Need an Anderson 5th wheel Rail mount in Colorado - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-22-2020, 05:56 AM   #1
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Need an Anderson 5th wheel Rail mount in Colorado

Hey Guys:

I am looking for a recommendation.

I need to have an Anderson 5th wheel rail mount installed on my Toyota Tundra truckbed. I also need Firestone airbags installed at the same time.

I am scheduled to have TradeMasters do it in May in Chilliwack. However there is no guarantee the border will be open. There is a good chance the 5.0TA will be delivered to Sumas.

So I need to look into having this work done here in Colorado before I leave.

Does anyone know of a reputable place to have this work done in the Front Range? Preferably in the Denver/Boulder area.

Thank you.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:27 AM   #2
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Installing bed rails is pretty straightforward and just about any place that installs hitches and rails can usually handle that easily, there are specific rail kits for each truck that come with appropriate mounting brackets so it's not hard.

You may find that a particular hitch shop does not carry the Andersen hitch. If so, and they either can't get it or are unwilling to order one, before getting your rails installed you'll just need to order the Andersen separately to give to them when they install the rails. With any rail mounted hitch, they need to have the hitch when they install the rails so they can make sure the rails line up exactly with the hitch as they are installing them. There are numerous places online you can order an Andersen hitch if it comes to that.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:36 AM   #3
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UncleTim. Same truck and same situation here. Pick up 7 May and was supposed to have Trademaster install rail hitch 6 May. Nobody here locally will install Andersen rail mount hitch. They will install, however, B&W gooseneck and so I’m going that route and will purchase Andersen gooseneck version from Amazon. Was hoping ETI would install pin box coupler but perhaps they will in Sumas?
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:59 AM   #4
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I have to look into this a little more. We may have to call Anderson and see if they can help us.

I am going to try very hard to keep my current configuration and hopefully have TradeMasters do it. Damn the torpedos (as long as it's open and not stupid).

I want to drop it off without meeting anyone, skate around until they are done and then pick it up and wait at Sumas.

Not sure this is going to work. Looking into insurance for ETI's holding lot this week.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:45 AM   #5
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Looking into insurance for ETI's holding lot this week.
I hadn’t thought about that. I had to have insurance in effect to register with state. Figured that would cover anything. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:18 AM   #6
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The insurance also has to extend into Canada. Another very important thing to consider.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:58 AM   #7
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Uncle Tom, I have had 5th wheels for years. I also use my truck for other things. The rails are a PITA to deal with in the bed of the truck when not pulling the Escape. The B&W turnover ball initially costs more but I love not having rocks, dirt and other stuff caught under my rails. Consider the turnover ball ... you will be glad you did. Bill
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CoolCampingKid View Post
Uncle Tom, I have had 5th wheels for years. I also use my truck for other things. The rails are a PITA to deal with in the bed of the truck when not pulling the Escape. The B&W turnover ball initially costs more but I love not having rocks, dirt and other stuff caught under my rails. Consider the turnover ball ... you will be glad you did. Bill
I think the benefit of having the turnover ball depends upon the what else the user does with his truck bed.

For us, the rails are of little significance and somewhat inconvenient should we have something to haul (stepping over them). We haven't hauled gravel and such, but if we did I'd likely put something down over the rails. Again, for us that would likely be a rare event.

The benefit for us of the rail version of the Anderson hitch is the smaller footprint. The Anderson rail version takes up less of the trucks bed, so we have more room in the truck bed with it.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CoolCampingKid View Post
Uncle Tom, I have had 5th wheels for years. I also use my truck for other things. The rails are a PITA to deal with in the bed of the truck when not pulling the Escape. The B&W turnover ball initially costs more but I love not having rocks, dirt and other stuff caught under my rails. Consider the turnover ball ... you will be glad you did. Bill



The rails don't bother me much, when I get a load of dirt or stone, which I do a few times a year it seems, I cover the bed with a tarp. That's really the only time they are a bit of an annoyance. Up to you if it's worth an extra $400 or so. I do use a rubber bed mat.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:13 PM   #10
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I have a 12 x 8 trailer for my whitewater boats. The neighborhood routinely uses it for sand and gravel. So my street princess of a truck will never pull anything but this fifth wheel.

I do sleep in the back of the truck from time to time, particularly when there is no flat surface for a tent. But that should be okay.

I am not all that concerned about the money. I certainly do not know one setup from the other. The guys at TradeMasters said they would do it like I am scheduled to (no gooseneck). So that's all I know.

I just want to do this right. No skimping.

