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Old 07-02-2014, 12:54 AM   #1
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Hitches, Brake Controllers, Airbags, Air Shocks, Sway Controllers-Oh My??

Getting ready to purchase first 5th wheel/RV ever.
Gateway 3200RS.
We have long bed in truck with large toolbox which is not a dually.

I have been researching hitches and getting more and more confused.

Any suggestions , personal preferences, brands, experiences... on any/all issues in this post are welcome!

I have read that slider hitches not needed on long bed but then also read many people get them anyway, especially if you have toolbox just to be on safe side.

I have read Reeses made in China & Mexico etc.....

What are some of the best hitches? I think we will need 16k.

What about rail kits?

What about lube plates?

Do you need to purchase king pin lock or are they supposed to come with hitch?

Also what about airbags or air shocks and sway controllers? How do they differ? Do you need them all?

What about additional brake controllers?

What is wiring harness adapter?

Sound dampening pads??? Are they needed....will they cause a fire/burn?

What kind of safety chains are best? What are Loops and pins?

This post is embarassing but I got ask...
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXDIANIMAL View Post
Getting ready to purchase first 5th wheel/RV ever.
Gateway 3200RS.
We have long bed in truck with large toolbox which is not a dually.

I have been researching hitches and getting more and more confused.

Any suggestions , personal preferences, brands, experiences... on any/all issues in this post are welcome!

I have read that slider hitches not needed on long bed but then also read many people get them anyway, especially if you have toolbox just to be on safe side. How high above the bed rails does the tool box come? I have a box and if the trailer is low to the bed rails, it could hit the tool box.

I have read Reeses made in China & Mexico etc..... Reese is good.

What are some of the best hitches? I think we will need 16k. Reese is good. They have different grades of hitches. B&W is really good.

What about rail kits? Depends on what your truck is and if you have something already installed, factory or otherwise. Rails kits are standard. I always install Reese 30035 kits (most common), and than any hitch that fits industry standard rails fits these.

What about lube plates? Get it, so much cleaner than grease and cheap.

Do you need to purchase king pin lock or are they supposed to come with hitch? They do not come with it, and it's up to you if you want one or not.

Also what about airbags or air shocks and sway controllers? How do they differ? Do you need them all? Again, what exactly is your truck and what is the trailer? Sway controller bars are on bumper pulls.
Air shocks are gimmicks I feel. Air bags are different and some really like them, but aren't necessary. You need the truck and trailer hooked up first before spending more money.


What about additional brake controllers? Again, MORE about truck. Is yours integrated with the truck from the factory, or added on, or do you have one at all?

What is wiring harness adapter? It is a generic term for a premade group of wires to plug and play.

Sound dampening pads??? Are they needed....will they cause a fire/burn? No clue what you're alluding to.

What kind of safety chains are best? What are Loops and pins? Do not need chains with fifth wheels. Loops? It's a loop. A pin is just something to go into two holes to keep the together.

This post is embarrassing but I got ask...
It would be more embarrassing to NOT ask, then damage something, or worse, someone else.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXDIANIMAL View Post
Getting ready to purchase first 5th wheel/RV ever.
Gateway 3200RS.
We have long bed in truck with large toolbox which is not a dually. Read thru the sticky at the top of this forums' Tow Vehicle section titled Tow Vehicle Sizing and Weight Calculator. It is a comprehensive guide to matching a trailer to your truck.

I have been researching hitches and getting more and more confused.

Any suggestions , personal preferences, brands, experiences... on any/all issues in this post are welcome!


What are some of the best hitches? I think we will need 16k. You will need a hitch that at least is equal to, but greater is preferred, the GVWR of the trailer. I see you have selected your trailer so make sure you get an appropriately sized hitch. There are many, many good hitches. I've always had Reese and never (knock on wood) had a problem.

What about rail kits? Depends on the hitch. Some have mounting rails that mount in the bed with bolts going thru the bed to "L" brackets that are bolted to the frame. Other types have a plate that goes under the truck bed leaving no rails in the bed. The plus here is that there is nothing that gets in your way using the bed for other things.


Do you need to purchase king pin lock or are they supposed to come with hitch? some 5th wheel hitches have a mechanism that lock the release handle. Other have other types of latching methods. These aide in keeping the hitch locked. You may, if you want to, add a pad lock to keep people from messing with your hitch when you parked and away from your rig. There are some real sick people in this world.

