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Old 04-20-2021, 01:47 PM   #1
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Andersen rail mount & Tundra - tailgate clearance

Does anyone have any experience with the rail mount Andersen hitch with a 6.5’ box Tundra (ours is a 2017 Double Cab 4x4)? I had the chance to see Uncle Tim’s setup with his Crew Cab Tundra using the gooseneck mount Andersen and a B&W offset ball (thank you, Uncle Tim!). It appears that combination works fine. The rail mount would put the pivot point about 4”-5” further forward, by my calculations. Wondering if I would still be able to lower the tailgate when hitched up.Anyone with this combination care to comment?
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mark J View Post
Does anyone have any experience with the rail mount Andersen hitch with a 6.5’ box Tundra (ours is a 2017 Double Cab 4x4)? I had the chance to see Uncle Tim’s setup with his Crew Cab Tundra using the gooseneck mount Andersen and a B&W offset ball (thank you, Uncle Tim!). It appears that combination works fine. The rail mount would put the pivot point about 4”-5” further forward, by my calculations. Wondering if I would still be able to lower the tailgate when hitched up.Anyone with this combination care to comment?
It works fine with my 2012 dbl cab 4 x 4 6.5 ft bed rail mount anderson. Your truck is essentially the same. I can lower the tailgate partway but not all the way down. Unless you are trying to get at something in the bed I don't know why you would want to anyway...the camper is over your head and it pretty much limits your movement.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:19 PM   #3
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I guess, not having any experience with hitching a fifth wheel, I assumed you would need to drop the tailgate to hook up. But I guess with the Andersen you can leave the tailgate up and just back up until the ball is in the right place and then lower the camper onto it. Correct?

Do you have the coupler block in position 2 (socket behind the kingpin)?
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:17 PM   #4
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But I guess with the Andersen you can leave the tailgate up and just back up until the ball is in the right place and then lower the camper onto it. Correct?
Yes, but typically the ball is low enough that you would need to jack up the trailer very high to clear the tailgate, so I think people still put the tailgate down to hitch up even with an Andersen Ultimate.
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Old 04-20-2021, 06:46 PM   #5
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I guess, not having any experience with hitching a fifth wheel, I assumed you would need to drop the tailgate to hook up. But I guess with the Andersen you can leave the tailgate up and just back up until the ball is in the right place and then lower the camper onto it. Correct?

Do you have the coupler block in position 2 (socket behind the kingpin)?
Drop tailgate, back up until hitch is inside bed about middle of back half, put up tailgate back up till over ball.

I have the coupler block socket ahead of kingpin
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:04 PM   #6
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Yes, but typically the ball is low enough that you would need to jack up the trailer very high to clear the tailgate, so I think people still put the tailgate down to hitch up even with an Andersen Ultimate.
That's sort of what I thought. It seems like jacking the trailer up that high would also make it harder to see when you are in the right spot. So, lower the tailgate to back in partway, get out, raise the tailgate, get back in the truck, back in under the ball, get back out of the truck, lower the trailer. Was kind of hoping to avoid this dance, but it may be unavoidable with this combination. Easier if you have a spotter along.
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Drop tailgate, back up until hitch is inside bed about middle of back half, put up tailgate back up till over ball.

