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Old 01-19-2019, 10:17 AM   #1
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New Truck Connection Woes

Hi Everyone,

I have just completed my 1st long distance trip (1200 miles alone) and have some observations and numerous questions that I hope everyone can help us with. This is the initial observation in regards to connecting to our 30 ft Fox Mountain 5th wheel to our new Ford Lariat with 6.7 ft. bed.
The 1st is that I had a difficult time getting our 5th wheel to center in our B/W companion hitch. Our 6.7 Lariat with the pucks with the receiver properly seated sets the receiver to low to be seen using the rear view mirror. The rear seat is too high and the camera will not display the truck bed no matter what the settings. What am I doing wrong? It should be easier than this.It took 5 or 6 attempts and well over a half hour to carefully center the pin into the receiver.

The relative high tailgate could certainly use a “V” gate replacement. Connection involves slowly backing up with the tailgate down to get the pin over the bed of the truck without dinging or denting the front underside of the 5th wheel. This requires almost perfect alignment. There is less than 3 inches clearance when the pin is in the receiver with the tailgate down. The tailgate cannot be raised until nearly fully seated as it will not clear the bottom side of the pin. The electrical cable cannot be attached with the tailgate up and the same goes for the break-away cable. It is a necessity for me to have a 3 foot ladder to access the interior bed of the truck.
Suggestions and Thanks
Regards
Bill
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
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You need at least 6" of clearance above the bed, so you need to raise the hitch, or lower the pinbox to get this. If you can't see your hitch when backing, try looking at the margin of the front of the rv in your side mirrors, and get them equal.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:38 AM   #3
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YEP........side mirrors.


With 5th wheel hitched....check the truck side mirrors and find a point of reference that YOU can use in each mirror to center the trailer
You could also paint a stripe on top center of pin box and use as reference in rear view mirror or as visual aid looking over your shoulder


As for tailgate....exactly reason I got a 'U' notched 5vr tailgate.
The in/out...open/closing ----knew at some point I would bang up either the tailgate OR the front compartment of 5vr.


When hitched you need at minimum 6" bed rail to overhang clearance AND trailer should be LEVEL


When hitched and level.....should also do an Actual Measurement of 5vr height (at highest point----usually top of A/C Shroud) and make note of what that height is for future travels.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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Have a notebook or laptop? use a webcam.....an add on external one...
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:14 PM   #5
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A cargo camera of some type would help with your hitching issues, I know I use it on my Ram to hook up
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:05 PM   #6
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I just look out the back window and can see my hitch fine. Are you saying that the back seat blocks your vision? Since you indicate that you don't have much clearance between the bed rail and the bottom of the trailer, raising the hitch will not only help solve that problem, but give you better visibility of the hitch. If you are backing reasonably straight than you needn't worry about the tailgate hitting the trailer. One of the big advantages of a 5th wheel is the ease of hooking and unhooking. Notice the wide "V" at the rear of your hitch, this is to guide the king pin into the jaws. Your trailer should be a half inch or so below the hitch plate ( when level), so that the hitch slightly lifts the landing gear. This allows you to be off an inch or so in either direction, as once the pressure is off the landing gear the "V" will force the trailer to shift side to side and slide into the jaws. If after raising the hitch you still can't see it, maybe using the vanity mirror on you sun visor will help.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfrone View Post
Hi Everyone,
This is the initial observation in regards to connecting to our 30 ft Fox Mountain 5th wheel to our new Ford Lariat with 6.7 ft. bed.
The 1st is that I had a difficult time getting our 5th wheel to center in our B/W companion hitch. Our 6.7 Lariat with the pucks with the receiver properly seated sets the receiver to low to be seen using the rear view mirror. The rear seat is too high and the camera will not display the truck bed no matter what the settings. What am I doing wrong?
Bill, what year Ford is it? You say it's new, but not sure if new to you or a brand new truck. Assuming you mean brand new, do you have the Ultimate Trailer Tow camera package? This is the package that gives you cameras rear, front, side mirrors and in the center high mount brake light. The last camera position is the one you need to see the truck bed for hitching a fiver. You must first put the truck in reverse; the rear camera on the tailgate is the default view, but your tailgate should be lowered at this point so you just see the ground below it. There is an icon on the top left hand of the screen that looks like two cameras overlaying the other. Hit this and a variety of camera choices comes up across the top of the screen. Pick the one that shows the view you want--center high mount. If you take the truck out of reverse to pull forward and reposition you have to re-choose that camera when you start to reverse again. The default is always the tailgate camera in reverse. If you have done all of this and still can't see the bed of the truck, something is blocking the camera. Some people's tonneau covers, especially the flip kind, stick up into the field of view and block the camera completely.

If you don't have a '17 or newer Ford, then forget everything I just wrote.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:07 PM   #8
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I have a 2018 Ram 2500 4x4 with a B&W Patriot mounted on a Reese puck adapter.
I have a 2013 Fox Mountain.
My B&W is usually set to the 2nd height set of holes. Right now it's bottomed out because of the added Reese adapter.
I have no issue seeing my 5th top plate if I look over my shoulder. I have to sit up a bit and turn to my right but I can clearly see the B&W. I also have about 5.5-6" of clearance on the bed rails.

Sounds like you're B&W is too low since you cant see it and you obviously don't have enough clearance.

I bet if you raised the B&W up 2-3" you'll be fine.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:55 PM   #9
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I have a 2016 Ford F-350 DRW. I removed the center headrest so I could see my hitch easily.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:23 PM   #10
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As drdit92 said, if you have the camera system the center high mount camera can be your friend. I have a Bakflip Revolver X2 bed cover that rolls up against the back of the cab so I could never see the hitch without the camera but with it no problem. It has a centering line that lets me mate up the king pin and the hitch perfectly every time.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:31 AM   #11
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Your Companion hitch has fore/aft adjustments (up to 4" I believe) by repositioning the uprights. Moving them to the most rearward position might give you more tailgate clearance. There is also a company that makes a pin box extension that will help with tailgate clearance but could create other problems.

We all have different techniques for aligning hitch to pin if not visible. I have a dually so I align my fender along the side of the trailer, works good. This technique has the advantage of ensuring your trailer is square with the truck. Many devise a block they place on the hitch valley that they can see from the cab, the pin box plate knocks it off before the pin enters the hitch. Even though I am confident with my technique, I still get out and look. Good luck, you will figure out something that works for you.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:57 AM   #12
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I have a Chevy 3500HD Crew cab long bed and I can't see the hitch
I bought this, may look stupid but it works and price is cheap
Camco 44603 Magnetic Hitch Alignment Kit
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
The 1st is that I had a difficult time getting our 5th wheel to center in our B/W companion hitch. Our 6.7 Lariat with the pucks with the receiver properly seated sets the receiver to low to be seen using the rear view mirror. The rear seat is too high and the camera will not display the truck bed no matter what the settings. What am I doing wrong?
I "cheat" and line up the center of the 5er between the sliding rear window. If that's centered, then The hitch also is.

I've seen people put a little bit of painters tape on the center of the 5er to help, but after I figured out to line it up in the sliding rear window I haven't had any problems.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:30 PM   #14
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I have the Reese Goosebox which on it there is no way to see the ball. So I did this. Works great.
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