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Old 08-01-2016, 07:17 PM   #1
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Leveling TV bed with 5th wheel rails

As I am refining my options/necessities for my planed F150 order, it occurs to me that I've never heard (or seen) any mention of an after-market product that would raise the bed to make it level with the 5th wheel rails. I would think that some type of injection molded, honeycomb panels (trimmed to fit) would work. Is anyone aware of such a product?
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:52 PM   #2
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As I am refining my options/necessities for my planed F150 order, it occurs to me that I've never heard (or seen) any mention of an after-market product that would raise the bed to make it level with the 5th wheel rails. I would think that some type of injection molded, honeycomb panels (trimmed to fit) would work. Is anyone aware of such a product?
Rich, I have never seen any such product. I am curious, however, as to your reason for wanting to raise the bed unless it is to have a smooth surface. The rails do not bother me; they have never posed a problem. But Jim Bennett and others have gone with a gooseneck Anderson hitch to have a clean, flat bed when not towing.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:04 AM   #3
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I carry a good deal of stuff in the bed of my truck when not camping and have had no 8ssue with the rails. Always figured I could use plywood to fill the inch gap but never needed to do so. HD foam sheet would work too.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Rich, I have never seen any such product. I am curious, however, as to your reason for wanting to raise the bed unless it is to have a smooth surface. The rails do not bother me; they have never posed a problem. But Jim Bennett and others have gone with a gooseneck Anderson hitch to have a clean, flat bed when not towing.
Having a level surface would be the only reason, Carl. Practically speaking, I doubt that would be "necessary" very often. However, if caring large items (such as a kitchen appliance), it'd a good idea.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:28 AM   #5
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I carry a good deal of stuff in the bed of my truck when not camping and have had no 8ssue with the rails. Always figured I could use plywood to fill the inch gap but never needed to do so. HD foam sheet would work too.
Ah, dense foam sheets, trimmed to size is a great (and cost-effective) solution!
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:50 AM   #6
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I just gotta say I love the gooseneck hitch for attaching the Anderson Ultimate. I pull my hitch out a lot though, as I haul stuff regularly for work, and it is nice. I just hauled some mulch in the back, and it swept out real nice, something that with rails would not allow.

But I bet for most people who rarely carry stuff in the bed, at least stuff that needs a perfectly level bed, the rails would be just fine.

Doing a setup with a couple foam/2x4/whatever spacers to flush to the top of the rails, topped with a sheet of 3/8 ply would work good too, you would just need to store this stuff somewhere when not in use.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:38 PM   #7
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Since the rails are not very tall, stacking material to match their height would be a matter of using sheet goods, not lumber. If the top layer is plywood, then I would want something relatively stiff under it to avoid cracking the plywood under load - the type of extruded polystyrene insulation used under concrete slabs (such as Styrofoam™ SM or Foamular® 1000) seems suitable, if you can get the right thickness, but a closed-cell rubber foam would be good (and heavy), too.

I have seen a photo of a truck with BedRug Bed Mat cut to fit around the rails. Their FAQ addresses this:
Quote:
Can BedRug be installed with my 5th Wheel Hitch or Gooseneck Hitch?Absolutely! Simply cut section of BedRug Floor with razor knife about the 5th wheel hitch where it actually contacts the sheet metal. Never bolt 5th wheel hitch on the surface of BedRug as the BedRug is a compressible material and the bolt fastening torque may loosen over time. Always bolt 5th wheel hitches metal to metal. You can see an example of a fifth-wheel hitch here.
(on the BedRug web page "here" is a link to a photo)
My concern with cutting a bed mat around the rails is what happens when the corner of a box (or whatever) of cargo sliding into the box hits the cut edge of the flexible mat material.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:56 PM   #8
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Doing a setup with a couple foam/2x4/whatever spacers to flush to the top of the rails, topped with a sheet of 3/8 ply would work good too, you would just need to store this stuff somewhere when not in use.
Why wouldn't it just be left in the bed? The rails are never removed, so the material to level up to them would always be appropriate.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:57 PM   #9
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Why wouldn't it just be left in the bed? The rails are never removed, so the material to level up to them would always be appropriate.
Looks fugly.
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:24 PM   #10
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The flush-mounted ball-in-bed hitch as an anchor solves the problem of rails sticking up, but there are other solutions. Reese, Curt, and Pullrite make systems with four flush mounting "pucks" (used with "posts" in the Pullrite case); the puck systems are available as factory equipment from Ford (but only SuperDuty, not F-150) and Ram. The problem is getting any of these mounting systems for a current F-150.
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:25 PM   #11
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Looks fugly.
Well, yes, there is that!

The BedRug Bed Mat or similar might be better.
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:32 PM   #12
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Well, yes, there is that!

The BedRug Bed Mat or similar might be better.
Something like the BedRug would look better, but is it as thick as the rails are high?
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:37 PM   #13
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Assuming you have the space to store it, I am thinking that a couple of 2x4s cut to the length of the bed and laid on the outside of the rails and a third 2x4 cut into 3 pieces and laid down the middle of the bed, overlaid with a piece of 1/2 or 3/4 inch plywood cut to fit (wouldn't have to be attached to the 2x4s) would provide an easily installed/easily removed flat surface for the occasional times one might find a flat bed surface desireable.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:46 PM   #14
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Something like the BedRug would look better, but is it as thick as the rails are high?
In the photo I saw, I think so, but it would be wise to check. The various BedRug products are different thicknesses, and the Bed Mat is relatively thick, with a 3/4" foam backing. Even if it is a little lower than the tops of the rails, the rails have rounded sides so it might be okay.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:48 PM   #15
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In the photo I saw, I think so, but it would be wise to check. The various BedRug products are different thicknesses, and the Bed Mat is relatively thick, with a 3/4" foam backing. Even if it is a little lower than the tops of the rails, the rails have rounded sides so it might be okay.
Brian, the only question I would have is wouldn't the Bed Mat compress. The OP indicates at times he might want to move large kitchen appliances. While a foam backed mat may make the bed appear to be (somewhat) even with the top of the rails (appearance), but would it serve to keep the appliance from rocking (function) on the bed of the truck. I'm not familiar with the Bed Mat product, so I really dont know. I mean, if it were me and I wanted to move something large and was worried about interference/problems from the rails, I would just place dunnage around the rails, put the object on top of it and tie the object down.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:01 PM   #16
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The OP indicates at times he might want to move large kitchen appliances.
I'd rent a utility trailer, if for no other reason than the deck is a lot lower than any pickup. Oh my aching back!
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:58 PM   #17
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I'd rent a utility trailer, if for no other reason than the deck is a lot lower than any pickup. Oh my aching back!
Couldn't you just get your cabana boy to do the hard work?
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:10 PM   #18
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Couldn't you just get your cabana boy to do the hard work?
No, he's to busy mixing cocktails
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:17 PM   #19
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No, he's to busy mixing cocktails
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:36 PM   #20
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As I am refining my options/necessities for my planed F150 order, it occurs to me that I've never heard (or seen) any mention of an after-market product that would raise the bed to make it level with the 5th wheel rails. I would think that some type of injection molded, honeycomb panels (trimmed to fit) would work. Is anyone aware of such a product?
I would keep it simple like Jim said and just throw a piece of 3/8 plywood over the rails if needed. When we had our truck camper I had a sheet in the bed for almost ten years with thousands of miles with nary a problem. Hauled dirt, rocks ect.

Had a bed rug when I was running with a canopy, they are nice but I wouldn't put dirt on top of one. Scott

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