, lay down on your back and look up into the coupler from the bottom, and then work the latch to see how it is supposed to work. Then if you have a spare 2" ball laying around (or remove your ball mount from your tow vehicle for this), push the ball up into the coupler and latch down on the ball to again see how this all works. You'll see that it's very important for the ball to seat into the front pocket of the coupler for the latch to work. Then as others have suggested, figure out what works for you to drop the coupler onto the ball in a way that will seat the ball to the front of the coupler. Once the ball is in the right location within the coupler, the latch should work easily. Best of luck....
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:46 PM   #10
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I've had this problem numerous times with my Scamp. The hitch mechanism was 'jammed' to the back of the ball. Taking the truck out of gear (and releasing the parking brake) and letting it roll forward a minuscule amount was all it would take to get a positive latch on the ball. Good luck!
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:49 PM   #11
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Miracle workers! We added a little grease, ensured the truck was pulled forward a little bit extra, and with the working knowledge in our heads about how the mechanism is supposed to work - it clipped on like a dream! Thank you, thank you.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:10 PM   #12
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Proper procedure
1. Enroll in Escapeforum University
2. Signup for Hitchup 101
3. Educate
4. Lubricate
5. Matriculate
6. Go Camping
7. Celebrate
Do not get 6 and 7 reversed.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:38 PM   #13
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I used to just “push” the latch. Now I lube the moving parts, put on a glove and slap the latch. If lined up properly, it works 1st try almost all the time.
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