Ford F-150/F-250: How to Hitch a Fifth Wheel

Have you ever wondered how to hitch a fifth wheel to your Ford F-150 or Super Duty? Find out here.

By Tom Cavanagh - October 6, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014) and F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

If you have a fifth wheel trailer hitch installed in the bed of your Ford F-150 or Super Duty, chances are that it's not there to take up space in your truck bed, or to try to make people think that you're a long haul trucker. One of the most basic mechanical tasks since time began is to insert Tab A into Slot B. It is the same for hitching your fifth wheel trailer to your truck. This guide will take you through the simple steps needed to safely hitch and unhitch your fifth wheel. When hitched, you will have over five tons of machinery moving at speed. Having them detach, especially if you're going up or down an incline, it is usually not fun.

If your fifth wheel hitch is properly installed, and you and your trailer are on level ground, the only recommended tool you will need is a friend to guide you and your truck backwards to align the hitch and the trailer kingpin. The hitching process is fairly simple, and even if it's your first time doing this, it should only take a few minutes.

Figure 1. Ford F-150 pulling a fifth wheel.

How to Hitch a Fifth Wheel

    • Figure 2. Fifth wheel kingpin.
    • Figure 3. Fifth wheel hitch in the bed of a Ford F-150.

  1. Raise or lower the fifth wheel trailer jacks to bring the fifth wheel kingpin to a height slightly higher than the hitch.
  2. Drop the truck's tailgate.
  3. Open the locking bar on the hitch assembly.
  4. This is where the friend comes in. Slowly back under trailer until hitch engages the fifth wheel kingpin.
  5. Close the hitch locking bar on the hitch.
  6. Visually inspect the hitch to make sure the locking jaws have closed around the trailer's kingpin.
  7. Insert the safety pin into the locking bar.
  8. Carefully put your truck into gear and inch forward slightly to make sure the hitch has successfully locked. Having the trailer come loose and the kingpin assembly crash down on the bed of your truck is not fun.
  9. Plug in the trailer's electrical cord and secure the breakaway switch cable.
  10. Check to make sure that the fifth wheel trailer lights are working.
  11. Raise pickup truck tailgate.
  12. Raise fifth wheel trailer landing gear jacks. This is important because you don't want them dragging along the highway, showering the cars behind you with sparks.
  13. Enjoy your vacation!
Figure 4. Ford truck pulls fifth wheel.

How to Unhitch a Fifth Wheel

Drive the fifth wheel to where it will be stored. Insert chocks to stabilize the trailer.

  1. Lower the fifth wheel landing gear until firmly on the ground. This is very important.
  2. Unplug the electrical cord and and undo the breakaway switch cable.
  3. Lower the truck tailgate.
  4. Gently put your truck into reverse and move slightly. This moves the fifth wheel kingpin off of the locking bar and loosens the hitch connection a bit.
  5. Put the truck into park and use the parking brake.
  6. Remove the safety pin and disengage the kingpin locking bar on fifth wheel hitch.
  7. Raise the fifth wheel jacks slightly until you can see space between the kingpin assembly and the hitch.
  8. Slowly drive away, making sure the kingpin is clear of anything in the truck bed and the electrical cord and breakaway cable are not in the way.
  9. Lift and close the truck tailgate.
  10. Make sure the fifth wheel is level and secure before leaving.

Featured Video - How to Hook a Fifth Wheel Trailer

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