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Old 01-23-2019, 05:23 PM   #1
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My truck doesn't have the fifth wheel prep

Looking at downsizing from Class A to fifth wheel. Found a used gas GMC 2500 I like. Fifth wheel is only 9500 lbs. Payload on truck is 2590 lbs. Should be good.

My question is this. My truck bed is not prepped for a hitch like most of the new ones are. How big of a deal is this? How hard to do this? Approximate cost? Best hitch for my application without breaking bank?

Thanks
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
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Is the 2590 lb truck payload from the yellow sticker on the door? Is the 9500 lb trailer weight dry weight or gross weight? What is the gross cargo weight you'll be carrying in the truck including the weight of the people carried in the truck and the weight of all the stuff you'll carry in the truck? Remember to include the weight of the hitch you'll install in the truck bed as part of the cargo weight.

Just based on the information you've given so far, here's my math. Answers from above can change the math. The pin weight of a gross 9500 fiver of about 22% would be 2,090 lbs. That leaves 500 lb left for all other cargo in the truck (2590 - 2090 = 500 lbs). Let's say the driver weights 200 lbs, the passenger weighs 100 lbs, and a tool box and other stuff weighs 30 lbs for a total of 330 lbs. Subtract that from the 500 lbs of cargo capacity and you have 170 lbs of cargo capacity left for the weight of the hitch.

If my calculation method is correct, you will have used up the maximum truck cargo capacity. Does that look about right to you?
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:08 PM   #3
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I will not get in the debate if you have enough truck or not that is you decision and your decision only.

Now as far as a hitch and mounting there are several major brands and they all have there plus/minus. First off is the truck a short bed or long bed truck? In my very humble opinion a slider is always useful with a short bed truck. If a long bed a slider is not required.

Now as far as mounting there are standard rails that mount prementaly to the bed. The hitch base pins to these rails in the bed. I have had two different hitches that I have used to mount to my standard rail kit. Here is a link to etrailer for the bed rails. https://www.etrailer.com/5w-2016_Ram...0Wheel%20Hitch

I need a slider for my short bed truck, my first hitch was Reese manual slider. This lasted 10 years and was replaced by a DEMCCO auto slider hitch this year.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:07 PM   #4
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I installed my own standard bed rails using Curt model specific frame brackets. The instructions were poor, the "90 minute job" took me six hours. The time would have been shortened if I had a helper or a lift. I generally never pay people to do work like that but if I had to do it over again, I would consider it.

You have a decision to make, Industry Standard Rails (ISR) or a gooseneck ball system such as B&W turnover ball. Deciding on your hitch first will help with your mounting decision.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:40 AM   #5
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Depending on the year of the vehicle, you might be able to buy the Puck kit from GM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:07 AM   #6
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thanks for the replies. On the "do I have enough truck" you have calculated correctly and the payload is from the yellow sticker. I know it will be close.

Regarding the other questions, I appreciate some of the answers but you are also basically asking me back the same questions I am asking you. I don't know what I want, and is why I was hoping to get replies from people that have had to do the same.

Standard vs under bed mount. I like the idea of under bed. However I am also a fan of not spending a ton of money. Just wondering if the standard in bed rails get in your way a lot since they don't fit flush.

I do not have to have the center ball type mount for use in Anderson hitches and such. Basically looking for something that won't eat my pocket book and get the job done.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:05 AM   #7
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If you go to etrailer.com you can look up a wide variety of hitch brands and get a good idea on costs. If you need a slider or not price difference, rails vs under bed price difference. How much is acceptable is for you to decide. However with an under bed type it is going to cost more, guessing approx $300 (however that may depend on brand)
I personally didn't want the pucks in my bed so I ordered my truck without the pucks. I wanted what I was used to and that was a B&W under bed goose neck hitch and a B&W 5th wheel hitch. I need to tow a goose neck once in a while in addition to our 5th wheel so for me it is a no brainer. However I do believe even if I didn't have to use the goose neck occasionally I would prefer to have an under bed mount. I use the truck bed for too many things to have rails back there being in the way or potentially getting damaged. If the truck is only for towing the fifth, will not use/need a goose neck or be used to haul much other stuff in the bed when the trailer is not hooked up then a rail makes sense but not for me personally.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogcard View Post
Basically looking for something that won't eat my pocket book and get the job done.

My truck bed is not prepped for a hitch like most of the new ones are. How big of a deal is this? How hard to do this? Approximate cost? Best hitch for my application without breaking bank?

Just wondering if the standard in bed rails get in your way a lot since they don't fit flush.
CecilD said you have a choice between industry standard rails in the bed or an under-bed gooseneck hitch. But he forgot that you can also choose under bed rails for a 5er hitch that is not a Companion hitch for a gooseneck hitch. You didn't mention the year of your GM, so I'll guess 2016 "short" bed. Here's one for a 2016 short-bed 2500 GM pickup.
https://www.etrailer.com/multi-produ...4113&hunter=5w

That one includes the excellent but expensive Reese Elite slider hitch. Or you can install just the under-bed rail kit discussed in that link, then choose a cheaper 5er hitch that will fit into the hitch pucks of that install kit.


