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Old 05-17-2005, 02:50 PM   #1
mwturner
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Yep, this is a great idea

I for one have asked several questions on other forums and got replies as though I'd been installing hitches since I was five years old. We finally purchased a Dodge 3500 DWR Diesel and now comes the time to asked all those stupid questions that a beginner would ask about just hitches. I know that there's going to be some homework and you have to have some degree of common sense but man all those acronyms and abbreviations can throw a fellow for a loop. So maybe some of you with lots of years of experience can inform us novice's about what to do and what not to do when it comes to buying the first fifth wheel hitch. Hech, I don't even know the terminology yet for the darn things!!!!! To me a King Pin is the leader of a Moffia Family in the old movies we used to watch.
Does anybody know of a web site that could brake this stuff down so I could get a better understanding before I just go out and take some smuck salemens word that this hitch is EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED, Mr Turner. Yea Right. Any help would be great !!!!
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:08 AM   #2
Toterman2
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mwturner. I am by no means an expert on this but I can put forth some of my thoughts and experiences having bought and installed about six fifth wheel hitches. First off, you did not state how large a fiver you are pulling but no matter what it is buy the biggest rated hitch your truck will handle. It only cost a few more dollars to go first class and not have to worry about upgrading down the road when you will want to up size. I recommend you purchase a double rocker type hitch, forward and backward as well as side to side. I started before the side to side hitches were even on the market and found it very difficult to unhitch if the truck and fiver were not on level ground. The new style hitches eliminates the need for this and will save a lot of foul language. There are a lot of different hitch Mfg out there and they all do a pretty respectful job of providing you with a very safe and usable product but some do shine a little better than others. I have settled on the newer Reese products for my last few hitches and find them to be very well engineered. I am sure you will hear from a lot of other folks about their experiences but I am just relating what I have found. There are some other thoughts about the hitch in the form of a cushioned ride. I am towing with a class 7 tractor and required a little more cushioning to preserve my fiver frame. I have chosen to go with an air ride pin box, this adds a pivoting action to the pin and is controlled with an air bag which can be inflated to different pressures for different amounts of smoothness. I like the results and would not go back to a straight pin box. There is also air ride hitches on the market which will in effect do the same thing. These hitches will cost a lot more than a standard hitch and a lot more than the air ride pin box. I might add that many people have towed many miles with the old style hitch and pin and have never had any problems.
I hope this gives you a start on your research and I am sure there will be many more posts on the topic but I wanted to get things going.
My statements represent my opinion and I am sure there will be many more.
Thanks David
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:32 PM   #3
mwturner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toterman2
mwturner. I am by no means an expert on this but I can put forth some of my thoughts and experiences having bought and installed about six fifth wheel hitches. First off, you did not state how large a fiver you are pulling but no matter what it is buy the biggest rated hitch your truck will handle. It only cost a few more dollars to go first class and not have to worry about upgrading down the road when you will want to up size. I recommend you purchase a double rocker type hitch, forward and backward as well as side to side. I started before the side to side hitches were even on the market and found it very difficult to unhitch if the truck and fiver were not on level ground. The new style hitches eliminates the need for this and will save a lot of foul language. There are a lot of different hitch Mfg out there and they all do a pretty respectful job of providing you with a very safe and usable product but some do shine a little better than others. I have settled on the newer Reese products for my last few hitches and find them to be very well engineered. I am sure you will hear from a lot of other folks about their experiences but I am just relating what I have found. There are some other thoughts about the hitch in the form of a cushioned ride. I am towing with a class 7 tractor and required a little more cushioning to preserve my fiver frame. I have chosen to go with an air ride pin box, this adds a pivoting action to the pin and is controlled with an air bag which can be inflated to different pressures for different amounts of smoothness. I like the results and would not go back to a straight pin box. There is also air ride hitches on the market which will in effect do the same thing. These hitches will cost a lot more than a standard hitch and a lot more than the air ride pin box. I might add that many people have towed many miles with the old style hitch and pin and have never had any problems.
I hope this gives you a start on your research and I am sure there will be many more posts on the topic but I wanted to get things going.
My statements represent my opinion and I am sure there will be many more.
Thanks David
Thanks Dave,
Your the first to take the time to write back something that's understandable for a Newbee! I think we may try to start out with a 5er in the 30 to 35 foot range. We like to camp in the Texas State Parks and many of those just don't have allot of choices that fit larger rigs. We've looked at some in the 37, 39 and 40 ft ranges and those would be great when me and the Mrs. retire but I've got about 15 more years with the City of Houston PW&E and she could have retired last December from them. I started my career a little late. We've wonder also about the up and coming grandkid issue's that we'll hopefully be blessed with in the next few year's. We've got four kids , one young man in college (already talking about marriage after school) , one young man who's shipping out for the navy this August ( boy is he in for an eye opener), one junior in High School (couch potato) and a 14 year old , hormonal, teenage girl. So I'll bet that grandkids are in the not so distant future. That's why we've looked at those larger 5er's because of the bunkbed options and the extra space inside. Let's face it, on those "all day" rain-outs at the campgrounds it's either go outside away from everybody and sit under the awning or pinic bench covering or go inside and get caught up in the termoil of folks being cooped up for hours together.
Someone give us some idea's or stories about your RVing adventures with your newly married kids and their young children and what you've done to accomodate those folks.
God bless you Dave and keep you safe for your next RV adventure.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:52 AM   #4
CAMPDOG
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Hitches

