bing tracking image
Q & A Icon

Solution For Old Reese Elite 5th Wheel Hitch That Chucks And It Difficult To Release  

Question:

Is there someone there who knows about older 5th wheel hitches? I have a 2012 Ram 3500 I bought new and installed a Reese Elite? or High Pointe 26.5K hitch. It is my 1st 5th wheel. It has always had chucking? when pulling away from stop. It is hard to release when not level. Last wekend one of the clips securing it fell out and I almost lost the whole mess. I see this hitch does not seem to be available any more. Is it a bad design? What am I up against?

0

Expert Reply:

Hello Bill. 5th wheel hitch technology has come a long way in the last several years. If you are using an old hitch, it is definitely not uncommon to have issues like this. Most older hitches, and even some new lower-end hitches will chuck quite a bit. Not necessarily a bad design, but the design is dated/obsolete. Like you said, replacement parts for this Reese Elite hitch are unavailable. It sounds like your hitch is not safe to use, so I cannot in good conscience recommend that you continue to use this hitch.

At this point I would have to recommend that you replace the hitch entirely. My suggestion is to go with a B&W brand 5th wheel hitch. Their dual-jaw design created constant, 360 degree contact with the king pin at all time. The head rotates 360 degrees. This will drastically reduce chucking and make for a much smoother ride. The jaw is also easy to operate so you won't have to fight with the release all the time. In my opinion B&W makes the best 5th wheel hitch on the market. Made here in the USA too. For your 2012 Ram 3500 I recommend the 18K Sliding Patriot Hitch # BWRVK3270 if your truck has a short bed. For long bed trucks you will want the fixed hitch # BWRVK3255. Both of these hitches will work with the industry standard 5th wheel rails. Feel free to reach out if you have further questions.

expert reply by:
0
Jesse M

Bill B.

5/24/2024

Thank you for your response Jesse. I looked at the B&W hitches about the time I sent the note to you. Some things that might alter your recommendation: 1. My trailer weighs about 19,000 pounds, so the 18,000 pound hitch is not appropriate. I do have an 8' bed. 2. I need to get the hitch completely out of the truck and have the entire bed available without mounts, etc. 3. I have a rubber bed "cover" in the bed that is around 3/8" thick or so. I would like to keep that. If I do purchase a new B&W hitch it seems the model they call the "companion" might do the job. It seems as though it will leave the bed of the truck clear when removed. It has a 20K capacity. Not a lot more than I need to give a margin of safety, but I don't know how important that is. I do wonder, though, whether I can retain the rubber mat in the truck bed and only cut a hole in it to clear the pin. What do you think?

Etrailer Expert

Jesse M.

5/24/2024

@BillB Ok great thanks for the additional info. The companion hitch will suit your needs very well. I suggest that you use the 20K Companion Hitch # BWRVK3500-5W along with the installation kit # BWGNRK1308-5W. The 20K rating will be sufficient for a 19,000 lb trailer. This gives you enough wiggle room, plus the B&W hitches are technically tested for well over 20K. The installation kit for this hitch is actually a B&W turnoverball gooseneck hitch. So with the hitch removed, you will have full bed access. It will also allow you to easily tow a 5th wheel or a gooseneck trailer if that need ever arises. That leaves us with your bed liner. B&W does specifically state that any drop-in bed liner or mat must be cut/removed in order to use the companion hitch. The hitch needs to make full contact with the bed of the truck. Leaving the bed liner in place will not allow the base of the hitch to install tightly and will create unnecessary slack. Something we definitely want to avoid, especially after your experience with the Reese Elite hitch. If you have a permanent, spray in liner, you can simply follow the instruction steps as if you were installing it on a bare truck bed.

Bill B.

5/24/2024

@JesseM Thank you.
Etrailer Expert

Jesse M.

5/24/2024

@BillB Anytime. Don't hesitate to reach out if you ever need anything else.

Products Referenced in This Question



Product Page this Question was Asked From


Q & A Icon

Continue Researching

See More Q&A Expert Answers >>