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Old 12-02-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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hooking up 5th wheel

New 5th wheel owner here. This has probably been addressed countless times, but I dont know what to search.. How do you judge the correct height of the 5th wheel trailer, so that you can just back the truck right into the pin? Do you raise the trailer so it hits the hitch midway up the plate? Is there a surefire way to measure the correct height each time you attach the 5th wheel. I seem to be spending too much time eyeballing the correct height, backing up, getting out and checking again, etc. instead of raising the unit to the same height each time and just backing in...
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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You will want to set your height of the camper so as you back under it you transfer some of the weight on to your truck. That way if you are not lined up strait with the king pin it will slide into the throat of your fifth wheel better and take pressure off your trailer jacks.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by spurge1947 View Post
New 5th wheel owner here. This has probably been addressed countless times, but I dont know what to search.. How do you judge the correct height of the 5th wheel trailer, so that you can just back the truck right into the pin? Do you raise the trailer so it hits the hitch midway up the plate? Is there a surefire way to measure the correct height each time you attach the 5th wheel. I seem to be spending too much time eyeballing the correct height, backing up, getting out and checking again, etc. instead of raising the unit to the same height each time and just backing in...
HI!

I'm pretty new to it too and at first I always had the trailer too high. The trailer needs to climb onto the hitch. It works better and you get a positive connect. If the front of the trailer hitch plate hits halfway down the truck plate it is perfect. Slightly lower is OK. High is almost always and issue.

Chock the back of the trailer wheels to help the with the leveler stress. It gets better with time. There is something satisfying about the clunk of a solid hookup.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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If you are at your usual parking spot (home or storage area), you can put a mark on your landing gear when you unhook it. That way you will be spot on when you hook up again. At your camping spot, it is not so easy since the terrain is almost always different. You could maybe get some tape and mark the landing gear at your camping spot, or some other method of marking it. I've found that after a few times of doing it, I have been able to get darn close now just by eyeballing it. Your results may vary.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your replies, it has gotten easier with each trip. Upon reflection, it seems the actual disconnect when pulling away from the trailer is more stressful, as its hard , in my case, to figure whether the trailer is jacked up high enough. If I'm practising, it means I'm camping, which is what we love to do.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:11 PM   #6
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I saw a guy hook up one day. He pulled out a tape measure and adjusted his nose to whatever measurement he had in mind. It took him about 10 tries and a half hour to get it done! I back the truck up until it almost touches the pin box and then raise it up from there. I think you should be able to judge it pretty good after a couple of whacks.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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The way I hook up our 5th wheel camper is just trying to remember where it was when I unhooked it. The bubble level on side of camper for me on level ground is on the 3 mark raised to the pull out position. When I'm ready to back truck up I just raise the camper to that 3 mark. It works for me. Of course its a little different on unlevel ground just remember where the bubble was at before you pull out. At my age the remembering part is the hardest part.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ted Johnson View Post
The way I hook up our 5th wheel camper is just trying to remember where it was when I unhooked it. The bubble level on side of camper for me on level ground is on the 3 mark raised to the pull out position. When I'm ready to back truck up I just raise the camper to that 3 mark. It works for me. Of course its a little different on unlevel ground just remember where the bubble was at before you pull out. At my age the remembering part is the hardest part.

Thats an idea that will work for me. I might have to get the level mark tattood on my forehead ( backwards so I can read it in my rearview mirror )
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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Newbie here also but here is what a veteran showed me. Set the trailer at the perfect connect height while at your home level parking spot. Make a measuring device (I made mine out of a lenght of chain, small cord, and a "S" hook). He made his out of PVC pipe which looked like a large "L".

I attached the S hook to the trailer pin plate, the cord to the S hook and the small length of chain to the other end of the cord, for weight. Make the length of this so it just touches the ground.

Now, after unhooking and leveling your trailer at your camp spot when you are ready to hook up to go, just attach your measuring device and raise or lower your front landing jacks until the bottom (in my case the chain) just touches the ground. The first time I tried this while camping I hooked up the first time without another adjustment.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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When the 5th wheel is in the drivway at home. Its usually raised a few inchs high to allow for water drainage..with a tripod stabilizer in place. When i hook up to go .. i will get the hitch into a close position .. about a foot away.. then watching as in lowering the front jacks ..leaving a half inch or less of space between the top of the hitch and the lube plate
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