Also what about airbags or air shocks and sway controllers? How do they differ? Do you need them all? As stated, hook up and see how your setup is. You want the trailer as level as possible and can be attained by either adjusting the height on the kingpin box on the trailer the height of the 5th wheel hitch. You may want your dealer's service dept. do this. Remember you want to maintain 5-6" between the bed rails and the bottom of the trailer overhang. With 6.5" I have had an occasion where there was such a dip in a CG that the end of my bed rails did touch the bottom of the 5er.


This post is embarassing but I got ask...
I agree with all that jesilvas said and added a few more thoughts above. Also better to be embarrassed asking a question so you understand than go it alone and make a mistake. Towing doesn't have to be stressful if all of your equipment is properly matched.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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CURT Sound Dampening Pads #16900 Place between rails and 5th wheel to eliminate rattling CURT 5th wheel rail sound dampeners are made to fit between 5th wheel and mounting rails. This product is made to eliminate clanking and rattling which is common while driving with a 5th wheel hitch. Each pack includes four sound dampening pads.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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If you can afford BD 3 is a great air ride hitch there is no clanking or banging and your trl just floats along rated at 18000 made in America used regular rails about $2300. Worth it as far as adding life to trl components the ride is day and nite compared to reg hitch.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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All hitches have locking mech for pin. Buy a pin lock not much money Long bedtrks no worry about turns. Get a couple of cones go to a big lot and practice backing up and keep practicing whenever you have time also practice paralell parking. Till you have it down. Remember dont over correct just go slow. Also hooking up requires a systematic approach. Do not rush! Put a block behind the wheels drop your tailgate raise trl high enough make sure the 5 th wheel lock is open. Back up slowly when you get close to hitch lower so it will have just a little pressure on the top of the hitch from the trl. Back up slow and you will hear it lock. Always and l mean always take a flash light and do a visiual insp. Then raise your jacks just an inch or 2 off the ground and give a little tug to make sure it is secure. Plug in safety elec and hook safety brake cable complete raising jacks make sure your lights work and you are ready to truck. When unhooking make sure the trl is high enough so when you pullout and your trk suspension unloads your bed does not hit the trl. If you have air bags you can just deflate them some
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:50 PM   #7
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Hint ---- One day after unhooking, I lowered the trailer about 3/4". I then measured from the bottom of the kingpin to the ground; got an old broom stick and cut it to that length. Now every time I hook up, my wife holds the stick while I lower (or raise) the pin to the top of the stick. Then I am at the correct height to hookup.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hint ---- One day after unhooking, I lowered the trailer about 3/4". I then measured from the bottom of the kingpin to the ground; got an old broom stick and cut it to that length. Now every time I hook up, my wife holds the stick while I lower (or raise) the pin to the top of the stick. Then I am at the correct height to hookup.
...... I know what I am doing tomorrow......

TXDIANIMAL, we are always learning. The other guys basically covered it.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:33 PM   #9
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CURT Sound Dampening Pads #16900 Place between rails and 5th wheel to eliminate rattling CURT 5th wheel rail sound dampeners are made to fit between 5th wheel and mounting rails. This product is made to eliminate clanking and rattling which is common while driving with a 5th wheel hitch. Each pack includes four sound dampening pads.
I wouldn't get those. My hitch rides around all the time and I NEVER hear it. Waste of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Star View Post
Hint ---- One day after unhooking, I lowered the trailer about 3/4". I then measured from the bottom of the kingpin to the ground; got an old broom stick and cut it to that length. Now every time I hook up, my wife holds the stick while I lower (or raise) the pin to the top of the stick. Then I am at the correct height to hookup.
So simple, it's aggravating
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by K-Star View Post
Hint ---- One day after unhooking, I lowered the trailer about 3/4". I then measured from the bottom of the kingpin to the ground; got an old broom stick and cut it to that length. Now every time I hook up, my wife holds the stick while I lower (or raise) the pin to the top of the stick. Then I am at the correct height to hookup.

and it works whether you are parked on an uneven campsite or a perfectly level concrete pad.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:46 PM   #11
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If you are buying your 5ver from a dealer, you could negotiate the hitch and installation into the deal. Have them install and set-up to match your camper. If set up correctly so it is level it will pull much better.

I'm a believer in simpler is better, fewer moving parts in the hitch the better. I run a Reese 16k on standard rails. You don't need to spend more on a slider if you have a long bed truck. I think your truck has as much or more to do with your towing experience than the hitch, be sure you are not at or exceeding your limits and you should be fine.

Good luck, happy camping. Stay safe.
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