Will my tailgate hit the power jack? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-07-2017, 09:13 AM   #1
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Will my tailgate hit the power jack?

Question for anyone with a 2017 21' and power jack: What is the distance between the center of the coupler ball socket and the front of the power jack? I'm trying to figure out if my truck's tailgate might hit the jack when opening it, and if so, how much longer the hitch ball mount shank would need to be to avoid the two contacting each other. And yes, I know that lengthening the shank can have other consequences. I'll deal with those if needed. Thanks....
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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Tailgate hits the power jack

We have the 2017 21' with power jack and are pulling it with the Chevy Silverado pickup. I can't measure the distance between the power jack and the coupler ball because the trailer is in winter storage and not available.

With a standard short shank, the tailgate will definitely hit the power jack. I purchased a 12" hitch extender from Harbor freight. This caused the truck to squat so much that I returned the hitch extender the same day and bought a weight distributing hitch through Amazon. I bought the Fastway 94-00-0600 which is the same hitch supplied by ETI. It combines weight distribution with sway control through it's friction bars.

Personally, I don't think the sway control is needed. We did not experience any problems with sway even when we were towing with just the short shank.

Hope this helps!
Peter


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Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Question for anyone with a 2017 21' and power jack: What is the distance between the center of the coupler ball socket and the front of the power jack? I'm trying to figure out if my truck's tailgate might hit the jack when opening it, and if so, how much longer the hitch ball mount shank would need to be to avoid the two contacting each other. And yes, I know that lengthening the shank can have other consequences. I'll deal with those if needed. Thanks....
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:42 AM   #3
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Open your tailgate and measure from the hitch pin hole to the edge of the tailgate. Am thinking 14" distance (pin to center of ball) will work. That is 3" more than some standard setups. Some here were complaining about the Andersen being too short and sure enough it is 11". They started offering extensions to that stock length and offered to send me one for "cost" of $128. Instead, I switched to Pro Series and bought a Reese 3344 11" shank. With the ball attached it is 14" and gives the clearance I need.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:00 AM   #4
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You can always install a Jack-E-Up
and a quick disconnect for the power. I have used one on my Escapes for the past several years.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:12 PM   #5
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ETI said the coupler height on a current 2017 21' is 19". My current 4" drop ball mount with standard shank length puts me right at that height. When I lower my tailgate, it's 10.5" from the center of the ball to the back edge of the tailgate. It's going to be a close fit to the jack. I believe Harbor Freight carries special ball mounts with 4" longer shanks. I may need to check into them. While I think it's a clever idea, I'm not sure how often I would want to lift a power jack in and out of a Jack-E-Up.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You can always install a Jack-E-Up
and a quick disconnect for the power. I have used one on my Escapes for the past several years.
I got one of these, per suggestions like this. Turns out I don't need it and it's way too late to return it. Am hoping to sell it at one of the upcoming NOGs. We got the E2 by Fastway hitch and the tailgate on the Tundra does not hit it at all.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:57 PM   #7
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Our would hit with the Anderson hitch on our old 19' and I just dealt with it and would just crack the tailgate when hooked up. It also hit on our Casita. We purchased the Equalizer version of the E2 for the new trailer so I will just have to wait and see if it will open with it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:01 PM   #8
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The Atwood power jack I put on my previous 19' allowed for just barely enough clearance for the tailgate to drop. I have a Frontier FWIW.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:58 AM   #9
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Jack-E-Up

I just installed a Jack-E-Up on our new to us 2015 21 this weekend (dodging thunderstorms). We have the Anderson weight distribution hitch, and the power jack definitely interfered with the Tundra tailgate, making it very difficult to get things out of the back of the truck, especially on those occasions when traveling and not wanting to disconnect for just an overnight.

I had put a Jack-E-Up on the Casita (with manual jack), and liked it. The install on the 21 was a little more difficult with closer tolerances and of course installing quick disconnects for the wiring. Everything works -- at least in the driveway. Planning a two-week trip beginning this Friday, so will have a chance to see how it works when actually camping.

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Old 01-23-2017, 10:59 AM   #10
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Any pictures Paul??
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:17 AM   #11
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FWIW- Andersen will make you a new stinger at a length that will allow you to open the tailgate. I was quoted $128.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:39 AM   #12
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Thanks, Paul. I look forward to hearing how things go for you. I'm already using an 11.25" ball mount (center of retaining pin hole to center of ball hole), and I think it's going to be close. If not, Hidden Hitch offers a 14" ball mount that should. I'm reluctant to go with a Jack-E-Up just because that's one more thing to have to do setting up and tearing down camp, but will if that's what it takes to lower the tailgate. On our current all-electric EggCamper (no propane tanks on the trailer tongue), the original owner actually fabricated a jack mount about a foot further back from the trailer coupler so their hatchback wouldn't hit the power jack head when opening. That's worked great for us, too.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:25 PM   #13
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Anderson quoted me $198 for the custom stinger. It would be the simpler and more elegant solution, and since I too needed only 2-3" for clearance wouldn't have changed the towing geometry very much. But seemed pretty pricey. The Jack-E-Up (on sale at Camping World) and electrical fittings came in at about $60. I didn't take any pics during installation, but will try to do so soon and get them posted.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:45 PM   #14
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Remember the longer the stinger becomes, the more stress you place on your hitch and it lowers your capacities as well as impacts your towing experience. Short stingers are preferred if possible.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:54 PM   #15
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If you are using a WDH, would the length of the stinger matter as much?
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
If you are using a WDH, would the length of the stinger matter as much?
I don't think it matters. But the geometry does change, (the leverage point (ball) is further away from the tow vehicle axle) so there might be some adjustment needed.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:11 PM   #17
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Hidden Hitch makes stock ball mounts up to 14" for under $40.00. If my 11.25" ends up being just a tad too short, I might purchase a 14" and cut it down as much as possible to fit. I don't think that would be too problematic for our 2016 F-150 tow vehicle. We'll see.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:26 PM   #18
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I don't think it matters. But the geometry does change, (the leverage point (ball) is further away from the tow vehicle axle) so there might be some adjustment needed.
Riddle me this (using real measurements):
Truck #1, 8' bed, 52" from center of rear axle to hitch receiver opening.
Truck #2, 5.5' bed 48" from center of rear axle to hitch receiver opening.

So, since there is a 4" difference in distance from center of rear axle to hitch receiver opening, it seems I would have equal towing "geometry" using a 4" longer ball mount with Truck #2 compared to Truck #1. Is that right?
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:43 PM   #19
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I think it would be close. Of course, can't really tell until you set it up. It's not just the distance from the axle to the ball.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Riddle me this (using real measurements):
Truck #1, 8' bed, 52" from center of rear axle to hitch receiver opening.
Truck #2, 5.5' bed 48" from center of rear axle to hitch receiver opening.

So, since there is a 4" difference in distance from center of rear axle to hitch receiver opening, it seems I would have equal towing "geometry" using a 4" longer ball mount with Truck #2 compared to Truck #1. Is that right?
Not unless truck #2 has a longer cab and thus the same wheelbase as truck #1. It isn't just the distance from axle to ball, but the ratio of this distance to wheelbase which determines load transfer off of the front axle (and thus WD effect needed), and stability.
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