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Old 01-15-2022, 03:25 PM   #1
Robokatz
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Question Newbie hitch question

Hello everyone, fairly new to the site but hope to be a regular. My wife retired in August, and I plan to do so in July to start living our dream of traveling the country (and Canada) in our 1st RV. We just took delivery of a 2022 F350 Dually, my first ever truck, and early December we placed an order for a 2022 3231CK with pretty much everything including Cobalt paint and 1,200 watt solar. We have never towed anything before, so to be able practice first with a small rental 5th wheel, I just bought a BW Companion hitch, and mounted base in truck.

My question is setting up the vertical support arms. As you know, I can mount them so the RV is closer to cab a few inches, or closer to tailgate. Since truck is 8’ bed, is it safe to assume no issues setting up so RV is closer to cab (so cut down overall length) in terms of adequate space to turn etc? Also, there are 3 height positions, high, medium and low. My RV won’t be built until maybe April, but what height seems to be best for a 2021-22 F350 dually and a Montana? Should I just mount at middle height for now?

Thanks everyone, hope to meet many of you this summer and beyond.
 
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:40 PM   #2
DutchmenSport
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Some things to consider. If you position the hitch to far forward in the truck bed, you might not have enough clearance to open the truck tail gate to even hitch up.

In my opinion if you are able to make an adjustment like that, the closer to the rear the hitch is, the better it is. Closer to the rear also makes for a longer wheel base between the trailer tires and the pivot spot. The shorter the trailer the harder they are to back up.

The next thing you need to REALLY consider is the height of the hitch. If the hitch is too low, you run the risk of making contact with the bottom of the trailer and the truck bed rails, which will dent up the the rails of your truck bed, and bust up the fiberglass overhang bottom of the trailer. Higher is better. You should have a good 6 inches of clearance between bed rails and the bottom of the over hang of the trailer. But then, if you get it too high, the trailer will be nose high and the trailer will not ride level. This creates other problems when towing and also throws uneven weights on tandem axles. This a fine balancing act with a fifth wheel, unlike a bumper-pull trailer that has a lot more forgivness.

If you install a fifth wheel hitch now, just be prepared to make adjustments with both trailer and hitch when you finally get your own trailer.

I have a Chevy 3500 dually and never had a Ford. However, I understand from reading RV and camping forums the newer Ford trucks have high truck beds which causes folks a lot of problems with trailer being nose high with fifth wheel hitches and bed rail clearance.

Good luck, and hope everything works out jiffy-dandy for you!

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Old 01-15-2022, 03:49 PM   #3
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Wow, only about 15 minutes to get a reply! This forum (well, it’s members) is amazing. Thanks for the response, your points were all the issues I was concerned about, but thought maybe someone out there might have my exact setup so could give authoritative answer. I had not really thought about the backing-up dynamics, interesting observation since my initial goal was to reduce overall length, but that does bring axel a few inches closer to truck. At the end of the day I think you are correct that no matter what might work rental wise to learn how to tow/turn band backup, my RV will require a different set up, and believe me getting RV 6” off bed rail and level will be a top priority. Thanks
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:00 PM   #4
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Typically I find with a Dually, the best position for the Hitch is so that the King Pin is directly over the axle.
Properly setup should put all the King Pin weight on the rear axle and not change the weight on the front/steer axle at all or very minor change.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:23 PM   #5
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There should be instructions on where to mount your Companion hitch from BW, also Ford will have the optimum area for mounting that hitch to the truck. I guess it did not come with the Ford puck system. Also the adjustment up or down on the pin head will be pending the height of your truck, the Fords are taller then my 18 3500 DWR 4x4 so your 5th is going to sit taller at the front. I have mine to the lowest setting witch keeps the bed rail to bottom of the front area about 7”.

There are several Ford guys here and hopefully they will chime in as well.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:46 PM   #6
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I don't have a dually but I do have a Ford with the B&W puck system. The dually is 2" lower than the SRW model due to the different axle blocks used. I think (I haven't looked for a while) my B&W is set to the lowest point. This still gives me 6" of bed clearance and almost level attitude. On a dually, I would start with the middle position and then adjust accordingly.

I have the arms set vertically over the axle (closer to the cab). There is plenty of room between the RV and the cab window. Additionally there is room to hook up at 70 degrees, or more, with the tailgate down and not worrying about the contacting the tailgate and the RV.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:20 PM   #7
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Rail mounted B&W set at middle height and arms straight up pulled my 2019 3761 FL and current 2022 3855BR level with my 2019 F350 dually
















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Old 01-15-2022, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
Typically I find with a Dually, the best position for the Hitch is so that the King Pin is directly over the axle.
Properly setup should put all the King Pin weight on the rear axle and not change the weight on the front/steer axle at all or very minor change.
Typically, pin weight directly over the real axle is ideal. The Companion puck style hitch has a base that transfers weight down to the frame in a fixed position. The head adjusts forward or rearward in a cantilever fashion to the base. Thus the head position doesn't change steer axle weight. Or so says the folks that make them.
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:16 AM   #9
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I tow with SRW diesel F350 w/ 8' bed and Companion hitch. Hitch is set with arms forward on middle height and no issues with bed clearance or tailgate.
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:35 PM   #10
R.S.O'Donnell
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The center of our puck mount Reese hitch seems to be right over the axle. It has no adjustment other than up and down. As was mentioned previously the F350 DRW sits much lower than the SRW version. Ours tows almost dead level with 9" of clearance.
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:24 PM   #11
Robokatz
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Thanks everyone for your comments. Since someone commented, my truck does have factory pucks, so hitch directly over axel. The BW has NO instructions on mounting the arms, just points out options, since way too many variables. I do think like a few have said that having pin centered, or slightly forward, is fine with 8’ bed, so for now I will try middle height/cab forward for my small RV rental learning trips, then do more accurate mounting (if needed) when my Montana arrives. Thanks again all.
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robokatz View Post
.......I can mount them so the RV is closer to cab a few inches, or closer to tailgate......... but what height seems to be best for a 2021-22 F350 dually and a Montana? Should I just mount at middle height for now? .....
Did not know you can mount the fifth wheel hitch in any other position than one when connected to the puck system in the truck bed. Height depends on whether you have a 4x2 or 4x4 since a 4x4 bed will sit higher. To determine the height, I followed this procedure:

