I am experiencing a chronic medical condition, which no longer allows me to enjoy 5th Wheel RV'ing; therefore I am offering for sale the following 5th Wheel RV Hitch:
This is an Easy Rider air-ride 5th Wheel Hitch, Model AR20K, with a Reese 20K full swivel head. I replaced a standard fixed hitch and purchased this because my experiences with a standard hitch base left a lot to be desired with regard to the ride qualities in the tow unit and the potential for damage to the 5th wheel trailer due to the harshness of the ride. Welding fractured trailers is an expensive proposition; some fractures can turn a trailer into salvage! The decision was hastened by my wanting to RV to Alaska from Arkansas, which my wife was reluctant to endure with my standard hitch base. While considerably more expensive than a standard hitch, the Easy Rider Hitch was probably the best RV purchase I made. It would only have been better if I had not first purchased the standard hitch! The hitch is in "Excellent Used" condition; all reasonable offers considered.
The AR20K includes a vertical traveling head carriage with 4 linear bearings, 2 tubular shock absorbers, and 4 airbags, and travel-limiting stops (the red items in the image). The Reese head is free to move up and down about 4 1/2 inches total, but not fore and aft. The airbag inflation is easily adjusted with a small tire pump to suit the weight of the trailer. You really almost can't tell from the ride that you are towing a 5th Wheel. If you have a small rig, then you would not get much ride improvement; if you have a large 5th Wheel and a heavy duty tow, then you will find out why my wife and I were so happy to have had it for our Alaska trip.
This air-ride hitch base is not to be confused with the pivoting 5th Wheel tongue units in that there is no possibility of a "porpoise," nor any neck-jerking fore/aft motion imparted, nor of the trailer coming free from the hitch. Even total loss of air from this hitch's airbags only reverts the head carriage to "lying" on the carriage travel limiting stops (the airbags are a standard airbag widely available and may even be temporarily patched much like an automobile tire). Included is a length of air tubing and one each of the different air line fittings to provide for repairing should the air line system become damaged in the "boonies."
This hitch installs on the standard rails.
The head is adjustable up/down to adjust to the height of your tow vehicle's bed; the adjustment can be seen as the two bolts on each side just above the shock absorber in the image. This, in conjunction with the usual trailer 5th Wheel plate adjustment, allows for the proper height of the trailer above the tow bed. Currently the unit is set at the lowest position, which was the setting I needed for my trailer.
You might wonder why airbags and why not springs. The airbag is superior to springs because of at least two reasons. First, an airbag can be adjusted to provide a resistive force equal the amount of weight that the trailer places on the hitch. The addition or release of air when stationary allows for an adjustment so that the vertical travel can be apportioned between up and down motion, the neutral point. Second, and more import, airbags will double the force when compressed half way from the neutral point; and will again double the force when depressed half of the remaining way. This increase occurs smoothly and almost totally prevents the airbags from reaching the bottom limit stop. The reverse condition, when the trailer is moving above the neutral point, greatly reduces the upward force on the trailer; thus removing lifting force on the trailer and quickening the settling of the trailer from the bump. People pulling horse trailers using air-ride hitches report their horses are much more calm when arriving as a result of the improved ride.