Fifth Wheel magazine

Fifth Wheel Landing Gear
Have you just purchased a new or used fifth wheel?
Here is one of the most important 5 minute checks you can make right now that will save you tremendous stress in the future.

Your fifth wheel landing gear is probably electrically operated from a switch on the side of the unit. Imagine for a moment that you are in an RV park and for some reason your landing gear fails. You hit the switch and - nothing. Maybe the motor burnt out or there is some electrical fault.

Not many people stop to think about a landing gear failure, but it is equivelant to being in a boat when the motor fails. You are not going anywhere. You cannot raise or lower the rig to get the truck hitched. You cannot use jacks safely even if you have them. The jacks will more than likely fall as the truck nudges the hitch to lock-in causing your camper to fall into the bed of the truck.

Landing gear failure is a very unpleasant scenario. So the immediate 5 minute check for all new and used RV owners is to go and make sure that you have the landing gear crank handle so that the landing gear can be raised and lowered by hand.

Get the crank handle and make sure that it does fit and that it does raise and lower the rig
Most used campers will not have the crank handle available and some will have the wrong crank handle.

To use the crank handle: There should be a 1/2 inch hole on the side of the fifth wheel above the landing gear. Insert the crank handle until it engages with the motor shaft. Turning the crank handle should raise or lower the rig.
(This is also a good time to see how much effort is needed to raise your rig a few inches as some rigs are easier than others).

If you do have a used fifth wheel camper and it is over 4 years old, have the landing gear inspected and serviced. Even go so far as having the motor replaced if you want to ensure that there are no RV park surprises. The motors are not expensive and well worth the money to prevent a failure.

There is not much to a fifth wheel campers landing gear as can be seen in the diagram below. But it that motor fails, you can be assured of a major problem.
 
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