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Old 07-25-2020, 09:04 PM   #1
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Trailer coupler safety pin

Hello,

The past couple of hookups I have experienced difficulty with inserting the safety pin on the trailer coupler. I have been using a “Master” locking style pin. The lever hole seems like the angle isn’t exactly lined up with the holes on either side which the safety pin slides through. In the past I haven’t had an issue. I pretty much had to lightly tap it in with a hammer. Well not pretty much - I did tap it in.

Has anyone had similar issues or advice?

Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:22 PM   #2
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The coupler is a RAM- a Chinese knockoff of an Atwood A-frame coupler. We had ours replaced as have others for various reasons. Escape should ditch it.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
The coupler is a RAM- a Chinese knockoff of an Atwood A-frame coupler. We had ours replaced as have others for various reasons. Escape should ditch it.
Question for you Ross how do I know I have the Ram coupler ? Pat
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:30 PM   #4
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Bent?

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Originally Posted by lilkuma View Post
Hello,

The past couple of hookups I have experienced difficulty with inserting the safety pin on the trailer coupler. I have been using a “Master” locking style pin. The lever hole seems like the angle isn’t exactly lined up with the holes on either side which the safety pin slides through. In the past I haven’t had an issue. I pretty much had to lightly tap it in with a hammer. Well not pretty much - I did tap it in.

Has anyone had similar issues or advice?

Thanks.
Hi Scott
Though the coupler on our 2013 21 hasn’t given us a bit of trouble, several folks have posted that they have had problems with their Escape coupler. I helped a couple people hook up who were having a problem with their coupler and alignment of the lock pin hole. One of two things could be a problem.
1. The coupler got dry and the pivot on the latch got bent by being forced.
2. The coupler yoke is not properly seated and is not cradling the bottom of the ball.
You might look up in there and see if it’s real dry, if so, you might clean it up with some solvent and then grease lightly all pivoting surfaces and the ball. If things are properly aligned the latch should go down without being forced especially with a hammer.
I don’t know about the Escape couplers as far as replacement parts, some couplers can be fixed with a rebuild kit, I did that on my utility trailer some years ago.
It is possible that the lubricant in the coupler picked up grit and dirt that’s keeping it from
coming over center completely. You’ll figure that out when you clean it up.
Sorry I can’t help more than that.
Iowa Dave
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:38 PM   #5
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Question for you Ross how do I know I have the Ram coupler ? Pat
Hi Pat- it is stamped on it. Also search Ram coupler; etrailer has an image that shows it. It has a distinct slender yoke latch. The Atwood latch is much wider.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:23 AM   #6
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It is interesting that in the 50s and 60s as Japan was struggling to get its shattered economy going, people frowned on products that were labeled “Made in Japan” due to their inferior quality. Then the quality and reliability of American made cars went down and the Japanese discovered quality control and Toyota, Nissan (Datsun), Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and Subaru made inroads into North America with products that were (many would say) superior to those manufactured here. “Made in China” has now replaced “Made in Japan” as the moniker to be avoided, not that all Chinese made products are cheap inferior junk. However, one has to wonder if mainland Chinese manufacturing will evolve to the point that Product quality matches that of Taiwan (technically, a Chinese province), South Korea, and Japan.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
.... not that all Chinese made products are cheap inferior junk. However, one has to wonder if mainland Chinese manufacturing will evolve to the point that Product quality matches that of ......
I'll posit for your consideration .... the quality of manufactured goods has much more to do with specifications and QA/QC than location of manufacture, and nowadays high-quality goods are available from most all manufacturing locations / nations.

IMO it's analogous to the old Sears 'Good / Better / Best' product offerings .... any given manufactured article is available in a range of price-points for a variety of logical reasons based in market reality (demand). There's a pretty direct relationship between 'price-point' and 'quality' (by whatever measure). It's the folks specifying and buying those articles that drive the price-point and thereby the quality of any given manufactured article. It's not uncommon to find that a range of a given product having different quality characteristics are in fact manufactured within one facility to meet different customer requirements, including price-point. There is an ongoing market demand for low-price-point articles, with their inherently lesser quality.

