Maintenance Procedures for Model TSLB & TS3 Air Ride 5th Wheel Hitches
Any quality piece of equipment requires some periodic maintenance to keep it in proper operating condition and the same is true with the Trailer Saver Air Suspension Hitch. While we strived during the design process to make the unit as simple as possible, it is still necessary to do some minor maintenance to keep it operating as we designed it.
The TrailerSaver hitch did undergo a manufacturing change after 2004. Even though the design is the same, there are some different maintenance procedures. For lack of better terminology, we will call the pre 2004 fifth wheel hitches old style versus new style. The biggest difference and the way to discern the styles is the hinge area in the front of the unit. The pre 2004 style used 1" bolts with hexagonal heads and the post 2004 style utilizes a 31/32" pin held in place with a 5/16" socket head cap screw.
The frame unit has 2 grease zerts located on the bushings of the hinge axle at the front end of the hitch (towards the front of the truck). We recommend greasing them at 4,000 mile intervals. Any automotive grade grease is acceptable for the hitch.
On pre 2004 models it may be necessary to turn the hexagonal nuts while adding grease to allow grease to flow, due to the tight tolerances.
Locate the machined pin that secures the head assembly to the frame of the hitch and serves as the pivot point for the side to side tilt. This pin does not require greasing but should be checked periodically for excessive wear. Simply pull up on the head unit and if more than 1/8" of play on the pin is found, replace the pin.
The Hensley 5th wheel head has several moving components that do require lubrication. The jaws that lock around the king pin of the 5th wheel rotate on 1-1/8 " pins that need to be lubricated
with spray grease or equivalent lubricant. Spray the lubricant onto the pins that are exposed to the top of the hitch head and it will migrate around the bearing surface of the jaws. The head also articulates front to back on 1¼"pins located on either side of the head and they also need the same lubricant in the same manner. The side pins are accessible from the top of the head by two holes, spray lubricant directly into these holes and onto the pins. Gear oil can also be squirted into these top holes. NOTE: lubricate the side pins every 1,000 miles.
There is a spring that keeps the head tilted to the rear for ease of hooking up and it is located at the front of and under the head. By standing at the rear of the hitch and looking forward you will be able to see it; it is approximately 2" high and 2" in diameter. From the back of the hitch you can spray WD-40 or white lithium grease on the bottom of the spring. This spring slides on the steel plate, and if you do not apply lubricant, it is possible the spring will "pop" out letting the Hensley head fall forward, making it difficult to hook up to your trailer.
The air system does not require any maintenance except to keep the air springs protected from the UV rays of the sun. A custom fit cover is available for this purpose and it may be purchased from Hensley Mfg., Inc.
If the preceding maintenance practices are followed, you will have many years of trouble free service from your TrailerSaver Air Suspension Hitch.