5th wheel quick mount? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #1
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Question 5th wheel quick mount?

SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) authorized the purchase of the retirement vehicle, a Ram 2500 Tradesman with towing package as we have been thinking about our retirement that is rapidly approaching. We will likely wait a minimum of three years to purchase the retirement 5er but we have been looking and now we know our pull and loading weights. The bed is 6'4" and has five cutouts already there; four are for a 5th wheel hitch and the remaining is for a goose neck ball. My question is this: How easy or hard is this to install or remove the 5th wheel plate system on this type of mounting?
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Old 06-30-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
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Speaking from what I have used them for, and not from an in depth knowledge of hitches... I used the factory holes for a removable 18k reese hitch. The hitch has four quick disconnects levers that allow it to engage in to the bed. It is a pretty awesome setup for those that still want to be able to make full use of their bed, because of the ability to move remove it without leaving rails in the bed.

What you need to know: The hitch is VERY heavy, and even more awkward. I installed a pulling system in my garage so I could remove it. Also, I know there is more to installation then just buying the hitch and popping it in. There is some kind of adjustment for the rails underneath the bed to get it to fit (unless maybe you get lucky and it just happens to be set just right). A hitch shop charged me an hour of labor to make the adjustment.

Parting thoughts: Unless you buy a fiver that is made for shortbeds, you will probably need a slider hitch that will allow you to make sharper turns for parking as you might hit the cab of your truck otherwise.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response, KeithE. So what I'm reading is that it is easier to remove or install once adjusted for the bed than the older style of hitch which required that rails be installed in the truck bed itself and has the advantage of not requiring removal of those same rails to use the bed once the hitch is removed.

We anticipated the hitch being heavy as I formerly worked for Holland Hitch in South Carolina where we were building hitches for 18 wheelers. The display models of the recreational hitches (Holland Hitches term for a pickup truck hitch at that time) that we had in the show room were heavy enough that the display was wheeled for ease of movement.

We have also been digging for knowledge for a while and are prepared for the bed/hitch/trailer decisions after talking with both salespersons and installation/repair shop folks. I have been told that some folks have come in to buy a either a TT or 5er without knowledge of their own vehicles capabilities. When we have had problems with either of the TTs we have owned, I have had the error message or pictures of damage locations with me when I talk with the service writer so that the shop can see that we have an inkling of what we are talking about. Working in industrial maintenance, I hear enough, "it just stopped working and when I reset the fault buffer, it still wouldn't work," comments that you want to retest your co-worker to determine if they are actually smarter than the equipment they are trying to operate.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:22 PM   #4
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You could go with something like this, as you don't have the Dodge OEM 5th wheel set-up.
Custom Underbed Installation Kit for B&W Companion 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches B and W Fifth Wheel Installation Kit BWGNRK1012-5W
Check them out as they do sell other brands.

As I had a above rail hitch from my 06 F-350 I got this.
Reese Elite Series Underbed Rail Adapter for Standard 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches - 20,000 lbs Reese Accessories and Parts RP30156
That allows me to use the OEM Ford set-up in my 2012 F-350 without needing to by a new hitch. Mine comes apart in 3 pieces so this old man can still manhandle it if my son isn't around.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:12 PM   #5
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The B&W is the way to go... I have one in my F-450, and love it.






And as far as I know... for a Ram, it is the ONLY way to go right now.

One of Dodge's "bright ideas" is that they did NOT follow the same 4-pin pattern as the Ford trucks, who began the design. That's good and bad. The good part is that it makes for a wider base, and thus able to have higher hitch ratings. (25K as opposed to the Ford's 20k) The bad part... unless Reese has began making them just this year, NO ONE ELSE makes a drop-in hitch for Ram except B&W. And they just began making base units for the Ram last year. Before then, you had to buy an adapter plate for a Ford-design hitch to sit into.

The B&W Campanion hitch design is a 2-piece matter. The 4-pin base that sits into the truck bed, and the fifth wheel hitch itself, which sits on top. A much nicer & more convenient design that makes taking the hitch in & out of the bed much easier. The head & base together weigh a ton... but removing them one at a time is pretty easy work. The 5th wheel head weighs 75, and is the same for both trucks. The Ram's wider base weighs 138 pounds, while the Ford base only weighs 78 pounds.

Here's the link to B&W's website for the Ram hitch Companion OEM - 5th Wheel Hitch - Fits Ram Puck System | B & W Trailer Hitches



Here's a great YouTube video explaining how it all works. It's an install video for trucks without the 4-pin system. This is what I had in my old F-250. Anyway, skip ahead to the 5:00 minute mark in the video to skip the base installation.

https://youtu.be/t_DP3LPD7wg
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mole View Post
SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed)
OFF TOPIC! Are you by any chance a homebrewer?


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Old 07-02-2015, 03:42 AM   #7
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Thanks ATCGuy.
While I've thought about it, SWMBO has not expressed any urge to have me ferment anything in the home. Which is probably be for the best as I don't drink beer but she does, dawniewest.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:19 AM   #8
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I use a Curt Q24 for my Ford OEM setup...I am pretty sure they have feet for the Dodge setup. I like how it comes apart...I can have it out of the bed, by myself, in under two minutes. The top part comes apart for the base with two pins and cotter keys, and the base attaches to the bed. Apart, they are single person lift, together, one person CAN move it, but not very far...

Cale
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:39 PM   #9
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I have the Ford/Reese OEM 25k hitch in mine. It works exactly like Cale discribed. But to make life even easier, I built a cart on wheels out of 2x4s and ply wood that is the exact height as my tailgate. No lifting required.
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