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Reese M5 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch Installation - 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty

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How to Install the Reese M5 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch on a 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty

Hi there, Ford owners. Today in our 2021 F-450 Super Duty, We're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to install Reese's 20k above bed rail fifth wheel. And this is what our fifth wheel looks like when it's installed. It is designed to haul your fifth wheel trailer and has a rating of up to 20,000 pounds. It's gonna be a great match for just about any truck and trailer out there. The unit does come unassembled so we will have to assemble it.

It can be purchased either like we have here as a standard attachment fifth wheel that goes into an above bed rail kit, or into Reese's adapter which let's it work with an OEM prep package. There is also options available that have legs that will directly go into your prep package on your truck. It just depends on which works best for your particular situation. You may have different, another fifth wheel at home and you may wanna swap it out for certain needs. So this could be a good option if you do have that prep package still, you could use this adapter plate to increase it's versatility.

This fifth wheel has a release handle located on one side. We'll pull the pin to allow the handle to operate. Also take a quick look at the indicator located here on the fifth wheel which let's you know it's current position if it's ready to tow or if it is in an unsafe condition. So we can see here it shows that it is green ready to tow. That's cause it's all the way latched in as if a kingpin was in here latched in.

We pulled our pin so we pull our handle. We're now in the ready-to-connect position which will give us a red indicator because we're not ready to tow. This is in an unsafe position to actually haul the trailer. And we can see that we pull our handle here it opens up the jaw, you allow the kingpin in. But we don't have to move this handle cause as your trailer comes up and it pushes against it, it actually moves the mechanism aside all by itself and it will latch in.

You'll know it's fully latched in again once the indicator goes green. And here we're giving you another shot with it in the release position. We're then ready to accept our indicator is red. And if we take our screwdriver here and we pretend that it's a kingpin, we can kinda see how the mechanism works. As it comes back and it strikes on the center tab, you can see it easily pushes it to the side as your trailer's going back which will then allow it to latch into place. There's also a black tab located right down here that, I didn't hit with the screwdriver but the large size of your kingpin would also hit. You can see when the pin is pressed it let's our handle go back in place which also let's us reinsert our pin. And you can also see that our indicator here has switched back to green as well showing that we are ready to tow. And just like your standard fifth wheels that would go into an above bed rail kit, this one's just as easy. We pull our pins. And then the whole fifth wheel assembly can be lifted outta here. I'm not gonna take it all the way out cause it is pretty heavy. I do recommend you have an assistant with you when pulling it all the way out. Which you can see here we could easily lift it out of the adapter plate. And then if you wanted that full truck bed excess restored, you could also remove the adapter plate and be back down to just the caps over your OEM prep package. Before we put our fifth wheel in our truck, we do need to do some pre assembly on it. I've gone ahead and laid out the parts here so you can see everything that you're gonna get. You'll have your your head, your center section, the head will sit on our center section, and on the center section we'll attach to the legs. You'll have your legs for each side. And that whole assembly will then drop down into your above bed rail or if you have a OEM prep package, you can use Reese's adapter here. This will turn our OEM prep package that's specifically designed for the Ford vehicles here and allow it to use any standard fifth wheel. So we'll do our pre assembly first. If you have an assistant with you, it's usually easier to assemble the fifth wheel and then drop it into place. But it's pretty heavy so if you're by yourself, assembling the whole unit makes it extremely difficult to move and set in place by yourself. So one of the things you can do is use your truck here to help assist you in assembling it. There are multiple sets here in the top so if you assemble it first and then drop it in, you'll automatically know which holes to use. If you're building your fifth wheel with this, you need to pick the appropriate ones for your legs. So what we did we just took the legs to determine the the correct distance. I just sat them on each side and then I took the center section and just see if it was gonna fit between them. So we know what set to use. On ours we're gonna be using the outer set here. So we'll grab our legs first. We're gonna drop them in place. The tabs here will fly down into the slots. And then we can secure it with the included pins. Once we've got this one on, we'll do the same thing with the other leg. And we do want the blue covering here to be towards the outside of our truck with the threaded holes towards the center. It's gonna be the same on this side as well. We'll now take our center section and we can go to put it in position. Wanted to point out a couple of things though before we got it in there. We want the label here where it says "Reese" to face towards the rear. We're using a 20k center section cause we want a 20k hitch to match our adapter plate here. And if we look at the side here, you'll see the attachment holes where it's going to attach to the legs. There are three sets so you can set it for a low, medium, or high adjustment. And this is going to allow you to adjust for your particular fifth wheel cause you do want to have it at least a six inch gap between the top of your truck's bed rails and the bottom of your fifth wheel. So you can measure from the ground to the bottom of your fifth wheel while it's level and then while your truck is also level measured from the ground to the top of the bed rails, to determine the best position to achieve that. We're gonna be putting ours in the medium position which is gonna use the center set of holes here. The hardware that comes included with your kit is gonna be these large but short metric bolts. We'll take the conical tooth washers that come included with them. Each one of these bolts is going to get a conical tooth washer with the teeth facing away from the head of the bolt. I'm gonna go ahead and prepare two of those cause it's easiest to put up one side first and then the other. You can prepare the other ones as well. Let me just turn it. Dropping it down in between. And we'll grab our bolt. We'll take one section line it up with that middle hole and we'll start the bolt into one of the holes. We don't need to have it all the way threaded in. We're just trying to line things up for now. So just a couple of turns is plenty fine. We'll then line up the other side over here. Get a few threads into this side. And then we can lift up on the other side and get the bolt started over there. Now that we've got them all started, we need to run them down. If you look at the gap though, between our leg ad our center section, you'll see that the leg has a small black portion that's shooting out a little bit. That's actually an alignment peg and that needs to line up inside the center section. It should seed inside it. If it's not seeded, you'll have a gap there. When it is seated, you'll eliminate that gap. So I find it easier if you run the bolts down a little bit get them close and then we can go back and adjust for that alignment peg once the bolts are closer. I prefer to use a 24 millimeter socket to run them down. So now that we've got our bolts running close we need to get rid of this gap and get those alignment pegs lined up. So you just have to just kind of rock your center section a little bit until it drops down in there. There we go, that one's dropped in. So we'll tighten our bolt a little more to make sure it can't fall out. Get out back one lined up. And it looks pretty well lined up as well. So we can go ahead and run them in. And if we look now, we've got no gap in between our leg and our center section so that's what we want it to look like when we've got it run down. We can then head over to the other side. We'll get these lined up. They're not quite lined up on this side yet you can still see the gap. Once we're done, we've got it all lined up, we'll go back in towards the bolts to the specifications found in our instructions. We're now ready to assemble our the head of our fifth wheel. Just gonna point out a couple of lubrication points cause wherever we have and pivots and there's contact between metal, we do want to lubricate those. Next, we're gonna put our handle together. Go ahead and take the carriage bolts that come in your kit. You'll have lock washers and nuts as well. Here we have our handle. We can put it however we'd like. You could put it in the upright position which makes it a little bit easier to grab and disconnect when reaching over the rails of your truck. But you can see this is a little bit higher so if you have a tonneau cover in here you might want to be careful as it may interfere with your tonneau cover closing properly. So you could mount it this way as well it's just gonna be a little harder you can see we're gonna have a limited movement here. So I recommend it this way for most people. Slide it on, drop your carriage bolts down to the top, and then secure it with the included lock washer and nut. We can then come back with a 13 millimeter socket to snug those down. And that completes our installation of Reese's 20k above bed rail fifth wheel kit on our 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty..

Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Michael B
Video by:
Michael B

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