I got the tow vehicle! ... Now I need a hitch . . - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-23-2016, 11:20 PM   #1
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I got the tow vehicle! ... Now I need a hitch . .

I did it. Last night I bought a 2016 Ford 150 3.5 V6. With 5.5 bed . . . Now I could really use some help with the hitch. I would like to get it installed before I head to Chilliwack mid March.
I don't know what kind to get, or should I get it installed there for a better fit? I have the week before Easter to make the trip from near Bakersfield up and back to work 3/29. Any advice would be appreciated.
My trailer is a 2016 5.0 TA
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:44 PM   #2
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Might ask Donna D; think she had Escape install hers for her 5TA in an F150 short bed.
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:02 AM   #3
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Actually, I did ask her. She does not know what kind it is. Trade masters installed it for her. I was just trying to save some time by having it done ahead of time. If my best option is to let them do it for a better fit I will do that.
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandyb12 View Post
Now I could really use some help with the hitch.
I had the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch installed in my Silverado 6.5 foot bed before I picked up my 5.0TA (Companion - 5th Wheel Hitch | Single Point Attachment | THE B&W ADVANTAGE). The hitch is installed with an under-bed mounting system so you have no rails in the truck bed when the hitch is removed. It's not inexpensive but I am very happy with how it works and the clean truck bed when it is removed.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:19 AM   #5
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There is little if any choice of location for the mounting hardware of fifth-wheel hitches. The mounting brackets are designed to bolt to the frame in very specific locations, so once it is designed the installer has no decision to make. Different manufacturers could of course design them for different locations, but they generally chose for the centre of the mounting rails (or other mounting points, depending on style) to be just slightly ahead of the axle line. There are generic mounting brackets that have you drilling holes where you think they should go, but I wouldn't consider those.

The room for adjustment, and the choice of hitches, comes in the hitch itself - the removable part that carries the head. Many are not adjustable, and will end up pretty close to the cab in a 5.5' box. Since the key adjustment - if the hitch allows it - is distance from the cab, you don't need to get this done in Chilliwack or by anyone familiar with the 5.0TA.

There are lots of possible considerations in choosing a hitch - and many corresponding discussions in this forum - but for the hitch to fit the trailer you just need to know that distance, and that has come up in several topics addressing specifically the 5.5' bed. For example:
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Originally Posted by MacMan View Post
To settle the issue prior to purchasing the Tundra, I went up to Chilliwack and had a discussion with Reace about the short bed and a hitch for the 5.0TA. He says there is no problem and he has done it many times without a problem. The 5.0TA has a short front so the short bed will work just fine. The hitch is installed at least 30 inches from the window of the truck's cab to allow for clearance. I even looked at his truck (which I think is a short bed with a hitch in it) and it works great.
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Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Reace says that we need 30" of cab-to-trailer clearance on the F150. I took a quick measurement at the Ford dealer and eyeballed around 29" from the back of the cab to the center of the rear axle on the Super Crew.
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Originally Posted by RicVic View Post
I spoke with Reace a few weeks ago and I thought he said he just used the standard rails in bed on his F150 screw with a 5.5 bed. He also uses the Pro 15 K fifth wheel. He seems happy with this set up.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:11 AM   #6
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If I were going with a 5'6" bed, I'd get the hitch and install done at pickup time. Don't know what they are using these days, but when Donna got hers they were using the Reese Pro 15k as mentioned above. Thought I had read where Reace had his mounted a couple inches behind the axel, making it a custom install. Might also call their installers and ask if this is the case.

FWIW, I went with the B&W too, but I do not have a short bed.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:29 AM   #7
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I believe Donna D has a 6-1/2 foot bed. You can put a standard 5th wheel hitch in this bed. The 5-1/2 foot bed is a different animal. I have been told that Reace used custom brackets to allow placement of the hitch further back to allow for necessary clearance from the cab. If proper clearance is not provided, the trailer may contact the cab during sharp turns, eiher going forward or in reverse. The 5-1/2 bed is not the best selection for towing the 5.0TA if one expects any cookie-cutter RV shop to install a standard 5th wheel hitch, unless that shop is aware of the needed clearance and has the ability to fabricate custom brackets for the rails.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
If I were going with a 5'6" bed, I'd get the hitch and install done at pickup time. Don't know what they are using these days, but when Donna got hers they were using the Reese Pro 15k as mentioned above. Thought I had read where Reace had his mounted a couple inches behind the axel, making it a custom install. Might also call their installers and ask if this is the case.

FWIW, I went with the B&W too, but I do not have a short bed.
These were my thoughts and took this path when I picked up my 5TA last year because my RAM 1500 had 5'7" bed. But Trademaster installed the brackets the standard way not custom and the hitch ended up too close to the cab. Maybe I did not communicated well enough that I needed the custom install.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandyb12 View Post
Actually, I did ask her. She does not know what kind it is. Trade masters installed it for her. I was just trying to save some time by having it done ahead of time. If my best option is to let them do it for a better fit I will do that.
Part of the reason I had Trade Masters install the hitch was my truck was brand new, less than 1,000 miles on the odometer. Plus, I knew Reace had given all the information to Trade Masters where the hitch needed to be located in order to give me the best turn radius and weight in the bed. I could have certainly gotten the job done in Portland and maybe for less money. I was just concerned if the job wasn't to ETI specs, I'd end up with more holes than I wanted in my new truck. But, the build type was brand new too. So, with a lot more 5.0TAs out there being pulled by numerous brands of trucks, I might be more inclined to ask questions of those owners and get the job done locally.

Trade Masters installed the hitch while I went through orientation so I didn't waste a bunch of time waiting around for it to be done.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phlbua View Post
These were my thoughts and took this path when I picked up my 5TA last year because my RAM 1500 had 5'7" bed. But Trademaster installed the brackets the standard way not custom and the hitch ended up too close to the cab. Maybe I did not communicated well enough that I needed the custom install.
I have a B&W patriot hitch. This one sits on a couple of rails. The hitch head/plate is adjustable 2" forward or backward and 2" up or down by mounting the posts on different bolt holes.
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