just my opinion but i have a 29bhbp wildcat converted to a gooseneck (thats the 2 and 5/16 ball in the bed ) the ball i chose was a b/w turnover ball which I installed myself in about an hour and a half (considerably less with two people) with common hand tools (plus a 4inch holesaw or jigsaw) I can now unhook with no trouble even on uneven ground,pull ahead pull a lever turn my ball over and have a flat obstruction free bed in a matter of seconds. the gooseneck ball also lets me tow a stock trailer, a larger flatbed trailer or a trailer with a dump-box. the ball also lets me go over all kinds of terrain without having to worry about my 5ver frame flexing. As for strength I have never heard of a gooseneck ball failing and I live around people (farmers, construction,oil patch) that think GCVWR is for sissies.Either way put the load in the bed not on the bumper and you will find you have much better handling and stability.
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:54 AM   #5
Retired Gator
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I am also new to fifth wheeling. Should I have any concerns buying a 15K hitch if the trailer empty is 11K and fully loaded is rated at 14.8K? The 15 is as large as my truck will carry.
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:37 PM   #6
rverdlm
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I agree with everything Dave said. From what you've said you won't be towing a lot of miles, so an air hitch is probably not needed. If you were going to tow a lot of miles like I do then IMHO an air hitch or air pin box is essential. Big trucks like your dually put a lot of vibrational stress into the front of a trailer and over time and miles the frame may break. That's why you're now seeing a lot of mfg adding them. I'm not in favor of adding goosenecks to 5ers. The reason is that I happen to be one of a few who have had a pin box break. It happened to me in UT and the dealer I took it to knew just how to fix it because he does about 5 a month. Mine was the first one he ever had to repair that wasn't using a goosneck. Fleetwood paid to have mine repaired even though it was 2 years out of warrenty. If it had a gooseneck they would not have repaired it even if it was still within the warrenty period. The gooseneck lenghtens the lever arm on the hitch and frame. The trailer was not designed for this.

Retired Gator, Why is a 15K as large a hitch as you can put in your truck? The Reese 15K and 20K use the same bed rails. You can take one out and put the other in. I know because I upgraded from one to the other. I would certainly not use a 15K for a trailer that will weigh 14.8K. I upgraded because I bought a new trailer with a GVWR of 14.5K and the dealer wouldn't hook it up unless I upgraded the hitch.
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