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Old 09-09-2010, 06:55 PM   #1
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Can't Unhook our New Trailer from SUV

Just picked up our new Jayco 17 C from the dealer, drove it more than two hours home and my husband can't unhook it from our SUV. Any ideas? It was hard enough to back in to the driveway. Neither of us ever had a trailer before.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:02 PM   #2
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Is the trailer higher than the SUV (backed it up hill)? If the SUV pushed the trailer uphill, you may need to secure the trailer then move the SUV forward slightly to relieve the pressure of the hitch ball and the coupler.

Did you have the same problem if you were level at home or campsite?
May need to lubricate the hitchball on the SUV.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:05 PM   #3
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ok--- so you have what is commonly called a hung hitch-- try pulling forward a couple inches... raise the jack back up. It should come off. If it doesn't try shaking the back end.
Make sure that the release is up. It will come off don't worry. Just shake it, move the TV forward a bit-- raise the jack up a inch-- shake the TV. You'll have to play with it a bit. It hardly ever happens. Next time add some grease to the ball.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
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Yea! You have your new tt! Don't forget to chalk the tires first!
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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Ditto to healthi's advice !

One of the things I had on my "check" list was to be sure to have the ball latch released on the TT hitch.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:52 PM   #6
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First time I had a hung-hitch it took me darn-near an hour of frustration to figure it out! I feel for you Sabina!!

How'd it go?
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:34 PM   #7
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The coupler on our 17Z is finicky as well. Usually easing the tow vehicle a bit forward or back works. The coupler is different than most I have seen, it's not your standard up and down handle type, it sort of slides forward and down. The 17Z and 17C are small enough that you can use a BAL leveler chock. I bought one of these for about $50 and makes the whole process of leveling the trailer side to side and securing one wheel easy. I just use regular chocks on the other wheel.
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:01 PM   #8
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The Bal leveler (single axle) is the best invention since sliced bread !
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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You did it!

Thanks for all the help here. I'm not sure what he did wrong but I had him read all these replies and he managed to get it unhitched this morning. The next test is when he hitches it all up again and he has to unhitch. Hopefully it won't get stuck again.

My husband does not want to go camping yet until we learn everything we need to know about it by using it in our driveway. He needs to practice backing up - we wound up having a young neighbor do it for us after his wife watched my husband struggle. Towing it on the roads was a breeze for my husband, he said you would not even know it was there. I thought I smelled transmission fluid though, so he checked, and it was because we had a cooler installed. When they filled up the transmission they spilled some fluid on the engine.

I can't wait to pack the camper with everything we need and go out camping. It will be nice to be able to leave most of the stuff we need for camping in the Jayco 17C. With tent camping I always had to put everything away at home and than pack up again, over and over, everytime we camped. It will be nice to have real beds and everything else that comes with the 17C. It is a big step up from tent camping.

The dealership in Albany was very nice and they spent the time showing us everything in the camper, but we forgot a lot of it. We had gotten up very early to get up to Albany and we spent a whole day up there while they worked on the car, putting in the tranny cooler and the new hitch and whatever else they had to do. They gave us a loaner car so we explored a bit and went to eat. By the time we had the demo and bought mirrors, etc. we got home really late and had the trouble backing into the driveway. We were so frustrated, but I figured you guys would help and my husband would be able to do it in the morning. It did work out that way, as I'd hoped, so I really appreciate all your suggestions on how to unhitch. Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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I'm glad to hear you got it home and backed in. Tell your hubby-- I know his frustration. I have to back my trailer down our private drive-- between trees -- then park it in a 90 degree spot with a wall on one side. It takes a little patience and practice and some cursing.

Does he know the trick about backing up with a trailer? Tell him to Put his hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. To turn left, move his hand left. To turn right, move his hand right. Back up slowly. The mirrors can't provide all of the visibility he may need when backing up, help him with your eyes. Before you start though work out some signals between the two of you. Stand outside at the rear of the trailer to guide him, whenever possible stay visible in his mirror.

Tell him to use slight movements of the steering wheel to adjust direction. Exaggerated movements will cause greater movement of the trailer. If he has difficulty, tell him to pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start again.

It will take some practice.

check out this video too-- it's focus is on back in camp sites
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