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Old 06-02-2020, 04:35 PM   #1
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Need Denver? area Andersen hitch installation

We are going to pick up our 5.0 in Denver and we need a place that will install an Andersen rail version hitch in our Ford F150 5.5 bed.

We've contacted Hitch Corner in Denver/Littleton as recommended on another post... but Geo said it couldn't be done, bed was too short and would need a sidewinder king pin box on trailer.
I called Dave at Escape and he said they had 3 trucks that were Ford F150 5.5 and they all had that Andersen rails hitch and I didn't need the sidewinder.

So has anyone else had an Andersen hitch installed near Denver? We thought it best to install hitch near pick up area in case there were any issues. Or do you think differently? We are driving up from Georgia.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2Go View Post
We are going to pick up our 5.0 in Denver and we need a place that will install an Andersen rail version hitch in our Ford F150 5.5 bed.

We've contacted Hitch Corner in Denver/Littleton as recommended on another post... but Geo said it couldn't be done, bed was too short and would need a sidewinder king pin box on trailer.
I called Dave at Escape and he said they had 3 trucks that were Ford F150 5.5 and they all had that Andersen rails hitch and I didn't need the sidewinder.

So has anyone else had an Andersen hitch installed near Denver? We thought it best to install hitch near pick up area in case there were any issues. Or do you think differently? We are driving up from Georgia.

Thanks for your help!
The hitch itself is very easy to install - it's either the rails in the bed that require some expertise. You should be able to get the rails installed locally ahead of time, they have standard installation kits for each specific model of truck and the size and position of the rails is standard for every hitch. If your hitch installer does not carry the Andersen Ultimate hitch, you can easily order it online - it is helpful to the installer to have the hitch on hand when installing the rails to get a precise fit. The hitch itself is lightweight and easily installed and removed by you with just a few locking pins - that's one of the good features of it.

The Andersen kingpin adapter will need to be installed on your trailer when you pick it up - again, not a big deal if you have read the instructions and are familiar with it, just a couple of bolts to torque down.

Many hitch shops are not familiar with the Escape 5.0TA and when they hear "fifth wheel" assume it is the much larger format that virtually all other fifth wheels are, which require a longer truck bed. The Escape was specifically designed to be compatible with a short bed truck so you will have no worries there. Unless you can find an installer in Denver already familiar with the Andersen hitch who can do it all for you there, I'd recommend getting it installed locally before you make the trip.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:21 PM   #3
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I have never had the need to use them, but Transwest sells trailers of all types.

Might be worth a call.

https://www.transwest.com
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2Go View Post
We are going to pick up our 5.0 in Denver and we need a place that will install an Andersen rail version hitch in our Ford F150 5.5 bed.

We've contacted Hitch Corner in Denver/Littleton as recommended on another post... but Geo said it couldn't be done, bed was too short and would need a sidewinder king pin box on trailer.
I called Dave at Escape and he said they had 3 trucks that were Ford F150 5.5 and they all had that Andersen rails hitch and I didn't need the sidewinder.

So has anyone else had an Andersen hitch installed near Denver? We thought it best to install hitch near pick up area in case there were any issues. Or do you think differently? We are driving up from Georgia.

Thanks for your help!
This is the same thing that I ran into. Hitch Corner would not install the rail system on my Tundra either. I had to go to the gooseneck kit, which I like very much. Hitch Corner installed that for me and I am very happy. The whole hitch comes out completely and it is easy.

I think the rail system requires specialized knowledge and history putting it together. Geo wanted no part of it. I got the idea to go with the kit from TradeMasters. They gave me a shopping list too. Can't say enough great things about TradeMasters. I don't think the border will open any time soon but if it does, just go there. I realize that is not an option for you.

I think Hitch Corner is as good as we have in Denver, but this rail problem being a not standard solution is still problematic. I published the exact kit and product numbers including the B&W offset. So there are solutions available to you. I am in Boulder (35 minutes away), you are welcome to come up and inspect my rig if that would be helpful.

Geo knows me and my truck, so maybe I can be helpful in some way.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:24 AM   #5
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I think the rail system requires specialized knowledge and history putting it together. Geo wanted no part of it. I got the idea to go with the kit from TradeMasters. They gave me a shopping list too. Can't say enough great things about TradeMasters. I don't think the border will open any time soon but if it does, just go there. I realize that is not an option for you.

I think Hitch Corner is as good as we have in Denver, but this rail problem being a not standard solution is still problematic.
The rail kit does NOT require specialized knowledge. They are standard rails that are mounted in the standard position. Once mounted you can install a Andersen, Reese, B&W, or any other "standard" 5th wheel hitch. Any rail/hitch installer can install the rails, unless they have an attitude.

