Are 5TH Wheel Hitches Interchangeable

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Last Updated on August 3, 2022

Yes, fifth-wheel hitches are interchangeable. The base rail of the majority of fifth-wheel hitch manufacturers’ fifth-wheel hitches is standard. You have to attach the legs of the fifth wheel hitch to the base rail to install the hitch. As most of the brand’s base rails are standard so they can be said to be interchangeable. Not all the fifth wheel hitches are interchangeable. The interchangeable fifth wheel hitches are  Curt, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, Reese, Valley, and Husky.

To install a fifth wheel hitch to your truck bed, you must attach the base rail of the fifth wheel hitch to your truck bed. Most of the fifth wheel hitch base rails in the band are universal. Therefore, the majority of fifth wheel hitches from each brand can be installed on any brand of the base rail.

Mounting Option for Fifth Wheel Hitch

A 5th wheel hitch can be mounted into any truck bed using a variety of mounting techniques. I’ll go over three fifth-wheel hitch mounting options in the sections below.

Standard mount: The standard method for attaching a fifth wheel hitch to a truck is to use fixed legs. The legs attach to the head and then drop into rails installed in the truck bed. The rails are secured to the truck frame with brackets located beneath the truck bed.

Slider mount: The slider option anchors the hitch into the truck bed with rails. Instead of a fixed structure, the slider allows the hitch to move backward by several inches.

Puck system:  A puck system is a 5-hole towing system that the truck manufacturer installs on the truck frame. The fifth wheel hitch can be attached to the truck through the holes. A puck system is a more recent advancement in 5th wheel towing technology.

The reason for describing the fifth hitch mounting method is that the rail-mounted fifth wheel hitch is interchangeable with any brand of fifth wheel hitch. Because all brands’ base rails are almost the same. In the case of the puck system, the mounting process is different.

Are Base Rails of Fifth Wheel Hitches Universal?

Although they differ, the Reese universal base rails and cart base rails are both universal fifth wheel base rails. They are industry-standard, which means they will accept any CURT or Reese 5th wheel hitch leg or slider, as well as any competitor 5th wheel hitch with industry-standard mounting points. The base rail of Reese or Curt will support fifth wheel hitches from Curt, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, Reese, Valley, and Husky.

Are fifth-wheel frame brackets interchangeable?

Yes, the frame brackets of fifth wheel hitches are interchangeable. You can only interchange fifth-wheel hitch frame brackets if you have a base rail and installation kit. However, if you have brackets that were custom fitted, they cannot be switched out.

How to switch a 16K 5th-Wheel Hitch Slider to a 20K Slider?

You won’t need to purchase an entire slider if you want to upgrade your Reese 16k slider fifth wheel hitch to a 20k slider fifth wheel hitch. All you will need to do is swap out the head and head support because the Slider for the Reese 16K 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch is rated for the Reese 15K, 16K, and 20K 5th-wheel trailer hitches.

                                Final Word

The fifth wheel hitches are not all interchangeable. The majority of the fifth wheel is interchangeable. The fifth hitch is mounted to the base rail that connects to the truck bed. 

The bed rails of different brands are universal, which is the reason that fifth wheel hitches are interchangeable. A fifth wheel hitch can be attached to a base rail made by a different company. Some fifth-wheel hitch rules differ. Not all itches on the fifth wheel are interchangeable.

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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