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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Hitting the 5th wheel hard hooking up.

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bpounds

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Posted: 04/21/12 08:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pete_k wrote:

Is it me? Or has people began backing up way to fast and hitting there king pins way to hard? See it more and more, not backing into it easy...


I think you are seeing it more, and I've even seen it advocated here. Maybe too much Ice Road Truckers has something to do with it too. I didn't and don't believe it is necessary. When I see broken frames in the pinbox area, this practice comes to mind.


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RoyF

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Posted: 04/21/12 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm in the "as easy as you can" school of hooking up.

Before unhooking, I like to extend the landing gear (front jacks) so as to raise the pin about an inch in order to take a lot of the weight off of the truck springs. When I pull away, the truck springs don't "rebound" by much. The next time I hook up, It takes very little force since the pin (plate?) will be only little lower than the hitch surface.

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Posted: 04/21/12 10:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RoyF wrote:

I'm in the "as easy as you can" school of hooking up.

Before unhooking, I like to extend the landing gear (front jacks) so as to raise the pin about an inch in order to take a lot of the weight off of the truck springs. When I pull away, the truck springs don't "rebound" by much. The next time I hook up, It takes very little force since the pin (plate?) will be only little lower than the hitch surface.


X2 -- I have the Ground Control system so I can adjust the pin height from the driver seat with the remote.

Housted


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luvglass

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Posted: 04/21/12 10:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I try to back in lightly, but one time my foot hit the gas instead of the brake and I really went in hard. Bent something in the Reese hitch head and I had to replace it. That was a $400 boo boo I won't repeat if I can help it.


Fred Wishnie
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wandering1

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Posted: 04/21/12 10:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

christopherglenn wrote:

18 wheelers have spring brakes, you can (I have) crawled under them. My 5er has a air pin, so I can't easily get under it. I have to plug in the trailer pigtail, and manualy lock the trailer brakes to attempt it. Once I am under the pin, I crawl back to lock it.


????


HR


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Posted: 04/21/12 01:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since I am retired I don't need to be in a hurry about anything. I set the pin plate so that it is the same height as the hitch plate and back in nice and easy. Slides in and hitch jaws close smooth as butter. Gotta love that B&W companion. After seeing some of the problems others have had unhooking again, love that B&W

Steve


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Artemus Gordon

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Posted: 04/21/12 06:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am the new guy here, but on this Ca to New York trip I have seen lots of hard hookups. My "Curt Hitch" snaps right around pin on the Moride, with only a slight tap. I wondered if I was doing it right! Guess I was! Thanks for addressing this topic!

8ntw8tn

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Posted: 04/21/12 06:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tvman44 wrote:

I ease under mine, I also adjust the 5er a little low so the hitch raises the 5er as I hook up.


X3.


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woodsmitch

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Posted: 04/22/12 06:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a hard time understanding why you would want the hitch to raise the fifth wheel when hooking up. I have always raised the fifth to just clear the hitch plate when hooking or unhooking. Explain?

valhalla360

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Posted: 04/22/12 07:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

woodsmitch wrote:

I have a hard time understanding why you would want the hitch to raise the fifth wheel when hooking up. I have always raised the fifth to just clear the hitch plate when hooking or unhooking. Explain?


If you are lifting the 5th wheel landing gear off the ground, you have it too low.

You do want it to be 1/2 to an inch low so it pushes the truck down a little.

The reason: It avoids high hitching. Rather than capturing the pin, the pin sits on top of the latching mechanizim. Sitting on top, you can raise the landing gear and take off. It might make it a foot. It might make it 50 miles before it bounces off.

- Start with the pin a hair low so it pushes the truck down a little.
- Visually check to see that the pin is captured and the pin box is resting fully on the hitch.
- Do a pull test: Block the trailer wheels so it can't roll and raise the legs barely off the ground (so if it does fall doesn't damage anything). Now try to pull forward a bit. Don't floor it just enough to make sure she's locked in.

Do this and you will be hard pressed to find an example of a hitch failure while towing.


Tammy Mike & the Bilge Rat (AKA: Diego)
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1997 Sunnybrook 27' 5er
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