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Old 04-16-2005, 10:26 AM   #1
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I've ordered a B & W Turnover Ball with companion hitch. For those of you who have installed one, what did you use to cut the whole in the truck bed?
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:26 AM   #2
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I've ordered a B & W Turnover Ball with companion hitch. For those of you who have installed one, what did you use to cut the whole in the truck bed?
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:23 AM   #3
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A 4" (IIRC) hole saw purchased at Sears Hardware. Just measure at least 10 times before cutting the hole!

Be sure to get the steel shards and dust out of the bed. Anything left in will leave rust stains in the paint in just a few days. Glad I was having the bed Line-Xed anyway!

Oh, and I see this is your first post. Welcome to iRV2.com. We look forward to your participation - let us know how the install turns out.

Rusty
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:13 PM   #4
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What kind of saw?
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:45 PM   #5
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A hole saw. It has a drill bit in the middle that drills a pilot hole and a 4" diameter round saw that cuts the hole after the drill bit has penetrated the bed floor. IIRC = if I recall correctly.

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Old 04-18-2005, 09:03 AM   #6
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I also used a 4" hole saw to cut mine. The local rental center rents them, but I bought one.

I used a die grinder to debur and smooth out any cuts, then put some derusto primer on the edges. Could be done with sandpaper and a round file...

I also used red locktite on all the bolts, and nothing has ever worked loose. In retrospect, I would have used the hitch for a while to let everything settle in first, then applied locktite on each bolt and retorque.

You will also likely find that a stool or sawhorse or whatever and a ratcheting tiedown will come in handy (set the sawhorse on the bed and reach the tiedown strap through the hole, so it will hold the center section of the hitch up while you bolt it in).

Also, at least on my Dodge, the exhaust pipe was in the way when I tried to get a drill underneath to drill holes for the safety chain ancors. I was able to get in there with a dremel tool to make a pilot hole, so I could drill from the top.

Anyhow, installation is pretty straight forward, and I am happy with mine.
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:55 AM   #7
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Thank you for the suggestions. I will let you know how it goes. I have not received it yet.

Yes, I'm installing this on a 2004 Dodge with a Cummins, so I especially appreciate the comment about the pilot hole.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:31 PM   #8
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I love my BW hitch, it is much smoother than past hitches, had to beef up the ground wire in my added plug in the bed as it can not ground through the hitch.
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:48 AM   #9
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I have the B&W as well and love the convenience and operations of it. However I notice some racking front and back. I have a full load (about 14,500# fiver). I had a Trail-Air hitch and it made it worse so I swapped it for the Center-Point trailer air suspension which helped overall towability greatly. I still have that bumping though and am wondering if anyone else has it.

I suspect that the bed is flexing under the corner loads from the hitch as the only attachment is in the center tube that drops in. I have it toqued properly (even tried more) but to no avail. All bolts and attachment secure. I had the older Companion in my previous truck and the newer design with the wider footprint helps but not enough.

I may install spacers under the bed with cross supports to strengthen that area. I was also thinking about the Mor-Ryde hitch that supposedly removes the fore-aft bumping. Any feedback?

Thanks, Zeke
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:18 AM   #10
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Do you have any 3"x3"x3/8" angle iron lying around? If so, cut 2 lengths of it to fit the full available length of the bed (from bed front or toolbox to tailgate). Now, remove the frame of the companion 5th wheel hitch, lay the angle iron runners on the left and right sides of the bed of the truck such that the feet of the companion 5th wheel hitch will rest on the flat side (the side resting on the bed floor) of the runners. Pull the top hitch bolt and U-bolts down as normal, and install the hitch head.

Go hitch up the 5th wheel, give it a try and tell me what you think.

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Old 04-22-2005, 10:09 AM   #11
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Rusty;
That idea will certainly help a lot. The only problem is then I have 2 long angles that I need to store when I remove the hitch and also get in the way when the hitch is in and I put "stuff" into the bed. I will try it.

I was thinking long term to get flat steel (about 3/8 thick) to fit underneath the bed up into the high strips (bed has "rails" for lack of correct term) and brace under the strips with a similar bar that B&W uses for it's frame crossover. Your idea is much easier and cheaper.

Thans, Zeke
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Old 04-22-2005, 11:00 AM   #12
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Zeke,

Whether you use my approach for a permanent solution or not, it will tell you if trying to stiffen up under the bed will help or not before you go to all the trouble to do it. The rails stiffen the bed floor when you tighten down the top bolt and spread the acceleration/braking loads over the length of the bed. As you said, it's quick and cheap, and if it works, just grind the corners smooth and have 'em Line-Xed to match the bed.

I put the rails in the garage along with the hitch when it's not in use. They're a little inconvenient to load stuff in the bed when the hitch is installed, but we still carry my wife's electric scooter, etc. with us even with the rails installed when we're pulling the 5th wheel.

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Old 04-24-2005, 04:17 PM   #13
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I got it installed. It took the better part of Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but it was not bad at all. The instructions were clear, and everything lined up easily. I'm impressed with how well thought out the hitch design is.

The only other hitch I'd ever installed was a Lil Rocker on my old Ford truck 7 or 8 years ago. That was difficult, because it involved drilling so many holes in the frame and bed, and hoping it all lined up. This was easy in comparison.

I tried towing my camper. I got no flexing of the bed--no front to back play in the hitch. My camper is small however, like 24 feet (I forget exactly how long.)

I do have a question. When I install/uninstall the 5th wheel companion hitch, I loosen/tighten not only the bolt that goes down into the square tube, but also the u-bolts? That's the one point the instructions are not clear about.
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:29 PM   #14
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When you remove the companion 5th wheel hitch, loosen the U-bolts, remove the top "pull-down" bolt and slide the companion hitch frame off of the adapter tube.

When you install the companion 5th wheel hitch, slide the companion hitch frame with the U-bolts loosely installed down over the adapter tube. Get it aligned with the front crossmember of the companion hitch frame (the one that the U-bolts go through) hard against the adapter tube, install and torque the pull-down bolt, then tighten the U-bolts.

Rusty
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