Lesson learned regarding hitching up - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-20-2015, 12:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
It's not important, unless you need blocks for some reason...
  • if you are on soft ground with a small foot, a larger block can keep the jack from sinking in (not a concern on concrete)
  • if you are on a slope with the ground lower under the front of the trailer, the jack may not reach down far enough so you may need a block
  • if you don't have a foot or a jack, you may need something to protect the jack leg end and/or the parking surface
If you don't have a situation like this - or some other reason to need a block - (and it sounds like you don't, Jen) then there's no reason to put a block under the jack.
Thanks, Brian. Yep, trailer is stored on a flat, even, concrete surface. Everyone here is so kind and helpful! I know my questions are covering the most basic of stuff but I don't want to regret missing something or doing something wrong. This little 15' is my baby and I want to make sure it stays as pristine as the day I picked her up..
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:33 AM   #22
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Larry and Liz,
We each try to check everything on the hitch every time, which includes lock on coupler secure, chains crossed properly and connected, foot up higher than WDH arms, breakaway on, pin in ball mount, WDH arms on with pin,
no. of chain links loose, blocks removed. And I try to check all of those after any stop. We are also each checking on the inside and doing the walk around to see all stabilizers up, bath vent down, etc.

Made up a very long check list. When we started, hooking up was a big slow deal. Not any longer, thank goodness. You get used to checking these items and each one only takes a second. But both need to do so. And if you are alone, need to check everything three times!

We do not have the battery switch off unless in storage. That way you rarely have to remember to turn it on.

Now I wonder what we will miss next time out!
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:08 AM   #23
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Leon might have even paid Jen to take his wheel!
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I think the hitch wheel is one of those things that you think you need and then discover that you don't. There have been a few offered for free over the years to any taker.
Mine has spent its entire life in the rear footwell of my tow vehicle.
It only works on a smooth, level concrete surface. On any softer surface, the wheel just digs in and won't aid turning or moving the trailer.
I've kept mine, only because some day I might want to shift the nose of the trailer a couple inches in my carport.
I agree, I have 2 unused ones in my garage. They work great on smaller trailers but not the heavier ones, there you need the foot pad for stability issues.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:12 AM   #25
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I used the hitch wheel on my 19 a few times, but on hard gravel or pavement. I have swung it around by myself, but with two people it moves fairly easy. Never did was it a must move situation, more of getting it more ideally situated in a site.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:37 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
Leon might have even paid Jen to take his wheel!
You are right -- we had a couple at the swap table in Osoyoos last year. Neither one went. I think they would make sense for the small Escape trailers (13 and 15) but not for anything larger.

I got a Husky Jack Foot for the 21. It works well but I should cut an inch or two off the extension. Often it is just a bit too long for how the trailer ends up in the campsite. If I had to do it over again, I would probably get one of the cones that people have mentioned. Much cheaper.

One thing I learned about hitching and unhitching is that you need to chock the wheels before you remove the hitch from the ball, and conversely, don't remove the chocks until the hitch is securely on the ball. I once failed to follow this protocol and the trailer moved a few inches on its own. No damage done, but was a breath taking moment.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
...One thing I learned about hitching and unhitching is that you need to chock the wheels before you remove the hitch from the ball, and conversely, don't remove the chocks until the hitch is securely on the ball. I once failed to follow this protocol and the trailer moved a few inches on its own. No damage done, but was a breath taking moment.
Amazing how well those little moments stick in even in our aging brains. I can still completely picture in my mind an at least 30 year old memory of my 1961 Ford pickup slowly rolling down the driveway and curving off down the field, where it was luckily caught in the branches of an old maple right before it went into the creek. Parking brakes are very good things!
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:46 AM   #28
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True that, chock first, "de chock" last. I saw the beginning of what probably ruined what would have been a nice day when the man pulled the chocks too early and the trailer rolled into the TV hitch. No damage except to the door frame when the lady slammed the door as they left the campground. I believe she was admonishing him not to do this again and pointing out something about his intelligence and lineage.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:38 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryandLiz View Post
The Lesson(s) we've learned about hitching up is that the thing you've forgotten or didn't know about hitching can become VERY important if disaster strikes.

Two lessons. #1. I assumed Liz had put the hitch pin on (if that is what it is called) because she had locked the hitch down onto the ball. I asked her about the pin about 1/2 an hour into the drive. We stopped and put the pin on. Lesson: The driver should check everything about hitching up him or herself. I forgot to check the hitch up.

#2. Something we didn't "know" although we had read the ETI manual which covers this detail. We didn't know that the battery switch (the inside switch which turns off all battery power to the trailer) MUST be up (power available within the trailer) in order for the breakaway cord to trigger the trailer brakes should THE TRAILER BECOME DISCONNECTED WHILE UNDERWAY.

As reasonably intelligent people but new to all things towing we learned that there are many details and lots of material to cover. Make a list and check it two (or three) times before heading out. A tip I read on our Forum is that you should do everything in the same order every time.

Larry
Very good advice. I always insist to the would be helpers I want to do it all myself. If I have a knowledgeable helper I tell her to do it all herself so there is no one else to blame
if something does not get done.
Haste makes waste.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #30
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The very last thing I do is release the safety chains.
And, even when my buddy ( who owns a 19' ) helps hooking up, I go around and check everything.
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