Draw-Tite Underbed Gooseneck Trailer Hitch Installation - 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install the Draw-Tite Underbed Gooseneck Trailer Hitch on a 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup

Ryan: Hey, everybody. My name's Ryan. And here at each trailer, we install, test fit, and review a lot of different parts that way we can try to answer any questions those of you might have. And that's exactly what we're doing here today on our 2004 Dodge Ram. We're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the Draw-Tite Hide-A-Goose trailer hitch.Probably the best part about this setup is the fact that it's going to be pretty much completely hidden whenever you're not using it. This is what you're going to see when you don't have it in use.

What's great about that is you're going to have your full bed access still. You're not going to have a big hitch back here taking up a bunch of space and get in the way. And that way you're still able to do anything you want back here, whether you're loading up materials, motorcycles, some bags that on vacation, whatever the case may be. You're not going to have a hitch and the way.Now, whenever you are ready to use it, all you're going to have to do is remove this cover. Just a magnet.

And that helps keep anything from getting down into the cylinder here. If you unlock it on the side, which I'll show you in a minute, you can can take your ball, pull it out, and flip it around. Then you lock it in place and hook up to your trailer. Super convenient. You're not going to have to worry about taking your ball out, and having it rolling around back here in the back seat of your truck.

Anything like that. You can keep everything together and you'll be ready to tow in a moment's notice.Now, as far as the ball itself, it's going to be 2-5/16" in diameter. Pretty standard there. And the hitch is also going to give us some really good weight ratings. It's going to have a 7,500 pound vertical load limit.

