Hooking Up to 5th Wheel - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-30-2017, 12:01 PM   #1
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Hooking Up to 5th Wheel

I wrote these notes down after the fact and so I would like some help in correcting them. I have only done this one time and that was with guidance.

1). Inspect hitch
2). Verify "open" position of jaws.
3). Open tailgate
4). Back up truck close to hitch pin
5). Adjust camper height to match hitch pin height on camper to jaws on hitch
6). Back up truck to lock camper pin into jaws on hitch.
7). Verify jaws are locked around pin.
8). Replace safety pin to lock hitch
9). Attach Safety Breakaway Wire to hitch
10). Plug in cord for lights and breaks.
11). Raise tail gate
12). Check to see if all lights are working.
13). Remove wheel chocks
14). Raise rear legs
15). Raise front lags.
16). Test trailer brakes.
17). Drive off

Hope i thought of everything.
Thanks in advance
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:35 PM   #2
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That is a good check list but I can think of a couple things to add or remove from the list. For instance "raise rear legs:", In my case, the rear stabilizers should already be raised before attempting to hitch up. If I leave them down, when I raise my front landing gear to match the hitch my rear stabilizers does not allow the front to raise thus I am lifting the entire unit with the pivot on the rear and not the wheels. All your stabilizers should be lifted prior to the hitching except the front landing gear.
Also, you need to make sure your awning in retracted. Several times I have overlooked it and my wife also has only to start pulling out and seeing it extended. Check your steps. Again the steps are commonly overlooked and left extended.
The doorstep assist is left extended. The small arm that helps you up the steps. Make sure it is retracted.
I am sure there are more but those pop into my head right off.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:43 PM   #3
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A few quick comments. You may want to raise your rear stabilizers before adjusting trailer height for hitching. Often, one has to raise the front, which would damage the rear stabilizers. In addition to a visual ckeck of pin in jaws, best practice is a pull test. After confirming visually that pin appears to be locked, raise front jacks until they just barely clear the ground. Then with trailer brakes manually applied, put TV in gear and make sure it doesn't pull free. If all is good, then fully raise the front jacks. Then remove chocks. I also test all lights before driving off.

I leave the shore power connected while hooking up as my battery is old, and the jack motor runs much better on shore power. My final steps are disconnecting shore power, stowing cord, and one final walk around checking under trailer, slides fully in, doors locked, etc.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:18 PM   #4
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Tanman and Paul pretty much said it all... especially about the chocks. In my case, they don't get removed until I verify that the pin is securely hitched, and I'm ready to pull away.

About the only thing I'd add to the checklist is to step back and visually verify your TV antenna(s) are down also before driving off.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:42 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the help.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:55 AM   #6
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A complete walk around before pulling out will catch all the things listed above and will allow for a light check. I also check all doors, windows and compartment doors to make sure they are properly latched as well as a last minute check of the campsite to make sure nothing is left behind.
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