masthead image
Best RV Tips Book Ad

Origin of the Term Fifth Wheel

Wikipedia says: The term fifth wheel comes from a similar coupling used on four-wheel horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The device allowed the front axle assembly to pivot in the horizontal plane, to improve turning.

However I've also heard that the term originated with the way Glenn Curtiss designed the hitch for his fifth wheel trailer the Curtiss Aerocar Land Yacht. This origin makes more sense to me. At least as the term is used in modern day.

Glenn Curtiss Fifth Wheel Trailer

The "Glenn Curtiss Aero Coupler", consisted of a tire and wheel mounted horizontally to the trunk floor of a passenger coupe or to sq specially designed tow vehicle. The tire is inflated to absorb lateral, longitudinal and vertical road shocks. The trailer's goose neck kingpin slips into the wheel's bearing journal where an axle would normally fit.

Glenn Curtis Fifth Wheel Hitch System

Stay Up to Date - Follow Us
on Facebook

We let our Facebook followers know when we post a new article or news story to our websites.

Fans of on Facebook

Join Our FREE RVBasics Email Discussion Group

Get current information about the RVing lifestyle, and the RV industry from your fellow RVers. You can also post your own questions. We never share your email address with anyone.

Get more information and Join

Follow Links Below to Featured Pages
and Our Other Sites

RVing Videos
from YouTube

RV Tip of the Day

Search or Site

This Site is Produced by Steven Fletcher & Fran Crawford - Contact Us - All RIghts Reserved - Copyright 1999 - 2013