Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Physics of a Fifth Wheel

  1. Dec 30, 2004 #1
    Background: For those of you who don't know, a fifth wheel RV is a recreational vehicle (trailer) that is hitched into the bed of a pickup truck, in front of the rear axel of the pickup. The rest of the trailer trails behind the pickup truck on two or three axels of it's own. Pickup's that tow fifth wheel's are rear wheel drive.

    Question: is the fifth wheel being pushed or pulled? Explain why you feel it's being pushed/pulled in your reply, please. I am especially interested in anyone justifying why they think it's being pushed.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Pulled when going forwards, pushed when going reverse.

    The connecting member to the RV is under tension (pulled) when going fowards (except when going downhill).

    Also 5th wheel also describes a small 5th wheel with recording mechanism attached to a car to measure it's performance. These aren't used any more, as radar guns, GPS, and other modern devices have eliminated the need for them.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook