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B&W Gooseneck Hitch Installation - 2011 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install the B and W Gooseneck Hitch on a 2011 Dodge Ram Pickup


Today, on this 2011 Dodge Ram pickup, 3500 series Mega Cab, we're going to install Part #BWGNRK1308. This is the B&W turnover under-bed gooseneck trailer hitch with the custom installation kit. Before we start, we'll go ahead and get the truck ready. First off, we're going to go ahead and remove the tires and wheels and the back axle. This will give us easier access to the side plates that will eventually go onto the frame. We don't have to do this, but it makes life a lot easier to get to the hardware. Also, we'll go ahead and temporarily remove the spare tire.

Next, we'll go ahead and remove the fender liners on the inside edge of the wheel wells. On this particular truck, they have two panels, one on each side, that we can simply remove that are in the middle. We'll go ahead and remove the plastic fasteners by unscrewing the centers, then pulling out the panel. To remove it, we just go ahead and pull up a little bit, and then pull out. Now, we'll go ahead and mark for our hole location in the bed of the truck. The dimensions will vary between long bed and short bed. In this case, we're working with a short bed with a dimension of 45 1/2 inches.

We're going to measure from the edge of the bed up 45 1/2 inches. We'll center it from left to right as well, to make sure it's in the center of the bed. In this case, our truck has remains of a bed liner. As you can tell, it already had a fifth wheel once in its lifetime. We'll go ahead and treat it like it was a whole bed liner. In this case, this will actually show how we can drill out our holes and measure as well.

We'll drill out a pilot hole. We'll go ahead and lift the bed liner off the bed with a couple pieces of timber. Then, we'll drill a larger, 2-inch hole through the bed liner. Now, we'll go ahead and double-check for our hole that will go through the bed. Once again, we'll go ahead and measure out from the edge of the bed to the center. This time, we'll go ahead and sneak our tape measure underneath the bed liner.

