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Curt Custom 5th Wheel Kit Installation - 2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty

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How to Install the Curt Custom 5th Wheel Kit on a 2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty

Today on our 2018 For F250, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Curt custom fifth wheel installation kit with carbide finish.So here's what our fifth wheel rails look like once we have then installed. These are going to allow us to have a fifth wheel on that back of our truck and tow a fifth wheel trailer safely down the road. Our rails are going to work with most industry standard fifth wheel hitches, like BWM, Curt and many others. Our rails are going to have a power coat finish, deep carbide black, so it's its going to hide those scratches and dirt really well, but it's also going to prevent any kind of rust or corrosion from happening on the rails. Whenever we're not towing, we can pull our fifth wheel hitch out and we can use the bed and have full bed access. Our rails are only going to stick up about an inch and a half from the lowest point on our bed.Our fifth wheel installation kit is going to be a custom design.

So we'll have these custom side brackets that attach to the frame so we can attache our rails to. It's going to cut down installation time very much, 'cause then we're going to have holes already in the frame, and we're not going to have to drill through it.Now one thing that I really like about this kit is that it is again, custom designed for our Ford. Sinc they're coming with aluminum beds, they took that into account. They gave us these galvanic isolators because our plates and the rails are all going to be made out of the steel. When you have two dissimilar metals together, it can cause corrosion.

So they made sure that we won't get that 'cause we'll have this isolator that's going to go in between each piece of metal.As far as the installation goes, it is going to be an extremely straightforward process. We are going to have to drill a few holes in order to get the rails in place, but now that we've seen what it looks like and gone over some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed.To begin your installation, you'll want to lower down your spare tire so we have a little bit more room underneath later on, but we'll start out on the passenger's side, and we'll grab the frame bracket. So you want to make sure you grab the correct bracket. Each brackets going to have two elongated holes in the flat section. Then we'll have two tabs that are going to be sticking out.

You want the single hole tab towards the back and the double hole tab towards the front, and you want to make sure that those are pointing away from the truck. You'll see if we lift up our bracket, it'll line up with these two holes that are right here in the frame. So now we can grab some hardware and we can get it loosely installed.So we're going to loosely attach it with a five ace bolt and a flat washer. So we'll take our bracket and loosely put it in there for now. We'll line it up with the hole and we'll just let it rest there for now.

