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Author Topic: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel  (Read 1107 times)

Free Spirit

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Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« on: May 30, 2017, 07:08:34 AM »
I wrote these notes down after the fact and so I would like some help in correcting them. I have only done this one time and that was with guidance.

1). Inspect hitch
2). Verify "open" position of jaws.
3). Open tailgate
4). Back up truck close to hitch pin
5). Adjust camper height to match hitch pin height on camper to jaws on hitch
6). Back up truck to lock camper pin into jaws on hitch.
7). Verify jaws are locked around pin.
8). Replace safety pin to lock hitch
9). Attach Safety Breakaway Wire to hitch
10). Plug in cord for lights and breaks.
11). Raise tail gate
12). Check to see if all lights are working.
13). Remove wheel chocks
14). Raise rear legs
15). Raise front lags.
16). Test trailer brakes.
17). Drive off

Hope i thought of everything.
Thanks in advance
TonyB
Retired and full time living aboard our Denali 293RKS. We plan to start serious cruising around mid-Dec.of 2017
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 07:13:28 AM »
Looks to me like a good checklist, but it's  been years since we had a 5W.
Gary
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2017, 07:38:43 AM »
I wrote these notes down after the fact and so I would like some help in correcting them. I have only done this one time and that was with guidance.

1). Inspect hitch
2). Verify "open" position of jaws.
3). Open tailgate
4). Back up truck close to hitch pin
5). Adjust camper height to match hitch pin height on camper to jaws on hitch
6). Back up truck to lock camper pin into jaws on hitch.
7). Verify jaws are locked around pin.
8). Replace safety pin to lock hitch
9). Attach Safety Breakaway Wire to hitch
10). Plug in cord for lights and breaks.
11). Raise tail gate
12). Check to see if all lights are working.
13). Remove wheel chocks
14). Raise rear legs
15). Raise front lags.
16). Test trailer brakes.
17). Drive off

Hope i thought of everything.
Thanks in advance

Mostly it looks good. A couple of comments:

5) This will work if you need to lower the height. If you have to raise it, you will also be lowering the back end. Not a good idea if the rear stabilizer jacks are down. You want to move step 14 to just before this step.

6) This depends on the hitch. With some hitches, the jaws do not close just by inserting the pin. Rather, you need th release the handle that was used to open the jaws.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
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2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

Pugapooh

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2017, 07:53:45 AM »
A tug test?  before you remove the chocks, try to drive forward.  This is to test your connection.

Looks like a good list otherwise.
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Rene T

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 08:22:25 AM »
Nice list. I've had 2 Reese hitches. The first one, I didn't need to open the jaws with the handle. The jaws automatically opened then closed on their own when the king pin made contact with the jaws. It was very easy.
The hitch I have now, all I do is open the jaws with the handle. The handle locks in a detent keeping the jaws open. When the king pin goes into the recess, the jaws close automatically.  Your hitch may also work similar to the way mine did. 
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glen54737

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 11:56:00 AM »
A tug test?  before you remove the chocks, try to drive forward.  This is to test your connection.

Looks like a good list otherwise.
Do it before raising the landing gear also. I usually just shift from reverse to drive and pull a little.
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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 12:23:07 PM »
Do it before raising the landing gear also. I usually just shift from reverse to drive and pull a little.

If you do the tug test before you raise the landing gear, and accidentally drive forward a little too far, you risk bending the landing gear. A safer alternative, is to raise the landing gear about 1/2 inch, and then do the tug test.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

Rene T

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 01:02:11 PM »
If you do the tug test before you raise the landing gear, and accidentally drive forward a little too far, you risk bending the landing gear. A safer alternative, is to raise the landing gear about 1/2 inch, and then do the tug test.

Joel

On both of my hitches, If I could install the safety pin, that meant that the jaws were closed all the way.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

RVRAC

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 01:56:12 PM »
I learned the hard way to raise the rear stabilizers first.  Never step #14 but #1 or #2 on your list for me.
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johnh10

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 04:24:43 PM »
Yes rear stabilizers should be up before raising the front end to match the hitch pin height.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2017, 05:03:37 PM »
We just took delivery of our new to us 5th wheel today so this is timely info. Thanks.

PS we are having a Demco hitch installed in our long bed RAM.
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1down

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2017, 07:53:16 AM »
Yes rear stabilizers should be up before raising the front end to match the hitch pin height.

This is my step number 1 as well.  When decamping I don't mind a little rear trailer bounce as we are stowing and securing with the nonessentials getting secured first.  I leave power, sewer, and water as my final steps so I can pull the slides in on the campsite power which makes it easier to get to the sewer disconnect which is under the slide and final water flush of the holding tank.  I'm flushing as I do a walk around making sure bulkheads are secure and the trailer is truck dependent. 
Then I disconnect the water and stow the water hose and sewer hose.  Lock the bay and do a final walk around and off we go. 
2004 Keystone Challenger 33' Fifth Wheel
2015 Chevrolet 3500HD SRW
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Oldgator73

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2017, 08:09:48 AM »
Many years ago when we owned a 5th wheel and after many couplings and uncouplings I got complacent (or maybe it was cocky) and didn't perform my tug test. I had hitched up and raised the jacks and took off. I heard a big thud and felt a huge weight hit the back of the truck. The RV had come unpinned and fell on the truck rails. Scared the crap out of me. Luckily no damage was done other a small crease on both rails. Had to change my britches before the trip could be continued.

