how to remove a 5th wheel hitch from truck bed

Towing can be a pain physically. It literally can break your back! The heavy 5th wheel hitch at the bed of your truck weighs a lot more than you can carry. Some bravely lift this themselves and end up in hospital—from your truck bed to a white hospital bed.

Fortunately, there are a few different methods for removing the 5th wheel hitch from your truck that doesn’t break your back.

What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?

If you’ve spent any time on the road, you’re probably familiar with trailer trucks and the multi-ton trailer loads that they tow. 

The fifth and most advanced type of trailer, the 5th wheel, is preferred by those who frequently transport heavy machinery, machinery, or transport and transport vehicles. Using a 5th wheel hitch is a popular method of towing larger campers and semi-trailers with pickup vehicles. It is the ideal option for any type of heavy-duty recreational use for a wide range of reasons.

This hitch is explicitly made for flatbed trucks and vans. Trucks equipped with a 5th-wheel hitch can tow up to 9000 kilograms (13,500 pounds) with a maximum weight capacity of 560 pounds (770 pounds). Using a central pivot that mimics the plate of a semi-tractor, each unit is connected to its towed trailer. 

Installing a fifth wheel hitch can be done in your garage or driveway by simply bolting the hitch rails, brackets, and frame to the car frame. A fifth-wheel hitch kit tailored to your exact truck type may be already available on the market, in which case you can install it with only a few hand tools.

A trained technician may be necessary if you need a fifth wheel kit to be installed on your vehicle or if you need to make some modifications to your truck in order to do so.

But removing this type of hitch is another conversation and literally a pain in the back.

How to remove the 5th wheel hitch from the truck bed?

Here is a simple way of detaching your 5th wheel hitch from the car.

  1. To loosen the hitch’s tension, whack the bolts a few times. In order to properly secure a hitch that has been in operation for a lengthy period of time, this is required.
  2. Under the truck, use a leveler to align the four screws with the slide rails. Only the standard key system should be available to the person at the bottom. The most common dimension is 3/4 inch in diameter. To keep the bolt from just sliding through, you need to secure the nut in place.
  3. While the person at the bottom anchors the nuts, loosen the bolts from the inside. You’ll need a lot of leverage to unscrew these bolts and nuts. Remove the truck bed’s metal slide rails by removing the loosened bolts.

You have now successfully detached the hitch from your truck. Now, the problem is, how do you lift the 5th wheel hitch outside your truck?

Using an engine hoist can be your answer!

Removing 5th Wheel Hitch Using an Engine Hoist

Tom Gould’s idea was a straightforward Do It Yourself DIY 5th wheel hitch removal using an engine hoist. 

  1. You can purchase your engine hoist from the market. It may be costly, but as this prevents your back from hurting is an excellent trade-off. It employs a hefty cantilevered support structure to suspend the engine mid-air, allowing the mechanic to carefully connect or disconnect its fragile hoses and wires from the vehicle’s frame. This case allows the 5th wheel hitch to be suspended on air as you slide the engine hoist away from the car.
  1. At the back of the engine hoist, attach a heavy ballast that will serve as a leveling system. This prevents the engine hoist or engine crane from flipping backward as it lifts the heavy hitch. Be sure that the weight attached at the back can manage a balance between the hoist and the 5th wheel hitch.
  2. When the hitch is lifted, secure the chains in the hitch at the front of the crane to prevent the crane from falling when the hitch is lifted. You can raise the hitch from the same adjustments in using the hoist to lift something. 
  3. Be sure that the lifted hitch won’t sway around as you slide the rails of the hoist. You can do this by simply securing a rope at the truck of the engine hoist to the 5th wheel hitch.
  4. Lastly, slide the engine hoist away from your car and find an elevated place to secure the hitch placement while putting it down. Lower down the crane and detach the chains that fastened the hitch. 

This way of lifting and removing your 5th wheel hitch is so convenient than lifting it manually. 

5th Wheel Hitches that are Easy to Remove

If you don’t want to deal with the difficulty of removing these hitches completely, 5th-wheel hitches that are simple to remove are the best option.

Under-bed systems

There are rail-type wheel tractor hitches that can be installed under the truck bed. Cross-tubes that are mounted to the frame are another popular option. 

Hardware that can be easily removed from both types of hitch platforms is used to secure the platform to the vehicle bed.


You may use a gooseneck hitch on your truck bed by putting a gooseneck adapter on your fifth wheel. A hitch that folds or flips under the bed when it’s not in use, allowing for a flat surface, is a possibility here.


When using a bar system, you may leave your heavy, bulky pull behind at home or on a trip to the woods or beach. Most truck bed rails are bolted or welded to the vehicle’s frame after being put in the truck’s bed. Despite their low appearance, the rails move around on the bed.

To Recap

Because of their comprehensive floor plans and simplicity of hauling, fifth wheels are immensely popular among RV enthusiasts. In terms of disadvantages, the size and weight of the tow vehicle is a significant issue.

Coming up with ways for comfort and back pains free in removing the 5th wheel hitch should be a priority if you are someone that often uses this type of hitch. 

Never again will you have to deal with hassle or back pain!