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Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Discuss fifth wheel style trailers here.

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Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby Limey on Thu May 01, 2008 1:08 am

Here is a useful video....

Useful video #1
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby ButteBumBob on Thu May 01, 2008 4:21 pm

When I hook-up my fifth-wheel....I unlatch the coupler lock, but I DO NOT pull the jaws handle. I back into the jaws and let the jaws open and close around the kingpin. I watch the handle open and close by it self. Then I lock it with a combination lock. I painted the jaws white so when I do a visual inspection I can tell if the jaws are closed around the kingpin.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby Limey on Thu May 01, 2008 6:30 pm

ButteBumBob wrote:When I hook-up my fifth-wheel....I unlatch the coupler lock, but I DO NOT pull the jaws handle. I back into the jaws and let the jaws open and close around the kingpin. I watch the handle open and close by it self. Then I lock it with a combination lock. I painted the jaws white so when I do a visual inspection I can tell if the jaws are closed around the kingpin.

Depends on the type of hitch, of course. Like the video, mine has a bar which HAS to be pulled back, no jaws. If you have the jaws type then you are correct! :)
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Thu May 01, 2008 8:08 pm

Mine has no jaws either, just a large bar that pins in the kingpin once hitched.

I have to rotate my release handle 180 degrees to the upright position in order to clear the locking mechanism and then pull it out to release the kingpin. When hitching it snaps in by itself and a 180 degree turn back downwards locks the mechanism again for the road.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby Cobra909 on Sun May 04, 2008 10:12 pm

Don't know who this person is, but MY Reese manual and Reese's website instructs to leave the jaws CLOSED when backing into the KP. Yes, if you have the bar type hitch, then you have to pull this out of the way first.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby Limey on Sun May 04, 2008 11:48 pm

Cobra909 wrote:Don't know who this person is, but MY Reese manual and Reese's website instructs to leave the jaws CLOSED when backing into the KP. Yes, if you have the bar type hitch, then you have to pull this out of the way first.


In the video we never actually see the jaws of the hitch, or even if the hitch has a bar rather than jaws (he does refer to jaws, though). Anyway it looks like an older hitch - maybe you cannot back into that model without opening the jaws first. There are so many types of fifth wheel hitches out there it is hard to make a video which covers all options!
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:36 am

Was hooking my other fifth wheel this past summer to move it out of storage and onto a seasonal site for my buddy, anyhow hooked the trailer and then the wife brought me a sandwich, never the one to turn down food, I stopped what I was doing ate the sandwich, then hopped in the truck and pulled the trailer out, up a long hill and then turn around at the top of the hill, where the trailer came out of the hitch. I had forgotten to put the safety lever down. luckily it was at the top of the hill, no damage.
Lifetime of experience with heavy equipment and rving, just goes to show you it can happen, they say sooner or later it will.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby cwit on Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:29 pm

The law of adverage says it will happen to everyone .
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby skipnchar on Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Dropping on the rails is one thing (not a good thing) but had a friend who dropped his while directing his wife to do a pull test. Came very CLOSE to dropping it right on his head. That would make for a very bad day. I cringe every time I see someone in-between the TV and trailer with someone else in the cab.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:20 am

cwit wrote:The law of adverage says it will happen to everyone .


I've been hooking and unhooking fifth wheels (commercial and RV) for 15 years now and haven't done it. I don't plan on it, either, because if I ever screw up that bad chances are someone will die as a result, so trust me when I say that I don't take that responsibility lightly so I do it right, and check it out.

The number of fifth wheel drop stories that I hear about frightens me, really. I stand by my assessment that there's no excuse.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby CHEROKEE GYPSY on Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:39 pm

I got a BEDSAVER best peace of mind you can get.
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby Limey on Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:55 pm

CHEROKEE GYPSY wrote:I got a BEDSAVER best peace of mind you can get.


I agrre with that! I have been checking prices and may get one in the spring. As they say - the best safety device is the one you may never need :)
Martyn (aka Limey)

2004.5 Dodge Ram 2500 QC CTD 4x4 SLT; 2007 Coachmen Chaparral 267RLS;
Reese 15K Slider; Prodigy; JT Stabilizers; Rotochoks; 2 Honda EU2000i's
2006 Glastron MX175
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Re: Hitching and Unhitching a 5th Wheel

Unread postby cwit on Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:22 pm

I have the blue ox bed saver,I can make a mistake, don't want to but i'ts there if I do. I just saw them for 180.00 :D
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