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Old 04-05-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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Hitching view improvement Suggestions

Well as much as I love my new TV, one thing that has presented itself as a problem is trying to align the kingpin to the 5th wheel hitch. In my former truck which was a single cab 8' bed, it was simple because I just looked out the rear window or rear view mirror and hit it right the 1st and every time. My new truck however is a 4-door crew cab with and 8' bed and I cannot see the pin or the hitch.
My initial thought was a mirror of some type that could be magnetically held in place while hitching. The link doesn't have a magnetic base but I could easily add one of those.
https://www.amazon.com/Hook-up-Mirro.../dp/B00ET990WW

The second thought was those yellow balls on a telescopic rod with a magnetic base. I have a set of these and I will try it but I am not so sure that it would work as well as I would like.
https://www.harborfreight.com/magnet...hoCRrYQAvD_BwE

My latest thought was to get a backup camera something cheap that would only get limited use and not remain in place when not in use. My thought was to make a base the attaches to the hitch plate. This way I could get a visual on height of the kingpin and also alignment right to left.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...7N7L6TO0&psc=1

Anyway, this is all still in the planning stages but I would like to see if anyone else has a method they use and have great results. Or let me know what you think of my ideas and if you have a recommendation of something better, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for you thoughts and suggestions.

Tom
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
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I use this camera for hooking up my travel trailer, works great and can be used for other tasks.

https://www.amazon.com/Swift-Hitch-D...-1-spons&psc=1
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:03 PM   #3
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I mounted one of those wireless license plate frame backup cameras on some magnets. Hang the frame wherever you need it for a better look when backing up.
My backup camera frame also contains an obsolete California license plate..just for grins.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:23 PM   #4
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fonzie, thanks for the suggestion.
I really like that camera but I am not a real fan of the price. I am also not sure, no matter how I spin it, that I could convince the wife that this was a necessary expenditure.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:26 PM   #5
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upflying, is the camera that you use a permanent mount or do you only set it into place when you want to use it? Also, is the camera hardwired or is it Bluetooth or WiFi?
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:37 PM   #6
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upflying, is the camera that you use a permanent mount or do you only set it into place when you want to use it? Also, is the camera hardwired or is it Bluetooth or WiFi?
It's wireless but I am not sure of the communication method it uses. The frame came with a device that looks just like a smart phone. It is plugged into a cigarette lighter and it shows what ever the frame camera is pointed at. I hold the "smart phone" screen in my hand while I'm backing.
It doesn't connect with my phone or Bluetooth.
The frame camera has a battery that is recharged with either a built in solar cell or a USB cable.
I didn't use mine as a license plate frame because the angle of view is too shallow in relation to the ball and coupler. I needed to mount it higher on the back of the tailgate, hence the temporary mounting of the frame with the magnets. When you are finished backing or hitching, pull it off and store it in a box.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tom39 View Post
fonzie, thanks for the suggestion.
I really like that camera but I am not a real fan of the price. I am also not sure, no matter how I spin it, that I could convince the wife that this was a necessary expenditure.
You could use this camera and adapt it to your situation...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/PYLE-PLCM...LCD-S/50744922
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fonzie View Post
You could use this camera and adapt it to your situation...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/PYLE-PLCM...LCD-S/50744922
I like this one. For the price, I would not be out much if it didn't work out. I think that I am going to order it.

Thank you for finding that one for me.

upflying, is this something that is similar to the setup that you are using?

Thank again,
Tom
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:22 AM   #9
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wow your wife wont help you hitch up?
when I drop my gooses neck trailer I leave a 4x4 on the ground so all I have to do is line up straight and slowly back up and the 4x4 stops me and I am right on
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:36 AM   #10
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I had the same problem when I changed TV as you did. My solution was one of those yellow hitch balls on the telescoping rod. I align the yellow ball with the king pin slot ahead of the hitch and attach the magnet to the rail of the hitch and pull the yellow ball up until it is above the truck bed.

This works much better than I expected. If fact I leave the ball in place most of the time just push it down so that the it is below the cover and close the cover.

