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Old 07-03-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
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Hitch recommendations

I have a 2012 Ford F350 Super Duty and am looking for hitch suggestions. The dealer wanted to charge me $3900 for hitch with installation. From what I've found online, that is WAY out-of-line. I believe I need a 20K slider as I have the short bed. I think I understand the slider concept, but what else do I need to worry about? I see height mentioned (such as 13 to 17 inch height). What does that mean exactly? How do I figure out the height I would need (or is this something the dealer needs to provide)?


I've watched videos on the installation and it seems pretty straightforward (no welding or cutting, just drilling and attention to detail and measure twice, cut once). So, among the brands available, what is my best choice...I don't scrimp on safety items such as this, but don't need to pay for needless bells and whistles. All advice is appreciated.

Regards.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:59 AM   #2
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The height is important as when you travel across a wash or uneven road surface the RV can come into contact with the top of your truck bed...and yes the sliders work well, but are heavy and take up bed space as well, of course you can take them out or leave on the RV attached when you unhook I think if you check it out...
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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Do you not have the factory installed holes in the bed?
They probably wanted to install that as opposed to rails.
What do you want? Rails, factory four holes, or a B&W or like system and then buy the fifth wheel hitch to fit the gooseneck hole?
You'll want a slider, but as far as height, they all are adjustable.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNGento View Post
I have a 2012 Ford F350 Super Duty and am looking for hitch suggestions. The dealer wanted to charge me $3900 for hitch with installation. From what I've found online, that is WAY out-of-line.
Your dealer's labor charge for installation is high. But most dealers' labor rate is high.

If your truck did not come with the Ford 5er/gooseneck hitch prep option, then there is a lot of labor to install the rails that go under the bed. You can DIY, but it's frustrating to work in the tight places if you don't first remove the bed. If you can round a couple of helpers, then first remove the bed, and the rest of the install is relatively easy

The Ford OEM 5er hitch is a Reese Elite hitch system. The install kit comes separate, then you buy the Reese Elite slider hitch to plug into the holes in the bed.

Here is the install kit:
Fifth Wheel Installation Kit for 2012 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty - Reese RP30126

And here is the slider hitch:
Fifth Wheel for 2012 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty - Reese RP30144

The complete hitch and install kit is available from ETrailer.com for $2,511.19:
Fifth Wheel for 2012 F 250 and F 350 Super Duty by Ford | etrailer.com

Estimated install time is 3.5 hours by an experienced installer. Perhaps you can find an installer in your neck of the woods that will install it for $350? That would be less than $2900 out the door.

Here are the install instructions for the under-bed rails.
http://www.hitchpro.net/application/...ons/n30126.pdf

But if you don't want to pay for that wonderful hitch system, then less expensive options are available. You don't want a cheap hitch such as a Reese Pro Series, so let's look at the one I had for 12 years. Reese Select Series 16K with 4-way tilting head. Yes, it has above-bed rails, so it's a lot easier to install and a lot less expensive at less than $850 plus install:
Fifth Wheel for 2012 F 250 and F 350 Super Duty by Ford | etrailer.com

That is certainly no Reese Elite, but it is a good Reese hitch - and probably more in line with the prices you have heard about.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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IMO the only slider worth having is a Pullrite Superglide. I had one in my previous TV - also an F350 Short box. To my knowledge, the Pullrite is the only completely automatic sliding hitch. No latches, no levers to flip, no need to stop or back up. They are not cheap, but the peace of mind was priceless. Note that the previous 5th wheel was a Titanium that supposedly was designed so as to not require a slider BUT you've got a lot of money tied up in the truck and trailer. As far as installation costs I think a competent shop would need about 6-8 hours to drill all the holes and install the brackets under the bed. The 17" measurement is probably the distance above the bed for the 5th wheel. Add approximately 12" for the pin box below the trailer and you should end up with at least 6" between the bed rails and the bottom of the trailer.

I have no financial interest in Superglide, but I did install a Pullrite Super 5th in my new TV - a long box, no slider required.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill Davey View Post
IMO the only slider worth having is a Pullrite Superglide.
I wouldn't go quite that far, but the SuperGlide is an excellent automatic slider hitch. They now make a 16k model that mounts in the "industry standard" Reese above-bed rails. The install kit for those bed rails, including the easy to bolt on custom brackets for your 2012 SuperDuty, costs only $210.

Here's the hitch: PullRite has a SAFER, STRONGER, BETTER designed hitch for you

And here's the install kit: Fifth Wheel Installation Kit for 2012 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty - Reese RP50073-58

If you really hate those in-bed rails, then SuperGlide original version removes completely from the bed, leaving just some holes in the bed. Those are heavier and more expensive and harder to install than the "industry standard" model, but that's the dream of most 5er toters with short-bed pickups.

