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Old 04-03-2017, 07:48 PM   #1
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5th wheel hitch....

Wow, weather was good enough for me to practice connecting and disconnecting 5th wheel. I thought a 5th wheel would be much easier and quicker than my old WDH hitch on my pull behind when hooking up. This was my first time and it didn't go very well. Had a problem with my lever on my Reese 16,000 lb receiver not wanting to lay down flat even though green button was out and lever in. Tried moving forward and backwards and nothing. So I felt I was risking it all by moving truck and camper forward a few feet slowly, then the lever dropped down into position. Question, if green button is out, is it safe to pull camper even if lever isn't down flat? When I came back home I was trying to get hitch handle to pull out and no luck. I made sure that I raised camper just enough to see an 1/8 space between hitch and plate. I was really getting frustrated and my wife kept saying calm down! I sure would like some tips from seasoned 5th wheel owners as to what would make things easier. I did notice there was no grease on anything. Seems like dealer would have greased locking jaws and plate seeing how I just purchased a new 5th wheel, hitch and all! maybe grease will help!!!!
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:50 PM   #2
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Dealer grease it? Hahahaha Nah. No way.

Grease it out the wazoo. Try again. Practice.

It IS SCARY the first few times. After a bit, it's way easy! Keep at it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:31 PM   #3
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I never use grease. Use a Teflon kingpin ring. I will put silicon or wd40 on kingpin and jaw mechanism occasionally.

We found the easiest way to hitch is to have the kingpin plate slightly below the hitch plate in the truck (half inch or less). Then let the trailer plate slide up on into the truck plate. Same when unhooking. Don't pick the trailer completely off the truck plate. If you pick it up too far the bottom lip of the kingpin will be caught on the bottom of the jaws.

If you can't pull the lever you can sometimes release the pressure on the kingpin by putting your truck in neutral and releasing the brake to cause slight movement between truck and trailer.

As far as the lever and the green button, I wouldn't trust the green button (it's just a push mechanism), I would trust the handle being in whatever the locked position for your hitch is.

And yup, hitching a fiver is about 10 times faster than a bumper wdh in my opinion

Good luck and enjoy your rig!!!
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:23 PM   #4
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5er is faster and easier in my opinion. I grease the king pin and spray silicone on the other moving parts. I keep a Teflon pad on the kingpin to ride the hitch.


As stated above ~~ when hooking have the allow the pin to ride up about 1/2" onto the horseshoe. and when unhooking raise the plate about 1/2" above the horseshoe. After hitching get behind and look to see the jaws are tight and there is no space between the plate and horseshoe ~~ high hitching.


Breath easy as once you get a rhythm ~~ nothing to it.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:35 AM   #5
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You've received some good advice.
You'll quickly learn the nuances of your hitch combination.
They all react just slightly different.

There are MANY good videos on YouTube on how to hitch a 5th wheel.
A search there will bring up a bunch

Here is one such from Reese.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:00 AM   #6
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I copy NMWildCat almost exactly, and it works perfectly every time. One big trick is to release the pressure on the jaws when unlatching the hitch. Placing the vehicle in neutral or even moving up or down hill a little to relieve the pressure will make the job a whole lot easier.

The video posted by 5picker is one of the best I've seen. It covers everything without getting long and boring.

