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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > 5th Wheel Hitch Failure Question

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fppf

Buffalo, NY, USA

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Posted: 09/04/02 11:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The semi hitch's take your "Turkey indicator" to the next level. There is a small tab under a rib. The rib is what goes into the notch in the pin. When correctly hit the piece under the notch hits the tab. This makes the bar go behind the pin locking into the hitch. Thats why I like it so much. Just hit the pin and its hitched. To unhitch just pull the handle. The jaw locks open until the pin is removed from the hitch and the tab is hit again. You can even open the jaws with a little load on them very easy.


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Drew&Corinn

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Posted: 09/12/02 12:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyone have one of those pin catchers? If so have you ever used it?



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cmoehle

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 09/12/02 05:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do not know of any documented case of a 5th wheel hitch failure.

Nor after nearly two years on this and other forums have I heard of it until I read hogfan's post. Which says keep your hitch clean and inspect for weld cracks.

In every other case, where 5er dropped out of hitch, the weak link turned out to be the driver.

What I'm reading here, though, says Reese-type jaws could be another weak link, both in the sense of adding to driver error and wear where the jaws close. There is always a gap between the jaws that worries me from time to time.

Jack in Alaska: Could you add more? How much use have you had out of your hitch? Do you think wear has anything to do with how you RV--not how you drive but whether you stay on main roads or go off road?


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Two Bit

Texas

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Posted: 09/12/02 11:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like our RBW for the same reasons that Dave mentioned. Both hitching and unhitching is simple, easy, and secure.


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dremelts

Grand Rapids, MI

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Posted: 09/12/02 10:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not aware of any documented hitch failures either.

However, when I was in the market for a hitch earlier this year, I did a lot of searching on the internet for instances of where the hitch and trailer separated unexpectedly. In most cases it seems that the hitch was a Reese, but that's probably just because most hitches out there are Reeses.

Even so, I took a very close look at the design of the Reese and the RBW, which is a slide-bar-style hitch. Now, I'm not a professional engineer so my opinion would not stand up in court, but the Reese has several links and pivots to actuate the jaws and you don't have to be a design failure analysis expert to know that the more pieces/parts you have the more potential you have for a failure. The RBW, on the other hand, is ultra-simple in design: when the bar slides home behind the pin it just isn't going to come out - period.

So, even though I was willing to spend more for the Reese if I could convince myself that there was added value I found just the opposite - the less-expensive hitch had more value (in my estimation). So far I am extremely happy with the RBW.




Regards,
Dave

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Jack in Alaska

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Posted: 09/12/02 01:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Has anyone had the jaws on their Reese hitch built up after they were worn? Something like hardbanding on loader bucket edges?
My jaws are worn and need replacing or built up. Maybe some looseness is normal but mine seems to be excessive.


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Chris

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Posted: 09/13/02 07:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check out http://www.hijacker.com, it has the sliding bar and an adjustment for taking up the front to back "play". It is also a dual tip unit, front to back and left to right. I have had mine 5 years and love it. If the handle is in, you know that it is locked. You can also use a padlock on the release lever to keep kids from tripping it. Chris


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MNArt

Champlin, MN USA

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Posted: 09/12/02 12:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the Pullrite and I haven't seen the Husky but from the description it sounds like it works like the Pullrite. It also has a claw that wraps around the kingpin that seems very secure. The locking bar won't engage unless you have fully seated the kingpin. I come in with the kingpin low and hit the trailer against the chocks and it locks up really well. The only thing that is tricky is that you have to be lined up really well or the plate on the hitch might turn and not allow the kingpin to slide in properly. I agree with the other posters that coming in low is very important. The only time I had a hard time hooking up, was when I came in too high.

Astronut

Leicestershire, United Kingdom

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Posted: 09/12/02 02:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine is a PullRite Super 5th that ha sthe slide bar - has been used for the last 8 years without any problems and has not resulted in any noticeable wear on the king pin. Their more recent hitches like mentioned before eg the SuperGlide have a j mechanisim that cups the king pin.

I don't lik ethe concept of the Reese with a gap (alebit normally closed together) where your king pin is taking the traction weight of a 3-5 ton trailer. Also it is easier to see when a slide bar is in pace as the handle mechanism is full home whn ethe bar is way accross the other side ofthe hitch closing the pin in like an old fashioned bar accross a stable door!!

Pulliam/PullRite hitches also seem so well built with in my case box steel welded frames as the fraemwork for the hitch rather than pressed steel construction.

I suppose it is what you are used to though and feel confident with


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Bob Johnson

Cedar Hill TX

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Posted: 09/12/02 12:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have not seen any actual mechanical failures but have seen several that have become disconnected and the trailer fall on the truck. The main reason is either not connecting correctly, and checking that the jaws are closed, or the latch on the handle not being "locked" over and a pin placed through to lock it down. In some cases where the latch was not locked the force of the trailer king pin on the jaws have forced the jaws open and the handle will release. I place a combination lock in the latch on mine to make sure the handle is locked in.




Bob and Linda
1998 Dodge RAM 2500 Quad 24V 5.9 TD
1996 Snowbird 30RKSE
Cedar Hill, TX

My worst day camping was better than the best day I ever had working.

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