Simple and cheap but of course some type of back up camera would also work.
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:52 PM   #11
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Would it help to remove the center headrest?

I had a 2012 and now have a 2018 crew cab/long bed Ram Laramie and had a B&W Companion hitch and never had an issue with seeing the kingpin and hitch?

What’s blocking your view?
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by clr View Post
I had the same problem when I changed TV as you did. My solution was one of those yellow hitch balls on the telescoping rod. I align the yellow ball with the king pin slot ahead of the hitch and attach the magnet to the rail of the hitch and pull the yellow ball up until it is above the truck bed.

This works much better than I expected. If fact I leave the ball in place most of the time just push it down so that the it is below the cover and close the cover.

Simple and cheap but of course some type of back up camera would also work.


It was a beautiful day outside today so I finally had the opportunity to give the yellow telescopic alignment balls a try. It was easy to set up and it worked great when I was backing in straight. When I tried backing in at an angle it became a little more difficult but definitely better than without.
I hadn’t ordered a camera yet so I will probably give this a couple tries before I do.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:20 PM   #13
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Hitching view improvement Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Would it help to remove the center headrest?

I had a 2012 and now have a 2018 crew cab/long bed Ram Laramie and had a B&W Companion hitch and never had an issue with seeing the kingpin and hitch?

What’s blocking your view?


Removing the headrest would help a little but my view is mainly obstructed by my tonneau cover.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:40 PM   #14
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Just curious but can you raise your seat up . I am fairly short and have Ram crewcab 8ft dually same B&W companion and I can thru the cab and past the toolbox to the kingpin no problem
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:25 PM   #15
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We have a roll up tonneau cover, so we are somewhat obstructed. Removed the center headrest.
But the best and easiest in my somewhat cheap opinion is to use a mirror. I have a visor mirror from my 57 Chev and I simply hold it up to the ceiling with one hand and can see the pin just fine. When not in use it rides in a side pocket. Easy and cheap.
btw-- any mirror would work, but I suppose you know that...
enjoy the new tv
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:43 PM   #16
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Just curious but can you raise your seat up . I am fairly short and have Ram crewcab 8ft dually same B&W companion and I can thru the cab and past the toolbox to the kingpin no problem

I am 5’9” so not tall either but because my tonneau cover is a tri-fold style and reaches about 32” the angle to see the hitch head is simply too steep to see it.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bpadamson View Post
We have a roll up tonneau cover, so we are somewhat obstructed. Removed the center headrest.

But the best and easiest in my somewhat cheap opinion is to use a mirror. I have a visor mirror from my 57 Chev and I simply hold it up to the ceiling with one hand and can see the pin just fine. When not in use it rides in a side pocket. Easy and cheap.

btw-- any mirror would work, but I suppose you know that...

enjoy the new tv


I should have tried removing the headrest before. Going to try removing it this weekend and give your mirror idea a try. Thinking if I have a mirror higher than the rear view mirror It may help get me the viewing angle I need.

Thank you
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:33 AM   #18
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I should have tried removing the headrest before. Going to try removing it this weekend and give your mirror idea a try. Thinking if I have a mirror higher than the rear view mirror It may help get me the viewing angle I need.

Thank you
Well I gave the mirror a try and also removed the headrest. Neither provided me with a view of the hitch head. The tonneau cover simply extends to far back to allow the hitch to be seen.
Going to try hooking up using the yellow telescoping alignment balls this evening. If they don't work out then I will give the camera a shot.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:46 AM   #19
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Sorry the mirror didn't work, it has made all the difference for me. I hold the top of the mirror against the headliner about even with the back of my head and just twist/lean back to see the hitch. I'm sure it is different for every rig though.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:57 AM   #20
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Sorry the mirror didn't work, it has made all the difference for me. I hold the top of the mirror against the headliner about even with the back of my head and just twist/lean back to see the hitch. I'm sure it is different for every rig though.
I was bummed that it didn't work. I was really hoping that it would.
The tonneau cover is without a doubt the issue. Because it is a tri-fold cover, It extends about 36" from the back glass and totally obscures the view of the hitch from inside the cab.
Thanks for your advice and willingness to help.

Tom
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