EarthRV Advice Q&A Fifth Wheels

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Below are E-mail questions and answers that are related to service on 5th wheel trailers. You can send your question(s) using the form at the bottom of this page or any Q&A page within this site.

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This page last updated May 29,  2014 containing letters emailed to Pete from January 29, 2013 - January 18, 2014


January 18, 2014 Randy of Monroe, Iowa writes regarding use of safety chains with fifth wheel

Does it seem odd that 5th wheel campers do not utilize safety chains or is that common to only have the king pin engaged with a breakaway line?

Dear Randy,

It's common to not have safety chains. They could get tangled up and really cause problems.


January 9, 2014 Robert of Carter, Texas SHOUTS regarding fresh water system in 2002 Forest River Cardinal

AFTER FREEZING WEATHER THE CITY SUPPLY BLEEDS INTO THE FRESHWATER TANK AND OVERFLOWS OUT THE OVERFLOW HOLE. HAS A CHECK VALVE FAILED?

Dear Robert,

City water fill valve or the head on the water pump.


January 7, 2014 Pam of Valley Center, California writes regarding bedroom slide out stuck open and blowing fuses in 1994 Fleetwood Avion

Bedroom slide out is stuck open. It keeps blowing fuses. Trailer is level.

Dear Pam,

You need to check and see if the wiring is shorted or if the motor has went bad.


January 6, 2014 E. of Tucson, Arizona writes regarding slide out motor on 2001 Aerolite fifth wheel

I have NO battery where the battery connections are that runs the slide out on the 5th wheel but, the motor noise came on for the slide out by its self for about 3 minutes even though the side out did not move and stopped by its self. -HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Dear E.,

Somehow it got a signal and power from the power converter, or through the plug from your tow vehicle.


Christmas Day Ann of Meadview, Arizona writes regarding cannot find heat pump in 1999 Alfa Gold to change filter

We recently bought a 1999 Alfa Gold 36ft with three slides.We can not find where the heat pump is located to change the filter. When we run the electric heat it works for a while then quits and blows cold air. Could it be located where we will have to cut a hole to get to it?

Our neighbor had to cut a hole in the side of their Alfa motor home to get to the heat pump. We have looked every where.

Dear Ann,

It's a good question. But if it has a basement heat pump it should be easy to locate. Make sure the sidewall panel in front of it is not hinged and just needs to have a couple of screws removed from the bottom to lift it up and access the heat pump.


October 3, 2013 Robert of Brandon, Manitoba writes regarding manual crank location for 2007 Gulf Stream Mako fifth wheel

Where would I find the manual crank for the slide on my 2007 Gulf Stream Mako 5th wheel?

Dear Robert,

I am not sure it has a crank or what type of slide assembly they (the manufacturer), is using on your fifth wheel. Look in your Gulf Stream owner's manual.

Some of the Power Gear units that were used, had a release on the motor and your push it in.


August 22, 2013 John of Lawton, Michigan writes regarding ground wire for tail lights on 2012 Winnebago 29' fifth wheel

My tail light/stoplight fixtures have lost a good ground connection. How would I find out where the ground wire connects to the frame, or whatever it connects to?

If I run an external wire from the fixture to the chassis the lights operate fine.

Dear John,

I don't know if your unit has an enclosed underbelly or not. If you can run a new wire down the back wall to the frame that might be the easiest, if you can't see where they are grounding it at. In the front, the ground will be close to where the pig tail terminates at.


August 20, 2013 Elizabeth of Payson, Arizona writes regarding how to keep mice out of fifth wheel

In my last camper (5th wheel Cougar), we were parked in a meadow. We were visited by many unwanted guests (mice). We have a new camper now and want to prevent this same occurrence. I presently have those sonic mice chasers away in every outlet possible. Other than moth balls, what other trick or device is there? I just cannot tolerate these creatures and a cat is not an option.

Dear Elizabeth,

Go to our FAQs page at and check out Q&A #7 under"All RVs", that should answer your question.


August 17, 2013 Samantha of Eunice, New Mexico writes regarding finding location of fuse box on 2002 Thor Mirage fifth wheel

I am needing to know where i can find the fuse box on my 2002 Thor Mirage. I found the breaker box and the fuse box is not with the breaker box . I have tried to look every where for it and cant find it.

Dear Samantha,

All I can say is check under furniture, in cabinets, closets, storage compartments. Sometimes in fifth wheels the interior step will lift up and the manufacturer will put fuse panels in there.


August 6, 2013 Larry of Julesburg, Colorado writes regarding hydraulic oil leak in right front jack on 2001 Montana fifth wheel

I am in Colorado, and received word today that the front right lift-jack on my 2001 Keystone Montana 35 foot 5th wheel, in Arizona, is leaking hydraulic oil and has lowered the 5th wheel about five inches on that side.

Will it continue to lower the 5th wheel? Could it damage anything? Is there a safe location to put a manual jack to stabilize the 5th wheel from lowering anymore until I get down there in October?

Dear Larry,

The jack will continue to bleed off until it bottoms out or the weight is off of it.

It really depends on how far it twist and settles as to the threat of damage.

You should be able to put a stabilizer under the frame rail near the jack to hold it until you can get the jack fixed.