I'll probably never own a 5er towed by a shorty pickup, but if Darling Wife changes my mine, then I hope I can have a SuprGlide hitch to tow it with.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Look close at the B & W one of the best hitch for the money less than 1000 installed. You can haul a goose neck or 5er up to 18000 lbs. I have installed on 3500 Chevy 6.5 bed and on problems plus you can take it out in 5 min to load your bed with anything. All kinds of adjustments possible. Go on line for video of install you will be surprised . Best hitch going.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:47 AM   #8
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Since this was posted in the Toyhauler Forum I am going to step out and assume you are going to load toys, tools, fuel, water, food, accessories then travel, won't take long to be at 16,000+…also if you are going to use a air ride hitch they are longer/larger than the norm as well, so that would be a consideration also…I would post a new thread to the effect of: F350 Owners post photos of your Toyhauler Hitch setup with height from bed…there will be many folks that will oblige…that will give you a starting point and a visual as well...
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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Look close at the B & W one of the best hitch for the money less than 1000 installed. You can haul a goose neck or 5er up to 18000 lbs. I have installed on 3500 Chevy 6.5 bed and on problems plus you can take it out in 5 min to load your bed with anything. All kinds of adjustments possible. Go on line for video of install you will be surprised . Best hitch going.
Note: That's $1000 installed for just the GN part. Not the Companion.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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I appreciate all the responses and have learned a lot...one thing I still need to ask. Obviously I need a slider and only the Super Glide is automatic...but at a significant price over others. How really useful is this? I wouldn't think it would be a big deal to have to get out to throw a switch or pull something if that is all that is involved. Is the automatic feature really worth a grand or more over another decent hitch?

The other thing is whether or not to pay a significant increase to get a rail system that leaves little in the bed if the hitch is removed? I don't haul a lot of stuff, but do occasionally. I'd think I could work around having some hardware in the bed...but do others think it is truly worth paying for a system that leave nothing in the bed?

Regards and thanks.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:13 AM   #11
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I usually don't have stuff in my bed. When I do, I use the rails as strapping points. They never get in my way.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNGento View Post
I appreciate all the responses and have learned a lot...one thing I still need to ask. Obviously I need a slider and only the Super Glide is automatic...but at a significant price over others. How really useful is this? I wouldn't think it would be a big deal to have to get out to throw a switch or pull something if that is all that is involved. Is the automatic feature really worth a grand or more over another decent hitch?

The other thing is whether or not to pay a significant increase to get a rail system that leaves little in the bed if the hitch is removed? I don't haul a lot of stuff, but do occasionally. I'd think I could work around having some hardware in the bed...but do others think it is truly worth paying for a system that leave nothing in the bed?

Regards and thanks.
You had the right idea...20.5k Slider leave the rails in the bed, I had the pin setup for quick removal and used it once, when I removed the hitch and moved it to a another truck...

You'll be able to adjust the hitch on the RV for height easy enough...so I wouldn't worry too much about it...
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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Is the automatic feature really worth a grand or more over another decent hitch?
Depends on you and your peace of mind.

Very few shorty pickups can turn sharp enough to have trailer to cab contact when going forward. So you need the slider hitch only for backing up. When backing you can get into a jackknife in a heartbeat, and then BLAM!, you have damage to the back of your cab, usually including a busted rear window.

So if you promise to never shift into reverse without first sliding the hitch, then you don't need the automatic slider. But you must never forget to slide the hitch before backing up.

After investing way north of $50k for truck and trailer, and often over $100k, an extra $1k is not much.

Quote:
......but do others think it is truly worth paying for a system that leave nothing in the bed?
Some hate those "industry standard" Reese/Drawtite bedrails in the bed when not towing. I never understood their hate. I had them for 12 years and they never interfered with hauling anything I needed to haul. They take up almost zero space. The only problem was if you wanted to haul bulk sand or pea gravel, you should cover the bedrails with heavy canvas or plastic so the sand or gravel wouldn't get into the bedrails. I didn't do that one time and the only way to get all the gravel out of the bedrails was to remove the bedrails and then reinstall them.

But there's a hint there. The bedrails are bolted into the bed with 8 bolts. They can be unbolted and removed with about a half-hour or less of wrench twisting. So if you tow only a few times a year, then you can remove the bedrails when not towing. Mine left 8 holes in the bed, but you can fill those holes with 8 round-head bolts in a few minutes.

So for me, my Reese 16k Select Series 5er hitch with 4-way tilt was what I wanted in my long-bed pickup.

But if I needed to tow a 5er with a shorty pickup, I'd probably pay extra for the SuperGlide hitch. Because I'm an absent-minded old man, and might forget to slide a manual slider hitch. One uh-oh would pay the difference in the cost of the hitch. That's what I mean by "peace of mind".
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:06 PM   #14
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Just to let you know, I installed my 16k slider myself, can't remember how long it took, a good hole saw and I mounted the brackets to the frame myself, it all worked fine...I used hand wrenches as well...
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