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Old 02-27-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
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Question Tips for hooking up?

We're new to the 5th wheel and I'm looking for tips for getting the pin into the jaws efficiently. What I've found with my TV is that I have to really crane my neck to get a tiny peek at the hitch. The rear seat center headrest is pretty much in the way so I fold the rear seat down so I can see out the back window. But the hitch plate and jaws are a little too low for me to see all but a tiny bit. I've raised my seat as high as it will go and just can't get a good view of the action.
I've thought of adding a mirror or even a camera but thought first I'd ask the pros first.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
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When I had the TV hooked up to the 5er, I put silver reflective tape on both the hitch and the pin box. That way if the tape lines up, I am lined up with the pin box and hitch. I have seen some guys mark the middle of the rear window and line that up on the pin box.

Fred
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:14 AM   #3
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Thanks Bird (Fred)! Marking the rear window is good input, I'll give that a little test before our next outing. The reflective tape on the hitch won't do much for me (I can't really see the hitch).

The 5th is pretty much level at my current settings but I think I could raise the hitch plate (it's a B&W - some adjustments) but might have to raise the pin box as a result. Something on the rear window would be easier.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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As you get a little more experience it will be easier to back into the proper position, especially if you are lined up straight with the rig. Get it close, step out and look, and make the adjustment.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:42 AM   #5
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There is a mirror as well as a wireless camera available if you don't mind spending the bucks.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:10 AM   #6
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I can see the pin and hitch through the windshield rear view mirror. Makes for pretty simple alignment.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
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When my 4 piece box cover is folded to the front, where it will stay when towing, it obstructs the view of the hitch so I marked the folded cover in the centre where the hitch jaw lines up, with a piece of red tape. I then have the pin box at the approximate height and slowly reverse and watch in the rear view mirror. When I am as close as possible I stop and get out to see if I have to raise or lower the pin box and check the distance and if I am centred. Also a good time to make sure the jaws are open. Then slowly reverse and hook up. Like 101vet said the more you do it the easier it gets. Don't be in a rush. I've changed the tape once in 6 years. First time I ever unhitched at home I forgot to drop the tailgate and grazed the Lynex coating as I pulled forward. Luckily I had raised the pin box.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:57 AM   #8
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Excellent suggestions everyone! Thanks.
I'll first make sure that the rear-view mirror can or can't see the hitch. I don't recall if I checked that with the rear seat folded. 2nd thing to try will be a mark on the rear window. I've seen reflective panels on the bottom of the front cap that look like they are stick-on. Not sure if they are after-market or OEM, also not sure how that works with the curved cap. But something to think about. Want to avoid a camera but have thought about it.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:40 PM   #9
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On our hitch, there is a notch in the top of the fifth wheel. I just line that notch up with the kingpin by looking in the mirror. When I see the tailgate touch the brake/light cable, I know it is time to stop and get out to set the height.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:16 PM   #10
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I am lucky enough to be able to see but I will agree slow and easy this is not the time to rush.
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