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Old 08-27-2019, 05:59 PM   #1
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First fifth wheel, what hitch

Got my first fifth wheel so I should probably get a hitch! I got a 2013 forest river blue ridge 3710 and Iím trying to figure out what hitch to put in my 2018 Ram 2500 CC short bed. I have no factory installed fifth wheel equipment so I will be starting with nothing. Im interested in the Anderson hitch that mounts to a goose neck ball so it all comes out so the bed is usable. Anyone have experience with these? Anyone else have this camper and use a different hitch?
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:39 PM   #2
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I am a retired design engineer, which I did a force diagram on the Anderson hitch! Let's just say I would not use it in my truck pulling my Cedar Creek!

I use an automatic slider hitch which there are two brands of sliding hitches. I am using a 18K Demco Glide Auto Slider hitch that mounts to standard rails. The other brand is a Pullrite auto slider hitch, this hitch does need a capture plate to mate to your king pin box.

You can install the factory puck system on your truck to give you a clean usable bed. You can then purchase the puck mounting plates for either hitch that will work.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:48 PM   #3
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Andersen works great for us

-Easy to hitch/unhitch
-no chucking
-easy to see it is latched
-fantastic customer service
-24k lbs trailer/ 4500lbs pin weight
-easy to install and remove
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:10 PM   #4
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I have an Andersen hitch and love it . If you have a gooseneck ball in your truck it’s the way to go if not they have a rail version but seams to defeat the purpose to me . I have other trailers that are gooseneck so I need take it out a lot and it’s easy to take out it only weighs about 35 lbs takes about 5 minutes to put in or remove .
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:43 PM   #5
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Look into the Reese Goosebox pin box, you can use a ball and be kind to your 5er frame at the same time. Avoid the Anderson.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:48 PM   #6
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I would recommend the Andersen Ultimate to any and all. I've pulled my trailer more than 20,000 miles with mine.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:54 PM   #7
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The perfect solution for 6.5' beds is the Sidewinder. At least look into it. We love it and have used them on two different RVs for the last 10 years.

I'm not impressed with the Anderson. Helped a friend with a gooseneck ball in his truck install one a few weeks ago. Maybe for lightweight fifth wheels, but I wouldn't use it for anything big. The base just doesn't feel solid. But that's just me.
Good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:02 PM   #8
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I towed a 20,000 lb 5ver with the Anderson. Loved it. Easy hook up and only 35 lb which was very important for this old man. But be comfortable with your choice.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:23 PM   #9
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Hmmm. Seems to be some conflicting opinions. I really do like being able to move it in and out at only 35lbs. I like the demco but I donít like the size and weight of it to take out when not towing. I have to see what the prices are at the local shops as well. I have a drop in bedliner as well but there seems to be a flat spot that I could cut out to put in a goose neck ball. I also have Buffalo snow and salt to think about as well with the under bed moving parts of some of the gooseneck ball setups.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:24 AM   #10
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I’ve had 2 B&W hitches, an Andersen, and now a TrailerSaver TS3. I’ve only had long bed trucks.

I initially bought the first B&W based on reviews. I swapped it out for the second because I caught a deal I couldn’t turn down; it was a newer version than the first. The new one was rated to 20k. Great hitch; great ride. Installation and removal is in 2 parts. The base isn’t super heavy but awkward in size. I would use a furniture dolly to move it around my driveway/garage.

I sold it and swapped to an Andersen because I upgrade trailers and the new one weighed in at 21k. It has a very low pin weight percentage (15.5%). The ride in the truck was terrible. My wife’s back problems were exacerbated by it and back-to-back travel days were
Very painful for her. It was also slightly harder to hitch up than a traditional fifth wheel hitch. Plus, there have been a few reports of them bending during use and 1-2 of them totally crumpling during/as a result of accidents. But, it is extremely lightweight.

Lastly, for the best ride, I upgraded to the TrailerSaver TS3. It’s a full air ride hitch. Heavy as all hell (300 lbs) and stupidly expensive. But, I’ve never actually lifted it. The shipping terminal used a fork truck to put it into my truck bed and I’ve always just hung it from the fifth wheel (using the landing gear to lift/lower it). Because of that, its weight has been a non-issue.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:30 AM   #11
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Anderson and Warranty

I was very interested in the Anderson, but my Some RV manufacturers will not honor warranty if you use it. My new 5'vr was one of them. Now I know you are getting an older one so Warranty is probably out the window anyway.
I have the B&W COMPANION.. Absolutely love it. Very Solid.
I have no issues with Anderson though.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:27 AM   #12
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On our old 2004 F350 we used a B&W Companion and absolutely LOVED it. Serious hunk of metal and solid as could be. Fast forward to trading the 2004 for a 2017 and we elected to purchase the Reese system from Ford with a rating of 27.5k#. To be honest....not impressed with Reese compared to the B&W. No where near as built as the B&W and noisy. Comparing the jaws, the B&W has (IMO) a better design that fits more securely around the kingpin. B&W also has a better articulating head which includes back to front and side to side movement making it a smoother ride and easier to hook up. With nothing connected, the B&W was silent in the bed of the truck but the Reese rattles so much that you cannot even have the rear window open.

One day if I can scrape together the coins, I'm going to replace the Reese with a B&W.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jd4010 View Post
On our old 2004 F350 we used a B&W Companion and absolutely LOVED it. Serious hunk of metal and solid as could be. Fast forward to trading the 2004 for a 2017 and we elected to purchase the Reese system from Ford with a rating of 27.5k#. To be honest....not impressed with Reese compared to the B&W. No where near as built as the B&W and noisy. Comparing the jaws, the B&W has (IMO) a better design that fits more securely around the kingpin. B&W also has a better articulating head which includes back to front and side to side movement making it a smoother ride and easier to hook up. With nothing connected, the B&W was silent in the bed of the truck but the Reese rattles so much that you cannot even have the rear window open.

