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Torque Monkey

School me on 5th Wheels.

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My Buddy is having trouble with his trailer chucking or pushing up and down on the hitch in his truck. It is making all sorts of racket. The King Pin is a Lippert 1716.

 

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The hitch in the truck is a Reese Kwik-slide.

 

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The trailer is pretty small and has very little tongue weight.

 

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The truck is a short box 3rd gen.

 

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Can anything be done to improve the ride?

 

He keeps telling me that he needs to drop the nose of the trailer to fix it. The trailer sits level when connected. I think he needs to lower the whole thing first. The axles can be flipped. Also I had him fill his water tank. They haven’t been using the water tank and just relying on hook ups. I don’t know why.

 

 

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Negative or very lightweight loaded nose will cause a shuffle.

Worn jaws and worn kingpins will also.

Some 5th wheels have jaw adjustments, at least the big ones do.

Edited by thumper 549

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4 minutes ago, thumper 549 said:

Negative or very lightweight loaded nose will cause a shuffle.

Worn jaws and worn kingpins will also.

Some 5th wheels have jaw adjustments, at least the big ones do.

 

That is what I figured was going on. I really want a tape measure to start checking stuff. My buddy is a little stubborn and doesn’t listen anyhow. He is convinced raising the king pin up, effectively dropping the nose of the trailer will fix it. I’m thinking it will do nothing.

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Raising the pin and mount will lower the load and shift the moment fwd, but it would have to be a large amount to gain very little because all you are doing is pivoting on the axles,

loading the fwd axle one if there is two.

 so ylou are right ot will do almost nothing.

The problem as i said worn jaws and parts , or worn pin.

perhaps a lose 5th wheel where mounted to the frame?

 

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What I need to do is set up my GoPro on it and have him go for a drive. Then we will know for sure what’s going on. Too bad I left it at home.

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I had a brand new 35' fifth wheel, brand new B&W hitch on a brand new 1 ton dually, and I had serious chucking. Fixed it by adding a shock + airbag king pin. Eliminated 90%+ of the chucking. Chucking is just part of the package when you tow a fifth wheel.

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Does he have a plastic skid plate to stick on the king pin and possibly snug up the play?

Cheapest first solution on the up/down chucking if he’s not using one.

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He has 2 plastic discs on the kingpin.


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I had several trailers that chucked in my old reese hitch. It was well worn and over ten year’s old. Switched to a heavier Curt and that helped some. I noticed the 5th wheels (new rv’s) that chucked had play around the jaws. I could feel the play when stopping and starting. It sure is irritating. Maybe more pin weight will help. Maybe the kingpin is worn as well.

Are the jaws in the Reese sloppy when closed and no kingpin? I found one of the jaws in the reese head was very loose (up/down) and eventually broke. Hence the switch to the Curt.

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the target pin weight for a 5th wheel is 15~25% of total trailer weight. If it is down below 10%, that makes for a sloppy ride. Most trailers are in there either loaded wet or empty, but that little trailer, it might be carrying pretty well on the two axles.

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1 hour ago, skyking said:

the target pin weight for a 5th wheel is 15~25% of total trailer weight. If it is down below 10%, that makes for a sloppy ride. Most trailers are in there either loaded wet or empty, but that little trailer, it might be carrying pretty well on the two axles.

 

That is exactly what I think is going on. The CG isn’t right. He told me he has a friend with a better hitch for the truck he might buy and see if that helps.

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You're certainly on track questioning the pin weight.  I know it's not the same setup but with my goose neck it's all in the weight distribution and pin weight.  If I don't load it right it'll drive you nuts with chucking on every bump, load it right and it drags along just fine.

Edited by Woodenhead

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That is exactly what I think is going on. The CG isn’t right. He told me he has a friend with a better hitch for the truck he might buy and see if that helps.

When we were debating a 5th wheel we also looked into the Anderson hitch. It converts a 5th wheel to a gooseneck and is supposed to help alot with chucking ect.

 

One of these or similar

 

Check this out at Amazon.com

Andersen Hitches 3200 | Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection | Rail Version Mount | Weighs Only 40 lbs! | One Person Install or Removal in Less Than 5 Minutes | Includes 2 Bumper Stickers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XY242M2/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_zN.QDbPPTA006

 

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Step one, figure out pin weight. Easy to fo st a set of scales. 

 

You can do some to mitigate chucking. But, it's part of a direct connection. I added a cushioned pin box when we bought our trailer. That's helps a lot. 

 

I have the MORyde rubber pin box. 

 

But, chuckling had lots of causes. And the fix is different. When I towed my dad's small 5er, the trailer needed shocks. It was too light for the springs and yiu got every bump in the bed. 

 

If I run 35lbs in my bags on my trailer, it sucks. Go to 40, it's awesome. 

 

I don't think tongue weight will be his issue unless it's light enough to make the trick feel unstable. Most likely it's just shock hitting the truck or the short bed, lower pin weight and suspension capacity all fighting. Although country intuitive, sometimes adding  spring rate helps. Coupled with a stronger shock and you regain some control. 

 

Even tire  air  pressures can really affect the feel of the way something tows. But I stick with grey a good loaded weight  first, tune from there. 

 

Dave 

 

 

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I gave up trying to help him. He complains about it but isn’t really interested in advice. He has a plan and as far as I can tell, it is to throw money at it. Anyhow, I appreciate the answers. I learned a lot. We have been thinking bout getting 5th wheel in the future. Probably when it comes time to get a new truck, it will be a single rear wheel with a 5th wheel set up.

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42 minutes ago, Torque Monkey said:

I gave up trying to help him. He complains about it but isn’t really interested in advice. He has a plan and as far as I can tell, it is to throw money at it. Anyhow, I appreciate the answers. I learned a lot. We have been thinking bout getting 5th wheel in the future. Probably when it comes time to get a new truck, it will be a single rear wheel with a 5th wheel set up.

 

I just happen to know if one for sale.....

 

Dave

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Ben, sometimes people just want to complain.  Good on you for offering to help.  By the way, I got the Anderson Ultimate connected to my GN.  I wont tow differently again unless I have to, best ride and pulling in 20 years of 5er's for me and my truck is lifted to boot.

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My dad has the Anderson hitch. The hitch itself is well built. Neither of us like the pin adapter.  

 

I am  considering machining something that will make a much more robust connection. I would not consider our in my 5er. That said, I have only heard of a couple of "horror" stories and they seemed like they could be owner induced. 

 

The nice thing is that the bar is so light, my dad can move it very easily. It's not like lugging a giant chunk  of steel around. 

 

Dave 

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27 minutes ago, Fishin2Deep4U said:

My dad has the Anderson hitch. The hitch itself is well built. Neither of us like the pin adapter.  

 

I am  considering machining something that will make a much more robust connection. I would not consider our in my 5er. That said, I have only heard of a couple of "horror" stories and they seemed like they could be owner induced. 

 

The nice thing is that the bar is so light, my dad can move it very easily. It's not like lugging a giant chunk  of steel around. 

 

Dave 

Always wondered how they would do in accident 

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