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Old 06-15-2012, 06:47 AM   #1
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I bought my 5er at RVW. They gave the bums rush on the customer walk-through and when they got to the part about the hitch they simply said that "if the lever drops back in then you are locked properly to the 5th wheel." This was true all of last year. On my first trip of 2012 I hooked up like I had all of last year and the 5er pulled off when leaving my driveway!!! I should have gone through the owners manual, but it worked so well all of last year that I didn't give it a thought. If you were given the same BAD information and if you were stupid and didn't read the owners manual....Let me enlighten you..The hookup procedure is three steps 1. Back onto the 5er as described above and make sure that the lever dropped back to it's locked position; 2. Check the rotating plate that locks the hitch to the 5er. It should have rotated at least 90 degrees and the little pawl that holds it in place should be locked against the plate; 3. Raise your front jacks just enough that they are clearing the ground then engage the trailer brakes with your brake controller and try to pull forward with the TV. If it's not locked it will pull off and drop a fraction of an inch to a resting position as opposed to what mine did, which was to do thousands of dollars of damage to the 5er and my truck. Beware of salesmen who are in a hurry!!!



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Old 06-15-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear CygnusSailor. Hope you get things repaired quickly.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your problem. But it is not clear to me what went wrong in your case. Please explain what went wrong and what kind of hitch you have. We all can learn from others that have problems. Also all hitches are not the same in the way they close. But most do have a locking means that should always be used. Mine requires a snap pin or in my case I use a small padlock to prevent any tampering while I am in a Cafe or such. But all bets are off if you high hitch. Make sure you understand what high hitching is so you never get caught by one.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
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Pretty sure CR is not paying for those repairs. Is RVW helping since they didn't give proper instruction?
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:50 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about you little mishap. I'm not exactly sure what kind of hitch you have, but it looks like a bedsaver would have saved you a bit of cash. I had one mounted on my Reese 16K hitch from day one and it's saved me from embarrassment only once, but that was enough.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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papa2...no they just said they were sorry!!!!

Hamops...What is a bedsaver??? Just by the name it sounds like what would have SAVED me!




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Old 06-15-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about dropping your camper. I always do a pull test. Lock the hitch as you normally would and lift the landing gear 2 inches above the ground. With the wheels chocked just give it a little tug to make sure it is locked. If the trailer is to drop it will only drop the 2 inches and most likely it will not hit the rails of the truck bed. If you do this you will not need a bed saver. The big 18 wheelers do it so can I.



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Old 06-15-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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A bed-saver is a device that attaches to your hitch and catches the pin in case the hitch does not engage properly. Here is a link that shows how it works.

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Old 06-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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CygnusSailor, you may not want to submit the claims but your auto insurance would cover the truck and your trailer coverage the 5er.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:10 PM   #10
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That sucks, sorry to hear about that! Our dealer warned us of this. I will never go without putting the padlock in place.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:10 AM   #11
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Can't agree more on the pull test. Seems as though there are many different fail safe devices depending on the brand of hitch. I have a Curt Q5 fifth wheel hitch. It is "almost" impossible to fail to safely connect as there are color coded indicators plus a safety catch that MUST be in the latched mode.

When we picked up our Cruiser three years ago the dealer had never seen a Curt hitch before that day. I tried to tell them where the king pin had to be before attempting to hitch up. After about ten tries they finally listened to me and the Cruiser then hitched right up. I never hitched up a fifth wheel prior to that day but I had read and reread the Curt owners manual fifty times so I had a pretty good idea as to what was needed. After three years of hitching/unhitching I am now a self proclaimed expert! Ultimately safe hitching is the responsibility of the RV owner.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geondebi
Sorry to hear about dropping your camper.¬* I always do a pull test. ¬* Lock the hitch as you normally would and lift the landing gear 2 inches above the ground.¬* With the wheels chocked just give it a little tug to make sure it is locked.¬* If the trailer is to drop it will only drop the 2 inches and most likely it will not hit the rails of the truck bed. ¬* If you do this you will not need a bed saver.¬* The big 18 wheelers do it so can I.




Why raise the landing gear and let it drop? Hook up the power cable and apply the trailer brakes with the controller. If it's not hooked you can pull forward and it just slides back down the hitch. If it is hooked you can't move the trailer.



I don't like to "drop" the trailer at all. FWIW the "big boys" back into the hitch and then pull forward immediately. The trailer brakes are locked until air is applied and the trailer can't move.



Back in and bump the hitch, pull forward and back twice. If you can't move set the tractor brakes, get out, and hookup the lights and airlines. Then raise the landing gear. Been working for me.



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Old 06-17-2012, 03:29 PM   #13
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"

I don't like to "drop" the trailer at all. FWIW the "big boys" back into the hitch and then pull forward immediately. The trailer brakes are locked until air is applied and the trailer can't move."</span>
</span>
I leave my chocks in place until I have done the pull test. The trailer electric brakes will not activate until you have moved at least a 1/4 turn of a trailer wheel. That puts a lot of stress on the landing gear. Chocks is the first thing I do when setting up and the last thing when leaving.</span>
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:34 AM   #14
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It's not always when you are hooking up to go somewhere.

I hate to admit it but one time I was unhitching and I had released the latch and ready to pull forward. My DW mentioned that I need to move the trailer a tiny bit for the water hose. I raised the landing jacks about six inches and started to move the trailer when I heard a big bang and the truck bounced. Yep I forgot that I had already released the lock and I now have dented bed rails.

