View Full Version : Wrong Size 5th Wheel Hitch ???

07-05-2009, 08:11 PM
Hello all, I just purchased the 3950 toy hauler. Nice unit by far, I have one thing so far that bothers me alot. They had installed a 16K hitch. Isn't this hitch to small for this 5th wheel. Dealer just tries to back pedal when I bring this up. Let me know what all you seansoned 5th wheel pullers think.


07-05-2009, 08:24 PM
Well since the GVWR of the rig is 18000, I would say your about 2k short. I think they should have installed a 18k for the potential load you will be carrying.....Kenny

07-05-2009, 09:15 PM
HI Tom,

Yes, I think you need to talk to your dealer about a different hitch. The 3950 has a GVWR of 18,000#. So you should get a hitch rated for 18K. The 16K may never give you a problem, but if you should have one, wreck, hitch breaking or anything concerning the hitch, then it will all come back on you because you were not equipped to handle the load. And I would think the dealer could even be involved because he did not install a hitch rated for enough load of the trailer he sold you.

Just my 2 cents.

Jim M

07-05-2009, 09:39 PM
Even an 18,000 hitch doesn't give you much of a margin for safety, afterall it is easy to overload these things on occasion and when you do that you might be taxing it fairly well. I have a Landmark and went with a 24,000 lb hitch, which was a little overkill but it works for me. Another thing to consider with your 16,000 hitch is how well did they install that. You have seen already that the installer didn't have an eye for safety when putting that hitch in so how many bolts did he use and what grade did he use. A poorly installed 16 K hitch with that trailer would be very bad.

07-05-2009, 10:26 PM
Tom, Im not so sure that the dealer can put in an undersized hitch and tell you its ok. Sounds like you bought it from Richardsons RV. Take it back and demand the correct hitch to be installed. If they wont, call the CHP and tell them what has happened. I bet there commercial guys will help you. Always remember that your truck has commercial plates on it and I do hope that you are pulling it with at least a 1tn truck. Bob

07-05-2009, 10:53 PM
Here in British Columbia, our government insurance company recommends a 20% margin. So, 18k + 3.6k = 21.6k. Your dealer should probably have installed a 22k hitch.

What truck do you have?

Delaine and Lindy
07-06-2009, 08:10 AM
Well I have always wondered why you can mount a 16,000 lb on a set of bed rails and if you upgrade they only change out the 5th wheel hitch. I went from a Huskey roller 16,000 lb hitch to a Trailer Saver Air ride 20,000 lb hitch and it sit into the same rails???

I just had to upgrade 5th wheel hitches again. I went from a 18,000 lb B&W turnover ball with the 5th wheel Companion hitch to a Trailer Saver Air ride (TSLB2H) which has a 32,000 lb capacity. I want have to ever upgrade again.

I do believe you should upgrade to at the least a 24,000 hitch. Because of the weight of the TH. You also may need to check the GVWR looks as if you will be close to the max GVWR, but I don't know what type of Tow Truck you have. Good Luck with your choice. GBY.....

07-06-2009, 08:28 AM
Heck Yeah!!! That thing grosses out at 18,000lbs!

If that hitch is part of your deal...tell that dealer either he puts in a 18, 000-20,000lb hitch or he'll be liable for any accidents/injuries when that unit pulls your hitch apart. You can take the hitch weight out of the axle capacity, but you CANNOT remove it from the capability of the hitch...PERIOD!! It has to be capable of carrying the entire load!

10-13-2009, 03:53 PM
It doesn't matter what the GVWR is, the dealer is going to match the trucks tow capacity, not the GVWR.

10-13-2009, 05:34 PM
Seems to me that the dealer should install the type of hitch you pay for. If you paid for a million pound hitch that what should be installed. Your hitch must be at least capable of towing the total weight of the RV. 18 k RV = 18 k hitch.

10-13-2009, 07:39 PM
Curious as to what axles are under the 3950?

10-13-2009, 08:19 PM
(3) 6,000 pounders

10-13-2009, 08:22 PM
Thanks for the reply. I have seen them on the road but never got a chance to look under one and havent looked it up on the Heartland site. Look like nice units for sure.