When we purchased our new 2019 F150 we kept the Andersen hitch that was installed in our 2015 F150. I merely took the hitch to Truckin America in Rochester and they installed the rails. Eazy Peazy!

For a 5th wheel hitch installer, this is as easy as any other 5th wheel hitch rails they install.

We also installed the 7 pin plug over the wheel well, out of the way of any gear you put in your bed. I plug it in after hooking up the emergency brake, so I'm in that position anyway.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:30 AM   #6
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Hi Perry,


I don't understand why rails seem to be problematic. Why do so many installers shy away from installing them?

Some installers I talked to would not even attempt it.

Obviously TradeMasters do not have any problem with them.

I wonder if the gooseneck kit isn't better anyway? That is as question, I do not know the answer. I like the gooseneck.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:03 AM   #7
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Hi Perry,

I don't understand why rails seem to be problematic. Why do so many installers shy away from installing them?

Some installers I talked to would not even attempt it.

Obviously TradeMasters do not have any problem with them.

I wonder if the gooseneck kit isn't better anyway? That is as question, I do not know the answer. I like the gooseneck.
If you only go to gooseneck installers/utility/horse trailer dealers that's all they want to install. They're not problematic to any installer I know. Look at what's installed on trucks in the campgrounds. You'll see enough rails to answer that question.

As far, as "better"? Neither is better. The gooseneck version takes up too much space for us and we would not be able to load a trike in the back bed.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:50 PM   #8
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David explained why some shops will not install any kind of hitch in a "short" (whatever that means to them today) box pickup truck.

For many light-duty ("half ton") trucks there is another issue: there are no mounting bracket sets which specifically designed for that model of truck, so "universal fit" bracket kits are used. This raises two problems for the installer:
  1. they need to understand what they are doing and work out the details of positioning the brackets, and
  2. they usually need to drill holes in the truck frame.
There is even a combination of these two issues which may come up: the Andersen Ultimate frame has an offset which allows the ball to be placed behind the centre of the mounting rails or bed-mounted ball, but most fifth-wheel hitches don't have that; if a rearward offset is required for clearance, then unless a sliding hitch is used the only fix is to install the hitch further back than usual, leading to model-specific brackets not working and custom installation work being required.

Typically a standard (centred over the axle or slightly ahead) rail or bed-mounted ball ("gooseneck") position works, with even a 5.5' box, if the Andersen Ultimate is used with the Ultimate frame set to offset the ball rearward.
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the posts and explanations. Really makes me want to find a shop that has done this before. I guess I'll try to check with Andersen to see if they can refer me to a hitch company somewhere near us.
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
David explained why some shops will not install any kind of hitch in a "short" (whatever that means to them today) box pickup truck.

For many light-duty ("half ton") trucks there is another issue: there are no mounting bracket sets which specifically designed for that model of truck, so "universal fit" bracket kits are used. This raises two problems for the installer:
  1. they need to understand what they are doing and work out the details of positioning the brackets, and
  2. they usually need to drill holes in the truck frame.
There is even a combination of these two issues which may come up: the Andersen Ultimate frame has an offset which allows the ball to be placed behind the centre of the mounting rails or bed-mounted ball, but most fifth-wheel hitches don't have that; if a rearward offset is required for clearance, then unless a sliding hitch is used the only fix is to install the hitch further back than usual, leading to model-specific brackets not working and custom installation work being required.

Typically a standard (centred over the axle or slightly ahead) rail or bed-mounted ball ("gooseneck") position works, with even a 5.5' box, if the Andersen Ultimate is used with the Ultimate frame set to offset the ball rearward.

This matches my understanding as well. Nice explanation Brian. Thank you. I know I have said it already, but the gooseneck is cool!

I don't think I have been quite 90° yet, but when I was learning how to backup pivoting off a king pin, I got pretty close. So far, so good.

I wanted rails, but no one would put them in.
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
This matches my understanding as well. Nice explanation Brian. Thank you. I know I have said it already, but the gooseneck is cool!

I wanted rails, but no one would put them in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2Go View Post
Thanks for all the posts and explanations. Really makes me want to find a shop that has done this before. I guess I'll try to check with Andersen to see if they can refer me to a hitch company somewhere near us.
I'm really wondering why you can't find an installer. ALL three Ford dealerships I got quotes from were more than happy to sell and install rails for my existing Andersen hitch. I had three other hitch installers willing to put rails in our 2015 and 2019 F150. I just Googled 5th wheel hitch installers and found three in Rocherster, MN, one in Winona, MN and two in LaCrosse, WI, all within 50 miles of where we live.

