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Old 10-17-2019, 09:00 AM   #15
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Ground Control is offering terrible advice. When you open the jaws on your hitch, is some part of your body between the trailer and the bed of your truck? If either the truck or trailer moves at that point, without your landing gear taking the weight of the trailer, you risk a crushing injury. I would never follow their advice.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:41 AM   #16
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I don't think I can even pull the locking handle on our B&W hitch unless the landing gear is down and the pin box at least partially raised off the hitch. Been doing it this way since 1976 and have yet to have a 5er roll back or damage the truck or nose.
  • Level side to side
  • Chocks AND BAL X-chocks
  • Drop tailgate unless you have a 5er tailgate but check clearance also
  • Pull electrical and safety pin wires
  • Raise pin box off hitch a small amount so no load
  • Pull handle to release pin
  • Drive out from under
  • Level front to back
  • Finish set up
  • Pop a tab and enjoy your favorite beverage

    If you have a hitch other then the usual conventional (Goose Box/Pull-Rite/Anderson) your set up procedure will vary some but generally starts out the same - legs down first, etc. etc.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVnAggie View Post
Agree with Halwiseguy. I NEVER open hitch jaws without having the landing gear down. Just lower them until the take a bit of the load (you'll see the truck raise up about 1/2 inch or so) and you should be good, or more importantly, SAFE.
Likewise when hitching up.... I ALWAYS do a pull test with landing gear no more than an inch above the ground to ensure hitch is latched....only takes a minute, but could save a lot of grief.
I personally know of two different cases where someone dropped their 5er on the truck. One case when unhooking....opened hitch with legs up, and one case where the guy hooked up and pulled out of spot without latching the hitch.
Happy Trails,
Another vote for this ^^^ Pretty much the same as I did with my semi. One thing I do, that was normal practice with the semi, but maybe shouldn't be done in the trailer world, is I don't raise the trailer completely off of the plate when I pull out & I leave the trailer a little lower than the plate when I couple back up. Only talking about a 1/2" to an 1". Is that ok to do? In the semi world you could damage the jaws if you didn't do it that way.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray01 View Post
My SOP is that 5th wheel hitch remains locked until



1. Gear pins inspected for proper positioning (fully inserted through adjustment holes).



2. legs are extended and landed.



No exceptions.
None
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:25 PM   #19
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This guy had the same damage both sides.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:50 PM   #20
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I always chalk, drop landing gear, and take weight off hitch before unlocking jaws.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:59 PM   #21
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I have the Ground Control 3.0 and the first thing you do is chock your trailer tires. Then select Lower Front Jacks. THEN open the jaws on your hitch, pull clear of the hitch, then press Auto Level.

I always catch a lot of grief for this by people that think they know better, but I NEVER do a pull test when hooking up to the trailer. I drove semis for 17 years, and didn't do them then either. Get Out And Look. Verify that your hitch is properly engaged, and latched. Every Single Time. No exceptions. I actually triple check mine, including two hands on checks. My walk around takes us 30 seconds, and we both check everything. Every time, no exceptions.

If you think you are doing something good by doing a pull test, put the weight on your hitch, with the landing legs only 1/4 inch off the blocks, not an inch as some say, then pull out. Literally, pull out from under your trailer, and you will understand how hard it is to pull out. If you do that, then apply that same force every time you so a pull test. Only then will you know if your pull test is adequate. It will be much harder than you think, and you will understand that it is much easier to get out and look.

This is what I did and have never dropped a trailer, and my rig was 120,000 lbs with doubles (two trailers), not 80,000 lbs, so I do have a little experience here.


