A clunk when i accelerate - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-12-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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A clunk when i accelerate

Never had an RV before. After waiting a year I picked up my new and wonderful 17B yesterday.

The 100 mile drive home went smooth, except often when I either accelerated or braked, I would hear a heavy clunk sound.

I have a standard hitch, no equalizer or anything else. I have a brake controller.

Appreciate any comments. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:46 PM   #2
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Your drawbar/ballmount is loose in you hitch receiver (so is mine).
There are devices that put pressure on the drawback to prevent the clunk...I use an Anderson hitch that does the same thing for a lot more money.

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-CollarTM...826854&sr=1-11
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:01 PM   #3
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Steve,
Assuming the trailer has no flaws that are causing the noise (unlikely in the case of Escape Trailers), then it is probably in one of the towing components.

Starting with the receiver attached to your tow vehicle: Inspect it for loose bolts that attach it to the vehicle, cracks, raw metal spots (signs of wear), etc. Sit on the ground behind it and give it a good kick. See if you can make it make a sound.

The ball mount, that slides into the receiver on your tow vehicle, could have some play. Or, are you sure you have a 5/8" pin in the receiver hole, that holds the ball mount in place.

Take the ball mount out of the receiver, and look for fresh wear marks on either one of them, such as places where the paint is worn or where raw metal is showing. With the ball mount in place, give it a shove sideways or up-and-down. Any noises?

A possible fix for play (looseness) in the ball mount is to slip a piece of sheet metal under or to one side of the ball mount, within the receiver, wherever there appears to be some clearance. See if that dampens or stops the clunk.

Is the ball tight on the ball mount?

Another possibility is the coupler that attaches to the 2" ball. If there is play between the coupler and the ball, the noise could be significant.

Once the source of the clunk is I.D.ed, then I have no doubt that this forum has the solution.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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I have used hack saw blades as shims, it helps to prevent the stinger from moving while in the receiver. There are more elegant methods of ending the knock but these are good for a test.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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They make stingers with a neoprene insert (shock absorber) where the pin goes through it and the receiver. They have a tendency to mute the noise if this is where it is coming from. They are sold by eTrailer and are called "cushioned ball mount." They are also sold by Amazon, same name.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:55 PM   #6
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get one of these, eliminates the noise and keeps theft away
Anti-Rattle Trailer Hitch Receiver Lock for 2" Hitches - 2-5/8" Span Lets Go Aero Locks 63232
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:26 PM   #7
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Balls the right size, right?
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
That style pin came with my bike rack. Works very well........
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:09 PM   #9
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Excellent list, Don
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Another possibility is the coupler that attaches to the 2" ball. If there is play between the coupler and the ball, the noise could be significant.
Good to check, but all of the Escapes that I have seen have a yoke-style coupler, which is not adjustable for clearance so it can't be misadjusted. A new coupler would not be worn (and I've never heard of this style ever wearing enough to be an issue), although I suppose there's a remote change that it is defective.

When unhitched, pull the ball mount out of the receiver, put the ball into the coupler and latch it closed, and see by just moving it with your hand if the ball seems loose in the coupler. It needs to be able to move reasonably freely, but shouldn't clunk around.

That leads to...
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Balls the right size, right?
The coupler fits a two-inch ball. In the unlikely case that you have a 1-7/8" ball on the tow vehicle, then the trailer is going slop back and forth about 1/8" on every change between pulling and pushing. The yoke-type couplers would probably stay on well even with this much ball size mismatch, so it is possible that you might not realize that the ball isn't the right size.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Or, are you sure you have a 5/8" pin in the receiver hole, that holds the ball mount in place.
... or whatever size is right for your receiver and mount. 5/8" is the normal size for a 2" receiver (that is, a receiver that takes a 2" square ball mount); some people use receivers that take a 1.25" square mount, and those usually have a 1/2" diameter pin hole.
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:05 PM   #11
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What is the tow vehicle you are currently using? Is the clunk coming from your vehicle? If so ... from front or harder the rear? In my TV I have a occasional "clunk" - hard time telling just where as my resonating modulator detector seems to be out of wack. So I ask someone with better hearing to come drive with me while I try to get it to "clunk" again. Of course it won't until I'm alone again.


Better luck to you. Please describe your "clunk" with more detail.


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Old 03-12-2016, 11:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
Never had an RV before. After waiting a year I picked up my new and wonderful 17B yesterday.

The 100 mile drive home went smooth, except often when I either accelerated or braked, I would hear a heavy clunk sound.

I have a standard hitch, no equalizer or anything else. I have a brake controller.

Appreciate any comments. Thanks.
Hi: Steve R... Sounds like a bit of play in the hitch receiver. There are shims for that. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:46 PM   #13
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I discovered after reading your comments, the heavy clunk sound was indeed caused by a bit of play in the hitch receiver. Thank you all so much...it put my mind at ease.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:25 AM   #14
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We are here to help
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:47 AM   #15
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I was told several years ago that any looseness between stinger and receiver should be dampened or eliminated. Is that the case?
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I was told several years ago that any looseness between stinger and receiver should be dampened or eliminated. Is that the case?
I successfully (without wear) towed my Scamp for more than a dozen years with a fairly loose receiver. If it made any noise, I wasn't aware of it... pulled with a truck. I actually liked the fact the stinger wasn't tight. Blob of grease on the hitch ball made the ball suck tight into the coupler. When I'd go to unhitch, I could stomp on the receiver and release the ball. How's that for an explanation? Worked for me!
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:21 AM   #17
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The anti-rattle pin that Jim recommended works well. There's alot of variance from receiver to receiver. Our current one doesn't need any shims/anti-rattle, but our old one did.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:31 PM   #18
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My WDH is very effective at reducing/eliminating noises due to play in the hitch and receiver.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:57 PM   #19
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Thinking back when we first started towing our 17B with our Murano, I remember the clunking being described here. Was using the ETI supplied Pro Seies WDH, but still had it. Then when we started using the Highlander it didn't, nor does our Yukon with our 21, and we're not using the Andersen anymore. One thing different is that we installed an after market hitch on the Murano, while both other vehicles had OEM hitches. Not sure if this is coincidence or not.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The anti-rattle pin that Jim recommended works well. There's alot of variance from receiver to receiver. Our current one doesn't need any shims/anti-rattle, but our old one did.
I am in complete agreement, there's often some slop in the receiver/ "stinger" which can clunk depending on tongue weight, trunion bar tension etc. Depending upon your equipment availability, one thing that can be done is to put a couple of weld beads on the stinger shaft. You might have to hit them with a grinder to flatten them down for a snug fit. Our previous owner had done that and it continues to work well. I'd estimate there are about 45,000 towed miles on the 19. Hopefully about 60k by the end of this season. Come on cheap gasoline.
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