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Old 03-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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5th wheel empty hitch noises

I have a Draw-Tite 16K hitch. When not towing, the hitch flops around and makes a lot of clunking noises. It is very loud. I have tried;
1: putting up with the noise (not satisfactory)
2: using a woodworking clamp to force upward on the front side of the hitch(somewhat satisfactory - it needs tightening periodically)
3: using a ratchet strap over the top of the hitch and down to the bed of the truck (fairly satisfactory, but requires getting into the truck bed to remove or install)
What do you guys think about this problem?
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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My `Lil Rocker 16k is quiet and has levers to release the rocky part. My friend has a noisy hitch that he secured to the side of the bed with a coat hanger.

How bout one of those trucker type rubber bungee cords?
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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If none of the tie downs will work, maybe you could build a wooden box out of plywood snug enough to fit around the entire hitch, and staple egg crate foam to the inside. That should quiet it down as long as you do not mind a wooden box in the middle of the bed. You can just simply lift it off and store when you want to pull the rig.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Call Draw-Tite and see what they recommend.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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Bungee cord...I can still reach it even with the dually fenders to put hook a bungee on it and hook it to one of the holes in the bed rails. Dont take much to hold it from clunking
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:19 AM   #6
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I have a slider hitch by Reese a 15K pro-model. You can take the receiver portion or capture plate out when you are not towing and leave the base in. Only two pins need to be pulled and the capture plate can be removed.

If we are camping for a weekend and need to drive somewhere a bungee cord is wrapped around the capture plate. I have a supply of them in the truck all of the time and the camper too.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
I have a slider hitch by Reese a 15K pro-model. You can take the receiver portion or capture plate out when you are not towing and leave the base in. Only two pins need to be pulled and the capture plate can be removed.
A thief can do the same thing. I put a small bolt thru one pin on the plate and one pin on the base.

Mine had locking cams and didn't rock, but if it did, I would put a stiff spring from each side of the capture plate to the base. It would still rock, but not rattle or clunk at each turn.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for the help. I have experimented a little today and I can dampen most of the noise with a rubber strap to the bed. It is so tight I am worried it will break soon. The cloth-covered bungees just don't have enough tension to quiet the hitch. It seems it has to be tilted down in back since it is weighted that way. I will use the rubber strap for a while but I like permanent fixes where I don't have to do anything, so using springs sounds like something that will suit me in the long run. I over-do everything, but I like fabricating solutions to what I think are problems. That's why I am tinkerreknit! I tinker and reverse engineer stuff.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:25 PM   #9
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Well, I have discovered something that I will post in case anyone is interested. I had searched the web about this problem and I was surprised that I didn't find many complaints about this noise. I just discovered that most of the noise isn't coming from the top, articulated part of the 5th wheel hitch. Some is, but most of the noise is coming from one of the (4) mounting legs. There is about 3/8" vertical play in a leg where it mounts to the bed rails. I will check the weld to make sure it is OK. If it it is solid I will probably put some tension on it with a turnbuckle down to the bed rail. The upper noise will be easy to control, and perhaps it won't be too loud at all.
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