Unhitching Camper on Uphill Slope - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-01-2018, 10:32 PM   #1
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Unhitching Camper on Uphill Slope

I have researched this a bit, and I have yet to come across my specific situation.

The only way to unhitch our camper is on an uphill. Every time we unhitch it, no matter where our chocks are, the camper comes off the ball and moves backwards a couple inches. Which is obviously dangerous and unwanted. Once or twice we thought the jack would fall off our wood block. One time the camper nearly crushed one of our chocks.

What are we doing wrong?

Many posts I see on this subject recommend using x-chocks, but we have a single axle travel trailer, so that is a no go.

Are we using bad chocks? What do you guys recommend on single axle campers?

Any advise will be much appreciated!
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:38 PM   #2
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Your profile says you have a " 2012 Forest River Surveyor Sport." While the procedure may be the same for other brands of trailers, do you have an Escape? Want to help, but need better details.... like model of ETI build.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
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EDIT: No I do not have an Escape. It is a Surveyor 191T. It is a small trailer with 2 fold outs. One in front and one on the side. Says "SURVEYOR" in big letters across the side. You should be able to google an image of it. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:10 PM   #4
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If you aren't familiar with Escape molded fibreglass trailers, click on the red 'Escape Trailer Industries' logo on the right of the page. This forum is frequented by Escape trailer owners and wannabe owners who discuss all topics related to Escape trailers and camping in them.

Your chocks should hold you trailer in place and keep it from rolling downhill while you are unhitching. If you have got your chocks in place - especially on the downhill side of the tires - before cranking up on your jack, your trailer should stay in place. If the trailer is rolling downhill with chocks in position, the chocks are not doing their job.

P.S. If your trailer always jumps back a few inches when you unhitch, then perhaps you are not releasing tension in your WDH hitch first. Check operating instructions for your WDH, assuming you are using one.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:10 PM   #5
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Just curious - I know you said your camper has just a single axle - but does that single axle happen to have electric brakes (like our EggCamper)? If so, I'm trying to think of what all could go wrong if you were to temporarily pull the safety brake pin to lock the electric brakes while you disconnect from the tow vehicle, then reset the safety brake pin, knowing that it will then still rock back a bit. That might also involve a more hefty set of wheel chocks to absorb the rock back and a wheel on the bottom of your tongue jack rather than the solid foot. Just thinking....
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:51 PM   #6
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Unhitching Camper on Uphill Slope

After you set your chocks, but before you unhitch, put your tow vehicle in neutral and let the whole rig roll firmly onto the chocks until it stops. Then set your parking brake and unhitch. The trailer should not roll any further if you do it this way.

Also, x-chocks are *not* chocks.
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:20 AM   #7
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Also you may have springs on your suspension vs rubber torsion axles on the Escapes. A picture of your suspension would help.
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:34 AM   #8
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I find the rubber chocks work better then the plastic, got them at Tractor Supply. While we use one set, you could use 2 if you want. We kick them into the tires on the downhill side to seat them but with 2 sets you can also place one in front of each tire, using the car pull the trailer snug into them, hold it there and place the rears snug. You may have to do the opposite to remove.
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:54 AM   #9
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It's also possible that the slope you're on is just too steep to be safe. I've camped a few places where I was actually afraid to unhitch, and did not. I would not have been able to sleep if I had unhitched, imagining the camper careening down the hill, all night long.

Maybe you need to find a better place to unhitch?
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
After you set your chocks, but before you unhitch, put your tow vehicle in neutral and let the whole rig roll firmly onto the chocks until it stops. Then set your parking brake and unhitch. The trailer should not roll any further if you do it this way. Also, x-chocks are *not* chocks.
Doing this, depending on the degree of slope, it seems the weight of the tow vehicle free-rolling back into the camper could actually "bind" in the coupler with possibly more force than the force the OP is dealing with from the weight of the trailer trying to roll back away from the tow vehicle - if that makes sense. Again, depending on how much slope one is dealing with.
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