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How to Install a Fifth Wheel Hitch on a Short Bed Truck Cover

How to Install a Fifth Wheel Hitch on a Short Bed Truck Cover

You may also think that installing a fifth wheel hitch to a short bed truck needs an ample amount of your required resources, time, and effort.  Well, if you are thinking that way, then this article will prove to you that it is not valid. This is mainly all about the steps and some other tips that you need to know that will help you save in your installation. Make sure to read this until the end so that your remaining queries and confusions will be off!

Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch

Slider fifth wheel hitch is a creative solution for towing problems that you may encounter when in a trip. However, you must know that slider fifth wheel hitch are what is suitable to be attached to short bed trucks. It easily slides to adjust to every truck turn. It can even turn up to 90 degrees before turning back to its original place in every maneuver. Slider fifth wheel are the answer to the right weight distribution and security of the hitch being attached to the truck.

Fifth Wheel Hitch on Bed Truck Maintenance Installation

What are the tools needed?

  • Marker (Or anything that can help you mark something)
  • A drill bit set (assorted)
  • Tape measure
  • Punch
  • Drill
  • Wrenches
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet
  • Hammer

It would help if you took note that fifth wheel hitches and short bed trucks usually come in a variety. With the differences, you can always choose the kind and type of tools that you will use. However, put into mind that the designs are of the same purpose. Fifth wheel hitches give you the ease to affix the frame of your truck that you place above the axle and trailer pin.

To know more, let us begin with the steps.

How to install a fifth wheel hitch on a short bed truck?

Do not think of this seriously but at least find this thing as a recreation as well! Sweat may pop out of your pores but well if you enjoy and are attentive enough, then your sweat will never be a waste.

Step 1: Settle what you need

Did you ever experience that your wheel goes flat because you forgot to check on your wheels before you start your road trip? That is for sure, a pain in the head. That also happened because of the too much thrill that you felt. Therefore, before you put your hands on the tools and the hitch prepare the tools and all of the essentials that you need. Please do not jump to a reason that you forgot a thing for it would be such a waste of time.

Step 2: Do the measurement 

  • For you to have more space for the installation, remove the spare tire.
  • Next, measure the distance from the rear edge of the truck and mark the exact distance. Do not be confused and never start from the side of the tailgate. The measurement of the length for short bed trucks will be 36 inches from the side of the truck. After finding the exact length, mark it. On the other hand, for the long bed trucks, the range will be 56 inches from the edge of the truck.
  • Double-check your measurements. Never proceed to the next step if you did not check it twice. Just be specific with the things that you will do.

Step 3: What to do with your mounting brackets

  • Put the mounting rails in the back of the bed and make sure that you place the rail at the center, on the truck bed/box floor.
  • Your measurements are essential, and losing them would be a disaster. Also, look if the rail placement is between the weld seams of the truck (at the center).  You can do such a step with the use of the tape measure in checking the right distance.
  • Once the rail is already in place, mark the points of attachment and then remove the rail. The attachment points referred are the holes that you can see on the rails. The next thing to do is to punch the marks at its center and drill it to make a hole.
  • Check the attachment of your mounting bracket under the truck bed and assure that it fits the holes in its exact place. After checking, continue punching and drilling the remaining marks or points to make a hole at the back of the bed truck. Make sure to double check the attachment by placing the mounting bracket again under the bed truck. It is also a good idea to enlarge the holes for your attachment. You can apply this!
  • Now you can affix your mounting bracket using the bolts and locks that you have on the frame by placing it on its position underneath the bed truck tonneau cover. Once done, you need to repeat the steps on the other side of the truck, either left or right. You can do it!

