5th Wheel Woes - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Notices
2017+ Super Duty The 2017+ Ford F250, F350, F450 and F550 Super Duty Pickup and Chassis Cab

5th Wheel Woes

 
  #1  
Old 01-19-2019, 12:12 PM
BillRes2
BillRes2 is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Northern California
Posts: 82
BillRes2 is starting off with a positive reputation.
5th Wheel Woes

Hi Everyone,

I have just completed my 1st long distance trip (1200 miles alone) and have some observations and numerous questions that I hope everyone can help me with. This is the initial observation in regards to connecting to our 30 ft Fox Mountain 5th wheel.
The 1st is that I had a difficult time getting our 5th wheel to center in our B/W companion hitch. Our 6.7 Lariat with the pucks with the receiver properly seated sets the receiver to low to be seen using the rear view mirror. The rear seat is too high and the camera will not display the truck bed no matter what the settings. What am I doing wrong? It should be easier than this.It took 5 or 6 attempts and well over a half hour to carefully center the pin into the receiver each time I connected.

The relative high tailgate could certainly use a V gate replacement. Connection involves slowly backing up with the tailgate down to get the pin over the bed of the truck without dinging or denting the front underside of the 5th wheel. This requires almost perfect alignment. There is less than 3 inches clearance when the pin is in the receiver with the tailgate down. The tailgate cannot be raised until nearly fully seated as it will not clear the bottom side of the pin. The electrical cable cannot be attached with the tailgate up and the same goes for the break-away cable. It is a necessity for me to have a 3 foot ladder to access the interior bed of the truck.
Suggestions and Thanks
Regards
Bill
 
  #2  
Old 01-19-2019, 12:26 PM
blueglide
blueglide is online now
Senior User
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 264
blueglide is starting off with a positive reputation.
I've tried various methods and what works best for me is to turn and look over my shoulder as I slowly backup. I just have to be careful since I'm controlling the throttle with the tip of my foot as I slowly back in. Being old and not as flexible makes this so much more fun!
 
  #3  
Old 01-19-2019, 12:28 PM
sdetweil's Avatar
sdetweil
sdetweil is online now
Post Fiend
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Pflugerville, tx
Posts: 11,436
sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.
Originally Posted by BillRes2 View Post
Hi Everyone,

I have just completed my 1st long distance trip (1200 miles alone) and have some observations and numerous questions that I hope everyone can help me with. This is the initial observation in regards to connecting to our 30 ft Fox Mountain 5th wheel.
The 1st is that I had a difficult time getting our 5th wheel to center in our B/W companion hitch. Our 6.7 Lariat with the pucks with the receiver properly seated sets the receiver to low to be seen using the rear view mirror. The rear seat is too high and the camera will not display the truck bed no matter what the settings. What am I doing wrong? It should be easier than this.It took 5 or 6 attempts and well over a half hour to carefully center the pin into the receiver each time I connected.

The relative high tailgate could certainly use a V gate replacement. Connection involves slowly backing up with the tailgate down to get the pin over the bed of the truck without dinging or denting the front underside of the 5th wheel. This requires almost perfect alignment. There is less than 3 inches clearance when the pin is in the receiver with the tailgate down. The tailgate cannot be raised until nearly fully seated as it will not clear the bottom side of the pin. The electrical cable cannot be attached with the tailgate up and the same goes for the break-away cable. It is a necessity for me to have a 3 foot ladder to access the interior bed of the truck.
Suggestions and Thanks
Regards
Bill
i just hooked up the first time yesterday (at about noontime) to move my trailer a few feet forward so I can work on the rear. Note I have a 2018 longbed dually

3 ft ladder, yep.. B&W puck based hitch, could JUST reach it on my 2012, I am 6'2"

tailgate clearance .. no different than my 2012.. about 3-4 inches clearance when pin locked.. must be careful if not backing straight on.. no change from before

camera... when in reverse, I selected the button top left to pick from different views available, picked the high mounted camera...which shows the bed
backed in til i thought I was close.. then hit the + button to zoom in.. for close movement.. (I missed center on the 1st try, but that is typical for me)

cables, yep.. the bedside is JUST enough taller that I need to hook up pigtail with the gate down... but most (almost all) of the time I did that on my 2012 too..

i commented to my friend that this was nicer than on the 12, except that the hitch was in shadow as the pin approached.. sun behind me..
 
