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Curt A20 Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch with Slider Installation - 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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How to Install a Curt A20 Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch with Slider on a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500


Rob: Hey everybody, Rob here at etrailer.com. Today we're going to be taking a look at the Curt A20 5th Wheel Hitch with R20 slider on our 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. Now here's what our Curt A20 is going to look like once we have it installed. Now more and more now than ever trucks seem to be getting beds that are smaller and smaller than eight feet, six and 3/4, six and 1/2. That's typically about a standard-sized bed. Now, if you ever towed a 5th wheel, you know that once you start towing with anything less than eight feet, you start to run into issues when you're making slow speed turns, especially where the front of the trailer can get extremely close to the cab, if not make contact.

Well, obviously nobody wants to happen and nobody wants to steer with their trailer or their truck, and that's where a slider comes into play.This is going to allow the hitch to move back a full 12 inches to give us that added clearance so we can make it around the turn and then reposition the hitch back into the towing position. We can simply pull this handle out and you can see it has this little red tab to let you know that it's in the unlocked position. And then the hitch slide back, giving us that additional clearance we need. And then whenever we get through our turn and we're going to go straighten out, we can pull out on the handle again. Again, making sure that we see that red tab sticking out, and now while the hitch to slide back and lock back into the towing position.Now the slider does have a round tube design, which is really going to help out alleviating a lot of those binding problems.

Since it is round, it's going to slide a lot smoother and easier and have less chance of anything binding up compared to like a square tube design. The round tube is going to give it a little bit more contact area and less of a chance of it kicking over and catching a corner. So it can just slide a lot easier and smoother.Now the slider is just the base, the hitch head and the rest of the hitch is going to be a separate component. And here we're using the Curt A20. This is a really nice heavy duty 5th wheel hitch.

The way we can tow a 5th wheel trailer down the road, get to the campsite, take trips, our family, or whatever we want to do. I really like this hitch specifically because of the jaw design. There's a really nice two-piece jaw that wraps all the way around the king pin. You can see the two-piece jaws going to interlock together that way had as full 360 degree contact with the king pin. So there is less chance of that king pin having a lot of slop and play in there, which eventually leads to very bumpy, uncomfortable ride from all that bucking and chucking that we get.I'm going to open up the jaws, you can see just how thick they are too.

