Originally Posted by BOBCO
I am looking at purchasing a Ram 3500 DRW, so what I am reading is not to get the FW tow prep from manufacturer? Do you still recommend to get the tow prep at Ram dealership?
There is nothing wrong with the MOPAR hitch prep pkg if you don't try to get by cheap and try to buy a cheaper hitch than the one made for the prep pkg. The correct hitch is the Reese Elite. Outstanding relatively-new design for a 5er hitch. You can buy it from any Dodge dealer.
Or you can probably get a bit better price from a discount hitch supplier such as Trailer hitch, hitches and bike rack (800)298-8924
- but if you buy it from someone other than Dodge then you must know enough to also buy the Reese Elite along with the correct adaptor kit that allows the Reese Elite hitch to plug into the MOPAR prep kit.
I don't know if Dodge sells the 18k slider hitch for the prep kit. If not, then you can buy that from etrailer.com for your short-bed tow vehicle. Just be sure you also buy the correct adaptor kit.
The "industry standard" rail kit is the antiquated Reese/Drawtite hitch rails that mount on top of the floor of the bed and attach to the frame of the tow vehicle. Reese Elite makes one that can mount to those bed rails if you don't order the prep kit from the truck manufacturer. Reese sells that one for folks with older trucks that have the bed rails but want the most modern 5er hitch head available.
The RAM (and Ford) factory installed prep kits are the under-bed rails the Reese Elite hitch was designed to use. When you remove the hitch, there is nothing in the bed but some holes filled with a plastic filler. They are a lot less expensive if you order them installed at the assembly plant than if you buy them from a hitch supplier than pay someone to install them. Experienced hitch installers have determined that the best way to install the Reese Elite under-bed rails is to first remove the bed, then the rest of the job is easy. But even easier is to let the RAM assembly plant do it for you.