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Curt Q20 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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How to Install a Curt Q20 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch 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 Q20 fifth wheel hitch with our 20 slider, our 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. Eight-foot beds are becoming more and more uncommon on pickup trucks. Typically, a standard truck nowadays is coming with either a six and a half or six and three quarter foot bed, which is perfectly fine. We can still have plenty of use for that size bed, but when you go to tow a fifth wheel trailer with anything less than an eight-foot bed, you realize real quickly that you lose a lot of clearance.

We've got to make it turn, the front nose of the fifth wheel can get very close to the cab if not make contact with it and obviously nobody wants that to happen.Well, that's where a slider is going to help out. The slider is going to allow your hitch to move back farther to a more maneuverable position so we can make that tight turn, get where we needed to go, and then once we straighten out, the hitch will slide back into the towing position. Now, in order to move that back and get the clearance we need, we can see here, I already have the handle pulled out. There's a little red line as an indication letting you know that it's in the unlocked position, but that'll allow the hitch to slide 12 inches to the back, allowing us to get that extra clearance we need to make that turn. Then, whenever we get out of the turn, we started driving straight again, the hitch can slide back into the towed position.Now, the slider is going to use a round tube design instead of a square tube design, and that's just going to help out making sure that that slider is going to operate nice and smoothly and not bind up because the corners on a square tube design is going to give you less surface area to make contact with and potentially since it is square, if it starts to get off kilter just a little bit, it can catch the corner and start to bind up.

We're going to alleviate a lot of those problems with the round tube design. As far as the hitch itself, our hitch is going to allow us to hook to our fifth wheel trailer and make sure we have a solid, secure connection so we can get down the road safely. One thing I really like about it is the jaw design.It actually has a two piece jaw design, so it's going to wrap all the way around the kingpin for a really solid connection point and it's going to be a lot more secure and quiet than the slide bar style that typically this is a bar that goes across and holds everything in place. This is going to wrap around it and really good encasing around that kingpin. Again, to reduce that shucking, bucking and that annoying rattling sound that we can typically hear when we're towing a fifth wheel trailer.

Now, what I really think is one of the biggest things that's going to set the Q20 apart from even other fifth wheel hitches is going to be the bearing and the way the head moves. Most hitches are going to give you an articulary head, so they'll tilt forward, backwards and side to side, but our Curt Q20 here has a spherical bearing in the head.We actually get a full 360-degree rotation out of the head and it's not just a side to side pivot, which is really nice when it comes down to hooking up or even unhooking, especially when we're on unlevel ground or we're not directly in line with our fifth wheel, just makes it a lot easier and smoother to get hooked up, not to mention it's a lot more comfortable when you're driving down the road. Now, one thing Curt has done, I think it's a really good idea. Half the time when we hook up, get everything hooked up, you hop in your truck, you start going, but obviously we want to keep an eye on things back here. Well, if you look here at the handle, we have an indicator of what setting our hitch is in.Right now, you can see us in the green mode, which means everything's locked in, the jaws are closed and we're good to go.

