By Jim Twamley
I pulled my 5th wheel next to my assigned RV site in the pouring rain. I had a hard time backing into a tight spot at an RV park in Arizona. I wasn’t expecting rain — after all, it was Arizona — so I was glad to have all the tools I would need for a quick set up close at hand.
For a travel trailer or a 5er you need a stabilizer crank, some boards for the landing gear, tire chocks, water hose, channel lock pliers, electric cord adapter, water pressure gauge, and a multi-meter (to check out the utilities). I kept all these things in my handy locking truck-bed toolbox.
These toolboxes come in various sizes and are made from aluminum, steel or plastic. They can insert in your truck bed with wings that hold the box up off your truck deck so you can slide lumber and other long items under it. You can also get boxes that rest on the bottom of the truck bed without wings. Downdraft off the face of a 5th wheel trailer will blow stuff out of your truck bed if it isn’t secured, and these toolboxes keep your stuff safe and dry.
Clearance is an important consideration if you’re pulling a 5th wheel because the thickness of the toolbox could interfere with the operation of the king-pin pivot overhang. So before you purchase one, make sure you have adequate clearance tolerances. I enjoyed my truck-bed toolbox because it held a large amount of gear and it locked so I didn’t have to worry about people walking off with my stuff. Since I used the truck as a touring vehicle, I liked having my tools with me.
My biggest problem was keeping it clean and organized. Most of them come with sliding trays that will help you with this task. Even trucks with modified tow bodies employ these boxes. They are a “must have” if you pull a travel trailer or 5th wheel. Some folks even mount them on the back of trailers.