Are 5th wheel hitches easily removable. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-23-2013, 05:20 PM   #1
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Are 5th wheel hitches easily removable.

Hi, My wife and I are considering purchasing a 5.0. What I know about trailering you could put on the back of a postage stamp. Is it possible to easily remove and re-install a 5th wheel hitch? My previous camping vehicle was a VW Westfalia.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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Yes

I purchased my hitch from Rease and Tammy.

The "bulky" part of the hitch is held in place with pins. When removed all that is two flat bars that run across the bed of the truck, they are only 1" high at most.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #3
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HGi Big Al, and welcome to the site.

Most any fifth wheel hitch removes fairly easily, leaving just the mounting brackets/bars.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandr View Post
Yes

I purchased my hitch from Rease and Tammy.

The "bulky" part of the hitch is held in place with pins. When removed all that is two flat bars that run across the bed of the truck, they are only 1" high at most.

Hope this helps
Thanks for the info I'm going to need 2 stamps now. One question down and a thousand to go.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Not so Big Al View Post
Hi, My wife and I are considering purchasing a 5.0. What I know about trailering you could put on the back of a postage stamp. Is it possible to easily remove and re-install a 5th wheel hitch? My previous camping vehicle was a VW Westfalia.
Hi: Not so Big Al... Sorry I don't have a pic. with the hitch out but you can see the pins at the bottom of the 4 corners and the rails with the EZRollers on them. They all come out... leaving the side to side rails bolted thru the box bed. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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I don't know what happened to my reply but here goes again...Thank You Folks!!! This information is invaluable to me. I'm flattered to be a junior member I haven't been a junior anything in a long time.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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There are some fifth-wheel hitches which are not removeable, but they are usually used on larger commercial trucks (directly on the truck's frame rails, or on a flatbed deck), not in the box of a pickup truck.

In addition to the visible rails, hidden brackets under the box floor are also left in place... which is as intended and presumably not a problem. The hitch is often in multiple pieces, so that it can be lifted out more easily - the whole thing is heavy!

The rail-mounting design has one nice feature: the same base rails are used by multiple manufacturers, so you would have some choice of hitches without changing the permanently installed parts.

There are also systems which are even less intrusive when removed than those using cross-rails:
Reese Elite series (only; other removeable Reese series use rails) has mounting pads or "pucks" - Ford offers this as a factory option
B&W Companion OEM system works with the same pucks
B&W Companion works with their Turnover Ball under-floor structure
Most of these non-rail systems are pretty big for an Escape 5.0; they would work fine, but might be heavier or bulkier than needed.


I have noticed that some people in RV parks with a fifth-wheel trailer for an extended period (such as over a winter) remove the hitch head from the truck leave it attached to the trailer, hanging in the air. I suppose it doesn't get misplaced that way, is out of the way, and stays clean and dry... and of course it's not in the way in the truck box.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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I don't know what happened to my reply but here goes again...Thank You Folks!!! This information is invaluable to me. I'm flattered to be a junior member I haven't been a junior anything in a long time.
Hi: Again... Our Hitch is a 16K Husky with the EZRoller system. It's overkill to the Maxx but they are designed for the big rigs too!!! Husky Towing Here's a link to Husky tow products. They have redesigned their slider style hitch... but I've never rolled ours back the 8 extra inches. The hitch only looks complicated. You'll get to love it as everything is at eye level and once you're lined up and hear that clank... it's plug in, loop the breakaway switch wire to the hitch handle ...do your light check and tug off to Buffalo. Easy that is if your going to Buffalo!!! Alf
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Thank you folks . My mind is trying to absorb this information. We are at present thinking about a nissan frontier as the tow vehicle. Any idea on what hitch would be suitable? We'll probably be buying staight from Escape.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Not so Big Al View Post
Thank you folks . My mind is trying to absorb this information. We are at present thinking about a nissan frontier as the tow vehicle. Any idea on what hitch would be suitable? We'll probably be buying staight from Escape.
Hi: Not so Big Al... We have the crew cab, long bed Nissan Frontier and I think all hitches are compatible with that combo. Reace and Tammy can have their local hitch shop set you up when picking up the trailer for a perfect fit.
Here's a pic. of us boondocking in W.Va. Alf
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:47 AM   #11
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You will need the long box Frontier (6') or equivalent from some other manufacturer.

