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The summer is coming, and camping will be much better in a couple of weeks. In this article, we will be exploring how to install the fifth wheel hitches into your truck by yourself. In this DIY process, you need to follow many steps and be very cautious about the rules. We try to explain every single detail that you might need to know before starting this exciting adventure!
It might be a bit frustrating at the beginning, but once you start measuring, drilling, and connecting things together, you will love this process. Plus, it will give you a huge satisfaction that you can show off your amazing skills later! If you are ready to get into this mechanical adventure, let's get started.
However, before explaining this process, we would like to introduce our fifth wheel hitches product as Tulga Fifth Wheel. It has some specific qualities that will match your truck, especially if they are Ford F Series, Dodge Ram, and Chevrolet Silverados.
Fifth Wheel Hitches
T10 fifth wheel hitch Plate is best for car transporters with trucks such as Ford F Series, Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Silverados. The fifth wheel plates give the connection between the towing truck and the semi trailer hitch, tractor unit, dolly or driving trailer. Few entertaining vehicles utilize a fifth wheel arrangement, obliging the pairing to be introduced at the bottom of an elevated truck like a lugging vehicle. To decrease contact, oil is connected to the surface of the fifth wheel. The setup is once in a while called a turn-table in Australia and New Zealand, particularly in the event that it is a pivoting ball-race-bearing sort. The upside of this coupling is enhanced towing steadiness.
We are happy to introduce our product, and it will be much easier to install it by yourself with instructions, and there will be more explanation when you order our product. There are many ways to follow these steps, and you can find which step should be taken the first, but we arranged the order as we believe that this is the healthiest and safest way. Okay, you’ve got this! Let's start.
Installing a fifth-wheel hitch on your truck might be a bit tricky, but it is very simple with the proper tools and the following steps. You should determine your truck's load capacity in the first place. There might be about a 20% to 15% leeway for trailer weight to prevent putting too much stress on your truck's suspension. After verifying the capacity of your tow vehicle to understand if it is capable of carrying the weight of your new fifth wheel, you will need to install it in the bed of your truck. This kind of DIY fifth wheel installation not only saves your money and also will help you to understand the process and mechanism of your wheel hitches, so you will be able to get involved more in this process and observe the structure of your fifth wheel and how your truck can react to it. Now we can look at how to install your fifth wheel by yourself.
It is essential that you should find the best position before starting this process. We suggest you read this article before finding the best position for this mechanical process.
You can find fifth wheel hitch installation kits designed specifically for your tow vehicle, and these would be preferred over universal kits as they often allow you to complete the installation without having to drill any new holes into your tow vehicle and simplifies the project. Regardless of which hitch kit you purchase, you should always check with your manufacturer's installation instructions to find out where your fifth wheel hitch should be installed in the truck bed. Generally, it will be positioned so that your trailer weight sits between the truck's cab and rear axle. In other words, for optimal towing and proper load distribution, your hitch should be as close as possible to the center of your truck bed. For long beds, measurements should be around 56 inches back from the cab, and for a short bed, the measurements should be around 36 inches back from the cab.
If you plan to drill and bolt the frame, you will need to order the kit. Placing the hitch in the rails and both into the truck's bed is the next step. You will need to measure it and something to mark on it to be more precocious before starting drilling. During this process, you don't have to have a hammer and punch, but they help anyway. You can go with the spring-loaded center punch. You need a drill, and the holes in the bed take a half-inch. You will need a 3/4 inch wrench with the same size socket and ratchet. The instruction will show a layout of the plates and where to drill the holes the only actual measurement it gives, though, is the distance from the back of the bed to the rear rail if you don't have a fifth wheel to use as a spacer. You would be lost on where the front rail actually goes, so first, you should order the fifth wheel. https://www.tulgafifthwheel.com/collections/fifth-wheel-hitch
When looking at the inside view, you can see that the longer frame
brackets go on the front. It also shows that the hitch is one and a half inches forward of the axle. It would be easier to see that if you know where the middle of the bed is. Now it is time to explore the scary part; drilling the first hole…
Installing the rail is essential at this point, take a few minutes read here and enjoy your journey! Again, you should never install your rail kit over a plastic bed liner. However, if your truck bed has a sprayed-in liner, you are okay to install. The rail kit is essentially the foundation of your hitch. Once you've determined where your rails should be positioned, depending on the year of your truck, you will want to drill your bolts and attach your brackets to secure the rails of your truck. Trucks often come with holes pre-drilled into the bed. Use spacers between the rails and the bed to prevent damage to your truck once the rails are tightened down. Once your rails are anchored into the frame, you'll be ready to install the hitch.