Fill me in please.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
With any rail mounted hitch, they need to have the hitch when they install the rails so they can make sure the rails line up exactly with the hitch as they are installing them.
There's something wrong with the hitch or the installation of the rails if that is true. The reason that they are called (by some manufacturers) "industry standard rails" is that they have standard dimensions, including the spacing between the rails. If the standard doesn't work, how could a user ever change hitches?
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
There's something wrong with the hitch or the installation of the rails if that is true. The reason that they are called (by some manufacturers) "industry standard rails" is that they have standard dimensions, including the spacing between the rails. If the standard doesn't work, how could a user ever change hitches?
It just makes it much easier to install the rails when they can have the hitch - any hitch - sitting in them to get them perfectly aligned. The installation instructions for most rail kits generally include having the hitch sitting in the rails as they are being aligned and fixed in place. Certainly it is possible to install rails without having the hitch - it is just much easier to have them perfectly positioned when the hitch is sitting in them.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
It just makes it much easier to install the rails when they can have the hitch - any hitch - sitting in them to get them perfectly aligned. The installation instructions for most rail kits generally include having the hitch sitting in the rails as they are being aligned and fixed in place. Certainly it is possible to install rails without having the hitch - it is just much easier to have them perfectly positioned when the hitch is sitting in them.
That makes sense. If a shop wants to use a hitch frame as an alignment fixture, they might as well use the customer's hitch if they have it... but if they don't, any random rail-mount hitch frame will work.

If I worked in a hitch shop, I think I would have a light and simple frame with the four tabs for this purpose, rather than hauling hitches in and out of customer's trucks, but other people can do things they way they want.

I just wouldn't want anyone to worry about being unable to install rails just because the hitch was not yet available, or not available at the hitch installation shop.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:38 PM   #14
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The rails are exactly 22" on center apart, easy enough to make a light weight spacer, however the B&W install instructions say to use the base of the hitch as Dave mentioned after installing the back rail to spec.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:41 PM   #15
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The rails are exactly 22" on center apart, easy enough to make a light weight spacer, however the B&W install instructions say to use the base of the hitch as Dave mentioned after installing the back rail to spec.
Yep... if I were selling hitches, I would want installers to place the rails to accommodate any imperfection in my hitch's tab spacing by placing the rails to suit my hitch, keeping the customer happy. If the customer later switches to a different hitch, they will blame the new hitch for any mismatch, even if the problem was the first hitch.

Meanwhile, the factory-installed pad-mount hitch base systems in heavy pickups are all produced and installed with no hitch in sight, and the hitch to be used (if any) unknown. As with any other equipment, any hitch purchased later to use with the truck is expected to work with the defined pad spacing.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
Hey Guys:

I am looking for a recommendation.

I need to have an Anderson 5th wheel rail mount installed on my Toyota Tundra truckbed. I also need Firestone airbags installed at the same time.

I am scheduled to have TradeMasters do it in May in Chilliwack. However there is no guarantee the border will be open. There is a good chance the 5.0TA will be delivered to Sumas.

So I need to look into having this work done here in Colorado before I leave.

Does anyone know of a reputable place to have this work done in the Front Range? Preferably in the Denver/Boulder area.

Thank you.
I bought the custom fit kit for my Tundra from E Trailer along with the rails. It was so easy I did it myself so any rv place worth their salt or even a good mechanic should be able to do it no problem. Mine took me prob 4 hours to install and I had never done one before. I worked alone except for holding the bolts down in the bed...my wife was able to do that. The only PITA was the usual turning wrenches by brail one/sixteenth of a turn at a time!
BTW I did not need any air bags with my truck.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
I bought the custom fit kit for my Tundra from E Trailer along with the rails. It was so easy I did it myself so any rv place worth their salt or even a good mechanic should be able to do it no problem. Mine took me prob 4 hours to install and I had never done one before. I worked alone except for holding the bolts down in the bed...my wife was able to do that. The only PITA was the usual turning wrenches by brail one/sixteenth of a turn at a time!
BTW I did not need any air bags with my truck.

That sounds exactly like me installing mine on the F150, 1/16th turn at a time, if that.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:12 AM   #18
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This is not a job I am willing to take on. I know absolutely nothing about 5th wheel systems. I do not like getting my hands dirty.

I am mechanically minded.

I am willing to pay someone to do it. Besides I don't really know which one to buy. I have a short bed and I think that presents problems.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:23 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
This is not a job I am willing to take on. I know absolutely nothing about 5th wheel systems. I do not like getting my hands dirty.

I am mechanically minded.

I am willing to pay someone to do it. Besides I don't really know which one to buy. I have a short bed and I think that presents problems.
Don't know your year Tundra but you said short bed...Etrailer has a bunch of custom fit kits that you could buy and have someone install. https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=..._Kit-sf-Custom
Give them a call they are quite good, they might even have a list of installers. Or go to Uhaul and get them to do it.
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Don't know your year Tundra but you said short bed...Etrailer has a bunch of custom fit kits that you could buy and have someone install. https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=..._Kit-sf-Custom
Give them a call they are quite good, they might even have a list of installers. Or go to Uhaul and get them to do it.
Okay I will call them. Thanks for that suggestion.

My Tundra is a 2018, Limited, Crew Cab.

I am starting to get into all the other truck owners checking my rig out. Did not know they did that. Yes I notice theirs too now.
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