Fifth Wheelin'
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Be prepared to get back on the road

That hex bolt at the center of the photograph has been a real nuisance for me. The photo was taken inside the front compartment of my fiver. The square tube that the bolt passes through connects the drive shaft of the landing gear motor (the round part) to the gear box of the curb-side landing gear. The torque applied by the motor has sheared off the bolt now about 3 times. You're stuck when that happens: you can't hitch or unhitch. It took me a while to figure out what was needed and how to fix it the first time it happened. Now I carry extra bolts and nuts so I'm only delayed about 10 minutes if it happens again.

On my most recent trip it happened in the parking lot of the casino where I stopped for the night. No big deal. But then as I prepared to leave, I couldn't pull in the slideout. On my trailer exactly the same mechanism is used to drive the forward slide gear and yes, that bolt was sheared too. I fixed it only to discover that the bolt at the opposite end of the square tube had come loose with all the jiggering while I was fixing the first one. Well, I was an hour later than I intended getting underway. But having those bolts and a toolbox on hand meant that I wasn't stuck waiting for service. — Jerry Brown


  • Hardened bolts and locktight to keep them from jiggling loose seems to be in order to me. Good thing you have the quick fix for it figured out.

    By Blogger Rick, at 7:21 PM  

  • If you are shearing bolts of that size there is definitely something else WRONG with you system. Go to a qualified service shop and have them check how much torque is reqired to turn the shaft. You may have gunk or trash in the slide mechanizm. They are designed to lift your loaded fifth wheel with out any problems. Alan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:01 AM  

  • my landing jacks quit twice, the first time I was still in the area where i purchased the unit so just pulled it back to the dealer, the shear-pin didn't break; the round shaft from the motor broke; the second time I was coming home from Alaska when the motor shaft broke again. needless to say we didn't do any un-hooking. stopped in Pendleton, Oregon ast the Keystone factory & a repair place got the new motor & replaced it. Couldn't tell me why the motor shaft broke instead of the shear-pin. Any help out there. Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:21 PM  

  • What grade of bolt are you using? If you buy them at the big box store you probably are getting a grade 3 at best

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 PM  

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