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  1. #1
    Setting Up Camp
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    Dropped It (Insert expletive here)

    We are new to 5th wheels and learned a horrible lesson yesterday. We got a little sloppy pulling our Solitude out. My wife backed up the truck. I heard a click. Closed the arm on the B&W hitch, put in the safety pin, raised the landing gear. I never looked to make sure the kingpin was locked in place. It wasn't. Side rails of the truck damaged, tailgate a total loss along with my self-esteem.


    I share this just so my mistake may be a reminder to everyone not to get sloppy when hitching and unhitching. Fortunately, insurance will cover less the $500 deductible. An expensive lesson for sure.

    Chris
    Chris & Marilyn
    2021 Solitude 345GK
    2018 Airstream 27FB Flying Cloud (For sale)
    2020 RAM 3500 Laramie 6.7L HO Cummings Long Bed

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor
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    Bummer! Hope you get it repaired soon.
    2018 Solitude 375 RES 2015 F350 Powerstroke Dually

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmonnette View Post
    We are new to 5th wheels and learned a horrible lesson yesterday. We got a little sloppy pulling our Solitude out. My wife backed up the truck. I heard a click. Closed the arm on the B&W hitch, put in the safety pin, raised the landing gear. I never looked to make sure the kingpin was locked in place. It wasn't. Side rails of the truck damaged, tailgate a total loss along with my self-esteem.


    I share this just so my mistake may be a reminder to everyone not to get sloppy when hitching and unhitching. Fortunately, insurance will cover less the $500 deductible. An expensive lesson for sure.

    Chris
    Dang. That sucks! I guess this is the reason that our checklist has both of us checking the king pin. Hopefully we won't ever forget.

    Sent from my phone using Tapatalk
    Mark & Mary. Currently hailing from New Mexico. Hopefully full timing in late 2022.
    Current camper: Purchased a 2021 DG Reflection 320MKS!
    Current Rig: 2019 Ford F350 SD Crew Cab, w/8' box, Lariat, SRW, 6.7l Diesel

  4. #4
    Paid my dues 😁 FT4NOW's Avatar
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    This is the reason I would do a pull test every single time, only takes once for a mistake.

    After hookup, with landing gear down, chocks still in place, and tailgate down. Manually hold trailer brakes and give a slight amount of throttle while in drive. If properly hooked up, truck wont go anywhere. Cheap insurance.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    2021 Reflection 311BHS
    2018 F350 CC/LB/Firestone bags/Reese Goose Box

    SOLD - 2017 Momentum 399TH
    SOLD - 2016 F350 CC/LB/DRW/Curt Q24/Air Lift Load Lifter 5000

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Sportsdad60's Avatar
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    So, now the horror stories come out!
    In 2019, as campground hosts, we bought a new Hewescraft 20 ft fishing boat. I was allowed to keep it at Westshore State Park while hosting there. I 'stole' the chock blocks from our 5th wheel and used them on the new boat trailer since our 5th wheel was X-Chocked and stabilized.

    I forget to replace the chocks.

    Fast forward to 2 months later when we left to move into our new home....

    Prepped 5th wheel, backed in truck, thought it clicked (Reese hitch). Raised the landing gear. Bumped it once for good measure and THAR SHE BLOWS! Boom, onto the rails of the truck. Damaged one side slightly. (Light 5th wheel, 10k) Fortunately we were level enough that it didn't roll off the back of the truck!

    So, lessons learned. You'll get over it.
    2021 310GK-R - MorRyde suspension and pin box. Sumo Springs. Solar, 7k axles.
    2019 Lance 1062 Truck Camper, 2 slides.
    2021 F350 Lariat DRW 4x4 6.7 diesel, 10 speed auto, 3.55 diff-48 gallon fuel capacity
    2000 F350 XLT HD SRW 2WD 7.3L diesel, 6-speed manual trans, 3.73 diff - Firestone Airbags-Bilstein Shocks. 82 gallon fuel capacity

  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper
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    What was the "click" you heard? Were the jaws partially closed so when the king pin hit them they fully closed where it would look correct and allow the arm to be closed and the pin inserted but the king pin was actually outside of the closed jaws? I've noticed on mine that sometimes the jaws don't like to stay fully open to receive the king pin. I've always worried they might close when they make contact with the king pin.

  7. #7
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobWNY View Post
    What was the "click" you heard? Were the jaws partially closed so when the king pin hit them they fully closed where it would look correct and allow the arm to be closed and the pin inserted but the king pin was actually outside of the closed jaws? I've noticed on mine that sometimes the jaws don't like to stay fully open to receive the king pin. I've always worried they might close when they make contact with the king pin.
    I believe that is exactly what I heard. A simple visual check would have shown that the kingpin wasnít locked. A visual by BOTH my wife and myself as well as a pull test are now forever on our checklist.


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    Chris & Marilyn
    2021 Solitude 345GK
    2018 Airstream 27FB Flying Cloud (For sale)
    2020 RAM 3500 Laramie 6.7L HO Cummings Long Bed

  8. #8
    Site Sponsor Sportsdad60's Avatar
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    I carry a 1500 lumen tactical flashlight in my drivers side door, mandantory now, to visually inspect the jaws. That was my walk-away lesson along with having WHEEL CHOCKS in place.

    First in upon arrival and last out, wheel chocks.
    2021 310GK-R - MorRyde suspension and pin box. Sumo Springs. Solar, 7k axles.
    2019 Lance 1062 Truck Camper, 2 slides.
    2021 F350 Lariat DRW 4x4 6.7 diesel, 10 speed auto, 3.55 diff-48 gallon fuel capacity
    2000 F350 XLT HD SRW 2WD 7.3L diesel, 6-speed manual trans, 3.73 diff - Firestone Airbags-Bilstein Shocks. 82 gallon fuel capacity

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor
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    I heard a click. Closed the arm on the B&W hitch, put in the safety pin
    Not sure I’m understanding what actually happened. Did you not back up far enough? So the jaws were closed with the kingpin behind the jaws?

    I’ve heard a pull test isn’t really necessary with a B&W hitch (if you do a visual check). However we know the one time we don’t pull test we’ll have a problem. So we do a visual and pull test every time.
    2021 Solitude 310GK: Linen/DP windows/gen prep/slide toppers/king bed/EOH disc brakes/Cooper-H tires
    2019 F-350: Lariat/CC/LB/Diesel/DRW/4x4/Bakflip MX4/B&W 20K/AirLift 5000
    Other stuff: TST 507 TPMS/Victron BMV-712/Champion 3500 dual fuel gen/Garmin 780 GPS/22" Blackstone

  10. #10
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbsah View Post
    Not sure Iím understanding what actually happened. Did you not back up far enough? So the jaws were closed with the kingpin behind the jaws?

    Iíve heard a pull test isnít really necessary with a B&W hitch (if you do a visual check). However we know the one time we donít pull test weíll have a problem. So we do a visual and pull test every time.
    Yep. The guy who installed this hitch was adamant that the pull test wasnít necessary with that hitch, ďIf the cam handle closes and you can see the jaws around the king pin itís locked in.Ē I only got half that right.

    And yes, we didnít get the truck backed up quite far enough to lock in the kingpin. The cam handled closed. I just never looked to check to make sure I could see the jaws locked around the kingpin.

    Just a super stupid mistake that wonít happen again.

    Live and learn.


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    Chris & Marilyn
    2021 Solitude 345GK
    2018 Airstream 27FB Flying Cloud (For sale)
    2020 RAM 3500 Laramie 6.7L HO Cummings Long Bed

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