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Old 10-10-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
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1st time 5th wheel!

New to the forum, long time camper. Just traded in our jayco and bought a Flagstaff 8528BHWS. Went to the rv show in Suffern NY looking for a larger tt with bunks and came out with this. Can't wait for the first trip!!!
Now to have the hitch installed, I work in a repair shop and are thinking of doing it ourselves, any thoughts on that?
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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Congrats and welcome to the forum! Although I have put 2 5th wheel hitches in, in the past 2 yrs, I'm thinking next time I will pay to have it done. I'm quite mechanically inclined, and not a novice by any means, but it's a PITA, at least in the Chevy/GMC diesels. My last custom rail mounts said it would take a novice 80 minutes to install. I spent the better part of 4. Just have to figure what your time is worth.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #3
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Kind of what I was thinking. Dealer offered a deal at 850 and think I'd be foolish to do it myself. I'd only be saving around $300. My only issue is they need my truck for a whole day and they are about 80 miles away in Jersey,

Thanks for the input. You have reaffirmed what I was already thinking.
Andy
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:35 AM   #4
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When we bought our 5th wheel I had a 05 Silverado gasser and dealer installed hitch for $800.00
Hitch was included in that price.

When I traded trucks I removed the hitch rails and installed them back in my 08 duramax.

Install time was 90 minutes.

The longest part was drilling holes in the frame and making sure items tucked behind frame rails weren't hit with drill or had to move them.

Good luck.


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Old 10-10-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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Although I don't have a fifth wheel, I would pay the dealer to install. As several have mentioned, what is your time worth, but, more important is the fact that the dealer is taking on all the liabilitiy associated with the installation.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:43 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your Flagstaff 8528BHWS.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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I prefer to let someone who does hitch install on a daily basis to ensure it's done correctly...I bought my hitch direct to get best price & paid an rv shop for the install.

Enjoy the 5'ver



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Old 10-10-2013, 08:07 AM   #8
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It can be done yourself without much difficulty. Measure twice, drill once. A local truck equipper here wanted $125 to install it. A lazy Saturday afternoon and a cold beer or two should do it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #9
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You could do it yourself, but if you have never done that kind of work before, its going to take you a while. Make sure you have fresh drill bits and a couple of them. Drilling frame steel is about patience and managing the heat of the drill tip more then brute force.

But really how much will you save over the cost of the hitch?
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:54 AM   #10
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Another option- the B&W hitches do not require drilling the frame at all. 1 to 5 holes in the truck bed (depending on if you're going to install the u-bolts for the gooseneck chains or not).

I still opted to have mine installed, but I am not mechanically inclined.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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My curt rails didn't require drilling of the frame also, but with a newer GM the frame is boxed and the bolts have to be fished through the frame. Then once the frame bracket is installed the the rail bolts need bolted through bed, of which 2 are on top of the fuel tank, which is nearly impossible to reach. Oh, and don't forget to try and hold the spacer up while trying thread the nut on while nearly standing on your head. Uh oh, forgot to weight down the bolt so it wouldn't raise up while trying to put but on. Now you see the trend for the next 10 bolts. Not sure I would pay $300 for the install though, $125 is a no brainer.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the input. I shot my load on the camper and if I can save some dough installing the hitch myself I'm all in. Guys at work are confident we can knock it out in a Saturday afternoon after shop closes. So as long as I've got some help I think it's doable.
Trying to talk the Mrs. Into a February trip to SC when the kids school break comes up. I'm trying to come up with a workable scenario to get this new rig working!

Thanks for all the thoughts and input. It's appreciated.

Andy
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #13
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I let the dealer install my PullRite because the 4 huge holes in the floor of the bed needed to match the ones in the rails for the 4 posts.

Dropped the truck off and then went shopping, did our walk thru hooked up the trailer and drove home.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aca651 View Post
Thanks for all the input. I shot my load on the camper and if I can save some dough installing the hitch myself I'm all in. Guys at work are confident we can knock it out in a Saturday afternoon after shop closes. So as long as I've got some help I think it's doable.
Trying to talk the Mrs. Into a February trip to SC when the kids school break comes up. I'm trying to come up with a workable scenario to get this new rig working!

Thanks for all the thoughts and input. It's appreciated.

Andy
If you can find someone to install the hitch between $150-200, that's nothing compared to your fuel expenses when pulling the fifth wheel...just to put things in perspective



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Old 10-11-2013, 07:12 AM   #15
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You can do it I'm sure. I installed mine with a friend in about 2 1/2 hours. It definitely helps to have a second pair of hands, and eyes. It's not rocket science. Just measure carefully and as mentioned have fresh drill bits.
Been to the Rockland show many times. Did you buy from Scott's?
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:00 AM   #16
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How difficult a job it will be is highly dependent on which rails and installation kit you buy. The "universal" kits will require that you drill some large holes into the truck frame rails. You probably want to avoid that. The "custom" kits will bolt to existing holes in the truck frame rails.

Depending on what truck you have and which custom kit you get, you may need to drop the fuel tank and a heat shield in order to bolt the brackets to the inboard side of the frame rails. For some trucks, Reese makes an installation kit with brackets that bolt to the outboard side of the frame rails. The only thing in the way will be the spare tire. If available for your truck, that is the way to go.

Trailer hitch, hitches and bike rack (800)298-8924 usually has the best prices on the hitches. Their web site also has some videos of installations being done. You will need a rather hefty torque wrench.

I was 71 years old when I installed mine, and I am nit a mechanic. You can do it.

Joel
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5erDriver View Post
You can do it I'm sure. I installed mine with a friend in about 2 1/2 hours. It definitely helps to have a second pair of hands, and eyes. It's not rocket science. Just measure carefully and as mentioned have fresh drill bits. Been to the Rockland show many times. Did you buy from Scott's?
I did not buy from Scott's dealer I used is escape rv. Out of jersey the sales people. Was not at all impressed with the dealership but the people who run it were top notch You can always find a better deal if you keep looking I'm very comfortable with the price I got and never once felt pressured.

I live in Westchester and it's not a terrible ride to get there.

Thanks for your thoughts on the hitch install.
Andy
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