How Do I Reduce My Pin Weight? (Can I Adjust The Pin Box?)

When you are going to tow a 5th wheel or any trailer, the biggest challenge is getting the weight distribution correct. There are so many capacities to watch out for that you can get a bit frustrated. Don’t worry, after a few tries, you will get it all right.

To reduce the pin weight, you will want to evenly distribute the weight of your cargo between the axles. That way, 80% of the total weight will be on those parts and you will meet the pin weight capacity with ease.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so when you go to tow a 5th-wheel trailer, you will have a very good idea of what to do. Putting your cargo in the correct places will save you a lot of towing issues.

What Should The Pin Weight Of The 5th Wheel Be?


This weight capacity is actually measured in percentages and not actual pounds. The reason it is done this way is because of the fact that 5th-wheel trailers do not all weigh the same.

These different trailers will have different pin weights making a one size fits all pound boundary impossible. The key to having proper pin weight is to stay within 15 to 20% of the total trailer weight including cargo weight.

For example, if your 5th wheel trailer including cargo weighs 15,000 pounds, then the maximum pin weight would be 3000 pounds. If it is 10,000 pounds, then your maximum pin weight would be between 1500 and 2000 pounds.

The problem will come in when you try to put too much cargo in the front of the 5th wheel. This will add to your pin weight and if you go over that percentage, then you will have problems towing.

If you put too much weight on the back of the trailer, then you may be going down the road with the 5th wheel’s nose bouncing up and down in the hitch. Neither situations are good which makes planning your weight distribution carefully essential.

How do I Reduce My Pin Weight?


There is only one way to reduce the pin weight. You cannot remove any of the appliances and stationary features in the 5th wheel to lower the pin weight. While you could, but then you wouldn’t have what you paid for in your trailer.

The only solution is to distribute the portable cargo that you want to bring along on your trip. It does not take much movement to reduce the pin weight but you will run into another problem.

As you move the cargo towards and to the rear of the trailer, you are putting more weight on the axles. Both the axles and the tires have maximum weight limits.

That means you have to now take those capacities into consideration. If the cargo is going to be too heavy for the pin and too heavy for the axles and tires, then you need to either move some of it to your tow vehicle or leave it at home.

Of course, your truck has a maximum payload weight capacity and you have to consider that when loading passengers and cargo inside of it. There are a lot of calculations that take place when you want to tow a trailer.

Every weight capacity will be an influence on what you take along on your vacation. This means you have to learn to do without in some cases. It would help to have a scale on hand to weigh everything before you load the 5th wheel.

Can You Adjust The Pin Box On The Fifth Wheel?


Yes, it is possible to adjust the pin box on your tow vehicle. There are some steps to follow to make the adjustment. But this adjustment should never be made when you are alone.

Nor should you be under the pin box during this operation. There is just too much risk of injury or worse if something goes wrong. But there is one important fact that you need to be aware of.

Adjusting the pin box does not increase or decrease your pin weight capacity. That figure remains at 15 to 20% of the trailer’s total weight. The generic instructions go like this:

Step one support the pin box in a very secure manner

Step two adjust the pin box up or down as needed

Step three torque all the bolts and the torque schedule is:

- Torque 1/2” bolts a minimum of 110 ft-lb.

- Torque 5/8” bolts a minimum of 160 ft-lb.

- Torque 3/4” bolts a minimum of 210 ft-lb.

Step four is to remove the support and get ready for your trip. When you decide to change the pin box, you need to consider what those changes will bring.

One, your clearance is going to be affected. Your change should not shorten that clearance to where the trailer hits your cab rear. That happens when you raise the pin box.

Also, you may have to flip your axles when you raise the pin box as you will be losing space with that adjustment. Before you make your adjustment, get some expert advice on how to do it correctly.

There are too many changes that come into play that will affect your towing, turning, and even your parking the 5th wheel.

Some Final Words

The way to reduce your pin weight is to either reduce your cargo weight or re-distribute the cargo to the rear or middle of the 5th wheel. It is not an easy task to do but if you can learn to do without, removing the excess cargo is the easiest option.

Once you get the pin weight to 20% you should be fine. Do not go lighter than 15% or your trailer will be bobbing up and down throughout your trip. The 20% weight limit provides enough weight to keep your trailer stable.

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