Step 4: What to do with your mounting rail

  • Lay one of your mounting rails on the truck bed where you set the drilled holes. In between the rail and truck bed, put a 'u - shape spacer'. To let the rail stay in place, insert bolts through the spaces of the rail and the truck bed. You know, dealing with shaky stuff will never give you ease so this must be a tip provided for you. Now you need to go under the truck and fasten the rail to the mounting brackets at their attachment points.
  • After securing under the truck, you can now position the legs of the fifth wheel to the rail.
  • Measurement is a big deal in taking steps. That is why you need to be confident and sure enough that the mounting rail is at the center of the truck bed/box floor. Through this, the fifth wheel will have a firm grip to the truck, and this will better help you in placing the rail in its proper location. Mark the attachment points of your second set of holes right after measuring. Also, of course, you need to do these on the two mounting rails that you have.
  • Remove the two mounting rails and the fifth wheel from its place even if it is still unassembled. Then proceed with the four markings from the second set of holes by punching the marks and by doing the drill. Like the previous step, it will be a good use if you enlarge the holes for accessibility and if you try to apply a rust preventative paint.
  • Place the mounting rails on the truck bed again and fit the bolts to the four attachment points.

Step 5: Installation of the rail

  • The next step to take is about attaching the rear rail from underneath the truck bed. By doing it, you should know where to place your truck's heatshield and ultimately put it off.
  • Use a u-shaped spacer to connect your truck bed and brackets to attach them entirely to the rails. One of the suggestions that you can surely use is by fastening the bolts with a hex flange nut. If you did it, then it is time to repeat the process to the remaining attachment points that need to finish.
  • Spot the middle most of the rails and then do the drill. Never forget to enlarge and deepen the holes as well as applying the rust preventive paint.
  • For the rails to be intact, you need to place bolts through each attachment on the rail. Going underneath the truck bed again, fasten the attachments with your spacer and a hex flange nut. For more ease, do not tighten it beforehand. Instead, you can place a u-shaped spacer to the attachments until it is fixed. Well, never leave attachments without securing it first.
  • Before stopping for the day, clean up your mess and then say to yourself a little hooray! Also, do not forget to put the spare tire in its place again.

Installing a Fifth Wheel Hitch on Bed Truck Without a Liner

Do you know that it is best to install a hitch without a liner? The rails that is responsible in supporting the hitch should not be attached with a liner. Bed liners are no longer necessary especially when the brackets were installed the right way.

Read more: How to remove a truck bed by yourself

Installing a Fifth Wheel Hitch on Bed Truck With a Liner

This process of installing is only applicable if your liner is a spray-in kind. You can attach the fifth wheel hitch on top of it right away. You can also use the drop-in kind of liner only if you cut down so that the bed rails would be able to have a direct contact with the truck bed. Without the trimming, even though you are confident that the connection is strong, eventually, the plastic liner will break down and disintegrate. It will cause to loosen the hitch and would impose a risk.

Here is a video showing you how to trim a bed liner:

Trimming a Truck bed liner for fifth wheel rails

Fifth Wheel Hitch on Bed Truck Maintenance

Just like taking care of any car, the fifth wheel hitch is pretty much the same. The most important care that I already call a routine is the daily checking of the hitch parts. Make sure to keep designated parts lubricated and ensure that nothing is missing. I have made it a habit to eye on anything that I see loose and tighten it all down. There should be a scheduled maintenance for at least once every six months to ensure it will work accordingly.

You see, all may be too technical. However, if travel and adventure is your passion, you will get the hang of it in no time. Maintenance and installation will go hand-in-hand and it will be like a part of your day.

Hope this article can help you in installing a fifth wheel hitch on a best truck bed tonneau cover. If you find shared information is helpful, do not mind to share with your friends.

Maybe you interesting: Top 5 Best Tri Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Covers Reviews

Dave McCurdy
 

I am Dave McCurdy I am the content developer on the ecodrivingusa.com website. I have 3 years of experience in marketing.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 28 comments
Kanisha Resnick - July 30, 2019

I like my B&W turnover ball a lot better. Don’t like having bed rails in the bed of my truck.

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Jacquie Daigre - August 8, 2019

How do you install that on a truck with the 5 link rear suspension.

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Poll - August 10, 2019

We followed the instructions from the hitch manufacturer. They said measure from the end of the bed on this one.

