Fifth wheel install.

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nohemihere

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Posts
6
I have dodge ram CTD. I am going to install my hitch myself I think. Its not that I cant afford to have someone else do it. I just want to know how everything is put together in case there are problems down the road. I am new to this and I have a few questions. I think the loaded weight of my trailer is slightly under 13000lbs. So I bought a reese 15k hitch. I am pulling a 36 foot nu-way. I havent recieved the hitch yet. How does it mount to the ? Is it a bolt-in or a weld in instalation? How hard is it to do? What about placement? How far forward do you place it? Is there a way to raise the hitch slightly so I can leave my toolbox in? I know you have to be carefull with clearances. I do have a longbed.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

N Smock

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Mar 9, 2005
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246
Location
Long Branch, NJ
That seems like a heavy trailer for that truck, have you checked all the weight paramaters for the truck?

Never weld to the new frames it will weaken the frames.

Personally I would prefer to have a shop intall the hitch, since by them doing it the libality if something goes wrong is thier problem not yours.

Nelson
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Titusville, FL
nohemihere said:
I have dodge ram CTD. I am going to install my hitch myself I think. Its not that I cant afford to have someone else do it. I just want to know how everything is put together in case there are problems down the road. I am new to this and I have a few questions. I think the loaded weight of my trailer is slightly under 13000lbs. So I bought a reese 15k hitch. I am pulling a 36 foot nu-way. I havent recieved the hitch yet. How does it mount to the ? Is it a bolt-in or a weld in instalation? How hard is it to do? What about placement? How far forward do you place it? Is there a way to raise the hitch slightly so I can leave my toolbox in? I know you have to be carefull with clearances. I do have a longbed.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I believe all hitches are bolt in. Placement is over the rear axle. I agree with Nelson, let a professional do it. :) Normally the base is bolted to the frame and the hitch mechanism is pinned to the base. Nothing to see underneath but the attachments.

You should have at least 6-7" of clearance between the truck side and the bottom of the 5th wheel. The pin box may have to be moved if you don't have the clearance. Also the rear axle sometimes has to be flipped to keep the trailer level after hooking up. Usually this is done at the dealership.

I hope more experienced people will jump in here. :)
 

nohemihere

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Posts
6
I am fine with my weights. I already checked. The wieghts were with the camper fully loaded and the water tanks full. I can shave weight off the trailer by keeping some things empty. Plus there won't be anyone riding in the truck other then me. So I can safely push my max weights.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
The hitch rails are bolted to brackets that go through the bed to the frame. The brackets are bolted to the frame.  Reese may offer an installation kit  for your Dodge, though possibly there are enough brackets included in the standard package to do the job.  Since there are many different trucks and several different configurations for each, the hitch makers usually include a generic set of frame brackets that handle many models and then sell special ones for the rest.

You can do it yourself, but a good hitch shop can do it a lot easier, simply because they should already know the specifics for your truck and have the required parts on hand. And they can do the wiring at the same time.  You could ask if you could watch the install if you explain that you want to learn - they might accomodate you.

When I said  "good hitch shop", I meant a business that exclusively installs hitches of all types, not a Dodge dealer or repair shop that does hitches as asideline.
 

BillB800si

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Posts
11
nohemihere said:
I have dodge ram CTD. I am going to install my hitch myself I think.

A 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 with Turbo Diesel is rated for 20,000 lbs. total (Trailer & Truck). Basically the truck will be 6600 to 6900 lbs. Dodge only recommends a max of 13000 pounds pulling/

So you're right up there at the edge.

Drive careful,

Bill B.  (Michigan)
----------------------------
"Why is there no Disneyland in China ?
No one's tall enough to go on the good rides "
 

2006F350

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Posts
393
Location
Memphis TN
I had considered installing my own also, so I downloaded the owners manual from the Reese website. After reading, I said 'No Way' and took it to a professional installer. You need to measure back from the end of the bed X inches, insure that bolts are in a particular order (short and long), etc, etc .... it wasn't worth it to me knowing that not only would I have 2600 pounds sitting on the hitch, that the 13000 pounds would be putting a good load on it (when you hit a bump, etc, it puts quite a strain on everything, including your nerves).

In short, get the PDF version of the manual from their website, read it, and if your comfort level is high enough, press on, or do as most other suggest, have a professional do it. To me, it was worth the peace of mind knowing it was installed right.

Happy RV'ing

Larry
 

04Duramax

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Posts
8
Location
Anoka, MN
I did my own install on my GMC, wasn't bad at all. Give yourself a full day and a good set of jackstands. The trickiest thing about it is finding a 17/32" drill bit that is required for the install. Make sure you have one before you start - they are hard to find. I actually had to get one at a used tool shop - no-one else had one - -not even tool stores! I was shocked. My truck was on jackstands for 5 extra hours while I drove all over trying to find one. If you don't mind crawling out from under your truck 50 times a day, you can do it.
The instructions from reese were very specific and if you know your way around a tool bench.....go for it.
One more thing.. I ordered mine from an online store(hitches.com??) and I was missing many parts. BEWARE!
I suggest ordering from a local RV dealer or camping/RV supply store. That way if your are missing parts you can get them the same day. Good Luck!
Larry
 
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