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Old 01-08-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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Can't unhitch! Need help.

Ok, I don't know for sure if I'm posting in the right place. I keep needing to read and study the forum more. But I have a rather urgent problem.

We brought our 1992 Excella 29' home yesterday - 75 miles - made it fine, and we were surprised. Got her home last night, parked in the school parking lot across the street and today tried to take her to a local campground where we can hookup and clean her up, look her over, etc. There's a snow fall predicted tomorrow, and we wanted her somewhere good in case she had to stay a few days. (She is winterized).

We think, but don't know, that when our hitch was installed and our trailer hooked up, too much weight was put on the back of the truck, and actually we needed an extended bar, because our truck is high off the ground and even the last hole may be too high.

Now we've tried and tried to use the electric jack to get unhooked. Trouble is, when the tongue comes up, the truck does, too. Because we think it's about five inches below it's normal postion (the truck). We knew this wouldn't be right, but we're newbies and Ray was in the truck for the hitch up doing what he was told. I noticed the back of the truck went WAY down, but thought they knew more than me, so didn't say anything.

Now the electric jack cannot raise the tongue (we're on pretty level pad) enough. When we raise it, the truck just comes up with it. I thought the front end of the truck was up too high on the way home, but what do we know - we're newbies.

So ends the last day of our first full day as RVers. Our truck and trailer are at the local KOA, and our daughter had to come pick us up and bring us home so we'd have our car for transportation.

Ray is NOT happy that his truck is still under the trailer and so much weight is on it. What are we going to do? Help, help!

Carol & Ray
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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Oh, and will the electric jack work much better if we plug into shore power? We've been leaving our truck running while we try to get unhitched.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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Ummmm - you DID remove the safety pin and then unlatch and raise the coupler latch lever and such?

I've had a few time when my coupler "stuck" just a bit and I needed to (gently) apply a little fore/aft "bump" with the tow vehicle power train before the coupler would release the hitch ball ... no idea why this was so, 'cause it has happened only two or three times ever. Of course, you have to do this before putting the jack foot to the ground!
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Raise the electric jack all the way up and put as many blocks under the jack as you can and you will have enough lift when you raise it.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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What I do to get extra lift is to start with blocks of wood under the tongue jack.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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Yes we removed safety pin, and I got on the ground with a flashlight to see that the coupler is moving out of the way properly. We've also bumped a little tiny bit forward and back. The coupler isn't the problem. It's a new equalizer hitch with sway bars, which we have taken off to try to help get it unhitched. There was a GREAT amount of pressure on them, but now we can't put them back on.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:13 PM   #7
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Place some boards, bricks, Lynx levelers, etc.. under the power jack foot to raise it higher. Just watch the rear of the AS as not to bottom it out and start raising the tires off of the ground.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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Do you have something like blocks under the jack or are you just using the jack clear to the ground? There is someone selling jack stands in the classifieds, but some pieces of 4x6" wood make a good stand too.

Plugging into shore power should help if your batteries are down. Do you have a battery in the Airstream?
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #9
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Wow - half a dozen replies while I was typing this......

Carol -

In general, the jack will work a little better when plugged into shore power. This is especially true if the battery(s) are a little undercharged. You may or may not be getting 12v charge from the umbilical when you are plugged into the truck.

As for getting un-hitched -- Just put a block of wood or two under the jack post to get the additional "lift" you need. A short piece of 4X4 or a couple of short pieces of 2X6 should get you enough lift to get off the ball. Make sure the coupler is releasing the ball before you go too high.

Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
Ummmm - you DID remove the safety pin and then unlatch and raise the coupler latch lever and such?
If so, jack it up and sledge hammer to the truck hitch.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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Try putting more blocks under the electric jack so it can raise the front of the trailer higher. You will need to raise the trailer tongue higher than the natural height of the truck suspension. If the trailer jack is raising the rear of the truck above its normal height, you may then need to stand on the rear of the truck for the ball to release from the coupler. Greasing the ball will help prevent this for future use.

Shore power will not help.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Thanks so much. We'll try that. Ray did have two concrete blocks, about two inches high each, under jack stand today. Still didn't work, and back of truck kept following it up. But we moved to a more level pad so we'll try it again. We haven't tried it since we got more level.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:19 PM   #13
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btw, the ball was really well greased. I didn't even think of putting my big bottom in back of the truck. Duh. I already see several things that may work. In the morning, back out there we go to see if one of these ideas work. I feel so stupid. Thanks again.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:20 PM   #14
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post a couple of pictures of the connection and playing field.

folks are offering advice based on their IMAGINED view of your set up.

that's dangerous, since we have no idea really or exactly what u r dealing with...

for example are the w/d (spring bars) bars still chained up?

are the trailer tires blocked from movement?

how much did the truck REAR squat when first connected?

i just don't wanna read that some1 broke a body part or got slapped in the face while disconnecting...

it's dark now, so it might be best to simply let it be till the light of day.

again toss up some pix...

and if some1 does happen to smash a toe or thumb,

of course we want pix of that tooo...

(purely for research purposes)



cheers
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