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Keep Wedges Out of Your Companion Fifth-Wheel Hitch

Keep Wedges Out of Your Companion Fifth-Wheel Hitch

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    Companion 5th Wheel HItch Coupler Head with Wedge in it

    You may have heard about a few extended pin boxes that have been designed to increase turning clearance between your truck and fifth wheel RV when towing. These extended pin boxes use a wedge in the fifth wheel hitch head to stop the rotation of the king pin in the pin box. This moves the pivot point from the jaws of the hitch to a point further back on the pin box.

    Sidewinder Pin Box

    Photo courtesy of etrailer.com

    1. Sidewinder Pivot Point - 22" behind the king pin
    2. Rotating Turret - attaches to the pin box on the trailer
    3. Universal King Pin Locking Wedge (not pictured) - prevents pivot at fifth wheel hitch
    4. Fifth Wheel King Pin - attaches to the hitch in the truck bed for towing
    5. Sidewinder Standard Arm - rated at 19K

    You may have even seen people who aren’t affiliated with B&W Trailer Hitches saying that these products, such as Sidewinder (called a Revolution when it comes as original equipment on a few 5th wheels) can be used with our Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch or Companion Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch.

     

    That is definitely not the case.

     

    We have serious concerns that moving the pivot point back 20 inches can place too much stress on the hitch, the trailer and the truck. The Companion has a single point of attachment and wasn’t designed to handle the huge amount of force that comes when you turn a RV.

    Companion fifth wheel hitch with Single Point of Attachment

    When you turn, the king pin wants to twist. But when a wedge won’t let it twist, bad things can happen.

     

    In fact, we’ve had people call us and say their Companion hitch was literally ripped from their truck because of this kind of product.

     

    Not only could you be creating a very unstable and unsafe situation for yourself, your passengers and other drivers, but if you use a product with our mounting system, and that product hasn’t been manufactured and/or tested by B&W, our warranty will become void.

     

    We’re not trying to disparage these extended pin boxes. They work just fine with other B&W products that attach with rails and pucks, but not the Companion Fifth-Wheel Hitch or Companion Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch that has a single-point of attachment.  It’s not that the Companion is weak or unsafe, it’s just that this newly designed pinbox drastically changes the usual way 5th wheels are towed.

     

    Patriot 16K 5th Wheel Hitch with Rails   

    Patriot 16K with four points of attachment to the truck frame

     

     Companion 5th Wheel Hitch with pucks

    Companion OEM  - Ford Model with four points of attachment to the truck frame

     

    Any product that uses a wedge or other device to prevent the king pin from rotating within the jaws of the Companion, and moves the pivot point anywhere outside of the locking jaws, should not be used with the Companion.

     

    If you have any questions about what products can be used safely with B&W products, please feel free to call us at 1-800-248-6564.