B and W Companion OEM 5th Wheel Hitch Installation - 2019 GMC Sierra 3500

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How to Install the B and W Companion OEM 5th Wheel Hitch on a 2019 GMC Sierra 3500

Connor: Connor here today at etrailer.com. Today, we're going to be taking a look at and going over the B&W Companion OEM Trailer Hitch, 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch here for our 2019 GMC Sierra 3500. Here's how our 5th Wheel Hitch is going to look like installed in our truck bed. Now, keep in mind, there are a few different versions of this hitch. We have the slider version as well as the 20K fixed version and the 25K fixed version.These are all three going to be designed for models with the factory prep package. The factory prep package is going to consist of four packs that are pre-installed in the truck bed from the factory, as well as a sinner Gooseneck opening.Now, the factory prep package allows us to have a drop-in installation for our 5th Wheel Hitch, meaning we're not going to have to worry about having any bulky rails in our bed, taking up space and causing a hassle, getting items in and out.

It's going to provide a very seamless factory-installed look.So if you've towed a 5th Wheel trailer before, you're probably familiar with the B&W brand name. They are made right here in the USA, and they are arguably one of the best fifth wheel hitch options on the market. And the reason for this is they're just so overbuilt. Everything is using very fixed steel, everything is powder coated, nice and durable, and they're just very well-made, which I'm sure you'll see once you get your hands on one.So a couple of features unique to the actual B&W Companion here as number one is our jaw design. So it has a dual jaw locking system, and furthermore, each of these jaws are one inch thick.

So this is going to provide an incredible measure of security. It's also going to give us a very tight grip on our kingpin, so we're going to have a smooth and stable ride. We're not going to get a lot of slop causing our trailer to bounce around, bouncing us around in the truck as well. So another big feature of the companion fifth wheel hitch is the handle design.So unlike all other handles that I'm aware of, B&W uses a cam action. Now, what this does is it essentially allows us to uncouple our trailer while we're on unlevel terrain.

If we we're to try to do this with just a standard fifth wheel hitch and a standard latching mechanism, the handle would bind and we wouldn't be able to release the locking for the jaws. But since we have this cam action handle here, we're going to be able to easily release the handle here, freeing the kingpin from the jaws on unlevel terrain.So one of the many other things I like about the B&W companion is the hitch head is removable. So this is definitely going to help us get the hitch out of the truck bed by ourselves because we can remove the hitch and separate it into two pieces with the head and the base. All we have to do to remove the hitch head is simply remove the saddle pins here on the side. There's a clip on the back and then we can use the handle to pull it out.

