How to Couple and Uncouple Your Fifth Wheel
Although many of our customers at our dealership are experienced in driving while hauling a recreational vehicle behind their car or truck, they may not necessarily know how to hook and unhook a fifth wheel. Owning a fifth wheel can give you the ultimate comfort in a wilderness setting, yet before you hit the road, you need to know the intricacies of making sure that your recreational vehicle is secure for towing.
Preparing Your Fifth Wheel
Before trying to hitch your fifth wheel to your truck or SUV, make sure you are on level ground. Use wheel chocks to ensure that the fifth wheel doesn't move and check that you have correctly set the ride height of the hitch so that you can tow the fifth wheel as levelly as possible. You may have to take measurements to do this accurately. Make sure that the clearance between the pickup bed rains and the fifth wheel is at least five-and-a-half inches and then adjust the height of your center section if needed.
Then take a look at the locking mechanism to make sure it is properly oiled and free of debris. Lubricate the fifth wheel hitch using a lube plate or high-pressure wheel bearing grease.
Coupling to Your Vehicle
With the tailgate down, backup your vehicle toward the fifth wheel and stop when the kingpin is approximately four inches from the fifth wheel head. Adjust the trailer plate until the lube plate allows the trailer to ramp up to the hitch correctly. When the fifth wheel is in the correct position, you can resume slowly backing up your vehicle until the kingpin fully fits into the fifth wheel head.
Park your vehicle, set the emergency brake, and make sure that the jaws are fully locked and engaged. Once you are sure that the jaws are engaged, you can insert the safety pin into the fifth wheel. Perform a test pull to make sure that you have properly locked the fifth wheel so that it will not come loose during towing.
When you're ready to uncouple, press the lever on the side of the fifth wheel to open the lockjaw and release the kingpin. Reverse the order of the initial steps to allow your trailer to sit firmly on the ground.
We're Here to Help
If you're still unsure about how to couple and uncouple your fifth wheel, stop by our showroom today. A member of our staff will be glad to walk you through the process.