Under-bed rails for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-12-2017, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Under-bed rails for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches

I'm pretty certain that an upgrade from our existing travel trailer to a fifth wheel is imminent, so I've been researching options for fifth wheels. Note that my truck does not have the factory hitch prep. Here are my constraints:

1) Capable of a 90 degree turn while backing without connecting/disconnecting the trailer
2) Can connect/disconnect at significant angles
3) No bed obstructions/rails when hitch removed
4) Compatible with fifth wheel trailers in general; does not require significant modification to trailer kingpin
5) Compatible with gooseneck hitches/trailers
6) Compatible with "sidewinder" style pin boxes

These constraints eliminate the following options for the noted reasons:

1) Andersen Ultimate, due to (1) and (6)
2) Single anchor point FW hitches such as the BW, due to (6)
3) Demco Hijacker Autoslide due to (2) and (6)
4) Pullrite Superglide due to (4) and (6)

That basically leaves me with two options for under-bed rails: Reese or factory prep retrofit (note that there is a second part number for this rail kit as well, and it's not immediately obvious what the differences are -- perhaps bed length). Turns out that finding an image of this part on the internet is just damned impossible, so I had one of the parts guys at Paramus Chevrolet email me a PDF illustration. Here it is in image form.



Regarding factory vs. Reese, I am leaning toward Reese for the following reasons:

1) Installation tutorials/videos are readily available; I'm sure I could shoehorn the factory rails in there but there will almost certainly not be any guides available to guide me through the intricacies. That's assuming I don't want to pay the dealer $780 plus tax to install it, which would be a valid assumption (note that their price for the part was $1,065).
2) It's less expensive and can be purchased on Etrailer.
3) There is a rail adapter plate that essentially converts the Reese pucks into industry standard rails. The adapter plate for the factory rail kit does not appear to offer the same universality.
4) It turns out that -- as far as I can tell -- the puck pattern on the Reese kit is identical to the puck pattern in Ford's factory underbed kit. That means that ANY hitches/accessories/whatever designed to work with a Ford equipped with the factory fifth wheel kit will work with a truck that has the Reese underbed rails. This does not appear to be advertised anywhere. If you go on Etrailer and specify your vehicle as a Ford with the factory fifth wheel prep and search for fifth wheel hitches, you get the Reese ultimate hitch (among others), which you'll also get if you specify your vehicle as a GM without the prep kit. I verified with Etrailer that this hitch fits both puck systems, although they did not say explicitly that the two puck patterns are identical. I'm almost certain that they are, however. Note that there are a lot of fifth wheels designed to fit directly into Ford's system, whereas the same cannot be said (based on my Etrailer searches) of GM's puck system.

Now, the only remaining question appears to be the actual hitch. Assuming (4) above is correct, that means I can go with the Reese Ultimate (outrageously expensive -- does anyone know why? Is it worth it?), as well as any other hitch designed for Ford's prep kit, or I could just get the adapter plate and a hitch designed for standard above-bed rails. The possible downside to the last option is that the adapter plate may raise everything up a bit, but I'm not sure how significant it will be (I figure an inch above where standard above-bed rails would sit at the most).

Does anyone have experience using the Reese underbed rails, adapter plate, and a standard-rail hitch (preferably a slider)? This is what I'm leaning toward, so any information is much appreciated. Thanks!

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-12-2017, 03:35 PM
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Andersen is fully capable of a 90 deg turn.
As for #6, watch as a sidewinder places torque stress on the 5th frame and may void your warranty.
If you go with the Demco autoslide(good hitch), a sidewinder would be redundant and put you out too far.
Looks like you already know what you want so..........

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jasong View Post
Andersen is fully capable of a 90 deg turn.
Yeah, but I think I would have to disconnect the trailer and reverse the hitch (so the ball is further to the rear) in order to do so. That's a lot more "interaction" with the machine than I want to deal with.

Quote:
As for #6, watch as a sidewinder places torque stress on the 5th frame and may void your warranty.
Are you referring to the hitch warranty? If so, I can see how that might be the case. Thanks for the info.

Quote:
If you go with the Demco autoslide(good hitch), a sidewinder would be redundant and put you out too far.
Not planning on getting the Demco; I want the ability to connect/disconnect at significant angles.

