It would be nice to get that space in your truck bed back. 5th wheel trailer hitches take up a lot of space in a truck bed and that is space you can use when you have stored your trailer or parked it permanently.
This process may require a few whacks from a hammer but it is a simple task to be done. Then tighten the nut to keep the bolt from sliding through. Then remove all bolts holding the 5th wheel in place and you simply slide the hitch out.
To learn more about this process, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know to remove the hitch safely. Take a few minutes to see how this information helps you complete this project without injury, etc.
Yes, this is possible but it is a job that needs the right equipment to do it properly. The hitch is going to weigh a lot so you also have to be careful and not be in a hurry or allow yourself to be distracted. Those last two elements cause too many injuries already.
The process may require you to move the hitch towards the tailgate a few inches at a time. It is not a project that can be done in one full movement after loosening the bolts and removing the side rails etc.
Keep in mind that different 5th wheel hitch brands have different methods to remove them. If you have kept any instructions or manuals refer to them to find the right method for your particular 5th wheel hitch.
Make sure you have the proper guidelines to follow as well. Any advice from friends or other websites may not give you the right method to use. Then watch yourself as these hitches are not light. They are not the same as a bumper pull switch
Nor are they the same weight. Do not assume that they are.
In terms of ease, this is not a complicated process. You do not need a degree in mechanics or engineering to do this process. The task is a step-by-step process that may get tedious after a while.
You have to take it one step at a time and not get ahead of yourself. The good news is that the uninstalling process has far fewer steps than the installation process.
The weight of the hitch itself is in the neighborhood of 130 to 200+ pounds. The actual weight will depend on the design, the size, and the materials used to create the hitch.
This means you will need a strong engine or another crane to lift the 5th wheel hitch out of your truck bed. Two lifting items that have been recommended are: MaxxTow Hydraulic Pickup Truck Crane part # MT70238 along with the 5th Wheel Lifting Bracket part # DM6100.
Those parts are associated with the e-trailer store. You may find better and more suitable pieces of equipment at your local rental business if you do not want to buy one outright.
Purchasing these items would require that you are installing and removing the hitch on a regular basis.
We are going to quote from one website as their instructions are similar to the ones we wrote above. There are plenty of YouTube videos showing you the process if you need a visual aid to help you dismantle and remove your hitch:
“ Whack the bolts a few times to loosen the tension on the hitch. This is necessary for a hitch that has been used for a long time and has never been removed.
Place a leveler under the truck where the four screws correspond to the slide rails. The person at the bottom should have only the regular key system. The usual size is 3/4 inch. Your job is to anchor the nut so that the bolt doesn’t just slide through.
Loosen the bolts from the inside, while the person at the bottom anchors the nuts. These bolts and nuts will be very tight, so use enough leverage to prevent sticking.
Take out the loosened bolts and remove the metal slide rails from the truck bed.” (source)
Again, we will remind you that different designs and brands may have different and better methods to remove the hitch from your truck. Check into those to see if they will work better than this method.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to buy or rent a tough and strong engine hoist. This will require joists in your garage or a portable setup to hold the hoist. These items need to be strong enough to hold the hitch weight.
Then make sure you have some strong steel braided cables to hold the hitch when it is being elevated and lowered. Start the hoist once the 5th wheel hitch is connected by the cables.
Lift the hitch up high enough to clear the back end of your truck bed and pull the truck out from underneath the hitch. Then lower the hitch to the stand it will sit on.
The hitches can weigh far more than 200 pounds as we indicated above so make sure the hoist and cables are rated for far more weight than the hitch weighs.
To get the hitch back onto your truck bed, just reverse the prices. Raise the hitch up, back your truck underneath it, and slowly lower the hitch to its proper place.
It would be wise to have more than one person to do this task. The hitch tends to swing somewhat and you need to steady it as it goes up and down. Also, these instructions were for the sliding 5th wheel hitch but it may work for other designs.
To remove the retaining clip you have to remove the head of the hitch. Just look for the pin with the snap ring attached to it. This will be located in the back center of the hitch.
Next, you pull that pin and then move to the pivot pin and back that out of the cross member. Once that is done, you should be able to remove the hitch head. The way that the Reese 5th wheel hitch is designed makes removal a matter of minutes but not over 5.
That quick release is for the slider version of Reese hitches. Some owners just back their truck up to a hoist and simply attach the cables to the pins and lift them up. Then he just drives his truck o0ut from under the hitch and hoist.
You should find some good videos on YouTube or go to those discussion forums talking about the removal of the Reese hitch. Some threads have actual photos of the process if you need a visual aid.
Those photos are not transferable so we cannot post them here for you. They are at the diesel place discussion forum and under the thread Reese 5th wheel quick removal.
Here is a list of a few of the 5th wheel hitches that are the easiest to remove.
1. B&W Companion RVK 3500 Fifth Wheel Hitch
This is supposed to be the best of the best when it comes to these types of hitches. It weighs about 131 pounds and costs just under $1000. It is made from steel and comes with a limited lifetime warranty
2. PullRite Superglide
This option is supposed to be the best for those trucks with a short bed. Made from steel, this is a heavy hitch weighing in at 316 pounds. It costs just over $1700 and comes with a 5-year warranty
3. Curt Easiest Removable 5 Th Wheel Hitch
The head is built on a cast yoke with poly-torsion inserts that reduce shock loads, chucking, and noise at the coupling point (per Amazon). There is no price listed in that marketplace as it is so popular it is currently unavailable.
It does weigh about 127 pounds and can handle up to 25,000 pounds approx.
When it comes to 5th wheel hitches and their removal play it safe. Work with a partner to make sure you do not crush any fingers and that the removal goes smoothly.
The best removal process we liked was the use of the hoist. That made the task simple, and easy and you are not in any real danger of injury. But make sure the nuts and bolts are loosened or tightened per the instructions. You do not want to break the hoist or damage your truck bed.
Take your time doing this task as well.