On our 2015 I ended up installing the rails. It was too hard for this old body to crawl under the truck and contort my body and arms need for the install. So, I chose Truckin America for our 2019 because of their reputation. Otherwise I would have had Ford do the install.

It's not hard to find an installer.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:14 PM   #12
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Continuing Saga... striking out with 4 near me... 2 didn't carry Andersen... and 1 said the Andersen Ultimate Rail version was out of stock. Charging $600 if I brought one in for the rail kit and installation, I buy Andersen Ultimate Rail version. Is that an okay price?
Called a nearby Camping World... they had 1 of the Andersen gooseneck type... but didn't think rail type would work. I want to go to someone that thinks it will work!
So I tried to call Andersen to see if I could get a hitch... number on website disconnected.
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Want2Go View Post
Continuing Saga... striking out with 4 near me... 2 didn't carry Andersen... and 1 said the Andersen Ultimate Rail version was out of stock. Charging $600 if I brought one in for the rail kit and installation, I buy Andersen Ultimate Rail version. Is that an okay price?
Called a nearby Camping World... they had 1 of the Andersen gooseneck type... but didn't think rail type would work. I want to go to someone that thinks it will work!
So I tried to call Andersen to see if I could get a hitch... number on website disconnected.
I didn't ask any of the installers to sell me an Andersen hitch, because I knew they would try to talk me out of the Andersen to sell what they have in stock. All were happy to install the rails. Depending on your brand truck the rails should go in the same place behind your tailgate whether a 5 1/2', 6 1/2' or 8' box. The box extends in front of the rear axle, not in back.

It's not uncommon for the consumer to have purchased the hitch from somewhere else or bring in their used hitch. I purchased our hitch from eTrailer.

My Ford dealer wanted around $600 for the rails and install. I believe Truckin America and another dealer were $470-500. I installed the rails in our previous 2015 F150 and know the install is labor intensive. I don't bend the way I used to.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:10 AM   #14
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GREAT news!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
I didn't ask any of the installers to sell me an Andersen hitch, because I knew they would try to talk me out of the Andersen to sell what they have in stock. All were happy to install the rails. Depending on your brand truck the rails should go in the same place behind your tailgate whether a 5 1/2', 6 1/2' or 8' box. The box extends in front of the rear axle, not in back.

It's not uncommon for the consumer to have purchased the hitch from somewhere else or bring in their used hitch. I purchased our hitch from eTrailer.

My Ford dealer wanted around $600 for the rails and install. I believe Truckin America and another dealer were $470-500. I installed the rails in our previous 2015 F150 and know the install is labor intensive. I don't bend the way I used to.

Enjoy,

Perry
Thanks for your reply!

We went in to the Camping World that I had called... for some other supplies. Saw they had the Andersen rail version! Evidently I miss understood service man or he learned more about it! ha! But said this is the one for our truck!

Got home and had Camping World magazine with coupon for install of hitches at $179 and coupon for 10% off anything over $75... hitches were not excluded! Called and they will honor those before the end of the month! Saving me $350!!! So... rails, hitch and installation will be around $1050.

Sooooo happy to get this settled. Install is next week. Hope calculations don't change when I get there... unless they want to go lower! ha!

Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:21 AM   #15
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oops... 2 more questions

Sorry... got 2 more questions.

1. Do I need to purchase safety chains too?
https://andersenhitches.com/Products...tabs-only.aspx

2. What about trailer brakes? Newbie... sorry. Guess the 2020 5.0 comes with a plug in that controls the breaks. Guess I need to make sure our 2019 f150 has a plug in for it. hmmm... i don't think I've seen that on the truck. Who do I get to install that?

Sorry to be so uneducated. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge. Feeling somewhat handicapped not to be going to sales office for details.
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2Go View Post
Sorry... got 2 more questions.

1. Do I need to purchase safety chains too?
https://andersenhitches.com/Products...tabs-only.aspx
Not sure if you "need" or not (I guess it depends upon the state you are towing in). I bought the Andersen, very heavy duty, I am not sure there is a "legal" lighter duty cable / chain, but if I were doing it again I'd look into that. Can't say I don't like them, but lighter would be easier.