Quote:
Looks like you already know what you want so..........
Well, I was hoping someone on here had some experience using the Reese under bed rails with an adapter plate and hitch. Doesn't look like it so far...

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 07:54 PM
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As far as your underbed rails, I think that from what I've read
on this forum, (and influenced my choice)
the general opinion is the B&W Turnover ball is the way to go.
30,000 lbs towing capacity, and 7,500 lbs pin weight.
There are other posts of members having the GM kit installed.
Also if I I remember, Anderson offers a Sidewinder lockout kit (item #6).

Here is some info from the Anderson Website regarding "Short Boxes"

https://andersenhitches.com/uploads/...d%20trucks.pdf

Tim

Last edited by TB673; 10-13-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB673 View Post
As far as your underbed rails, I think that from what I've read
on this forum, (and influenced my choice)
the general opinion is the B&W Turnover ball is the way to go.
30,000 lbs towing capacity, and 7,500 lbs pin weight.
There are other posts of members having the GM kit installed.


Tim
Great choice of hitch.Install is pretty easy. You'll need a grinder to trim a heat sheild.

With the Andersen the ball is already towards the rear, no extra interactions needed.

I was referring to the trailer frame warranty.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 08:07 AM
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Yeah, but I think I would have to disconnect the trailer and reverse the hitch (so the ball is further to the rear) in order to do so. That's a lot more "interaction" with the machine than I want to deal with.

I have an Andersen and B&W and can get 90 (but have never ever had to). Also, the ball on the Andersen is toward the back already - no need to ever touch it. Easily removable when I'm finished w/ it and flip the B&W ball over and nothing in my bed . Also - you can hook/unhook at any angle or radius.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottdomine View Post
I have an Andersen and B&W and can get 90 (but have never ever had to). Also, the ball on the Andersen is toward the back already - no need to ever touch it. Easily removable when I'm finished w/ it and flip the B&W ball over and nothing in my bed . Also - you can hook/unhook at any angle or radius.
That sounds pretty good. But according to their instructions, the ball should be installed closest to the front of the truck. Do you ever notice any weight distribution issues (sway, etc.) at highway speed with the ball toward the back?

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 09:24 AM
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The ball extends further to the back of the truck than the hookup to the B&W - about 4". That is the proper way to install it per Andersen......

There is a photo in the instructions showing you Page 6 section 4 first photo on top right shows it mounted in the truck bed..... Puts the ball back 4" from the B&W ball - giving you more room from the cab for your trailer.
Another photo if you look closely shows an arrow on the ultimate platform that points to the tailgate of the truck on install - The pic of the ultimate platform on the first page here - https://andersenhitches.com/Products...k-version.aspx - click on the first pic and you can see the arrow showing that installation puts the contact point w/ the trailer kingpin back 4".

I experience absolutely no sway at all with this setup. No bucking/chucking/clanking/banging. It's solid and super easy to use and is the most convenient for me.

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Last edited by scottdomine; 10-16-2017 at 09:27 AM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottdomine View Post
The ball extends further to the back of the truck than the hookup to the B&W - about 4". That is the proper way to install it per Andersen......

There is a photo in the instructions showing you Page 6 section 4 first photo on top right shows it mounted in the truck bed..... Puts the ball back 4" from the B&W ball - giving you more room from the cab for your trailer.
Another photo if you look closely shows an arrow on the ultimate platform that points to the tailgate of the truck on install - The pic of the ultimate platform on the first page here - https://andersenhitches.com/Products...k-version.aspx - click on the first pic and you can see the arrow showing that installation puts the contact point w/ the trailer kingpin back 4".

I experience absolutely no sway at all with this setup. No bucking/chucking/clanking/banging. It's solid and super easy to use and is the most convenient for me.
Which 5th wheel rv do you have?

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 09:42 AM
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Genesis Supreme 32CR.....

https://www.rvtrader.com/dealers/Row...2CR-5000353551

2016 Denali 2500HD CCSB 4X4: Ride Rite air bags, Totron 30" behind grille, Black emblems, Door moldings removed, Moshimoto LED Fogs, 5% rear 25% front doors Solar Guard windshield tint, Husky floor liners. 20X9 Fuel Assault (+1 offset) Cooper STT Pro LT295/60R20. Leveled - Kryptonite uppers, keys, shock extenders. B&W turnover, Andersen Ultimate.
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