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5th Wheel Hitch Base Rail Recommendation for 1996 Ford F-250

Question:

What installation hardware will work best to install the 16K Patriot hitch in my 96 F250 HD with 6.5foot bed? First rodeo with a 5th wheel, need the whole kit to pull a Heartland 2800RL trailer.

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Expert Reply:

For your 1996 Ford F-250 with 6-1/2 foot bed, I recommend the Reese Universal Base Rails and Installation Kit for 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches # RP30035. These rails are industry standard rails that will work well with the Patriot hitch. I've attached the installation details for you.

Due to your short bed truck, I recommend using the B&W Patriot 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ Slider - Dual Jaw - 18,000 lbs # BWRVK3270 so you will have adequate turning clearance with your trailer. To use the 16K fixed hitch # BWRVK3200, you would need to have a rotating pin box like a Sidewinder for the turning clearance needed.

If you want a slider that automatically moves for clearance, then I recommend the Demco Hijacker Autoslide # DM8550034. This will also fit the base rail kit, but will not require getting in and out of your truck to manually adjust the slide for turning clearance at the gas pump or at your campground.

You may also want to consider adding the wiring harness # 20023 to give you a 7-way connection easily accessible in the bed of your truck.

I've attached some articles to help further. Let me know if you have more questions.

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