Maintaining Your Fifth Wheel Hitch Before A Long Trip

Having a fifth wheel hitch installed in your tow vehicle makes it easier to haul campers, flatbeds, or livestock trailers over the open road. Proper maintenance is essential when it comes to maintaining the quality of your hitch, but many drivers fail to perform essential maintenance tasks before embarking on a long trip.

Here are three things you should be checking on your hitch before each trip to ensure maximum safety.

1. Check the tightness of the fasteners.

Your fifth wheel hitch is attached to your tow vehicle using a series of fasteners. With the average amount of pressure placed on your hitch during towing measuring in at 2,000 pounds, a tremendous amount of pressure is placed on your hitch each time you take your trailer out on the open road.

The weight of a trailer on your fifth wheel hitch could cause the fasteners keeping the hitch in place to come loose over time. Use a socket wrench to tighten these fasteners before any long trip, and you will reduce the likelihood that your trailer hitch will come loose during towing.

2. Lubricate your hitch.

When metal rubs against metal, weak spots in the metal components can occur. These weak spots reduce the efficiency of your fifth wheel hitch, so maintaining proper lubrication is essential when it comes to ensuring the performance of your trailer hitch stays consistent.

Before embarking on a long trip, you should take the time to lubricate your fifth wheel hitch. Use a lithium grease to lubricate any pivot points, and invest in an automotive chassis lubricant for the skid plate. Keeping your hitch properly lubricated will prevent a variety of potential problems from arising as you tow your trailer in the future.

3. Clean your hitch's surface.

Dirt, grease, and grime can build up along the surface of your hitch. Over time, these contaminants could cause the metal used to create your hitch to begin to corrode. Corroded metal is not as strong as metal that has been properly maintained, increasing the likelihood that your fifth wheel hitch will fail during transit.

Using a solvent that you can purchase from your local automotive store to remove any dirt, grease, or grime from the surface of your hitch before a long trip will help you ensure the performance of your hitch stays consistent.

Make sure that you are taking the time to invest in proper hitch maintenance to keep your fifth wheel connection reliable in the future. For assistance, talk to a professional like Major Tire & Hitch Inc.