Fortunately the combination of the truck bed and the landing gearcushioned the fall and didn't break anything other than denting the bed rails and my pride. I now wish I had a bed-saver, might have to get one as I don't seem to be able to get a new brain
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avvidclif
Quote:
Originally Posted by geondebi
Sorry to hear about dropping your camper. I always do a pull test. Lock the hitch as you normally would and lift the landing gear 2 inches above the ground. With the wheels chocked just give it a little tug to make sure it is locked. If the trailer is to drop it will only drop the 2 inches and most likely it will not hit the rails of the truck bed. If you do this you will not need a bed saver. The big 18 wheelers do it so can I.








Why raise the landing gear and let it drop? Hook up the power cable and apply the trailer brakes with the controller. If it's not hooked you can pull forward and it just slides back down the hitch. If it is hooked you can't move the trailer.





I don't like to "drop" the trailer at all. FWIW the "big boys" back into the hitch and then pull forward immediately. The trailer brakes are locked until air is applied and the trailer can't move.





Back in and bump the hitch, pull forward and back twice. If you can't move set the tractor brakes, get out, and hookup the lights and airlines. Then raise the landing gear. Been working for me.




If you don't get the landing gear a little ways off the ground you are putting undue stress on the landing gear legs when you pull forward. It's not going to hurt the landing gear if it drops 1" or 2" but repeatedly pulling the trailer with the weight of it on the landing gear will eventually bend the legs.

Also, as the above poster states the wheel chocks are more effective than the electric brakes.

As to the OP, I feel your pain. I too have dropped my trailer once. Fortunately I have a Bed Saver so no damage. I respectfully disagree that it was the dealer's fault. Once we pull off the lot with "our trailer" it is our responsibility to know the hundreds of ways we can damage it. I also bought from RVW and got no hand holding. I saved a lot of money and realized I would have got a lot more attention at a local dealer, but assumed all responsibility.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #16
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If they had simply said "it's your responsibility to read and understand the owners manual" then I wouldn't have a problem, but when they say "if the lever drops back in place then you are locked in and everything is OK" then I would have been happier if they had simply said NOTHING!!!




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Old 06-20-2012, 03:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulpwood007

Quote:
Originally Posted by avvidclif
Quote:
Originally Posted by geondebi
Sorry to hear about dropping your camper.¬* I always do a pull test. ¬* Lock the hitch as you normally would and lift the landing gear 2 inches above the ground.¬* With the wheels chocked just give it a little tug to make sure it is locked.¬* If the trailer is to drop it will only drop the 2 inches and most likely it will not hit the rails of the truck bed. ¬* If you do this you will not need a bed saver.¬* The big 18 wheelers do it so can I.




Why raise the landing gear and let it drop? Hook up the power cable and apply the trailer brakes with the controller. If it's not hooked you can pull forward and it just slides back down the hitch. If it is hooked you can't move the trailer.



I don't like to "drop" the trailer at all. FWIW the "big boys" back into the hitch and then pull forward immediately. The trailer brakes are locked until air is applied and the trailer can't move.



Back in and bump the hitch, pull forward and back twice. If you can't move set the tractor brakes, get out, and hookup the lights and airlines. Then raise the landing gear. Been working for me.


If you don't get the landing gear a little ways off the ground you are putting undue stress on the landing gear legs when you pull forward.¬* It's not going to hurt the landing gear if it drops 1" or 2" but repeatedly pulling the trailer with the weight of it on the landing gear will eventually bend the legs.Also, as the above poster states the wheel chocks are more effective than the electric brakes.As to the OP, I feel your pain.¬* I too have dropped my trailer once.¬* Fortunately I have a Bed Saver so no damage.¬* I respectfully disagree that it was the dealer's fault.¬* Once we pull off the lot with "our trailer" it is our responsibility to know the hundreds of ways we can damage it.¬* I also bought from RVW and got no hand holding.¬* I saved a lot of money and realized I would have got a lot more attention at a local dealer, but assumed all responsibility.


Pardon me but I left out that the tire chocks are still in place when I do my pull test. I use the ones between the tires and it doesn't move. The brakes are an extra factor.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CygnusSailor
If they had simply said "it's your responsibility to read and understand the owners manual" then I wouldn't have a problem, but when they say "if the lever drops back in place then you are locked in and everything is OK" then I would have been happier if they had simply said NOTHING!!!



I understand. Again, sorry about the damage. Could you tell us what you think went wrong now that you have had a chance to review the owner's manual?
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:01 AM   #19
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One little trick I learned and have done, is paint the jaws of the hitch white, than when you are hooked up all you will see is white paint, it you see unpainted metal do a quick check and see what is wrong. I also do a pull test





Edited by: fhenn
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:02 AM   #20
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I'm pretty sure that I know exactly what happened as it could have happened again if I were not now aware of the proper procedure.

We were camped at the small lot across the road that Crossroads provides for customers to use for overnight camping. The following morning I connected the truck to the camper, but this time followed the three step procedure. The handle did in fact drop back in so that it appeared to be in it's locked position, but upon inspection of the locking plate, within the hitch, that is supposed to rotate 90 degrees and then lock in place, I noticed that it hadn't quite rotated 90 degrees and the locking mechanism missed being engaged by a fraction of an inch. I then noticed that the handle was about 1/4" out from where it is actually supposed to be when it is fully engaged. I attempted to pull the handle back out and it wouldn't budge. A slight adjustment of the front jacks was all that was necessary to disengage the handle. Once disengaged, I pulled forward a few inches and back into the 5er again. This time the handle dropped in all the way, the locking plate rotated the full 90 degrees, and the pawl that locks that plate in place engaged properly. The subsequent pull test went without incident, so we made the long trip across the road and dropped the 5er by Crossroads' service department. They were on it like bees on honey!!! If Lippert hadn't had to be involved because of the framework above the spare tire they would have had it completely repaired that same day! Great people!!!




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