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What Can Be Done To Help With Unhooking Fifth Wheel With Sidewinder From Ford F150 Short Bed

Question:

I have a Reese 16K hitch with a sidewinder. I have an F150 super crew with 51/2 ft bed pulling a Copper Canyon Fifth wheel. I experience constant problem trying to unlock the hitch to unhook the trailer. I have put the trailer at different heights, back up/pull forward to relieve pressure on the jaws or pin without much success. Only successful when rig is on concrete, totally level and truck perfectly lined up with trailer.

Expert Reply:

It sounds like the moving parts inside the fifth wheel head on your Reese 16K hitch need to be cleaned with WD-40, which will clean the area but it will not eliminate all the grease. This will help the fifth wheel head work properly. Then apply a light coating of all purpose grease, such as the LubriMatic White Lithium Grease, # L11350, to the skid plate and the jaw of the fifth wheel hitch. This will help reduce any metal to metal squeaking and wear and it will make it easier to unlock the hitch.

I would also recommend to grease the Sidewinder king pin and the skid plate surface with the same white lithium grease.

You will also want to make sure the trailer is blocked properly before hookup.

I am sending links to the instruction manuals on the Reese 16K fifth wheel hitch and the Sidewinder which will describe how to lubricate the hitch and Sidewinder.

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