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Troubleshooting a Sticking Handle On a Reese 16k 5th Wheel Hitch

Question:

My new 16k hitch only latches when bumped by trailer coupler. It isnt possible to move the coupler handle by hand if the trailer isnt present. Is this normal and can it be fixed?

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Expert Reply:

The 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch by Reese, item # 30047, has a groove in the handle that a latch rotates into. If the latch is not rotated toward the rear of the truck then the handle will not move and hitching should not be possible. If the latch was not rotated and hitching was attempted then some of the handle parts could have been bent. During normal hitching you should not move the handle out. You should back the truck slowly into the trailer and allow the hitch to move the handle out. Once the truck is backed into the trailer the handle should move to the open position, the jaws of the hitch will spring closed and the handle should return to the closed position.

I would remove the head and turn it upside down. You will then be able to see all of the pivot points and handle parts. Check to be sure none of the parts are bent or broken. If all of the parts seem to be in good condition then you should clean all of the moving parts and pivot points with a spray lubricant and get them working freely. Finally, grease the head with white lithium grease and work the handle until it moves freely as it did when new.

If new parts are needed you can find them on our 5W Replacement Parts page (see link).

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