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Fifth Wheel Kit Installation - 2011 Ram 2500

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How to Install a Fifth Wheel Kit Installation - 2011 Ram 2500


Today, on our 2011 Ram 2500 Mega Cab, we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the CURT Custom Fifth Wheel Installation Kit for the Ram truck. Part number is C16420-104. Here's what our rails are going to look like mounted in the bed of the truck. You can see we've already got our fifth wheel in there. Great thing about the rail kit, we've got three different widths here to choose from for accessories that you might put in it. That's going to help it work with, of course, CURT, but also Reese, Valley, Husky, Draw-Tite. Whatever has a standard pattern like this, we'll be able to put it in there, and it's going to work fine. As you can see, nice matte powder coat finish here gives this a nice clean look in the bed of the truck.

They don't take up a whole lot of room. From the upper surface of your bed to the top of the rail, you're going to look about an 1-1/4" there. You can see our brackets we've got here on the front and also the ones on the rear, those are on the inside of the frame. These are going to use preexisting holes or U-bolts to hold them in place, so there's not going to be any requirements for you to actually drill holes into your frame. That'll help our truck last a lot longer. Now, we've already got the spare removed from the truck.

You'll want to do that per the instructions. We're also going to be pulling down the spare tire heat shield. That's just going to make it easier for you to see what we're doing. The heat shield has five bolts that hold it in place. You can see we've got the two here, and then along this front edge there's going to be one, two, and three that you'll need to remove from above it there. Another thing we want to do while we're underneath here is pull this wire loom away from the frame.

We're just going to use a trim panel tool to pull those push fasteners out. Now, as part of that harness, there's going to be a ground wire that comes over here and connects to a stud on the frame. We need to remove the nut holding that in place. Again, we're going to use a 10mm. We're going to be sure, of course, to reconnect that once we have our install done. Now it's time for us to position our rear rail.

