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Old 12-04-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
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Hitch & King Pin Line Up

Since I am new to towing a 5th Wheel, are there any good solutions to lining up the hitch and the king pin when you can't see the hitch thru the back window of the truck. Wife is not a good solution in my case (she has no sense of direction or timing). Hopefully good suggestions will keep me from having to get in and out of the truck a dozen times to get it lined up.

Thank you all for you help to a newbie.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:08 AM   #2
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Best way is to look down the sides of the trailer in your mirror, you know what it looks like when your going down the road right? just try to line that image up as you back in, you should have the trailer wheels chocked so as long as you are close it will guide right in with the wide mouth of your hitch, thats one of the good things about a 5th wheel is its easier to hook up then a bumper pull. IMO.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
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There are several cheap back-up cameras that you could get. Just mount the camera on the forward bedrail instead of the license plate. Or you could go all out and get a Levithan system. leviathan_holdings | eBay
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
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A very low cost method would be to: Place a piece of yellow tape on the tail gate and bed of truck. This would be centered on the opening of the hitch capturing jaws. I would also paint the jaws white or some color to insure that you can see that the king pin has engaged fully and the jaws has closed around the pin.

Now when backing up you align the king pin with the yellow tape and keep the king pin centered on the tape until the king pin engages with the hitch jaws. You should be able to see the tape from your review mirror to align the king pin with the hitch jaws.

Just a cheap and easy method for hooking up.

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Old 12-04-2014, 09:47 AM   #5
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You could also do like I do. I have a sliding rear window so there are vertical bars that are in the center of the window. Sit in the seat like you normally do and adjust the rear view mirror on the windshield so you can see the center bars on the window. Back up SLOWLY and line the bars up with the pin on the trailer. Keep the bars lined up and you will be able to hook up the pin and the hitch. Once you do it for a while you will learn how far you need to back up and will learn where the hitch is.
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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I don't see how you can't see the line up. I'm short at 5'6" and drive a CC LB. All I do is turn in the seat a bit and look over my right shoulder. Maybe sit up a little higher in the seat. Left foot on the brake and idle back into the pin. I find it really hard to do just using the rear view mirror. That's why I turn and look over my right shoulder.


The other option is to get some magnetic sticks with balls on the end and put them on the hitch and pin.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley1994 View Post
Best way is to look down the sides of the trailer in your mirror, you know what it looks like when your going down the road right? just try to line that image up as you back in, you should have the trailer wheels chocked so as long as you are close it will guide right in with the wide mouth of your hitch, thats one of the good things about a 5th wheel is its easier to hook up then a bumper pull. IMO.
X 2
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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A magnetic mount stand, with a painted pole, that can be placed on the hitch to mark the center line of the jaws, paint a strip up the pin box on the 5er to indicate the pin location, and mark the center line of the rear window. While looking over your right shoulder, line up the mark on the window, the pole on the hitch and the stripe up the pin box. The mount stand will slide off the hitch as the pin contacts the hitch.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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dvkiel, do you happen to have a tool box at the front of your bed?
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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I have a folding cover on my truck, so my solution was pretty simple. Paint a white dot on the edge of the cover centered so when I look in the rear view mirror the dot ligns up perfectly. No reason a dot on the rear window could not do the same thing.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:17 PM   #11
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While we only have 8,000 miles on our 350 DRW/DRV (we are noobees), we solved the problem by buying two fluorescent magnetic wands from CW. One goes dead center on the hitch, one dead center on the pin box. They are about 3 feet high, and literally fool proof. I usually hook the trailer up myself. All you have to do is line them up on each other using the inside rear view mirror. I always make sure the hitch pin plate is 51.5 inches off the concrete and pin and hitch mate up perfectly. If you position the hitch wand perfectly, fore and aft, the trailer knocks it over literally a half inch from having the jaws close around the pin.

I know this method marks us as beginners, I have never seen anybody else use this it, but it is so damn easy and straight forward, I don't see why it isn't used more.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:45 AM   #12
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I never had a problem looking at the hitch and king pin in my rear view mirror with a long bed pu. If you don't have a long bed then have fun.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:55 AM   #13
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No there isn't a tool box in the front of the bed.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:58 AM   #14
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I have ordered a set of those magnetic ball markers. I'm like you about being a newbie so if this works great until I get more seasoned experience at this 5er thing. Thanks for the input.
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