It's going to be a nice, big thick piece of steel here. Again, that's going to be a two-piece design, so once we drive up to our king pin, it's going to make contact and the spring loaded jaws will close by themselves. Now the back of the head, something I really like and a lot of people won't think about, they have this color coded indicator here to let you know what state the jaws are in right now. You can see it's yellow. So it's in the couple stage, which means that our jaws are open. There's not a trailer hooked up and it's not connected.This is really nice feature to have because it is right on the back of the head. So when you take a quick glance at our back window and get a visual indication of what's going on with our truck and our trailer without ever having to get out of the truck. If we do need to get out of the truck, obviously again, it's still going to be pretty easy to see, to make sure that our handle isn't stuck halfway in between a position. And again, it's just something to give you that extra peace of mind knowing what's going on. Now, this may seem like a really small thing, but I really like the handle on this hitch. A lot of times the handle is kind of in a weird position, may have to pull outward and turn it weird. And you're going to be right on the side of the bed here.Now I'm a little bit on the shorter side. So I do have to reach up and I don't have a whole lot of leverage because my arms are up. But with the handle here, we just have the barely pull it towards us. And then we just rotate it back. It's hardly any pressure on there to get it to unlock. And it's a very smooth, easy operation. So again, it is kind of a small thing, but I really like the handle. Another feature that I really like is the fact that it has this really wide funnel. So when we go to hookup, it's just going to be a little bit easier. On top of the fact the head does fully articulate, that way if we are on unlevel ground and we're not directly behind our 5th wheel, the head will compensate for that kind of pivot and we get hooked up real easily.Another thing that I think is nice is that it does come with a lube plate, which is going to make it a lot easier. We don't have to worry about so many scratches or binding up when we're hooking up. It's just one less thing we have to worry about. Now, our hitch is going to be adjustable, height-wise we're going to have different height adjustments. You look here, we're going to have several holes and it's going to range anywhere from 17 and 1/2, all the way up to 21 and 1/2 inches. Now, if you are going to be pulling a 5th wheel trailer, obviously you want to make sure everything's secure. Well right here on the handle, they do have a tethered pin, but it can also be replaced with a padlock. So I don't have to worry about anybody tampering with the handle, potentially uncoupling it or anything like that.Now, obviously weight capacity is going to be a big thing when you're talking about 5th wheel hitches. You want to make sure that you can carry the trailer that you have, and then it's going to be able to handle the load. Well, our Curt hitch here is going to be rated at 5,000 pounds of a vertical load limit and 20,000 pounds of gross trailer weight rating. Now, with those numbers in mind, you do want to double-check your Chevy's owner's manual because those are the ratings for our hitch and we do not want to exceed the ratings for our truck. Now, when we are towing, all those features are really nice, but when we need to get our truck bed and use it for something bigger and we need full bed access, 5th wheels can be a little bit cumbersome. But our Curt A20 here, what I like about it is as we come to the front is this really large pin. We removed that we can remove the other really large pin that's going through the center section there.And then the head of the 5th wheel will actually come off and make it a little bit lighter for us to disassemble everything and get access to our bed. You remove the head, pull the pins on the base and then the slider would be just a little bit easier and a little bit lighter on our backs. So overall, the Curt A20 5th wheel hitch with the R20 slider is a really nice sliding hitch for those short bed trucks. But now that we see what it looks like and gone over some of the features, let's show you how we got it assembled and put in the bed of our truck. To begin the installation, we need to assemble our slider. Now I like to assemble it right here at the back of the tailgate, because it will give us plenty of room to work with. And at the same time, we're not going to have to lift it up too much to get it in place.I also like to have them kind of set up the driver's side, rail or slide is going to be the one that has the stickers. That's telling you whether it's the towing position or the maneuvering position. And then the passenger side won't have any stickers on the outer side here. And you're also going to know if it's the front or the back side of it, because the back of it is going to have the part with the bar or the slide all the way to the end. And the front is going to have this really large opening or flat spot towards the front. So you just want to make sure you have it oriented right. crosstalk 00:07:45 assembling everything. You want to grab our handle, it's going to have this large silver rod with a square notch on it. When I come to the driver's side rail, and there's going to be a hole right here on the side, if we slide it all the way forward, right by the maneuvering position.We're going to slide this rod into there and make sure that, that square notch slides in as well, bars should almost slide completely in. You might have a little bit of silver showing right there. Now we're going to have another bar except this one's going to have a green stripe on it, and it's not going to have the handle attached. And we wanted to take this end and we're going to go into the passenger side rail here, but we're going to be starting from the inside, going towards the out. Slide it in there, just like that. You might want to leave yourself a little bit of a gap here just so you can get both rails in place and not have to worry about them interfering. Grab this blue large spring, I'm going to slide that over the silver piece, on the driver's side, then we're going to grab the small bolt with the nylon lock nut on the other side.We're going to hold on to this right now, but what we need to do is actually take our two pieces and we're going to slide them together. You'll notice that the black outer bar has a hole in it. As well as the silver piece, we need to slide the two ends together to where these holes line up, we'll drive our bolt through. I do want to let you know, obviously this spring is here so we're going to have to keep a little bit of tension because you don't want that inner bar to slide out and you don't want this other bar in the passenger side to come out either. So we need to kind of push both ends together and so we can get these holes lined up.Once you do have them lined up again, just to make sure that bolt goes all the way through, we'll take our nylon lock nut, make sure it's nice and secure. We need a 10-millimeter socket and wrench, we're