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Old 05-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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I hate paying someone to do something that I can do myself, and I like the satisfaction of doing thing myself. But this is one job I would not tackel again. Spent most of a day off laying on the cement and scraping my hand and arms trying to reach tight spots that there just was not enough room to reach. I measured, re-measured, and measured again and my rails were just a tad to close, so I had to use a sledge hammer to install the hitch, and a crow bar to remove it. (nice and tight though when installed) Next time I will pay to have it done and done right.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
The new custom kits bolt directly into existing holes in the truck's frame rails. You need to drill through the floor of the bed, but that is easy. There is no need to drill holes in the frame rails. Also, all bolts (of the right grade) are included in the kit. The hardest part may be torquing them to the required 220 ft-lbs.
News to me. My instructions never mentioned any options like this three years ago. My instructions were very clear in every detail. Draw-Tite and Reese I believe can use the same rails. I just looked at the frame and the kit you refer to obviously is not standard L brackets. No holes there so it must be some kind of adapters. My hitch has held up well and I am satisfied. If there is better way, I did not know it then and I bought the kit from CW.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:43 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Even the older style rail kits have an optional install kit that bolts through existing holes in he frame of the truck. Trying to drill 3/4" holes in the frame is for the birds.
Draw-Tite, Reese Quick Install Fifth Wheel Mounting Brackets 50081

Thanks for the link Smokey but the link is for F150s and I have an F250cc

If I can talk DW back into a 5th wheel and I trade up my truck again I will look for kits of this type.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #18
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I installed the Reese rail kit on my 2012 3500HD recently. It took about 3 hours for my son and I to complete. I did not have to drop the fuel tank but did have to drop the spare and bend the heat shield out of the way. It was a birch getting to the bolts over the heat shield, but after a couple of bloody knuckles, got them tight. It was worth the $300 savings to do it myself and was not that hard. It helped me to watch a couple of install videos on YouTube before I started.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #19
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I installed the Reese rail kit on my 2012 3500HD recently. It took about 3 hours for my son and I to complete. I did not have to drop the fuel tank but did have to drop the spare and bend the heat shield out of the way. It was a birch getting to the bolts over the heat shield, but after a couple of bloody knuckles, got them tight. It was worth the $300 savings to do it myself and was not that hard. It helped me to watch a couple of install videos on YouTube before I started.
Steve
I suspect that you used the old style kit 50066-58. On the new "outboard" kit 56001-53 neither the heat of shield nor the spare tire are in the way. It saves the knuckles and is well worth the extra $40. A lot of the vendors do not seem to be aware of the newer kit.

Here is an explanation of the difference between the two kits that I received from etrailer.com Comparing 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch Installation Kits for a 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Long Bed | etrailer.com

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Old 05-29-2012, 12:37 PM   #20
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The hardest part may be torquing them to the required 220 ft-lbs.
+1

Based on my experience, getting the necessary access to stick a torque wrench on the bolts so you can tighten them properly will be your biggest challenge.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:45 PM   #21
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Thumbs up Installation Completed

Well, I just finished installing the hitch. Iíve been at it most of the day, but the actual working time was probably around 4 hours. There were a few coffee breaks and a break for lunch. Then there was the usual trip to the hardware store. It seems that I didnít have a 9/16Ē drill bit. After I got home with the bit, I realized that the ĹĒ shaft would not fit in my 3/8" chuck drill. OK, back in the car to go borrow a drill from my son-in-law.

The actual installation turned out to be fairly easy. Fishing the big carriage bolts through the truck frame rail was lots easier than I thought it would be. The wheel well liners did make positioning the shims between the brackets and the truck bed a little tricky. I managed to skin a knuckle on a burr from one of the holes I had just drilled while trying to get one of the shims in place.

The job required drilling ten 9/16Ē holes through the sheet metal of the truck bed. No other drilling is required. I didnít have to dismount anything from the truck, and didnít even need to drop the spare tire.

The only other issue is that the hitch head looks like it was dropped off the back of a truck. One of the U-brackets that mount to the arches is so bent that it couldnít possibly be installed. The vendor (etrailer.com) has agreed to replace it, and I donít have the 5er yet, so it really isnít a problem.

All in all, it went rather smoothly. For saving $400, I would do it again. If this 70 year old guy can do it with a little help from my wife, then pretty much anybody can.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #22
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Glad to hear the hitch install went well. I had to remove my passenger side wheel well liner to tighten all bed rail bolts. Now that I've towed a few times, I need to check tightness on all the bolts. I have been putting that off.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:31 AM   #23
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J Birder, thanks for the update and congrats on getting the job done! Wish the new custom kit was available when I did my install - or maybe it was and I just didn't know about it.
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