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Old 11-24-2016, 10:49 PM   #1
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5th wheel hookup

We have just got a Flagstaff Ultra Lite 5th Wheel with a Reese 16k hitch in the truck. May problem is when I go to hook up. If I'm not exactly right it will hang on a little lip and will not lock. So times it can take up to 15 minutes to hook up.
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:22 PM   #2
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Not sure what lip you are talking about. Are you talking about height or having to be straight on that you have to get just right? Try the teflon lube ring that fits around the kingpin, it helps the hitch to slide over the plate. Also play with height. Every 5ver we have had has its own 'trick' for easy hookup. Usually height. Practice makes perfect! Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:44 PM   #3
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Usually takes me one try and maybe 5 minutes to be ready to pull out. I used to use a teflon lube plate, but found issies with them, so went back to grease. First, line yourself up with the hitch pin and while sitting in the drivers seat have an assistant marka spot you can easily see in the mirror. Makes a nice simple permanent line up. Height is the only other thing you need to worry about. Get hitched, then pull out and take a measurement from the ground to the bottom of the fiver. Then its a simple matter of setting trailer nose height to match your measurement and back in. Heck a simple dowell rod cut to the proper length will make measureing a snap.
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Old 11-25-2016, 12:47 AM   #4
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I use the plastic disk as it eliminates the mess of grease, but either work well. The dowel rod to measure may work for you. I simply eyeball about 1/2" high when unhooking and 1/2" low when hooking so she rides up and in. I know the auto-level will put it where it was released from but have not used that feature -- yet.
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Old 11-25-2016, 01:01 AM   #5
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Along the same idea that 'donniedu' mentioned is what I do....

If I should have any pressure on the 5th wheel 'pin' while hitched it can make it difficult to un-hitch until the pressure is eased off the pin.
Sometimes this may take a few minutes to find the a balance of no pin pressure (so to speak) until I can pull the leaver to un-hitch.

Here is what I do to make hitching up easier...
Tools needed : tape measure, pencil & paper, stored in the forward compartment.
- right after unhitching and moving the truck forward out of the way
- before you raise or lower the rig to level it out
- measure from the ground to the bottom of the pin
- record this measurement.
- when it's time to reconnect just raise or lower the pin to the
'measurement'...back up the truck and listen for the "click".

I am able to just see the "top" of the 5th wheel hitch in the back of my truck, mainly because of the packer storage box is in the way in the bed.

I marked both the Pinbox and 5th wheel hitch with red reflective tape.

On the 5th wheel hitch I place a Red Arrow ,pointing up, of the reflective tape 'at center / on the front edge of the hitch'

On the Pinbox I placed a Red Arrow , pointing down, of the reflective tape 'at center / on the front edge of the Pinbox'.

In my case, I can easily see both of these Red Tape Markers in my rearview mirror and knowing that I have returned the hitch pin to the same position in height, to where I un-hooked, I have confidence that I will have a smooth hook-up.

If the 'tape idea' will not work in your case there is always other methods, like magnetic flag markers etc. .

I hope this helps

Islander
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:23 AM   #6
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Jerry, I too recently traded in my TT for a 5th wheel (Sept '16) and I found that even though hooking up is easier, when you are new to 5th wheels, having the kingpin at the correct height seemed to be a lot of trial and error. Also from experience, having my wife's help wasn't the solution either, unless I wanted to wait for her bathroom break, be on standby while she attended to the dogs or hear "oh sorry I wasn't looking, go ahead I am ready now. Don't worry you didn't hit it."
Anyway, I was at the Hershey PA show this year and seen this leveler gadget called Revoleveler. And after a crazy amount of research, I broke down and bought one. There are very few products that I would endorse but this thing is AWESOME!
It is so easy to use, to hook up you set it in the nest and press 4 buttons and it will tell you exactly how high you need to raise your landing gear no matter how your 5th wheel is parked. When you are at your site, with the press of a few buttons it will tell you exactly how high you need to be to unhook, level front to back, level left to right and when you are ready to go home, again a press 4 buttons extend your landing gear until the lights turn green and you are ready to back into place.
This thing is so good that when I level my 5th wheel I have the Revoleveler set to list my 5th wheel 1/2" to the left so that my bedroom door stays open and the majority of water from rain and the ac unit drain to the left side.
It is pricey though and is around $140 but IMO worth every penny. Once set, you will never have to look at a bubble level, pull a tape measure, guess how many blocks you need, depend on someone else to watch a bubble to tell you that you're level or guess where you need to be.
I have added a link to their website if you want to check it out.
ReVo Leveler

Hope it helps,
Tom G
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:54 AM   #7
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A simple and easy way to determine the correct height of the 5'er needed for hooking up is:
1. Unhook trailer
2. Look at emergency breakaway cable as it is hanging down. Determine how far it is off the ground.
3. Use a few links of inexpensive chain and add these to the cable until the chain links touch the ground.

