Fifth Wheel magazine

Tips & Tricks From The Pro's

Below you will find information that the professionals have found to be valuable when RVing. Because the pro's have already run into many of the problems you are going to experience, you can save money and damage to your fifth wheel by reading the information below and making sure that you are prepared.

Many new RVers purchase their RV and then immediately purchase accessories. The accessories that they purchase may not be suitable for their RV or are quick buys that lack the experience needed to make an informed purchasing decision, resulting in wasted money. All of the items below have proven to be the best equipment that has proven itself many times over.

The 5-minute check that could save you a major problem (Landing Gear Failure)
Read more..

A Cheap Solution to Stress Free Hitching of your Fifth Wheel

RV Extended Warranty Information. What to look for plus get a free No Obligation quote to estimate pricing from one of the largest Extended Warranty Suppliers.

How To Hitch a Fifth Wheel Correctly - Video

Fifth Wheel & Toy Hauler Must Haves:

Surge Protector
Here is one product that is of vital importance when hooking-up your RV to the electrical box in the RV park. Many RV parks are inconsistantly wired and you can almost be assured of spikes and surges while hooked up. As more RV's arrive at the park and turn on appliances, so the spikes and surges increase. A low voltage condition in the park can burn out appliances in your RV. Causing costly damage and ruining your trip. Purchase a good quality surge protector as seen in the photo on the right. One end plugs into the electric box at the park and the other end plugs into your RV electrical cable (the one you would normally plug into the RV park electrical box). Indicators on the surge protector will warn you if there is a problem with the RV electrical box.
50 amp Surge Protector
30 amp Surge Protector
Click image to purchase
from Manufacturer on Amazon
So it is best to check this before you get setup at the site. It is always possible that there is a problem at the electrical box that could cause you to have to move to another site. If there is a surge or problem with the electricity while you are hooked up the surge protector will protect all of your electrical equipment from damage.
Surge protectors are water-proof and most can be used in the rain without any problems.

Automatic Water Hose Heating Cable
Stops your water hose from freezing. Built-in thermostat automatically helps keep water pipes from freezing down to -40° F. Cable plugs into power box. These cables come pre-assembled. Simply run the cable the length of your water hose and wrap with insulating pipe tape. Come winter you will be glad you have this handy item ready to use.
Insulation Tape available here

Click image to see all sizes conveniently located on one page.
Select the length you need.

Adapter 15 amp male to 30 amp female
Allows you to plug your 30 amp RV electrical connector into a standard home extension cable to provide power to the RV while it's in the driveway.

Click image to purchase from Manufacturer
on Amazon
50 amp to 30 amp Dog Bone Adapter
Defefinately a must-have if you have a 30 amp RV. This allows you to plug your 30 amp RV electrical cable into 50 amp RV site electric. There will come the day when there are no 30 amp sites available and you will be prepared for a 50 amp site. The dog bone adapter safely supplies the RV with 30 amp service although it is plugged into a 50 amp supply.

Click image to purchase from Manufacturer
on Amazon

Essential - Trailer Brake Controller

A must-have for safety. The Tekonsha P3 trailer brake controller uses a G-Sensor accelerometer, instead of the traditional pendulum mechanism. This brake controller is one of the best available and works reliably on downhills and inclines, unlike the current pendulum brake controllers. The Troubleshooting feature allows you to view diagnostics on your travels.

Click image to see all Tekonsha
with wiring harnesses for
various truck models

It has readouts for brake input signal voltage, battery voltage, brake current and brake voltage. An advanced and highly reliable unit. An excellent feature is the “Warning” screen, which shows a trailer on it in deep red, and a big “no” sign. If the controller loses connection with the brakes, it will alert you that something is wrong before you find out that you have no brakes on the trailer. This brake controller will help stop the trailer smoothly and with no shuddering. In an emergency braking situation, this is the brake controller you want in your truck. A nice feature is simple plug in harnesses for various truck models.

Tire Monitoring System

A must-have for safety. The TPMS system monitors both tire pressure and temperature and alerts you to any problems with a tire. The system can monitor up to 22 wheels. This new system has very light weight sensors which enables them to be fitted to your tires without having to have the wheels rebalanced. Easy setup. Simply hold the monitor to the sensor and the sensor unique Id code is recorded for each wheel. Most tire failures have increased temp and this monitors both.

Click image to view details

Special Fifth Wheel Magazine
Price $159.00


Two -Way Radios
These are great when backing into a site. Someone at the rear of the fifth wheel can guide you in using the two-way radio. They are also useful for communication when one of the family is away from the fifth wheel in the park and you need to contact them. As we all know - cell phones suddenly get spotty reception out in the wilderness when you really need them.

Click image to see a variety of
highly rated 2 Way Radios
If you have the tow vehicle and another vehicle that follows you from behind, you can use the two-way radios to commuicate. Especially when towing the fifth wheel up very windy roads in the mountains where the second vehicle can go ahead and tell you when there is oncoming traffic so you can get over to the shoulder of the road. When no traffic is coming you can get into the center of the road and avoid being near the edge. Don't rely on cell phones as many times there is no service up in the mountains or remote parks.

