Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Fifth Wheel Hitch issue - How to correct?
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 > Fifth Wheel Hitch issue - How to correct?

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humblerb

houston

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Posted: 02/08/22 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Long story, but I'll try to keep it as short as I can.
3 years ago, bought a B&M Patriot slider for my RAM 2500.
Had the dealer install rails. My first experience, so I didn't know any better. Dealer had trouble getting the base to fit in the rails. After an hour of working on it, they finally got it in.
Got home and discovered they installed the base backward.
I removed the pins, turned it around and went to reinstall it.
Took me about an hour of working with it to finally get the base in to the slots.
I could get any 3 tabs in, but the 4th took a lot of working around with a 75 pound hitch to get it in.
Recently bought a new RAM 3500 with pucks.
I bought a Reese adapter to use the pucks with the same hitch.
Now the four tabs slip in, but when I go to put the pins in, I can get the two toward the tailgate with no problem.
I can get either one of the two near the cab in, but the other does not go straight in - similar to the rail issue before.
If I use a hammer, I can beat the pins in. But, with the new truck, I am trying to make this process better going forward.
Measuring the pin holes on the base center-to-center, the holes are right at 28-7/8". They should be 29".
If I were to ream out the hole on one side (1/8") or both holes (1/16" each side) it should allow the pins to slide in.
This is half inch steel and is very tough.
Anyone have any thoughts on how to accomplish the ream?
I'm fairly handy, but I do not have any tools that would accomplish this.
Thanks for any help.

BurbMan

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 02/08/22 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can use a carbide rotary file in your cordless drill to elongate the holes where you need to.

MN Ben

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Posted: 02/08/22 08:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Instead of reaming out the hole, I would suggest...

Remove the head from the rails. Loosen up the bed rails. Don't remove the nuts from the bolts, just loosen them enough where they may adjust when you put the head and pins back in.
Once you loosened up the nuts and blots, place the head back onto the rails. Now put all 4 pins into their holes. All 4 pins should be able to slip into their position easier. If they don't, tap on the rail that needs adjustment until the pins go in correctly.
After you get the pins to go in and out to your liking, leave the head on with the pins in place and tighten down the rails. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts to stress them. There is probably a torque setting you should use. I suggest contacting the company for this torque setting. If not available, reference a torque guide for the size and grade of bolt you are using.
Test the pins so see if they work better. Repeat if necessary.
I used this method and installing and removing my hitch head from the rails was so much easier and less stressful.
Good Luck, and let us know if this worked for you.
Ben


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rhagfo

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Posted: 02/08/22 10:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well new truck with pucks, I would have the dealer check the install. I have a 2016 Ram 3500 with factory pucks and a Reese picture frame adapter. Mine drops in easily no issues at all. Your old issue with the rails was due to a sloppy installation. The fact that your hitch base drops easily into the frame slots, as they are made to the exact dimensions.


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humblerb

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Posted: 02/09/22 05:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MN Ben wrote:

Instead of reaming out the hole, I would suggest...

Remove the head from the rails. Loosen up the bed rails. Don't remove the nuts from the bolts, just loosen them enough where they may adjust when you put the head and pins back in.
Once you loosened up the nuts and blots, place the head back onto the rails. Now put all 4 pins into their holes. All 4 pins should be able to slip into their position easier. If they don't, tap on the rail that needs adjustment until the pins go in correctly.
After you get the pins to go in and out to your liking, leave the head on with the pins in place and tighten down the rails. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts to stress them. There is probably a torque setting you should use. I suggest contacting the company for this torque setting. If not available, reference a torque guide for the size and grade of bolt you are using.
Test the pins so see if they work better. Repeat if necessary.
I used this method and installing and removing my hitch head from the rails was so much easier and less stressful.
Good Luck, and let us know if this worked for you.
Ben

Rails were in the old bed. Now have pucks with Reese adapter.

humblerb

houston

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Posted: 02/09/22 05:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rhagfo wrote:

Well new truck with pucks, I would have the dealer check the install. I have a 2016 Ram 3500 with factory pucks and a Reese picture frame adapter. Mine drops in easily no issues at all. Your old issue with the rails was due to a sloppy installation. The fact that your hitch base drops easily into the frame slots, as they are made to the exact dimensions.

My issue is the same with rails and with pucks/adapter.
The tabs on the head nearest the cab are 28-7/8" apart instead of 29".

humblerb

houston

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Posted: 02/09/22 05:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update:
Well, since I am retired and have lots of time on my hands - I found a coarse round file in my tool box. Used a little (or a lot) of elbow grease and manually reamed slightly. Repeated a few times. I was a little surprised at the ability of the round file, but it worked rather well.
Pins now go in with less hassle. The last one takes a little manipulation for now.
I'd rather have a little tight than a little loose.
As I install and remove the hitch in the future, I may decide to ream a little more.

schlep1967

Harrisburg, PA

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Posted: 02/09/22 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would contact B&M. Either they made the hitch incorrectly or it got bent before or during installation the first time. They will probably ask for a lot of pictures so they can determine which one it is. Or possibly, they will know by the serial number that they made some out of spec units at that time. You might get a new hitch out of the time it takes to contact the company.


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cummins2014

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Posted: 02/09/22 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

humblerb wrote:

rhagfo wrote:

Well new truck with pucks, I would have the dealer check the install. I have a 2016 Ram 3500 with factory pucks and a Reese picture frame adapter. Mine drops in easily no issues at all. Your old issue with the rails was due to a sloppy installation. The fact that your hitch base drops easily into the frame slots, as they are made to the exact dimensions.

My issue is the same with rails and with pucks/adapter.
The tabs on the head nearest the cab are 28-7/8" apart instead of 29".


I just checked my adapter and its right on 29", they are slotted for the tabs ,but the hole is not ,so no there is no leeway for the pins. 1/8" would certainly prevent the pins from going in . Sounds like B&W did a poor job on welding on those tabs.

My Reese slider , and Andersen both fit that adapter well .

Durb

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Posted: 02/09/22 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would call B&W and tell them your story. It sounds like your hitch was manufactured wrong from the outset. They may send you a new base.

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