That's going to be the amount of weight that's pushing down on the hitch. And it's going to have a 30,000 pound maximum gross towing limit. That's going to be the amount of weight that's pulling on the hitch. So, that's the weight of your trailer plus anything that you might have on it. Now, I do always suggest it's never a bad idea just to grab your truck's owner's manual. That way you can make sure it can pull that much weight safely.These safety chain openings here are spring loaded, and they're nice and tight. That way when you're not using them, they're going to pull down and sit nice and flush. They shouldn't bang around and rattle too much. And when you are ready to use them, they do come up in decent ways. In our case, our truck has a pretty thick bedliner in it, so we lose a little bit of space there. But even so with that being the case, I can still get them up quite a bit, and shouldn't have really any issues using pretty much whatever size hook we might have.Over here on the driver's side, this is the handle that we're going to use to open and close your hitch. Or lock and unlock it, if you will. And it's relatively easy to use. When it's pushed in like this, you know it's a locked. You're not going to be able to remove the ball. But if you want to unlock it, simply just grab to grab it and kind of pull down on it slightly. That'll keep it in that unlocked position. That way you can take your ball, flip it around, store it, or put it in that position to where you're ready to tow. Whatever you're trying to do. Once it's in there though, all you're going to have to do is kind of rotate it a little bit, and it just draws right back in into that locked position again. Pretty straight forward, easy to get to, and easy to use.The way that we're able to maintain that clean look inside of our bed is because all of our components here are actually mounted underneath it. This is what it's going to look like. It's relatively thin and designed. What I mean by that is it doesn't take up a ton of space. It's nice and low profile, and doesn't really interfere with anything. I will say I am pretty impressed actually with the quality of construction. All the steel is really nice and thick. The wells look clean to me, and everything kind of just lined up the way it was supposed to. Honestly, a good hitch, and I'd feel comfortable putting in all my own truck.Honestly, at the end of the day, a hitch you really can't go wrong with. Now as far as the installation goes, I've put on goosenecks that are much more difficult, and did some that are a little bit easier. This one kind of falls in the middle of the pack, and really shouldn't give you a whole lot of issues. We really didn't hit any speed bumps or anything like that when we we're putting this on. But speaking of installation, let's go ahead and install it together now.To begin our installation, we're going to be underneath the back of our truck. And first thing you want to do is temporarily remove your spare tire, that way it just gives us a little more room to work. And then what you'd want to do is disconnect your exhaust hanger back here from this rubber isolator hanger. Now, in our case, this is broken so we're not going to have to do that. But if yours still as attached, all you need to do is spray this down with some soapy water, some type of lubricant, take a pry bar or a large flathead screwdriver, and pry on it to separate the hanger from the exhaust pipe.Now we can grab one of our crossmembers and put it in the position. You want to start by putting the rear one in. These are the same, but we want to position this one towards the back of the truck. And when we put this in, you want the side that has these holes here to face up towards the bed of the truck. What you're going to do is just kind of try to weasel it in there. Go up and over your exhaust, the frame . Might take a couple of tries to figure out which way is easiest. Work it in.Once you get it in, you're going to a let it rest on each frame rail, and then you're going to pull it all the way back to this head channel here. Then we can do the same thing for our front crossmember, again, making sure that the side that has the holes are facing up towards the truck bed.Now, what we need to do is grab the four 5/8" carriage bolts, which look like this, and just drop these into our rails here. You're going to put them in these square holes. These are just going to drop down right into place on both the front and rear crossmembers.At this point, we can loosely install our side plates here. Now, these are side-specific, so make sure you check your instructions to make sure you have the right one. But what I found a quick way to tell is this tab right here . that should be facing towards the back of the truck. The way this is going to work is this is going to go onto the threaded portions there on our crossmembers. Here in the front of the truck, we're going to use this hole. And the crossmember for the back of the truck, we're going to use this hole right here. So, let's line these up, push it on, then we're going to loosely secure the hardware. Which will be a flat washer, a split lock washer, and a hex nut.Now, I want to mention from this point on anything we do to the side of the truck, we're also going to do to the other side because it will be set up the same way. Now we can grab our U-bolts and get those installed. Here for the front, we're going to be using these two holes. The way these are going to work is they're going to wrap around your frame rail and come out through the openings there. Going to take a conical tooth washer, make sure the teeth on the washer are facing this way towards our plate, and we're going to loosely install our hex nut.Now, when you're putting these U-bolts around your frame, you want to make sure that there's no wires or anything behind them. That way when we tighten them down, they don't get pinched, or damaged, or anything like that. Then what we're going to do is take another U-bolt and that same hardware combination and place it through these two holes here.Now we can do underneath the truck. If you remember on the side plate, I mentioned that tab that's facing towards the back of the truck, which is this piece of metal here. There's a hole in there that lines up with the hole in the bottom of our frame rail, and we need to get some hardware in there. What I'm going to do is take the fish wire, run that through, push it towards the back of our truck. And if you look right there, there's a larger hole. We're going to use that as an access hole and kind of pull that through.And what you're going to do is take the spacer block, and this carriage bolt here. And