I should mention, make sure your hitch is open before you do this, otherwise you will just wear stuff out on your way home.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:32 PM   #22
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From the LCI manual for the GC 3 operation:

Unhitching From A Tow Vehicle
Note: Prior to unhitching from the tow vehicle, ensure the trailer is parked on a level surface and be sure
to chock the tires of the trailer.
1. Extend the inner legs of both landing gear (front jacks) to within 4-5" of the ground by pulling on the
quick-release pins.
2. Push “ON/OFF” (Fig. 1K). LCD Screen will light up and display
“READY JACKS: UP” (Fig. 2A).
3. Push the “UP” arrow (Fig. 1A) to scroll to “Drop Front Jacks” option
on LCD screen.
4. Red indicator lights (Fig. 2B) may come on, indicating the current
disposition of the trailer. In this case, the front and right sides of the
trailer are low.
5. Push “ENTER” (Fig. 1C). Both front jacks will go to ground and stop.
6. Push the “FRONT” button (Fig. 1G) extending the front jacks to
a sufficient height, which raises the front of the trailer off of the
tow vehicle’s 5th wheel hitch plate.
They skip a step where it should say to unlock/open the hitch jaws before step 7.
7. Pull tow vehicle away and park at a safe distance.

Is your manual for the GC 3 different than the above?
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1960C182 View Post
Same procedure. Chock, lower front legs ,lower tailgate/remove cord, raise to get weight off hitch then unlatch. Pull truck out of way , hook up shore power, then push auto-level. I can't open jaws unless 5er raised a little off plate.. Currently use a B&W Patriot and was the same when I had a reese.
yep but mines the B&W Companion. Legs down before release, no chance of dropping.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:51 PM   #24
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So I've just checked Lippert's Ground Control instructions as provided to me. First I should say it seems that Arctic Fox placed the wrong instructions label in my RV. It is labeled Ground Control, Generation II when I believe I have Ground Control 3. In fact those instructions do have as the very first item under DROPPING OFF UNIT to "Disconnect 5th wheel latch." Turning on the power to the Ground Control system does not occur until step #4, so obviously no grounding of landing gear would occur until after that, well after the hitch jaws would have been opened.

I have separate instructions for Ground Control 3 in the form of a PDF that I found somewhere. In the section Unhitching from a Tow Vehicle, the very first thing it says is "NOTE: Prior to unhitching from the tow vehicle, ensure unit is parked on a level surface and be sure to chock the tires of the unit." (That's laughable of course because it's rare you get to camp on a level surface and if you could you wouldn't need the leveling system!) In these instructions it has the user ground the front landing gear then raise the RV to separate from the hitch, however, nowhere does it mention opening the hitch jaws.

It seems to me that both sets of instructions are incorrect and should the user follow either one of them an accident could easily occur.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:35 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
From the LCI manual for the GC 3 operation:

Unhitching From A Tow Vehicle
Note: Prior to unhitching from the tow vehicle, ensure the trailer is parked on a level surface and be sure
to chock the tires of the trailer.
1. Extend the inner legs of both landing gear (front jacks) to within 4-5" of the ground by pulling on the
quick-release pins.
2. Push “ON/OFF” (Fig. 1K). LCD Screen will light up and display
“READY JACKS: UP” (Fig. 2A).
3. Push the “UP” arrow (Fig. 1A) to scroll to “Drop Front Jacks” option
on LCD screen.
4. Red indicator lights (Fig. 2B) may come on, indicating the current
disposition of the trailer. In this case, the front and right sides of the
trailer are low.
5. Push “ENTER” (Fig. 1C). Both front jacks will go to ground and stop.
6. Push the “FRONT” button (Fig. 1G) extending the front jacks to
a sufficient height, which raises the front of the trailer off of the
tow vehicle’s 5th wheel hitch plate.
They skip a step where it should say to unlock/open the hitch jaws before step 7.
7. Pull tow vehicle away and park at a safe distance.

Is your manual for the GC 3 different than the above?
See the image I posted in post 24.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:20 AM   #26
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Always put the landing gear down first. My B&W hitch will not release the jaws until some of the weight is off. Your 5th wheel could slide back and crush your bed. Safety first
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:44 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselguy4 View Post
Always put the landing gear down first. My B&W hitch will not release the jaws until some of the weight is off. Your 5th wheel could slide back and crush your bed. Safety first
Yep, and what I also noted above. The pin also needs to be 'unloaded' fore and aft even after the weight is off or the release hande will flop loosly.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:30 AM   #28
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I would never release the jaws without the landing gear down.
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