going to tighten that up until that bolt comes through the nylon lock nut. It's nice and snug. We have one more piece we need to put in place, and this is going to be the cross-member weld nut. This is going to just sit right on top of that bar, where we just connected the handle piece. She's kind of got a U shape and we have these two tabs on either end that will line up with some holes. Slide it over the handle. Then we'll take our flat head screws here, we just line up the holes. Just want to get them loosely started by hand, get a couple threads in there. So, you know it's not going to cross thread. Let's work our way going around, getting all the bolts in place.You can use a 6-millimeter Allen socket or a 7/30 seconds to tighten these bolts down. We'll go through and we'll tighten down all the bolts. You do want to make sure you torque down all your hardware and you'll find the specifications in your instructions. We'll come back with a torque wrench and torque all my hardware down, and then repeat that for any remaining inaudible 00:11:19 that I have. Extra set of hands we're going to put our base in place. It's going to take a little bit of time, watch your fingers as you're doing it, but you want to make sure that those little slots line up, fall down into the inaudible 00:11:43 . Your kit is also going to come with these little rubber isolators. Now you can put these in before you put your slider down, but a lot of times there's not enough space or these take up too much space, to once you have everything in you can't get your locking pins in place. So I like to put my slider in, kind of see how it fits.There's a little bit of slop in there and if there is I'll go ahead and put these in to take up some of the Slack, cut down on some of the noise. Just lift up, slide that isolator right underneath so it's straddled around the leg, going down through the rail. I'm going to go and do that for the rest of them and then we can put our pins in place. Now this part is me a little hard to see because our slider is actually right over the attachment point. So I'll show you in this slot right here, since it is visible. Right now, our 5th wheel is sitting with that notch, going down into the rail, we want to slide our pin in, so it goes through the base rail, through the 5th wheel, then comes out the other side.And we're going to attach a clip to secure it down. We're going to do that in all four locations. I just like to make sure that when I put my pins and clips in, I like to have them to where they're on the inside so they're nice and protected underneath the 5th wheel. And there's nothing that's going to potentially catch the pin on the outside. At this point, we can grab the head and we can get that ready to bolt up so we can start testing our slider and make sure everything functions properly. So this point I got my head at the back of the tailgate. Again, easier to work with it here, we don't have to lift it up as much, but there are a few things we need to get in place before we set it in place. I would like to put the handle on first, just because it makes it a little bit easier to maneuver and to get everything in place. So I want to make sure we grab our handle.There's going to be a small bracket and we're going to need a spring and the 2-button head bolts that both have lock washers with them. First thing we want to do is grab the spring. There's a notch right in the handle. We want to put that spring in there. Just kind of hold it for now. We'll grab our handle, we're going to slide the handle all the way over to where that outer hole, or the inner hole rather toward the head lines up with the intersection underneath. Now, also notice the spring lines up, but it's being covered up. So what I like to do is slide the handle all the way in, and then very slowly start backing the handle backwards. As you can see, it kind of pulls the spring with it. We want that hole to be open so we can take one of our new bolts and that lock washer.We want to put that plate underneath. You want to make sure the spring is on the outer section of the handle so that when we pull it, you see a kind of a little bit of tension on there. Make sure that bolt goes all the way through and if we grab that plate, you'll notice that we're going to have two holes that are threaded. And then one little notch that kind of is a recessed area. A recess area needs to go towards the head, so I'm going to line up the hole with the bolts, on the other side. And right now we just want to get them loosely started by hand. Then for the other one, we want to pull our handle to where it lines up with the hole internally of the bolt all the way through and line it up with that plate underneath. And again, just get it started by hand for now. Then I'm going to grab a 3/16th Allen bit. I'm just going to tighten up those bolts.Now with these, you just want to make sure they're nice and snug, but we really don't need to crank on them too much. Because we don't want to damage those threads or the handle. And just so when we go to lift our 5th wheel up, I'm going to go ahead and put the pin in place in that final hole that's closest to the head and just latch it down. And just one last thing, worrying about moving around, getting in the way of our hands. But I do suggest grabbing yourself an extra set of hands that will help you lift this into place. We can get it bolted onto our 5th wheel. So I have my 5th wheel head loosely sitting on the base here. We're bringing our attention to these threaded holes on the side. These are where we're going to be attaching our 5th wheel, but we want to start from the inside going out.So grab one of our new bolts from our kit, follow it up with a lock washer and then a flat washer. And again, starting from the inside, depending on how high you want your 5th wheel set, you're going to use one of the holes that are on the head or the mid-section itself. You're going to go through and start threading it into that outer hole on the base. Ours is pretty close to being lined up. So I'm just going to lift it up just a little bit so we can see the bolt going through the hole.And then again, I might just have to lift it just a bit to get that hole lined up, get a few threads started by hand. And then we're going to work our way going through attaching all the bolts in all four locations. Just lift just a little bit, take some of that tension off, you want to thread that bolt in all the way. You want to make sure you come back with a torque wrench and torque all the hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. This is a little bit limited on space, but as you can see, you just got to tilt the head to the side a little bit. It does give you a little bit more room, make it a little bit easier to swing the ratchet so you can get everything torqued down. We'll make sure to go back and repeat that for any of our remaining hardware. Once you have all your bolts torqued down, that'll finish up your installation and your look at the Curt A20 5th wheel with R20 slider on our 2018 Chevrolet 3500..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B
Employee Schuyler H
Video by:
Schuyler H

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