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Old 06-07-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
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Need help with bed rails

I purchased a used 2006 F350 DRW a few months back. It has rails in the bed and I'm getting ready to install a gooseneck plate for horse trailers and a 14k equipment trailer.

I checked the users manuals for a few bent plate gooseneck hitches and they indicate that I need to install a 1/2" bolt in the middle hole of the rails. My rails current do not have the bolts installed.

It's clear that these rails were used in the past for towing. However, I started to do more research and found that there are two grade 8 bolts, per rail, installed through the holes that were used for the 4 middle bolts that hold the bed to the frame. (The bolts that look to go through what I think is the bed sills.) I do not see any additional brackets connected to the frame under the bed.

I have a few questions as I'm new to the 5th wheel/gooseneck towing world...

Is this an acceptable installation option for bed rails?

Do I need to install the 1/2 bolts for towing trailers <15k? It looks like the bolts would only bolt to the bottom of the bed itself.

What are the differences between the CURT bent plate hitch and the CURT spyder hitch? (The only difference I see is the bent plate can be turned around to offset the ball to allow more clearance for short bed trucks.)

I appreciate you sharing your experience with me! I want to make sure I purchase the right hitch and it's secured properly.

Bill
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfd2 View Post
Is this an acceptable installation option for bed rails?
Yes. The industry standard is the Reese bedrails. When installed for fifth-wheel-trailers up to 20k, the bed rails use 4 bolts and ell brackets to connect the rails to the frame. When used for the 25k Reese "The Goose" adapter, additional bolts go through center holes and use only large washers to reinforce the sheet metal of the bed to hold down the the middle of the bedrails. "Drill holes and add additional bolts (supplied with the gooseneck ball mount) at center holes in base rails using the hole closest to the truck bed channel."


Quote:
Do I need to install the 1/2 bolts for towing trailers <15k? It looks like the bolts would only bolt to the bottom of the bed itself.
No, you don't need to add the center bolts for trailers with a GVWR of 16k or less, and you probably don't need them for trailers of 18k or 20k. But to get the 25k or 30k weight rating, the bedrails need the slight additional reinforcement the center bolts through sheet metal and huge washers would provide.

Quote:
What are the differences between the CURT bent plate hitch and the CURT spyder hitch?
Different design, and about $80 difference in price. Both are rated 25k with those extra bolts holding down the bedrails. The Spyder is closer in design to the industry standard Reese, so some folks will pay more to get that design.

Quote:
(The only difference I see is the bent plate can be turned around to offset the ball to allow more clearance for short bed trucks.)
DO NOT do that. The ball should be in front of, or at worst, directly above, the center of the rear axle. If you have to tow a gooseneck trailer with a shorty pickup, then avoid sharp turns and jacknifing when backing so you don't get cab to trailer contact. But do not mount the hitch so the ball is behind the center of the rear axle.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your experience SmokeyWren! I certainly will not mount the gooseneck plate behind the axle.

One thing I wanted to clarify. There are no additional brackets in my installation. The 4 bolts holding the 2 bedrails in place go throught the 4 stock bolt holes that are designed to hold the bed in place. These bolts go through the bedrails, then through the bed, through the bed sills (or hat channel?) through a spacer (spacers are in the bed sills), then through the truck frame.

This is what I'm concerned about-- the lack of brackets as shown in Reese's installation instructions.

Have you ever heard of this installation?
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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When I had my 5er rails installed in Oklahoma, the idiots did not install the "L" brackets below the bed for the frame attachment. I had to make a trip back to their shop and show them the Reese instructions for installing the Universal rail mounting kit.

Ken
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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This is what I'm concerned about-- the lack of brackets as shown in Reese's installation instructions.
The extra bolts, nuts, washers, and spacers needed for the center holes in the bedrails are included with the Reese "The Goose" hitch.

Reese The Goose 25K Above-Bed Gooseneck Hitch 58079

I don't know about the Curt hitches.
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