One day if I can scrape together the coins, I'm going to replace the Reese with a B&W.
I'll agree with you on liking the jaws better on the B&W.
But as far as the articulating head, I have only seen one fifth wheel hitch for pickups that did not move both ways, and it was an ancient one. So every modern hitch I've seen, does move both ways, so I'm not seeing your point in better head movement.
As far as the Reese being noisy, have you checked to ensure all the rubber bumpers are in place underneath the head so it's not metal to metal when it 'articulates' fully in any direction? I replaced my rubber bumpers underneath the head about three years ago when one fell off due to age. I'm assuming most hitches have some kid of damper under the head, but I don't know for sure.
My hitch's legs used to rattle very noisily in the rails, so I put those pads between the feet and rails. Now my wife no longer complains about our old Reese making noise when we are not towing.
Just some ideas that might help.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
I'll agree with you on liking the jaws better on the B&W.
But as far as the articulating head, I have only seen one fifth wheel hitch for pickups that did not move both ways, and it was an ancient one. So every modern hitch I've seen, does move both ways, so I'm not seeing your point in better head movement.
As far as the Reese being noisy, have you checked to ensure all the rubber bumpers are in place underneath the head so it's not metal to metal when it 'articulates' fully in any direction? I replaced my rubber bumpers underneath the head about three years ago when one fell off due to age. I'm assuming most hitches have some kid of damper under the head, but I don't know for sure.
My hitch's legs used to rattle very noisily in the rails, so I put those pads between the feet and rails. Now my wife no longer complains about our old Reese making noise when we are not towing.
Just some ideas that might help.
Scott,
I agree almost every (maybe all) modern 5th wheel hitch today has articulating features in two directions. I did have an ancient (actually still have it behind the shed) R&B (not B&W) that only pivoted front to back and not side to side. It was a bear to hitch and unhitch on uneven ground.

I currently have the Ford puck system with an older Reese slider that I have never slid in over 20 years. because i never slide it and because of the slop in the hitch and the slide rails, I have tightened it down securely with turnbuckles and chain on all 4 corners. It took all the slop out except that in the king pin because of the thin jaws so I still have some clunking on stop and start.

As you know, my experience with the Revolution wasn't as good as what you have had but I'm seriously considering replacing the Reese hitch with a B&W Companion and unlocking the Revolution (using the proper wedge) to see if I get better results.

That's a lot of cash for just a 'lets see how it works' formulated thought.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:57 AM   #15
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Ah. Yes, quite a few of the sliders, especially older ones, are rattle traps. Interesting method to eliminate most of the rattles!
If you do decide to unlock your Revolution, the good thing is you can buy a cheaper, basic fifth wheel hitch. That's why I've stuck with my older Reese to use with the Airborne Sidewinder. It's simple and only weighs 100lbs and comes apart in two pieces to remove. I've never had the slop some folks describe in the jaws that cause chucking, otherwise I would be looking at a newer hitch also.
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Scott,
I agree almost every (maybe all) modern 5th wheel hitch today has articulating features in two directions. I did have an ancient (actually still have it behind the shed) R&B (not B&W) that only pivoted front to back and not side to side. It was a bear to hitch and unhitch on uneven ground.

I currently have the Ford puck system with an older Reese slider that I have never slid in over 20 years. because i never slide it and because of the slop in the hitch and the slide rails, I have tightened it down securely with turnbuckles and chain on all 4 corners. It took all the slop out except that in the king pin because of the thin jaws so I still have some clunking on stop and start.

As you know, my experience with the Revolution wasn't as good as what you have had but I'm seriously considering replacing the Reese hitch with a B&W Companion and unlocking the Revolution (using the proper wedge) to see if I get better results.

That's a lot of cash for just a 'lets see how it works' formulated thought.
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:27 PM   #16
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Love my Andersen. Lightweight, lets me have my truck bed when I'm not towing, and very easy to hitch and unhitch.
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:44 PM   #17
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I've been towing with the Andersen Ultimate for a year now and am extremely happy with it. I bought it to save weight with our 2016 Ram 2500. We find it very easy to hook up with it. I can center it and my wife watches from the side to tell me when to stop. I sit it on a 1/4" rubber mat from Tractor Supply, mainly to protect the spray in bedliner, but I think it would also keep the hitch base from moving it it got loose.

We've towed with it on the bombed out roads in Michigan with no problem. I recently added a MorRyde rubber pin box to the trailer, and I think it pairs well with the Andersen hitch. I have the coupler mounted in the position that puts the nose of the trailer closer to the truck, and still can turn as sharply as I'll ever want to. We are very happy with ours!
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:12 PM   #18
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5th wheel hitch

I have a 2018 Ram 3500 with factory pucks. I love the Demco auto slide. Even though I have factory pucks I still have to by the rails because Ram doesnít have standardized puck mountings. You can mount the rails in a conventional way also. Only Demco and Pullrite make auto sliders, I like Demco better, doesnít require capture plate and solidly constructed. Previously I had a Pullrite non slider in my F-350 long bed. FYI, Better Built makes a tool box that will fit between hitch and cab.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:33 PM   #19
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Another vote for the Andersen paired with the B & W turnover ball. Easy to put in and take out then flip the ball and have a clean bed. I also have a Ram with the standard bed and no turning issues.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:01 PM   #20
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The perfect solution for 6.5' beds is the Sidewinder. At least look into it.

Good luck and have fun!
X2!!!
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