  #4  
Old 01-19-2019, 12:30 PM
garmford
garmford is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 172
garmford is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
There’s a few things you can do to help hitch easier.
-when backing straight in, use your mirrors to see in the truck is centered in the trailer. You should have the same amount of trailer hanging past the truck on each side.
-they make mirrors that you can put on the pin box, with the mirror you can see the hitch.
-they also make tennis ball on magnets, you put one on the hitch plate and one on the pin box. Line them up while backing up.
You can look on etrailer.com for these gadgets.

I personally just just raise my butt out of the seat to see the hitch and use my mirrors. For me the mirrors work well since I have a dually and the fenders are the same width as the camper.

You dont have to plug the trailer wire into the bed if the truck. There is a 7 pin at the bumper too. This is the way it has been done for years and many still do it now. I plug in the bed but I can reach it with the tailgate down.

Hope this helps.
 
  #5  
Old 01-19-2019, 01:11 PM
Poncho450's Avatar
Poncho450
Poncho450 is online now
Posting Guru
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: The 1980's
Posts: 2,068
Poncho450 is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.Poncho450 is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
When I had a 5th wheel I had a little magnetic mount camera that I stuck right onto the 5th wheel plate. It was wireless and came with it's own separate display that was on a gooseneck cable and plugged into the 12V socket. As soon as I could see that the pin was in the 5th wheel properly I jumped out and snagged the camera and then finished backing in. I found a link to one on Amazon. https://www.rearviewsafety.com/wirel...BoCRe4QAvD_BwE

They also make a model that will stream to your phone if you prefer not to have the monitor. Not that it matters much when you consider the distance from driver seat to 5th wheel, but I removed the center headrest.
 
  #6  
Old 01-19-2019, 01:52 PM
jnphobe
jnphobe is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Erie,Pa
Posts: 101
jnphobe is starting off with a positive reputation.
Before I had a truck with cameras, I pulled the headrest from the center of the rear seat, put a piece of white electrical tape in the center of the tonneau cover ( hard folding cover ) and one on the top of the pin box, then I would just back right in with the rear view mirror.
 
  #7  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:00 PM
sdetweil's Avatar
sdetweil
sdetweil is online now
Post Fiend
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Pflugerville, tx
Posts: 11,436
sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.sdetweil has a spectacular reputation.
Originally Posted by jnphobe View Post
Before I had a truck with cameras, I pulled the headrest from the center of the rear seat, put a piece of white electrical tape in the center of the tonneau cover ( hard folding cover ) and one on the top of the pin box, then I would just back right in with the rear view mirror.
yes!,, on my 12 I pulled the center headrest.. still have it!..not the truck tho
 
  #8  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:56 PM
wrvond's Avatar
wrvond
wrvond is online now
Posting Guru
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,288
wrvond has a very good reputation on FTE.wrvond has a very good reputation on FTE.wrvond has a very good reputation on FTE.wrvond has a very good reputation on FTE.
The camera in your center high mounted brake light should give you a clear view of the kingpin as it approaches your hitch. As you get close, press the '+' at the top of the screen. The dashed line should guide you in just fine. You don't have to be perfectly lined up for a successful connection - the opening in the hitch is funnel shaped to guide the kingpin into the latch. That's really an awful lot of leeway on alignment. As you say, paying attention to your tailgate is critical. You might consider making some marks with white tape to indicate when the raised tailgate will clear the kingpin. Once the kingpin is inside the bed, you should be able to plug the umbilical in, probably have to stand to the side of the tailgate, I usually do. For the breakaway cable, I have one of those removable links, I pass the cable through whatever point I'm connecting it to, and use the link to attach the loop to the cable. Since my anchor point is in the bed, I usually have to climb into the bed from the side in order to attach the breakaway cable and lock the hitch release arm. At 6'4" an upside down milk crate is usually enough for me to reach everything, but I don't always have one to use, so I just climb up using the tire. At my age, getting out of the bed is the hardest part, especially in winter - bones and joints don't give on landing like they used to!
 
  #9  
Old 01-19-2019, 05:42 PM
7591250sd's Avatar
7591250sd
7591250sd is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Forest Lake, MN
Posts: 333
7591250sd is starting off with a positive reputation.
I have a Artic Fox 275L and have no tailgate clearance issues, I can walk between 5ver and truck with tailgate down. Btw - we had a few issues on ours where a few cabinet screws stripped out easily. Dealer put a solid wood insert in some and fixed. Otherwise love it
 
  #10  
Old 01-19-2019, 05:46 PM
blueglide
blueglide is online now
Senior User
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 264
blueglide is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by 7591250sd View Post
I have a Artic Fox 275L and have no tailgate clearance issues, I can walk between 5ver and truck with tailgate down. Btw - we had a few issues on ours where a few cabinet screws stripped out easily. Dealer put a solid wood insert in some and fixed. Otherwise love it
We full time in an Arctic Fox 32-5m. Love it, built like a tank.
 
