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Travel Trailer Hitch-Location Help

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Q. I just purchased a 2004 GMC C4500 Crew Cab truck, and I’ll be installing a Reese 20K fifth-wheel hitch. I want to have the truck bed built, and have been told to put the hitch centered over the axle. I also have been told to put it 9 inches forward of the axle. It seems that everybody I asked has a different idea. The trailer is a 2003 Newmar American Star 38-footer.

— J.R.C., Long Island, New York

A.Hearing different opinions on this is not all that unusual, as there are a lot of different ideas floating around out there. You can’t go wrong by placing the hitch right over, or a few inches ahead of the axle. However, going up to 9 inches seems a bit much to me.

— J.J.


Jeff Johnston, TL technical director, started RVing at age 6. During his more than 20 years as a writer/photographer, he has worked for Truckin’ and Four Wheeler magazines before joining TL’s technical staff in 1985. Johnston also has produced an award-winning travel video and TV commercials.

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