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Old 10-16-2018, 01:41 PM   #1
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5th Wheel Hitch/Unhitch Question

Please note I have a Ford F250 with 6.5 Ft bed and we are thinking about purchasing Grand Design Reflection 295RL.
I am new to 5th wheel so I hope I am asking this right.
My driveway is not leveled with the street and about 2 feet higher and slops up to the house. To hitch and unhitch does 5th wheel need to be level?
My other concern is in order to back into my driveway, I have to make a sharp turn that essentially places the truck and the RV at a 130° angle. Can I hitch/unhitch at this angle , or do I have to be reasonably straight?
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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My driveway is at a 3% grade (according to the sensors on my F250) and I don't have a problem unhitching. As long as it's generally parallel. If it's curved, dipped, or anything else that will put your truck at a different angle then the trailer, it might be trickier.

And when you say 130°, I hope you mean 50° off from straight, and not a real jackknifed situation. At 50° I'd have a problem unhitching, but I have the Demco Autoslide that rotates the head of the hitch. I don't know how standard head hitches would be affected.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:17 PM   #3
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I can hitch at somewhat not parallel without any problems, but make sure you have somebody keep an eye on the tailgate, so that the corner of it doesn’t hit the storage door b4 the pin gets to the pin box
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:21 PM   #4
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Maybe I wan't clear.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:23 PM   #5
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Pay close attention to the front cap of the 5ver and the truck cab!
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:24 PM   #6
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As mentioned, some hitches need to be more straight on than others because of the design of the hitch.

Standard hitches (non-sliding) and some manual sliders, as well as, the Andersen hitch are more forgiving to angles and inclines. I hitched/unhitched my manual slider Reese in many different angles. The newer Revolution/Sidewinder styles allow for the pin box to be rotated to whatever angle the truck is coming in at.

As mentioned too, the proximity of the tailgate to the front of the 5th wheel needs consideration. Depending on placement of the hitch and angle of the truck to the 5th wheel, they can get close enough to hit with the gate down.

So to answer your question, no the truck and 5th wheel do not need to be level to hitch/unhitch... but... let us know what set-up you have and we can give better answers.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:25 PM   #7
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I have a similar size fifthwheel. I tow with a gmc Sierra 2500 short bed. I have a blue ox diamond gooseneck hitch with the reese goosbox on the fiver. You can hitch up in almost any angle plus if you use your truck for things other than towing you don't have a massive monster to wrestle out of the bed.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-16-2018, 02:30 PM   #8
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Oh, ok, you should be fine then. Actually not much different than mine:

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You'll probably have room to get the truck somewhat straight if needed to hitch/unhitch. Remember, everything from the rear axle is under the fiver. I suspect your entire bed will be off the road, so it's just a matter of how long the nose of your truck is.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:32 PM   #9
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There's probably only one way to find out, and that's to try it. Anytime the truck and FW are off-level, it can cause hitch/unhitching problems. If you have a sliding hitch, maybe, but the two I know, Pullrite and Demco, require the truck and FW be close to straight on, or unhitching can be problematic. Even with a slider, the cab corners and/or front FW corners can get very close in an out of level situation; mine do.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:33 PM   #10
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Pretty clear to me, I hitch and unhitch at a similar angle. Like I said the corner of your tailgate will hit long before your cab. It just really depends on your truck and particular fifth wheel. I also have a 6.5 bed and with the style fiver I have(has corners angled on front) I can almost completely jackknife it without a slider hitch. But if you have a slider hitch, you can slide it back and give your self even more clearance to hook up at an angle. As far as the grade and or slope and if your fifth wheel needs to be level. The answer is no and you just have to make sure you have enough bed rail clearance so that the front of the fiver doesn’t hit the bed side.
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