Learn How to Install a 5th Wheel Hitch Dodge Ram

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Last Updated on May 18, 2022

The use of a fifth-wheel hitch is not rare nowadays. And many love its functionality as well as the pros that it brings for towing. So, if you are willing to install the hitch for dodge ram, understanding the proper installation procedure comes first.

Let’s discuss how to install a 5th wheel hitch on dodge ram and maybe you can decide whether to give it a try or not!

Here’s How to Install a 5th Wheel Hitch Dodge Ram

Follow the instructions given below. 

Spare Tire Removal & Positioning the Base Rail on Front

You need enough access to the truck bed’s underbelly area to install a 5th wheel hitch dodge ram. And that’s why removal of the spare tire is necessary. Getting a few other parts including a heat shield could be necessary.

There should be a base rail closest to the truck cab. You want to position it and take proper measurements starting from the truck bed’s front. It can differ between the short bed and long-bed pickups. That’s why it’s important to check the specific manual.

Finding how to install a fifth wheel hitch on a short bed truck after inquiring about the short bed measurement will be better. And the same goes for the long bed. You are required to keep the base rail in-between wheel wells centering accurately as well.

Marking Drill Spots & Find the Under Bed Pilot Hole

The base rail should be in the proper position. Then you want to mark the hole spots on the rail using a marker. At least one drilling location needs to be a center punch. You can do that for other locations later.

Next, you need to create a pilot hole right at the location you marked. For now, hold the 5th wheel bracket under the bed in the position and create the pilot hole using the reference.

Only if the hole and bracket line up properly, drilling other bolt holes is possible. Once you have marked those, take the base rail out and go for center punching the locations for drilling. You want to drill from the truck bed underneath towards above.

Largen Up the Holes, Bolting the Brackets Under Bed & The Rail Of 5th Wheel

You need to carefully enlarge the pilot holes using a step bit. If any metal edge gets exposed, just use touch-up paint for it. You need to deburr and then apply paint.

Next for the 5th wheel hitch dodge ram installation, you need to attach the under-bed brackets from the wheel well opening. You fasten the bracket on the truck frame using bolts and nuts. Similarly, the other side bracket.

Hold the base rail on its hole again and if it’s slightly bottom to a truck bed, you’ll need spacers. It should stay right between the truck bed rails. The bolts should go through holes and you need to use nuts to secure everything nice and tight.

Measuring The Height of Hitch

The next part of the 5th wheel hitch dodge ram installation is about taking hitch height measurements. The difference in height between trailer and truck bed walls cannot exceed 5.5 inches.

Park the trailer on an even surface, measure to the kingpin plate underside starting from the ground, record it. Then take another measurement between the truck’s open tailgate top to ground.

Subtract the second gotten measurement from your first recorded one, and you have the required height for the 5th wheel hitch.

Legs Attaching & Rear Rail Positioning

Find the right mounting holes to hold the height. Then you also want to do some vertical adjustments. Use the bolts to secure the legs on the head after removing the plate from it. Having the head upside down will also help with leg installation.

If you are working with a 5th wheel hitch for a RAM 2500 short bed, you’ll need a wheel slider. Now the next part of installing a 5th wheel hitch dodge ram is about fixing the rearward base rail, the second one. 

Lift the hitch place and fix the legs to the base rail. Then install the second base rail using leg anchors.

Make Holes for the Rear Base Rail & Fix It

Have the rail center properly before deciding and marking the drill spots with a paint pen. You want the rail out from the way as well. 

And then for the pilot holes do the regular center punching and drilling. Make the hole larger with a step bit and use touch paint just like before.

Use the included bolts to secure the second wheel-rail. These bolts should travel through the rail, then the truck bed, and finally the brackets under the bed.

Remaining Bolts Installation, Drill, and Install Remaining Hardware

A few 5th wheel hitch dodge ram installing processes will need you to work with extra bolts for both rails installation. Using the bolts is the same as we mentioned earlier. 

Once you are done with those, install all the remaining hardware. Make sure the bolts associated are tight enough. You need to use a torque wrench for this.

5th Wheel Hitch Installation

Finally, you can lift the assembly of the 5th wheel hitch to its spot and have it placed to the fill base rails. Before ending the installation for the dodge ram fifth wheel hitch, make sure all the important pins, as well as parts, are properly attached, and then you can hitch for towing.

Wrapping Up

And we are all sorted with how to install a 5th wheel hitch dodge ram by now. What do you think? 

If it still feels confusing and not something you’ll be able to deal with, there’s always the option of asking for help from an expert. It might cause you some spending. 

But at least the installation will be done as it should. And the whole thing will probably need quite less time. So, Think About It!

Hitch Guides & Reviews:

5th Wheel Hitch Installation on Ford F150 & F250

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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