How to Mount & Hook Up A 5th Wheel Hitch on Your Truck

5th wheels give the best security in terms of handling when you are out on the highway. They are a lot better than the standard ones you use for traveling and it is incomparable. When you have a 5th wheel that has been properly set up, pulling a 15,000-pound trailer the entire day is easy. You will reach a point where you will not remember that your 3-axle monster is riding with you. This simple towing might open an opportunity to become complacent when you are about to go on the road. You do not want your $75,000 going to waste because it turns loose from the truck.

Here’s how to mount it properly:

Preparation

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You need to put the vehicle in a proper position, and you need to make sure that the hitch, trailer, and vehicle are all set. It is crucial that the surface under your vehicle is steady. Utilize wheel chocks to prevent your trailer from moving during coupling and uncoupling.

If in case it is your 1st time towing a 5th wheel trailer, the ride height must be set so that your trailer can tow at proper level. To find out the height requirement, you would have to take proper measurements.

It should be that your trailer is on a flat surface and your chocks stay put. Do some adjustments on the lifting jacks so that the trailer is leveled.

Begin by getting the measurement of the trailer’s king pin box plate height and this can be called. After that, get the ground to surface measurement of the pickup bed, and this is measurement B.  By taking the measurement B from A, you are going to arrive at the right height of the hitch.

Take note of the clearance present between 5th wheel trailer and bed rails of the pickup which should be at least 5-1/2”. Properly adjust the center’s height accordingly and the locking mechanism should not have any debris and it is greased. Prior to backing up the truck to your trailer, the hitch needs to be placed in the coupling position. Finally, lubricate the hitch by putting grease on the bearing.

Before hitting the road and coupling

A wise thing to do is to replace the tailgate on the truck with something that has been but down so the tailgate can be hitched when closed or use a mesh cloth. Before backing towards the hitch, let go of the handle so the hitch can be cocked in a specific position. While you are backing in and carefully tap it home or it could be all the way, the handle is going to automatically snap closed.
After that, step out of the truck and walk under the trailer’s front to confirm that the bars or jaws are properly shut. The next thing to do is to lock the safety lock on the hitch. This is important because even if the hitch is properly closed, it can still open unless you have placed the safety lock correctly.
Now that you can test it to make sure that the trailer has been properly locked, release the emergency brake and put the vehicle in drive mode. Enable the manual activation so that the trailer brakes start working and carefully tug on the trailer. If you feel any form of resistance, make sure that the coupling is right. Remove the pressure towards in front by putting the vehicle into neutral mode before parking it. if in case you cannot feel any resistance, the trailer is not properly coupled. When this happens, you need to do the following:

  1. Check to confirm that you have installed the handle safety pin correctly
  2. The electrical harness of the trailer should be attached to the trailer
  3. The electric brake away switch’s lanyard has to be fixed
  4. Secure the tailgate of the truck
  5. Get rid of the tire chocks
  6. Retract the entire lifting jack on the front part of the trailer
  7. Inspect the trailer lights so that the running, turning, and stopping signals are working in perfect condition
  8. You must pull forward a couple of feet away and step on the brakes so that the trailer brakes are active. The adjustment of the vehicle brake control might be needed at this point.

Uncoupling

When you have reached your destination, look for a flat surface and park the vehicle before putting on the emergency brake. Begin by cocking those tires and then remove the harnesses, lanyard and devices you use for safety. You must drop the jacks before lowering the tailgate and then start to extend the lifting jacks of the trailer. The extension of the jacks should be at the right length to remove the trailer’s weight from the skid plate of the 5th wheel. When you are using the jacks for lifting, you should not make a gap that is bigger than 1/6 inch between the 5th wheel skid plate and skid plate of the trailer. This can be damaging to the 5th wheel internal components and other trailer components.

If the trailer jack is down and the wheels are chocked, it is going to lessen the king pin and the 5th wheel trailer jaws pressure because it will put the vehicle in reverse and the king pin will be backed all the way into the 5th wheel head’s opening. Keep the vehicle into position by putting on the emergency brake before parking the vehicle as you release the brake. Take the safety pin from the hitch and the handle should be used to unlock the jaws. The last thing to do is to lift the emergency brake and drive your vehicle. This is when you can already drive slowly away leaving the trailer behind.

It is important that you follow the give steps religiously to avoid any mistakes or accidents. A lot of people have been asking about how to properly do it, and this is the answer.

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