RV Lifestyle & Repair Editors

5th Wheel Hookup: A Step-By-Step Demonstration

RV Lifestyle & Repair Editors
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Duration:   4  mins

Since their introduction on the market, 5th wheel RVs have hugely expanded the amount of options available for adventurers to experience the country. You can now travel from coast-to-coast in the comfort of an automotive vehicle , while towing a large living space that can easily be attached, set up and unhooked at the campsite of your choosing.

With the swivel capabilities of a 5th wheel hookup, you’re guaranteed a more stable tow than a travel trailer, and at least a little more living area. The benefits of a 5th wheel are numerous, and the 5th wheel hookup process is a snap with an automatic hitch system. In this lesson, we teach you how to complete a 5th wheel hookup so you can get things in place quickly and simply and get out on the road.

How to complete a 5th wheel hookup:

To help you figure out the proper way to complete a 5th wheel hookup, Dave Solberg walks you step by step through the quick and painless process. He shows you how to align the kingpin of the 5th wheel with the hitch in the bed of your truck — remembering to lower the tailgate — and then demonstrates the correct method for backing up the truck to fully engage the teeth of the truck hitch with the hitch on the 5th wheel hookup.

You’ll also learn why it’s important to plug in the safety brake prior to completing a 5th wheel hookup to avoid any issues if the hitch doesn’t slide in properly. Because the system Dave uses in the demo is automatic, the truck hitch pivots front to back and side to side to accommodate the kingpin without additional levers. However, if your 5th wheel hookup is going to be done manually, you should check the instructions on your hitch prior to completing your first 5th wheel hookup to make sure you fully understand any unique requirements of your model. Otherwise, it’s a fairly pain free process; get out and enjoy the open road!

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3 Responses to “5th Wheel Hookup: A Step-By-Step Demonstration”

  1. Zeb Chase

    As a retired trailer truck driver, you missed a VERY IMPORTANT STEP. You did not do a visual inspection of the king pin and the fifth wheel hitch from the back of truck using a flashlight.

  2. Tom

    One suggestion is to leave the landing gear down a bit before doing the tug test. I raise my=ine so that they are just off the ground enough to not drag when the trailer moves forward. That way if the jaws are not engaged the trailer will not slam down onto the bed of the truck. I've seen this happen a few times to other RVers and the resulting damage is not pretty. Just remember to finish retracting the legs afterwards.

  3. Don Christiansen

    I would recommend that in the off chance that the FW hitch actually pulls out of the truck bed while towing, I would hook the break away cable directly to the truck itself not to the hitch. I always to that.

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