How carry out you install a fifth wheel hitch? installing a fifth wheel hitch involves removing the preventive tire, measuring whereby bolt holes need to be drilled, drilling into the truck bed, assembling the 5th wheel hitch, measuring the trailer height, installing bolts and torqueing hardware.

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In the adhering to guide, we will go step-by-step through the process of 5th wheel hitch installation. Psychic to follow the particular instructions for assembly once mounting her own fifth wheel hitch.

Remove the preventive tirePosition the front basic railMark the an initial drill location and also drill a pilot holeCheck the pilot feet under the truck bed and drill the continuing to be holesEnlarge the bolt holesBolt in the under-bed bracketsBolt down the front fifth wheel railMeasure the fifth wheel hitch heightAttach the 5th wheel legsPosition the rear fifth wheel railDrill holes because that the rear base railBolt under the behind base railInstall any type of remaining boltsTorque all hardwareSecure the 5th wheel hitch

Installing a fifth wheel with brackets and base rails requires accessibility to the underbelly of your truck bed. Remove the spare tire to offer yourself more space.

You may likewise need to eliminate a heat shield or other components throughout the process. Be certain to follow the accuse accompanying your specific hitch.


Place the basic rail that will certainly be closest to the truck cab right into position, measure the correct distance from the front of the truck bed. This distance can vary between long-bed and short-bed pickup trucks. Refer to the indict for specific measurements.

You will likewise need to facility the basic rail between the wheel wells.


With the base rail appropriately positioned, note the bolt hole locations for the rail, utilizing a paint pen.

Then, usage a center punch come mark simply one that the drill locations. The other bolt areas will be significant in a later on step. The center-punch will pinpoint precisely where to drill and will assist keep the drill little from wandering. Finally, drill a pilot hole down through the significant location.


Temporarily place the appropriate under-bed fifth wheel bracket, matching to the pilot hole ar you simply drilled.

If the bracket currently up properly with the hole, the continuing to be bolt holes have the right to be drilled. Note them with a repaint pen, move the basic rail the end of the way, center-punch the drill locations and drill down from above the van bed.


Using a step bit, drill the end the pilot holes until they are large enough to accept the bolts of the 5th wheel rails. Walk slowly and also drill carefully.

With the bolts feet drilled come the suitable size, us recommend using some touch-up repaint to protect any exposed metal edges. This will help prevent corrosion. Deburr the drilled holes, and then apply the paint.


Position the under-bed brackets on either side of the truck bed. These are commonly installed indigenous the wheel well opening.

Place the ideal bracket or brackets right into position and also fasten them to the frame of the truck through the contained nuts and bolts. Then, fasten the other bracket top top the opposite next of the truck.

Reposition the base rail again in the van bed end the ideal bolt feet locations. If the truck has bed rails in the bottom of the truck bed, spacers may be included. These must be positioned under the 5th wheel rails, between the truck bed rails, come ensure continual metal-to-metal contact.

With the rails in position, insert the bolts down through the holes and also secure them v nuts applied underneath the van bed.

Your 5th wheel hitch will should be set up at the correct elevation to accommodate your truck bed. There must be a minimum height difference of 5-1/2" between your truck bed walls and the trailer.

To discover the the hitch height, make certain your trailer is parked top top a level surface. Then, measure from the ground come the underside the the kingpin bowl (A). Next, measure from the ground come the peak of the open tailgate of her truck (B).

A minus B equals C, the forced height because that your fifth wheel hitch.

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With the hitch elevation measured, discover the correct mounting feet on your fifth wheel hitch head to accommodate the necessary height. Most 5th wheel hitches market a variety of vertical adjustment. Position the foot onto the head and secure castle in place, using the included bolts.

For some fifth wheels, you may need to eliminate the head bowl to accessibility the leg bolt holes. That may likewise be useful to rotate the head upside-down to install the legs.

