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Old 09-16-2014, 02:31 PM   #1
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Theft strands rookie Escape owners in Rossland

I have good news, and bad news: first the good.

We picked up our Escape 21 at ETI last Friday, spent two nights at the beautiful Lightning Lake campground in Manning Park, then moved on to Rossland where we "camped" in a friend's driveway for two nights. The 21' tows beautifully, and our V6 Toyota 4Runner has the power and stability to handle the hills and tow it safely. Although we have nothing to compare it to, the Andersen hitch seems like an especially marvelous bit of technology, which leads me to the bad news, and then to some more good news.

When we went out this morning to hitch up, we discovered that the Andersen ball assembly had been stolen from our hitch receiver. Rossland has one of the lowest crime rates anywhere, but somebody apparently hadn't heard of the town's great reputation. I feel stupid for not locking the hitch assembly in the front storage box, the SUV, or my friend's house, and particularly stupid for not using the locking pin, still in the box, that we bought for the hitch ball. My lame excuse is the steep learning curve we've been on getting ready to tow, and the avalanche of minutiae that accompanies preparing for our first trip in our first trailer.

Back to the good news:
1. In true Rossland fashion, seconds after we discovered the theft, a young neighbour walked by with her dog, asked us what was wrong, and reappeared minutes later to offer to give us a standard hitch ball that was an extra in their garage. Of course it wouldn't fit an Andersen hitch, but our faith in humanity was immediately on the path to recovery.
2. I phoned Rhonda at Escape to ask if they could ship a replacement Andersen ball mechanism. Within 30 minutes she called back to ask for the ground-to-receiver measurement so Dennis could set it up, and to say new unit would arrive tomorrow by courier.

The moral of this cautionary tale is obvious, but I'll state it anyway: if you have a trailer, lock everything, no matter where you are. There was nothing to stop that thief from putting the Andersen ball in his receiver and stealing our trailer, but there will be from now on.

Anyway, it's a first-world problem, nobody was injured, and we will be happily back on our way to Waterton Lakes tomorrow with a lesson learned--the hard way.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:37 PM   #2
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Nothing angers me more than some low life who thinks it is OK to take something he/she didn't work for from someone who did work for it. If there is any justice the thief will get his or her hand in the way when lowering a trailer onto the stolen assembly.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
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Basterd Thieves

Great that your 4Runner tows your new trailer, with ease- very good news.

A pox on the thieving swine that stole your hitch.

Lookinh forward to hearing/seeing about your time at Waterton Lakes.

It snows in Alberta, doesn't it?
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:04 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about the theft, but your attitude is admirable.

Mine's a little more callous:
All. Thieves. Must. Die.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:59 PM   #5
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Thieves really make my blood boil, especially when they sell the stuff for pennies on the dollar.

That said, I probably might be the most relaxed on this site towards theft. Most of the places we boondock, I have never heard of anything happening, especially at our own land. But, even in campgrounds, I tend to leave things of not great value out. Knock on wood, but after a lifetime of camping, I have never had anything taken. Well, that is if you don't count my brothers staying up later than me, and stealing my Scotch (not that I would think twice about 'borrowing' theirs).
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:30 PM   #6
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That was my first thought when I detached our trailer once we got it home - the Andersen stinger is a beautiful piece of shiny metal sure to attract those who steal guard rails off of highways to resell as scrap metal. I keep it locked in my truck when not towing.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:40 PM   #7
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I am sorry to hear of your loss, but happy that things seem to be working out ok. My own attitude towards theft is pretty close to Jim's. I have never had anything stolen in a campground, and the more remote I am the safer I feel. On the other hand, I never leave anything of much value in plain sight, and if we leave the bikes out, I will often use what I call an "honest person's lock". This is simply a 3/8 inch cable secured with small brass padlock. Won't stop any thief who has the tools, but it will keep honest people from temptation.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
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Thieves and their practices suck. The only thing that has ever taken the sting out of having gear stolen is the goodness of people, that always seem to appear at just the right time, who provide just the right kind of help accompanied by positive energy. It doesn't change the badness of the thieves but helps restore a little faith in your fellow men and women. Glad it worked out with only minor inconvenience for you!

And, doubly glad you and your 21 are pleased with your 4Runner!

All the best
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Sorry to hear about the theft, but your attitude is admirable.

Mine's a little more callous:
All. Thieves. Must. Die.
You're too kind. I'd add the word Slowly.

I might have gone to the local metal scrapyard and checked if it was there. The largest Home Depot in Vancouver is near a metal dealer. It's not uncommon to see guys with hammers reducing new looking aluminum patio chairs to "scrap". Makes your blood boil considering they're likely multiple offenders.

Lots of creeps in this world but lots of really good people too. Just have to hope the good outnumber the bad.

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Old 09-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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I always use a locking pin in my stingers, not only for theft but also for safety reasons.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:04 PM   #11
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Whew, I thought you were going to say they stole the whole trailer. But then, I guess it has happened. I'm thinking about some kind of a tracking device. Loren
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:12 PM   #12
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Well, when I first saw the title of this thread, I thought, oh no, another stolen trailer. Glad it wasn't.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #13
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My trailer is stolen all the time. Thank goodness my son brings it back occasionally.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:13 PM   #14
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Thank goodness, I was ready to swallow my tongue! Theft makes me WHAT is someone going to do with HALF of an Anderson hitch? Sell the aluminum to a recycler for one cent on the dollar
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:40 PM   #15
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Thanks, folks. We really appreciate the Escape community's empathy about this. We have a lock on the trailer end of the Andersen hitch now in case the thief has our ball assembly in his receiver and comes back tonight for the trailer, although the fact that we'll be sleeping in it might complicate matters for him.

It's interesting how many Andersen hitch components are for sale on eBay. Might some of them still be warm to the touch?
Andersen ball | eBay
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:41 PM   #16
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That is such B.S. Sorry you two had to endure that garbage so soon into owning your first TT.
Don't let the morons get you down!
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:55 AM   #17
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An insult to morons...lol.
Thieves are much further down the food chain.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #18
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I always use a locking pin in my stingers, not only for theft but also for safety reasons.
"For safety" would suggest that there is a risk that the clip would accidentally or by vandalism come off of the pin, the pin would fall out of the receiver hole, and thus the ball mount (Andersen hitch assembly in this case) would come out of the receiver. Has this ever happened in recorded history? I'm just trying to judge the risk here...

Also, if this is a risk, then the pin that holds the triangular plate on the bottom of the Andersen assembly is similar, and should also be locked, right?
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:07 PM   #19
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Theft makes me WHAT is someone going to do with HALF of an Anderson hitch? Sell the aluminum to a recycler for one cent on the dollar
Andersen offers a "WD Trailer Kit for extra trailers". If someone steals (or buys from a thief) the assembly of "rack", ball housing, and ball, they can then buy the extra kit to have a complete system. The assembly by itself is also a functional adjustable-height ball mount with ball, although it needs a "Retaining Ball Collar" to be used that way properly.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:36 PM   #20
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My trailer is stolen all the time. Thank goodness my son brings it back occasionally.
I wish I could talk my dad into buying a Escape for me use as I wish
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