When a trailer separates from it's TV while underway ... - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-28-2021, 07:50 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Seal Beach, California
Trailer: 2022 Lynne's Escape19 TV GMC 1500 4x4 Diesel/
Posts: 100
Angry Trailer accident

About 20 years ago a good friend of mine was driving on one of the freeways in Southern California. The trailer jackknifed in front of him something like 25 feet long. It came to a halt upright. He hit it squarely at about 55 miles an hour he and his girlfriend and their vehicle went through the trailer. Wound up about 150 feet from the accident site, he spent three days in the hospital his girlfriend spent five their car was completely totaled. He actually remembers the impact and going through the trailer through to the other side. He said he was thankful they made them so cheaply.
Craiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2021, 08:51 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Greeneville, Tennessee
Trailer: 2017 5.0TA
Posts: 225
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Alan, my thoughts are the same as yours, with the same reasoning and the same resulting preferences.
Knowledge is acquired through experience and reason
Tom&Joan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2021, 10:51 AM   #23
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Caledonia, Illinois
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 22
This has been a good read. I admit I am more of a lurker here than a contributor but the hitch, chains, brakes, umbilical cord are all things I look at constantly and always looking to learn more, from those doing it. We have a 2013 Escape 19. I have been towing for over 30 years and have had two trailers separate. Both stayed on crossed safety chains and both over 20 years ago. Which is why I constantly monitor these items. One was at slow speed, no big deal. The other at 75 mph on Interstate 65, outside Louisville. The pin had come out of the receiver. Best as I can tell we had been site seeing, with out the camper hooked up, and had been driving though long grass. I think the grass pulled the clip from the receiver pin and the pin eventually vibrated out. Now we have key lock pins.

I recently bought a 29' 5th wheel and installed a B&W Patriot in my Ford F350. We kept our Escape. We can't bear to part with it.

I am very nervous about driving the 5th wheel in ice and snow. It was a relief to read about the likelihood of a separation of a 5th wheel with this hitch. Even to someone towing 30 plus years this discussions are very worth while and I learned a lot from this one. I double and triple check everything and am definitely not over confident whenever I tow. I am sending an email to my insurance guy next. Thanks
jetalkington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2021, 04:10 PM   #24
Senior Member
ThomasG's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2017 5.0 TA
Posts: 146

Thanks much for your consideration of this matter (and everyone else that has commented).

I'm definitely adjusting my break away cable to be a little longer than my chains.
Thomas G.
2017 5.0 TA
2017 F-150, 5.0L, SuperCrew, 6.5' bed, 4x2, 6-speed, 1:3.55 rear axle; B&W Turnover Ball; Andersen Ultimate Aluminum Gooseneck; Fold-a-cover w/caddy
ThomasG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2021, 04:22 PM   #25
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Fishhook, Alaska
Trailer: 2007 Lance Slide In, 2020 Escape 17A
Posts: 12
trailer detach x 2

I have had two instances of TV separation from a trailer in my years of towing. Both involved significant existing road hazards and were on gravel roads. Both incidents involved simple ball hitches.

The first happened when I was towing a 18 ft flatbed trailer with about 3500 lb of John Deere 2032 tractor and backhoe on it. TV was a 2006 Tundra. The challenge here is getting the right tongue weight. (It would help me a lot if my flatbed was 2 ft. longer.) Moving the tractor forward or backward even 6 in. makes a lot of difference in TW, and on this occurrence I had an extra “implement” as well: a ballast box up front containing about 500 lbs worth of 30-40 lb rocks.

I was going into a backcountry site here in Alaska to dig an outhouse hole for a friend. It was August– rainiest month here– and the access road was underwater in several spots. In hindsight the prudent thing to do would have been to unload the tractor and rubber-tire it the last mile or so in. I did not do the prudent thing. I knew the road and did not worry about the submerged spots, just drove through them with enough speed to carry me through if the water was deeper than I suspected, or there was a submerged something I did not know about.

And there was: a nascent beaver dam. (Beavers can do a lot in just a couple days.) My entire rig cleared the now wrecked dam, but my ballast box tipped and all the rocks went into the water, leaving about 100 lb of tongue wt. I had to clear one more steep, sharp breakover where I often dragged hitch a bit. I was creeping over in 4wdlo fearing the worst. The trailer did indeed detach, with the tongue in the nest made by the safety chains, I could tell it came loose, but it was almost a non-event. I went back, and lifted the hitch back on the ball (little tongue weight!) and crept my way the last 100 meters to my destination. A lot of things came together for this to happen. My one takeaway here was: make sure your load is secured for ANY eventuality.

The second time was last fall on a a FS gravel road in the Uintahs near Flaming Gorge. We were towing a 2020 Escape 17A. TV was a 2020 Tacoma with a 3 in. lift. We had gone up the road the afternoon before and it was quite wash-boardy, but otherwise fine. There was some heavy yellow equipment messing with the approaches to a cattle guard but that was all.

Exiting the next morning, there was a truly vicious down-valley crosswind, say 40G60 mph. Being fairly new to the trailer, I was going 30 mph (an abundance of caution for me) and eating washboards for breakfast. Other than the variable lateral force on the whole rig (wind loading) trying to push me off the road, the trailer performed flawlessly. No swaying, fishtailing or surging.

Then we hit the cattle guard. There was a volunteer flagger there with his back to us, talking to his girlfriend in her F350. Turns out the loader at the site had blown a hydraulic hose, and they were waiting for parts. They had been working the approach we were headed towards when the breakdown occurred, and had just starting back filling. The approach-in-progress was very steep, with about 3” vertical of guard exposed at the top.

The impact was devastating. For sure the Tacoma completely left the ground, cleared the guard and landed on the other approach and I’m sure the trailer did as well. On impact with either the ground or the cattle guard, the trailer came unhitched, but the tongue was again resting in the crossed safety chains, and handled quite well ATC. We pulled off the road, and got out into the wind for damage control. The electric tongue jack was obliterated, with some minor damage to the tailgate of the truck. Some minor damage to the bracket that secures the propane tank. Hitch mechanism seemed fine.

We put things back together. Later, out of the wind, a very close inspection of the hitch latch mechanism and ball again showed no problems.

In either one of these cases I would definitely NOT want to have the breakaway braking mechanism activate. Handling the Escape would not have gone so smoothly had its brakes locked. The brakes are a good idea, but not while you you still have control of things.
wxguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2021, 09:49 PM   #26
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Des Plaines, Illinois
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19 (TV: 2007 Chevy Tahoe)
Posts: 208
Loose Trailer

I had our 19 come off the ball doing about 60 mph in the center lane of interstate in Mississippi. I think it happened due to inexperience (our first long trip) hitching the trailer and because of hooking it up in cold, deep snow, here in the north. Anyway, it happened. I was glad the emergency pin did not pull, setting off the trailer brakes. I was able to slow down to keep the trailer up against the back bumper while I worked my way to the road shoulder where I stopped safely. The trailer emergency brakes engaging would have been a disaster.
pkgman51 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:41 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2023 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.