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Demco Hijacker Autoslide 5th Wheel Hitch Installation - 2019 Ford F-350 Super Duty

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How to Install the Demco Hijacker Autoslide 5th Wheel Hitch on a 2019 Ford F-350 Super Duty


Rob: Hey everybody. It's Rob here at etrailer.com. And today we'll be taking a look at the Demco Hijacker Autoslide 5th wheel hitch on our 2019 Ford F350. Now our Demco is going to allow us to hook up to a 5th wheel trailer and pull it down the road with our F350. But what most people don't realize is that once you have a bed that's shorter than eight foot. Typically you run into clearance issues when you go to turn, especially really tight turns where the overhang of your 5th wheel gets extremely close to the cab of your truck.

Well, that's where our slider comes into play. Now that's another thing that kind of comes in. And a lot of people don't think about is that with most sliders, they're going to be a manual slider, but our Hijacker is going to take away all those nuisances. We're not going to have to get out of the truck.There's no levers to flip. It's going to automatically slide 14 inches to the rear to give us that clearance we need.

So we can make those really tight turns. Whenever we are pulling our 5th wheel trailer, and the way it's going to do that is our Hijacker actually has a rack and pinion here. So, whenever the force is put on the head in a turning motion is actually going to push the entire 5th wheel 14 inches towards the back. And then as we come out of the turn and we start to straighten out, the pressure is taken off the head and it's going to slide back into the towing position. Now our truck originally had a 5th wheel with a manual slider in it.

Now that manual slider is still going to allow you to put the hitch towards the tailgate and give you that clearance you need whenever you make a tight turn.And it's typically because most trucks now come with less than the eight foot bed, because the cabs are getting bigger and bigger. Well, that's nice when we're carrying passengers and pets with us, but when we want to tow a 5th wheel, we have less than an eight foot bed. A slider is going to be very important because we don't have the clearance to make those really tight turns. But with a manual slider, what ends up happening a lot of the times is people get kind of lazy or they think they can clear the turn without having to stop flip the switch and activate the slider. And our customer here apparently thought that too, they got really close.

