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Old 07-20-2012, 09:28 PM
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5th Wheel to GN Adapter

I am in the process of looking/buying a 5th Wheel Camper. I have a 2001 F-350 that is already setup with the GN Ball. I have been looking at some of the adapters to convert the Campers Hitch to my GN Ball. I would like to go this route to keep my bed open and not have to take the hitch in and out (probably only a few times a year so it wouldn't be the end of the world i guess). But I have a few concerns. I notice that the bigger guys don't make the adapters (Reese, Curt, Tow Power, Hidden Hitch, etc.). Is there something about the adapters that I should be concerned with? Also if I end up going with the 5th Wheel Hitch in the bed of the truck can I keep my gooseneck ball as well?
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:00 PM
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hitch

I had the big brackets that stay in the bed next to the wheelwells on my 86 one ton,for the wide 5 th wheel hitch I really didn't like have it in there all the time. On my 2001 dually I installed the reece slotted rails that stay in on the bottom of the bed. . Both the goose neck ball and the 5 th wheel drop onto the slotted rails. not too much hassel. I pulled a 46 ft trailer and My 4 X 4 Case backhoe with it and I added a lot of 3 X 3 angle under the pickup bed with frame brackets. On my dually diesel flatbed dump I have the hatch door with the ball under. I made up some heavy brackets and cut down a 5 th wheel hitch that drops into the hole. I also added a lot of iron under the dump bed.to reinforce everything.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:23 PM
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Crussell......I researched this quite a bit a few years back as we have an '02 F-250 4x4 Powerstroke with a Cody gooseneck hitch and we wanted a 30-32' fifth wheel. After talking to many owners on different RV websites the general feelings were that it wasn't the hitch but the crappy way the trailers are built.

Some of the guys had no problems at all but most had air ride type pin boxes that they bolted the gooseneck converter to. Quite a few had trouble with the framework where the pin box bolts to, it just wasn't made strongly enough.....AND they found out that they were not covered under warranty because they used a goodneck hitch.

So if you're looking at a new RV better make sure of the warranty in regards to hitches, no matter what the dealer tells you...most don't know a thing about it. We didn't buy an RV and I still have the super heavy duty Bull Dog gooseneck coupler that is used on most big horse trailers.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:41 PM
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I converted my gooseneck ball hitch to a fifth wheel from these people: PopUp Gooseneck Hitches and Fifth Wheel Towing Products The ball is still under my fifth wheel, so it's easy to go either way.
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:17 AM
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Most of the RV manufacturers void a warranty when you add a gooseneck adapter. Those adapters add an ~2' lever arm to the pin box. Then many of the RV's now have an extended pin box, usually Mor-ryde that just adds to the problem. Then if the RV in question has a Lippert chassis, they have been plagued with many frame failures.

I have a B&W gooseneck hitch in my F350 . I then added their Companion hitch and is used to haul our 34'/12,000+ pound 5er This hitch bolts directly to a special plug adapter. That hitch is probably rated and reviewed higher then many of the other 'big names'. One of the advantages of it is that when removed, it leaves the bed wide open. And as far as installing and removing, it's two piece, can be handled by one person in reasonably good health (each piece weighs about 70 pounds). There are 4 nuts and one bolt with total time, either to install or remove 10-20 minutes, depending on your personal speed. And I have to install mine this morning for an upcoming trip



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Old 07-21-2012, 09:03 AM
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Let me make this perfectly straight, I have never even hooked a fifth wheel up to a truck nor towed one let alone owned one. But I have installed and removed a crap load of them in my trade in autobody repair fifth wheel and gooseneck trailers provide us with a lot of good business. Many of them, over and over, seems people will make this horrific mistake more than once.



If you are running a fifth wheel I HIGHLY recommend getting one of these.

Fifth Wheel Magazine | Fifth Wheel & Toy Hauler News

One of our regular customers just came in with one a little too late (we had to replace the bed the last time) but at least he has it.

This Reese hitch seems to be the best way to go as far as installation with the two rails staying on the floor bolted in properly.


Again, I have never used one only bolted them in and out and mounted new ones that sort of thing. The ones with the rails sure seem like the way to go.

Brian
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:25 PM
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I'll add my .02 to Brian's (MARTINSR) post. While my photo doesn't show the Blue Ox Bed Saver I use, I can attest that they do work as attested to by the scratches in mine. Usually folks have their 'aw s@#$' moment either while hitching or, more often, unhitching and often caused by not chocking BOTH sides of the tires. You jack the trailer up to where the hitch box just clears the wheel, pull the lever, start to drive out and the trailer 'follows you, crashing down on the bed sides. My first 5er, in the late '70s was damaged from dropping on a truck bed, which was a simple repair and therefore priced 'correctly'. The truck that delivered my current 34 footer from the dealer (my hitch was delayed in shipping) had at least 3 sets of dings

As far as brand names, Reese is a good one as well as several others, but those rails still remain in the truck box - on all but the B&W.

Now, if you have a short bed and a 5er without a recessed nose like mine, that can present other problems and potentially more work for body shops repairing cab corners and replacing rear windows
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:17 PM
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I had forgotten the name but as I read Irelands thread it was definately Lippert who refuses ALL warranty claims if you use one of their RV chassis. The different stories I read on the "Heartland RV" forum....they as well as many other RV builders use the Lippert chassis.....that if you do ANYTHING to modify it by drilling a few holes to clamping a bike rack on the back will cancel the warranty.

This has nothing to do with a gooseneck hitch but one guy had the frame crack by a leaf spring shackle. He took it in for a warranty claim and when they saw that he had installed a bike rack on the back bumper tube they cancelled his warranty on the spot. Everyone knew that couldn't have been the cause but Lippert exersised their rights as to NO modifications and he was SOL. Several other stories just like that also.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:09 AM
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class action suit

It's time for you RV'ers to get together and and contact the NTSB for a recall and compensation. Some states allow passergers in an RV trailer with the correct hookups. and a faulty RV could cause damage and death on the highway, Ford and GM both have engineering manuals that list approved modifications for builders of motorhomes on their chassis, or fire truck-ambulance -limo builders.
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