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5th Wheel Base Rails to Fit 2015 F-550 Cab and Chassis With Custom-Made Service Body

Question:

I am purchasing a 2015 F-550 chassis cab with an 84inch cab to axle. I am having custom service body made for it that is 11-0foot long. It has 33foot high side boxes that are 18 3/16inch above the bed and there is a 34inch X 60inch tower compartment on each side at the front of the service body, thus giving me approximately 48inch from the back of the tower compartments to the center of the axle. The bed measures 40inch X 132. I figure I am going to need a sliding hitch and would like to use the Husky 26K hitch. There will be a 1/2inch steel plate between the frame and attached to it that the service body will be mounted over. This means that it can be drilled anywhere to mount the bed rails for the fifth wheel hitch. Husky has bed rails but they are 42inch long. What is your recommendation for bed rails to fit this hitch that are 40inch or less. I would also be interested in an air hitch that is a minimum of 22K and will work in this application. I chose the Husky hitch because of its height is adjustable to just over 19.

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Expert Reply:

Your 2015 F-550 cab and chassis with custom service body will be challenging to fit with 5th wheel base rails and a 5th wheel hitch due to the limited clearance you have for both the base rails themselves and for the hitch/pin box at the tops of your side boxes. All 5th wheel install kits are engineered for and tested on the standard OEM configurations for vehicles like your F-550.

If you take a look at the linked diagram you will see the recommended minimum clearances for 5th wheel trailers. The diagram shows the recommended minimum clearances betwen the bumper and trailer (16 - 24-inches); between the tail gate and trailer when turning (4 - 5-inches); and between the top of the side rails (or side boxes) and the trailer's overhang (5 - 6 -inches minimum). It does not seem that your service body will be able to provide the clearances required.

Some service bodies are fabricated with a raised center bed portion, so that there is less height difference between the tops of the side boxes and the bed. If your fabricator has not completed construction you may be able to modify your design to allow for 5th wheel hitch installation using a hitch such as the Reese Low-Profile 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch # RP30054 that is rated for up to 30,000-lb trailers. This hitch installs without need for bed rails.

We do offer air-cushioned pin boxes that are intended as replacements for specific OEM boxes. The linked article will help you determine if your pin box has a compatible 5th Airborne replacement pin box available.

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