If I remove the pin here, lift up on the latch, I can actually pull the handle out and you can see now, it's locked the jaws open and you can see that color has changed. That's going to let us know what position everything is in. What's really nice is we can actually just look out the back window and see this from the cab of our truck. Then, once you have the jaws open, whenever you do back up to your trailer, your kingpin goes into that funnel. Once you apply pressure and it starts going in there, the jaws are going to lock down by themselves. Obviously, I'm using this because you never want to put your hands in there when the jaws are open. Then, we can just flip the safety latch over and re-insert the pin and clip.Now, if you'd like, you can also replace this pin and clip with a padlock. That way, you don't have to worry about anybody tampering with the jaws on your fifth Wheel. Now, obviously the weight capacities play an important role when you're looking for a fifth wheel. You need to make sure that it can handle pulling your trailer and it's up to the task that we put it to. Well, our Curt Q20 is going to have a 5,000-pound vertical load limit and a 20,000-pound gross trailer weight rating. Now, with those numbers in mind, you should always double check your truck's owner's manual because those are the limits for the hitch, but you don't want to exceed the manufacturer's limits for your truck. Now, obviously making sure that your trailer and truck are nice and level when you're towing is pretty important. That's why here in this side, we have adjustments for the height of our hitch.We can adjust the hitch anywhere from 13 inches all the way up to 17 inches and two-inch increments by removing and relocating the bolt here. Another small thing that I really like about the hitch is that it does come with a loop plate. That way, when we can slide it up onto our kingpin, we don't have to worry about scratching the head here or any kind of interference from it sliding on any rust marks or anything like that. It's just a nice thing they include with it and it's one less thing to pick up. Now, maintenance on your fifth wheel is one thing that a lot of people don't think about, especially if you're just looking to get one initially. But luckily, the Curt Q20 has a really easy maintenance process to it. We actually have three grease fittings, so we can easily get access to them and grease them up and make sure the operation would be nice and smooth.We'll have one right down in the center between the jaws and then on each side of the head, we're going to have another grease fitting. That way, we can grease all of our joints and make sure everything's working. They are labeled so they're pretty easy to find. They've got a little yellow arrow telling you that the grease fitting's right there, but overall, I really liked the Curt Q20 fifth wheel. It has a nice head design to it and again, that pivoting head in a 360-degree movement really quiets things down and absorbs a lot of that shock and just makes it easier to hook up and a slider definitely alleviates a lot of that concern about clearance issues with the cab of our truck. I think this hitch will be a really good choice for any truck that has under an eight-foot bed. Now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, let's show you how we got it installed in our truck.To begin our installation, we need to assemble our slider. Now, I like to assemble it right here at the back of the tailgate because it'll 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. Then, the passenger side won't have any stickers on the outer side here. 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. You just want to make sure you have it oriented right then just assembling everything.I'm going to grab our handle. It's going to have this large silver rod with a square notch on it. When it comes to the driver's side rail, there's going to be a hole right here in 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, but it should almost like 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. We want 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. Now, grab this blue large spring, we're 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 onto 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 drop 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. We need to push both ends together and so we can get these holes lined up.Once you do have it 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, and then use 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. Now, we have one more piece we're going to put in place and this is going to be the cross inaudible 00:10:03. This is going to just sit right on top of that bar where we just connected the handle piece, so it's kind of got a U shape and we have these two tabs on either end that we'll line up with some holes. I'm just going to slide it over the handle, and we'll take our flat head screws here. We shall 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 six-millimeter Allen socket or a 7/32nds 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 of your hardware and you'll find the specifications in your instructions. I'm going to come back with a torque wrench and torque all my hardware down. I'm going to repeat that for any remaining harper that I have. With an 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 and going to fall down into the right place.Their kits 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, so these take up too much space. Once you have everything in, you can't get your locked kingpins in place. I like to put my slider and see how it fits and there's a little bit of slop in there and if there is, I'll go and put these in to take up some of the slack, cut down on some of that noise, just lift up, slide it, isolate it 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 a little hard to see because our slider is actually right over the attachment point.I'll show you in this slot right here, since it is visible. Right now, our fifth wheel is sitting with that notch going down into the rail. What we want is to slide our pin in, so it goes through the base rail through the fifth 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 insides so they're nice and protected underneath the fifth 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.Now, we can get ready to put the head in place. What I like to do is actually remove the actual head itself from the midsection. If we come to the back of the hitch here, you'll notice we're going to have two pins, one on each side. We remove the keeper pin and pull that out and we can pull the entire pin out and if we do that on both sides, it will allow us to lift the head up, which will give us a little better access to the mounting holes and just make it a little bit lighter.We're going to set the pins off to the side and grab the head. Now, I do want to mention if it's brand new, it probably is going to be a little bit tight just because of the bushings inside of there. They're meant to absorb a lot of that road shock. Well, sometimes that rubber can get a little dry and it's a little tough to get out. You just want to work it back and forth, but if you look right here through the center beam section, there's a rod that's going to be going across all the way. We need to get this center piece to lift up in the side on the other end of it and then we can lift the entire head up. It's kind of work back and forth on each end, so it doesn't bind up.Now, once you have it lifted up a little bit, you're going to notice that those black caps that go over the rod, they are removable. Just so you don't drop them, causing damage, hurt yourself, we're going to remove those. We can wiggle the rest of the head off of the base. Again, here, you can see those rubber bushings. Again, since it's brand new, it's a little bit tight, so it doesn't want to slide as easy. You can put a little bit of lubricant on there, but I'd rather leave them dry that we don't have to worry about any kind of wear on them from any kind of chemicals.Then, just set the head aside and that'll make the base a lot lighter and easier to get in place. I'm going to take my base. I'm just going to set it right in between the slider legs right here. Now, if we look on the side here, you're going to notice that we have a couple of threaded holes. You just want to line up the holes with the hitch. with the threaded holes in the slider, we're going to take one of our new bolts, followed up with a lock washer and a flat washer. Coming from the inside going out, we'll thread it into that weld nut there. Now ours, we're going to be having pretty low because we got a tunnel cover and we need to clear it. I'm just going to barely lift up to where the holes line up and get that bolt started. Just get a couple threads on there and make sure it's not cross threading and then we'll go through and put the other three bolts in, in the remaining holes.Once you have them all loosely in place, you do want to come back with a 21-millimeter socket and snug them down. Now that they're all snugged down, you want to make sure you come back with a torque wrench and torque all your hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. I'm going to go back and repeat that for all the remaining hardware that I have. Now, we'll grab the head. Now, you want to pay attention to this bar that's going across. It needs to sit in this little U-shaped channel. At the same time, that little rubber piece that just give us a little bit of trouble, that needs to sit in between this channel here in the center. There is a little square hole for the shaft to fit down through the bottom. If you get everything lined up, it should just kinds of fall into place.Again, maybe a little bit tight, but it should just fall back into place and secure just like that. We can take that cover or the bracket. We're going to slide it. It goes right over that rod and we can reinsert the large pin, make sure it goes all the way through. Then, once we know it's going all the way through, we can reinsert the pin at the back of the head, and then we'll put the other pin in as well. Now, one last final thing that I like to do is I like to pull the handle out, make sure that my hitch is going to slide nice and smooth, and it's not going to bind up. Now that everything's working properly and everything's torqued down, that'll finish up your installation and look at the Curt Q20 fifth wheel hitch with our 20 slider on our 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B
Employee Brent H
Test Fit:
Brent H
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C

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