5th Wheel Hitch - for newbies - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-20-2014, 08:38 AM   #1
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5th Wheel Hitch - for newbies

I am Brand New to RV'ing and getting a Denali 2005 31RG-M5 and trying to find out what hitch to buy. I am hoping this trailer will be a good starter to learn with ... and then upgrade later.

The GVWR is almost 12,200. Do we need to upsize the rating with a safety factor? Does it need sway bars also?

Can we install these ourselves? Also, I will be installing it in a GMC 2500 short box (6'-6").

Is Reese a good brand? or is there a better brand?

And... does anyone know of the 2005 Denali models are winter insulated? I can't find the 2005 Denali model in NADA, but 2006 has some information that is close.

Ok.. lotsa questions and learning quickly!

Any help from some of you Road Warriors would be appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
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What year GMC. Newer models have a good class V hitch. Not so much in the earlier ones.
If you have an older model you may want to research that a bit. I think Curt makes a direct bolt on class V.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:04 PM   #3
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A 16,000 pound hitch on a slider will do nicely, although I never used the slider on mine. Brand recommendations are very subjective and they all will do the job. My dealer installed my hitch on my first 5'r. Not sure what you mean about sway bars as 5th wheels don't use those.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
Not sure what you mean about sway bars as 5th wheels don't use those.
That's what made me assume tag pull.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fanboy View Post
What year GMC. Newer models have a good class V hitch. Not so much in the earlier ones.
If you have an older model you may want to research that a bit. I think Curt makes a direct bolt on class V.
It will be a 2015 GMC 2500 with a 6.0 Gas.

And as far a sway bars ... I didn't know they had them either. I read in another post that the rear kitchen model may have more weight and some of the folks installed some kind of a sway reducer ... I hadn't ever heard of that before.
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
A 16,000 pound hitch on a slider will do nicely, although I never used the slider on mine. Brand recommendations are very subjective and they all will do the job. My dealer installed my hitch on my first 5'r. Not sure what you mean about sway bars as 5th wheels don't use those.
I had read another post about using JT Strong Arms on the front ... I assumed that was to reduce sway as you drive?
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:14 PM   #7
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Check out the Lippert site for more info on the strong-arms...


JT's Strong Armâ„¢ Jack Stabilizers
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by WaSkyPilot View Post
I am Brand New to RV'ing and getting a Denali 2005 31RG-M5 and trying to find out what hitch to buy. I am hoping this trailer will be a good starter to learn with ... and then upgrade later.

The GVWR is almost 12,200. Do we need to upsize the rating with a safety factor? Does it need sway bars also?

Can we install these ourselves? Also, I will be installing it in a GMC 2500 short box (6'-6").

Is Reese a good brand? or is there a better brand?

And... does anyone know of the 2005 Denali models are winter insulated? I can't find the 2005 Denali model in NADA, but 2006 has some information that is close.

Ok.. lotsa questions and learning quickly!

Any help from some of you Road Warriors would be appreciated! Thank you!
As stated on an earlier post, sway bars are not applicable on 5ers. Unless you're looking to stabilize while camping on a lot.

If you're mechanically inclined, comfortable with drilling holes and turning a wrench.........I would say install any hitch you purchase.

I had a 16,000 lb Pullrite automatic slide hitch installed in my truck. At the time Reese did not make an automatic slide hitch. Although, Reese does make a manual slide hitch. I'm absent minded so, I would forget to manually slide my hitch back when having to make sharp turns in a campground.......that's why I went with an automatic slide. LOL.

Good luck! With whatever you choose.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:24 AM   #9
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It sounds like a Reese Automatic slide hitch is the way to go, and find a 16,000 lb rating. I would prefer to drill and install, but I didn't know if there were any tricks to the trade! :-)

I'll research how a slide hitch works, but I'm guessing, it helps with a short bed pick-up when backing up in short turns?

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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My last truck was a 2500 short bed. We pulled a 37' Everest and never needed to use the slider. As for installing the hitch, it is critical that the measurements are accurate or the hitch won't be positioned properly. I thought about installing the hitch on my current truck, as it's not rocket science, but decided to let the pro's do it.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
My last truck was a 2500 short bed. We pulled a 37' Everest and never needed to use the slider. As for installing the hitch, it is critical that the measurements are accurate or the hitch won't be positioned properly. I thought about installing the hitch on my current truck, as it's not rocket science, but decided to let the pro's do it.
X2...

I installed my last hitch, a B&W OEM Companion that just dropped into the pucks on the Ford factory hitch prep. HA!!!

Before that I gladly paid the extra $100 to have Rhino Linings install the rails for a B&W Patriot.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
My last truck was a 2500 short bed. We pulled a 37' Everest and never needed to use the slider. As for installing the hitch, it is critical that the measurements are accurate or the hitch won't be positioned properly. I thought about installing the hitch on my current truck, as it's not rocket science, but decided to let the pro's do it.
I've had three SOB (some other brand) 5ers. I've had 6 and a half foot beds right along. azdryheat's correct you don't need a slider. I didn't have a slider on the last three 5ers. Although, when installing fifth wheel hitches in the beds of the trucks I've had to install the center of the hitch back behind the axle. With the slider hitch I am able to install the center of hitch the recommended two inches forward of the rear axle in the bed of the truck.
With a regular fifth wheel hitch, if you do not install the hitch back far enough you will bump at about 80 something degrees in a turn.
As said by azdryheat, 'it is critical that the measurements are accurate'.
Again, good luck!
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HornedToad View Post
X2...

I installed my last hitch, a B&W OEM Companion that just dropped into the pucks on the Ford factory hitch prep. HA!!!

Before that I gladly paid the extra $100 to have Rhino Linings install the rails for a B&W Patriot.

I admit that I love to research things .. (to the amazement and dismay of my wife ! ) But ... I have looked at the ugly rails in the bed of trucks and wanted a nice smooth bed when not towing. Sooo... I think I will go with a B&W Companion (slider) with a center 'gooseneck' connection. When it is removed, it will only have a 4" round plate in the bed of the truck ... and still keeping the GMC Denali looking sharp!
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WaSkyPilot View Post
I admit that I love to research things .. (to the amazement and dismay of my wife ! ) But ... I have looked at the ugly rails in the bed of trucks and wanted a nice smooth bed when not towing.
I had bed rails in my past Fords. So when looking for my 2012 the factory bed hitch was a must have. Flew 1000 miles to Boise Id. to pick it up & after 37k+ miles on it I'm still all
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