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Old 04-28-2021, 10:17 PM   #1
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Side to side movement of fifth wheel hitch.

I do not have a fifth wheel trailer but have noticed that fifth wheel trailers have many more frame issues than travel trailers. It got me to wondering why so I started looking at hitches and I found very few that were capable of tilting side to side as well as front to back. Having had a run as a semi driver I never gave it any thought as those trailers are quite a bit more rugged than a fiver. Looking at it now from an engineering point of view it would seem that unless the truck and trailer are at the same tilt there would be fairly large forces trying to find the weak link in the trailer frame.
For those that tow a fiver, does this seem like a valid observation? If so, why is it that there are so many hitches being used that do not tilt side to side? I presume this might be a reason to switch to a gooseneck hitch but they seem to have their own set of problems as the forces are distributed very differently from a flat fiver hitch. Not trying to change anything, just trying to figure out the issue.
I am sure I will get quite a bit of insight from the responses. Thanks in advance for helping figure this out.
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Old 04-29-2021, 03:10 AM   #2
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I had a 5th wheel hitch that moved side to side, my 1st hitch Reese Elite so I thought they all would tilt side to side as well as front to back. Did it tilt far enough, I think so as I camping for the most part on level ground. This was the 1st hitch made for the Ford puck system.

Although I liked the hitch when I was using it, I did not like it when not using it. It was heavy and clumsy to get out of the truck bed. It was clumsy to store. I think this is why you are seeing more and more gooseneck set-ups. The Goose Ball is easier to deal with when not in use.

If the 5th wheel hitch only moves front to back and not side to side I can see that putting a twisting force on both the 5th wheel and truck frame.


If I ever tow a 5th again with a 5th wheel hitch I will make sure it articulates in all directions.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:43 AM   #3
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Most all RV 5th wheel hitches tilt side to side and front to rear as well. A few of the cheaper one do not tilt side to side.

As to the frame issues, it is mostly an issue with the Lippert frame design and welding. There are frame failures on bumper pull trailers as well.

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Old 04-29-2021, 09:03 AM   #4
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I know some people that have had frame issues with their 5th wheels. Most of the issues is the "frame flex" issues with the front end. One set of friends have a Fuzion and they have had the frame flex issue twice already, and it is a 2019 Fuzion. Our one issue was I broke a rear spring hangar in Elkhart County Fairgrounds and had to get a mobile welder to reweld the hangar.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:11 PM   #5
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Gooseneck hitches put more strain (bending) on the pin box joint than a standard normal pin pox and hitch. Now Lippert has a one gooseneck that is approved that I know of and I have attached the link.
https://store.lci1.com/pinbox-goosen...020043670.html

But, I will stand with my Demco Hijacker hitch and TrailAir pin box. The Demco head will tilt side to side and fore-aft which eliminates most of the strain that you thing you are seeing when towing a 5er. This combination has served me will on my Cedar Creek trailer.
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Old 05-01-2021, 03:22 PM   #6
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Owned rigs for 35 years . Semi truck 5th wheels tilt fore and aft they do not tilt sideways period .
I have a Hensly BD3 I have used it for 11 years I wouldn’t trade it for a non air ride hitch for anything . They go a long way towards keeping the trailer in one piece . Makes the ride in the truck much better also . Heavy expensive and worth every penny . They also articulate in 4 directions . Spend 50 to 80 k or more on a trailer you may as well cough up the bucks for a fifth wheel that provides max protection and ride comfort .
IMHO .
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:16 PM   #7
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As others have mentioned, most modern 5th wheel hitches do articulate side to side. There are also ones with air ride and a variety of other options.

Next, you have the gooseneck adapters, which hook to the 5th wheel pin. These are the ones that change leverage and can cause problems.

Then you have replacement pin box that are dedicated gooseneck like the Reece and Gen Y. These are designed to keep the same load/stresses as a 5th wheel pin box. Both the Reece and Gen Y come with dampening systems.

We spend most of our time off the main path and I like having instant use of my truck bed. I went with the Reece as it was the one available at the time. The Gen Y looks really nice too.
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwcid View Post
As others have mentioned, most modern 5th wheel hitches do articulate side to side. There are also ones with air ride and a variety of other options.
Really were did you come up with that?

I just purchased a new Demco Hijacker Auto Glide hitch about two years ago to replace my old Reese hitch. The hitch head does articulate and tilts as required.

Every hitch I have looked at will articulate and tilt, if not there will be a lot of cracked frames on 5th wheels trailers.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
Really were did you come up with that?

I just purchased a new Demco Hijacker Auto Glide hitch about two years ago to replace my old Reese hitch. The hitch head does articulate and tilts as required.

Every hitch I have looked at will articulate and tilt, if not there will be a lot of cracked frames on 5th wheels trailers.
Why argue if he agrees with you? Reread his post.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:52 AM   #10
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Why argue if he agrees with you? Reread his post.
Ok, so it is not just me???
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwcid View Post
Ok, so it is not just me???

Nope... I did a double take too.
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