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Old 06-01-2023, 07:54 PM   #1
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Bulldog Coupler for a E21C...

so my factory coupler has given me grief twice now, and I'm done with dealing with it. We've put 20k or 30k miles on the trailer, and I think its wearing out.

I want to put a bulldog on it. I see 4 different model A frame collar-lock couplers... https://www.bulldogproducts.net/prod...frame-couplers

028288, 5000 lb capacity
028384, 5000 lb capacity with a different latch?
028287, 7000 lb capacity
028386, 7000 lb capacity with the alternate latch ?

my trailer has a 4500 lb GWR, but I'm wondering if I want a 7000 lb coupler for more margins of error ?

and what are the advantages of the two different sorts of coupler latches ?
this: https://www.bulldogproducts.net/prod...railer-coupler
vs this: https://www.bulldogproducts.net/prod...railer-coupler
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Old 06-01-2023, 08:28 PM   #2
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John,

I returned the Bulldog I purchased last year as I found the quality to be lacking.

Maybe the quality has have varied over time, but I found the Curt fabrication to be of much better quality.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...ler-22726.html
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Old 06-01-2023, 08:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
so my factory coupler has given me grief twice now, and I'm done with dealing with it. We've put 20k or 30k miles on the trailer, and I think its wearing out.

I want to put a bulldog on it. I see 4 different model A frame collar-lock couplers... https://www.bulldogproducts.net/prod...frame-couplers

028288, 5000 lb capacity
028384, 5000 lb capacity with a different latch?
028287, 7000 lb capacity
028386, 7000 lb capacity with the alternate latch ?

my trailer has a 4500 lb GWR, but I'm wondering if I want a 7000 lb coupler for more margins of error ?

and what are the advantages of the two different sorts of coupler latches ?
this: https://www.bulldogproducts.net/prod...railer-coupler
vs this: https://www.bulldogproducts.net/prod...railer-coupler
I fought the crap coupler on my 19 for two years and finally got the bulldog installed at my local weld shop. I kicked myself for months on not doing it sooner. I got the 7000 pound installed just thinking it was safer and not knowing anything about the difference. I had the thumb slide version installed and found with the arthritis in my hands pushing the lever to the slide to release was difficult. On my 21C I had the pull up release version installed and I absolutely love it. Oliver installs the bulldog as a standard in their trailers Escape needs to follow.
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Old 06-01-2023, 08:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by diannelgraham View Post
Oliver installs the bulldog as a standard in their trailers Escape needs to follow.
What- and give up $25 on that upgrade? KV won't like that!
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:03 PM   #5
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What- and give up $25 on that upgrade? KV won't like that!
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:05 PM   #6
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John,

I returned the Bulldog I purchased last year as I found the quality to be lacking.

Maybe the quality has have varied over time, but I found the Curt fabrication to be of much better quality.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...ler-22726.html

So, this Curt ? https://www.curtmfg.com/part/25217

I have been very happy with the Curt stuff I've bought, ball mounts and such.
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:56 PM   #7
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Like others I find the coupler ETI installed on our 2019 E21C a pain, both to latch and unlatch. I toy with the idea of replacing it, but last year I bought a Proven hitch lock, which I assume I'd have to replace, adding to the cost.

So for the time being, we struggle, jiggling back and forth with the tow vehicle till things seem seated (or unseated) properly.

Why does ETI use these couplers that everyone hates?
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Old 06-01-2023, 10:33 PM   #8
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So, this Curt ? https://www.curtmfg.com/part/25217

I have been very happy with the Curt stuff I've bought, ball mounts and such.
Yes, I purchased a Curt Model 25217 7,000# Sleeve-Lock. I see it online as low as $67.33 at two different vendors.

I've since towed on another 6-week trip, plus various shorter trips since I posted last August and I don't have any update to add to the previous thread; the Curt continues to do the job.
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Old 06-01-2023, 11:05 PM   #9
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The subject as you said has come up before and I took/copied these photos.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_5985.jpg   IMG_5986.jpg   IMG_5987.jpg  
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Old 06-02-2023, 03:20 PM   #10
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I had the Bulldog installed several years ago. It solved the slack action I encountered when we stopped. Like stated above, I find my Bulldog difficult to open. No amount of lubricant or filling solved it. It works but . . .

