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Old 01-20-2018, 04:27 PM   #1
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Ultimate Anderson Hitch Install

Today I started the install of the rail mount version of the Ultimate Anderson hitch on my 2018 GMC Canyon. I will be taking pictures as I go for those interested. This could be a thread about The Good The bad and The Ugly when it is all said and done.

Yes I know I could have and did plan on taking the hitch to Trade Masters in Chilliwack and let them install it, but doing it myself, knowing how it was installed and being part of process is just part of my DNA. I would like to give a big thanks to Gary (gmchamplin) for his help. Without it Im not sure I would have taken this project on.

You can see Garys thread of his hitch at the following link:
2017 Chevy Colorado Diesel 2.8L

As we all know measure a hundred times and then cut or in this case drill once. This is where pictures from Gary really helped in seeing where the frame brackets on his truck attached to the frame.

Today was the point of no return and I drilled the holes for rear rail in the bed. Pictures on this post will show rail placement and dry fitting of rails and hitch. Before the installation of frame brackets to the rear rail I plan to have custom spacers made that will go between the underside of bed and top of frame bracket. In the wheel well picture showing bolts coming through the bed. You will see a flange which extends 13/16 below the bottom of bed. Instead of bending or cutting parts of this flange out I would rather put a spacer that would fill the space between the underside of bed and top of frame bracket to be installed.

Right now the toughest part I foresee will be torquing the nuts that attach the frame brackets to the rails given the lack of space in this area, but so far so good though.

Cheers!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1 Rail_Placement_Measure_Twice_ DSC_1797.jpg (359.2 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg 2_Holes_Drilled_DSC_1799.jpg (149.3 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg 3a_Under_Bed_to_Frame_Location_DSC_1801.jpg (390.0 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg 3b_Rear_Frame_Braket_DSC_1806.jpg (330.7 KB, 106 views)
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:29 PM   #2
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2 more pictures

Anderson Install
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File Type: jpg 4_Rail_Dry_Fit_DSC_1802.jpg (265.6 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 5_Hitch_Test_Fit_DSC_1805.jpg (122.6 KB, 92 views)
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent View Post
Anderson Install
Admirable. Both you and Gary. I need to bone up on the diff between a long bed and a short bed. I know the wheel base is longer, but your length from ball center to tailgate looks about like mine, but yours is slightly in front of the axle center, while mine is slightly behind. No thing I suppose - as long as we both clear....

Oh, BTW, you saved big bux. Even US denominated. Enough for Clearview mirrors - which, with your abilities, you should be able to mount for yourself. Why must we have to spend so much to save so much......?
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:03 PM   #4
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I need to bone up on the diff between a long bed and a short bed. I know the wheel base is longer, but your length from ball center to tailgate looks about like mine, but yours is slightly in front of the axle center, while mine is slightly behind. No thing I suppose - as long as we both clear....
Detailed information of this type is available from the manufacturers, to assist those doing this sort of work to upfit trucks for work. In this case, the General Motors Upfitter Integration website includes a set of Body Builder Manuals, which include dimensioned drawings of the box and frame. Look under "Mid-Size Trucks" for the Colorado/Canyon.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Detailed information of this type is available from the manufacturers, to assist those doing this sort of work to upfit trucks for work. In this case, the General Motors Upfitter Integration website includes a set of Body Builder Manuals, which include dimensioned drawings of the box and frame. Look under "Mid-Size Trucks" for the Colorado/Canyon.
Thanks Brian, but it was just a mention of one of my many Colorado knowledge shortcomings. As I tried to say, I think we all have our balls in the right place...
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:46 PM   #6
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Day Two

Today I drilled four holes for the forward rail and applied POR-15 to all 8 holes in the bed.

Something I've noticed on other Anderson Hitch installs on the Colorado/Canyon platform. Trademasters is not installing the 5th bolt at the center of each rail. Might be because too much stuff in the way beneath the bed, but I will try as the directions call for 5 bolts on each rail.

