Well, its that time of year and I thought some RV tips might be in order....
A fifth wheel slider hitch makes all those dreams of on-the-road adventure come to life when you purchase a fifth wheel trailer. Its well worth the time to take your time to install it correctly.
Make sure you have the correct hitch for both your vehicle and the trailer being towed.
Review the instruction sheet provided with the hitch.
Check the hitch attachment area of the vehicle. Do not attach a hitch to a vehicle which shows excessive corrosion or damage in the hitch attachment areas.
Take the appropriate safety precautions. When elevating the vehicle on a hoist or ramps, ensure that the vehicle is properly secured and blocked such that it will not fall or roll off its supports.
Be sure you have the appropriate tools and wear safety glasses when drilling holes.
1. Prior to installation, it is good practice to loosely assemble the hitch, install the drawbar, pin and clip and hold the hitch up into position. This will allow identification of any obstructions to the installation, verification of drawbar position on the vehicle and also give an idea of how the hitch is to be installed.
2. A scissors jack or floor jack can be very useful in holding the hitch up in place. In many cases, clamps can be used to clamp the hitch to the frame during the installation procedure.
3. It may be necessary to temporarily loosen the exhaust system and/or slightly reposition it to clear the hitch during installation. This is particularly true where an exhaust system has been replaced prior to installing the hitch, as all hitches are designed using vehicle original equipment Do not forget to reattach any exhaust clamps, hangers etc. after hitch installation.
4. In some cases, it may be necessary to adjust the bumper on a vehicle, or the brackets which mount to the bumper, in order to properly install the hitch. Most bumpers are mounted to the bumper brackets using bolts in slots. Find the appropriate bolts and adjust the bumper accordingly.
5. Wherever possible, hitches are designed to use existing holes. In cases where appropriate holes are not available, holes must be drilled in the frame. Once the hitch is accurately positioned and clamped in place on the vehicle, holes can be drilled in the appropriate places using the holes in the hitch as a guide.
6. In cases where the holes must be drilled without using the hitch as a guide, hole locations can be permanently identified by spraying black paint through the hole locations. Remove the hitch, center punch the hole positions and drill a pilot hole. This can then be followed with the appropriate drill size for the hole required.
7. Drill holes that are either the same size as the bolt or at the most 1/32" larger. Clearance holes or slots are provided in the hitch for adjustment.
8. When drilling, be extremely careful to avoid drilling into vehicle components which are located behind where the hole is being drilled. Slacken off pressure on the drill just prior to breaking through.
9. When installing the hitch, be sure to use the reinforcing plates supplied with the hitch where appropriate. These plates reinforce the frame and spread the load to the frame edges.
10. The hitch must have solid metal to metal contact with the vehicle attachment points. Excessive undercoating or weld on the vehicle should be removed.
11. All hardware, with the exception of tab nuts ( thin nuts welded to a wire used on some hitch applications) and U-bolts are grade 5 (Imperial sizes) or 8.8 (metric sizes).