We'll go ahead and mark the center of our hole, and then we'll go ahead and drill out with a quarter inch pilot bit. Then, we'll go right back at it, going through the bed liner and the bed itself with a 4-inch hole saw. Now, we'll go back to the side of the bed. We need to modify the bed flange. On the passenger side, we need to cut a notch in the bed flange. There will be a 7/16 hole in the flange. We'll go ahead and cut below that hole. In this case, we're going to measure about 1 1/4 inches, making roughly a triangle shape. We'll start off by installing the front crossmember. To help us position it the right way, we'll go ahead and mark our crossmember to help put it in the right location. Due to variances in the truck bed, you'll probably end up having to bend and/or make bigger as needed to fit the hardware inside. We'll go ahead and lay it flat, and then slide it in. We'll slide it in, and then tilt it up. You'll push it as far forward as possible. Now, do the same thing with the rear crossmember. This will be a piece of angle iron. Once again, we'll mark it to make sure we have it going the right way. Then, we'll slide it through that notch we made earlier. We'll work it through, and then slide it towards the back as far as possible. To provide better access underneath, we'll go ahead and remove the heat shield. There will be two fasteners on the side of our frame that you can easily see, and then there will be a few fasteners on top that are hidden by the heat shield itself. We will have to use a long extension and a 10mm deep well socket to get access to the fasteners. We'll go ahead and set that aside, and then work on the exhaust. Now, we need to install the center section. To make things a lot easier, we're going to go ahead and remove the last portion of the exhaust. We'll go ahead and remove the retaining rings on the exhaust hanger. We'll use some needlenose pliers to help work them off. Then, we'll spray down the hanger with some lubricant, and then we'll go ahead and push and pry off to remove the rubber hanger. Now, going forward on our exhaust, just in front of the axle, we'll go ahead and loosen the clamp. We'll spray it down as well with some penetrant to help make removal easy. Once we have our bolt loosened up, we'll go ahead and work it off. We'll set it aside for now. Now we can go ahead and install the center section, or the hitch itself. To help us hold it in place once we get it there, we're going to use a special tool to help hold it. This is definitely not necessary, as you can do everything with an extra set of hands as well. We're going to do it this way to provide a little bit better viewing of where the hardware goes. To start off, we'll go ahead and put it in position, using an extra set of hands. We'll go ahead and line up the hole, and then hook up our special tool. Now, we'll go ahead and install our hardware. On the front crossmember, we'll go ahead and install our half-inch bolt with a lock washer and a flat washer. There will be four going across the front. On the rear crossmember, we'll install three half-inch bolts with a flat washer, then going through the hitch, and then a lock washer and a nut. There will be three across the back. We'll go ahead and run those in only finger-tight. Now, we'll go ahead and install side plates. Before we start, we need to remove a brake cable bracket on the driver's side of the frame. In this case, it was removed from the previous install. We don't have to worry about that. Now, there's also a groundwire going directly in the middle of the frame. We'll go ahead and loosen that up as well. We don't need to remove it, because the side plate has provision for that cable. Next, we'll go ahead and fish wire the carriage bolts in through the frame. We'll go ahead and take the fish wire tool that comes with the kit and run it through the hole we're going to use on the side of the frame. Then, we'll push it back towards the large round hole, past the rear axle. Then, we'll thread in our block and push it into the frame. Then, we'll thread on our carriage bolt. Then, we'll go ahead and pull it through the frame, and then out the hole. One thing to know is that the wire harness on the inside edge of the frame has plastic pins that go to the inside. Ours got hung up on it, so it's just an easy matter of pulling out the wire harness, to get it out of the way, if needed. With our fish wire still on the bolt, we'll go ahead and install our side plate. We'll thread it through the side plate, and then put it into place. On top of our bolt, we'll install a lock washer and a nut. Then, we'll go ahead and install our hardware that will go to the two crossmembers. On the front one, we'll get a half-inch bolt, a flat washer, and a lock washer. Then, on our rear crossmember, we'll get a bolt going all the way through, and then a flat washer, a lock washer, and nut. Then, we'll go ahead and install the U-bolt. A U-bolt will fit on from the back side of the frame, going towards the outside. In this case, the wire harness is going to be in the way. We'll go ahead and pull that out and away from the frame. We'll zip our wire harness underneath, and then run it through its' side plates. Then, we'll install a lock washer and a nut. We're done with our driver's side. We'll go ahead and repeat the same process over on the passenger side. In this case, we won't have to worry about any cables. With both sides loosely installed, we'll go ahead and take a moment and we'll go ahead and square up the hitch. We'll go ahead and line up our hitch, and make sure it's even with the rear hat channel that's underneath the bed. In this case, we're going to end up about 1/8 of an inch away from the hat channel on both sides. If needed, we can manipulate the hitch by prying it forward to rear on the inside edges, or by using a hitch ball, by pushing with your foot. At this point, we'll go ahead and tighten down our bolts. We'll go ahead and tighten down our center section first and then our hardware that goes through the side plates and then our side plates to our frame. We're just going to tighten them down at this point. Once all the slack is taken out of the hardware, we'll go ahead and take one moment to go ahead and make sure the hitch is square. Once we've secured the position, we'll go ahead and torque down the bolts, as specified in the instructions. With all the bolts torqued down, our hitch is installed. With the hitch fully installed, we'll go ahead and install the handle for our locking pin. We'll go ahead and rotate the pin so that it is easier to see. Then, we'll take our handle and route it from the inside back towards the outside. Then, we'll go ahead and line up the locking pin, and then install our hardware. We'll install a 3/8 lock nut and hex bolt, and then we'll go ahead and snug those two down. Now, we need to work on the tie-down loops, or the safety chains. In this case, we're going to drill up from the bottom and mark our holes first. We'll be using a 9/16 drill bit to mark our centers. We'll use two holes on each side that are already in the hitch. Once our centers are marked, we'll go ahead and go back at it with a quarter-inch drill bit, and drill through the bed and also through the bed liner. With all four holes drilled out to 1/4-inch, we'll go ahead and go back through from the top side down with a 9/16 drill bit, and go all the way through. We have all our holes drilled. We'll go ahead and take our U-bolts and put them into place. With our U-bolts in place, we can go ahead and install the hardware that goes underneath. The hardware, we'll go ahead and push the springs up onto the U-bolt, and then underneath, we'll get a lock nut. When we install the locknuts into the U-bolt, we'll take make sure we have a couple threads showing. With our U-bolts in place, we're completely done with our hitch. Now, we'll go ahead and reinstall our exhaust. To make things a lot easier, we'll spray it down as well with some penetrant. Then, we'll spray down the hanger with some lubricant. Now, we'll go ahead and reinstall our heat shield. There will be two fasteners on the side of our frame that you can easily see, and then there will be a few fasteners on top that are hidden by the heat shield itself. You'll have to use a long extension and a 10mm deep well socket to get access to the fasteners. Now, we'll go ahead and reinstall the panels for the fender wall liners. We'll simply reinstall our passenger side, and then our driver's side, we'll go ahead and loosely install it, and see where our handle for our locking pin interacts with it. We'll hold it up in place, make our mark on the material that we need to cut out. We'll go ahead and remove the panel, and then we'll go ahead and cut it with a knife on two edges and score our final edge. Then, we can go ahead and break that part free, and then finish it off the scoring, until it comes off. Verify the operation of it. We can go and and install it for good. With that, that will basically finish it for our install. We'll go ahead and show you how it works. First, we'll go ahead and pull the locking pins, and then you twist clockwise to lock it. Then, you can go ahead and remove the ball. You can also take the ball and turn it over and store it upside down. Then, we need to lock it back in place. We'll go ahead and just pull on the handle, twist it counterclockwise, and then let it snap into place. That will do it for our install, Part #BWGNRK1308 from B&W on our 2011 Dodge Ram pickup. .


Info for this part was:

Employee Joe V
Test Fit:
Joe V
Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Sue W
Video Edited:
Sue W

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