Originally Posted by silverqueen
Is it important to have the 5th wheel prep package on the truck? Or is it better to do that after we get the 5er and the hitch?
For the new F-450, the 5er hitch prep option is a bargain. And the Reese Elite 25k 5er hitch that is optional is a bargain, too, compared to buying it aftermarket.
But only if you were going to buy and install the Reese Elite hitch as your 5er hitch of choice.
The only 5er hitch that will work great with the 5er hitch prep kit is the Reese Elite. So if that's the hitch you want, then for certain order both the prep kit and the hitch as part of your new truck order.
Note that in the Order Guide the 5er prep kit is a packaged option. But the actual 5er hitch is a "Custom Accessory" in a different part of the order guide. So don't let that confuse.
Here are the parts for the prep kit that you or someone would have to install if you don't order the prep kit installed by the factory:
Reese Elite Series Rail Kit 30126
Don't let their use of the words "rail kit" confuse you. Those rails go under the bed, not in the bed.
I asked my hitch installer how much trouble is the Elite hitch prep kit (installation kit) to install. He said it's fairly easy. First you remove the bed...!
The invoice cost of the prep kit is less than $400 installed. So I'll just let the Ford assembly line do the work for a price less than just the aftermarket price for the install kit parts.
Your Ford dealer will probably sell you the options for your new truck at invoice cost - both the prep kit as well as the actual hitch. So compare that cost to the retail price charged by a discount hitch source such as this one For the Elite hitch for a 2012 F-450:
Trailer Hitches, Hitch Accessories, Hitch Wiring
One of the advantages of the Elite 5er hitch is you can remove it from the bed and nothing is still in the bed except a few flush plastic plugs.