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Old 06-24-2013, 06:23 AM   #1
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fifth wheel hitch will not release

When attempting to unhitch my fifth wheel from my Reese 16k manual slider I can't pull the lever to release the jaws without lots of maneuvering back and forth. This has happened three times in a row and is very unnerving. The trailer and truck are both level. has anyone experienced this?

Another question, when hooking up should the jaws be closed or open? I have seen it done both ways?

-BC-
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeChuck View Post
When attempting to unhitch my fifth wheel from my Reese 16k manual slider I can't pull the lever to release the jaws without lots of maneuvering back and forth. This has happened three times in a row and is very unnerving. The trailer and truck are both level. has anyone experienced this?

Another question, when hooking up should the jaws be closed or open? I have seen it done both ways?

-BC-
Try raising the trailer until the pin box plate is about 1/8" above the hitch. I hook up with the latch closed, it automatically opens and closes. I have the pin box slightly raised when hooking up also. I numbered the holes on the landing jack legs.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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To much weight on latch jaws is usual problem. Another trick is to set trailer brakes to full on via slider on brake controller, then backup an inch or two. Try releasing jaws again. If you park on incline, use wheel chocks via 2nd person, then repeat backup trick. The idea is to get weight of trailer load off of kingpin thus jamming the 5th wheel jaws.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeChuck View Post
When attempting to unhitch my fifth wheel from my Reese 16k manual slider I can't pull the lever to release the jaws without lots of maneuvering back and forth. This has happened three times in a row and is very unnerving. The trailer and truck are both level. has anyone experienced this?

Another question, when hooking up should the jaws be closed or open? I have seen it done both ways?

-BC-
This problem is common. Itís the trailer tow weight/back pressure on the fifth wheel pin. Once to drop the landing gear down, put your truck in neutral. By doing that, it will take the back pressure off the king pin. Put the truck back into park and then pull the release lock handle.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:08 AM   #5
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Oldcoot's suggestion is what I have my father doing as it takes a lot of stress out of the hitch, camper and the truck by having the camper king pin in about the exact position you need it to be or slightly low so the truck and hitch isn't "picking" up the tongue when you are hitching or un hitching... Seems to have really helped him out.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:11 AM   #6
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Pin release

Also have had this happen, especially if the coach is on a slight rise from the truck.....Usually can get it to release by making sure you have that clearance between the hitch plate and king pin receiver..do you have the white Teflon plate installed on your receiver? Also, do you have one of these king pin safety locks on your plate?????
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #7
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I do have the white lube disk. Not sure what you mean by safety lock but I have the swing plate that fits into a grove in the arm that you pull to unlock the jaws.

PS: In looking closer at the picture I can now see clearly the safety lock you are referring to. I do not have that but it's a good idea.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:43 AM   #8
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Butch's Service

Did you notice the ROD that runs across the back of my hitch plate, that is my safety king pin lock...it is made by Butch's Services over in Ohio, that is used in case your kind pin does not lock down correctly when you pull off, or if and when the king pin might become un-locked this safety pin will catch the king pin..it slides out of the way when you hook up..If you do not have something along these lines, suggest you get one now..fifty bucks is a small price to pay when compared to dropping your unit on your truck bed..five thousand bucks is a good starting price..



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I do have the white lube disk. Not sure what you mean by safety lock but I have the swing plate that fits into a grove in the arm that you pull to unlock the jaws.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #9
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Did you notice the ROD that runs across the back of my hitch plate, that is my safety king pin lock...it is made by Butch's Services over in Ohio, that is used in case your kind pin does not lock down correctly when you pull off, or if and when the king pin might become un-locked this safety pin will catch the king pin..it slides out of the way when you hook up..If you do not have something along these lines, suggest you get one now..fifty bucks is a small price to pay when compared to dropping your unit on your truck bed..five thousand bucks is a good starting price..
I'll be in the Marblehead area around the Fourth of July. I'll stop by Butch's Services and pick on up.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:46 AM   #10
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Butch

Having this safety device will make you feel so much better when either towing or hitching up. We had never owned a 5th wheel coach before, we read all the material available and this device was number one on the list of things to have...Saw an elderly couple drop there coach right in the parking lot of a local dealer..man what a hell of a mess..Most dealers should include this with the sale of the coach and hitch..fifty bucks is nothing considering the thousands we invest in these toys...call Butch, he will overnight one to you..everything you need is included, even the drill bit..



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I'll be in the Marblehead area around the Fourth of July. I'll stop by Butch's Services and pick on up.
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