Are you looking forward to installing a fifth wheel hitch? Perhaps you are wondering whether the process is complicated. Well, if you have the right tools, installing a fifth wheel hitch is an easy process.
Without a doubt, these devices have been around for centuries, allowing drivers to carry heavy loads by effectively distributing the weight.
When it comes to the installation process, you have to take multiple factors into account.
For instance, it’s advisable to make sure that the truck bed’s weight limit doesn’t surpass your truck’s weight load capacity. This ensures you don’t stress your truck’s suspension. Before deciding whether or not to install a fifth wheel hitch, you need to confirm from the manufacturer whether the truck can carry heavy loads as huge as the truck bed.
Furthermore, the fifth wheel hitch you’ll use mainly depends on the length of the truck bed. If you are interested in familiarizing yourself with this installation process, keep reading to know more.
Note: To find out whether your truck is eligible for a fifth wheel install, you can contact your manufacturer or check your consumer’s manual to ensure your truck is fit.
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How To Easily Install A Fifth Wheel Hitch On A Short Truck Bed
Once you have validated whether your truck can undergo the installation process, it’s time to begin. Follow these easy steps:
Start by measuring for the hitch. You need to get measurements that are near the center of the truck bed. If your truck has a short bed, the measurements should be 36 inches from the cab. On the other hand, if you own a truck with a long bed, measure 56 inches from the cab.
Once you have found a correct spot, mark it since that’s where you’ll drill holes.
2. Find a perfect spot for the rear rail
To find a place to install the rear rail, measure 28 5/16 inches from the tailgate towards the center of the long truck bed. If your truck has a short bed, measure 25 5/16 inches from the tailgate to the center of the bed. For more accuracy, check the measurements provided in your manual.
Once you have found the perfect spot, that’s where you’ll place your rear rail. Eventually, drilling bolt holes.
3. Place the rear rail
After placing the rear rail on the markings you previously made, you’ll have to drill holes on those markings. Some trucks already have holes to place your fifth hitch wheel.
However, if your truck bed doesn’t have these holes, you’ll have to drill the holes. Position the rail correctly; the center punch will indicate where you’ll have to drill the holes.
Eventually, drill a pilot hole on the marked position. Ensure that the holes are on both sides of the rail.
4. Double-check the pilot hole
Once you have drilled the pilot hole, check whether you did the right thing by corresponding the fifth wheel bracket to the pilot hole.
If the bracket aligns with the pilot hole, then you can proceed to drill more holes. Once you are done, remove the rear rail and make the necessary markings.
Eventually, continue drilling the holes until they are deep.
5. Widen the holes
Since the holes have to accept the bolts of the fifth wheel hitch, carefully keep drilling until the holes are wide enough.
To avoid metal corrosion after widening the holes, you can paint any exposed metal edges.
6. Add Bolts on the underbed brackets
Place under bed brackets on the sides of the truck bed, add bolts on the holes and tighten them using nuts to prevent any damage.
Once you are done with one side, you can insert the bolts on the other side of the truck bed.
7. Install a rear rail
Place the rear rail on the holes you previously drilled and add bolts and nuts to ensure it’s tight enough.
8. Position the fifth hitch wheel
Place the front legs of the fifth hitch wheel on the rear rail you previously installed.
Add another rail and place the back legs of the fifth hitch wheel on the other rear rails.
9. Install the fifth hitch wheel
Drill holes on the second rear rails and tighten them using bolts and nuts. Attach the truck to the truck bed using the kingpin.
Tighten the kingpin using the side gear to the bottom of the truck bed’s frame and fasten it using bolts and nuts.
Importance of a fifth wheel hitch
Installing a fifth wheel hitch allows your truck to distribute its weight properly. If you want to know more benefits of this efficient device, keep reading:
1. Driving becomes easy
A fifth-wheel hitch makes your pickup truck easy to maneuver, especially when you are turning around corners.
Using a fifth wheel hitch makes your journey safer when you hit the road.
3. Offers Stability
It offers more stability compared to ball bitches since it carries the weight load of your truck effectively.
4. It offers a high towing capacity
Fifth wheel hitches have a high towing capacity that makes carrying heavy loads hassle-free.
While installing a fifth wheel hitch is not easy and needs efficient time, it offers numerous rewards. You can also opt for professionals to assist you.
Lastly, it’s best to wear protective clothing and gloves to ensure overall safety when doing such a job.