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Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch Installation - 2013 Dodge Ram Pickup - Curt

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How to Install a Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch on a 2013 Dodge Ram Pickup


Today in our 2013 Dodge Ram Pickup. We'll be installing the Curt custom fifth wheel install kit part number C16426-204. To begin our install, we'll first going to go ahead lower remove the spare tire and both sets a rear wheels. Just so it makes it easier to install a fifth wheel hitch. Next we're going to remove the wrap guard here on the passenger side. There are total of four fasteners in secure.

Two here on the inside of the frame rail and two above the rack guard. Once we removed the three bolts and one net, we can go ahead and pull the rack guard down and set aside for installation later. Next to make our install easier, we're going to remove the tail pipe from the exhaust. To do this, we'll first going to remove the rear rubber isolator from the metal hanger. We'll spray it down some spray lubricant and then use our pry bar to remove the rubber isolator from the metal hangers.

Next we'll loosen the nut on the clamp. Once we loosen the clamp, we can go ahead and wiggle the tail pipe free from the exhaust pipe. Now I'll go ahead and remove it from the vehicle and set aside for the installation later. Now that we've open up and gain as much access as possible underneath, we'll need to go ahead and relocate the wiring harness as it will be in the way for installing our fifth wheel hitch. Now that all of our prep works are done, we're ready to start installing the base rails. We'll take our rear base rail and set it in the pick up bed.

Then using our tape measure, I'm measuring from the end of the bed as part of the instructions for an 8 foot bed to the back edge of the base rail. We'll set it in position measuring from side to side. Note you can make it easier if you have an extra set of hands to hold the end of the tape measure at the end of the pick up bed. That we have our length set, we'll set the width measuring from the outside edge of the base rail to the wheel well. Once we have the position, we'll go ahead and mark our holes that are need to be in pre-drilling. Once we have the four holes mark, we'll go ahead and take an 8 inch drill bit and drill out the center of each attachment point.

Now with our pilot hole drilled out, we're going to go ahead and move underneath the vehicle. Taking the driver side, bracket and spacer, setting in place, and installing the U bolt to help hold in position and check how it lines out with our pre-drilled holes. We can see at the hole it's just inside the attachment point of the side bracket but it needs to move forward. We're going to move it forward about 3/16 of an inch which is approximately 2 widths of the drill bit. We'll repeat the same process on the passenger side. Now that we have the rear base rail on position and it lines up with our pilot holes for the side brackets, we'll measure from the center of the rear base rail to the center of the front base rail to set it in position. We'll also measure side to side to make sure the center of the bed. Once we have the front base rail measured out, we'll go ahead and drill the rear edge of the front base rail or row number three as for the instructions. We'll drill a pilot hole for the two outside attachment points. Then we'll take the front bracket and set them into position and verify that the pilot hole will line up with our pre-drilled hole. Then we'll make any unnecessary adjustments from there. We can now go ahead, set the front base rail on position and drill out the four pilot holes for both rows three and four. With all the pilot holes drilled out, we'll move back to the rear base rail. Here we're going to go ahead and use a step bit process and open up the four outside attachment points to our final size 9/16. Next we'll move underneath the vehicle. For the attachment point, it goes through the hatch channel. We'll need to enlarge our hole as part of the instructions. They'll need to be large enough so we can fit the tube placer in place. Once we have the four holes drilled out, we're going to take the base rail and set it back into position. Now, we're going to take the U shape spacers and put them into place as necessary around each attachment point that compensate through the bed corrugation so we don't smash it when we're tying it down. We can then take the short stoppage carriage bolt and drop it to the rear edge of the rear base rail. The front edge of the rear base rail, we'll get the longer carriage bolts. Once we have the bolts in place, it's a good idea to put some weight on top of the carriage bolts to uphold them in position while we install the side rackets and lower hardware. Next we'll move underneath the vehicle. We'll go ahead and put the tube spacer up in to the hat channel and then our side bracket into position. We can go ahead and and install flange nut and uphold the side bracket in place. Once we've got our side bracket into position, we'll install the spacer between the side bracket and the frame and then our U bolt to hold them in position. Next we can install the carriage bolt and block from the outside of the frame rail towards the inside going through the side bracket and then through the pre-drilled hole on the top of the frame. Now with all of our hardware in place here on the driver side, we'll install the half inch flange net to secure each one of the bolts. We'll install each one of the bolts. We'll install each one of these fasteners finger tight this time. Next, we'll move over the passenger side and repeat the same process with the passenger side, side bracket. With the four fasteners installed and secured finger tight, we're ready to go ahead and set the front base rail. Using our fifth wheel hitch as a template, we'll set the front base rail in position and then use the fifth wheel to set into the rear base rail right up at the front base rail and make sure it drops in nice and easily. We'll also go ahead and take a measurement from front base rail up to rear base rail and side to side to make sure that the base rails are square with each other in the pick up bed. Once we verify that, we can then go ahead and take our drill bit and drill out the four outer attachment points to the front base rail. Once we have the attachment points marked, we'll go ahead and take the base rail out of the way and drill them out to the final side repeating the same set drill bit process that we gave for the rear base rail. Now with the four outer attachment points drilled out, we'll go ahead and put our hardware in place. Once again, we'll put our U shape spacers in position where necessary so it don't smash the bed corrugation. We'll be using the 1 and 3 quarter inch half inch carriage bolts. Now we're ready to move back underneath the vehicle where we'll install the front side brackets. These side brackets will go from outside over the frame to the attachment point where can install half inch flange net to secure them. We'll then install the U bolt going from inside of the frame to the side bracket and securing it on the outside of the frame with the half inch flange set. We'll repeat the same process on the passenger side. Then for the bolt attachment points, we'll be using a block and flange net to secure them in place as for the instruction. Now I'll go ahead and double check and make sure our hitch will move freely in and out of the base rails. Next we need to drill out two more attachment points. This will be the center attachment point on the rear edge of each base rail. Once again we'll use the step bit process starting with the smaller bit and then open it up to the half inch bit. Then we can go ahead and put our U shape spacers in position, drop our carriage bolt through the attachment point to the pick up bed, and secure the underneath with the block and flange net as for the instruction. We'll go ahead and tighten down our fasteners to secure the base rail. We'll make sure all of our fasteners are tightened down and then we'll go ahead and torque the specifications as indicated instruction. Next we'll tight and torque down the brackets and knee bolt. Now with the hitch secured, we'll torque the specifications, we're ready to reinstall the manufacturer's wiring that we'll loosen along the frame rail. Next we'll reinstall the tail pipe, hanger, and tighten it back down. Then we can install the rock guard, spare tire in both rear wheels. Once we have everything reinstall, we're now ready to hit the road. That does it for the install of the Curt custom fifth wheel install kit part number C16426-204 on our 2013 Dodge Ram Pickup. .


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