So this is going to allow for one person to be able to get this hitch in and out of the truck bed by themselves. I did this just fine earlier. I didn't have too many problems. Wasn't that much of a strain on my back in all honesty.So with our B&W hitch head here, it is fully articulating, meaning it can tilt back and forward inside the side as well. And furthermore, we're going to have some adjustments that are sort of specific to the B&W companion.Number one, most of these hitches have this, but it's going to be an adjustable hitch head height. We have three different settings so we can ensure our trailer is being towed level. In addition to the hitch head height adjustment, B&W also allows us to adjust the offset. We have the standard position where the jaws are lined up directly over the rear axle. We also have a position that positions it a little further away from the axle to give us more turning clearance.So in regards to weight capacities, this particular model here is going to have a 25,000 gross trailer weight rating and a 6,250 pound vertical load rating. So in regards to installation, this is definitely going to be something that you guys can do at home by yourself.With the fixed fifth wheel hitch version, it's a lot lighter than the slider version, so we are able to do this by ourselves. But we don't really need any special tools, it's going to be a drop-in installation for the most part. So I definitely encourage you guys to try this one at home by yourselves. Let's go ahead and show you how it's done.The first step of our installation here, we want to get the base for our fifth wheel hitch and set it in the truck bed here. Now we need to come along to the four outside corners. We can see our handles here. We're going to have a latch pin on each of these, we need to go ahead and remove that. In order to remove these latch pins, we're going to pull on the side with the open end and free it from the pin here, and then we can remove it.Now, what we're going to do is we're going to take our handle here, and we're going to pull out away from the hitch to align our pucks and the correct orientation to drop into the holes in our bed. We're going to go ahead and do this on all four sides now.Now we're going to take our base here. We have these two little cutout sides aside. We shouldn't be able to put our hands in so we can lift it up and drop it into position. So once we have the base into position, we want to come around to each of our four sides here. We want to ensure that the bottom part of the fifth wheel hitch base is going to be flushed to the top of the pucks in our truck bed.We want to come to each of the four posts here, see we have our castle nut and our cotter pin. We need to go ahead and remove that cotter pin. So what we're going to do is we're going to take a set of needle-nose pliers. We're going to grip it right here at the bend, we're to try to straighten that out. Once that's done, we should be able to slide the cotter pins out. We need to do this on all four sides.So now that we have the cotter pin out, what we're going to do is we're going to take our handle. We're going to try to turn it towards the hitch here to lock it into position. As you can see here, we're having a rough time doing that. So what we need to do is we need to go ahead and loosen this castle nut here. That should release some tension here, give us a little bit more slack so we can lock the handle in position. So we're going to go ahead and repeat the same process on all four sides.So now that we are able to get all of our latches closed, what we can do now is make some finer adjustments to the tension. So they're pretty loose as they are now. So we need to go ahead and tighten these up, but we don't want to make them where they're too tight and we can't close the latch. It's going to be a little bit in between both.So what we're going to do is we're going to release the latch. We're going to tighten the castle nut here about a quarter, half turn or so, and then we're going to recheck our tension here. So we want to keep doing this or repeating this until we get a nice friction from the latch inside the puck there. So we're just going to go ahead and just keep repeating this really. You're going to be more feel than anything here in order to get the correct amount of tension. There's not going to be really any visual indicators. We just want to keep repeating this process until we get a nice and snug fit.So there we go. Now we can really start to feel it catch a little bit. Once we get about a quarter of the way, but it's nice and smooth. It doesn't feel like it's binding or catching on anything. It's just a nice positive engagement here. So we're going to go ahead and repeat that process on all four sides. So once we get the correct amount of tension, we can go ahead and take our cotter pins, re-insert those back through the hole in the stud there, we may need to slightly adjust the castle nut in order to get the hole lined up with the cutouts and the nut and slide that back in there. We're going to take our needle-nose pliers, we're going to bend it a little bit to lock it in place. And then finally, we're going to take our latching pins here and re-insert that as well. And again, we'll repeat this process on all four sides.Now that we have the hitch base into position, it's time to go ahead and install our pivot arms. Now our pivot arms offer a few adjustments that we can make. The first one is going to be the hitch head height. So if we look on the inside of our base here, you're going to see several sets of holes. And this allows us to align the pivot arms, to get a certain hitch head height. Now there's going to be three adjustments. We have the upper one, the middle one and a lower one, which are each spaced apart by one inch. So it's a good thing to go ahead, and before you install these verify the hitch head height you need to tow your trailer level.So the other adjustment we have here is going to be in regards to offset, meaning the location of the coupler, the center of our jaws to the rear axle here. So if we take a look on the inside of our pivot arms here, we're going to see one that's labeled A, one is labeled B. Now, depending on which side we install the A on and which side we install the B on, that's going to make up our offset. So one of the positions is going to do align the center of the jaws directly over the rear axle, whereas the other position will align the jaws so it sits two inches behind the rear axle.Once we've determined the correct offset and height adjustments that we're going to need for our trailer, we can go ahead and begin installing the pivot arms. We're going to come on the inside of our hitch base here, line it up with the holes. And then we can take our half inch bolts here with our half inch lock washer and go ahead and slide the bolt through both the pivot arm and the hitch base.Now we're going to come on the other side here with our spacer blocks. So keep in mind, there's going to be five holes here on our block, there's also five adjustment holes here inside our hitch base. So we need to make sure we're aligning the block here that each of the holes line up. Since we're using the middle setting here, we're going to have a hole here and then a hole here. So let's go ahead and sneak that in now and try to line it up with the bolts we just installed.Now that we have this side in, we can go ahead and repeat this process for our other spacer block, and then we'll just replicate the same hitch head height on the other side of our hitch base. Now we're going to take a three quarter inch socket here, we're going to go ahead and snug up all of our fasteners here before we torque it down to the final specification in our manual.So the next thing we need to do is go ahead and assemble our leveling kit. This is composed of pretty much three main components. We have our spring here. We have our bracket and then we have our nut and bolt. So we're going to go ahead and take our spring here, making sure that the end with the outward face here, you can see this other one is sort of curled, this one points out, we're going to make sure that's facing us. And then we're going to take our bracket here with the tab and align it with a hole there. Then we're just going to insert our bolt here with our nylock nut. We'll use an 11 millimeter wrench and socket to tighten this down. We want it to be snug, but we don't want it to be too tight where we can't pivot the bracket.So we'll take our leveling kit here. It's going to install on the pivot arm on the driver's side, on the flange, closest to the cab. But there is a certain position we need to put this in. We're going to mock it up now, but we need about a half inch between the pivot bushing, the bottom of the pivot bushing and the top of our spring. Let's go ahead and measure that now so we can get it in the correct position.Once we get it, where we think we need it, we can go ahead and hammer this on, just like that. We're going to take some lithium grease. This doesn't come with a kit, so if you don't have any, you'll need to run in town and get some, and we're going to apply that to the top of the bushings on our pivot arms. This is going to help when we're getting the hitch head on and off, it's also going to preserve our bushings and cut down on noise.Now we're going to get out our hitch head here, we're going to go ahead and install our latching handle. In order to install this, if you can see, we already have it installed, but it's super simple to do this. We'll simply undo the clip here and we're going to pivot it outward. Then we can take our handle, we can slide it into the groove here of this casting. There's going to be three holes. We're going to be using the rear two, and they're going to come with an Allen head screw and a nut that'll be used to secure the two.We're going to need a 7/30 seconds Allen key and a 14 millimeter wrench in order to tighten those bolts up. But that's pretty much it. We can go ahead and lock the handle back into position. Now we're going to go ahead and set the hitch head up onto the base. Before we do that, we need to come here to the saddle pins on the back, remove the cotter pin and slide these out on both sides.So now we'll pick our hitch head up by the handles on the side here, we'll go ahead and align it with the bushings on the pivot arms and set it in the place. We should hear them click when it's latched properly. Now we can go ahead and then reinsert our saddle pins here.So the final step here is we can actually adjust the preset tilt of our head using the leveling mechanism that we installed earlier. So we can't really show you this because the bracket is going to be sort of be tucked under this hitch head here, but essentially we can go ahead and make our adjustments here, come underneath here, and then apply tension to that bracket so it pins the spring against our hitch head. And that'll give us the desired preset tilt we need.And that's going to do it today for our look and installation of the B&W Companion OEM Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch here for our 2019 GMC Sierra 3500.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Info for these parts were:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Conner L
Test Fit:
Conner L

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