One thing to consider about the slider hitch. A couple of people I have spoken to have not actually used the sliding function of the hitches. In a compact truck the space required to allow the hitch to slide would restrict the amount of things that could be carried in the truck bed.

Just one more of the thousand things to think about
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
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Thanks islandr, that is the vehicle we are planning on getting. The crew cab and a 6 foot bed.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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I just had my truck set up yesterday (2012 Ram, 6 Cyl) with a 16K Pro-Series 5th wheel hitch and a Prodigy P2 Brake Controller. When I got it home, I removed it as my 5.0 is not due until next month. The removal was quite easy, but the hitch is very heavy. I have the option of taking it out in 2 pieces, which in the future I will do.

For those that don't know, when I was having the hitch installed, I called the factory to find out what size Lube Plate to use, Reece said that they use the 9" lube plates but a 10 inch would work fine. I bought one 10 for now, but will purchases 9's in the future.

Does anybody know how long these things last? Is it one time use or can I expect a few trips with these things. I don't want to have lots of grease all over the hitch if I can help it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #14
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Oh no a new question...What is a lube plate?
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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This is from the Reese website. I put a link below. I just cant find out how long these last....



Reese Accessories and Parts - RP83002

Prevent scratches on your fifth-wheel's skid plate and ease trailer hookup by installing this nylon lube plate. Works with Reese 16,000-lb and 22,000-lb fifth-wheel trailer hitches.

Features:
  • Prevents scratches on skid plate of your 5th-wheel trailer hitch
  • Lets trailer king pin slide into hitch with ease
    • No need for messy grease
  • Offers extra protection with large surface area
  • Constructed of durable nylon


Specs:
  • Application: Reese 5th-wheel trailer hitches with 16,000-lb and 22,000-lb capacities
  • Thickness: .192"
  • Diameter: 10"

83002 Reese Fifth Wheel Lube Plate - 16,000-lb and 22,000-lb Hitches


Lube Plate for Reese 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches - 10" Diameter Reese Accessories and Parts RP83002
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:00 PM   #16
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Thank you for the info it seems a good plan.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #17
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Oh no a new question...What is a lube plate?
Hi: Not so Big Al... I replaced ours after 5 years. It was showing signs of cracking around the outer edge and I didn't want it to fall apart while we were traveling. They only cost around $10. and lots cleaner than grease. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie p.s. sorry you can't see it around the pin heading into the hitch.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:24 PM   #18
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Alf, does it make a difference? I imagine i still have to lube the king pin. Do you, and what kind of grease do you use? I am used to towing a large boat and use grease on the ball. I used some bearing grease and it worked great. It made the hitch less noisy and minimized the fretting corrosion on the ball. I just wiped it down after the trip. It also kept rust from forming on the ball.

I am aprehensive about my brake controller. Never used one before. The boats i have had were brakeless of had hydraulic surge brakes. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:40 PM   #19
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Alf, does it make a difference? I imagine i still have to lube the king pin. Do you, and what kind of grease do you use? I am used to towing a large boat and use grease on the ball. I used some bearing grease and it worked great. It made the hitch less noisy and minimized the fretting corrosion on the ball. I just wiped it down after the trip. It also kept rust from forming on the ball.

I am aprehensive about my brake controller. Never used one before. The boats i have had were brakeless of had hydraulic surge brakes. Any thoughts?
Hi: itoddday... I spray some Dura Lube on the pin and locking mech. and wipe off any excess. Don't have to do it that often as I keep the tonneau cover closed when not towing.
As for the controller I check it when I remember to. Once the trailer/truck is hooked up I pinch the slide lever on my controller. The digi. readout goes to 5 and while holding it so...I put the truck in "D" and try to pull away. The trailer brakes will hold the truck back when locked on. Under normal braking the readout is usually 1.8- 2.5. Just enough to help... but not pull!!! Alf
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:58 PM   #20
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Thanks Alf any info I get is important to me. This really the proverbial can of worms.
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