The observation that many low-price-point articles can be correlated to certain manufacturing locations has more to do with labor rates and other factors available in those locations than an inability or unwillingness to manufacture high-quality products in those locations. I'd posit that if, for example, a USA manufacturer could profitably fabricate goods to that low price-point (with it's lower 'quality'), they would jump on that market niche and fulfill that competitive need with relish (in fact, there's no shortage of US manufacturers lamenting that labor and other manufacturing cost factors preclude their ability to compete in that 'low-price-point / low-quality market, while also competing in the higher price-point / higher quality market).

Just suggesting, for your consideration, that correlating product quality ('good' or 'bad') with a given location / nationality of manufacture is no longer a valid 'rule of thumb', it's largely a vestige of a time past (IMO best left in the past). One doesn't need to "wonder" about "mainland Chinese" manufacturing capabilities, they've already well-proven they can manufacture to the highest standards when the market demands that.

ETI's choice of couplers, a matter that's obviously wholly within their control to specify, is most likely a price-point-driven election (one of hundreds they make that each bear to a small degree on an individual component basis to affect the total price of their trailers to a large degree in the aggregate).
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
It is interesting that in the 50s and 60s as Japan was struggling to get its shattered economy going, people frowned on products that were labeled “Made in Japan” due to their inferior quality. Then the quality and reliability of American made cars went down and the Japanese discovered quality control and Toyota, Nissan (Datsun), Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and Subaru made inroads into North America with products that were (many would say) superior to those manufactured here. “Made in China” has now replaced “Made in Japan” as the moniker to be avoided, not that all Chinese made products are cheap inferior junk. However, one has to wonder if mainland Chinese manufacturing will evolve to the point that Product quality matches that of Taiwan (technically, a Chinese province), South Korea, and Japan.
I heard something similar, it was the fact that Japan was our mortal enemy and we should not support their rebirth. Also Japan renamed several of their industrial locations to "USA" so they could stamp "made in USA" vs Japan. In addition most Apple phones are made in China today. Now Toyota reigns supreme over the US cars/trucks....
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:33 AM   #9
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We’ve had the same issue as the OP plus our latch pivot pin failed and our latch spring pin failed
The Ram coupler functions exactly as designed/intended and is a lower cost / quality alternative sold at a specific price point .
I have more descriptive words for the Ram coupler but we’ll end it here .
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:46 AM   #10
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Yea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
I'll posit for your consideration .... the quality of manufactured goods has much more to do with specifications and QA/QC than location of manufacture, and nowadays high-quality goods are available from most all manufacturing locations / nations.

IMO it's analogous to the old Sears 'Good / Better / Best' product offerings .... any given manufactured article is available in a range of price-points for a variety of logical reasons based in market reality (demand). There's a pretty direct relationship between 'price-point' and 'quality' (by whatever measure). It's the folks specifying and buying those articles that drive the price-point and thereby the quality of any given manufactured article. It's not uncommon to find that a range of a given product having different quality characteristics are in fact manufactured within one facility to meet different customer requirements, including price-point. There is an ongoing market demand for low-price-point articles, with their inherently lesser quality,

The observation that many low-price-point articles can be correlated to certain manufacturing locations has more to do with labor rates and other factors available in those locations than an inability or unwillingness to manufacture high-quality products in those locations. I'd posit that if, for example, a USA manufacturer could profitably fabricate goods to that low price-point (with it's lower 'quality'), they would jump on that market niche and fulfill that competitive need with relish (in fact, there's no shortage of US manufacturers lamenting that labor and other manufacturing cost factors preclude their ability to compete in that 'low-price-point / low-quality market, while also competing in the higher price-point / higher quality market).