Drill the back hole in the middle and use a punch to put a dent in the spot you want to have. You might also want to look on the other side for anything in the way before drilling. Once the hole is drilled, wipe the cuttings away and drop one of the supplied bolts in the hole. It helps to put something heavy on top of it and then climb under the truck with a flat washer which might be a lock washer, and put those on there and tighten them down with the wrench. Before drilling any more holes, measured the distance from the back of the rail to the back of the bed. Now, this is where you need to step back and look at it once again because it is the midpoint of the process. So, now, the following process is measuring and adjusting the hitch till you get the exact measurement at each end.
Then all you need to know is where the frame is. Look under the rails so you can see which holes to use. You also should use the third hole in the back rail to make sure to go under the truck and measure from the frame to the inner fender. We then use that measurement to mark the spot on the top of the bed by setting the frame plate in the bed lined up with the outside of that mark. At this point, you should see that one of the holes lines up with that hole, so now we can drill that hole. It's now time to put the first frame plate in…
You can use a magnet to hold it in place in this process. When you remove the magnet, the bolt goes through a hot spot in the bed, so there will be a gap between the plate and the bed. To fill the gap in this process, you can use one thick supplied spacer. Now tap the plate flat against the frame, and make sure you tighten it down, and then you will see that the rear rail is not going to move, so you can drill the other three matching holes.
We have just passed the no return point, so let's keep going and finish this installing process. Next, you need to put a frame plate under the rear hole on the other side in the same way as the first one. Make sure that it is tightened down just to the bed, just like the very first hole. Congratulations! You are done with the back rail, and now you can start on the front rail.
It is time to drill the front center hole, follow the same process you have been through with the first holes, and look at under the truck again to tighten that one. Do not forget that the other plate is needed to measure and mark it at this point. Now use the second hole from the outside, but before drilling, measure it again, and make sure the rails are the same distance apart on both ends. Now it is time to drill all four holes. There might be a gap at the top this time, so go in that gap and not under the bed, and be sure that the bolts tighten up the same way you did before. This time look under the truck one last time to tighten the bolts up.
If you plan to drill and bolt it to the frame, you're about to start the hard part. You just pick two holes in each plate grill and bolt it on, but you are drilling through-hardened steel, so it'll take a while to drill each hole. First, you should drill the hole as a smaller one. When you finish drilling one last time, check for lines and wires inside the frame and move them out of the way first. That gets us back to the finished project. It looks like a complicated project, but it is not.
To complete the installation, first, make sure that your fifth wheel hitch is appropriately connected and fastened into your truck bed. You can install a brake controller harness. This mechanism is quite smart and convenient to make your job easier. This mechanism lets you engage your truck's electrical braking system either in proportion to the truck's brake engagement or slightly delayed. Without a brake controller, it will be difficult to come to a complete stop when necessary. To achieve your goal in this step, you might need an extender.
Once you feel the process is completed and you feel satisfied and confident with your installation, you are free to attach your truck's king pin into the coupler on your fifth wheel hitch. However, we suggest you have a short trip and a smooth ride without any jerking or scraping. You want to make sure of your safety and the other's.
Additionally, we wanted to add that if you know how to use the tape measure and drilling and a wrench, you can get this done quicker. However, it is easy to do it anyway if you follow the orders. To make this process easier for you, we tried to explain the steps with the details. As you can see, every step follows one another, which is showing that it is not too tricky to have your fifth wheel back to your truck for this summer. Hopefully, this article will help your installation process and connect your fifth wheel to your truck! If you find this article helpful for the DIY installation process of your fifth wheel, please let us know with comments. Enjoy your next camping trip with your friends and family!