Didn't think they needed to. And they actually ended up making contact with the cab right here. And there's a small dent right there. Nobody wants to damage their vehicle or their trailer.So having that auto slide feature not only gives you the peace of mind, knowing that it's going to operate when it needs to, but it saves you from having to get out of your truck and in flip the switch and then go through the turn and then come back and reset everything. And there's a lot of other features that I really like on our Hijacker here, like the head itself, the head's actually going to articulate to the left and right, and front and back. So we'll have a double pivots and that's going to come in handy and help out a lot when we go to hookup, because if we're not perfectly in line or for trailers on unlevel ground, it makes a lot easier to get it hooked up when we're backing up. And it definitely takes out some of that jarring and chucking feeling when we're driving down the road, because the head is able to and handle all that rough terrain without jolting it through the truck.And speaking of the head, that'll bring us to our jaw here. You can see it has a really thick piece of metal here. It actually has a locking bar that's going to help secure it as well. Now, the nice thing about these jaws is they provide a full 360 degree contact with the kingpin, opposed to a slide bar style, which is only going to cover the front half. So we can actually go ahead and pull the pin out, open the jaws up, actually have a plastic kingpin. So this would be the top of your trailer mounted up. And as you see, when we come in, the jaws are going to automatically lock.There's a little bit difficult to do by hand, but as you can see that kingpin's not going anywhere. There's not a whole lot of play, but this is plastic. So it is a little bit worn, but you can see how nicely it wraps all the way around. I'm not going to have to worry about that rattling around in there, making noise or again, that chucking and jarring feeling resonating through the truck. It's going to give us a nice, smooth, comfortable ride. Now you might notice that we don't have any base rails in the bed of our truck. And that's because our hijackers slides directly into the factory prep package. It makes it extremely easy to drop in. Simply just have a couple of handles on each side, drop it into the pucks, lock them down and we're ready to go. It also means that whenever we're not towing with our 5th wheel, we can take it out and we'll have full bed access.Just keep in mind. Our Hijacker is pretty heavy and there actually is an attachment point that you can put into where the kingpin goes and use a crane or some other kind of lifting device to lift it out of the bed of your truck. Now in our truck, you can see we have a tonneau cover. So that was part of the issue is getting our 5th wheel at the correct height settings so we could get it in place, but also get our tonneau cover closed. That is one thing you do want to keep in mind, but our hitch does have three different height settings. At the lowest height it's going to be right about 15 and a half inches. And then the next setting, which this is set at now is right about 16 and three quarter inches. And then right above that, it's going to be 18 and one quarter inches for the final height setting.Now, obviously the weight capacity is going to be a really big factor when you're looking for a hitch. Now our Hijacker here, it can have a gross trailer weight rating of 18,000 pounds. That's how much it can pull, but it's also going to have a 4,500 pound vertical load limit. And that's going to be the limit on the kingpin right here on the head. Now with all those numbers in mind, you do want to double check your F350's owner manual, because again, those are the ratings for the hitch, and we don't want to exceed the rating for our truck. Now, if you may have a smaller trailer that you don't need quite 18,000 pounds, there is a smaller version of the Hijacker Autoslide, or maybe you have a heavier trailer where you need a little bit more. There's also a heavier version of the hitch as well. And you can find those here at etrailer.com.So overall, I really liked the Demco Hijacker, mainly because of that autoslide feature. It is just really nice and convenient to have. However, the one thing that I don't like about our hitch is getting everything set up. Don't get me wrong. Most of it's put together in the box when we get it, but we have to get our side plates and our mounting brackets installed in the base is pretty heavy. So it's a little cumbersome to try to get all the holes lined up, get all the bolts in place. And then you may still have to take it back apart to make a few adjustments, to get everything sitting in properly. So I would say take your time. But I feel like the overall end result is definitely worth the work, because again, in the end while you're using it, there's no more adjustments to make once you get it in place and it is going to be the most convenient to use.But now that we've gone over the features of our Hijacker and seeing what it looks like in the bed of our truck, let's go and walk you through how to get everything set up and make sure all those adjustments are made properly. To begin our installation. We want to come into the bed of our truck and we want to pull out the four pucks that are covering up the factory prep package. We're going to grab each one of the side plates that's going to slide in. We'll rotate the handles to the point out. And then when you drive them in, you want to make sure that L shape is pointing towards the outside of the bed. We'll drop those down into the puck system and you want to rotate the handles and make sure that they rotate and lock into place. Now, if they don't want to rotate all the way in, or if it's extremely tight and you really can't get them to turn, you can make an adjustment on them.And the way we're going to adjust him is if we take the bottom nut off, you can use a 19 millimeter or a three quarter inch socket. We'll take the nut off and you actually pull the entire handle out. And then if you look on the top, right at the bottom, where the handle goes in, there's a couple of washers. You can either remove those washers to the plate and go down farther and make it a little bit easier to rotate that handle. But again, you just want to make it to where when you drop it in easily drop in place, and you can rotate the handles the lock in, and you want to do that for both plates. So you want to make sure you can easily rotate the handles, pull them out, drop them in and lock it down, do that for both of them.And again, if you do need to make that adjustment, just pull that nut off and either take those washers off and then retest fit it. Now we want to grab the base and we can fix the side plates to the base. Now we're going to have two sets of holes on the plate as well as on the base here. So depending on what height setting you want to use on your 5th wheel, that's the combination of holes you're going to use, but we're going to come from the outside, passing our bolts through. Just want to make sure you have enough room to reach on the inside of the hitch and put the nuts on the inside.In between the side plate and the hitch. We are going to have a few plates here, and these are going to act as spacers or shims. Now they are going to be different widths or thicknesses. One is going to be a three-eighths thick and one is going to be a half inch thick. So I always like to start with a smaller one and if we need so I can always come back and mix and match the shims to the other side, to make sure our base fits nicely into the puck system. But we want to line up our holes in the spacer as well as the bracket.And then we'll grab some hardware and we can start getting everything in place. Now you also want to make sure you grab the bracket that's going to have the handles or the retaining pins for the handles. We'll go ahead and pull out the clips out of both of them. We can pull the pins out. And these three holes are in a lineup with the three holes that are right in the center of the handle. You do want to move the handles out of the way. And you'll see that once we have it lined up, the handles will fit right inside. But for each one of the holes going through the center here, we're going to take a half inch bolt with a flat washer. We're going to go through the retaining bracket, the main bracket, as well as that shim and go all the way through all three inaudible 00:10:29.It may be a little bit awkward, trying to line up all those pieces. And it is almost easier if you get the hardware going through all these brackets first, because then you can kind of lift it as an assembly. It makes it a little bit easier. We'll go through the three there. And then we want to go to the one