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Old 02-28-2019, 01:57 PM   #1
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Help pulling lever on 5th wheel hitch

My back isn't as strong as it once was so that makes the pulling of the 5th wheel release lever painful when it has a bit of a bind on it.
I always try to make sure it's not in a bind before unhitching but still about 3 or 4 out of 10 times it doesn't pull freely.
I thought I saw somewhere an electric release or a mechanical device to gain the ability to avoid physically pulling the lever or enhancing the mechanical advantage and reducing the force on my shoulder and back.
Anyone ever hear or know about such a device?

Thanks

Tcrossan
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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I have found that when the release lever is hard to pull. The best solution is to make sure that the front legs are down, trailer wheels are chocked. I will than put the truck gear shift lever in neutral thus reliving any pressure on the hitch jaws. While the truck is still in neutral and parking brake is set I will pull the release lever. This has worked for me 100% of the time.
Just a suggestion to try, this could work for you.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:14 PM   #3
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Same method but reverse for me.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:09 PM   #4
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Yup, you've got to release the binding pressure and it will be easy peasy to pull handle. Too often folks raise the rig too high or not enough causing the pin to bind at the hitch. Watch it closely as you lower the landing gear, then neutral the TV transmission and set the parking brake.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:58 PM   #5
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My TrailerSaver TS3 came with a 2’ piece of pipe and a rod for manipulating the hitch’s pull handle and locking mechanism.

I still have to make sure that the last move of the truck is in reverse to take pressure off of the hitch’s jaws from the pin.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:15 PM   #6
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Thanks gents for the suggestions. I've been 5th Wheeling a long time so I guess I've forgotten some of the basics. Seems I used to do that procedure.
I'm sure it will work as you've described.
I need all the help I can get !☺
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:26 PM   #7
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get yourself an Anderson ultimate and never worry about a thing again
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:07 AM   #8
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get yourself an Anderson ultimate and never worry about a thing again
Agreed .........
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:49 PM   #9
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Try a technique us old semi truck drivers use.

Once trailer legs are down and trailer wheels chocked, put the truck in reverse and gently apply rearward pressure and then set park brake on truck. That will take tension off the jaws around the king pin.

In retrospect, I see Jim hit on that idea also.

No need to fight with a hitch.
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:52 PM   #10
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I use my wife as the puller. I told her itís dangerous for the truck to be unattended. I feel sooo much better now.
I told her , ahhh, quit complaining; PULL, PULL . Ok, ok...all about releasing that pressure as stated. Was a good story though....
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:53 PM   #11
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I have found that whenmy release lever is hard to pull there is tensionon the pinin the hitch. Here is my solution, similar to others but different:

1. Check landing gear down and the pin plate just high enough not to touch the hitch plate (NO weight on hitch)

2. Put the truck in Reverse and back ever so slightly to remove contact between pin and hitch jaws.

3. Apply Parking brake to hold truck from rolling forward, put shift in Park and turn truck engine off.

The hitch always unlatches easily if I follow this procedure.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:54 PM   #12
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Front gear down then back pickup against the pin and put parking brake on firmly. Put it in park and go pull pin.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mad Cow View Post
Try a technique us old semi truck drivers use.

Once trailer legs are down and trailer wheels chocked, put the truck in reverse and gently apply rearward pressure and then set park brake on truck. That will take tension off the jaws around the king pin.

In retrospect, I see Jim hit on that idea also.

No need to fight with a hitch.
This is what I do with my reese.

Mike
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:48 PM   #14
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You're right about fighting. My back won't take any fighting.!!!
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:43 PM   #15
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We old truckers also use a pin puller, any truck stop should have one.

Google trucker pin puller.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:22 AM   #16
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I used a 5th wheel latch puller when I drove semi truck & that made it a whole lot easier to pull the 5th wheel lever. Basically all it is, is a long 3ft. rod with a handle on 1 end & a hook on the other. Some had an extra hook on the opposite same side of the big hook so to flip the safety latch/lock up when pulling the 5th wheel lever. Made it a whole lot easier, so you didn't have to stretch under the trailer & over the bed of the truck. You can buy them at truck stops or make your own, they're not that complicated to make.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:52 PM   #17
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I back up against the chocks on the trailer wheels, set the parking brake, pull the hitch release, then put the jacks down. No resistance when unlatching the hitch, since it's never under tension.

Picture a triangle between the truck rear axle, trailer tires, and the hitch. Unloading the truck suspension makes the triangle grow, which will always put the hitch under tension if it is still latched.

Using the parking brake is key for consistency. Park by itself has too much slop.

Put the jacks almost all the way down without touching the ground if you're squeamish, but the pin can't slide out if the tires won't roll.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:52 PM   #18
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I had hell with the slider hitch that came with the rig. Replaced with Curt Q series alot better, just make sure no pressure is on the kingpin.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:54 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the feedback. First stop I went back to basics as yall described and it was uncoupled without any pain. I like no pain!
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:13 PM   #20
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