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Factory Ford fifth wheel hitch Ok?


Second_Star

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Hi all,

 

We are right on the edge of ordering our new truck and I was all set to buy the factory hitch until yesterday. I did a search of this forum on 'Fifth Wheel Hitches' and found a gold mine of aftermarket information but almost nothing on the factory hitch. Now I'm not so sure that it would be better to go with the factory hitch instead of an aftermarket one. There do seem to be several to choose from and they all tout to be the best.

 

Any thoughts?

 

I'm asking strictly between factory or aftermarket. If I decide to go aftermarket, I can research the decision of which one later on.

 

For reference, the truck will be a Ford F-350 DRW Crew Cab diesel. We are currently interested in the 2017 Montana 378RD which grosses out at 15,400(?) with a hitch weight of 2450. The reason for the question mark is that I'm not sure if that includes tankage or not.

 

The factory hitch option runs right around $1500 which I'm finding is roughly in line with upper end aftermarket hitches. So money savings really isn't an issue here.

 

I know that the factory hitch is rated for up to 27.5k. Does it hurt anything to have a hitch rated so far above the gross weight of the trailer?

 

Is there a desired margin of weight to have the hitch rated higher than the max trailer weight? I can't believe that it's a good idea to have a hitch that is rated closely to the trailer weight.

 

Thanks for any insights!

Russ

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Not sure Ford makes any hitches, and this link might be of help to you.

 

Not saying Reese is the way I would go, and do remember that the bed rails on these newer trucks are getting higher and higher, and some of the trailer builders are accounting for this be placing the pin heights at 50 inches vs. 46 or 47.

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I decided to keep our 7 year old 20K Reese hitch and move it from our 2007 F350 into the new 2014 F350 using the Ford prep package and an adapter allowing the Reese hitch reuse. We've never had a problem with the now 10 year old hitch. If I were to start all over again I'd seriously consider an air hitch to ease the road jolts to the fifth wheel. Greg

 

edit...when we ordered the 2014 all the sales info said the factory supplied Reese hitch was 25K. In further checking you could get a smaller hitch, not sure if this was factory or dealer supplied.

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IIRC, Ford uses Reese hitches.

 

From "TrueCar.com":

 

5th Wheel/Gooseneck Hitch Prep Package

-inc: 5 pickup bed attachment points w/plugs, 1 frame under-bed cross member and 1 integrated 7-pin connector on driver's side pickup bed wall, 5th wheel hitch compatibility: the 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Prep Package (53W) is compatible w/the factory orderable 5th Wheel Hitch Kit (15K) and dealer-installed Ford custom accessories 5th Wheel Hitch Kit by Reese - part #BC3Z-19D520-A (8ft box only), The prep package is also compatible w/Reese Signature Series 5th wheel hitch kits updated w/a new Leg Service Kit - part #BC3Z-A00A25-A (8ft box only), The 5th Wheel Hitch Kit (15K), 5th Wheel Hitch Kit (15L) and dealer-installed Ford custom accessories 5th Wheel Hitch Kit by Reese - part #BC3Z-19D520-A is not released to the short box (6.75ft box), NOTE: the short pickup box provides less clearance between the cab and 5th wheel trailer compared to long box pickups, The receiver centerline of the hitch should be mounted at least 2" forward from the rear-axle of the truck chassis, When selecting a trailer and tow vehicle, it's critical that this combination provide clearance between the cab and tow vehicle for turns up to and including 90 degrees, Failure to follow this recommendation could result in the trailer contacting the cab of the tow vehicle during tight turns, Gooseneck hitch compatibility: the 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Prep Package (53W) is compatible only w/the factory orderable Gooseneck Hitch Kit (15J) (8ft box only) or dealer-installed Ford customer accessories Gooseneck Hitch by Reese - part #BC3Z-19F503-A (8ft box and 6.75 ft box)
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We had the 25k Reese on our 2012 F350 and never had a minutes trouble with it in 45k miles. My friend who is the fleet manager for a major dealer, and sold us our 350, offered a 18k hitch, but it was only about 150 less so we went with the 25k. Another interesting point he made is if we had trouble with the hitch we could go to any Ford dealer for service.

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We had the 25k Reese on our 2012 F350 and never had a minutes trouble with it in 45k miles. My friend who is the fleet manager for a major dealer, and sold us our 350, offered a 18k hitch, but it was only about 150 less so we went with the 25k. Another interesting point he made is if we had trouble with the hitch we could go to any Ford dealer for service.

You make a really good point about it being serviced at any Ford dealer. If the hitch was factory installed it would seem that it should be covered by the vehicle warranty. And if you purchased an extended warranty. . . Would that not have to cover the hitch also, because it was factory installed equipment? That's a question, not a statement, as I'm not sure of the answer.

 

Jim

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Wow, thanks everyone! Excellent points given and lots to think about.

 

Thank you remoandiris for the heads up on the TrueCar website. They give a ton of information that the Ford website does not.

 

Also, thanks to Hero Maker for the link. They have a really good video on how the hitch works.

 

I think based on what I've read and watched, I'm going to stick with the factory install. It is a Reese hitch and I know that name quite well from my travel trailer days. I'm also going to add to my list of items to make sure the hitch is covered under the warranty. Great tip.

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...2017 Montana 378RD which grosses out at 15,400(?) with a hitch weight of 2450. The reason for the question mark is that I'm not sure if that includes tankage or not.

 

If that's the GVWR of the fifth wheel, then it's the MOST the fifth wheel should ever weigh fully loaded...which would, of course, include anything in the holding tanks or fresh water tank.

 

It's difficult to tell, however, if that figure is the *real* GVWR, because Keystone's website doesn't list GVWR, only the shipping weight and the cargo capacity. Adding those two together for this particular rig does give you the 15,400# figure, though.

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Yep, that's exactly what I did. I'm assuming that 'Cargo' does include whatever is in the tanks.

 

A dealership that's a couple hour drive from my location has two of these units on their lot and that's where we saw them. Unfortunately it totally slipped my mind to take a picture of the weight badge on them.

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