meternerd

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2017, 03:57:58 PM »
Ditto on the rear landing gear up first.  I have a Lippert 6 point, so "rear" means the rear 4 legs.  But.....I have a Curt Q24 and I find that the jaws will not latch if the trailer is tilted at a different angle than the truck.  Unfortunately, "Right and Left" only applies to the rear legs.  Front doesn't let you tilt.  My solution (which is also in the manual) is to have the plate of the truck hitch about 1/2" or so above the bottom of the trailer hitch/pin.  That allows the trailer to ride up on the hitch plate and adjust for any difference.  My other problem was unhitching.  I could never tell when I had the trailer load off the truck.  I found myself lifting the truck instead of just lifting the trailer load when extending the front legs.  I finally built a metal "marker" to tell me when the truck bed was totally unloaded but not lifted by the front trailer legs.  If it wasn't nearly at zero "load" on the hitch, it would not unlatch.  Goes pretty smoothly now.  If anybody has a better suggestion, I'm all ears.  The "tug" test for a latch is a must, but do it before you raise the tailgate.  Helped a poor fellow who pulled his truck out from under 5W because it wasn't latched.  Totally crushed the bed rails of his brand new GMC truck and ripped the tailgate out so he couldn't even get it open.  We used our truck jacks under the landing gear to get the trailer high enough to get it latched.  Big bucks booboo, no doubt.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 04:08:48 PM by meternerd »

Stewie Griffin

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2017, 11:57:48 AM »
Others have already mentioned raising the rear stabilizer jacks prior to raising the nose of the trailer, I do that way early in my routine.
Also, when backing the truck under the trailer, make sure the king pin box rides up onto the hitch, don't lower the trailer onto the hitch after the truck is under it.
One last thing, make sure you shut the truck off before you plug the rv cord into the truck's receptical.  That will save you from blowing the under hood trailer battery charge fuse. 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 12:13:50 PM by Stewie Griffin »
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Lynx0849

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2017, 02:15:14 PM »
Others have already mentioned raising the rear stabilizer jacks prior to raising the nose of the trailer, I do that way early in my routine.
Also, when backing the truck under the trailer, make sure the king pin box rides up onto the hitch, don't lower the trailer onto the hitch after the truck is under it.
One last thing, make sure you shut the truck off before you plug the rv cord into the truck's receptical.  That will save you from blowing the under hood trailer battery charge fuse.

Those mostly make sense to me except the last one.

Assuming a relay from the ignition switch on the charge line, when you turn the key, the inrush current should be identical to simply plugging in the cord.

Can someone explain this?

Thanks

msw3113

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 08:16:19 AM »
(New member who can't figure out how to send private message, please forgive semi-thread hijack.)
Meternerd, our hitch situation is similar to yours, plus we have to park at home on an unlevel surface.  Can you describe (or provide a picture of) the metal marker you use to alert you when trailer has been raised enough to disengage from the Curt hitch?

"I could never tell when I had the trailer load off the truck.  I found myself lifting the truck instead of just lifting the trailer load when extending the front legs.  I finally built a metal "marker" to tell me when the truck bed was totally unloaded but not lifted by the front trailer legs."


Oldgator73

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 08:47:16 AM »
If I remember correctly, it's been about 13 years, I eyeballed the distance between the top of the tire and the bottom of the fender well when I was not hitched and then when hitched. I could tell by that distance when unhitching when the weight was off the truck enough to pull out. As others have mentioned you can also eyeball the distance between the plates on the hitch and pin.

Alfa38User

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2017, 08:55:40 AM »
Quote
(New member who can't figure out how to send private message, please forgive semi-thread hijack.)

msw3113

FYI: You will not be able to send PM's until you have a few postings under your belt. I think the magic number is about 5...

HTH
Stu
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donuts

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2017, 10:04:11 AM »
I learned the hard way to raise the rear stabilizers first.  Never step #14 but #1 or #2 on your list for me.

Agree. NEVER try to hitch up with the rear stabilizers down. Why? Because you can bend the heck out of them. I know because I have done it twice. :-[
We do this as we are cleaning up and getting ready to leave. That would be step 1 and step 2 would be to drop the tailgate IMO.
Safe travels.

Stan
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steveblonde

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2017, 08:11:15 AM »
Simple solution -  buy a unit with the 6 point hydraulic level system it raises and lowers the jacks with a push of a button and will even remember the front settings before you auto level . So you just back in and push auto retract - simple lol
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grashley

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2017, 07:37:58 PM »
^^ SHOW OFF!!  ^^
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
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steveblonde

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2017, 07:24:14 AM »
^^ SHOW OFF!!  ^^

Not showing off Gord mearly using the tools the good lord installed on my 5er lol but in all honesty its the cats meow and does help reduce time stress and of course errors if used correctly

Dont hate me cause in beautiful
Marlyn Munroe
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2017 Ford Escape my Daily driver - first Ford in 25 yrs
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded (First Ford Truck after 17 GMs) 5200lbs cargo/weight capacity named Kong


" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh?

grashley

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2017, 05:03:26 PM »
Really, I'm just jealous!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

steveblonde

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Re: Hitching Up to 5th Wheel
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2017, 08:22:25 PM »
Really, I'm just jealous
!


Lol i just got a great deal when i got it or i would be too
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2017 Ford Escape my Daily driver - first Ford in 25 yrs
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded (First Ford Truck after 17 GMs) 5200lbs cargo/weight capacity named Kong


" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh?

 

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