Off the Ball - connection issue - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-04-2019, 02:16 PM   #1
DT6
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Off the Ball - connection issue

We finally picked up our Escape 19 last month ( June 2019) that was finished last December. Our Escape came OFF the ball shortly after pulling out of the parking lot where the transfer takes place across the border in Washington.

The hookup process they showed us at the factory was that once the latch goes down and the cotter-pin goes through the hole, you are hooked up and ready to go. I watched the Escape employee who drove it over the border while he hooked it up to our truck. He said the same thing, the latch is down and the pin is through the hole, so you are good to go.

Well, not so fast. Shortly, about a mile or so out of the parking lot the trailer tongue came off the truck hitch-ball just after we rounded a corner at a 4-way stop. Even though the latch was down and the cotter pin was through the hole and it looked okay, the trailer tongue was not securely attached to the ball on the tow vehicle hitch. So the only thing keeping the trailer attached to our truck at this point were the safety chains and without the tongue attached to the ball on the truck hitch, the trailer jack started dragging on the highway.

We are fortunate that we going fairly slow (under 30mph I think) when the trailer detached, and I remembered to not slam on the brakes and let the trailer bring us to a stop as much as possible. Needless to say we were pretty shaken up. It was a scary situation at first as my wife had to get out in traffic to direct people/trucks around, while I'm trying to figure out how I can get the trailer attached and hoping someone does not plow into the back. Fortunately several good samaritans helped. One individual stopped and helped me get the trailer/truck moved so I could detach the chains from the truck without cutting them, and two Washington State highway construction workers who stopped on their way to work helped my wife continue to direct traffic around us. We were finally able to get the trailer back on the hitch. We were barely able to do this and I was wishing I had a pair of bolt-cutters or a hacksaw to cut the chain, but in the end we did not need to. By this time of course, we were past the end of the day, so we carefully made our way to our planned campsite.

We called the next day to vigorously complain (okay, we were livid). This was hooked up and blessed by their guy, I was just watching, and he followed the same process as the factory orientation. At first, the company rep sounded a bit defensive and stated that they have never had a hitch failure and didn't bother to ask if we were okay until later in the conversation. At that point we told him we wanted the option of returning it for a complete refund - after all, if they cannot successfully hook it up how am I supposed to have confidence that I can? At that point Escape offered to take the trailer back with a full refund if we wanted.

This offer actually helped us feel better about the situation, and after further discussion we all agreed that it would be best for Escape to send a qualified staff member down to Washington to inspect the trailer for damage and to make a recommendation.

The next day (day three of ownership), Trevor drove down from Chilliwack and after a thorough inspection it was a minor miracle that no damage had occurred, although the jack skid plate showed a lot of scuffing. Trevor and I probably attached and unhooked the trailer from the tow hitch about three times to make sure it was normal. He was very concerned, and it showed in how much time he spent looking at everything. We felt good about everything after his inspection and went over a new procedure to ensure the hookup is solid. Going forward, Escape will not longer tell everyone that the hook-up is good if the latch goes down and pin goes through. The new process I discussed with Escape is that once the latch and pin are in place, lower the jack to ensure both the trailer and car/truck hitch both rise together and don't separate. It only takes a minute or so and is wort the effort for safety.

We feel extremely lucky to have gotten thru all of that without any issues, it could have easily been so much worse. We are now down in Oregon and fortunately we have not had any towing issues since. Whew!
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:23 PM   #2
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I did not see where you tell what actually went wrong. Glad everyone was ok and safe
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:27 PM   #3
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Not to be a bother, but could you break long text up into paragraphs. I know it might just be me, but my eyes have trouble following through the solid text on the screen. Thanks.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the note. I've done some editing. Please let me know if that does not clear up your question.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DT6 View Post
Thanks for the note. I've done some editing. Please let me know if that does not clear up your question.
Thanks, that really helps.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:49 PM   #6
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Always been a fear of mine to have this happen. I have a weight distribution hitch so I have to raise the trailer and back end of the truck up to get the bars on, good to know this is the safety check.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:04 PM   #7
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Did they say what the issue actually was?

