Leveling TV bed with 5th wheel rails - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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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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Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
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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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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