B and W Companion OEM 5th Wheel Hitch Installation - 2018 Ram 3500

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How to Install the B and W Companion OEM 5th Wheel Hitch on a 2018 Ram 3500

Today on this 2018 RAM 3500, we're going to be taking a look at the B&W companion OEM fifth wheel hitch for RAM towing prep package. This is what our B&W companion fifth wheel hitch looks like when it's in the back of our truck. This is designed to work with our factory or OEM prep package. This hitch is going to allow us to easily hook up and disconnect from our fifth wheel trailer.One thing I really like about the B&W companion fifth wheel hitch is the construction of it. B&W goes out of their way to make sure that it's very sturdy. It's going to be steel construction with a very wide base on it.

Our feet are going to lock directly into our OEM prep package and can be easily adjusted if necessary. The head unit on our B&W here, you can see it's a very wide base, very solid construction. Again B&W went out of their way on this. If you notice how wide it is, this is going to help us hook up to our fifth wheel fairly easy. You notice we have a very large opening.

So we can kind of articulate or move our truck in a different direction if we're kind of off center a little bit. It's going to help us get onto that fifth wheel kingpin very easily.Our head is going to lock it in place in two different places, one on each side. We're going to have two handles. This is going to help lock our head down on to our polyurethane bushings or A frame brackets on each side. And then we're going to have a pin on each side.

That's going to help keep it in place too.Another thing that I really like about this hitch is how easily accessible to handle this and how easy it is to move. Unlike some of the other hitches out there, where you have to reach in the back of the truck to get a hold of it. You simply pull this pin out and you can move this with one finger. Top of the handle, we're going to move in here. Let's talk about the jaw.

These are going to be a dual jaw set up. It's going to be two pieces of one inch thick steel. And what's nice about this is when we hook our kingpin up or we bring our kingpin in, that dual jaw is going to give us 360 degrees of contact all the way around that kingpin. And how this separates from others is how tight that fits around that kingpin. There's not going to be a lot of moving or jarring inside of there when we have our kingpin inside those jaws.Now again this is a piece of plastic. You can see it's kind of wore out. And you can see, even with this plastic that's wore out, we don't have a whole lot of movement inside there and when those jaws are closed. So we're going to have a nice tight fit. Couple of other features that I want to point out that are going to set the B&W apart from other hitches out there. You notice this very large bolt that runs through the center. You'll notice this shock here. This allows the head to not only articulate forwards and backwards, but side to side. Some of the other ones that will articulate that way are kind of loose. So they bing around a lot. With this shock in place, this allows the head to be very stiff or very sturdy when it's moving. This is going to allow you to hook up and disconnect even if you're on unlevel ground. Also when you're traveling, say like going over railroad tracks or something like that. It's going to allow that head to move around freely to get over those obstacles.Another great thing about this hitch is we can completely remove it to give us total bed access. As far as our weight capacities go, we're going to have a 25,000 pound gross trailer weight and a 6,250 pound vertical load limit, which is straight up and down. Now you never want to exceed your trucks total carrying capacity.To get our hitch installed, we're going to start with the base. It's good idea to have an extra set of hands to help you because it is kind of heavy. We're going to set it right over the top of our factory puck system. When you set your base in place, you just want to make sure it's facing the right direction. The companion fifth wheel symbol here or sticker is going to face the back of the vehicle. The orange sticker is going to face the cab.Next thing you need to do is make sure that you can turn your handle and lock it into place like this. Once it's down inside the puck system. If you cannot turn it with ease like this, you don't want to band on it, you don't want to hit it. You don't want to have to force it in. If you can do this, you're set up. Just make sure each one is inserted inside the puck and lock it into place. If not, if you cannot close that, what you need to do is you need to loosen these two bolts here. Take the cotter pin out of this top nut, loosen this nut until you can turn this handle freely. Once you can turn this handle freely, tighten these two bolts and then just hand tighten that down enough to where you can get that cotter pin in. Once you get that, you'll have a locking pin for each leg.Once we get our handles locked in place or once we get our feet adjusted where we're able to lock our base in place. We're going to install our A frame brackets for our head. Before you install these, you need to determine how you want it set up. Do you want it set up so that the head is a little bit behind the axle, in front of the axle or over the axle That's going to depend on where you place these. You notice these holes here. This is going to allow you to adjust it either forward, backwards, or up or down.We had two bolts here, we're going to have two here. Your bolts are just hex bolts with a lock washer. You're going to have a bracket. And if you'll notice, on the inside it's going to have a . it's threaded all the way through on one side, the other side it's not. This side you want to face towards the bolt. When we thread it, it's going to thread in like this. We're going to feed our bolt through from the inside. We're going to take this bracket, we're going to go down through. And we're just going to thread it onto our bolt or thread our bolts onto it.Now if it's hard for you to get your hand inside of that hole. Once you get your feet adjusted to where they lock into place, you can always lift this side up and do it from the bottom. Once you determine where you want them. We'll take a 3/4 inch socket. Then we're going to tighten and torque them to the specification in the instructions. You're just going to repeat that same thing for the other side.Then you want to install this spring. What this is going to do, this is going to keep the head from banging up against this framing when we're not using it. You're going to install this little bracket onto the spring. You're going to have a lock nut and a bolt that comes with it. On the spring one end has a hook on it. You want that hook to go over the top of this inside piece of this bracket. Tighten that down all the way. You want to make sure it doesn't move. And you're going to hammer this on to the driver's side part of this bracket that is facing the cab.A nice thing about our A frame brackets, is we're going to have polyurethane bushings that our head is going to sit on. This is going to allow our head to move in four different directions. And these are going to hold up in all weather conditions. We don't have to worry about them cracking or breaking apart over time.To install our head, you want to make sure that you have the pin and clips hanging loose like that. Then we're going to take and we're just going to set it in place right on top of our bushing. That's what is going to lock it or help lock it into place. Once we have it down, take your pin and slide it through and install your clip. You're going to have one of those on each side. Then you're going to install your handle.To install your handle, you're going to have three holes in it. You want to install it into the two inside holes. You're going to have two Allen bolts and flange nuts. Once you get those installed, close your handle and you have a lock pin. That'll do it for a look at the B&W companion OEM fifth wheel hitch for RAM towing prep package on our 2018 RAM 3500.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Del H.

Sorry for the confusion. My new truck is not OEM so this hitch will not work. How about comments on a non OEM hitch. Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If you have a 2018 Ram 3500 that has a long bed (like in this video) then I would go with the B&W Gooseneck Hitch # BWGNRK1314-5W and the Companion # BWRVK3500-5W because it allows you to not only pull gooseneck and 5th wheel hitches, but it keeps your truck bed nice and clear when you aren't towing anything.

Reply from Del H.

@JonG This is crazy, I don't know where this info came from. The new truck is a 2020 Ram 2500 diesel long bed.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@DelH I started off talking about the 2018 Ram 3500 because that is the vehicle featured in the video that you commented on. Since you have a 2020 Ram 2500 long bed I am linking our selection here for you to filter through.

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Michael B
Video by:
Michael B
Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Colin H
Test Fit:
Colin H
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H

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