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KennyLiborio - August 13, 2019

Not safely. Those numbers are over the published limits for the second gen Tundra. Do I think it can handle it? Yes. Do I recommend you do it? No. Will anyone at Toyota approve? No. But it’s your truck and trailer, so it’s your risk to take.

The trailer we hooked up in the video is 2000lbs lighter than yours, has much less hitch weight, and it towed like it wasn’t back there. But those extra pounds matter, especially when the crap hits the fan.

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casino - August 17, 2019

Hey, man, cool post. I have the same set up. I was looking to put a rack on mine too. I was wondering if you’ve had any issues with leaks after drilling into the Diamondback? Is silicone all you did to seal it? Thanks.

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78552Bachta - August 23, 2019

will this work with a lifted truck?

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Olga Grit - September 2, 2019

Good info, want to do this to my Ford F-350 dually.

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Berufsbekleidung Medizinische Fachangestellte - September 5, 2019

Pretty good hosting and thorough info. put across thumbs up “B”

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Kasack Weiß 100 Baumwolle - September 5, 2019

Awesome! It’s a darn shame you’re hitched already!

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Pugsley - September 7, 2019

i have had a fifth wheel hitch on my tacoma since 1998. I tow a 19 foot wilderness trailer and have made trips from california to oklahoma and utah. many huntung trips in california and have never had a problem. the only complaint i have about this setup is that the tacoma v-6 gas mileage not good at the start(17 mpg) drops to 11mpg towing. this is a sure sign of underpower, but its what i have….

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Coy Beachel - September 11, 2019

niiiicee, i got somewhere to stay at SBN this year hahahah

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Kittel Maentel Fuer Die Pflege In Groesse 56 3Xl - September 16, 2019

beautiful, much enjoyed the verbage. A++

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Hans Kearsey - September 18, 2019

Such wonderful and clever tips to help us easily Install a Fifth Wheel Hitch on a Short Bed Truck Cover. Love your advice so much. Hope your websites grow fast!

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    Troy Labita - September 24, 2019

    chuck lidell is a 5th wheel hitch installer

    Reply
    Polyester Kittel - September 26, 2019

    Thanks to your blog, today I’m able to Install a Fifth Wheel Hitch on a Short Bed Truck Cover on my own!

    Reply
    Schwestern Kittel - October 7, 2019

    This is great info, but I ever want to this, I’ll just call you and hire you to do it!

    Reply
    Hutt - October 9, 2019

    geez i think ill just pay to have it installed properly

    Reply
    Odis Testen - October 14, 2019

    It is super nice but its extremely hard to install. i bought it and returned it, just because of that

    Reply
    Arbeitsschuhe Pflege Guenstig - October 16, 2019

    I have a 2018 Nissan Titan and I got this cover for it. I’ve had it on for a few weeks and the clamps keep coming loose honestly they really don’t fit well.

    Reply
    Arbeitskleidung Kasack - October 18, 2019

    Gut geschrieben. Echt toll. Danke.

    Reply
    Charlie Shubrooks - October 22, 2019

    If someone desires to be updated with most recent technologies afterward, he must be go to see this web site and be up to date everyday. Love it!

    Reply
    Dalia Montayes - October 23, 2019

    The style and design look great! Precious information and device! Thank you a lot.

    Reply
    Lourie Done - October 23, 2019

    Ahaa, its pleasant conversation about this paragraph here at this blog, I have read all that, so love it a lot. Thank you!

    Reply
    Maryjo Longway - October 24, 2019

    By chance will the cover work with a U shaped bed extender like amp research HD?

    Reply
    Nathaniel Quinnie - October 27, 2019

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal blog now ;)|

    Reply
    Bill Dagan - October 29, 2019

    thank you. i just purchased a fifth wheel and i have lots to learn

    Reply
    Adele Weigelt - October 29, 2019

    Hilarious intro and very informative! Still going to have a pro do it, but you let me know how it works. Thanks!

    Reply
Braden Bills - October 10, 2019

Great Review!

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