June 16, 2013 William of New Caney, Texas writes regarding slide outs in 2003 Cardinal fifth wheel

One slide in living room at computer desk tends to be slow on opening when full open the bottom is tight but top is not. What adjustments can I make and where?

Dear William,

Be very cautious trying to make adjustments on the room unless it is totally necessary. It is not always going to fit the same from top to bottom.

f it's not leaking I wouldn't mess with it.

Changing the adjustment is not going to speed it up.


May 25, 2013 Don of Redmond, Oregon writes regarding water lines in 1997 Aljo 24' fifth wheel

We just bought this 24 foot gooseneck. When I turn on the water pump, water comes out the city water connect fill on side of RV. The only valve I see is for the pump to lines in unit. It came with an ill fitting underground sprinkler type plug for the inlet, but still water comes the inlet. I see no other valve inline, like to close off that line that comes in/out to city hook up.

Dear Don,

You need to replace the city water hookup connection. The check valve has gone bad allowing the water to come out when the pump is on.


May 16, 2013 Gary of Granbury, Texas writes regarding landing jacks on 2005 Keystone Cougar

There is a brass sleeve on the landing jacks that keeps sliding out keeping the jacks from going up or down. Is there a way to keep the brass sleeve from sliding out?

Dear Gary,

Sounds like you need a technician to open up the jack and see what's going on; it might be time for a replacement.

You don't want the jack to collapse.


May 5, 2013 Emity of Phoenix, Arizona writes regarding electrical issues after power service failure in 1995 Nuwa Hitchhiker II

The power went out abruptly. All major appliances are not working. However, the lights and outlets are working. The breaker box has 120V going to it. The converter is not humming and does not appear to have any power going to it.

Could there be an inline breaker from shore/battery to converter that may have tripped? What is the flow path of AC and DC power and the appliance systems or groups that use it?

Dear Emity,

Are your AC or DC lights working?

If you're outlets are working, you have AC voltage coming in. You do have a breaker box with different breakers for the appliances and power converter.

You do need 12 volt DC also for the control board of the refrigerator and possibly the boards or thermostat for the air conditioners to work as well as the furnace.

The water heater and microwave can work off AC alone.

There could be a line breaker on the power lead between the battery and where it enters the Nuwa.


April 30, 2013 Julie of Grapevine, Texas writes regarding water pump in 2011 Coachmen Chaparral fifth wheel

The pump was working fine for showers in the morning, but later in the day the toilets wouldn't flush and no water would come from the tap. Not a peep from the pump when we turned on the water or switched the pump switch off and on. Checked the fuse and breaker. All looks fine, I guess.

Tank is 1/3 full, but then again it seems to always show 1/3 full. But if water was empty, wouldn't we see a gradual decline in water pressure, and wouldn't the pump still make that loud noise when we initially turn it on?

A serviceman said pumps rarely fail.

Any thoughts on what we should look for? We can probably change the pump ourselves if we knew how to find it, and if we knew that would solve the problem.

Dear Julie,

If you don't hear the pump running, then that would be the place to start. If the fuse is good, check for power and ground to the pump. They could be using a water pump relay that could be the problem.


March 7, 2013 Les of planet Earth writes regarding truck pig tail pulling out electrical box behind 5th wheel hitch on 2006 Keystone Raptor toy-hauler

I have a 2006 Keystone Raptor toy-hauler that the pig tail form the truck pulled out of the electrical box behind the 5th wheel hitch. Can you advise me on what color of wires from the trailer connect to the wires form the pig tail?

Dear Les,

You don't say if you're dealing with a 4, 6, 7 or nine way receptacle. Go on line, you can find the diagrams. We have some listed on our Neato Info page at http://www.rvadvice.com/neato.html

Also, check out Pollack electrical connectors; they probably have diagrams on their web site.


February 16, 2013 Susan of Lucerne Valley, California writes regarding problems with electric after generator exhaust burned through power cord in Komfort fifth wheel

I allowed the exhaust on my generator to burn the power cord. That was repaired, but now the electrical plugs are dead. There is only a few fuses found, and they look to be ok.What next?

Dear Susan,

Look for a GFI breaker and reset your breakers. The 12 volt fuses would not effect the electrical plugs.


February 15, 2013 Delmar of Mission, Texas writes regarding problems with slide moving in or out on 2001 Sprinter fifth wheel

Moving out or coming in, slide moves a few inches and stops, wait 20-30 seconds push button, again moves a few inches and stops. Does this all the way in or out.

I have cleaned rails, sprayed them with slide lube, replaced batteries, replaced relay breakers, nothing helped.

Dear Delmar,

Take a battery and some jumper cables and go directly to the motor and see if it's in the motor or maybe undersized wiring going to the motor.

January 29, 2013 Mary of Orting, Washington writes regarding lights going on slide out and freezer plugged into patio receptacle on 1999 Arctic Fox fifth wheel

Tonight our lights on the slide out side went out along with the freezer that is plugged into the patio receptacle on the opposite side outdoors.

I understand that there should be two GFCI receptacles on our RV. One is in the bathroom but could not find the one outside. Could the reset be behind something? If so, where might I look?

Dear Mary, You might only have one, instead of two.

Look at all of your wall outlets and next to your breaker box or converter; if there is not one visible, you probably only have one.

Recheck your breakers and make sure you fully reset the breaker before turning it back on.

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