Now will need to have the custom spacer plates made to fit behind the flange beneath the bed and then I can install the frame brackets. Attach frame brackets to rail bolts and should be finished with this project.

Cheers!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1_Hitch_Test_Fit_DSC_1811.JPG (340.9 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg 2_Hitch_Test_Fit_DSC_1815.JPG (290.4 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg 3_PS_Frame_Bracket_Front_DSC_1809.JPG (198.4 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg 4_PS_Frame_Bracket_Rear_DSC_1810.JPG (188.1 KB, 97 views)
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:20 AM   #7
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Spacer Prototype

Well today finished my spacer prototype. Will get metal stock cut into blocks from local steel & recycle supply.

Next step create CAD drawing and take to machine shop to create finished piece. Test the fit and if all good get the remaining 3 pieces made.

I will treat the spacers with a metal prep, coat with POR-15, then paint them black.

Once I have all the spacers I can complete the install of the universal rails for the Anderson Hitch.

Cheers
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Spacer_Prototype_DSC_1817.jpg (181.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg POR-15.jpg (141.6 KB, 34 views)
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:13 PM   #8
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ANdersen Hitch Install

Is your truck long or short bed? How did you determine you had enough clearance between the cab and the RV in a turn? Do you have any concerns about rail clearance, especially if you go over dips or up driveways? Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkordzi View Post
Is your truck long or short bed? How did you determine you had enough clearance between the cab and the RV in a turn? Do you have any concerns about rail clearance, especially if you go over dips or up driveways? Thanks.
jkorzi, I have long bed Canyon which is 6'2". No concerns about clearance between cab or bed rails. See post number one of this thread. There you will find link that will take you to Gary's thread where he has same setup with 5.0TA, with pictures.

Others have short bed and they are towing 5.0TA. Difference between short bed and long bed besides the obvious is the area behind the cab and rear wheel well is where you gain the xtra space, which puts more or less space between the cab of truck and trailer depending on which verison you have.

I choose the long bed as I wanted the King Pin above or slightly forward of the axle. Not an option on the Colorado/Canyon with short bed as I see it based on what I see on my truck.

Also, since I knew I would be installing the Fold-A-Cover with the Personal Caddy. I wanted the extra distance behind the cab where the caddy goes. Pictures below show where the extra foot is gained behind the cab.

Also keep in mind I'm installing the Anderson Ultimate 5th Wheel Hitch. If you were installing a standard 5th wheel hitch it would be mounted about an inch or two further back towards the tail gate.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Canyon Crew Cab Short Bed.jpg (184.1 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Canyon Crew Cab Long Bed.jpg (196.2 KB, 26 views)
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:13 AM   #10
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Thanks for the detailed documentation that describes your installation, but due to my lack of knowledge about installing the bed rails for the Anderson hitch, I have a couple of questions. With your trailer hitched up, where is the center of gravity located; straight down under the ball; under the king pin; or somewhere else? Did you purchase the frame brackets that you show or are they already part of the truck? If they are an existing part of the truck, did you have to shift their position? Thanks again, Rick
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
With your trailer hitched up, where is the center of gravity located; straight down under the ball; under the king pin; or somewhere else?
With this system, the force of the trailer's weight acts at the ball, not the king pin.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lzcamper View Post
Thanks for the detailed documentation that describes your installation, but due to my lack of knowledge about installing the bed rails for the Anderson hitch, I have a couple of questions. With your trailer hitched up, where is the center of gravity located; straight down under the ball; under the king pin; or somewhere else? Did you purchase the frame brackets that you show or are they already part of the truck? If they are an existing part of the truck, did you have to shift their position? Thanks again, Rick
Rick, the universal rail kit came with frame brackets and 1/2" hardware. I actually purchased a separate frame bracket kit and combined both kits. Frame brackets from one, universal rails from another, grade 8 carriage bolts I ordered and the frame bolts that came with the kit.

Carriage bolts in kits were either too short, too long or too big and why I ordered carriage bolts to get the length and size I needed due to custom spacers that will be used behind the pinch weld flange.

