A Different Fifth Wheel Hitch? - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-12-2015, 08:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hawaiian Escapees View Post
Yes, we have the ball hitch. The hitch is adjustable up and down, but I doubt it would extend above the top of the truck bed. The hitch is also adjustable forward and backward by simply turning it around.
Not sure but it seems like I remember someone on this forum who did modify a truck bed cover and were using a 5th wheel hitch that may have extended above the truck bed. Maybe they will chime in.
That was JohnE3 who modified a cover to fit around the hitch on his Ranger. He has not been active since 03-16-14 and around that time he had bought a Frontier and was selling the modified tonneau cover. I know there was a picture somewhere in a thread, but cannot recall where.

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Old 06-12-2015, 08:48 PM   #12
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Here's the direct link to John's Ranger tonneau cover: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0

Humm, can't get the direct link to work properly. It's post #13
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:49 PM   #13
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Also like Donna said there is plenty of room around the hitch. Going to TX this winter had two bikes (had to remove front wheel from one) behind the hitch, and in front had plastic bin with my blocks, two gravity chairs and sewer hose in tube. Sure they were not protected from the elements (chairs were borrowed old ones) but we had little rain. I have the same F150 6.5 foot box.

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Old 06-12-2015, 08:49 PM   #14
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Here's the direct link to John's Ranger tonneau cover: Tonneau Cover with a 5.0
Thanks Donna, should have known you would check it out!
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by shotgun View Post
I see that the Scamp fifth wheel uses a gooseneck hitch that attaches to a conventional ball hitch mounted on a slightly raised crossbar in the truck bed with metal brackets that bolt just inside each wheel well.
That was the Scamp design. It is structurally questionable and not readily removable, so what they now offer is a version of what several Scamp owners had put together themselves: a frame just like that used for a fifth-wheel hitch (in fact, it is the frame of a fifth-wheel hitch, without the head) has a plate bolted on top that holds a conventional towing ball. Scamp calls it (and their trailer) a "fifth-wheel", but it's not.

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Originally Posted by shotgun View Post
So I'm trying to find a creative solution here and could use some help from those of you with fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer experience.
...
So I thought wouldn't it be great if I could design a frame inside the pickup bed that incorporated a raised hitch mounted just above the level of the sides of the bed and existing tailgate. One could then make several lifting hatches on each side of the pickup bed hinged off a center fore and aft support for dry, lockable storage. Raising the hitch point would necessitate modification to the trailer hitch, but would give you the benefits of a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch and full use of the truck's bed for covered storage. There must be some major technical reason that I have overlooked making this setup impractical, or it seems it would be a common solution out on the road. Any thoughts or ideas?
I get the idea. The key issues that I see would be that the hitching point is very high, so the lateral force on the truck when cornering would be applied very high, which would not be good for the stability of the truck; you would also feel forward and rearward forces on the hitch more.

Also, you could use a fifth-wheel, and just mount it very high, if that height were not a problem. The pin box would need to be replaced with a different one (custom-made), because it can't be adjusted that high.

I would rather replace the pickup box with a low custom box of storage compartments (a "service body", "tool box", or "towing body") with the hitch on top or in a narrow recessed compartment in the middle. This is actually very commonly done with larger trucks (Ford F-550 and larger) to tow very large fifth-wheel trailers - it's rare with small trucks, and would only make sense if it worked for whatever else you do with the truck. The sort of box setup shown by Robert (rbryan4) would get close without the custom work; you might want to do the rear box with a long drawer extending right under the hitch.
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:45 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I asked ETI about making a gooseneck trailer vs 5th wheel set up and was told that Canadian rules prohibit gooseneck for human but only for animal transport.
This doesn't quite make sense, because no trailer is used to transport people. I think what he meant is that CSA standards for recreational vehicles (so travel trailers but not livestock trailers) only mention fifth-wheel hitches, so it may not be possible to specifically comply with them using a ball hitch in the truck bed. The CSA RV standards don't matter to what is legal to pull on the road, but I think that new RVs offered for sale in Canada need to meet the CSA RV standard, which is similar to the RVIA standards of the U.S.

The end result is that while Escape (as a manufacturer and seller of the product) may be required to use a fifth-wheel, as far as I know you can go ahead and convert to a ball hitch without legal concerns... but keep in mind that in many jurisdictions two safety chains must be used with any ball hitch (which are a pain to hook up in a truck box).

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Toyota is coming out with a sweet diesel next year with a built in ball in the truck bed for gooseneck.
That would be nice as factory equipment in a reasonably small truck, even the not-so-small Tundra (which is presumably the Toyota which is getting it). This type of setup is now available as optional factory equipment in Ford F-SuperDuty and Ram 3500 (and maybe 2500?) trucks, but not in lighter pickups. Aftermarket versions are available for a wider range of trucks.
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I asked ETI about making a gooseneck trailer vs 5th wheel set up and was told that Canadian rules prohibit gooseneck for human but only for animal transport. Toyota is coming out with a sweet diesel next year with a built in ball in the truck bed for gooseneck.
I think its the new Nissan Titan that is coming out with the diesel and gooseneck in the bed of the truck. This is going to be a very interesting truck, its suppose to have a 1 ton rating. There's a video of it on the Nissan website.
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:02 PM   #18
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You are right, my bad, Nissan Titan has the gooseneck ball built in.
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:27 PM   #19
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Just a note about those in-bed ball hitches: they are at bed floor level, so much lower than a typical fifth-wheel - that's going the opposite direction from shotgun's "over the cargo" proposal.
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Scuba55 View Post
I think its the new Nissan Titan that is coming out with the diesel and gooseneck in the bed of the truck. This is going to be a very interesting truck, its suppose to have a 1 ton rating.
The 2016 Nissan Titan XD (not the base version, but only this heavier-duty version) is targeted to have higher capacity than the typical "half ton" (Ford F-150, GM 1500, Ram 1500, Tundra) without being as big and heavy as the "3/4 ton" and "one ton" models (Ford F-SuperDuty, GM 2500/3500, Ram 2500/3500). This is what was called a "heavy half" decades ago (although they were all North American and none had diesels back then).
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