Another choice with under-bed installation is the PullRite SuperGlide automatic sliding hitch. If you need a slider, that's the one I prefer - because it's automatic. With most slider hitches, you have to remember to stop and manually slide the hitch BEFORE you put the truck in reverse. You probably cannot turn sharp enough to have trailer to cab contact when going forward, but in reverse you can have a BANG before you can say "Oh, darn!"
Traditional Series SuperGlide | Fifth Wheel Hitches by PullRite

Either the Reese Elite under-bed rails or the Pullrite under bed install kit will probably require you and least 4 hours of hard work to get it installed. The pros often raise the bed off the frame to make installation easier, but it's not required.

But if you want to get by cheap, then you can install a plain ole 5er hitch with "industry standard" in-bed rails. IOW Reese in-bed rails. Last time I installed ISR rails it took me a couple of hours. Requires lots of exact measuring before you drill holes in the bed, but nothing hard for a decent DIYer. With ISR rails you can choose from several different brands of 5er hitches, with or without manual slider. You can even install one model of the PullRite SuperGlide hitch designed for ISR rails.

The ISR rails can be installed with the standard install kit that requires drilling holes in the frame. Or for a bit more money, you can buy custom install brackets that bolt into existing holes in the frame. Here is the cheapest Reese manual sliding 5er hitch with custom install brackets that works okay. https://www.etrailer.com/multi-produ...3926&hunter=5w

Drilling holes in the frame of the truck is not for the faint of heart. It requires several excellent, sharp drill bits, a powerful drill gun, and the strength to push hard on the drill gun. I've done it once, but never again. I'll pay the extra to get the custom brackets that can be installed without drilling holes in the frame.

Back to the hitch- if your bed is the good ole 8' bed, then forget the slider complications. Go for a hitch without a slider, and save a bunch of money and weight. https://www.etrailer.com/multi-produ...3927&hunter=5w

I towed my 9k 5er all over the USA for over 100,000 towing miles and 10 years with a Reese 16k 5er hitch with in-bed rails. The only problem with the in-bed rails was I once hauled a bed load of pea gravel, and the gravel got down into the bed rails. It was a heck of a job to get that gravel out of the bed rails. The fix for that problem was a heavy rubber bed rug over the rails. Then no problem hauling sand or gavel in the bed.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:14 PM   #9
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thanks again for the replies. didn't realize this but I am looking at the Grand Design 5er. they have a rotating pin on them and are telling me they actually do not work with slider hitches. guess I know what I will be doing. thinking of the Anderson for less weight and ISR. Maybe under bed rails but probably just ISR.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogcard View Post
thanks again for the replies. didn't realize this but I am looking at the Grand Design 5er. they have a rotating pin on them and are telling me they actually do not work with slider hitches. guess I know what I will be doing. thinking of the Anderson for less weight and ISR. Maybe under bed rails but probably just ISR.

They have the Lippert Rota Flex pin box. It's nothing out of the ordinary, not sure why they are telling you that. If you've got a short bed, you're gonna want a slider hitch. Or a good supply of back glass replacements.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:55 PM   #11
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If you want to use your rotating pin box as designed, the Andersen Ultimate is out as is the B&W Companion with the turnover ball. If you lock out the rotating function then either of these hitches would be acceptable.

From a cost standpoint, standard rails and a B&W Patriot would be a good combo. If you lock out your pin box, the Andersen Ultimate is a popular option.

The rails would be a pain if you intend to use your truck as a gravel hauler or anything you need to scoop out with a shovel. I don't use my tow vehicle like that, plus I have a BedRug that is just about as high as the top of the rails. Things like lumber slide right over the top of the rails. They have never been an issue for me.

I was a newbie with a fifth wheel and I went the rails and Patriot route, fine gear. However, my ride was terrible so I ended up with an air hitch. Sometimes it is hard to get it right from the outset.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:12 AM   #12
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Our first tow vehicle was a 2014 F350 shortbed with a Pullrite Superglide sliding hitch. This hitch was installed on Pullrite underbed rail system and used their removable superrails. As others have mentioned, the hitch is fully automatic and very easy to use. However, it is super heavy and takes at least 2 people to get out of the truck. Because of this, having the removable rails was kind of a waste as I was never able to really remove the hitch. Also, this rail/hitch combination sits very high in the bed. It was so high, that the folding tonneau cover would not close.

Our second tow vehicle is a 2015 F350 dually with ISR and a Curt 24K hitch. This hitch comes apart in 2 pieces that I can easily remove by myself. I've also got a bedrug installed that is cut around the rails, so it's almost flat throughout the bed floor. I haven't had to yet, but if I ever have to haul gravel or mulch, an old piece of carpet or cardboard laid over the rails would protect them from getting junked up.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Depending on the year of the vehicle, you might be able to buy the Puck kit from GM.
Did you check with your local GM dealer to see the cost of the Puck Kit??
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:05 AM   #14
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thanks for all the replies. I punted on the 2500 gas and bit the bullet on a GMC 3500 with the fifth wheel kit. 3600 lb payload.

now if I could just sell my Class A!!!!!!!!!!!!
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