Properly connecting your truck to your Fifth Wheel is a CRITICAL step in a safe travel day!
While we do show a bit of hitching in our Camp Breakdown and Setup video (youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ), we wanted to put together a dedicated hitching video. Coincidentally, Reese reached out to us recently about trying out their new M5 hitch. So, we figured now was a good time to put this together.
Before we get into the checklist (you knew there had to be a checklist, right?), lets jump right to the highly debated topic of doing a pull test!
The only way to know one hundred percent that the pin will not come loose of the hitch is to do a pull test. Period. As you might have seen from our good friends Tom and Cheri from EnjoyTheJourney.Life (www.youtube.com/enjoythejourneylife), they had every indication that they were properly hitched, yet the pin still came out! Their Fifth Wheel dropped onto the rails of their truck causing thousands in damages (youtu.be/7XPcug7I09k)!
Let's address the primary argument for NOT doing a pull test: harming the front landing gear.
We completely agree with this. Pulling the RV (even just an inch or two) with the front gear down can damage it. Luckily, the remedy for that is easy! Perform the pull test with the front gear no more than one inch off the ground. This saves the landing gear from the stress of the pull check. If the pull test is a failure and the pin comes out of the hitch, the fifth wheel falls one inch or less to the ground (on the front landing gear).
Problem solved! Details of performing a pull test are below.
We have over 22K miles using our original Reese 27K fifth wheel hitch (Ford branded accessory) and it's been super solid, so we were looking forward to trying out the M5 (changinglanesrv.com/reese-m5)! It did not disappoint.
Some features that are the same between our old hitch and the M5:
- Very solid steel construction powder coated. It FEELS like it can handle 27K!
- Four inches of adjustability. Very important for getting your RV to the proper clearance of 6 or more inches.
- Talon Jaw. We really prefer the single jaw wrapping around the kingpin. It's a simple mechanism with less moving parts to fail.
- Directly adaptable to almost any truck out there.
Some NEW features:
- Ready-To-Receive Talon Jaw. One less step when hitching up! The new design opens, closes, and locks all with the force of the kingpin. Love this!
- Tow/No-Tow Indicator. A very simple red or green indicator shows that the hitch is locked and ready to tow. Still do a pull check to be sure!
I also like that the release is accomplished by a rotation of the handle versus just a straight pull. This allows a lot more leverage and eliminates the need to put the truck in neutral to relieve pressure from the pin.
We really like the changes Reese has made to the M5!
Our Hitching Checklist
If you want to see ALL of our checklists, see changinglanesrv.com/pre-travel-rv-checklists/.
We are FIRM believers in checklists! Something will almost always happen to break you out of your routine and that's how mistakes happen. Copy our checklists and tweak them to your own needs. ??
✅ RV – DCL INTERIOR Checks COMPLETE (the aforementioned camp breakdown checklists)
✅ RV – Slides and awnings IN
✅ RV – Stairs and handrail STOWED
✅ RV – Forward Bay Closed and Latched
✅ RV – Pin Lock Removed
✅ RV – Jacks / Stabilizers to TOW HEIGHT (Middle and Rear Retracted)
✅ TRUCK – TPMS ON
✅ TRUCK – Tow/Haul Mode
✅ TRUCK – Mirrors EXTENDED
✅ TRUCK – Swap out EZPass (if applicable)
✅ TRUCK – Tailgate DOWN
✅ TRUCK – Back ALMOST to pin-box
✅ RV – Adjust Kingpin height to proper hitch height
✅ TRUCK – Back truck into Kingpin
✅ TRUCK – Visually check KINGPIN LOCK BAR IS LOCKED
✅ TRUCK – Connect Electrical cord and Breakaway cable
✅ RV – Lower Rig with Front landing gear to pull test height (just off ground)
✅ TRUCK – Check that trailer brakes are adjusted and trailer is connected in ford system.
✅ TRUCK – PULL TEST (manually engage trailer brakes and try to pull away SLOWLY)
✅ TRUCK – Set parking brake
✅ RV – Retract ALL on the Landing Gear
✅ TRUCK – CLOSE TAILGATE
✅ RV – Remove and stow wheel chocks and landing gear blocks
✅ RV – Check and close all storage doors and lock
✅ TRUCK – Lights on / Rear Camera working
✅ TRUCK – Validate TPMS reads all 12 tires and validate pressure / temperature
✅ TRUCK / RIG – Full Walk-around
✅ TRUCK / RIG – Verify all lights are operable
✅ TRUCK – Set Airbags to 65PSI
Products in this Video
- M5 for Ford (27K): www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/Reese/RP30922.html?etam=b0003
- M5 for GM (27K): www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/Reese/RP30895.html?etam=b0003
- M5 for ISR (20K): www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/Reese/RP30928.html?etam=b0003
- M5 for RAM (20K): www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/Reese/RP30918.html?etam=b0003
- RoadPro Heavy Duty Steel King Pin Lock: amzn.to/38xVHUV
- 5th Wheel Hitch Lube Plate, 12-Inch: amzn.to/37jgee7
- RV Lock: changinglanesrv.com/rv-keyless-entry/
- Fastway ZIP 6 Foot Breakaway Cable and Pin: amzn.to/37iN277
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