Just suggesting, for your consideration, that correlating product quality ('good' or 'bad') with a given location / nationality of manufacture is no longer a valid 'rule of thumb', it's largely a vestige of a time past (IMO best left in the past). One doesn't need to "wonder" about "mainland Chinese" manufacturing capabilities, they've already well-proven they can manufacture to the highest standards when the market demands that.

ETI's choice of couplers, a matter that's obviously wholly within their control to specify, is most likely a price-point-driven election (one of hundreds they make that each bear to a small degree on an individual component basis to affect the total price of their trailers to a large degree in the aggregate).
I am in complete agreement with your comments both based on personal experience and knowledge gained from interacting with people in my family involved in international commerce especially in China and the Pacific Rim.
Iowa Dave
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:29 AM   #11
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I have a different issue with the RAM coupler. I have too much play around the ball once hooked up. It manifests itself mostly when coming to a stop, when just about stopped there is a distinctive clunk from the rear and one can feel a slight jerk in the tow vehicle. Perhaps the trailer Is braking more at that time of the deceleration.

I tested this a bit further by inserting a spare 2” ball and clamping it tight. The ball was not at all tight and actually rattled inside the coupler. Short of pounding or bending I see no other method of tightening.

I have not heard of others having this issue. I have tested my ball on other similar aged models and find a secure connection.

I am considering a visit to my local welder, however it does not appear a safety issue, only an annoyance.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:51 AM   #12
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I am in complete agreement with your comments both based on personal experience and knowledge gained from interacting with people in my family involved in international commerce especially in China and the Pacific Rim.
Iowa Dave
As a relatively unknown newbie on this forum, "agreement" ('concurrence', if I may) from an established and respected member is nice to receive. Thank You for sharing your experience and knowledge.

>>>>

One might wonder if ETI would consider providing an alternate coupler (Bulldog?) on customer request / customer providing the component? Given that chassis' are apparently outsourced (albeit locally), and I can well-imagine the inventory tracking issues that would entail, I'd not be too surprised at all to learn they politely decline that accommodation. The answer is a phone-call away if it hasn't already been disclosed somewhere here.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:56 AM   #13
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Thanks,
I will give it a good cleaning and lubrication. It worked great in the past just recently it’s been acting up. Just for the record it was the safety pin that was tapped in not the actual coupler lever :-).

Thanks for all the advice and debate over QC - interesting points.
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:27 PM   #14
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Do you use one of these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I have a different issue with the RAM coupler. I have too much play around the ball once hooked up. It manifests itself mostly when coming to a stop, when just about stopped there is a distinctive clunk from the rear and one can feel a slight jerk in the tow vehicle. Perhaps the trailer Is braking more at that time of the deceleration.



I have not heard of others having this issue. I have tested my ball on other similar aged models and find a secure connection.

I am considering a visit to my local welder, however it does not appear a safety issue, only an annoyance.

Paul,


Do you use a hitch clamp? I do. Some rattling around can be coming from the receiver portion of your stinger assembly. This device locks the 2 together, is simple and cheap. I'd assume some slack in the ball-to-clamp area for turning is necessary.
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Old 07-26-2020, 02:57 PM   #15
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Frankly, having used both the latching type (RAM et al) and the BullDog type of A frame hitch, I much prefer the BullDog.
Would I change mine to a BullDog if there were issues? Absolutely.
Time will tell though, and maintenance lubrication can be your friend.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:37 PM   #16
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Clamp

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Paul,


Do you use a hitch clamp? I do. Some rattling around can be coming from the receiver portion of your stinger assembly. This device locks the 2 together, is simple and cheap. I'd assume some slack in the ball-to-clamp area for turning is necessary.
My Som in Law runs one of those clamps on his setup for pulling the boler. He really likes it.
On my stinger shaft, Jack put a couple weld beads to take up excessive clearance.ive worn them down quite a bit so next time my bro has the big Lincoln fired up I’ll have him run a couple new ones and then surface them with the angle grinder. Really helps on the up and down thumping. Even cheaper than a clamp.
On my utility trailer there’s a nut on the bottom of the yoke mechanism. I use a ratchet and socket to snug it up every time I rig up to tow. Only takes a half a minute.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:49 PM   #17
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Clamp

