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Old 01-14-2020, 08:33 PM   #1
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tongue coupler problem

Just discovered I have a problem with my coupler not seating down properly. Result is I now cannot slip my padlock through it, to keep the hinged part from dislodging up. Note in picture "A" points to the tip that should drop down into the slots. "B" points to the through holes for the padlock, which now are not alligned. So, that hinged visor now will not drop down enough.

Evidently something somehow got bent out of shape, just barely enough to prevent a proper seating engagement. See no sign of how or what happened. Online coupler repair kits do not address this Escape coupler design... only the straight Curt coupler type. Anyone know what manufacturer produces our coupler? Seeing no way to remove that drop-down visor. Failing that I may try applying ball-peen-hammer persuasion. (Probably a good way to ruin it.)
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File Type: jpg hitch4.jpg (181.5 KB, 80 views)
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:55 PM   #2
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It is called a RAM, made in China. An Atwood knockoff yoke-style coupler. Had to replace ours at the two year mark and interestingly after asking Reace about it when having other warranty work done in May 2016.

I suspect ours was worn from the Andersen hitch. We went with an Atwood coupler, yet if replacing today would look at Bulldog.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:58 PM   #3
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You show it on the ball. First pull your vehicle fwd. to make sure the ball is tight to the front. If that does not work then lift the coupler off the ball and spray the inside shoe with WD-40 then give it a tap from behind to the front. Sometimes the shoe gets jammed to the rear and wont let the coupler latch. Years ago they made a rebuild kit for that type of coupler but it did not work for all mfg.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:11 PM   #4
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Do a search for "yoke style coupler repair kit" if needed.
Eddie
https://www.theoempartsstore.com/atw...epair_kit.html
Video's
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6FORM%3DHDRSC3
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6FORM%3DVDMHRS
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elongest View Post
You show it on the ball. First pull your vehicle fwd. to make sure the ball is tight to the front. If that does not work then lift the coupler off the ball and spray the inside shoe with WD-40 then give it a tap from behind to the front. Sometimes the shoe gets jammed to the rear and wont let the coupler latch.
Agreed. I bet if Myron pulled forward slightly and took pressure off the hitch mechanism it would drop into place. I’ve had this happen before when hitching. The ball likes to be seated nicely into the front.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elongest View Post
It doesn't exist. Thinking our original was an Atwood- I bought the repair kit and it did not work.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:30 PM   #7
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"...you show it on the ball ...I bet if Myron pulled forward slightly and took pressure off the hitch mechanism it would drop into place. I’ve had this happen before when hitching. The ball likes to be seated nicely into the front...."

In a perfect world it would be that easy, but...of course I thought of that first. The picture shown in my post is an old one...other than as a visual reference, not relevant. No amount of jiggling or cajoling, with no ball under there, changes things.

It is weird. Nothing seems bent or out of place, it seems to be a couple hairs off, just enough to prevent a proper seating. For adjustment it does not look like any leverage exists. Will be doing more searching for ... a yoke style coupler? More evaluation needed here, before I attempt aggressive surgery, probably on those two "teeth.".
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:55 PM   #8
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Couplers do wear out and in the realm of good, better, best- the RAM is barely good IMO. Maybe PM Rbryan and ask him why he changed to a bulldog.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:16 AM   #9
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Wink 2" balls

IMHO it could be that the locking shoe was bent just a bit up..somebody may have dropped the coupler down onto a ball with the locking 'shoe' partially closed. FWIW folks need to be careful w WD40...bks when it dries it leaves a sticky or "tacky" residue, and is not recommended for certain "lube" jobs..like in firearms for instance, where ya want the parts w close tolerances.. to slide...
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:50 AM   #10
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Our coupler was hanging up and not latching properly plus the peened end on the latch pin was only being held in place by one small tab of metal . I drilled out the pin , disassembled the parts , cleaned , lubricated , fabricated a new pin , replaced latch spring , reassembled and adjusted . All has worked well for the last year .
If it fails again , I will replace the coupler with a bulldog
Not impressed with the quality of the Ram coupler , not sure if the Atwood is any better
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:23 AM   #11
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This is a bit of a crisis. If Myron can't tow his trailer then how is he going to get the pork roll to Quartzsite?!

Taking a shot here...the similar style Atwood couplers used to have a repair kit. This required drilling out/cutting off the pin similar to what Steve suggests above and then a bolt with a sleeve was used in place of the pin. At the link below I have located what I believe is the exact RAM coupler that Escape used on the early trailers (not sure what they use now). Unfortunately there is no repair kit. I'm thinking that in a pinch one could buy this coupler for $30 just for the latch parts and then reassemble with a proper graded bolt, sleeve, nut and lock washer on the old coupler. Would need to be careful with an angle grinder to get the old pin end cut off without damaging the parts. Looking at is closer maybe a drill would work fine.

https://www.etrailer.com/A-Frame-Tra...iABEgK-w_D_BwE
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File Type: jpg ATWOOD kit installed - example only.JPG (51.8 KB, 23 views)
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:37 AM   #12
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The latch pin on my coupling was simply a pin with one end peened over
There was no sleeve . I fabricated a pin from a SS bolt , washers and nylock nuts
So far has worked well with no signs of wear . The latch pin is not subject to constant movement or stress so a grade 5 bolt should be plenty strong.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:39 AM   #13
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I was having some troubles with the original coupler, I replaced it with a Bulldog coupler and could not be happier https://www.etrailer.com/tv-Demo-Bul...-BD028287.aspx!
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:07 PM   #14
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I am not trying to hijack this thread but I have the opposite problem. No trouble getting the latch closed. It’s when it is closed around the ball there is a substantial amount of play. So much so that when coming to a stop there is a distinctive clunk.

Replaced the ball with another 2” to no avail.

There is almost nothing that can be adjusted on these couplers. Short of a ball peen hammer that is. Just not sure how or where to apply the hammer.

Ian, the link you provided just takes me to the opening page for a Bulldog, not the specific part/model.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:14 PM   #15
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You can see here the (visor) latch is set down but the "teeth" of it do not drop into their holes. Which means the crossing pin (padlock) cannot be inserted. A few surgical taps with a ball peen hammer and chisel may work, or may make it worse. I am considering trying to shave down those teeth with a dremel. May be only way to get the thing seated.
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File Type: jpg coupler2.jpg (220.8 KB, 46 views)
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:38 PM   #16
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Not sure that I'd do that Myron. Might give a false sense of security.

I don't how much tapping etc. you've done. The only time that I've had that kind of problem tapping with a hammer, not violently , tap not smash, with wiggle and jiggle and lot's of WD40 worked for me.

Good luck,

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Old 01-15-2020, 01:20 PM   #17
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After looking at the current picture the vertical piece above the front cuff just under your spring appears to be bent fwd. Tapping it to the rear while latched should allow the cogs to drop into the slot. Never noticed it before but compared to other couplers this is a weak point of this coupler.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Ian, the link you provided just takes me to the opening page for a Bulldog, not the specific part/model.
Not sure what in happening with the link I initially posted, I updated the link to the Bulldog Couple at a stable link at eTrailer https://www.etrailer.com/tv-Demo-Bul...-BD028287.aspx
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:43 PM   #19
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Now a good link. How much to have the new coupler installed?
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:49 PM   #20
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Another thing to try before drastic action is taken re: spending money for a new coupler

Congealed grease can stop things from moving smoothly. I'd try a little heat from a torch, not cherry red heat like on a rusted nut, but make it pretty warm and tap away. Always nice to avoid expenses if it can be avoided.

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