The only times I have had a trailer come off the hitch was when I stupidly forgot to latch it, and that was ages ago.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Not to be a bother, but could you break long text up into paragraphs. I know it might just be me, but my eyes have trouble following through the solid text on the screen. Thanks.
One of my favorite gripes about some posts.

Your whole life story in one long single spaced ramble.

I very rarely read more than the first few words.

Makes my eyes glaze over.

Ron
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
One of my favorite gripes about some posts.

Your whole life story in one long single spaced ramble.

I very rarely read more than the first few words.

Makes my eyes glaze over.

Ron
Being dyslexic I have problems with three types of posters:

1) The single paragraph writer.

2) The lazy writer who can't capitalize the first letter of a sentence, proper nouns, or just anything that should be capitalized, or can't put a period at the end of a sentence.

3) But worse, those who write using both #1 and #2.

The other thing that drives me crazy here is the 120 minute editing window! At least the Fiberglass Forum has a 8 hour window.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:45 PM   #10
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I still don't know how this happened. Can you elaborate?
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post

The other thing that drives me crazy here is...
So, you are going crazy? Me too. It sure can be fun, eh?
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:04 PM   #12
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I can’t believe some of you are going on about the text in the original post. Jim addressed it politely, it was fixed, let it go! What I would expect to see is “Oh my gosh! How scary for you! I’m so glad you’re okay and secondly, the trailer was okay. Were you able to figure out what the issue is so it doesn’t happen again.” The rest is small stuff!
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:06 PM   #13
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I went to check mine...there's a bit of play so I will tighten that nut. Here's a video I found.

https://youtu.be/m6b4eMzE1ws
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:53 PM   #14
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HI DT7

Glad that you both came thru this without harm. Also glad that your new trailer didn't get damaged.

I hope this is the end of your initiation phase into trailering with an escape and it's smooth sailing from now on.

Can you please advise if you have a reason for that hitch coming off.

Having a root cause will help me prevent something similar. I would really appreciate it if you had any ideas. If not, that's OK too.

John
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:00 PM   #15
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So, you are going crazy? Me too. It sure can be fun, eh?
Short trip for some of these yahoos!
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:15 PM   #16
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So, you are going crazy? Me too. It sure can be fun, eh?
I've always enjoyed crazy, but a few others have problems with it. I wasn't happy teaching until I learned to be crazy.

Following Bobby McFerrin's advice, "Don't worry! Be happy!"

Perry
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:36 PM   #17
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This actually is common problem and ETI should have never stated what they did. The problem is the catch that traps the ball into the ball socket can be pushed up by the ball when lowering the tongue onto the ball.

Normally this happens when the ball is biased to the rear of the ball socket and when you lower the tongue, the ball pushes the catch up and behind the ball in the socket thus giving false connection as the latch will fold down.

Two ways to confirm you are hitched;

As already stated lower the tongue jack until the rear of truck starts to rise. If you are not hitched correctly the tongue will pop off the ball mount.

Another way is to just look underneath and make sure the catch is underneath the ball and not pushed up behind the ball.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Replacement Latch.jpg (215.0 KB, 53 views)
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:43 PM   #18
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This actually is common.....The problem is the catch that traps the ball into the ball socket can be pushed up by the ball when lowering the tongue onto the ball.

Normally this happens when the ball is biased to the rear of the ball socket and when you lower the tongue, the ball pushes the catch up and behind the ball in the socket thus giving false connection as the latch will fold down.
Better to have the ball slightly forward so that you pull onto it when lowering down - helps to prevent a "false hitch".
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
I've always enjoyed crazy, but a few others have problems with it. I wasn't happy teaching until I learned to be crazy.

Following Bobby McFerrin's advice, "Don't worry! Be happy!"

Perry
One does need to be a little crazy to stay sane in this world.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:12 PM   #20
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Kent's reply above explains exactly what happened very well, and much better than my original post (Thank you!). Also, thanks to all for you well wishes. We have not had any issues since, but it was a heck of an initiation!
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