you're going to thread those onto the pull wire. We can feed that hardware in through the frame. I find it easier to go kind of one piece at a time. Pull on the other end of the fish wires. That'll drop down through like so. We can remove our pull wire. We're going to take the conical tooth washer. Make sure it faces up . the teeth do. Loop that over, and a hex nut, and just this started hand tight.Now what we can do this hop up in the bed of the truck, that way we can drill a hole for our gooseneck to actually go through. You're going to take a couple of measurements. You want to make sure that your mark is centered in the truck bed, so you can measure from wheel well to wheel well from the center. And as far as the length goes, that measurement is going to depend if you have a short bed or a long bed. Take note of that. You can find that measurement in your instructions. And when you do this, you want to make sure to measure from the end of the truck bed itself and not the tailgate.I went ahead and made those marks where I need to drill. I'm just going to drill a pilot hole first. And before you actually start drilling, it's a good idea too just to check underneath the truck bed, make sure nothing of importance is there. That being said, I'll grab my pilot bit, line it up, and drill out a hole. Once we have our pilot hole made, we can come back with our hole and create the complete opening. Once that's done, I'll come back with a vacuum and clean up any of our shavings.Since we created that hole, we are going to have some bare metal exposed. What I suggest doing is taking a paint stick like this or even some spray paint, and just putting a coating on that bare metal. That way it'll kind of help protect it against any rust or corrosion. Things like that in the future.Now, we can grab our center section and put it in place. I will say the opening here where our ball would go into, you can see how it's offset. You want to make sure that's facing towards the front of the truck. What we're going to do is line it up with these holes here, and then we're going to take a conical tooth washer, slide it into position. We're going to take a hex bolt. I'm sorry. A hex nut and get it started. I'll do the same thing for the inaudible 00:13:52 openings here.Now, just kind of a trick I wanted to show you guys. Once you have the center section loosely installed underneath, a lot of times what can happen is a can kind of move around a little bit and the center of it not be perfectly lined up with the hole here in the bed of our truck. What you can do is get it lined up. So, you can kind of just reach down there with your hands and center it. And then what I like to do is just take a couple of blocks, stack them up, and take a board, and run it across.You can take a strap, connect it to the pen that runs across that locks your ball into the gooseneck, and crank it down to put some tension on it, and that'll hold it perfectly level and centered into the hole that we drilled. Now that we have all of our hardware in place and hand tight, we can snug it all down. The first bolts that we're going to are the ones here holding our center section in.With the center section tight, we can move over to our side plates, and we want to tighten down all of the 1/2" bolts first. Once all the 1/2" bolts are tight, we can come back and tighten down our 5/8" bolts.Now we need to come back with a torque wrench and tighten down the hardware to the amount specified in the instructions. There is a sequence that we're going to follow, and we're going to tighten down all of the 1/2" hardware holding on our side brackets first. Whenever you are tightening these U-bolts in particular, you want to make sure to kind of tighten them at an even rate. That way it draws out evenly. Make sure to kind of alternate between the two, that way you can accomplish that. Then we can come back and tighten down our 5/8" bolts here that are holding on our cross rails to our side points.Finally, we can come back down to our center section and torque down all of these bolts. Once all the bolts are torqued, we can install our handle here. On the driver's side, you're just going to take the end of it, push it through this opening. Kind of just let it hang there. We'll go underneath the truck and get it connected. Here underneath the truck, we can see our handle end and the part that we're going to place the handle into. You can see they have these small little pinholes. You're just going to line those up, take the included clip, and we're just going to push it through just like that.Now that everything is in place, we can hop back up in the bed of our truck and remove this apparatus. Now back underneath the truck, what we need to do is draw out some pilot holes for our safety chains. There's going to be these oval shaped holes here in our center section, and that's where we're going to drill our pilot holes. Whenever I do this, what I like to do is try to position the holes. That way whatever safety chains in, they're going to be on the part of the bed corrugation that drops down. That way they'll sit a little more flush. You can kind of look up in there and get an idea. In our case, I'm going to go a little bit further over to the left.And so I grabbed my smaller bit, and make sure it's center, and drill all four of them out. Now that we have our pilot holes made, I'm going to come back up top with our larger bit and drill them out completely. Now that we have everything drilled out, I can grab my vacuum again and clean up our shavings. Then what we can do is grab our U-bolts and drop them through.Now back underneath the truck, here you can see where our U-bolts are dropped down through. What we're going to do is take a flat washer, put it over. We're going to take this little spring with the big end facing up and put that on. We're going to take our nut, and we're just going to get this hand tight. Once we have all of them in place and hand tight, we'll come back and snug them up. I'll do that same thing for our three remaining ends of our U-bolt here.Now that all these are hand tight, what we need to do is snug them up with a 3/4" socket. What you want to do is tighten them enough where at least a few threads are exposed below the bottom of our nut here. About like that is exactly where you want to be, so I'll just do the same thing for the three remaining ends.Now at this point since our hitch is completely, what you would do is rehang your exhaust and raise your spare tire back into position. That'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Draw-Tite Hide-A-Goose trailer hitch on our 2004 Dodge Ram..

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