Hitch Height with Dexter Lift, 21' Escape - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-03-2015, 10:34 PM   #1
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Hitch Height with Dexter Lift, 21' Escape

Hello Everyone, I'm hoping to set up my hitch before we go pick up our new Escape 21 in six weeks. Hops is just now entering production! I'm wondering if anyone has a 21 footer with the Dexter lift that can measure the height of the hitch (from the top of hitch) to the ground/floor when the trailer is level. I'm looking to get my ball and hitch at about the right level. I know it won't be exact, but close enough so that I may not have to fuss with it at the orientation or at the border. My thought is that if I get my ball about 1.5 inches above that measurement, the sag in the truck suspension with the load on the rear may, if I'm lucky, bring it close to level. Thanks in advance.

Emilio and Christine, and Hops, the zygote Escape
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:51 PM   #2
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What is a Dexter lift?
The top of the ball on my Anderson hitch head it 19 1/2".
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmellon View Post
Hello Everyone, I'm hoping to set up my hitch before we go pick up our new Escape 21 in six weeks. Hops is just now entering production! I'm wondering if anyone has a 21 footer with the Dexter lift that can measure the height of the hitch (from the top of hitch) to the ground/floor when the trailer is level. I'm looking to get my ball and hitch at about the right level. I know it won't be exact, but close enough so that I may not have to fuss with it at the orientation or at the border. My thought is that if I get my ball about 1.5 inches above that measurement, the sag in the truck suspension with the load on the rear may, if I'm lucky, bring it close to level. Thanks in advance.

Emilio and Christine, and Hops, the zygote Escape
I wouldn't worry about the receiver height Emilio and Christina. Escape will set up the hitch at the right height for you. After all, they have to, in order to make sure their delivery driver can tow it across the border properly. If you have a stinger you can reverse to change the ball height (say 2" up or down) you're probably good to go.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:01 PM   #4
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Target is the trailer height. As long as your ball is lower than the trailer socket, it will work. It will work even better if the trailer is level when all is said and done; 20 inches for a 21 (or any Escape with 15 inch tires) should work fine.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:03 PM   #5
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Thanks! The Dexter lift raises the frame a couple inches higher than normal. Since we have done, and will soon do, some boondocking, we wanted the extra clearance for all the stuff underneath the trailer.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:15 PM   #6
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If you will be towing in a weight-carrying configuration - meaning no weight-distribution (WD) system - then you can easily change ball mounts (the removable part to which the ball is attached) to whatever you need. If you're using some specialty ball mount which is not readily available everywhere, this might be tough to accurately anticipate.

If you will be using a WD system, it will be adjustable in height, and setting the height is just a part of the setup that needs to be done with the trailer. The part that the hitch head moves up and down (the "shank" is one name for it) does need to be about the right size to cover the height range needed, so it is worth checking in advance.

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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
As long as your ball is lower than the trailer socket, it will work. It will work even better if the trailer is level when all is said and done...
Having the trailer's tongue too low is okay for single-axles, but a tandem like the 21 Foot needs to be close to level to keep the axle loads even, especially with the Torflex suspensions used on the 19 Foot and 21 Foot.

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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
... 20 inches for a 21 (or any Escape with 15 inch tires) should work fine.
I agree that all 21 Foot units - without lift kit - should sit at about the same height. All Escapes have 15" wheels now, but they vary in coupler height between models... even without lift kits.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:53 AM   #7
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I was wondering about doing this on my Escape which has a build sheet due in December... As we live in an area with many hills and driveways that do not have nice slopes. Any extra clearance is good.

What is your tow vehicle and what hitch setup are you planning to use?

How much of a lift will this option give you?
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:03 AM   #8
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I did not know Escape would lift a 21' any, years ago they offered lift kits but now all are standard heights. Did you post pictures of the new unit with the lift installed, or could you?
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:34 AM   #9
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My tow vehicle is a 2014 Silverado 1500 and the hitch is an Equal-i-zer. The lift isn't listed on the build sheet. I saw it on the forum and wrote ETI inquiring about it. The lift isn't much, just a couple inches, but the prices is low too. We don't always stay in campgrounds with paved access, so end up on some rutted or washed out national forest roads from time to time. The downside might be that lifting the trailer higher into the slipstream will have a negative effect on gas mileage, but I decided that would negligible.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:35 AM   #10
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No pictures yet. We take delivery on Sept. 18.
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