that's towards the back of the tailgate or towards the back of the 5th wheel for that fourth final hole.Now that we have our bolts going through, we're going to line them up with the four holes on the bottom of our base here. We'll pass them through. You want to make sure your bracket doesn't fall. So you do want to push on them, hold it with your hand or make sure those bolts are in there tight enough they're not going to fall. Then on the inside behind there, we're going to follow it up with a flat washer. And then we're going to secure it down with the nylon locknut. Now, again, you may need to kind of lift, adjust the bracket a little bit. This is rather heavy, but we need to get all this assembled before we put it in our truck. Having it on a cart like this, where you can reach underneath the base definitely helps.And once you have all the bolts in place, we're going to come back with either a three quarter inch socket and wrench or a 19 millimeter socket and wrench. And we're just going to snug it up for now, because you may find that once we put it in our truck, we actually have to take these plates off and put in the other shim because of the spacing, but we're just going to snug it up and test fit it. Now we'll let you know, our Demco Autoslider is extremely heavy. So I definitely recommend getting at least one other extra set of hands or a lifting device to help you get in place.We'll drop it over pucks to make sure the handles are pointing out, line it up. Now you can see, we already have one side and this side is not lining up. And that's because of those spacers. So probably going to go ahead and take out both of these smaller spacers and put both of the larger ones in so that it can spread that plates out and line up with the pucks in our bed. Once you have the correct spacers in place, and you can actually get your 5th wheel to drop down into the puck system, I want to make sure to double check those handles, make sure they close easily enough.And then we want to take our retaining pins. I'll drop them down all the way through and then secure it down with a clip. And the pins are going to keep the handles from rotating out and unlocking. So we're going to have one for each one of the handles. So we'll get the two in over here and the two on the other side. We can go ahead and put in the Outrigger system. Now what that's going to consist of is you can see that our 5th wheel kind of comes towards the back quite a bit. And there's not a lot of support right here. So whenever it's in the full slide position, there's a lot of weight. So we can actually put this in place and we'll help transfer and balance all that weight. We want to take the bar that's in our kit with a foam piece.We'll make sure that it's facing down. We'll bring it right to the back of our 5th wheel. And you're going to notice that we have two holes going through the very end flange here. And we're going to take two of the threaded rods. We're going to go through the hole. We want to make sure that we thread on a nut onto the rod as we push it through. We want the nut to come up so we can get that rod to go all the way down. And then we're going to thread the rod into the end of that metal plate and kind of just get the nut out of the way for now.Just want to get a couple turns on the rod to go into that plate. And we're going to do the same thing on the other side, just don't forget to put in that nut. Get it started. Once we have enough sticking through, thread it into the plate. On the top side of our rod, we want to take a another nut. And this is going to act as a jam nut. We want to run this down the rod enough, but at the same time, we want to have just a little bit of pressure on the bottom of here. So we need to adjust the bottom nut and that top nut to where we can get it to where it's just putting a little bit of pressure against the bed so we have support back here. And once we do, we can tighten up those nuts and make sure it's not going to move.Let me just adjust that nut on the bottom, loosening it so it's pushing up on our 5th wheel hitch, again, not in a crazy amount. You typically use your fingers to tighten it up. Just again, so there's a little bit of pressure on the bottom here. And then once we have that, we'll tighten the top nut. So it's nice and snug against that flange. And then neither of them really can't loosen up, because they're going to be fighting each other.We can come back with a three-quarter inch wrench and really give it a good snug. So we know it's not going to loosen up. You can then use an 19 or a three quarter inch wrench. Just keep in mind, once you start turning, most likely you're going to have these two wrenches to really lock the nuts in place, because when you start turning one, the other one's going to want to start turning. At this point, we can take the large pin out of the center section here, and we get ready to put the head on and we're going to have a retaining pin on the end. So we'll remove the retaining ring. You can set that aside. Then we're going to remove the large pin. Now, sometimes it can be a little bit tight, but when you work it back and forth. Typically you can get it out. If not, you take a rubber mallet, maybe give it a tap. Just gets a little bit tight. Sometimes can bind up in there.Now, before we put our head in place, I would like to point out a few things on the bottom. We flip our head over. You're going to see that large tube. That's where that pin's going to go through. But just right next to that tube, there's a small hole right there. It's actually where our polyurethane bushing is going to go. So what am I shooting for this in place has done going to make nice and quiet and give it a smoother ride. Just take the small end, push it right into the bottom of the head. And again, that pin is going to go through the base and that's going to go through our head all the way, and then we're going to secure it down with that retaining pin.So again, typically just kind of take the head, loosely get it lined up. If you come to the side and usually line up the holes. Once you have the pin coming out, you need to make sure it's coming out all the way through the other side so you can get that retaining ring through. Final step is going to be putting our handle in place. Now, if you look at your handle, you are going to have several holes going around. So you can put it in about in just any position that you want. So if you want the handle facing up for easy access from the side of the bed, you can do that. You can have it facing towards the front of the truck, towards the back of the truck, or even pointing down really just up to you.For us we're going to have it actually pointing towards the front because we don't want to have it up too high because we do have a tonneau cover. We want to make sure everything fits and we know it clears the head. So I want to keep that handle below the head, but you'll slide your handle on to the end piece here. And a couple of holes that just line up, and then we simply just want to take the three inch bolt, go all the way through the handle and secure it down with a nylon locknut.Once that's in place, you can grab a nine 16th socket and wrench and we can tighten it up. And then just to check the operation, we can pull the retaining pin out, pull on it, and it keeps the jaws open and locked up. So, we're ready to back up to our trailer and hit the road. Now that the hitch is in place, it would be a really good time to go back, double-check all your bolts. Make sure they're torqued down to the specified amount in the instructions, and then you're ready to hit the road. That'll finish up your look at the Demco Autoslide 5th wheel hitch on our 2019 Ford F350..


James H.

1/17/2021

Hi, I have a 2019 F250 I dont have the prep package what would I need to install this hitch. Id like to have a similar setup so I can take it out without anything in the bed of the truck. Any help would be appreciated thanks.

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

1/19/2021

You can actually install the Reese Under-Bed Rail Kit # RP87FR which happens to be the exact same thing as the OEM Ford puck system. This allows you to use a gooseneck setup as well as the puck system for mounting the Hijacker # DM8550024.

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Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
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Employee Joshua S
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Employee Jacob T
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Employee Dustin K
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Employee Brent H
Test Fit:
Brent H
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
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Test Fit:
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