Well, I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I am also the new owner of a used 36 FR toyhauler. It is my first 5th wheeler. I hate to admit it but I have already dropped mine and I did it b4 i ever even got it out of the driveway!
It was delivered to me by the PO because my new Superslider was not installed yet. I spent all one afternoon and into the evening trying to get the hitch to latch. I have zero experience with 5th wheels. I thought I was being careful and had everything chocked and blocked. Finally I thought I heard it latch and I saw the handle move and I thought it was latched. I was on a very slight down hill with the tow on the low side so I knew it could not roll uphill and slide off. I inspected the latch and discovered that it was not latched all the way. With little understanding of how the latch worked I thought if maybe I inched forward and stopped it would latch with the forward momentem. I unchocked and inched forward a couple of feet and stopped.... nothing happened. A foot or two more and stop hard and it still will not latch. I am ready to give up and try the next day when there is light so I back it into position and when I stop, the trailer doesn't!!! Wham! crunch! Swear words are spoken!! I only do that when no one is around and am glad no one was around! I lock the brakes of the truck and get out to inspect the damage fearing the worst. This 10K trailer (pin weight unknown) is resting on the side walls of my truck and they are not bent in! I re-chock and immedatly start extending the front jacks and the truck comes up off of the springs for what seems like forever and finally the trailer comes free of the truck. I raise it until everything is free and clear and move my truck out of the way b4 anything else happens! The only damage is a slight crack to the bottom of the fiberglass cap on the lefe side. Easily repairable.
The next day I try several more times thinking I must be doing something wrong. I read and re-read the manual, nope I am doing just what it says. Finally I pull the slide plate off of the hitch, turn it over and study the mechanism. I trip it several times with a large screwdriver and it works good. While I have it off I decide to hold it up to the kingpin and slide it on to see why it is not latching and presto! The latch lever is not moving far enough when it slides past the bottom of the kingpin to release the catch. Nothing is bend so I recon that the bottom of the kingpin is not large enough diameter to move the latch lever enough to release the catch. The pin on the latch lever looks to be about 3/8" diameter. I reason I can't make the bottom of the kingpin bigger so I decide to make the latch lever pin bigger. I cut off a piece of 3/8" fuel hose and slide it over the pin. It is a snug fit and will not easily fall off. I hold up the plate again and slide it on and it latches. I re-install the plate on the slider and back into the kingpin and I finally get my first good hook up. Just like it is supposed to be!
I've done it, I admit it, no one saw it and I learned from it. I will not do it again! I was lucky to have minimal damage. Now I get to use my fiberglass skills no make a minor repair and the wife will never know it happened!
I love my Ford truck and now I love it even more!
2004 Ford SuperDuty 6.0L FX4X4 Crew cab, Short box
2003 Forest River 36 5th wheel ToyHauler