Hitching and in hitching


New Member
We have sidewinder on our Rockwood 8280. You have to get the angle absolutely spot on so that kingpin and wedge engage in hitch properly. Only time I’ve had real problem was when the wedge was wrong height and locked in the jaw took a number of attempts rolling forward and back before position was right and handle could be disengaged. If you are having to persuade with a hammer then wedge is probably the problem. If you haven’t already bought the hitch on eBay I’d try fixing the sidewinder and removing the wedge. Rig will then rotate over the truck rather than at the van end. Might also make reversing on easier as kingpin arm will always be straight rather than at whatever slight angle your last reversing manoeuvre left it at.


im considering a pinbox extension and locking the pin box, but wondering about the extra leverage and how it affects the chassis of the camper.
It sounds like you have the earlier sidewinder with the single large nut underneath, I have just activated my sidewinder as it was supplied locked ( inactive) and it may improve things if you slacken off the wedge bolts then re hitch. With the pin box engaged with the hitch with a hide hammer tap the wedge towards the pin as far as it will go then re tighten the bolts.
Hi, I'm a bit late to the party - sorry but I have a KountryLite like yours and it was fitted with the 16K hitch from new. It was always finicky to unhitch but I got the hang of it. Problem was, the locking plate wore badly after 5 years towing back and to to Spain and the backlash was intolerable so I upgraded to a two-jaw hitch. This also has its problems but you just have to understand the mechanics for easy hitching and unhitching. If you let me know which hitch you ended up with, I will gladly go through the actions necessary to help you.
I'm in the north west by the way if you want to meet up and have a trial.

Landy Lover

Back when we bought our 5th wheel a sidewinder was the only way we would have have been able to tow with our 110 land rover - we did a fair bit of research both with Reece and with Greg at American Trailers of Manby, The info we both got was the sidewinder was only really compatible with the 18K hitch due to the construction of mouth of the hitch to accept the wedge with a good bearing surface. This photo is a pull from Reeece you can see it has a heavier construction , has more articulation than most and the jaw is actually a heavy hook which locks the pin in the head. One thing we have found though as others have mentioned you do need to be in a straight line to hitch and unhitch. If you do try to unhitch while putting side pressure on the wedge it can lock. Hitching can be done slightly off centre with bit of a rush on the last inch but if it locks on unhitching I can usually overcome this just by swinging the steering from lock to lock. When we unhitch we always lower the legs and then lift the trailer so the hitch is just about to rise on the 5th wheel . Hitching we always back up to the hitch. raise or lower the trailer until the nose of the sidewinder is just touching the 5th wheel hitch then with the trailer brake on push back which lifts the legs off the ground until we hear the catch lock into place

Hope that helps - just bear in mind my research is now 10 years old.


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