Reese Universal Rail kit = 30035, Frame bracket kit = 31563

I could have just used the Reese 30035 kit and 1/2" carriage bolts, but would have required drilling or modify the holes in the frame brackets and I did not like where they would have ended up in frame. The other frame brackets are thicker and have slots instead of just holes in the brackets giving wider range of mounting option to frame.

Understand my install is all based on not wanting to cut or bend back the pickup bed pinch weld flange seen in previous wheel well picture I posted.

With regards to the universal rails, they work with either the universal rail version of Anderson hitch or universal rail version of standard type 5th wheel hitch.

As Brian stated the weight is on the ball with the King Pin forward of that on short bed set up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Reese Towpower 30035 Fifth Wheel Rail Kit.jpg (100.7 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Reese Bracket Kit 31563.JPG (76.1 KB, 15 views)
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:17 PM   #13
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Today I picked up the raw metal stock that will become the spacers I have already discussed.

Now just need to get them machined to needed dimensions and bolt holes or I should say slots.

Currently the bars are 6" long x 1.5" deep x 1" thick. When finished, they will be same dimensions except milled down to 3/4" thick except a small ridge that will run the length of spacer, the ridge will press against the underside of bed. This will all make sense when I post pictures of finished spacers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Raw_Stock_Bars_DSC_1835.jpg (68.0 KB, 13 views)
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:55 PM   #14
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Just thought I would post comparison pictures of Anderson Ultimate universal rail version and standard universal rail 5th wheel hitch. By nature of design the Anderson uses king pin adapter and why the offset in the frame, the same universal rails will work on either hitch.

Where you mount the rails (distance from rear of bed) can be different between the two styles of hitches than what instructions call for with universal rail kit.

As I have stated, the rails on my setup ended up about an inch more forward away from the tailgate then what instructions called for on GM short bed truck.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Universal Rail 5th Wheel Hitch.JPG (62.6 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Anderson Universal Rail version.JPG (35.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Anderson King Pin Adapter.JPG (53.2 KB, 13 views)
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:10 AM   #15
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Brian, thanks for the information. If I understand what you are saying, the c.g. will be a little behind the rear axle if the ball is also behind the axle.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:15 AM   #16
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Kent, you’ve undertaken quite a project. With my lack of experience, Im not sure that I should attempt the install, but with your information, I can order the parts.

Thanks again, Rick
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:21 AM   #17
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If I understand what you are saying, the c.g. will be a little behind the rear axle if the ball is also behind the axle.
Yes, which is not likely a problem.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:13 PM   #18
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How long are the bed rails? I’ve heard that some people have to cut them to fit between the wheel wells. Also, did you have to drill holes in the frame to mount the frame brackets?

Rick
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:45 PM   #19
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How long are the bed rails? Ive heard that some people have to cut them to fit between the wheel wells. Also, did you have to drill holes in the frame to mount the frame brackets?

Rick
Rick,

Frame rails I purchased are 43" wide and they fit between wheel wells without modification. I believe but not absolutely sure all universal rails are 43" wide.

Yes, I will have to drill holes in the frame; two holes in frame per frame bracket.

When finished, there will be two frame brackets on driver side and two frame brackets on passenger side. When looking at the rails in bed you will see two carriage bolts on left and right sides of each rail. One frame bracket is attached underneath to one of these bolts on each rail of each side.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:36 AM   #20
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Rick,

Frame rails I purchased are 43" wide and they fit between wheel wells without modification. I believe but not absolutely sure all universal rails are 43" wide.

Yes, I will have to drill holes in the frame; two holes in frame per frame bracket.

When finished, there will be two frame brackets on driver side and two frame brackets on passenger side. When looking at the rails in bed you will see two carriage bolts on left and right sides of each rail. One frame bracket is attached underneath to one of these bolts on each rail of each side.
I was also worried about the drilling. Trademaster's told me that they did the arithmetic and it did not change any ratings, and had no significant effect on frame strength. They have done many of these, with no bad feedback. I bought into their appeal to authority, and believe it. No problems after 4500 towed miles, but anyone with problems, please report back.
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