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Old 01-19-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
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Need fifth wheel hitch advice

Hi

I jus purchased a new 35' fifth wheel and a alongbed ford F350 diesel. I am now looking for a 20k hitch which is reliable and easy to hook up. I will be hooking it up by myself and since I am female I need something that wont need lots of muscle to work it. Please help me out I am new to this and want to make the best decision now before hitting the road.

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Old 01-19-2014, 01:09 PM   #2
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Can you give us some details regarding your 5th wheel and truck? What is the GVWR of your 5th wheel (this will confirm the required hitch capacity - just to be sure 20K is enough)? What year is your truck and does it have the Ford 5th wheel hitch preparation kit?

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Old 01-19-2014, 02:30 PM   #3
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Truck is 2014 and equipped as a tow ready truck. I was told there is something that needs to be installed, I will be getting a professional install though. I was quoted on a PullRite Super 5th 20.5K and also suggested to me was a B&W companion hitch. GVWR on trailer is 15950. Trailer is a 35' Forest River Cardinal. I just want the best one and easiest to hook up.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:41 PM   #4
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B&W has a Companion 5th wheel hitch that will fit the Ford factory prep package. A Reese Elite 5th wheel hitch is available for this application as well. I'm partial to the B&W for ease of use and solid 1" locking jaws. Details of the B&W are available HERE.

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Old 01-19-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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Thank you for your input. I will look more at the B&W hitch.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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I'd second the B&W. Quality hitch from a quality company.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:52 PM   #7
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I use the B & W turnover ball for gooseneck trailers for work. Excellent hitch quality from an american company.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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All hitches are hard to take out/put in but are easy to hook/unhook.

Do you have anything like this? If so, that is the factory fifth wheel prep package. You just need a hitch if so.


If not you can get the B&W set of hitches:



Or you can get industry standard rails and hitch. You can get basic rails and brackets, or fancy, custom brackets. Then a standard hitch or fancy, air ride hitch. Just depends on what you want to spend.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:06 PM   #9
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If your truck already has the Ford factory 5er/gooseneck prep pkg, all you need is the actual hitch that plugs into that prep pkg. The obvious choice is the Reese Elite 5er hitch rated for 18,000 or 25,000 pounds max trailer weight. If the 18k is not enough then go for the 25k. Your Ford dealer is one source. Since you bought the truck from them, they should sell you the hitch at dealer's cost. Or you can order it from your local Reese hitch dealer, or any internet discount hitch dealer such as Amazon.com or etrailer.com. From E-trailer.com, here's the 18k and 25k Reese Elite hitches, as well as the 20k B&W Companion hitch that will plug into the Ford factory prep kit:
2014 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty Fifth Wheel Hitch | etrailer.com

But that prep pkg has been so popular that several other 5er hitch manufacturers now make 5er hitches that will plug into the prep pkg. For example, Pullrite now offers both an 18k and 25k 5er hitch designed to plug into the Ford prep kit:
OE Series Super 5th - For Ford Prep Kit | PullRite Hitches

You mentioned having a pro do the install. If you already have the Ford prep kit installed by the factory, there's almost nothing else you need a pro to do. Just plug in the hitch, tie onto the trailer, plug in the wiring plug, and go.

If you don't have the Ford factory prep kit, then you need a pro hitch installer to install the hitch rails and the electric plug in the side of the bed. Then you have a lot more choices of less-expensive 5er hitches, with the rails either above the floor of the bed or under the floor of the bed. The parts are about the same, but the under-bed rails will cost a lot more labor to install. Holler back if you don't have the Ford prep kit.

As jesilvas noted, all 5er hitches rated for 18k or more are too heavy for my wife to plug into the truck bed and remove from the truck bed by herself. My strong 61-year-old baby sister can probably manage it, but not my 82-year-old wife. But after the hitch is plugged into the bed, she can hook to the trailer or unhook from the trailer with no great effort.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:13 PM   #10
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I just took a look at my truck bed. I do not see prep kit in bed. I was also told when I took it in that the wiring had to be done. Therefore I guess I am open to any one of them. I am looking for quality and ease of use. I have heard of the air ride hitch. I am not sure if it is necessary but if it is better then perhaps it would be good to start out that way rather than decide later i should have gotten something different then the standard hitch.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:31 PM   #11
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I do see that there is a spot where caps for holes should be. I had the bed spray lined and do not remember anything previously on bed.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onerugrat View Post
Thank you for your input. I will look more at the B&W hitch.
I've had no issues with my B&W. They're are very well built. Don't forget to get a lube plate. It's a teflon disc that goes between your fifth wheel plate and the king pin.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:39 PM   #13
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I recently upgraded trucks, with that I decided I would upgrade my hitch as well. I decided to go with the B&W companion. They are a little more pricey than some I was looking at, but you have the option of a gooseneck and a fifth wheel for multiple applications. I figured that would be useful to me.

Compared to my last hitch, which was a sliding bar lock mechanism, the B&W is a lot easier to hitch and unhitch. The way the mechanism works is brilliant. The companion base is heavy, and the head is heavy as well, but B&W thought of that and put handles where you need them. I would recommend the B&W to anybody.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:45 AM   #14
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Since you don't have the holes in the bed, you can go with anything then. B&W is expensive but very solidly built. Reese and industry standard rail kits are cheaper but still good.
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