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Old 03-12-2017, 02:20 PM   #1
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Unhitching help, please

Okay, I posted the below in the thread on the Fastway hitch, but almost an hour later there isn't an answer and I'm heading out of here in about 30 mins. Ack! I'm hoping a separate thread will get a quick response.

Unhitching question
Okay, we went out and played around with the hitch, to make sure I can do it all. Having a hell of a time putting those stupid wavy clips on that use lots of pressure to go in place. We'll figure something out differently later on, if possible.

Anywho, question for now.

We went to unhitch it to make sure I can do it by myself. Got the yoke off the coupler (is that correctly worded?). Took the pin out that holds the yoke down and flipped it up and then forward.

Nothing.

So, raised the jack up (SSSSOOO glad we got electric on that sucker). Still nothing. Raised it even more and more and more.

Still not releasing. Dirk had me move the truck forward a small bit and it finally came apart with a huge thunk. He said the trailer moved back and the truck moved forward when it released. (Yep, had the wheel blocks in place - first thing I did.)

Gotta be an easier way to do it. Dirk thought maybe moving the truck back a bit would have been better.

And do we really need to raise it up that much for them to disengage?

Help! Thanks much!
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Okay, I posted the below in the thread on the Fastway hitch, but almost an hour later there isn't an answer and I'm heading out of here in about 30 mins. Ack! I'm hoping a separate thread will get a quick response.

Unhitching question
Okay, we went out and played around with the hitch, to make sure I can do it all. Having a hell of a time putting those stupid wavy clips on that use lots of pressure to go in place. We'll figure something out differently later on, if possible.

Anywho, question for now.

We went to unhitch it to make sure I can do it by myself. Got the yoke off the coupler (is that correctly worded?). Took the pin out that holds the yoke down and flipped it up and then forward.

Nothing.

So, raised the jack up (SSSSOOO glad we got electric on that sucker). Still nothing. Raised it even more and more and more.

Still not releasing. Dirk had me move the truck forward a small bit and it finally came apart with a huge thunk. He said the trailer moved back and the truck moved forward when it released. (Yep, had the wheel blocks in place - first thing I did.)

Gotta be an easier way to do it. Dirk thought maybe moving the truck back a bit would have been better.

And do we really need to raise it up that much for them to disengage?

Help! Thanks much!
Laura, If I understand your situation, yes, the front of the coupler has a bit of a cupping in it with about a 1/4" or so lip at the bottom which extends under the out-curving of the ball. So if there is no slack between the tow vehicle and the trailer, then there is pressure holding the ball in that cupping. Let the tow vehicle roll back toward the trailer just a bit, and it will lift off easier. But let the tow vehicle roll back too much, and it will catch on the back side, on the latching mechanism, much the same. The most drastic separation usually occurs when the trailer is chocked tight and can't budge, and the emergency brake is set hard on the tow vehicle, so neither can budge. Then that cupping in the yolk really holds them together until the vertical pressure from the jack to separate them exceeds the horizontal pressure holding them together - if that makes sense. Next time it happens, try giving just a little space between trailer tires and chocks so the trailer can rock 1/2 " or so forward and back. It should release more easily. The same thing can happen if you park on a slope and want to disconnect the trailer. Just realize which way the forces are pushing the trailer (toward or away from the tow vehicle), chock the trailer so it can't move further in that direction, then let the tow vehicle move just a bit to create some slack and slip the ball away from the lip of that cupping. Again, I hope that makes sense.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, Dale.

Yes, what you said makes sense and that's the situation we were in. Too much tension/pressure I guess.

So, when do I let the truck roll back a bit? After I've released the yoke thingie?

