By Jim Twamley
The “king pin” on a 5th wheel is the point where the trailer attaches to the “hitch” of the tow vehicle. Many people do not like the fact that 5th wheel trailers have a tendency to pitch and roll when they are not supported so they carry a “king pin” support device.
These devices come as a bipod or a tripod. Here is a bipod that I use. Notice that I place it front to back in alignment with the trailer. This inhibits the very slight front and back motion that may be experienced with an unsupported 5th wheel when you walk around in it. They also now make struts that attach to the landing gear that have the same effect.
Notice that this bipod support has a chain between the two legs for tension and one leg has a jack on it for tightening. I like this type because you can get it good and snug while the other tripod types have to be screwed into position. Also notice that the rear leg is on a wooden platform – this is because the trailer is on an incline and this leg is of a fixed length. No problem, just place a suitable block under this leg and jack it up under the “king pin.”
Here is a tripod for a “goose neck” hitch. The “goose neck” hitch attaches to a receiver ball mounted in the center of the truck bed. Many people like these better because they do not take up as much room in the bed of the truck as a standard 5th wheel “king pin” hitch. If you have a “goose neck” hitch be sure to order the corresponding support unit because the standard unit will not fit a typical “goose neck” style hitch. No matter which type of device you use, it will help to stabilize your unit.