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Old 05-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #1
Steve & Phyllis
 
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5th wheel connect/disconnect

We got our first fifth wheel last fall and struggle (putting it mildly) with connecting. We have a Ford F250 with the factory installed connections for the Reese hitch. We have a short bed with the manual slider which was only one available last year.
Hooking up: we can only seem to get connected when backing straight back with no angle whatsoever. Fine where we store it but some campgrounds are so tight it is virtually impossible to do. I have watched others come in at an angle which also makes pulling out easier.
Unhooking: we let the front legs down (hydraulic) till they just touch and then search for the one position when the lever will release. Again I must be almost perfectly straight to be able to get lever to release.
Slider: We rarely use it because nose of camper is rounded and won't hit but unless I can get perfectly straight the tailgate won't go down unless we slide it back. Once we slide it back we have no luck getting it back to tow position unless we take the weight off with the front supports.

I have read the manual that came with hitch so much I have it memorized. We know there must be something we are missing but not sure what. In June we go to the beach for two weeks and know the site we have will not allow us to pull straight out to unhook. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Going to try and find someplace to get lessons but no luck so far. Dealer sets on perfectly level blacktop so stuff works nice there. They gave us the basic 5 minute this is how demo when we picked it up but it all seemed so simple then. May try and bribe the sales demo guy with a real nice steak dinner for a little more in depth training
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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I do not have your hitch but with the newer hitches you should not have that problem. When I hook up I actually let the pin ride up on the hitch. When unhooking I raise the pin so it is about a 1/4 of an inch or so off the hitch, sometimes I to have a little problem releasing the lever but that is usually corrected by putting the truck in reverse or drive, depending, to move it slightly forward or back.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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Do you take the pressure off the hitch pin by a slight back motion when unhooking?
Does your plate rock front to rear and side to side? Good luck....hope you find the problem. The problem with a short bed is trailer front contacting cab...during turns and rocking ......
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camper1999 View Post
I do not have your hitch but with the newer hitches you should not have that problem. When I hook up I actually let the pin ride up on the hitch. When unhooking I raise the pin so it is about a 1/4 of an inch or so off the hitch, sometimes I to have a little problem releasing the lever but that is usually corrected by putting the truck in reverse or drive, depending, to move it slightly forward or back.
I do the same thing, except usually leave a little weight on the hitch. Just make sure your trailer wheels are chocked first, then give the truck a little "wiggle" in reverse.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Haven't had a problem with coming in at any angles (unless I really miss the mark on lining up the hitch). If the hitch pivots front/back and side to side this should help you out.

As far as disconnecting, sometimes that lever can be a bear to pull, I drop the gear all the way to the point where I will disconnect and usually backup or pull forward an inch or so and it allows the handle to move.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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First off, while unhooking, I lift all of the weight off of the 5th wheel first. While unhooking at an angle, I've had the issue with the tailgate not having enough room to go down. I take the weight off of the 5th wheel with the tailgate up, pull the release to open up the jaws with the wheels chocked, pull up with the tailgate up until it has enough room to lay down being careful not to hit it with pin box. This is best done with help.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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Sumpting not right. Get it checked out
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #8
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Being it is new it should not be a problem but make sure the hitch has some lubricant on it. Some grease or something and make sure the hitch is not tight on the pin...some hitches grab the pin so tight.

When your hooking it up, how hard do you have to hit the pin to get the hitch to lock..?
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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I have to back up a little to take off the pressure off the jaws so they will release, I also leave a lot of pressure when I hook or unhook the truck squats 1-2 inches when hooking up, but I have a capture plate with a wedge that aligns my hitch with the pin box pin. when I moved the truck out from behind the garage a few weeks ago I forgot to put the capture plate on and i could not hitch up at all
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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I thank all of you for your feedback. I have several things to go try. Also going to the dealer who installed hitch to see if they have someone who can spend a little time with us. DW and I will go to lot tomorrow and try a few.
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