1. With your trailer on a firm and level surface extend front trailer lifting jacks, adjust as required to set trailer at or near level.
2. Measure from the ground to under the trailer's kingpin box skid plate (or lube plate if used). This will be the portion in contact with the 5th wheel's skid plate once coupled.
3. Measure from the ground to the surface of the pickup bed.
4. Subtract the measurement from Step 2 from Step 1. This value will be near the height requirement for the hitch.
5. Confirm you have 5.5 - 7 inches between your truck bed rail and trailer cab underside.
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:56 PM   #13
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When you pick up your trailer your dealer will take your truck and “is supposed” to set the trailer up to be towed correctly by adjusting the king pin box up or down, etc, then do a hooking up/unhook walk through. There are trailer raising options to allow for leveling to higher trucks. I would say that when you pick things up, make sure the trailer is level with the truck, and if its not pressure the dealer to make it right. I’m sure you told them your vehicle before purchasing the trailer, and since Fords are higher the trailer industry has to adjust to have accommodations so you can safely tow. Do your research now, call the manufacturer and speak with their tech support so that you know all options to achieve correct ride height, any suggestions for your truck/trailer combo, what will and wont void your warranty when accommodating a level ride height, etc. that way the dealer can’t railroad you out of something that would have solved/prevented any problems from the get go.

You could always take a CDL class and get comfortable/trained to drive a bigger truck with trailer.
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:59 PM   #14
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Thanks all, Ive got a new 2022 F350 SRW on order (excited) with the puck system and a Montana 3120RL Legacy. You just saved me a bunch of time and work trying to figure out what to do with my B & W Companion hitch once the truck arrives.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:12 PM   #15
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Welcome Robokatz.
Answers above all sound good by my experience so I will try to respond from a different angle.
I Have A 2017 F350 8ft CC 4wd SWD 6.7L.
So it is little higher than yours by maybe 2" bed and tires 33.2" to your 31.5" maybe almost 1" radias more so a 3" gain.

BW Companion hitch I have full height so have like 5.75" bed clearance and trailer nose high but not bad just more than I prefer.
Did have head mounted forward originally (No cab issues) but with tailgate down and truck at an angle the risk of tailgate corner meeting trailer limited angle hookup (RISKY BACKUP IF I failed to watch out). I changed head mount toward rear which helped and reduced this hazard now when hook up is not a straight back alignment (still need to watch if at any angle). This is usually only a factor in shorter camp sites or if obstacles are present.

Of course the pin box on trailer is also adjustable. My Morryde came mounted in lowest position so as low as the factory Moryde goes. Your 2022 I expect will be a Roadarmor ponbox. So I expect its dimension to vary from mine. Different pin box models can vary in length and drop.
WIth you planned rental trailer for practice (good idea) plan that you will need to adjust the BW for it and again for your 2022.
I would suggest starting with hitch adjusted back (for best angle tailgate down hookup) and high will most likely be wrong to start but error high for safety.

Not really that hard to adjust the hitch bolt high. Easier to adjust tolerances closer after first hookup. Rather than to be close and risk a scrape while testing the fit.

Your waiting for your trailer build and have your truck. That is good. My 2017 truck was 3 month late from new order schedule so had brother bring my trailer home and waited for truck to arrive.

Wish you great experiences with this New Adventure you two are going to start.

If photos attached, intend for reference. Hitch still forward in these. Wish I had one with tailgate at angled hookup. The tree photo is me sizing up driveway modifications. RV shed worked fine for Class.C motorhome two trees had to be removed to permit truck to put trailer in or out. (Had been using forklift but wanted to eliminate that.)
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:15 PM   #16
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Photos. Must of done something wrong.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:31 PM   #17
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Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
Typically I find with a Dually, the best position for the Hitch is so that the King Pin is directly over the axle.
Properly setup should put all the King Pin weight on the rear axle and not change the weight on the front/steer axle at all or very minor change.
I would put it over the rear axle for sure. That will also help center the weight when traveling letting the leaf springs operate as the manufacture requires.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:31 PM   #18
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B+W tech support has been helpful on setup questions as well. The instructions on my hitch were vague to me but I can be a little dense sometimes :-). Pictures always help. Their website has pics from customer installations that might provide insight as well. It may come down to the day you hook up and need to adjust it.Lots of folks on MOC have this hitch too.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:53 PM   #19
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You don't know till you test it. This is with truck beyond 90° turn. While NO interferance issues this was closer than I expected. BW hitch is assembled in forward setting. I LATTER changed to rearward position to gain tailgate clearance if hooking up at an angle.
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Old 01-23-2022, 07:15 PM   #20
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Lots of good answers to your hitch question. My response is to something else you stated in your original post. “My first ever truck.”
First ever truck is really not a problem. First ever truck being a dually will require a learning curve.
Practice right hand turns. Guaranteed you will get intimate with the curb until you figure out you need a wider turn. Learn to drive centered in your lane. (That was a big one for me as I tended to drive near the center line) Forget about most drive-thrus. Get used to parking in the north forty of a parking lot.
Just saying.
Happy trails.
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