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Old 10-16-2018, 12:41 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, 01:09 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, 01:17 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, 01:21 PM   #4
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Maybe I wan't clear.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:23 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, 01:24 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, 01:25 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, 01:30 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, 01:32 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, 01:33 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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Old 10-16-2018, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
..
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.
....
You mean like this:

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Yeah, if I'm hitching and not perfectly straight, I need to back up enough to clear the pinbox, get out, close the tailgate, and then continue backing up to engage the hitch. Get's real hairy if you need to adjust and line up again.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Papahoosh View Post
Maybe I wan't clear.
One question now that I see your photo... why wouldn't you back straight into the 5th wheel when hitching? Same with unhitching... just a couple of short pull ahead/back-ups once in your spot and the truck would be straight with the 5th wheel. Certainly not necessary (and more of your truck would be in the road for a few minutes) but if you have concerns, these maneuvers would put you in a straight line.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
You mean like this:

Attachment 189382

Yeah, if I'm hitching and not perfectly straight, I need to back up enough to clear the pinbox, get out, close the tailgate, and then continue backing up to engage the hitch. Get's real hairy if you need to adjust and line up again.


Wow that’s really close, I’ve also experienced this “hairy” situation lol
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
You mean like this:

Attachment 189382

Yeah, if I'm hitching and not perfectly straight, I need to back up enough to clear the pinbox, get out, close the tailgate, and then continue backing up to engage the hitch. Get's real hairy if you need to adjust and line up again.
Yep. I've got a little more room that that but not much.
A 5th wheel tailgate would eliminate those worries though.
I'd rather keep the factory gate so I can use the truck as needed when not towing.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:47 PM   #15
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Another thing to bear in mind...with some hitch/trailer configurations you need to be pretty parallel when hitching or unhitching because even if you get parked okay, a corner of the tailgate may not be clear of the trailer which would prevent the tailgate from being all (or most) of the way down. If you can't get the kingpin over the tailgate, you can't hitch or unhitch the trailer.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiels7 View Post
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.Attachment 189378Attachment 189379
Agreed...I have a Andersen ball type hitch. You should be able to raise off the ball and pull out at any angle.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Yep. I've got a little more room that that but not much.
A 5th wheel tailgate would eliminate those worries though.
I'd rather keep the factory gate so I can use the truck as needed when not towing.
I can just walk sideways with mine.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:08 PM   #18
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All, I don't have the 5th wheel yet. I am looking at everything to make sure everything works for me. I am also looking to see what Hitch would work the best. I should be able to remove the hitch from truck bed so the truck bed can be used for other things.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papahoosh View Post
All, I don't have the 5th wheel yet. I am looking at everything to make sure everything works for me. I am also looking to see what Hitch would work the best. I should be able to remove the hitch from truck bed so the truck bed can be used for other things.
Look at the set up I told you about. It is probably the easiest way to have your bed usable.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:17 PM   #20
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There is absolutely no reason that you can't hitch or unhitch with the truck straight.

That driveway is a piece of cake compared to my old driveway and I could do it in one try with two TT's and one 5'ver over 20 years.

And I had the obstacle of the guy across the street who always parked his truck in my way for years (right straight across from where the trailer was parked) and I still managed to do it!

If you don't go with an Anderson hitch, then definately get a slider hitch.

There are many who will say you don't need it...but it is one of those things that you'll be glad to have it if you do need it!

I have one and have never had to use it, but I know that one day I'll be glad it is there!
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