If you have a drop-in style bed liner, you want to remove it. If you're working with a bare bed, you'll go right off the numbers that they say on the instructions. In our case, since we have a spread-in bed liner, we need to determine how thick that is. You're going to add that measurement to whatever measurement is in your instructions. What we want to do is get our rail positioned according to that. We also need to even it up from side to side. There's a weld mark that goes down the outside edge of the bed here on both sides, and we want to make sure that we've got that even between those two. Now we're ready to get our holes marked. On the rear rail, we're going to use the fourth set of holes from the outside. We're going to mark the center of each one of those. For the middle set of holes, we're going to use the one that's in the rear of the rail. Then we're going to use the same fourth in on the outside here. Now we're going to take a center punch; we're going to mark those locations, so we can get a good centered drill when we go in there. We want to drill our holes exactly where we mark them. Once we have those center-punched, we just want to come to the front row. We're going to have two holes. We've got one right here, one on the other side. We want to use a 1/8" drill bit and drill out those two holes. Now, in trying to drill out our holes, we need to go all the way through the bed and then also through the hat channel that sits below it. Now, with a standard 1/8" drill bit, just not going to have the length, so what we've gone to is 1/4" jobber bit. It gives us that extra length we need to get through there. We'll do the same thing for both of our hole locations. Now we're going to bring our driver-side rear bracket in. We want to position that so that it's on the frame. We want to line up the hole that we just drilled down through the bed, and then we'll need to confirm here on the bottom that our hole here lines up. Now, once we've confirmed our holes are where we want them here in this rear rail, we need to confirm that once we have our front rail in place we're going to have enough room for our hardware. We're going to measure center to center on our rails, and we want to be at 22". We'll also make sure that we have our rail centered in the bed of the truck, just like we did before. This time we're going to go on row three, and we want to mark right in the center of the second hole in from the outside. We'll do that on both sides. We're going to drill an 1/8" hole there, as well. Just like before, we want to center punch these to make sure we get them nice and precise. Now we need to go to the underside. We should see these holes come out behind that forward hat channel. We should be able to see enough space between the hole and the hat channel so our hardware will fit into place. Here we see our holes come out right on the back side of that hat channel. We're going to have plenty of clearance room to get our hardware in there. The other side, it came out in the exact same spot, so should be in good shape. Now let's get our forward rail centers marked here. Now, in the center location, just like on the rear rail there, we're going to be using the rear hole. Now we'll get the three of these center punched, as well. We'll get our 1/8" holes drilled, then follow this up with 9/16". Now we're ready to loosely install our rear brackets. Set it up on the frame rail. We're going to grab one of our longer U-bolts, and it's going to go through this elongated hole here and the rounded hole that's here. Once that is slid into position, we'll slide a conical tooth washer over it. You want to make sure that the teeth of that washer are facing in towards the bracket, and we're going to thread on one of our hex nuts and do the same for our upper location. Now, here on the driver-side frame rail, we need to get one of our spacer blocks slid into position. We're going to be using this hole, but as you can see, it's just a little bit too small for that to slide in there properly, so we're going to just notch that top out just a touch. Now we'll go up through the lower hole in our bracket. We want to guide our pull wire back here to where we can grab it, then pull it out, and slide it on our spacer block. We're also going to thread on one of the 1-3/4" carriage bolts. Get the block slid in, the bolt slid in. Then we want to draw those down so they come out at the bottom of that bracket, pull our fish wire off there. That's also going to get a conical tooth washer and a nut. You want to leave that loosely installed just so our bracket will have a little bit of room to move around while we get our other hardware in place. Now we'll just head over to the passenger side, and we'll repeat that exact same process. Now we're going to take more of the 1-1/4" carriage bolts. We've got our rail repositioned over our holes. We just want to drop those down through. The U-shaped spacers they tell you to put on the top here, there's just not going to be enough room to get them around the bolt, so what we're going to do . actually, place these underneath this raised portion of the bed, and we'll be able to slide them over like that. We should have more room that way to get additional support. While we're up here, we also want to position the pull wires that we used for the previous step. We want these to go down through our upper hole. Then we need to turn them so they'll come out of the end of that hat channel. It's a good idea to secure these off so you don't pull them all the way through. That one is secure. We'll do the same thing for our passenger side, as well. Now, those U-shaped spacers we talked about for the top, we're going to bring those down and around, slide them right up around that bolt with a conical tooth washer and a hex nut. Same thing for the driver's side, also. Now, for our center hole here on the rear, we'll place on one of our square-hole spacers. We'll place on a lock washer and a nut. We'll leave that loose for now. This is the pull wire we've passed through down the top hole. We're going to slide on the pipe spacer. We want to get this to go back in and out that bottom hole. Then we'll just use a little pick here. We need to extend that tube spacer straight up and down. See our tube spacer The wall of it is right there. As you can see, just taking a long screwdriver, you can pry over on the top and get it to go from slanted sideways to standing straight up and down. Once we have those in place, we'll just drop our longer carriage bolts through there, make sure they come out the bottom side, and we can attach our hardware. Now, with our rails in place here that we've planned on using, you just want to fit it into the rear bracket. Once it's fit in there, we'll fit it into the front bracket. We want to make sure that that bracket is pushed as far in towards that fifth wheel as we can. That's going to ensure that we've got a good tight fit. If you're going to be using multiple items, you want to put all of them in there. Make sure you've got a good snug fit. Then we'll go around to the underside, and we can get those forward brackets installed. I just want to verify that the holes that we've pre-drilled still match up. Everything still looks good, so we'll go ahead and move on. Now, for our forward bracket, this is going to fit up right behind that forward bed reinforcement there. It's also going to be secured with a U-bolt. When that's through, just like on the rear, we're going to add a conical tooth washer and a hex nut. We'll do the same thing for our driver side. Now, when placing your driver side bracket in place, in our situation here, you can see it's going to fit right up against the back side of that parking brake bracket, but it's resting right on part of where that ground stud was. Now we're going to relocate that ground wire. We do need to get rid of at least half of this so our side plate here is going to sit flush down to the frame rail. Once we've got that cleaned off, if you do have to do it, I recommend using some rust-preventative spray paint on there. That way, we won't have to worry about there being a rusty spot down the road. Now we're ready to start dropping our bolts down through. You might have to move that bracket around just a little bit so it lines up. You see our U-shaped spacer. It's going to go in underneath the rail anywhere you get that gap. We'll just continue to move on and get all five of our bolts in place here. The rear bolt that's in the middle here, we're going to use the same like we did on the rear rail, square hole spacer, lock washer, and hex nut. We're going to leave those hand tight. Now, for the forward holes on the front rail, we're going to use that same combination of the square hole spacer, lock washer, and hex nut. For the bolt that comes down through the bracket, it's going to be just like the ones on the rear that have the bracket. There will be a conical tooth washer and a nut. We do the same thing on our passenger side there. Now we're going to go through and torque down all of our hardware. We want to start with the bolts that attach the frame brackets to our mounting rails. That will be this one and this one on each side, and the one in the middle. Once we've got those torqued down properly . the instructions will have the torque specifications . we'll then torque down the frame brackets themselves to the truck. Now that we've got our rail secured to the side brackets, it's time to now secure the side brackets to our frame rails. You want to tighten these U-bolts down evenly and then get those torqued down. We can't forget about the one here on the bottom, as well. Now that we've got everything torqued down, we need to get this wiring harnessed, plugged back in any of the holes that it was attached to that are still available. For the ground stud that we ground off, this was what was attached to it. What we're going to do is just spin that around. We're going to use a self-tapping screw. We'll go right in that hole, and that will provide the ground that we need. Now it's time for our heat shield to go back in place. It would be a good idea to start with the one furthest in there. That's the hardest one to get to. Get that one started first, then we'll get our other ones going. With our spare tire back in position, that's going to complete our installation of the CURT Custom Fifth Wheel Installation Kit. Part number is C16420-104.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joe V
Test Fit:
Joe V
Employee Randy B
Test Fit:
Randy B
Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R

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