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Details for Drilling and Installing the Reese Semi Custom Base Rail Kit On a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500

Question:

I have been reading the instructions for installation of this kit on my 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 short bed. #1 it says to drill only one side of the frame. How do I install the bolt through the tube frame if it is only drilled on one side? #2 it says that there is dimensional instability on the placement of the hat sections of the Dodge. But at the same time it says to be sure the bracket is up against the hat. It seems that all the layout dimensions mean nothing if I am instructed to place the bracket as such. Everything would have to key off of that. I am almost brave enough to try this.

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Expert Reply:

The Reese Semi-Custom Base Rail and Installation Kit, item # RP50140-58, is the correct kit for your 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Short Bed Pickup and would not require drilling into the frame.

In the instructions for the # RP30035-186 kit it states that the bolts will need to be pulled through access holes in frame with supplied pull wire. This pull wire also called a fish wire is used to pull bolts through blind holes from a larger access hole elsewhere in the vehicle frame. In this case the access hole is in the bottom of the vehicle frame.

Your second question is harder to address because of how the hat channel is installed in the Dodge trucks. The best way to make sure you get things right is to follow the instructions closely and before drilling down through the truck bed make sure that the holes will not damage anything, or drill through the side of the hat channel. I would use the fifth-wheel hitch itself to help position the rails correctly before drilling. This way you are sure that the hitch will easily install and remove from the rails when needed.

As far as being brave enough to attempt this installation, you have taken the first crucial step. Reading the instructions closely and asking questions is always the best way to avoid unforeseen circumstances during installation. You should have no trouble with the installation if you give yourself the time to complete the installation and do not rush the job.

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