2. What about trailer brakes? Newbie... sorry. Guess the 2020 5.0 comes with a plug in that controls the breaks. Guess I need to make sure our 2019 f150 has a plug in for it. hmmm... i don't think I've seen that on the truck. Who do I get to install that? Your electric trailer brakes are controlled by your 7 pin connection and the trailers break away switch is operated by the trailer battery. No extra plug in needed for these.
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:27 PM   #17
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Sorry... got 2 more questions.

2. What about trailer brakes? Newbie... sorry. Guess the 2020 5.0 comes with a plug in that controls the breaks. Guess I need to make sure our 2019 f150 has a plug in for it. hmmm... i don't think I've seen that on the truck. Who do I get to install that?

Sorry to be so uneducated. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge. Feeling somewhat handicapped not to be going to sales office for details.
The trailer plugs into the 7-way plug on your truck for the brakes, running lights and taillights. The plug is typically on the bumper so as Perry mentioned in his post, it is much easier to have an 7-way outlet in the bed. The best place for that is above and toward the rear of the wheel well. If it is down close to the floor of the bed there is a risk that any gear you are carrying could interfere with the connection. E-trailer carries extension kits. One example here.

https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-...893-11932.html

The folks installing your rails / hitch should be able to install the extension. They might even have some in stock.
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Old 06-13-2020, 08:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Want2Go View Post
We are going to pick up our 5.0 in Denver and we need a place that will install an Andersen rail version hitch in our Ford F150 5.5 bed.

We've contacted Hitch Corner in Denver/Littleton as recommended on another post... but Geo said it couldn't be done, bed was too short and would need a sidewinder king pin box on trailer.
I called Dave at Escape and he said they had 3 trucks that were Ford F150 5.5 and they all had that Andersen rails hitch and I didn't need the sidewinder.

So has anyone else had an Andersen hitch installed near Denver? We thought it best to install hitch near pick up area in case there were any issues. Or do you think differently? We are driving up from Georgia.

Thanks for your help!

Would you update this thread when you can, and tell us what you ended up doing?


Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:20 AM   #19
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Would you update this thread when you can, and tell us what you ended up doing?


Thanks.
Yes. I thought i posted above.

We are getting Andersen rails hitch. To all be purchased and installed by local camping world this Friday. Got excellent coupons to apply from camping world magazine.

Thanks to everyone for your help! Awesome people on this forum.
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:45 PM   #20
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Would you update this thread when you can, and tell us what you ended up doing?
Hold the phone...
trying to get rail mount installed today. Camping World shop is concerned.

The pdf Karl sent me that included this info:
"Trailer to Cab Contact
Particularly on short bed trucks, customers must be aware of the turning limits of their 5th wheel unit.
Typically turning angle is limited by potential contact between the trailer nose and truck cab, which
depends on the installed location of the hitch.
Escape Trailers will not recommend a minimum box length to tow the Escape 5.0. Customers must
determine their own comfort level with respect to turning angle requirements.


Distance from Cab
to Kingpin Center Approximate Turning Angle*
Inches Degrees
28 51.2
29 53
30 54.9
31 56.8
32 58.8
33 61
34 63.1
35 65.3
36 67.6
41.5 90
* Turning angles are approximate and conservative.
Truck specific geometry can impact these figures."

We have 30" in our Ford F150 5.5 bed... camping world is concerned about the limit of 54.9 degree turn.
All this is greek to me.

our guy is going to call Trademasters in Chilliwack tomorrow (they tried today but man they needed to speak with was not in)

Uncle Tim... unless the offset that Brian describes works for us...
hopefully gooseneck will work.

wow... this is complicated!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
David explained why some shops will not install any kind of hitch in a "short" (whatever that means to them today) box pickup truck.

For many light-duty ("half ton") trucks there is another issue: there are no mounting bracket sets which specifically designed for that model of truck, so "universal fit" bracket kits are used. This raises two problems for the installer:
  1. they need to understand what they are doing and work out the details of positioning the brackets, and
  2. they usually need to drill holes in the truck frame.
There is even a combination of these two issues which may come up: the Andersen Ultimate frame has an offset which allows the ball to be placed behind the centre of the mounting rails or bed-mounted ball, but most fifth-wheel hitches don't have that; if a rearward offset is required for clearance, then unless a sliding hitch is used the only fix is to install the hitch further back than usual, leading to model-specific brackets not working and custom installation work being required.

Typically a standard (centred over the axle or slightly ahead) rail or bed-mounted ball ("gooseneck") position works, with even a 5.5' box, if the Andersen Ultimate is used with the Ultimate frame set to offset the ball rearward.
Brian... I hope your post is the information they are lacking. I've sent them your remarks too.

Thank you all so much for your help!
I'll let you know when this saga ends.
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