I have the coupler block socket ahead of kingpin
Ian, is your Andersen hitch mounted with the ball toward the cab or toward the tailgate. Standard rail positioning? Thanks for any additional info you can share about your setup.
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:57 AM   #8
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Ian, is your Andersen hitch mounted with the ball toward the cab or toward the tailgate. Standard rail positioning? Thanks for any additional info you can share about your setup.
I run it ball toward the cab with a standard rail set up. I bought and installed a custom fit rail kit. It took me about 4 hrs to install, I had to enlarge one existing hole in the frame and drill the holes in the truck bed. I use an extender cord for lights etc that I run up and over the tailgate to the stock plug in the bumper. I have an older set up but added the ball funnel which provided a longer ball. Before this set up I did have a few instances where the camper touched the side rail of the truck but have not had a problem with the new set up although it is close. this usually happens backing into a campsite where the road tips one way and the trailer tips the other. You just have to be aware and adjust your approach. I can get a full 90 degrees without worrying about hitting the truck cab at all. I carry my generator and aux water tank under my folded toneau cover. For hitching up I put a mark on my back window and toneau cover for a center line and also use those magnetic alignment balls from camco. My 4.6 l engine tows this trailer very well and I do not have any suspension mods it works fine stock, just pay attention to how much stuff you bring and keep the trailer balanced. I usually travel with at least 1/2 tank of water.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:12 PM   #9
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I run it ball toward the cab with a standard rail set up. I bought and installed a custom fit rail kit. It took me about 4 hrs to install, I had to enlarge one existing hole in the frame and drill the holes in the truck bed. I use an extender cord for lights etc that I run up and over the tailgate to the stock plug in the bumper. I have an older set up but added the ball funnel which provided a longer ball. Before this set up I did have a few instances where the camper touched the side rail of the truck but have not had a problem with the new set up although it is close. this usually happens backing into a campsite where the road tips one way and the trailer tips the other. You just have to be aware and adjust your approach. I can get a full 90 degrees without worrying about hitting the truck cab at all. I carry my generator and aux water tank under my folded toneau cover. For hitching up I put a mark on my back window and toneau cover for a center line and also use those magnetic alignment balls from camco. My 4.6 l engine tows this trailer very well and I do not have any suspension mods it works fine stock, just pay attention to how much stuff you bring and keep the trailer balanced. I usually travel with at least 1/2 tank of water.
Thanks. If my "maths" are correct, it looks like turning the Andersen around the other way (ball offset toward tailgate) and also turning the coupler around (coupler behind the kingpin) would shift the kingpin toward the rear by exactly 2", putting the kingpin about 1" behind the axle when using Curt or Reese rails (two brands I found that make a custom kit for the Tundra). That shouldn't be a problem from a towing perspective and might give more clearance for tailgate. Still not sure if it would be enough to drop the tailgate when hitched up.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:40 AM   #10
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Remember that puts you further back in the bed and thus more weight on the back of the truck, thus potentially more squat to the truck. Also remember that the hitch piece on the trailer will be further back does this affect the back end of the hitch and maybe contact with the inside of the rails of the truck bed? Maybe?? The nice thing is that you can get great info from ETI about this and you also can go to an empty parking lot and try things out...everything you are doing is very easy to change if necessary.

BTW doesn't reversing the anderson and putting the ball socket further back cancel each other out?
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:50 AM   #11
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Remember that puts you further back in the bed and thus more weight on the back of the truck, thus potentially more squat to the truck. Also remember that the hitch piece on the trailer will be further back does this affect the back end of the hitch and maybe contact with the inside of the rails of the truck bed? Maybe?? The nice thing is that you can get great info from ETI about this and you also can go to an empty parking lot and try things out...everything you are doing is very easy to change if necessary.

BTW doesn't reversing the anderson and putting the ball socket further back cancel each other out?
You’re right, there are a number of interrelating factors to consider when setting these things up. I’m at the mercy of pencil and paper (and this forum) until we actually get our 5.0 in July.

The additional squat in the back by shifting the pivot point back 2” doesn’t concern me too much. I’ve got an 1100 lb four wheel camper in the bed at the moment and the truck sits level, so it may actually squat less with the 5.0 attached. I’ve beefed up the suspension from stock and it handles the weight well, even off road.

As far as reversing the coupler, it seems to me having the coupler position with the socket behind the kingpin would move the pinbox toward the pivot point and that should decrease chances of the pin box hitting the truck rails while turning. Am I missing something here?

To your third point, reversing both coupler and hitch don’t actually cancel each other out. The ball is offset 5” from center on the hitch and the coupler/kingpin offset is 4”, so turning both around gives a net movement of the kingpin of 2”. Again, I’m going off published diagrams and trying to envision how this will all work in 3 dimensions in the real world.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:27 PM   #12
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What you say makes sense. Bring some tools with you, find a parking lot, a spotter standing along side and drive in some circles to make sure everything works. You will love it!

I have to admit I do miss getting out on the remote roads when I had a Sunlite Pop up truck camper!
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:27 PM   #13
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As far as reversing the coupler, it seems to me having the coupler position with the socket behind the kingpin would move the pinbox toward the pivot point and that should decrease chances of the pin box hitting the truck rails while turning. Am I missing something here?
If I am understanding what you are saying here I think a word of caution is in order. I know of no one who has successfully reversed the coupler (turned the coupler forward), thus moving the kingpin rearward. What this does is cause the kingpin to make contact with the*sides*of the box.

this is another hard one to understand. Many have pondered it, some have tried it but I am unaware of anyone who has their's turned toward the front.

The reason being is that the King Pin will hit the sides of the box in tight turns (turning it forward actually pushes that contact point back 8" - it was 4" behind, when turned it is now 4" forward).

Here is a post by*Tom and Gay*I was in disbelief during orientation when I saw they had mounted the adapter rearward, fearing the same things you mentioned. Dennis got Reace to come out and try to convince me but I still had them try turn it around to prove it to me. They were right and changed it back to rearward.
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:02 PM   #14
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Does anyone have any experience with the rail mount Andersen hitch with a 6.5’ box Tundra (ours is a 2017 Double Cab 4x4)?
I have the short bed F150. Here is my take which might lend some light on the subject for you.