  #11  
Old 01-19-2019, 08:38 PM
Brother_Bluto
Brother_Bluto is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 205
Brother_Bluto is starting off with a positive reputation.
The CHM Camera (36-deg/Ultimate Trailer Tow package) makes hooking up the 5er a snap with almost near precision. I can see everything and zoom as wrvond mentions. I do however get out and take a look just before the pin hits the plate to ensure I'm 100% aligned and have the pin at the right height for hookup. The camera clearly shows when the jaws close and the latch slams. I have the Ford locking cleats in the bed and use a screw pin shackle hanging off the driver's corner cleat for the break away cable. BTW - I replaced my breakaway cable with the red coiled 6ft cable which is very easy to work with and lessens the chance of getting hung up on something and triggering the break. I can reach the cleat/screw pin shackle and attach the breakaway cable, hook up the power and put the locking pin in the hitch flat footed.

Your right about very little clearance with the gate - maybe 4in... but have never had a problem with the hitching process. With an autoslider you need to be fairly straight on anyway. I did somehow trigger the tailgate to drop when we were checking in at a park early last year and didn't notice as I was navigating to our site. Thankfully the autoslider saved me from total disaster - the corner of the tailgate just barely punched a small hole in the outer gelcoat of my belly door... and for now a simple sticker covers up that oops.
 
  #12  
Old 01-19-2019, 08:47 PM
Mud Doc's Avatar
Mud Doc
Mud Doc is offline
Posting Guru
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,124
Mud Doc is starting off with a positive reputation.
With the B&W hitch, all you need to do is to make sure the trailer hitch plate is slightly lower than the truck hitch plate--if the pin is within the open area of the truck plate, it will center itself and ride up on the truck plate and close the pin by itself. Then just put the pin in the hitch lock, after checking FOR SURE that the pin is surrounded by the clamp jaws. Can't help with the tailgate clearance--I can turn either direction with the tailgate down and not hit the trailer. I can look over my shoulder and see the hitch, and I'm only 5 ft 7. Sad that I haven't learned to use the CHM camera...
 
  #13  
Old 01-19-2019, 09:23 PM
captcolour
captcolour is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 92
captcolour is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
I keep a step stool in the basement of the 5th wheel to reach the 5th wheel hitch to latch and unlatch. Makes it easy without climbing on the tire or up into the bed. The ultimate camera package is awesome and makes hooking up easy.
 
  #14  
Old 01-19-2019, 09:23 PM
Retiredout
Retiredout is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 83
Retiredout is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by BillRes2 View Post
Hi Everyone,

I have just completed my 1st long distance trip (1200 miles alone) and have some observations and numerous questions that I hope everyone can help me with. This is the initial observation in regards to connecting to our 30 ft Fox Mountain 5th wheel.
The 1st is that I had a difficult time getting our 5th wheel to center in our B/W companion hitch. Our 6.7 Lariat with the pucks with the receiver properly seated sets the receiver to low to be seen using the rear view mirror. The rear seat is too high and the camera will not display the truck bed no matter what the settings. What am I doing wrong? It should be easier than this.It took 5 or 6 attempts and well over a half hour to carefully center the pin into the receiver each time I connected.

The relative high tailgate could certainly use a V gate replacement. Connection involves slowly backing up with the tailgate down to get the pin over the bed of the truck without dinging or denting the front underside of the 5th wheel. This requires almost perfect alignment. There is less than 3 inches clearance when the pin is in the receiver with the tailgate down. The tailgate cannot be raised until nearly fully seated as it will not clear the bottom side of the pin. The electrical cable cannot be attached with the tailgate up and the same goes for the break-away cable. It is a necessity for me to have a 3 foot ladder to access the interior bed of the truck.
Suggestions and Thanks
Regards
Bill
If you watch the you tube video of Big Truck Big RV he shows a solution that he found for this same problem.
 
  #15  
Old 01-19-2019, 11:57 PM
saskowner
saskowner is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 257
saskowner is starting off with a positive reputation.
I guess I had better get my CHM camera checked out. The image is so poor I find it next to useless for hooking up even when zoomed in. I ended up buying a set of those magnetic ***** that I could see in the rear view mirror.
Gary
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us About Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.