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Beginners Guide to Fifth Wheel Hitches

Beginners Guide to Fifth Wheel Hitches

Are you a passionate camper? Or do you often set off for extended travels? Maybe you are dealing with heavy loads, transporting them from place to place. Or maybe you are planning to spend your day on your boat away from the city. Whatever you are up to, all of these works require a strong vehicle to endure harsh conditions and rough roads. Today, many cars are designed to be modified as pivot vehicles that tow another load. Usually, this appears to be a caravan since its numerous opportunities for travelers. But there are also types of fifth wheels, which are in the form of a trailer and used as an additional platform to carry different types of cargoes. The fifth wheel is developed and promoted for this duty and TULGA offers T10 fifth wheel hitch plate for the best quality and efficiency. 

A fifth wheel is by its name, an additional vehicle connected to your RV, semi-truck, or SUV via a 5th wheel hitch. This external vehicle is either used to expand the space on your car if it is the type of a step or becomes an extra cargo carriage. The hitch functions as a connector, which is manually located on the bed of your truck or on your bumper. 

If you have an RV, you don’t need the type of fifth wheel hitch specialized for heavy duties. Rather, a small fifth wheel hitch will be sufficient enough to serve your purpose. These are generally preferred by campers that favor traveling with cargo connected to the back of their vehicles. Thus, they have a considerably large space to design as a practical place for accommodation. 

On the other hand, transportation businesses prefer a sturdy fifth wheel like a trailer. The long trailers attached to the pivot vehicle serve as a platform to carry the load. This difference in the use means that there are different types and sizes of fifth wheels, and the hitches depend on the vehicle. While a hot shot truck would best operate with a relatively extra-fortified fifth wheel hitch, RV’s and standard cars can easily deal with a small fifth wheel. If you want to learn more about the fifth wheel hitch, you can visit our blog, providing detailed information and the best TULGA products. Overall, it is important to know enough about your pivot vehicle’s bumper type, quality, and whether it is capable of towing a large cargo.


How do I know what 5th wheel hitch I need? 

Well, as fifth wheels are used for many different purposes, so will their type differ accordingly. Before installing a fifth wheel hitch on your vehicle, the very first thing you have to know is what kind of device you need. And this is closely related to the towing capacity of your RV or truck. This refers to the maximum weight your vehicle is rated to tow. GTW, or the gross trailer weight accounts for the total weight of the fifth wheel trailer -but note that when it is loaded with all the necessary weight like your personal stuff or any tanker, and hitched up.  

A towing capacity of a vehicle is restricted to the lowest-rated towing component. That is, you shouldn’t choose a cargo that exceeds your truck’s towing capacity. 

If you are planning to install a fifth wheel onto your truck, the length of your truck bed is also a determinant factor in deciding what 5th wheel you will need. Therefore, you require the measure of the length of the bed. For this, you should extract half the trailer width from the distance from the cab to the center of the fifth wheel hitch. With this simple calculation, you can decide how much space your truck will have when hitched up. 

Some trucks may come from the factory with a truck bed pluck system. This is a mounting platform as the part of a towing prep package. It includes a central gooseneck hole to connect the hitch. Thus, it enables easy mounting without extra drilling and hardware operation. 

One significant thing is choosing between removable or permanent fifth wheel rails. These rails allow mobility for the fifth wheel so that you can arrange the space on your truck bed. Usually, the fifth wheels are installed via base rails, which can be permanent or removable. Although the permanent rail would endure much longer and tow heavier loads, they still occupy space on your bed. And when you want to use that space to load your stuff, a permanent rail may become a limitation for this. On the other hand, a removable rail appears more practical if you are not going to conduct heavy duties.

Which style of 5th wheel hitch to choose?

After checking with the features of the truck bed, it is better to get familiar with different types of fifth wheel hitches. But note that there are different hitches also, and be sure that your purpose requires a fifth wheel. Similar to a 5th wheel hitch, for example, many people use a gooseneck hitch, This device resembles its name, like a goose head in the shape of a ball located on a slim hitch. For farming and commercial towing, a gooseneck hitch will provide the best efficiency. This is due to the location system of the gooseneck hitch. The fifth wheel is set on the ball, which is attached to the truck bed. 

A fifth wheel hitch, on the other hand is most used for recreational towing rather than land operations. It features a pin on the trailer. This is called the king pin and it latches into the hitch sitting in the bed of the truck. Thanks to this structure, the fifth wheel hitch enables a smoother and stable ride suitable for travels. 

The significant difference between gooseneck hitch and the 5th wheel hitch is not only their shape but also their propriety. If you have a long bed truck, the best hitch would be the fifth wheel hitch. Since the king pin should be located between the cab and the rear axle, this positioning requires a truck of 8 feets at least. A short bed truck will not be long enough to carry the load and will probably bear the risk to collide when you take sharp turns with your cab.  

Even if you choose the appropriate type of fifth wheel, the maintenance of the hitch is equally important. That is, you should always make sure that your fifth wheel hitch is stabilized, and properly connected to your truck bed without worn out parts. Never skip before having broader information about the fifth wheel maintenance on our blog! 


Is it hard to install 5th wheel hitch?

Many people would consider fifth wheel installation as a demanding process. However, the basics to know are enough for your to manually install your fifth wheel hitch onto your vehicle, especially if you a have a small fifth wheel hitch suitable for RV’s. This process necessitates following several steps and being very cautious about the rules. But these are explained in detail on our website to make everything an enjoyable activity!

Of course, first of all, your cab or RV must be appropriate to install a fifth wheel. This again, is about the towing capacity and the right type of the fifth wheel. Most probably you will need a second person to help if you are going to install a big 5th wheel hitch, but you can easily deal with a small hitch on your own. The basic requirements are a leverage platform to raise the rear of your vehicle. A stabilizer is necessary to prevent any accidents or slippings. Before the installation process, you should ensure the stability of your RV or truck so that the hitch can overlap with the exact point without any misconnections. 

In order to successfully install a hitch, you will need a socket set, crescent wrench, a torque wrench, a ratchet, and drill with bits. A tape measure will also be necessary for locating the exact point of attachment. Once you get these tools, the first step is to install the rails in the bed of the truck. The rails determine where the hitch will be placed. After this process, you can follow the easy steps provided on TULGA website blog about how to install fifth wheel hitch.  

How long it takes to install a fifth wheel hitch depends on the installer’s skills and experiences, though. But if you are doing it by yourself, the whole process usually takes approximately 6 hours. But the major part of this, is the installation of the kit. Once this is done, attaching the hitch to the rails only takes a couple of minutes!  

What can I do with my fifth wheel?

We ensure that the appropriate fifth wheel will be your best fellow on the roads if you are looking for comfort, practicality, and versatile functioning. The camper fifth wheels in particular are getting more and more technologically and mechanically equipped. Thus, they provide you with the necessities while offering a comfort zone. Besides, it allows you to load much more stuff, even serving as a cargo transporter. So, have the courage to consider this option next time when you are going on a long trip and see how the fifth wheel makes everything easier for you! 

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