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Old 01-23-2010, 04:59 AM   #1
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Someone with more experience than I havehooking up and unhooking to a FW can answer this question. Can a hookup be safely achieved when backing the truck up at a 45degree angle to the trailer? Does it always have to be exactly in line? It would be easier for me to doat an angle the way its parked in the back yard, and not have to zig-zag back and forth to get straight in front first. Actually any angle betwwen 0 and 45 would be easier and faster...Thanks for any advice...I was told that it had to exactly straight in, but have my doubts....I always hooked my old travel trailer at an angel and drove off...
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:13 AM   #2
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I hooked up at different angles when we had our old Cruiser and the standard pin. Our PP has a Sidewinder hitch so angles are no issue, just turn the pin and hookup if you can't make a square run at it. Have you tried hooking up at the angle you need to see how it works? The only thing I would watch for on big angles is to make sure the back corner of your truck does not get to close to the front of the trailer.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:21 AM   #3
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Thanks Keith, no I havent tried an angle yet but this is our first FW and the previous owner insisted that straight on was the only way, I didnt think that was the case, watch the tail gate, got it...If the pin duringbacking up is an inch or so off the hitch center is that ok too?...He was screaming that it had to be perfect...didnt make sence to me...
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:29 AM   #4
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Keith has good advice. If your tailgate is lowered, watch the corner of it doesn't hit the trailer. As far as the pin being off center by an inch or so, i would be concerned about pushing the trailer on the landing gear as you force the pin into the hitch. I don't know if it is a serious issue, but I would be concerned
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:03 AM   #5
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In my old storage space some times I had to Hook and unhook to realign

the truck to inch it into its space. I had no troubles with the pin

box but did watch the tailgate closely. Just take it easy and you

should have no problems

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Old 01-23-2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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I don't know what type of hitch you have, but if you can keep the jaws open, then you don't have to use any force to hook up. Therefore, if you back up at an angle or are slightly off center of the pin there is very little chance of pushing the fiver sideways or damage to the landing gear. I use a Reese jaw type hitch and keep the jaws open, when I manually close the jaws, they are painted white so that I can easily verify that they are completely closed around the pin. In 20+yrs I have never done a pull test nor dropped the fiver. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Everyone has their preference and you will too. I hook up at angles all the time without issue. I would be carefull on off pin alignments though. IfI am more than a 1/2" off I will adjust. My Glyde Ride box will adust to off-pin alignments pretty well. A solid pin box will not. I would not want to stress the landing gear hitting the 5er off center.

When hooking up, I leave my jaws closed and watch the handle. When it moves out then back in, I know I have backed up enough. Just my technique.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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Much good advice so far. I'm still new to 5th wheels but I can definitely see the stress on the front landing gear from coming in at 45 degrees. Probably would never hurt it.

Straight back with chocks behind the tires would put very little stress on the landing gears I would think, as the trailer has no tendency to move while making contact with the hitch.

I think I would approach it with the hitch jaws open as this would lessen the force needed to close the jaws. I see lots of debate over at on hitching with jaws open and closed. I do both with my Husky hitch and I can't tell any difference.

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Old 01-23-2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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You can do the hitch/un-hitch in many ways, so long as you perform a "pull test" prior to commencing your trip.

I back in at angles all the time, there aren't many campgrounds that have enough space to back in straight and parellel to the trailer and have enough distance to cut out of the site (at least here in the New England area where parks are older and built for 30< trailers.)

Another thing to watch out for is "hitching high" where the pin rides up and over the pin lock jaws. I saw it happen last year and the guy dropped his rather nice looking 5th onto his bedrails. I felt so bad for the guy, what a terrible feeling.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:56 AM   #10
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Boy, I must really have an old antique hitch! Some of you guys talk about backing in and hooking up with the jaws closed. The jaws on mine have to be open when hooking, then they snap closed.
I can and do hookup at an angle, but probably not as extreme as 45%. I also have a fear of putting to much stress on the front landing gear.

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