And lastly; ALWAYS, did I say 'always' do a pull test with the RV's landing gear just off the ground.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:21 PM   #7
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Appreciate all the good info from all on this thread! I will practice again this weekend and hope it goes better. Just have to also remember to put tailgate down also, think i'll make a checklist! Just a matter of learning how everything works, thanks to all!!!
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikdor1 View Post
Wow, weather was good enough for me to practice connecting and disconnecting 5th wheel. I thought a 5th wheel would be much easier and quicker than my old WDH hitch on my pull behind when hooking up. This was my first time and it didn't go very well. Had a problem with my lever on my Reese 16,000 lb receiver not wanting to lay down flat even though green button was out and lever in. Tried moving forward and backwards and nothing. So I felt I was risking it all by moving truck and camper forward a few feet slowly, then the lever dropped down into position. Question, if green button is out, is it safe to pull camper even if lever isn't down flat? When I came back home I was trying to get hitch handle to pull out and no luck. I made sure that I raised camper just enough to see an 1/8 space between hitch and plate. I was really getting frustrated and my wife kept saying calm down! I sure would like some tips from seasoned 5th wheel owners as to what would make things easier. I did notice there was no grease on anything. Seems like dealer would have greased locking jaws and plate seeing how I just purchased a new 5th wheel, hitch and all! maybe grease will help!!!!
You can get your part number from the hitch and Google for videos or manufacturers website for instructions. I read mine about 5 times before attempting and reading all I could here. My fear(not to add to yours) was unlocked jaws and 5er falling. Paint the jaws white/yellow or something so you can see when closed after hitching. Good piece of mind.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:52 PM   #9
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The only other thing I will add is that if you're parking your 5'er on an incline, then leveling it, getting the hitch plate and pin alignment correct can be tricky. I experienced this when I first got mine, but everything got much easier when I moved it to where my truck and camper were on near the same plane.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:03 PM   #10
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The only other thing I will add is that if you're parking your 5'er on an incline, then leveling it, getting the hitch plate and pin alignment correct can be tricky. I experienced this when I first got mine, but everything got much easier when I moved it to where my truck and camper were on near the same plane.
Site 106 at Savannah Oaks had my truck pointing to the sky. Used 4 chocks before releasing the hitch. No problem.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:10 PM   #11
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I will put silicon or wd40 on kingpin and jaw mechanism occasionally.
WD40 is a solvent NOT a lubricant.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:26 PM   #12
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Deep breaths, and keep practicing. It will get easier. I have found for my hitch (a Curt Q20), the kingpin needs to be just above the hitch...like barely brushing it. Then a short but "smart" move of the truck to snap the jaws shut. You also have to be mindful of the side to side slant. I am on unlevel crushed rock at home, and my truck and 5th wheel are slightly unlevel at hitching. So it takes the kingpin and hitch to be just right to snap the jaws. You will get it...keep practicing and keep calm. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
WD40 is a solvent NOT a lubricant.

yeah it's a degreaser, fluid film works well as a lubricant
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptnJohn View Post
Site 106 at Savannah Oaks had my truck pointing to the sky. Used 4 chocks before releasing the hitch. No problem.


I was talking about side-to-side, not front-to-back.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
WD40 is a solvent NOT a lubricant.
Funny how it says lubricant right on the can Also, have you looked at all the types of WD40 available today? They have every type of LUBRICANT you need. I have at least three different kinds of WD-40. I just love how some folks assume everybody else is an idiot.

Also you might take a gander at this, it's informative and a fun read: https://wd40.com/cool-stuff/myths-legends-fun-facts
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:56 AM   #16
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I concur with everything already said. I have a curt q20. there are three lube points in the hitch. spread a bit of grease on the kingpin before hooking up. I also use a Teflon disk. I have 6 items I look for every time I hitch (green indicator on hitch handle, visually verify the jaws, safety latch engaged, safety wire attached, trailer plugged in, and tail gate up). i've had to move the truck forward and back a couple of times to get the jaws fully engaged. then the pull test and turn / brake light test. when unhitching I use the landing gear to raise the trailer just to the point where there is small gap between the hitch and the pin box.


but here is the only new thing a can add. DURING HOOKING AND UNHOOKING TO NOT TALK TO ANYBODY! get the hooking and unhooking done without distractions so you do not forget any step of the process. then when it is completed go back and verify everything again! then breathe and enjoy.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:46 PM   #17
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but here is the only new thing a can add. DURING HOOKING AND UNHOOKING TO NOT TALK TO ANYBODY! get the hooking and unhooking done without distractions so you do not forget any step of the process.
I'll second this! However, I will have my wife (navigator and commander) do a walk around after I do. She has gotten me a couple of times (for which I am eternally grateful!).
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:01 PM   #18
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Practiced some more this weekend and learned that when I unhitch that I should put some slight forward pressure on hitch, then put emergency brake on before I try to pull out handle to release jaws on hitch. Before I figured it out I kept getting out of truck and tried to pull lever with no luck. Figured out when I took foot off of brake pedal to get out of truck it coasted back against jaws ever so slightly then I couldn't pull handle. As long as i keep learning little things it should get easier!!!!
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:22 PM   #19
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I'll second this! However, I will have my wife (navigator and commander) do a walk around after I do. She has gotten me a couple of times (for which I am eternally grateful!).
I do the same. After I am done hitching up the the boss gives it the final inspection and yes she has saved us on more than one occasion.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:26 PM   #20
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Man after reading this thread I'm glad I got an Andersen. I don't have anything traditional to compare it to but I'm really happy with how easy it is.
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