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6 Easy Steps to Hook up a Fifth Wheel Hitch to a Fifth Wheel

by karimi

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Using fifth wheel hitches helps you tow heavy loads than when using other types of hitches. They also ensure more stability when towing. A fifth wheel pin box can be found on many commercial and travel trailers.  A fifth wheel pin is connected to an already installed hitch during towing in most trailers. The hitch is installed in the trucks rear frame or at the bed. A hitch installed on a truck is the only requirement when towing a fifth wheel trailer. Hooking up of a fifth trailer can be done in easy steps.

You need a truck already installed with a fifth wheel hitch, a trailer equipped with the fifth wheel pin box, wheel chocks and white lithium grease.

  1. The trucks tailgate lowered use the white lithium grease to grease the receiver hitch, the skid plate and the trailer king pin.
  2. Next, release the pin or clip that is locking the hitch. Confirm that the hitch is operating properly by pulling the hitch release arm. Use wheel chocks to chock the wheel on the trailer.
  3. Back up your truck. This should be done slowly and carefully. Make sure that the trailer king pin is situated behind the skid plate of the fifth wheel hitch. The trailer king pin should glide into the skid plate. For this to happen, lower or raise the landing gear of the trailer, till the king pin slides inside.  Make sure the trailer is not lifted. To make sure the hitch jaws get closed, the truck should be backed up. When the hitch release handle closes, the hitch jaw is closed.
  4. Confirm the closing of the hitch jaws. This can be done by looking at the hitch’s back. If the jaws have not closed, the truck should be pulled forward. The landing gear should be raised or lowered and reconnected till the king pin is captured fully by the hitch.
  5. To check whether the hitch is fully engaged, the trailers landing gear should be raised a little off the ground. The truck should then be placed in drive gear and the connected trailer should be pulled shortly by the truck. The trailer will disconnect if the hitch has not been engaged fully. The connection procedure should be repeated till the hitch gets fully engaged.
  6. To prevent the arm from releasing the trailer by opening up, clip the hitch arm in place. The trailer lights should be connected and the landing gear should be raised.  Next, the wheel chocks should be removed and the tailgate closed. Test the brakes on the trailer by using the override brake control manual.

The hitch arm should be periodically lubed with motor oil together with the latch springs. Annually inspect mounting bolts. The landing gear should be left down when testing connection of the hitch so that the trailer stands on the landing gear. Confirm that the trailer landing gear is not raised and that the trailer and truck are latched properly before going under. The person confirming that the hitch is latched should stand on one side and not between the truck and trailer.

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