A fifth wheel hitch is a towing connection in the pickup truck’s bed, characterized by its large, flat, horseshoe-shaped plate. This hitch is anchored to the truck bed through metal rails underneath, providing a robust and reliable attachment. The secure connection between the hitch and the trailer is achieved through a component known as the “kingpin,” which locks onto the hitch plate.

This design allows for a secure yet flexible linkage, enabling the truck and trailer to pivot smoothly during turns. The interaction between the hitch’s plate and the trailer’s corresponding flat surface necessitates regular lubrication to ensure smooth operation.

Setting up a 5th wheel trailer connection correctly ensures a safe and enjoyable journey. This guide outlines the steps to securely hook up and unhitch a 5th wheel trailer, ensuring your towing experience is as seamless as possible.

Connecting Your 5th Wheel Trailer: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Start on Solid Ground: Ensure your vehicle and trailer are on a level, firm surface to facilitate a stable connection. Use wheel chocks for added safety.
  • Prepare the Hitch: Open the hitch jaws or retract the locking bar to the ready-to-couple position, typically by manipulating the side handle. A lube plate or high-pressure grease can be applied to the kingpin for a smoother connection.
  • Align and Connect: Lower your vehicle’s tailgate and back up towards the trailer’s kingpin, ensuring clearances are maintained and safety protocols are followed. Assistance from a spotter can improve accuracy and safety.
  • Adjust for Height: Fine-tune the height of the trailer jacks so the hitch plate sits slightly above the kingpin box, allowing for a smooth slide onto the hitch plate.
  • Secure the Connection: Continue backing up until the kingpin fully seats into the hitch. Confirm that the hitch jaws have locked around the kingpin, securing it with a safety pin if necessary.
  • Verify the Hookup: Test the connection by applying the trailer brake and gently pulling forward with the vehicle to ensure the hitch is securely engaged.
  • Final Pre-Departure Checks: With the vehicle in park, ensure all safety measures are in place, including safety pins, chains, wiring harnesses, and breakaway switches. Also, ensure the tailgate is closed, wheel chocks removed, and trailer jacks fully retracted.

Disconnecting Your 5th Wheel Trailer

  • Choose Even Ground: Park your setup on a flat area, engage the parking brake, and secure the trailer with chocks.
  • Lift the Trailer: Slightly raise the trailer using the jacks, ensuring a minimal gap between the skid plates to avoid potential damage.
  • Ease the Pressure: Release the parking brake and gently reverse to lessen any tension on the hitch connection before securing the vehicle again.
  • Unlock the Hitch: Remove the safety pin and open the hitch jaws or locking bar.
    Separate the Truck and Trailer: With the vehicle’s brake engaged, slowly move forward to detach from the trailer.

By following these steps, you can ensure a secure connection and disconnection of your 5th wheel trailer, laying the foundation for a safe towing experience. Refer to specific hitch manufacturer instructions and your vehicle’s manual for tailored guidance and safety tips.

5th Wheel Hitches in Calgary at Calgary Hitch Shop

When you’re looking for the appropriate 5th wheel hitch for your vehicle, trust the team at Calgary Hitch Shop to help every step of the way. We offer a great selection, our team is knowledgeable, and we can help you choose the right 5th wheel hitch for your towing needs.