This method will consistently reproduce the correct height on level ground. It is also a great start for hooking up on unlevel ground.
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXCPL View Post
A simple and easy way to determine the correct height of the 5'er needed for hooking up is:
1. Unhook trailer
2. Look at emergency breakaway cable as it is hanging down. Determine how far it is off the ground.
3. Use a few links of inexpensive chain and add these to the cable until the chain links touch the ground.

This method will consistently reproduce the correct height on level ground. It is also a great start for hooking up on unlevel ground.
Where's the LIKE button?

And where will you be next spring when I hook up next and remember that this post mentioned something about how to fix the hookup issue but not the specifics???
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:21 AM   #9
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Hi,

I've used a variant on TXCPL's method for years -- just tie the proper length of string to the hanging loop once and you're done.

Simple, effective, snd cheap.

FWIW.

Rich phillips
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:41 AM   #10
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I stand next to the lite with my left shoulder under the nose and my left fore finger on the switch, when I can stand straight up I can hook the 350 up easy.
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:42 AM   #11
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I can see my hitch in the rear-view mirror and can get the side to side position very easily, but the height isn't apparent from the driver's seat. I have used a memory level for several years and it helps a lot. Before un-hitching, you set the indicator over the bubble. Later on when hitching up, you just raise or lower the hitch to that position before doing anything else. It works well. I use the first one below, and I just included the 2nd as an alternative - in case someone wanted to spend more $$!

[/URL][/IMG]
From here B2B Hookup Memory Slide Level RV, Trailer & 5th Wheel Distributors Pack | eBay


From here https://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-05515...p+memory+level
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Old 11-25-2016, 05:45 PM   #12
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I have enjoyed this thread. I hope I didn't kill it somehow!
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:05 PM   #13
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" tinkerreknit "....

I don't see how you could have killed the tread... seemed to die on it's own

I really liked the "Revoleveler" idea... but then it's just another gadget.
Maybe Santa will bring me one

I'll just keep using my tape measure for now

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Old 11-25-2016, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerrymac View Post
We have just got a Flagstaff Ultra Lite 5th Wheel with a Reese 16k hitch in the truck. May problem is when I go to hook up. If I'm not exactly right it will hang on a little lip and will not lock. So times it can take up to 15 minutes to hook up.
Had the exact same problem until I realized that the button that pops out indicating you are hitched correctly is NOT centered on the king pin/truck hitch position. Put a nice piece of bright tape on the centerline of the hitch on the truck and another on the centerline of the kingpin on the trailer. Align the tape on the hitch with the tape on the kingpin and back up. Works like a charm.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:42 PM   #15
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We have tried measuring and the level-up return feature. Unfortunately the level-up returns to the point where you last initiated the auto-level function. Since I usually raise the RV up before unhooking (to eliminate the truck popping up and the hitch hitting the firewood we usually carry) the return feature is always too high. What works best for us is that I back up, the DW eyeballs the trailer height and adjusts so it's about a half inch or less low. We usually get it on the first try and takes less than a minute. But as I said before, practice makes perfect
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #16
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I just lift the pinbox enough that it has to slide up the ramp about 1/4"-1/2" & it always locks. We have a Reese 16K and a Revolution Pin Box. Have also been able to hitch with the pin box about 1/8" above hitch.
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:13 PM   #17
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Hitching:

Back up to the pinbox and stop so that the hitch is about 3" away. Raise/lower the pinbox so that the hitch is about 1/4 inch higher than the plate on the pinbox. (You may have to hold the hitch plate level) Back under the pinbox. Assuming you are centered left to right, the pinbox will slide up onto the hitch and the truck will take a little weight. There will never be a "high hitch" using this method. A little practice makes perfect.

Unhitching:

Raise the pin until you see a 1/8" space between pinbox and plate. Open jaws and pull away.

I wish I could back up as good as I hitch. I can hitch on the first try every time. Getting in the site, well, that can be pretty good entertainment...
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Old 11-25-2016, 09:20 PM   #18
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Hooking Up

Thanks for all the post, I have a lot to think about. I think my problem is I'm not getting it dead center and it hit a small lip. Once I get it dead center it will hook up. Maybe the tape will help in getting dead center. I like the ReloLeveler. Then again something else to keep up with. Maybe just keeping at it. Again Thanks
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:16 PM   #19
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I have a Reese 16K hitch. I have a block of wood with a dowel rod inserted that I place right in front of hitch jaws. I adjust my RV high and back up aligning the pin with the hitch and stop before the pin is over the hitch but the lube plate is. I remove my backup cheater block and then lower the RV until the lube plate is about an inch lower than the hitch plate would be if it were level. I have the hitch head tilted toward the RV. Now the hitch is tilted toward the RV, the pin lube plate is about an inch lower than the hitch plate so I know it will slide up and onto the hitch. So basically I let the RV ride up onto and into the jaws. Never have a problem hitching. Crude Drawing below:
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:01 AM   #20
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Sounds easy I will have to try it. Greeting from the south east. Ga. May we all have great camping with friends and family.
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