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Old 02-07-2015, 09:46 AM   #1
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Hitch Purchase/Installation

I have very little faith in my RV dealer's recommendations for hitches (they are only batting 500 so far).

As we are nearing the purchase of a 5er, I would like to know if the majority of you choose/install your hitch using the TT dealer or do it prior to purchasing your TT.

Reason I ask is there are a boatload of choices for hitch types/brands and the subsequent nuances that you might be stuck working around if you make the wrong choice for the 5er you purchased. Seems to me it is not an easy swap out considering the $$ involved and the weight for shipping on Ebay.

I am planning to stick with the B&W no rail, seems to be a safe bet but I wanted to understand how you folk approach this task.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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I just installed the Reese "standard" rails on my F350. It was much easier than I expected it to be, and a hitch installer wanted to charge 3 hrs. labor for a 1-1/2 hr. job. There are a couple of good youtube videos showing installs.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:58 AM   #3
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I have had a B&W Companion ever since getting our MS in '07--bought a used Companion and it worked well. Moved the head location and did not get the bolts tight, the head began moving on the legs and ovaled out the bolt holes--my fault. Replaced all bolts, nuts, washers with grade 8 and put it all back together. Sold it with explanation of the situation and bought a new one. Really like the hitch and it is a solid, no-movement latchup. They upgraded the weight capacity lately from 18k to 20k, I believe. Mine has worked well for many miles and I am near the capacity of the 18k hitch.
If you are planning on keeping the truck, and not upsizing to more than the 20k rating, then it will serve you very well for many years. You can buy from several sources on the internet with shipping included, but you will still have to have the underframe portion installed. I did that myself the first time and it wasn't worth the hassle on the 2nd truck, so purchased from a good welder locally and had it installed.
I used to be able to take the hitch out by myself by taking the head off, but after aging some (72) I have a chain hoist in my garage to take it out in one piece.
While you are correct on the many choices available, you can't do much better than a B&W, in my opinion.
Joe
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:09 PM   #4
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I had my dealer install my hitch. B&W Patriot. They did the install while we did the walk thru and sign papers. They did as good a gob as could be done. Very professional. They would do any hitch I wanted. Depends on the dealer I guess.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:21 PM   #5
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When you say you're going to use a B&W Companion, I assume you're going with the under bed hitch with a gooseneck ball???? Otherwise, you'd have to go the in bed cross rails to mount it.

I would tell you go to onto Amazon.com to purchase your hitch, and either install it yourself or have it installed at a hitch shop prior to picking up your trailer. You have enough to deal with when picking up a fifth wheel, and dealing with wiring and/or a new hitch is something you need to do before getting there.

I installed my Curt custom underbed frame mounts and in bed cross rails. The frame mount didn't fit as promised, and it required numerous drilling holes into the frame. I was also installing AirRide airbags the same time as the frame mounts. All in all, it was not a big deal to install them myself.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:45 AM   #6
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Five'r hitch

You can't go wrong with a companion hitch. I bought the 3500 rated for 20k and it was an easy install. Great hitch, very solid towing a 36sb3 Mobile Suite. You may be able to have it installed by the dealer as a part of the purchase of a new unit. I'm sure they would for the sale.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:26 AM   #7
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I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of different people before I got my B&W Companion. Mine is quiet and easy to remove/install and easy to hook and unhook. I would recommend having the under bed GN platform installed by somebody who does a lot of them, it's not difficult but you only have one shot at getting that 4" hole in the right spot. I bought my Companion used from a hot shotter who had only used it once. It has worked flawlessly for me now for 5 years.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:48 AM   #8
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While I had my RV dealer do my install of the hitch and the Sidewinder pin box, it was dear. About $3000 for all of it. But it was done right. I am thinking of having a spring shop do my EZ Flex and wet bolt upgrade as they charge a lot less that the $125/hr than the dealer charges. At my age, I would rather pay someone to do it.
Example: Removing SuperSprings from my truck prior to trade-in. Spent 2 hours struggling with rusted bolts before giving up and taking it to a garage where 30 minutes and $32 later, they were off.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlakatos View Post
I have very little faith in my RV dealer's recommendations for hitches (they are only batting 500 so far).

As we are nearing the purchase of a 5er, I would like to know if the majority of you choose/install your hitch using the TT dealer or do it prior to purchasing your TT.

Reason I ask is there are a boatload of choices for hitch types/brands and the subsequent nuances that you might be stuck working around if you make the wrong choice for the 5er you purchased. Seems to me it is not an easy swap out considering the $$ involved and the weight for shipping on Ebay.

I am planning to stick with the B&W no rail, seems to be a safe bet but I wanted to understand how you folk approach this task.
.


Although you use the abbreviation "TT" (for Travel Trailer - a "bumper pull") twice, from the rest of your post I guess you *do* really mean a 5th wheel.

No matter what hitch you choose - make sure whoever does the install knows what they are doing.

Why?
A few years back on another forum a guy posted that the installer he selected to do the work drilled holes in the *frame* of his *new* truck in the wrong location..

You can guess the discussion -and suggested solutions- for that one!..
Fortunately - the outcome was good.....he/they found a different brand hitch which would use the already drilled holes.
Although not exactly what he planned to use, he was satisfied with the outcome.

Often dealers "farm out" hitch installs - as well as "marking up" the fee for the work.
(IMO) find your own installer!
Check on his work & capabilities.

*If* you feel competent, you can do it yourself.
With the help of a friend, I/we installed my PR SuperGlide. He had never done one before, neither had I.
It took about 4 hours, could probably do one in two hours now.

JC
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:04 PM   #10
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I have been pleased with the B&W Companion. Purchased new last year and did my own install after reading some horror stories about some dealer and hitch shop work. Absolutely no hole drilling except the gooseneck turnover ball location - 4" hole. After reading a bunch of user evaluations, U-tube videos, instructions from B&W, a approached the work carefully. In my 2500HD the given measurements were right on. I did drill a pilot hole and checked the dimensions to existing frame holes before chucking up the hole saw. I torqued everything 3 times and found it all tight after a summer of towing.

The 18,000 # hitch mates with a Mor/ride RPB pin box, and there is no noise and no chucking whatsoever. Yes, it's heavier than some, about 200 #, but the upper assembly lifts off after pulling a couple pins to knock off 60 #. At home I pick it in one piece with an engine hoist and set it onto a modified furniture dolly which stows under the nose. Sure nice to have a 100% flat floor!

We keep any items in the bed secure and dry when unhitched with a Rugged Liner folding hard bed cover. This cover is low profile enough when folded that the 5W clears in a tight turn, and the Yamahas stay out of the sun and weather under it.
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