I did have the chocks tight against the tires, so I'll leave a bit more distance next time.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:05 PM   #4
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Okay, I posted the below in the thread on the Fastway hitch, but almost an hour later there isn't an answer and I'm heading out of here in about 30 mins. Ack! I'm hoping a separate thread will get a quick response.
There are responses in the other thread.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:09 PM   #5
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Laura, Sometime while the trailer is unhitched, lay down on your back and look up at the hitch from underneath. Work the yolk and latch through their full range of motions as if you were hitching up and unhitching (protect your eyes in case some dirt or grime falls out of the coupler on you). It's pretty simple mechanics once you see how it works. Back to your earlier problem - if the trailer is chocked tight, and your tow vehicle's emergency brake is set tight, about the only way for the two to separate when under pressure is for the rubber in the tires to flex and the springs and shock absorbers to give, and when the pressure created is relieved as the ball and coupler finally separate, everything will suddenly snap back to their original position. So that's why it seemed like such a violent separation when the ball and coupler finally separated. As you found out, it can really get your attention!
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:58 PM   #6
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This is a helpful post. I have read on various trailer sites that I should secure the chocks to ensure the wheels are tight against them. No mention about preventing the latch from releasing properly. I'm going to try it at my next stop: Yosemite. Yikes! August is their busiest time of the year!
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:14 PM   #7
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If I have difficulty with the trailer not lifting off the truck ball, I use the front trailer jack to raise the trailer and back end of the truck about an inch. Then I get in the truck and let it roll a little. The truck ball drops out of the trailer hitch. Sometimes the truck rolls without power and sometimes I need to drive forward or in reverse about 1/2 an inch.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:38 PM   #8
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If I have difficulty with the trailer not lifting off the truck ball, I use the front trailer jack to raise the trailer and back end of the truck about an inch. Then I get in the truck and let it roll a little. The truck ball drops out of the trailer hitch. Sometimes the truck rolls without power and sometimes I need to drive forward or in reverse about 1/2 an inch.
An excellent and often necessary practise.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:50 PM   #9
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We feel your pain Laura. The one thing about the trailer that just frustrates us to no end is unhooking the little bugger. So many time we have had to work the truck back and forth ... and back and forth to get it to release. One time, my husband wasn't watching (and not doing it quite right) and it uncoupled with such force that the front of the trailer actually "jumped" a bit. Just glad my foot wasn't anywhere close by.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:07 AM   #10
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We ran into the same thing with our 19'. You need to get the ball centered pretty exactly between the lip of the coupler cup in front of the ball and the sliding bar thing behind the ball. We carry a small mirror in the front storage box and hold it below the coupler facing up at an angle so we can see exactly how the ball is positioned. We usually have to move the tow vehicle forward or back maybe 1/8" to get the ball centered exactly, and then the coupler can lift off the ball with no drama when the tongue jack is raised. We have a ball with a 1" rise to make the trailer slightly tongue-up, so we have a good view up into the coupler - not blocked by the ball mount bar.

It's also a nice way to visually ensure that the ball is secured in the coupler with the sliding bar thing when hitching up - we check this every time - and also for a nice side view of the 7-pin plug to make sure it is really latched in place by the little tab that locks over the shoulder on the tow vehicle part of the plug.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:13 AM   #11
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Etrailer has some useful insight to this problem with unhitching. If you don't want to click the link as some have said then you can search "are some yoke couplers easier to unhitch".
https://www.etrailer.com/question-50591.html

Edit: do not attempt to use an Atwood latch repair kit. Even though an Escape coupler looks very similar it is not an Atwood and the kit will not work; ask me how I know.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:18 AM   #12
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Most automatic transmissions "crawl" when placing the vehicle in Park. That little bit of movement can mean the difference between a clean disconnect and one where you back and forth, thinking obscenities, sweat forming on your brow, while tying to disconnect. What ever you do, keep the emergency cable connect and safety chains hooked until the couple is free. Then, after insuring the trailer is properly chocked, disconnect these 2 items.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:26 AM   #13
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Unhitching Question

Originally posted by NW Cat Owner: Okay, we went out and played around with the hitch, to make sure I can do it all. Having a hell of a time putting those stupid wavy clips on that use lots of pressure to go in place. We'll figure something out differently later on, if possible.

I have replaced the original L-Pins with the type that have a wire bail. The wire bail flips over the bracket and keeps the L-pin in place.


You can buy these on Amazon at this link.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GBRWMSE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Or scan for "Equal-i-zer 95019430 Snap L-Pin"
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:52 AM   #14
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I added a screwdriver to my setup box. When I can't get the coupler to unlock I slide the screwdriver under the lift handle and I can pop it right up. It doesn't take much effort with the screwdriver, but impossible with ur fingers. At some point I'll change this coupler out to a bulldog coupler cause I don't want to be messing with this issue when we full time.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:03 AM   #15
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I added a screwdriver to my setup box. When I can't get the coupler to unlock I slide the screwdriver under the lift handle and I can pop it right up. It doesn't take much effort with the screwdriver, but impossible with ur fingers. At some point I'll change this coupler out to a bulldog coupler cause I don't want to be messing with this issue when we full time.
I do the same thing with a screwdriver sized prybar.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:21 AM   #16
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pstyer, doesn't the pin need to pass thru a hole beneath the shelf for the bar or is that how it hooks up on the Equalizer? On the E2 from Escape the pin is thru the L sharped retainer below that shelf the bar rest on.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:45 AM   #17
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I had the same stuck hitch problem on my new 21'. Did most of the tricks mentioned above and it helped. I did add more grease on the ball and it now slips out easily!
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:24 PM   #18
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Our driveway has a fairly steep decline approaching where the trailer is parked and the tow vehicle is always on the slope. Tow vehicle is a manual transmission for extra fun...

What's worked for us is to get the trailer backed into position, chocked and e-brake applied while the ball is still at the front of the coupler (i.e under tension). In our experience, the latch will always release in this case whereas if the ball is at the back of the coupler (compression) the latch release is very difficult. Once the latch is up, we haven't had a problem raising the coupler off the ball but as Tom mentioned above, greasing the ball and inside of the coupler does help.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:40 PM   #19
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I hope I understand your question.
The wire bail acts like a spring. It snaps down to hold the L-Pin in place or it will rotate up and snap against the top of the L-Pin and allow the L-Pin to be removed.

Here is a You Tube video showing how it works.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:23 PM   #20
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pstyer - yes that explains it perfectly - thanks!
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