Consider the Curt and be sure to test the ease of operation before installing.
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Old 06-02-2023, 03:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I had the Bulldog installed several years ago. It solved the slack action I encountered when we stopped. Like stated above, I find my Bulldog difficult to open. No amount of lubricant or filling solved it. It works but . . .

Consider the Curt and be sure to test the ease of operation before installing.

I've used them for 30+ yrs. I just keep a hammer in the back of pickup & tap the lever open. Last trailer was like 10 yrs old, things get rusty.
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Old 06-04-2023, 12:55 AM   #12
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k, I just ordered the CURT 25217 Black A-Frame Trailer Coupler, 2-Inch Hitch Ball, 7,000 lbs, was like $67 on Amazon. also ordered the Curt 28204 front handle jack, and a Curt 28272 jack foot as I like leaving that foot on full time, and my current jack and foot got mangled when the trailer hopped off the ball as we were leaving my driveway for our most recent trip.

I've got at least two possible welders. first one is a marine repair guy who's shop is only about a mile from me, and he quoted me about 1.5 hours to 'load, drive, do it, drive back, and unload' his welding gear, but his hourly rate is yikes. he's really really good at fiberglass repair, has done several repairs on my Escape's shell that are so good you can't tell it was repaired. the other is a guy at a welding shop on the other side of town who drives right past me on his way home, but I've not talked to him yet.

actually, I have a Lincoln SP100 120V MIG wire welder with a couple 3/4 full bottles of gas, it was given to me by a old friend who quit doing all that sort of thing as part of changing from a He to a She... I keep meaning to get the rest of what I need (hood, gloves) and a pile of scrap and teaching myself how to weld, but I've not yet gotten around to it, and I don't want to practice on my Escape.
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Old 06-04-2023, 09:01 AM   #13
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You might get a jack mounting plate for underneath too. Sometimes the welders fabricate their own, sometimes they use a pre-stamped one.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Support Plate.png
Views:	0
Size:	117.3 KB
ID:	68808
Bottom Support Plate for A-Frame Trailer Jack - about $10.
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Old 06-04-2023, 11:29 AM   #14
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You might get a jack mounting plate for underneath too. Sometimes the welders fabricate their own, sometimes they use a pre-stamped one.
Attachment 68808
Bottom Support Plate for A-Frame Trailer Jack - about $10.
there is a plate like that welded under the a-frame already, came from the factory that way.
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Old 06-04-2023, 07:51 PM   #15
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Yes, that sounds good. The new coupler will relocate the tongue jack towards the back of the trailer around 3/4", so something will have to be done to accommodate the change, whether a new support plate or some other approach.
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:01 PM   #16
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Yes, that sounds good. The new coupler will relocate the tongue jack towards the back of the trailer around 3/4", so something will have to be done to accommodate the change, whether a new support plate or some other approach.
*oh*, didn't know that. hmmmm. Its already very close to the propane tank cover.


hmmm. I wonder if I leave the mounting part of the old coupler on there. just cutting of the actual coupler, then weld the new one on top of it so the sides of the old one act like a spacer... The old coupler is about 0.15" thick, so at whatever angle the A frame is, that should bring it about 0.25 forward?
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:47 PM   #17
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Ooh, that sounds like math!

I also moved my propane tray back a bit to clear the tongue jack. The plastic propane cover still clears the storage box cover.

Incidentally, you might want to replace your coupler lock, if applicable. I purchased a Collar Trailer Hitch Lock for Bulldog-Style Couplers. It's currently about $80, delivered.

It replaced a previous lock which had fit the old ram-style coupler but which was not compatible with the new coupler.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Collar Lock.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	112.1 KB
ID:	68849

After a while it's like you're buying presents for your presents!
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Old 06-04-2023, 08:54 PM   #18
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FWIW, I've never used a coupler lock, I think they are more trouble than they are worth.
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Old 06-04-2023, 09:13 PM   #19
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Like Dad said, they keep the honest people out.
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:31 AM   #20
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I ended up relocating the propane bracket.
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