How to Maintain a Fifth Wheel Hitch

There are some advantages that can be used in a fifth-wheel trailer other than a full motorhome, like a turning radius that has been added and the capacity to unhitch the vehicle for single use. Although, the weight distribution difference and rig dynamic need certain maintenance so that it will run smoothly without any trouble.

Since modern RVs are very complex, they call for the need to have enough maintenance so it keeps running smoothly. There are tips given here for those who use their fifth-wheel trailers a lot and want it to last for a long time.

Looking for the right one

If you are using a fifth-wheel for the first time, you have to be sure that there is a tow vehicle you and hitch so that you can begin. The major consideration is the Weight Rating so that It exceeds the trailer and tongue weight by lower than 10% to avoid overpowering the tow vehicle. The majority of people that have a mounted trailer on their hitch is going to require about ¾ ton truck so the job gets done.

Furthermore, you should know the truck bed’s length since space is needed before the actual hitch which means that the trailer is not going to hit the cab’s back window If you require a truck that has a smaller bed, there might be a need to spend on a hitch that lets you turn the connection forward or backward depending on what you need.

Polyurethane bushings

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Since the hitch head has been removed, you are going to see the two polyurethane bushings on the base of the fifth-wheel hitch. It is significant that they are clean before grease is applied. You can clean them using a polyurethane friendly cleaner or acetone so they can be broken down. Any type of old grease could be damaging to polyurethane so you need to apply polyurethane friendly grease.

It is recommended that white lithium grease is applied. The automotive chassis lubricant is going to work well, but it should be polyurethane-safe. If the hitch you have does not have a cushion made of polyurethane but equipped with a metal to the metal point of contact, then you can use any kind of chassis grease.

What to care for

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To keep yourself from towing tissues and for your own safety, there are precautions you must take for the sake of fifth-wheel maintenance and the mechanisms it has. You need to re-lube and inspect the hitch so you can check for damages or parts that are lacking before hooking it onto the truck. You also have to inspect the torque every time you set out to go and be sure to tighten all of the bolts and nuts. In case your vehicle detaches, it is important to ensure that the cable and locks are functioning well.

Fifth-wheels have their brakes, so make sure that the drums and brakes are working, and replace the worn or defective parts. It is necessary for you to know about the wheels of the rig and the wheel bearings of the trailers should undergo inspection after reaching 12,000 miles so they function properly. You can perform a quick suspension check-up and axles, and you are in for a great adventure.

Lubricate the jaws

If you see old grease on each jaw, you need to swipe all of them away prior to spreading grease. You can use the old grease that was used in the gun for your hitch head. Using a rag to spread a thin layer on the inside part of the jaws is enough, and you can also use your hands. Make sure that the jaws are opened and the kingpin can be lubricated as well. Avoid pinching or hurting the fingers. If the jaws are camera operated, you do not have to be concerned about them snapping shut. Although you still have to be careful because they have springs.

These are the maintenance tips you need to follow so that your fifth-wheel hitch will last longer than expected and you can use it for as long as you like without hassle.

Nancy McCoy

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