How do you adjust the height of a fifth wheel hitch?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you adjust the height of a fifth wheel hitch? We will guide you through it, and explain how to determine the right height for a fifth-wheel hitch. 

How do you adjust the height of a fifth wheel hitch?

It is possible to adjust the height of a fifth wheel hitch in just a few simple steps.  The hitch system between a towing vehicle and a trailer needs to be configured correctly so that the two can work together safely. The towing vehicle must be capable of supporting the weight of the trailer. 

Adjusting the hitch height on the towing vehicle and trailer will help you create a strong connection in the trailer hitch coupler, which will help reduce the risk of the trailer separating from the towing vehicle.

Here’s how to adjust the height of a fifth-wheel hitch step by step:

  1. Use a rag, cleaning brush, and wire thinner to clean the bolt holes and other areas where the hitch ball will sit. The wire brush will make removing cocky road debris a simpler task because it will tear the dirt up.
  1. Use the tape measure to determine the distance between the towing vehicle and the ground. Also measure the distance between the trailer and the ground.
  1. Adjust the height of the trailer hitch by changing the tension of the trailer spring bars. The trailer and the towing vehicle must be fixed at the same height. The spring bars can be located along the frame A of the trailer.
  1. Loosen the nut and lockwasher under the hitch ball. Raise or lower the hitch ball so that the trailer hitch can be sitting on top of the ball. Retighten the lock washer and bolt after the balloon has been adjusted to the required height.
  1. Place the trailer hitch on top of the hitch ball and lower the trailer onto the hitch ball so that the hitch coupler engages.-

How to determine the proper hitch height for a fifth-wheel trailer

The hitch on your fifth-wheel trailer can be adjusted, but the receiver on your towing vehicle generally cannot. So you will have to adjust the trailer to match the height of the car. To find the proper hitch height for your travel trailer, follow these steps:

  1. Measure from the ground to the top edge of the hitch. 
  2. Measure from the ground to the bottom edge of the trailer hitch.
  3. 3Subtract the height of the receiver from the height of the hitch. 

If the measurement is negative, you need to lower the hitch height, if it is positive, you need to raise the hitch height.

It can be tricky to match the height of your hitch to the height of the towing vehicle’s receiver, but the first step is figuring out whether you need to raise or lower the setting. 

How to adjust the height of the ball on a hitch weight distributor

If the hitch ball mounted to the weight of your vehicle distribution trailer hitch frequently slips under the tongue of the trailer, you may need to adjust the height for a tighter fit. A towing weight distribution system disperses the weight of the trailer to the vehicle and trailer wheels, eliminating hitch stress from the vehicle. 

The vehicle’s rear suspension is relieved of excessive weight, which reduces wear and tears on the rear of the vehicle. The ball must be securely attached to the trailer movable tongue socket to safely tow your trailer.

  1. Park your trailer and vehicle on a level surface. Lower the trailer tongue jack stand to support and level the trailer. Separate vehicle hitch from trailer tongue. Move the vehicle one foot in front of the trailer tongue.
  1. Measure and record the distance from the ground to the top of the trailer tongue movable jack. This height will determine the hitch ball height setting.
  1. Locate the hitch assembly on the vehicle. The hitch ball will be connected to the head assembly. The header slides down onto the stem, which fits into the vehicle’s trailer hitch receiver. Mark the current boss position on the stem with a pencil.
  1. Remove the pin from the top portion of the head that is facing the vehicle. Remove the upper and lower hex bolts that secure the head to the stem, using a socket wrench. The head must be free to slide up and down the shaft of the stem.
  1. Adjust the height of the ball by moving the head up or down the stem, lining up the holes for the cap and stem screws. The height of the ball should be slightly greater than the height of the trailer tongue socket to allow vehicle squat, a product of the trailer’s weight. If your vehicle is a passenger car, add 1/8 inch to hitch ball height for every 100 pounds of trailer tongue weight applied to the vehicle hitch.
  1. Mark the new position of the head along the stem, once the height of the ball has been adjusted. Reinsert the pin into the top of the head. Secure the head to the stem with the upper and lower hex bolts and a socket wrench.
  1. Reattach the vehicle hitch to the trailer drawbar socket. Check that the hitch ball fits securely within the movable tongue socket. Test drive the trailer before use.

The bottom line

The use of a fifth-wheel hitch varies, depending on the vehicle and the type of trailer hitched. Fifth-wheel trailers have the front end that protrudes past the body, extending over the rear bumper of the truck. It looks a lot like a cabover camper riding in the cargo bed of a pickup truck. 

If you do not feel confident enough, please ask for the guidance of an authorised mechanic that can safely and quickly adjust the height of your fifth wheel hitch. 

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on How do you adjust the height of a fifth wheel hitch?

Can a fifth wheel hitch be removed?

Yes, a fifth wheel hitch can be removed.  A fifth wheel, or gooseneck, hitch sits in the middle of the sturdy truck bed, where it can support more weight in that area. This also makes it easier to turn around tight corners. 

What is a fifth wheel hitch?

A fifth wheel hitch is specially designed for the beds of vans and flatbed trucks. With a towing capacity between 5500 and 9000 Kg and a weight capacity between 550 and 770 Kg, 5th wheel hitches are installed just above and above the rear axle of a truck. 

How does the fifth wheel hitch work?

A fifth wheel hitch l works by locking a kingpin in the lockjaw. The kingpin is similar to a hitch coupler and is attached to the semi-trailer, while the locking jaw acts as the receiver for the hitch

How do I reduce the weight on my 5th wheel hitch?

To reduce the weight on your 5th wheel hitch, simply move all your luggage in the back of the trailer. If you want to increase the weight on your 5th wheel hitch, just do the contrary – move the things to the front of the trailer. 


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