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Old 06-12-2021, 11:51 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: San Jose, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, May 2014
Posts: 77
Couplers: Yoke vs Collar-Locking?


I have a yoke style coupler on my 2014 Escape 21. One thing I like about that style of coupler is that when I backup to connect the trailer, I can place the ball an inch or so forward of center of the coupler and even slightly off to one side or the other. As long as the center of the ball is somewhere near the inside edge of the coupler, when the tongue is lowered the coupler will roll right onto the ball. The thing I have always had trouble with is closing the latch. With wear over the time we've had the trailer it has become much easier, but at times it can still be a devil. So, I am considering changing over to a collar locking coupler.

I am curious to hear from those of you with a collar locking coupler. To me, the untrained observer, the collar locking style seems like it would require a more precise alignment of the ball than the yoke style.

- How close to exactly centered must the ball be to close the collar without a battle?

Thanks in advance and
Happy Trails!


Fletch Dobbs
San Jose, CA
2014 Escape 21
2017 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:55 PM   #2
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Ops's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Trailer: 2020 - 21NE "JoMoE" (Just our Means of Escape) 2013-15B "R2-E2" (Rent2Escape2...) 1971 Boler (Sold)
Posts: 207
Your description of hooking up the 'yoke' coupler to your tow vehicle is as perfect a description as any I've read. Having done precisely the same with our 21NE, I was actually able to visualize each step of the way. And your " can still be the devil" comment is right on.

Having used both the yoke and collar type of hitches, I'd say they're about equal in getting the right initial alignment. When I had the collar lock on another trailer, I didn't have the luxury of a backup camera to help, so it was just experience that got it squared up, and then a little back and forth to get the ball under the coupler. The backup camera on my current truck makes that task much easier.

In both cases, as you described, getting the leading edge of the coupler just past the flat spot of the ball, the coupler would (in most cases) just drop right onto the ball. From that point on, latching the yoke style can be a challenge compared to the collar style. I cannot recall any difficulty latching the collar style.

I've found that I'd prefer the collar lock (i.e.: Bulldog) if given a choice.

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Old 06-12-2021, 01:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 2018 17A
Posts: 113
I love the campground image of a fellow jumping up and down on his hitch to get the latch to close!
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:18 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,877
My issue was never the alignment. I find that about the same whether it's a collar lock or a yoke. You can still line up the same way, and as you lower, the coupler will still slip into place over the ball.

But what I really appreciate is just how much easier it is to lock the coupler, and especially how much easier it is to UNHOOK.

I was so tired of the coupler sticking, sometimes requiring me to bounce up and down on the bumper, and having the coupler come off with a hard thud. Tried all the tips, tricks and suggestions, all to no avail. I wish I'd cut off that horrible yoke coupler long before I did. The very first time you unhook with the collar locking coupler, you'll know what I mean.
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
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