Have you ever had the experience of setting up in a campsite and pushing out the slide only to find that you did not give yourself enough room? How about when you are hitching up and the kingpin or hitch is too high or too low? Getting in and out of the truck over and over is great exercise but sometimes you are just trying to get back on the road. We travel in a 33 Foot 5th Wheel with 3 slides. Slide space needs to be considered when setting up and hitch and kingpin height need to be considered when hitching.
We use a 3/8 inch by 6 foot PVC pipe marked for the kingpin and the slides. We use permanent markers for setting the distances. We call it a stick but the PVC works the best as it is somewhat flexible and can bend slightly to easily be extricated from the bed of the truck. A wooden stick would likely break.
Slide Space When the slides are out, use the permanent marker to mark the pipe with the distance from the rig body to the outer edge of each slide. We use a different color for each of the slides. The living area slide is red, the closet slide is blue and the kitchen slide is green. Then whenever the spacing is tight, we use the measuring stick to make sure that there is clearance. In the photos below, you can see the red line which indicates there is plenty of room for the slide to come out.
Kingpin Height With the rig just unhitched, use the same pipe and with one end on the ground, mark the height of the hitch with the permanent marker. We use black for the kingpin height. In the photo on the left we have just unhitched and marked the pipe with the current kingpin height. Now go ahead and level the rig and enjoy your stay. The photo on the right shows stick after the rig is leveled.
When it is time to leave, place the measuring stick on the ground against the kingpin. Raise or lower the rig to the black marker on the pipe. The photo on the left shows the kingpin before the landing gear raises the it to the proper level. On the right, the rig has been raised. When the truck is backed to the hitch, the height will be perfect every time.
Travel Snacks We learned a long time ago that snacks from the last service station you visited may not get you energized until you next meal. We use Energy Bars by XS and meal bars by Nutrilite. These are some of our favorites...