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Old 12-20-2010, 11:33 AM   #1
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Bed rails for 5th hitch install 4 or 10?

Hi all,

I just purchased a new 3500HD Dually (Duramax) & have to put a new hitch in because I've also recently purchased a heavier 5'er. The installation place asked me if I'd rather have a 4 bolt bed rail system or a 10 bolt. Call me crazy, but 10 grade 8 bolts sounds a lot stronger than 4. What am I missing here? My automatic thought is to go to the 10 bolt, as my new 5'er is heavy trailer (40ft Fuzion) & the hitch is a Reese 20k.

I guess I'm asking for confirmation here from more learned members, but what's the advantage of a 4 bolt setup over of a 10 bolt? Conversely, why WOULDN'T I want to "upgrade" to a 10 bolt install?

Thanks for your advice,
Tim
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
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Hmmmm, just an old farm boy here.

But, I would think that 10 bolts spread out over a longer distance would make for a better pulling platform and less incremental stress on the truck's frame.

Don't know what the $$$ difference would be, but I always go the "extra mile" just so I can sleep at night.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:59 PM   #3
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My 02 Chevy dually has a Reese 20K hitch and bed rails with 4 bolts holding them to the 4 frame brackets, those have 4 bolts attaching them to the frame. The hitch is very solid when towing our 40' 5er. I'm wondering just where they would place 10 mounting bolts on a truck with 2 frame rails.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for your answers! I do have one more question though. The place that I have scheduled to install my hitch tomorrow just called and said that the model-specific bed rails I ordered from Reese won't be avail. until the 28th now, but they do have Universal mounting systems I could install tomorrow. What's the difference? Do the Universal kit require that more holes are drilled into my frame? Would I be better off waiting until the 28th for the model specific rails, or would it matter? Thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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I would wait. I had to wait for mine and am very glad I did. The model-specfic brackets don't require any drilling of the frame, the mounting bolts match up with holes already in the frame. I would assume the univ brackets would require drilling of the frame. I personally think the model-specific brackets give a much more stable mount for the rails. As to the 4 vs 10, you've got me. I do have 10 bolts holding the rails. Two on the ends of each rail into the frame brackets and one on each rail in the center through the bed floor, no real strength but I think it might keep things from rattleing.
PS, you might want to move this thread over to the 5th wheel forum rather than the TT forum. Might get more suggestions
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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X2 what mhs said. Making more holes in a hydro-formed frame is not a good idea.
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