Then we can move to the inside and loosely install the nuts. These just need to be snug hand tight right now. We're just using this to get everything lined up. Just to make sure that both of them are nice and snug, but not cranked down all the way. With this bracket in place, we're going to do the same thing on the other side.With both brackets in place now, we need to mark the rear hole here. That's going to be one of our attachment points. So I'm going to take a center punch, I'm going to go right in the center and I'll mark it, hopefully making a big enough mark that I can see it up top. We'll do that on both sides.So here we can see where we center punched the bed. We did make a little bit of a dimple right here. We're going to use that dimple so we can line up our rail and make sure everything's in the correct spot. You want to place the rail down on the bed. We're going to place it so that the very outside rear holes line up with our center punches. Then once you have it in, it's not a bad idea to double check that it's nice and centered in the bed. So we can take a tape measure and measure from the end of the rail to the wheel well and double check that it's even on both sides.Now that we have our rail centered over our center punches, I'm going to come back with a small pilot bit and I'm going to drill through the bed and verify that it lines up with the bracket underneath.We come back underneath, we can see that we can see light through the bracket, through the bed, so we know that our hole's in the correct spot. So we're going to go back up top and we're going to enlarge the hole to the final size.With our rail in the correct spot, we're going to go ahead and drill out the three other pilot holes so we can drill all of them out at once. We're going to drill the pilot hole in the center rear spot of our rail. Just come right in the center. Then if we move to the edge, we're going to drill out the other hole that's on the outside of the rail. We'll do the other side as well.Now we can move the rail out of the way. I'm going to come back with a step drill bit. I'm going to enlarge all of my holes to a nine sixteenths. I went ahead and marked the spot on my bit so I won't go too far.I'm going to repeat that for all the remaining holes with have.Never a good idea to leave exposed metal on your vehicle. So, I'm going to come back with a little bit of clear spray patient and cover it up and hopefully prevent any kind of corrosion from happening. Now since our Ford truck has an aluminum bed, we don't want to have the steel rail right against it be that can cause galvanic corrosion. So we want to isolate the two different metals from touching each other. In our kit they are going to give us an isolator strip here. We'll just start by peeling one section of the backing off. They're precut to line up with the rails. They already have holes in them already installed. So we'll just line it up, stick it to the bottom of the rail and continue by removing the backing, making sure that everywhere that's going to touch the bed is covered by this protective material. We'll do that for both rails and both sides of the rail.Since the side plates on our frame are touching the bed as well, we're going to want to remove this. We do have some isolators that we could put on the bottom of the bed. That way if we have to add any spacers or anything, we know that the bed is going to be protected. So we're going to go ahead and remove these plates and put a couple isolating strips everywhere that the bracket is going to be touching the bed.So we're going to take our isolator strip and peel off the backing off one side and try to line it up as close as you can. We'll stick it to the bottom of the bed and remove the other side of the backing. We're going to do that for anywhere that we drilled a hole through the bed so we can make sure that it's protected.We're going to go ahead and line up our rail with the holes that we've drilled. Then get ready to put the hardware in place. From the center hole here, we're going to take one of our shorter carriage bolts, this is going to be a two inch bolt. You ant to make sure you put another isolator strip on the bed itself. So we'll drop our bolts in, going all the way through our rail down into the bed. Then we're going to take two of our spacer blocks. One's going to be slightly thinner and a little more rounded. Then we'll have another one that's U shaped. We're going to slide that underneath the rail making sure that it straddles the bolt. That way it takes up that gap, and we don't have to worry about the bed crushing when we tightening everything down.Then for the rearward outer holes, we're going to be using the longer two and a quarter inch carriages. They're just a little bit linger and we're going to have a lot more of these in our kit. Drop them down, make sure that square engages. Make sure that both of them are in place.Finally, the forward outer holes, we're going to be using the hex bolt that comes in our kit. You want to put a lock washer on there. We'll slide it down, making sure it goes all the way through. The reason why we're using hex bolts here instead of carriage bolts is because this holes goes directly into the hat channel, and we won't be able to get a wrench or a torque wrench in there to tighten it down.I'm going to loosely put the brackets back in place so that we can get all of our hardware in.On the bottom side, we're going to take a round holed spacer. It will go over our bolt and then we'll secure it with a flange nut.For the rear mounting location, you'll notice there's going to be a high spot on the bed because of the corrugation. There's going to be a little bit of a gap there. We need to take up that gap so the bed doesn't crush. So we'll use that same combination of two spacers. We'll go right underneath. You want to make sure that those U's are straddling the bolt. Then on the bottom of the bracket, we'll take one of our square spacer blocks and slide it over the bolt and we'll secure it down with a flange nut. For the mounting point that's in the hat channel, we are going to need to put a isolator in there, but it's going to be rather difficult to get your hand in there to feed it around the bolt, but we're going to have a spacer that's going to go inside. So we can put our isolator directly on the spacer. Just make sure you have the correct way facing toward the bed. Once we have the spacer and isolator in you're going to need to garb an extra set of hands, 'cause somebody's going to have to be in the bed while we hold the handle nut and they tighten down the hex nut from up top.Once you get all your hardware installed on this side, you can go ahead and repeat that for the other side as well.With the rear rail in place, we're going to use our fifth wheel to position our front rail. But if you're using more that one, you need to test fit each one of them to make sure that they're all going to fit properly.We get our rail close, and we can lift up on the fifth wheel until we get it drop into place. We're going to want to push towards the other rail so we can make sure it has a nice snug fit.Then we can come back with that pilot drill bit, and we're going to drill out all the holes for our forward rail.I'm going to go through the outer holes on the edges.Then the center hole, we're going to be using the one that's closet to the cab.Then you want to move your rail and fifth wheel out of the way and we'll enlarge these to that nine sixteenths. We'll take our isolator strip and we're going to put it over the center hole, 'cause just like the other rail, we're going to set this down, and we're going to have a couple spacer that are going to go underneath.So we'll take our two spacers, slide them underneath our rail and line it up with the whole. Again we're going to be using one of the shorter carriage bolts for the center hole. Make sure it goes all the way through. Then we're going to use the longer ones for all the outer holes. Just like the other rail, we're going to take our isolator strip and we're going to slide it over our bolt, so it's directly against the bottom of the bed. Then we take our round hole spacer, slide it over the bolt and secure it with the hex nut. You just want to make sure you position the block to where the isolator's going to cover it and that is not on there crooked touching the bare metal.Now the combination of hardware we're going to use for our front rail is going to the same that we did in the back. We'll use our two spacers that are going to go in between the bed and the bracket. Then we'll but a square spacer block underneath and secure it down with a flange nut. It may help if you come from the inside and slide your spacers in. There is very limited arm space. Again you want to make sure those spacers are straddling the bolt so it will give it that support and won't crush the bed. We'll repeat that for all of our remaining bolts.Then we come back with a three quarter inch socket. I'm going to torque down my hardware that's attaching my rails to my frame plates. We'll find the torque value in our instructions. You want to make sure you torque all your hardware that's attaching the rails to the plates. Then we'll come back and torque down the frame plates.So with our fifth wheel torqued down, all we have left to do is put our spare back, hook up our fifth wheel, and we're ready to hit the road.That'll finish up your look Curt custom fifth wheel installation kit with the carbide finish on our 2018 Ford F250.



These rails were installed and then a Patriot fifth wheel hitch was placed on it not a Curt. Are the rails universal?

Etrailer Expert

Rachael H.


These rails are industry standard rails and are compatible with B&W, Curt, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, Husky, Reese, and Valley above-bed 5th-wheel trailer hitches.

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