Trouble Unhitching - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-20-2018, 11:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: College Station, Texas
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21 "LollyPop" June 12, 2017, sold Coleman pop up
Posts: 220
Trouble Unhitching

I have a 2017 Escape 21 with the E2 Fastway wdh but I don't think this has anything to do with the wdh. Lately I have had problems getting the trailer tongue to come off the ball after the wdh bars are removed. There can be two problems.

Usually I can get the hitch latching mechanism to disengage (move up and back) but then I have trouble raising the tongue up off the ball with the electric jack. So I move the tow vehicle (truck) forward and back a bit and then stand on the rear bumper of the truck and move it up and down a bit and the tongue will come up off the ball. So that has just been a nuisance.

Last trip, though, I could not get the hitch latching mechanism to disengage (move up and back) at all. It seemed frozen up. I moved the truck back a forth a bit, raised the tongue jack, stood on the bumper and moved the truck up and down, etc. but nothing worked. I thought I would have to take the trailer with me to work the next day. Somehow after a several more minutes of scratching my head and doing some more of the same the latch disengaged and everything was fine. I thought maybe something might need lubrication but after unlatching, the latching mechanism moves very freely with no problems at all. So I think it must have been in a bind somehow but I don't know how and don't really know what I did that happened to free it up and get it to disengage. So I don't have an idea how to prevent it or confidence what to do if it happens again. I would appreciate any ideas.

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Old 07-20-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: san jose, California
Trailer: 2017 21 escape
Posts: 2
un hook the hitch at the truck and pull away from the trailer then go back and release the ball it is sticking because of a bind , mine does the same thing and a friend of mine also with a 21 has the same problem.

Mylo & Pat
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:59 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
Posts: 393
For the past 50 years if I have problems I put my truck into neutral and then wiggle it loose. You do need to chock the truck tires if on a grade. Has never failed me yet.


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Old 07-20-2018, 05:50 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,445
There has been some reports of a failed latching mechanism. There are no adjustments. I believe there was a case where the latching mechanism was cut off and a new one installed. Some how I would think enough “persuasion” could be applied.
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:33 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19'
Posts: 83
I sometimes have trouble unhitching when my truck and trailer are on different slopes which creates an angle that binds the hitch. Is this the case for you? I eventually unhitch by moving the truck or trailer a little until I can pop it off by jumping on the bumper. I never have any trouble when both the truck and trailer are level.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:49 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London, Ontario
Trailer: EX 2007 Escape 17B, 2020 E 19' on order
Posts: 185
I often have to put some weight on the bumper, usually pops out, once a year, I spray the mechanism with a little oil, keeps it freed up.
2020 Escape 19 on Order
Trailer #6 was a 2007 Escape 17B
2019 Toyota Tundra 4.6L 4X4 DC
Toronto to LA was Epic in my 17B
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:12 AM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Trailer: 2015 17A - Ready for 4th Maiden Voyage
Posts: 785
I too have occasional trouble unhitching my 17. I'd chock the trailer and somewhat sharply engage forward and than quickly reverse. Then I started greasing the ball ( lithium based grease and you have a chance washing it out). Use same as wheel bearing grease. Cover ball with a tennis ball cut with a 1-7/8" hole saw to fit over ball. Saves shins and clothes..... and your coupler should release the ball much more easily.
Some where there is tension if it does want to release freely.
Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:37 AM   #8
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Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,679
When I've had issues I had to move the truck forward or backwards just a smidgen, don't remember which way it was though. I think it had to do with taking any forward or backwards pressure off the ball.

As mentioned, greasing the ball helps, use very little grease. After you ruin enough clothes you learn to avoid the ball, sort of.
Happy Motoring
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:45 AM   #9
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Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 802
I find that if I spray the two sides of the hitching mechanism, put a glove on (to cushion my hand) and forcefully slap the hitch mechanism, it will usually disengage every time. You can’t be gentle or timid about this!
Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything - Charles Kuralt
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:34 AM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
Posts: 75
I too have had this issue since day one. I found the problem to be the bar that slides under the ball when you close the top latch. It binds up and does not slide back far enough to free the ball when you lift the latch. I found that the generous application of a good lubricant and manually sliding the bar back and forth seem to have taken care of the problem. Use a glove when you manually slide it back and forth lest you get pinched in the process.
Per other previous threads this is one of the things that came with an ETI cost saving and makes me wish ETI offered an upgraded frame option with a better coupler and a marine galvanized finish.

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