When the Fifth Wheel went Boom!

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Bryce Canyon

I can be a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to leveling my RV.  The side to side leveling requires placing something under the wheels on the lower side to level up the unit.  I created my own boards that have tiny ramps at each end so I can put them down and then pull the RV up on them.   Doing this requires a fairly strict order of actions to make it happen safely.

Here, in general, are my steps:

  1. Back the RV into my preferred location.
  2. Get out of the truck and check the bubble level on the side of the front of the RV.
  3. If not level, guess how many boards I need to put down by how far the leveling bubble is off-center.  There is probably a more scientific way.
  4. Get back in the truck and pull the RV up enough to put the boards down so I can back up on them.
  5. Put the boards down behind the wheels of the RV.
  6. Back the truck up until the wheels are on the boards or until wife yells WHOOAAA.
  7. Check the bubble on the front of the RV. If not level enough, go back to step 3.
  8.  Put down the front legs to remove weight from hitch.
  9. Release hitch.
  10. Drive truck forward.

You should not get flustered when the wife is suggesting you are being too particular.  Like the time we were setting up at Ruby’s just outside Bryce Canyon National Park. I executed step nine without step eight and then decided I would add a board to make it more level. When you execute step ten, the fifth wheel doesn’t follow your truck. Instead it makes sickening boom when it drops onto your truck.

2900Well, the RV Gods must have been looking out for me. The hitch pin dropped right on the Pullrite Superglide slider hitch cross member instead of the sides of the truck bed. Good news is the truck was untouched, bad news is the slider would no longer slide.  I quickly decided the wife was correct and the RV was level in the current location.  I should learn my lesson, she’s always right. I carefully raised the front of the RV and pulled out (the preferred order of action).    After reviewing the damaged hitch, I suggested that the cross member could possibly be removed and hammered straight, then reconnected. That’s my usual way to fix things, get a hammer.  As luck would have it, Bryce Canyon Auto Care / Sinclair was right across the street from Ruby’s.    I dropped off the truck and they repaired it the same day for $50.  I said a prayer of thanks.