RV Checklists

Another very important item to have with you is checklists for your fifth wheel. All of the long time RV'ers have them and they are vital. Type up your checklist and have it laminated and easily accessible. A checklist details the steps to take when arriving and unhitching and another to detail hitching up to leave. You would be amazed at how many people forget to unhook the power from the pedastal only to drive off still attached or forget to lock the hitch pin in place or to have checked tire pressures before departure or to have checked the torque on the bolts holding the hitch pin box or the torque on the fifth wheel lug nuts or to retract the fifth wheel access steps or to have turned off the propane tanks. And of course the main one, forgetting to put the TV antenna down before going under that low lying tree branch. The list goes on and you will be amazed at how long a checklist can become. These items are easy to forget when the family is getting ready to leave or arrive and everyone is excited.
Good Sam RV Insurance

X-Chock Tire Locking Chock

Applies opposing force to tandem tires so that your fifth wheel does not move around when people are in the camper.
The tire locking chock is also important if you have to use bottle jacks to jack up the front of the rig in case of a landing gear failure. It is inportant that the wheels stay locked when you are hitching while on bottle jacks. This tire locking chock can be locked with a padlock to ensure that it is not removed.

Click image to purchase
from Camping World

Fire Extinguisher!
We cannot emphasize enough the need to have at least two or more fire extinguishers in your fifth wheel. Class A fires are ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, fiberglass, tires, 12-volt. Class B fires include flammable liquids such as gas, propane, oil, oil based paint. Over 80% of RV fires are Class A fires. Make sure your fire extinguishers are A/B extinguishers which can put out both Class A & B fires or are rated as "All Fire". Make sure that you replace your fire extinguishers regularly. It is just not worth the risk to have fire extinguishers that are old and do not work.
The more fire extinguishers the better and five would be optimum in an RV. One in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one by the entrance door, one in an unlocked compartment outside the RV and one in the tow vehicle. Available from Amazon HERE
Water Pressure Regulator
Here is another product that can help protect your Fifth Wheel from potential damage. A good water regulator keeps the pressure into the RV plumbing at a constant pressure, normally around 45 psi. RV parks have inconsistant water pressure which can cause damage to your fifth wheels plumbing. This includes burst pipes which is the last thing that you want to happen when out on a trip. Purchase a good quality water pressure regulator and protect your plumbing. The water pressure regulator can also help with better pressure which means a more pleasant shower experience

Click image to purchase
from Amazon

Sewer Hose

A good quality sewer hose will save you alot of frustration and messy accidents. A RhinoFlex sewer hose kit is probably the best sewer hose you will purchase and is tough and reliable. Purchase multiple lengths to join together and you will never have the problem of to short a sewer hose in the campgound.

Click image to purchase
from Amazon
Sewer Hose Support
Keep your sewer hose off the ground. This helps keep the hose in good working order and provides a downward angle to help drain the sewer hose when you dump the tanks.

Click image to purchase from Manufacturer
on Amazon

A tip on dumping the blackwater (sewage) tank
Always dump the blackwater tank first and then the grey water (shower and sinks water). This way the grey water tanks will clean out any debris in the sewer hose left from the blackwater tank.

Always keep your black water tank closed, even when you have a sewer hook-up. If you leave the black water tank open, all of the liquids will drain leaving the solids behind to harden in the tank. This will soon become an expensive problem to fix.

Heavy Duty Tire Inflator

Your truck and Fifth Wheel tire inflation pressures are critical to the safety of your rig and to you. Under inflated tires will build up heat and can very easily cause a blow-out. Tire inflation pressures should be checked before each trip, both on the fifth wheel and on the tow vehicle. If you have a truck with dual rear wheels then you will really appreciate the Slime Tire Inflator. The Slime tire inflator screws onto the tire valve so you do not need to hold it while pumping. Regular clip type inflators do not fit onto dual wheels unless valve extensions have been fitted.

Inflates up to 150 PSI
Comes with adapters for inflatable beds
It also allows for better access to the inner rear wheels tire valve which can be difficult to reach. The Slime tire inflator will inflate a tire in approx. 3 minutes to 35 psi and has a built in pressure gauge on the top of the unit that is very reliable. The Tire Inflator is powered from the lighter plug in the tow vehicle. The whole unit comes in a handy travel case along with both the regular hose and the the green coil hose (for extra length) and extra adapters to inflate rafts and air beds. The unit is very sturdy, well priced and works extremely well. Available directly from Manufacturer on Amazon HERE

Fifth Wheel & Truck Tires Tip: If your tires on your fifth wheel or truck are older than 5 years, replace them. Even if the tread is still good, the interior of the tires deteriorate and are prone to blowouts. You can tell how old your tire is by looking on the outer side of the tire. Here is a link detailing exactly how to tell the age of your tires.

How to tell the Age of a Tire
Trailer-Aid Tire Changing
Here is a tool that can be very helpful when stuck on the interstate with a flat fifth wheel or Toy Hauler tire. Simply drive the fifth wheel up onto the Trailer-Aid to lift the flat tire off the ground.
NOTE: If your fifth wheel has an independent suspension (one where each wheel can move independently of the other wheel) then there is a good chance the Trailer-Aid will not work on your unit. Driving one wheel up on the Trailer-Aid will not lift the other wheel off the ground as it has its own suspension system.
The MOR/Ryde suspension is one of these independent suspensions. So check your suspension before buying. Click the image below to purchase from Amazon.
Bottle Jacks
Two 10-ton bottle jacks. For around $25-$50 each this is an invaluable piece of equipment. In the case of a landing gear failure where the manual crank will not work (when the landing gear motor locks up or the cross shaft breaks) the bottle jacks can be used to raise the fifth wheel for hitching. This is especially important if you use your fifth wheel for boondocking (where no power is available) and rely on the batteries to raise and lower the landing gear. Plus the jacks can be used to raise the truck when the need arises or to replace a wheel on the fifth wheel trailer.
Remember to also carry good solid wood blocks to use with the bottle jacks. Available from Amazon HERE

No-Spill 5-Gallon Diesel Can

We all know that it is a big problem when a diesel truck runs out of fuel. Trying to prime the fuel system is no fun at all. This diesel can has a no spill patented spout and the can itself fits easily into a truck box.
Available from Amazon HERE
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