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Old 03-05-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
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Red face FW Hitch Install: FW Dealer VS Hitch Store?

We're getting ready to purchase the Rockwood 8289WS, our first 5th wheel. My question to the Forum is do most folks purchase and have the hitch installed at the RV Dealer or have the FW hitch installed at a Hitch Speciality Store? Your opinions would be really appreciated. Thanks....
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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I have always been "handy" and have installed frame receiver hitches on nearly every vehicle I ever owned. When I decided to buy a 5th wheel, I never even considered having it "installed" by someone else.

I had to buy some tools I did not own (like a heavy torque wrench) but the experience was certainly worth it in my opinion.

I do have to say it is not for everyone. Cutting holes in my new 40,000 dollar truck's bed and frame was not for the faint of heart.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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I was very particular about the hitch that I wanted but am not handy at all. The hitch was just too important for me to try and figure out.

I opted to use the dealer locator on the B&W site and proceeded from there. I ended up with a good ole boy a little ways away from me. I liked him better than the store/shops around - when I called them, they barely knew what I was talking about. He knew exactly what I was asking for and what it would take. Unfortunately, his service ended up having some challenges (sick wife and not a great communicator). BUT- when he tore a hole in one of my tires on some equipment in his shop, he immediately replaced the tire (though, I'm not exactly sure he would have told me).

I never considered having the dealership do the install. I figured very few places sold the B&W that I was after. Pick-up day, I didn't want to have to worry about one more thing.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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If you are handy you can do it. Only a few holes to drill in the bed. Most are cusom fit to your type vehicle so no drilling into frame in most cases. I installed my B&W myself in about 2 hours.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
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From what I have seen of the quality of RV dealer work, I would tend to go somewhere else. We have a good specialty hitch place, and they do it all, including adding receiver hitches on the back of fifth wheels.
You shouldn't have any trouble finding a good place nearby.
But, Like Herk, I did my own.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogwood36322 View Post
If you are handy you can do it. Only a few holes to drill in the bed. Most are custom fit to your type vehicle so no drilling into frame in most cases. I installed my B&W myself in about 2 hours.
This was not the case with my Pullrite. Only one hole existed in the frame on each side that was used as an index hole. The other 6 needed to be drilled (all 1/2 inch except 2 5/8 inch) 8 total bolts. The 4 bed holes were for access to the frame mounts.

PS - not my truck bed. Just illustrating the holes.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaygeo1 View Post
We're getting ready to purchase the Rockwood 8289WS, our first 5th wheel. My question to the Forum is do most folks purchase and have the hitch installed at the RV Dealer or have the FW hitch installed at a Hitch Speciality Store? Your opinions would be really appreciated. Thanks....
For me the dealer wanted more $ than my local hitch shop. Like ependy I wanted it done before I went to take delivery so it was a no brainer to have the hitch shop do it for me.

As others have said it's a pretty straight forward install and I could have done it myself. But I work long hours and am blessed in that I can afford to let an expert do it. So I did.
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