A fifth wheel hitch is a towing system that can easily tow medium to heavy-duty weights. Its advantage over the bumper towing system is that it is designed to carry out the load near or right over the rear axle of the truck. Installing a fifth wheel hitch is a lengthy process and is a culmination of various works combined. If you want to know how to install a 5th wheel hitch, below is produced a step-by-step guide. These are general steps followed in most installations. However, detailed specifics of your installation may vary and depends upon the vehicle and the type of installation.
- The first step is to remove the spare tire from its place. This will clear out the space for further process.
- After removing the spare tire, the front base rail is positioned in the right position.
- Then comes the drilling. The first drill location is marked and a pilot hole is drilled. You have to decide if you will drill the frame of the truck or not while the bed of the truck has to be drilled in either case.
- Drill the pilot hole under the truck bed and after checking that they are in the right location, enlarge them. After that, you can start drilling the remaining holes.
- The next step is to bolt in the under-bed brackets.
- First, the front fifth wheel rail is bolted down followed by measuring the hitch height and attaching the legs.
- Next comes the rear fifth wheel-rail. After drilling the holes, the rear base rail is bolted down.
- After installing the remaining bolts, all the hardware is torqued to double-check.
- Now the fifth wheel hitch is secured.
Tips & Tricks
Before drilling, you will have to choose between a custom or a universal installation. We highly recommend custom installation as they use existing mounting holes. In the universal installation, you would have a drill in your truck’s frame as there are no existing holes to support the hitch. Drilling in the frame can void a warranty on the truck. Always choose custom installation over universal but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of choice as in the case of older trucks.
One piece of advice is to have the fifth wheel hitch already with you before beginning the installation. This will help in lining up and installing the rails easily. Having the hitch will enable you to install the rails correctly along with the ability to make necessary adjustments in case of any hiccup. Moreover, the professionals use a lift to speed up the process of installation. Using a lift makes it easier to access the underneath of the truck. In case of unavailability of the lift, ramps and jacks can also be used to have better access.
Always double-check your measurements to ensure that everything is going as per the instruction. A little deviation from the expected course can result in jeopardizing the whole installation.
After this, you are ready to hit the road.
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