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Old 02-17-2016, 03:18 PM   #1
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Installing Bed Rails

I recently changed my truck to a GMC 3500HD. I kept the hitch from my old truck, but not the rails. Hitch is Reese 16K which uses standard type rails available from Reese or Curt. I have looked at videos and instructions as to mounting the vehicle specific brackets under the truck bed. I don't want "universal" brackets as that means drilling holes in frame. I realize that I will have to drill the through the box, but generally the installation does not look to be rocket science. I think I have all the tools needed.
My questions are:
Has anyone done this themselves, and how difficult was it?
GM uses a box type frame, so you have to feed the bolts through holes with a wire leader. That looks like it could be tricky. Especially if you drop the bolt. How difficult is it to feed the bolts through the holes?
Is there a difference in quality between Reese & Curt?
Any other suggestions or cautions?

Thanks, Gary
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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When I installed my hitch (a Reese in the beginning) I bought the kit specific to my bolted on with no problems and the only holes I drilled were in the bed. It was a straight forward job and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again - go for it!

The instructions were easy to follow - they show where the hitch should end up and give all the measurements.

I forgot to say that feeding the bolts through the frame was easy - I didn't use a wire leader...I did get help to do the bolts that hold the rails in the bed...its a pretty long reach for one guy. As I think about it, I think the bed bolts were carriage bolts with square shoulders.

Hope that helps...

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Old 02-17-2016, 05:51 PM   #3
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Since you have a nice new truck sell the hitch and rails you have. Now install the B&W TurnoverBall under bed hitch then install the B&W Companion in the bed. When the hitch is removed the bed will be clear of the rails.

BTW Curt 5er hitches are all made in China and REESE are either made in China or Mexico.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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Installing the custom brackets is pretty ez, the kit comes with the wire guides needed for the blind bolts.
Larry Day, Texas Baptist Men volunteer
'13 Silverado LT 3500HD D/A CCSB 2wd, custom RKI bed
'19 Starcraft Telluride 292RLS
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:30 PM   #5
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I installed a set of Curt bed rails in my truck. The installation kit is specific for the truck and needed no drilling. It came with the wires to guide the bolts thru the frame. It worked really well which made the installation relatively easy. I have a Trailer Saver hitch so rails were my only option. GM did not have any kind of mounting system when I ordered the truck.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:08 AM   #6
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I installed a Reese RP 50064-38 custom kit with almost no problems. The only thing I needed help on was the thru bed bolt above the fuel tank, there wasn't much room above the tank.
I did loose one bolt that pulled out of the wire feeder, but it rolled down the frame close enough to an access hole that I could retrieve it with a magnet.
My installation took about 2 1/2 hours, with a few refreshment breaks and I took my time. A much, much easier install than the universal kits and drilling through the frame.
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cummins12V98 View Post
Since you have a nice new truck sell the hitch and rails you have. Now install the B&W TurnoverBall under bed hitch then install the B&W Companion in the bed. When the hitch is removed the bed will be clear of the rails.

BTW Curt 5er hitches are all made in China and REESE are either made in China or Mexico.
X 2 on this. I made the move to B&W when I bought a truck with it already installed. Sold the rail mount hitch and bought the Companion. Way worth it.
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