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I guess, not having any experience with hitching a fifth wheel, I assumed you would need to drop the tailgate to hook up.
We hook up without raising the tail gate.

Trying to put this information into a post is likely to create some conflicting "opinions" but here goes.

I went through hundreds of posts when getting my rig set up and I could not find a consensus on what works best with a short bed truck and the possibility of hitting the cab on a sharp turn.

Prior to 2019 Trademaster's in Chilliwack installed many hitches behind the rear axle on short bed trucks because of the turning clearance issue. It appears early 2019 they quit doing this (I'd venture as a lawsuit protection). They now mount standard location which I believe on an F-150 puts it an inch or two in front of the axle. This creates two issues.
1) shorter turn angle
2) tailgate clearance - when hitched there is very little clearance for the tailgate to be opened, so when hitching the tailgate needs to be raised once king pin is in the box. This tailgate problem is not only on the short box F150, it exists on all the F150 box sizes.

To answer the question of moving the hitch behind the axle, there is much info on this forum that the 800 lb 5th wheel hitch weight placed a couple inches behind the axle has less effect than the 500 - 600 lbs placed on the hitch behind the rear bumper by a pull behind trailer.

We mounted the RAIL MOUNT ANDERSEN ULTIMATE with the center of the Kingpin behind the axle. This has worked out just fine for us, no issues with squat or handling.

We did not need to drill any holes in the frame. I ordered two different sets of UNIVERSAL rail mount kits. We were able to match up with exiting holes in the frame and we did not need to do any drilling. We only needed one of the UNIVERSAL kits and sent the other back (etrailer).

Our trailer tows perfectly, we have plenty of turn angle, I haven't measured, but we never come close to jack knifing the trailer. I can both hitch up and get into the truck bed with the tailgate down (can walk between with tailgate down).

I know most people struggle with this decision as I did, hopefully this helps. I know most 5.0TA owners mount with in the "normal" mount locations and do well with it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hitched w tailgate down IMG_20200605_095625.jpg (222.3 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:33 AM   #15
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If I am understanding what you are saying here I think a word of caution is in order. I know of no one who has successfully reversed the coupler (turned the coupler forward), thus moving the kingpin rearward. What this does is cause the kingpin to make contact with the*sides*of the box..
Thanks for your input, Ronn. I believe my wording of "reversed" is causing some confusion. It appears Ian and Sue have their coupler oriented with the socket in front of the kingpin, which is the opposite orientation from the way yours is set up. So my usage of "reversed" was intended to be relative to their setup (which is actually how you are describing your setup). So I think we are actually talking about the same thing. Whew!

But Ian and Sue also have the Andersen hitch mounted to the rails with the ball toward the cab, according to an earlier post in this thread. This has the effect of moving the kingpin 2" forward relative to your setup. Both configurations "could" work fine, depending on the truck, and with the custom rail kits I've found for the Tundra, the kingpin ends up being about 1" ahead of the axle with Ian's setup and 1" behind the axle with your configuration (Andersen hitch ball mounted toward rear of truck and coupler socket behind the kingpin).

It's all pretty confusing! I'm likely to try setting it up more like yours in hope of getting enough clearance to drop the tailgate, unless I run into some unforeseen issue.

Ian and Sue also have an older Andersen coupler according to his post above. Not sure how much that affects the offset.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:14 PM   #16
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Ronn,
Do you have the measurements for where you mounted your rails in the bed? I have a 5.5 ft bed and I'm going to be installing rails soon. I'd like to be able to open the tailgate like what you've done.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:51 PM   #17
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Ronn,
Do you have the measurements for where you mounted your rails in the bed? I have a 5.5 ft bed and I'm going to be installing rails soon. I'd like to be able to open the tailgate like what you've done.
I find it confusing for many (myself included) to use measurements from the cab to the ball? to the kingpin?, etc. So these measurements are for the rail and are from the tailgate. Here goes, note that this is for the "rail mount Andersen Ultimate", this location may not work for other brand hitches.

The center of my rear rail is 23" from the tailgate, this makes the center between the rails 34" from the tailgate. If I were to redo it I would want to have the center between the rails 35" from the tailgate. The reason I would want to be 35" from the tailgate is because at 34" my kingpin is very close to hitting the tailgate (about an inch). This hasn't happened and we have been in many different configurations, but I think an additional inch would be best. Also I have the adapter with the funnel toward the trailer (as is the common practice) and no issues between the kingpin and the F150's box sides.
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Old Yesterday, 07:08 AM   #18
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Hi: Ronn... Close only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades, and bad breath. As I always say "If I can see light" between whatever... I can get through. Alf
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