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How to Stop a 5th-wheel Trailer from Chucking

Chucking is a common issue that many 5th-wheel trailer owners encounter. This unpleasant phenomenon, characterized by the back-and-forth jerking motion, can make your towing experience uncomfortable and even hazardous. Fortunately, there are effective solutions to mitigate or eliminate chucking.  

What Causes 5th-Wheel Trailer Chucking? 

Chucking occurs due to the interaction between the trailer and truck. The jerking motion typically results from: 

  • Uneven road surfaces: Bumps, potholes, and rough roads can exacerbate chucking. 
  • Improper weight distribution: An unbalanced load in your trailer can lead to instability and increased chucking. 
  • Inadequate hitch design: Traditional hitches may not effectively absorb the forces generated by towing, leading to increased chucking. Some hitches also have far too much tolerance at the connection, allowing the trailer to move right where it connects to the kingpin.   

How to Prevent Fifth Wheel Chucking 

Preventing chucking involves several strategies that focus on improving the stability and connection between your trailer and tow vehicle. Here are some practical steps:  

  1. Ensure Proper Weight Distribution
  • Balance Your Load: Distribute the weight evenly across your trailer. Avoid placing too much weight at the front or rear.
  • Check pin Weight: Make sure your hitch has the appropriate hitch weight. This helps maintain stability and reduces chucking. The rule of thumb is 20% of gross trailer weight at the kingpin is optimal. Less than 20% which is common on many ½ ton towable models and heavily loaded toy haulers will amplify fore/aft and vertical bounce.   
  1. Upgrade Your Suspension System
  • Enhance Suspension: Upgrading your truck’s suspension system can absorb more road shock and reduce chucking. 
  • Use Shock Absorbers: High-quality shock absorbers can help dampen the motion between the trailer and tow-vehicle. Air suspension helper springs can also help to maintain a level rig and reduce bounce in the truck suspension.  
  1. Choose the Right Tires
  • Proper Tire Pressure: Ensure that both your truck and trailer tires are properly inflated. 
  • High-Quality Tires: Invest in good-quality, heavy-duty tires designed for towing. Such as E load rated (10 ply tires) and run at or near the maximum air pressure of 80 PSI.  
  1. Invest in a High-Quality Hitch

One of the most effective ways to stop chucking is to use a high-quality hitch designed to absorb and dampen the forces involved in towing. 

The TrailerSaver hitch is specifically engineered to eliminate chucking and enhance your towing experience. 

 Here’s how it works: 

  • The TrailerSaver hitch features an advanced air-ride system that significantly reduces the shock and vibration transmitted from the road to your trailer. This system absorbs over 98% of road-induced motion, providing a smooth, chuck-free ride. 
  • The unique level pivot point design of the TrailerSaver hitch ensures that the trailer can never pitch forward towards the tow vehicle. This design absorbs all forward motion, preventing the trailer from "pushing" the tow vehicle and reducing chucking. 
  • The Hensley 32K rated coupler pivots at a point level with the head itself, allowing it to absorb both up-down and fore-aft motions. This dual absorption capability is crucial in eliminating the jerking motion associated with chucking. 
  • Built with solid steel and a 4-way pivot head, the TrailerSaver hitch is one of the most rugged and reliable hitches available. Its robust construction ensures long-lasting performance and reliability.  

Chucking can be a major annoyance for 5th wheel trailer owners, but it doesn’t have to be. By ensuring proper weight distribution, upgrading your suspension system, choosing the right tires, and investing in a high-quality hitch like the TrailerSaver, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate chucking.   

For more information on how the TrailerSaver hitch can transform your towing experience, visit Say goodbye to chucking and hello to a smoother, safer journey! 

Next article What is the difference between the Hensley Arrow® and Pro Pride 3P®?

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