The best magazine
How to Bed Mount a Fifth Wheel Hitch
- 1). Remove the factory spare tire tool kit from the interior of the vehicle and use the tools inside to lower the factory spare tire. Place it to the side, because once the fifth wheel is installed, it can be reinstalled.
- 2). Unbolt the factory brake controller on the driver's frame rail above the axle using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, then bolt it to the bracket provided in the fifth wheel kit using the same 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.
- 3). Remove the front bracket from the fifth wheel kit and place it in the bed. Use the tape measure to make sure that it's centered from side to side in the wheel wells, and is the depth from the end of the bed specified by the manufacturer in the instructions for the fifth wheel kit. Place the center punch in the mounting holes for the front bracket and pound a mark on the bed floor using the hammer on the punch.
- 4). Drill out the holes marked by the punch in Step 3 using a drill and a 1/8-inch drill bit. This is a pilot hole, so you will be stepping it up in size as you go. Before you drill the driver's side of the bracket, take the block of wood and slide it on top of the gas tank through the fender well. This will stop you from accidentally drilling through the bed and the tank. Change to a 9/16-inch drill bit, then open up the pilot holes to this size.
- 5). Slide the frame brackets provided with the kit onto the frame, just below the holes you drilled in the bed floor. There are factory holes in the frame that this bracket lines up with. Use the hardware provided with the kit to bolt the side brackets to the frame and tighten them only with your hands so that the bracket can be adjusted. The bolts should go from the inside of the frame out. Bolt the bracket you installed in Step 2 to the frame bracket using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.
- 6). Slide the spacer blocks provided with the fifth wheel kit between the low spots in the bed and the fifth wheel front bracket, then drop the carriage bolts through the front mount, the block and bed floor. Crawl underneath and attach the nut to those bolts through the frame brackets.
- 7). Place the fifth wheel hitch onto the brackets on the front mount in the bed, then position it down onto the bed floor. Place the rear bracket from the kit onto the fifth wheel and use the tape measure to make sure that the rear bracket is square with the rear of the bed. Once it is, use the hole punch and hammer to mark the holes in the bracket onto the floor. Drill the holes out as you did in Step 4 and bolt them to the frame brackets using the carriage bolts and nuts provided in the kit.
- 8). Tighten all of the hardware on the frame and fifth wheel hitch using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench.