How to remove 5th wheel hitch from truck bed

By Nicholas Bourgeois

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Removing a 5th wheel hitch from a truck bed can be daunting, but it is possible with the right equipment and safety precautions. As any adventurer knows, an unexpected hitch removal is one of the worst things to experience on the road.

From Reese to Curt’s Easiest Removable 5th Wheel Hitch, each brand has its unique process for removal. To ensure that your hitch is removed safely and efficiently, this article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to remove 5th wheel hitch from truck bed.

So buckle up; it’s time to prepare for an adventure in hitch removal!

Key Takeaways

  • Removing a 5th-wheel hitch requires the right equipment and caution
  • Different 5th-wheel hitch brands have other removal methods
  • MaxxTow Hydraulic Pickup Truck Crane and 5th Wheel Lifting Bracket recommend for lifting items
  • Use a hoist for a simple and safe removal process

Preparations for 5th wheel hitch removal

Before removing a 5th wheel hitch from a truck bed, it is essential to ensure you have unhooked the trailer and the truck has been parked and appropriately secured. The necessary tools for removal should be ready so that the process can be done safely and with minimal effort.

Before beginning, it recommends to consult the owner’s manual of the vehicle or hitch to find out how best to disconnect the trailer from the hitch. Additionally, safety precautions should be taken, such as working with a partner to ensure safety during hitch removal, using a hoist for an easy and safe removal process, and following instructions carefully when loosening or tightening nuts and bolts.

Taking time during this process is also advised to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Step-by-Step on how to remove 5th wheel hitch from truck bed

How to remove the 5th-wheel hitch from a truck bed - source by Chris E
Remove the 5th wheel hitch from a truck bed – source by Chris E

To successfully detach a fifth trailer from the pickup bed, it is essential to follow a detailed step-by-step procedure, just like assembling a piece of furniture; if one skips a step or fails to follow the instructions, 

the process can become arduous and dangerous. The following are steps for hitch removal:

  • Unlocking the Hitch:
  • For Reese’s 5th wheel hitches, remove the head and pins before proceeding with any other steps
  • Quick release option may be available for some models
  • Lifting the Hitch:
  • Use MaxxTow Hydraulic Pickup Truck Crane and 5th Wheel Lifting Bracket for best results
  • The weight of the hitch can vary between 130 – 200+ pounds; use caution when lifting
  • Recommend using strong steel braided cables when using the engine hoist to lift the hitch off the ground
  • Detaching Hitch from Truck Bed:
  • Loosen bolts and remove metal slide rails to free up the hitch from the truck bed
  • Lift high enough so that it clears the truck bed; lower onto stand on the ground

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Post-Removal Inspections and Maintenance

Once the fifth trailer has been detached from the pickup, inspecting and accordingly maintaining the hitch is essential. To ensure a safe and efficient journey, take time for post-removal inspections:

  • Check hardware for any signs of wear or damage
  • Clean off debris such as dirt, mud, and grease
  • Lubricate metal pieces with approved lubricants to prevent rusting
  • Reapply anti-seize compound to all bolts and nuts before storage

Proper storage of the 5th wheel hitch when not used is also essential. Store it in a dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Covering it with a durable tarp can help protect against weather elements.

Moreover, check that all parts are correctly aligned when reassembling it after each use.

Read more: how to level a 5th wheel without a truck

Reinstalling the Hitch

Reinstalling the Hitch
Reinstalling the Hitch – source by Family Elements

In order to ensure efficient and safe transportation, a fifth trailer should correctly reinstall for pickup. The position of the hitch should adjust to align with the bed rails so that it is parallel to the truck. All bolts and pins should firmly tighten to secure the hitch in its position.

If possible, an RV leveler can help identify if the installation is correct and stable. When reinstalling an engine hoist, ensure all cables are properly secured and do not exceed their rated capacity. Utilize safety equipment such as heavy-duty gloves or goggles when handling any sharp edges or heavy equipment.

Once complete, inspect all hitch components for damages or wear before use. Ensure tools are returned to their original storage locations once done with help to prevent accidents or injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of tools do I need to remove a 5th-wheel hitch?

To remove a 5th wheel hitch, one needs the right equipment and caution. Different brands require different removal methods, with the weight of a 5th wheel hitch ranging from 130 to 200+ pounds. A MaxxTow Hydraulic Pickup Truck Crane and 5th Wheel Lifting Bracket are recommended lifting items, as well as an engine hoist and steel braided cables.

How much should I expect to pay for a 5th-wheel hitch removal service?

Depending on the size and complexity of the job, the cost of a 5th-wheel hitch removal service can range from $50 to $400. Additionally, rental fees for hitching equipment may apply.

Are there any safety risks associated with removing a 5th-wheel hitch?

Removal of a 5th wheel hitch can present various safety risks, such as improper use of equipment, lack of assistance from another person, or incorrect tightening/loosening of nuts and bolts. Adhering to instructions and using proper tools is recommended for safe removal.

Can a 5th-wheel hitch be removed without a hoist?

It is possible to remove a 5th-wheel hitch without a hoist. However, caution must take as some hitches weigh up to 200 pounds. Recommended methods include loosening bolts and slide rails or using strong steel braided cables for leverage. A partner should also be present to ensure safety.

What are some tips for reinstalling the hitch after it has been removed?

When reinstalling a 5th wheel hitch, it is essential to use the right equipment and follow instructions for tightening nuts and bolts. Additionally, ensuring that all components are firmly secured is necessary for safe operation. Working with a partner can also help ensure safety during the process.


How to remove 5th wheel hitch from truck bed can be challenging, but it can do effectively with the right equipment and safety precautions. The process may vary depending on the brand of hitch but generally involves the following steps:

  1. Loosen bolts: Start by loosening the bolts that secure the hitch to the truck bed. Use a socket or an adjustable wrench to loosen the bolts, making sure not to remove them altogether.
  2. Slide rails: If your 5th wheel hitch has slide rails, loosen them. Slide rails allow the hitch to move forward and backward in the truck bed, so it’s important to loosen them before attempting to lift the hitch.
  3. Lift the hitch: Once you have loosened the bolts and slide rails, it’s time to raise the hitch. This job can be two-person, as the hitch can be heavy and awkward. Carefully lift the hitch to clear the truck bed, keeping it level and stable.
  4. Inspect and maintain: After successfully removing the hitch, take the time to inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. Check the bolts, slide rails, and other components to ensure they are in good working condition. If any parts are damaged or worn, replace them before reinstalling the hitch.
  5. Reinstallation: If you plan on reinstalling it at a later time, make sure to store it in a safe and secure location. Please keep all the necessary hardware and components together to avoid any confusion or missing parts when it’s time to reinstall.

Safety should always be a top priority when removing a 5th-wheel hitch. Use proper lifting techniques, wear gloves to protect your hands, and follow any additional safety guidelines the manufacturer provides. You can safely remove your 5th wheel hitch from your truck bed with some care and attention.

Nicholas Bourgeois is a lifelong pickup truck enthusiast with a passion for sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. From a young age, Nicholas has been fascinated by the versatility and reliability of pickup trucks, and has made it his mission to learn everything there is to know about these amazing vehicles. Through his pickup truck blog, Nicholas shares his insights and tips with fellow enthusiasts, offering advice on everything from maintenance and modifications to buying and selling pickup trucks. With a focus on providing accurate and up-to-date information, Nicholas is committed to helping others discover the joys of pickup truck ownership. Whether you're a seasoned pickup truck fan or just starting out, Nicholas welcomes you to his community, and invites you to join him on his journey of discovery and exploration of these amazing vehicles.

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