For short-bed trucks, a fifth wheel slider may be needed. Learn just how to measure your truck bed.

With the 5th wheel hitch assembled, you deserve to now easily uncover the place for the second, rearward base rail.

Have a friend help you background the 5th wheel hitch into place, installing the legs right into the basic rail you’ve already installed. Then, place the second base rail, utilizing the leg anchors ~ above the 5th wheel hitch together a guide for the correct location.

Before marking the drill areas for the second base rail, make sure that the rail is focused in the van bed, in between the wheel wells. Then, note the drill points v a paint pen, relocate the rail the end of the means (and hitch assembly if necessary), center-punch and also drill pilot holes.

Next, usage a step little bit to enlarge the holes to the exactly diameter for the base rail bolts. Complete off the bolt holes v touch-up repaint to assist prevent rust.

Reposition the second fifth wheel rail and insert the included bolts down v the feet you just drilled in the van bed. The bolts will certainly pass v the rail, the truck bed and the under-bed brackets currently installed.

As v the an initial base rail, the nuts to close the bolts will need to be installed from under the van bed. Be certain to install any spacers or added hardware specified in the instructions.

Some fifth wheel installations call for supplemental bolts to be installed in both rails, providing amplified security and also strength. Noting the drill locations is not necessary. Just center-punch, using the rail as a guide. Then, drill pilot holes and also enlarge the holes through a action bit.

Finally, insert the important bolts and fasten them v nuts underneath the truck bed.

With the base rails totally installed v all vital hardware, that is time to completely tighten the bolts. This needs a talk wrench. Torque worths vary by bolt size and will be stated in the installation instructions included with your hitch.

5th wheel hardware may require torque greater than a typical 100-foot-pound speak wrench have the right to provide. Rather of to buy a brand-new torque wrench, contact your local automotive store and ask that they rent the end tools and equipment.

Lift the 5th wheel hitch assembly earlier into place, dropping it into the totally installed basic rails. If friend haven’t torqued the hardware on the hitch yet, carry out so at this time. Also, make sure that all necessary pins and other components are installed prior to hitching as much as tow.

A professional fifth wheel hitch surroundings can expense anywhere native $70 come $225, depending on the hourly job rate and also the components being set up on her truck. If practice brackets and also a basic fifth wheel hitch are being installed, costs will often tend to it is in lower. If drilling is compelled and more complex fifth wheel components are needed, the price might go up. Additionally note the a dealership might charge an ext than an live independence shop.

To decide if a professional fifth wheel download is within your budget, contact a local installer and ask because that a quote.

Yes, most fifth wheel hitches have the right to be installed without professional aid as long as you have actually the tools for the job. Common tools required include a ratchet, socket set, crescent wrench, drill v drill bits and also a speak wrench.

Before deciding to install the 5th wheel hitch by yourself, read through the instructions details to her brackets, rails and also hitch model.

Installing a 5th wheel hitch deserve to take everywhere from 1 hour come 2.5 hours, relying on your level the expertise. Installation the custom brackets typically takes almost everywhere from 40 to 90 minutes. Assembling the fifth wheel hitch usually just takes 15 come 30 minutes. If your truck calls for a roller or slider, an extra 20 to 40 minutes may be required.

If you are installing a set of puck system legs or one adapter, installation can be completed in simply a few minutes if the hitch is already assembled.

Custom brackets (no drilling) – 40 to 80 minutesSemi-custom brackets (drilling may be required) - 90 minutesFifth wheel hitch assembly – 15 to 30 minutesRoller / slider assembly – 20 come 40 minutes

A 5th wheel hitch is design to download in a van bed, centered in between the wheel wells and placed directly above or contempt in front of the behind axle. For exact positioning, the installation accuse will carry out measurements and also references come walk you v the process.

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When no towing a trailer, a 5th wheel hitch can be disassembled and removed native the van bed base rails to be stored in your garage, shop or shed.