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Tips for Getting Rid of Chucking/Slamming with Reese M5 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Question:

When I leave stop signs or brake at a light, I get a hard clunking sound, sounds like there is play between the kingpin and the Reese 20k m5 hitch. Has anyone else complained? If I had to estimate how much play there is I would say 1/2, which generates the clunking sound. Any fixes to this issue?

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Expert Reply:

The M5 is not known for chucking but I did speak to my contact at Reese and he had a few things to try/check. His response is below as well as the pages from the manual for the M5 # RP30928 that he attached as well:

This hitch is not known for chucking. I can’t says there’s a hitch out there that doesn’t have some movement here or there but this hitch would have min. movement compared to others offered.

This scenario where the customer hears clunking when leaving a stop is not uncommon and I would assume all hitch mfg. get the same customer complaint. With that said yes there is going to be some movement in the 5th wheel hitch:

Possible adjustments to improve: -

M5 5th wheel hitch:

Castle nut adjustment – Most legs for M5 hitches have a castle nut to adjust the tightness of the t-pin. We do not expect this to be tight tight but certainly customer can look at this assembly to see if it can be tightened. Customer just wants to snug up assy. and not torque castle nut. If tightening too much It will make it difficult for customer to turn handle/tpin to remove and install hitch.

Pivot assembly – the center sections have a Pivot assembly that can be adjusted to provide resistance on the pivot beam. If the pivot beam freely moves side to side the bolt can be tightened to provide resistance.

There are no other adjustments on the hitch.

Assure the fasteners from the legs to the center section are properly torqued.

Other considerations:

Trailer brakes - If trailer brakes are not adjusted and the trailer is coming towards the tow vehicle when braking then of course when they leave the light the hitch will shift to make a noise. Customer can try adjusting the brake control to make trailer brakes more aggressive or see if trailer brakes need adjusting.

Lubrication – this is not going to eliminate chucking but always helps to lessen noise and wear. All mating components and all moving components should be lubricated (white lithium grease works well).

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expert reply by:
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Jameson C

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