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Old 03-27-2013, 12:57 AM   #1
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B & W OEM Hitch Question for my Short Bed F350

I have a 2012 F350 short bed that has the 5th wheel prep package in it and a 2012 Dutchman Voltage 3200 Toyhauler. It's measurements is 13' 2" high, 8' 6" wide and overall length is 35' 10". I am looking to buy a new 5th wheel hitch for my truck was and wondering if anyone out there has a set up like this or similar to this. I was looking at the B & W Companion OEM made for the Ford's 5th wheel prep package. Here's a link: Companion. I am wanting to know how you like it, how it pulls, and how much you have to watch your cab when you are turning sharp corners and backing into campsites. I have called B & W, but they couldn't really tell me much, so that's where you guys come in.
Also, with the height of my truck with 20' wheels and my camper level (off the truck) is 13' 2" high and the Reese 5th wheel adaptor I got when I bought my truch which sits my PullRite model 2700 up about 2 1/2" off my bed.
The only difference between the Companion and the OEM style for the Ford is that the Companion coupler can be set back 4" and the OEM sets only 2" back when you reverse the coupler brackets to the bottom portion of the hitch.
Since the Voltage 3200 has the cut outs on the front cap on the bottom I guess the OEM will work even though it is 8 '6" wide . I just wish someone on here had the OEM hitch and a short bed and could let me know for sure if it will work. Before I sink ythe money into it and it don't work like I want or need it to.
Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, I need to get this ordered ASAP, cause we are taking a long trip soon, so please let me know your thoughts.
Thank You!!
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:35 AM   #2
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If the front cap of the 5er has the cutouts to allow sharper turning that is a real good thing. There are a lot of people that tow with a standard hitch and shortbed truck. You will like the 5th wheel prep package from Ford. I do.

Be careful towing as that is a big 5er for only a 3/4 SRW truck. Check your pin weight vs what the truck and tires can carry.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
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F350 is a one ton
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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You will need to set the hitch rearward as much as possible. Then you need to jackknife the unit carefully to see how close it comes.
The hitch itself is a really well-made unit, and you should get a teflon plate to put between the fifth wheel and the kingpin--that eliminates the need for grease.
The unfortunate situation is towing is usually more stable the farther forward the hitch is of the axle centerline--having it in the rearmost location might take too much weight off the front axle. Only way to know it to try.
I've used a Companion for 6 years and have not had a problem except for the need to be on the rear tire to lock/unlock the safety pin, but I have a dually.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #5
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We've used the Companion since early 2007 and it's a great hitch. I'm not sure I'd use it for a short-bed truck, however...guess it depends on the fifth wheel you get and whether or not it's made to use with a short-bed truck and standard fifth wheel hitch.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:38 PM   #6
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I tow with a B & W 3300 in my Ram dually. The hitch quality and factory support has been great. The B & W is a great product that is American made in Kansas.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies guys. I guess I'll just stick with what I have for now until I can be for sure it will work in my truck and my camper. I just can't afford to spend the money and then it not work. At least now I don't have to worry about it busting up my truck or camper. It just sits unlevel. I'll just deal with the unlevel for now.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMMFAM View Post
F350 is a one ton
No, this is not an "April fool's" post. It's as serious as a heart attack.

One ton trucks have dual rear wheels. An F-350 SRW is a beefed up three-quarter ton truck. Granted, it's better than an F-250 because of the extra GVWR, it it's nowhere near as capable as an F-350 DRW when it comes to towing heavy trailers without being overloaded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCamper
I have a 2012 F350 short bed that has the 5th wheel prep package in it and a 2012 Dutchman Voltage 3200 Toyhauler...
Tow vehicle (TV) GVWR = 11,500 pounds. Toy hauler has GVWR of 16,500 and a dry hitch weight of 20.3%. Count on a wet and loaded hitch weight of about 17% or 2,800 pounds. (Toys in the back of the toy hauler will reduce the hitch weight percentage some, so estimate 17% until you can get actual weights.)
Voltage Haulers Model 3200 Floorplan

11,500 GVWR minus 2,800 pin weight = 8,700 pounds max weight of the wet and loaded F-350 before you tie onto the trailer. With passengers, toolbox, full tank of fuel, spray-in bedliner, and 5er hitch, it's very easy to load an F-350 SRW 4x4 CrewCab shorty to more than 8,700 when towing that trailer.

If the TV were a dually, no need to go through those numbers. But with a glorified three-quarter ton TV, you must pay attention to weights if you don't want to be overloaded when wet and loaded on the road.

The Pullrite SuperGlide hitch plugged into the Ford (Reese Elite) 5er prep pkg sounds like a great way to tow that trailer with a shorty TV. No worry about cab to trailer contact when backing the trailer and suddenly you're in a jackknife.

Another alternative you didn't mention is the Reese Elite 18k slider hitch. It will plug into the Ford prep pkg, and will slide to prevent cab-to-trailer contact if you don't forget to slide the hitch before you put the TV in reverse gear.That will cost you a lot more money, but then you could probably sell the SuperGlide for almost as much as the Elite slider would cost.
Reese Fifth Wheel Hitch with Installation Rails for 2012 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty | etrailer.com
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:48 PM   #9
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There are several factors in load rating. The GVW of the truck, the CGVW of truck and trailer, the rating of the axles front and rear. My setup is 2000lbs under the CGVW and the load on my rear axle is 500lbs under the axle rating. But the weight of my truck is 700lbs over the GVW. I have talked with Ford on this and was told the major factors are CGVW and weight on the axle.
All my weights were taken on the local coop's scale.
I know this will cause a few too be critical of my setup.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #10
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But the weight of my truck is 700lbs over the GVW. I have talked with Ford on this ....
Henry or Edsel?

Seriously, having spent some 40 years with my employer, most in technical and engineering management positions, I know that if any of our engineers advised a customer to ignore our equipment's ratings, they wouldn't be around long.

The manufacturers specifically state in their towing guides that NONE of their ratings are to be exceeded - GCWR, GVWR or GAWRs. Why not take what they say at face value instead of trying to explain it away and just size the towing vehicle to stay within its ratings?

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Old 04-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I know this will cause a few too be critical of my setup.
You're overloaded by 700 pounds over the GVWR of your tow vehicle, and that doesn't worry you?

Like many others with overloaded tow vehicles, you're trying to rationalize not making the changes necessary to tow without being overloaded.

I also talked to "Ford", and he quoted from the Trailer Towing Selector page of the 2013 Ford RV and Trailer Towing Guide for Super Duty pickups:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford RV and Trailer Towing Guide
Addition of the trailer tongue (trailer king pin for fifth wheel towing) load weight, and weight of passengers and cargo must not cause vehicle weights to exceed rear GAWR or GVWR.
Those same restrictions have been in every "Ford RV and Trailer Towing Guide" since at least 1997 model year.

That's about as plain as it gets. No amount of rationalization will give you permission to exceed the GVWR of your tow vehicle, even if some of the other weight ratings are not exceeded.

Don't get me wrong. I'm as guilty as some of you of being slightly overloaded over the GVWR of my tow vehicle when towing my RV trailer. I put over 100,000 miles on a 5er that usually resulted in my F-250 tow vehicle being overloaded by 200 to 500 pounds over the GVWR of the F-250. So when I bought my current rig I was especially careful to match trailer to tow vehicle. But the tongue weight percentage threw me for a loop. I used 12.5% as the estimated tongue weight, and my TT has about 15%, so I was 100 pounds overloaded over the GVWR of my F-150 on a 4,200 mile trip last summer.
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