Quote:
Originally Posted by HABBERDABBER View Post
Paul,


Do you use a hitch clamp? I do. Some rattling around can be coming from the receiver portion of your stinger assembly. This device locks the 2 together, is simple and cheap. I'd assume some slack in the ball-to-clamp area for turning is necessary.
My Som in Law runs one of those clamps on his setup for pulling the boler. He really likes it.
On my stinger shaft, Jack put a couple weld beads to take up excessive clearance.ive worn them down quite a bit so next time my bro has the big Lincoln fired up I’ll have him run a couple new ones and then surface them with the angle grinder. Really helps on the up and down thumping. Even cheaper than a clamp.
On my utility trailer there’s a nut on the bottom of the yoke mechanism. I use a ratchet and socket to snug it up every time I rig up to tow. Only takes a half a minute.
Iowa Dave
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Centex View Post
I'll posit for your consideration .... the quality of manufactured goods has much more to do with specifications and QA/QC than location of manufacture, and nowadays high-quality goods are available from most all manufacturing locations / nations.

IMO it's analogous to the old Sears 'Good / Better / Best' product offerings .... any given manufactured article is available in a range of price-points for a variety of logical reasons based in market reality (demand). There's a pretty direct relationship between 'price-point' and 'quality' (by whatever measure). It's the folks specifying and buying those articles that drive the price-point and thereby the quality of any given manufactured article. It's not uncommon to find that a range of a given product having different quality characteristics are in fact manufactured within one facility to meet different customer requirements, including price-point. There is an ongoing market demand for low-price-point articles, with their inherently lesser quality.
I think you missed my point. I did mention in my post that not everything coming out of China is low quality. What I was getting at was every time I hear someone say “Cheap ________ made crap,” the word Chinese is normally in the blank. The Chinese are willing to manufacture lower end products. I don’t think most Japanese manufacturing concerns are willing to do so anymore because they do not wish to have the blank space in the line above be filled in with “Japanese.” Some of this is driven by pride in workmanship. The Chinese do not have a monopoly on low quality products. Just take a look at the quality of much of the manufacturing output of Elkhart, Indiana. China is an emerging and growing economy with much based on manufacturing. I was just wondering/speculating if there will come a time when China decides it is not beneficial to their manufacturing reputation to produce low end/low quality products for the world.
I own many Chinese made products, some of which a very high quality, others not so much.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:20 PM   #19
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What I was getting at was every time I hear someone say “Cheap ________ made crap,” the word Chinese is normally in the blank.
And my point was that a 'national reference' can be omitted from such statements, and IMO should be. Such broad-brushed 'national references' don't add to the value of a comment about any specific product's performance, only serve to perpetuate unfortunate, often inaccurate, and often offensive stereotypes that don't merit repeating no matter how frequently they may be heard.

In my experience, an industrialist's willingness to compete at any market level has nothing to do with their nationality, it has everything to do with overall profitability for their business (and very rarely, if ever, does "nationality" per-se enter into that profitability equation).

Just one opinion, no need to flog it further.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:33 PM   #20
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And my point was that a 'national reference' can be omitted from such statements, and IMO should be. Such broad-brushed 'national references' don't add to the value of a comment about any specific product's performance, only serve to perpetuate unfortunate, often inaccurate, and offensive stereotypes that don't merit repeating.

In my experience, an industrialist's willingness to compete at any market level has nothing to do with their nationality, it has everything to do with overall profitability for their business.

Just one opinion, no need to flog it further.
Kind of like the “CHINESE VIRUS”
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