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Old 05-16-2015, 05:58 PM   #1
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Fifth Wheel Hitch Question

Looking for some advice if any is available. I recently bought a used fifth wheel and I got the Quik Slide Reese 16K hitch in the deal. I will soon be installing said hitch in my 2006 F250. The hitch came out of a Dodge (yes, I know I need new rails and such). On purchase date, I measured the distance between the ground and the truck beds of the seller's truck and my truck. The Dodge (the seller's) sat about two inches higher than my F250. The camper appeared to be running level behind the Dodge. There is one more notch on the Reese hitch to make the plate ride higher (by about an inch). Should I go ahead and raise it up or not? For information, the fifth wheel will not be available when the hitch is installed in my F250 and I probably will not have an opportunity to adjust it when I first tow the camper. The first trip with the fifth wheel will be every bit of a 2 hour+ ride.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:12 PM   #2
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I'd go ahead and raise it, but take the correct tools along to make another change if required. That could be performed in almost any vacant parking lot or truck stop. Just find a space to back-in and drop the trailer jacks; pull forward enough to access the hitch.
Be SURE to latch the hitch jaws before moving the trailer. Reese has a warning in the owners manual to rotate the locking lever onto the release handle bar. It's the only thing that prevents the jaws from opening.
Even after many years of towing a 5er, I always use a flashlight to visually make sure the hitch jaws were locked around the king-pin properly.
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Old 05-17-2015, 04:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Ray,IN.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AboutTime View Post
Looking for some advice if any is available. I recently bought a used fifth wheel and I got the Quik Slide Reese 16K hitch in the deal. I will soon be installing said hitch in my 2006 F250. The hitch came out of a Dodge (yes, I know I need new rails and such). On purchase date, I measured the distance between the ground and the truck beds of the seller's truck and my truck. The Dodge (the seller's) sat about two inches higher than my F250. The camper appeared to be running level behind the Dodge. There is one more notch on the Reese hitch to make the plate ride higher (by about an inch). Should I go ahead and raise it up or not? For information, the fifth wheel will not be available when the hitch is installed in my F250 and I probably will not have an opportunity to adjust it when I first tow the camper. The first trip with the fifth wheel will be every bit of a 2 hour+ ride.
Don't mean to be smart a??, but in case this is your first 5er, always do a pull test after hook up. Raise trailer jacks about 1" off ground. Using manual brake lever apply trailer brakes and then slowly try to pull forward. if you're not hooked you will know for sure. Better to find out this way than drop 5er on bed rails later. Also agree with double checking to ensure hitch jaws are wrapped around pin. I always set trailer to height about 1/2 below fifth wheel plate and that lets the trailer press down on truck while connecting, but keeps you from High Hitching. Try to set hitch height to where you have 6 to 8" clearance between bed and bottom of 5er. Sometimes this cannot be accomplished so you can go little as 5" and be safe. Gaining that 6 to 8 may make the trailer ride tail low , so you have to watch that as well. Enjoy and be safe.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:25 AM   #5
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(yes, I know I need new rails and such).
You need the "install kit". There are two versions.

The standard "universal install kit" requires you to drill holes in the side of the frame of the pickup. That's a tough job requiring a strong drill motor and a few excellent drill bits so you can drill a small hole to begin, then gradually increase the size of the hole in the frame. But the kit is only $130, including the bed rails, but not including the drill bits or drill motor you will need.
Fifth Wheel Installation Kit by Reese for 2006 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty - RP30035


Much easier install is to use the "custom install" brackets made to fit your 2006 F-250 exactly. Those brackets bolt into existing holes in the frame of the pickup. The trick is to measure exactly and drill the holes in the bed so the bracket will bolt into both the bed and the frame without any alignment problems. This kit is almost twice the price of the universal kit, so it depends on how much your time and effort is worth. For my first rodeo, I used the universal brackets. But the couple of installs since then I've paid extra for the custom brackets.
Reese Quick-Install Custom Base Rails and Installation Kit for 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches Reese Fifth Wheel Installation Kit RP50082-58
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:21 AM   #6
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I appreciate all of the advice and suggestions. I am taking notes.

Fortunately, the original owner of my truck (I'm the second owner) used it to tow a 5th wheel. No drilling into the frame will be required for rail installation since the holes are still there. By coincidence, I ordered the rails and install kit last night.
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