A Tip for Fifth Wheel Owners

Last updated on April 23rd, 2012 at 08:29 pm

When hitching up, want to be able to raise the king pin to the perfect height so you can back your truck under on the first try? It’s easy if you use my tip.

I can’t take full credit for inventing it and I’ve seen this method described using several different variations. One called for using a measuring tape and writing down the measurement. But I’ve been using this particular method of mine for years and it works fine.

What you need:

  • One safety cup hook – It doesn’t have to be too big or strong… we’re not talking a lot of weight.
  • About 5 feet of jack chain – might be too much but it’s cheap. It doesn’t have to be heavy gauge… the links just have to fit on the hook.
  • Something to add a little weight to one end of the chain – a large nut, one or two heavy washers.

What to do:

  • Screw the cup hook to the underside of your fifth wheel near the pin box. You will want to use some kind of adhesive to keep the hook secure and seal the hole.
  • Loop the end of the jack chain through the nut and/or washers and link it back to the chain.

How to use it:

  • After you’ve parked the fifth wheel, unhitched and moved the truck away.
  • before you begin to level the trailer front-to-back is when you want to set your chain.
  • You want the weight (nut, washers or whatever) to swing free but nearly touch the ground when you link the chain onto the cup hook. No need to be exact, close is good enough. At this point you have the option to let the chain hang or gather it up (don’t unhook it) and store it in your pin box.
  • With the proper hitch height determined, you can now adjust the front of the fifth wheel to a proper level.
  • When it’s time to hitch up, retrieve the chain from the pin box and let it hang. Raise or lower the front of the fifth wheel until the nut on the end of the chain is just off the ground.
  • Store the chain in the pin box and back the truck under to complete the hitching procedure.

If you usually park in level campsites you may never have to adjust the length of the chain. When the campsite has a big slope is when the chain is most helpful.
You may want to read Checklist for Hitching and Unhitching an RV Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer at RVbasics.com
If you noticed two RV Tips in your email yesterday you WERE seeing double. We had a glitch in Sunday’s post that finally got fixed so our automatic emailer went to work and sent it out.
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4 Responses to "A Tip for Fifth Wheel Owners"

  1. I have to say that for the last couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing articles on this website. Keep up the good work.

  2. I agree. I won’t be going on the road for at least another year, but I stalk this website and all of your tips. They’re awesome and I’m amazed at all the knowledge you have.

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