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5th wheel hitch installers


R&J UK

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HI everybody

 

This is my first post so bare with me.

 

My wife and I will soon be travelling to your country to start our year long rving adventure around the USA and Canada.

We have joined skp's and are in the process of getting a PO box address for titling and insurance purposes.

We will be starting in Houston TX and will be buying a 5th wheel at PPL RV and a truck from a local dealer.

The question I have is are there any local companies that install the 5th wheel hitch in the back of the pickup and what sort of costs are we looking at,and also I presume we will have to take the tailgate off the truck to tow the 5th wheel and I have no idea what to do with it if this is necessary.

Thanks in advance for any help , we have done so much research on this site and am not sure where we would have started without it.

 

Roland

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Welcome! Hope you will enjoy traveling around the US as much as I have enjoyed traveling around the UK in the past.

 

To give detailed info about installing a fifth wheel hitch we would need to know the exact year and model of the truck you are purchasing. However, in general you do not need to remove the tailgate. You only need to lower it when hitching up. Once hitched it can be raised again. There are after market tailgates the allow you to hookup without lowering the gate, but they are pricey, and in my personal opinion, not worth it. Where ever you buy the hitch will most likely install it for you. They may charge for this but they will at least have all the proper tools (and knowledge) to install it correctly. Some trucks, and thus the reason for needing the exact info, come with fifth wheel prep packages and require a specific hitch to take advantage of that.

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As Chalkie says, it is not necessary to remove the tailgate from the truck. We never took our tailgate off our truck and we pulled the fifth wheel we owned from January 2007 until December 2013. You do need to remember to open the tailgate before unhooking to hooking up!

 

As far as who can install a fifth wheel hitch, contact PPL...they might do that type of work, or refer you to someone if they don't.

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x2 on the tailgate. Depending on which truck you plan to buy Ram Heavy Duty and Ford Super Duty 3/4 and 1 ton trucks can be bought with the under mount rails. You just need to order a hitch that will work. For Ram and Ford B & W make a great hitch. I do not know if Chevy/GM has the under mount rails if they do that is another option for a truck. All three come with an integrated brake controller so if you buy new that is another item you do not have to concern yourself with. Good luck.

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There are businesses in every city who specialize in all things hitch related. I would chose them over an RV service business.

 

I agree. We had our hitch installed at a place, NOT the camper dealer, and saved $450 over what the dealer wanted for the exact same hitch.

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I agree. We had our hitch installed at a place, NOT the camper dealer, and saved $450 over what the dealer wanted for the exact same hitch.

 

Had mine installed by the Linex shop they did all things truck and were less expensive than the local RV dealer on both the hitch and installation.

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There are many places in the Houston area that will install a fiver hitch but if I where getting the fiver from PPL I

would let them install it. While you may be able to save a few dollars by going else where I would bet that PPL will do the job correctly.

It will not be hard to find a pickup in the Houston area, one half of all registrations in Harris County which includes the City of Houston are pickups.

It is more difficult to find long bed pickups if that is what you are looking for, even in the Houston area. It is also harder to find pickups, 250, 2500, 350 or 3500,

that are not 4 wheel drive. I get sticker fright when I look at the MSRP on new trucks. Good luck

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Thanks for all the advise as always very helpful .

1 more question , we are looking to buy either a ford or ram 350/3500 crewcab 8 ft bed in 4 x4 srw , probably 2 or 3 years old as I think from all the reading I have done that this will offer the best allround package for us what sort of availability is there in the Houston area for these types of vehicles ?

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Texas is both redneck country and hunting country. Everyone owns at least 4 trucks. Finding a used one should not be that hard.

If you're looking for a 1/2 ton, you'd be right. Most 3/4 ton trucks have the box removed and are being turned into oil field fleet trucks. And try to find a 3/4 or 1 ton that isn't white in color. And almost none over 3/4 ton has the upgraded interior for your passengers.

 

I've starting to think I may have to go to Arizona or New Mexico to find a 1 ton dually with a nice passenger-oriented interior package.

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Try looking on Craigslist, in the Houston area for your truck. We live near Austin, and recently bought a Ford F-350, a little over ten years old, diesel with only a bit over 100,000 miles (just getting broken in for a diesel, so I'm told) on it for about 14 grand. Big crew cab (4 full doors.) Leather Interior was in good shape. Plenty of room for the grandkids and the dogs. Your first stop should be Galveston -- there are several RV parks right on the beach, gulf side, and a couple bay side. I love Galveston. And yes, white trucks are the norm, but ours is black!

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I upgraded my F-150 to an F-250 at Anderson Ford in Lincoln, NE. As part of the deal they agreed to put in a B&W companion hitch, (The truck was prepped for it), and install black spray-in-bedliner (black truck). The hitch and truck has worked great. The only problem I had was minor.

 

The first time I washed the truck, as I wiped the rear fender / bed with a microfiber towel, I found a rough spot? 9 rough spots, ranging from dime sized to 50 cent sized. Not really that noticeable but easy to feel, And of course, having found them, then I could see them from 40 feet away. I called Anderson and talked to the service manager about it.

 

"Well, you looked the whole truck over before you bought it and it was ok then, so it must have happened after you got it."

 

"Of course it did. It happened when I brought it back in to have the hitch and spray-in-bedliner installed."

 

"No No, that couldn't have happened here. Must have been at Walmart and someone with fresh bedliner on their clothes walked by and rubbed on it!"

 

Fortunately a buddy at the local body shop looked at it and thought perhaps it would come off with just picking at it with his thumb nail. He did and it popped right off, no problem. I did the rest of the spots and they left no trace at all.

 

The point is, I wouldn't recommend Anderson Ford for anything, although the hitch has been just fine. I just don't like their ethics or lack thereof.

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A little off topic, Welcome to the New World. As a Texan, I'm proud you decided to start your journey here. While you are in the Houston area, make sure you go to the San Jacinto Battle Grounds, the birthplace of a free Texas. You could spend a year just seeing the beauty of our wonderful republic. If you run into problems while here, there are plenty of folks here that can help.

When you get your truck (I recommend a dually) and RV, check the tire manufacture dates, and don't exceed the speed/pressures of those tires. That in itself is probably going to be your number one problem.

Texans carry guns, long guns and pistols. Don't be shocked if you see them in the back window of a pickup.

Enjoy yourself.

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Texans carry guns, long guns and pistols. Don't be shocked if you see them in the back window of a pickup.

 

Cheers AlCherry

 

That's certainly something that we will have to get used to .

Unfortunately we only have a year to see the whole country even though we could spend 5 years and not scratch the surface.

 

I presume there must be an age where tires become too old or is it down to the condition of them such as worn tread or cracks in the sidewalls.

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I presume there must be an age where tires become too old or is it down to the condition of them such as worn tread or cracks in the sidewalls.

 

It is a combination of both. Obviously wear plays a role, but a rule of thumb is that tires should be replaced after 5 years. You may hear other figures, but I believe the majority of sources use the 5 year mark. This link shows how to read the tire sidewalls.

 

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=33

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