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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Towing 5th with an Andersen Hitch in Short Bed Truck

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crcr

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Posted: 01/10/23 03:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We will soon upgrade from a TT to a 5th Wheel, haven't purchased the 5th yet but know what make and model we will be buying, a Montana High Country, pic below of the front cap of that model. Our truck is a Ram Crew Cab with a 6'4" bed. I have an Andersen hitch which attaches to a GooseBall in the truck, pic below. With the offset of the Andersen hitch, it appears that the Andersen ball is just about centered over the truck axle.

My questions are, do you think with the hitch as shown, and a 5th wheel with a front end as shown, can that work safely if very careful about backing up?

My GooseNeck Hitch is a B&W. B&W sells a 4" offset ball, which would extend the hitch 4" to the rear. Would this be preferable? Is there any problems regarding the fifth wheel with moving the attachment point 4" rearward?

And lastly, those with experience with the Andersen hitch, the 4" offset ball looks like it sits about 3/4" above the bed. When attaching the Andersen hitch, would I still be able to pull it down snug to the bed?

Thanks in advance for any information or advice!

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MFL

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Posted: 01/10/23 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not an Andersen hitch owner, but do know that many use them with the Ram 6' 4" bed. The red coupler, that fastens to the pin, can be reversed, to allow more clearance. However, this may cause some issues, with certain pinboxes, hitting the bedrail of truck, at extreme turns.

Bottom line...hitch will work, just need to learn limitations, BEFORE damage occurs.

You will like the FW experience!

Jerry





cummins2014

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Posted: 01/11/23 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the same truck with the Andersen hitch , I use the adapter putting the fifth wheel closer to the cab ,no clearance problems . I had concerns with the pin box hitting the tailgate so the reason for the adapter in that position . Prior fifth wheel had the adapter the other way around putting it further from the cab ,no issues with that either . All depends on the pin box .

Can't answer about the gooseneck connection ,I have the steel Andersen . It's mounted to the rail adapter attached to the puck system , its puts the ball slightly rear of axle center , so as far as the ball being back that's not a issue with towing .

I have towed with the Andersen now for several years ,wouldn't tow with anything else .My son also tows with the Andersen , the aluminum like yours , short bed Superduty ,no issues .

Carl n Susan

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Posted: 01/11/23 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

F.Y.I. using an Andersen hitch with any Montana (or Keystone 5th wheel) will VOID your frame warranty. There is a letter from Keystone to that effect and while some will argue they can't do that, it isn't a battle most want to fight. That 3 year frame warranty is a valuable asset and given the occurrence of wall separation from the frame 9usually due to bad welds), is something to be protected.

Durb

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Posted: 01/11/23 11:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stayed at a campground on the Oregon coast and talked to a man with a dented cab and a shattered rear window in his Ram SB truck. His truck was a Platinum edition with air suspension and it was giving him problems as to ride height flexibility. By coincidence, he was towing a new Montana High Country with an AUH hitch. The pin box was biting chunks out of his tail gate, so he reversed something on the hitch. He happily towed the trailer for many thousand miles without issue.

He pulled into a poor access gas station and decided to back out. He was backing tight and the truck went down a driveway dip. The front of the trailer leaned forward and took out his window. The Montana has tapered front corners, but it slopes forward quickly.

The owner was from Minnesota and was very easy going regarding the incident (more so than I would have been). He blamed himself for getting flustered and losing his concentration. He really liked the hitch prior to the incident.

On edit, this was 4 years ago and as I recall, the slope of the front cap looks different than in your picture. Maybe they reacted to an issue. I also believe he had a MorRyde pin box instead of RotoFlex which you will have to lock out.

* This post was edited 01/11/23 12:04pm by Durb *

cummins2014

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Posted: 01/11/23 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Absolutely nothing to do with the hitch , and everything to do due with the fact it being a short bed ,and the circumstances . That would of happened with a conventional hitch , or a slider. About the only thing that would of saved him would have been a automatic sliding hitch ,or him being aware enough to slide back a sliding hitch if he had one .

What he did was reverse the adapter on his pin box for the Andersen hitch ,I did the same with my present fifth wheel , it looked like I was going to make contact with my tailgate ,so like him I reversed the adapter . Unlike my prior Montana fifth wheel a Montana it did have the MorRyde pin box ,and had no problem with the adapter putting the pin box further back towards the tailgate . Present fifth wheel has the lippert pin box.

It comes right back to situational awareness when towing with a short bed ,and nothing to do with an Andersen hitch .

* This post was edited 01/12/23 04:45pm by an administrator/moderator *

cummins2014

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Posted: 01/11/23 01:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Carl n Susan wrote:

F.Y.I. using an Andersen hitch with any Montana (or Keystone 5th wheel) will VOID your frame warranty. There is a letter from Keystone to that effect and while some will argue they can't do that, it isn't a battle most want to fight. That 3 year frame warranty is a valuable asset and given the occurrence of wall separation from the frame 9usually due to bad welds), is something to be protected.



And the shame of it is that if that Lippert frame is going to break it's going break with any hitch , not just the Andersen . The Andersen has no more strain on that frame then a conventional hitch , granted a gooseneck hitch like on a horse trailer is a whole different way to hitch , that's not how the Andersen works .

MFL

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Posted: 01/11/23 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If above is true, and warranty voided (first time I've heard this), seems they would have a reason? Does anyone know what this reason is?

I agree, the leverage issue, of the old gooseneck attachment, would not be present with the Andersen. I could see where a FW could tilt further on an Andersen ball, more so than with most conventional hitches, maybe causing a little more strain on the frame?

Anyway, like mentioned above, the hitch will work for the OP if he learns the limitations, like many of us have, when not using a long bed truck.

I'll add, to the OP, that I'd not use the B&W bed mounted extended ball, to move the connection further rearward. IMO, this would possibly cause further issues, such as tailgate, or bedrail damage.

Jerry

* This post was edited 01/12/23 05:20am by MFL *

crcr

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Posted: 01/11/23 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! Lots of good information. Much thanks to all! I did not realize that the pin box and the positioning of it on the fifth wheel camper could make such a difference.

Really appreciate your comments and information, as a result of which I will wait until I purchase a fifth wheel and then figure out which way to mount the Andersen coupler, then proceed very very carefully when backing up.

crcr

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Posted: 01/11/23 02:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Carl n Susan wrote:

F.Y.I. using an Andersen hitch with any Montana (or Keystone 5th wheel) will VOID your frame warranty. There is a letter from Keystone to that effect and while some will argue they can't do that, it isn't a battle most want to fight. That 3 year frame warranty is a valuable asset and given the occurrence of wall separation from the frame 9usually due to bad welds), is something to be protected.


Thank you for that information. I had not heard about that when I purchased my Andersen hitch. I agree with what someone said that it doesn't seem logical that the Andersen would put any more stress on the pin box and frame than most any other hitch, but as you said, not a battle most of us have the money to throw at lawyers to wage!

I bought my Andersen 2nd hand at a price that I could easily get my money out. So if anyone has any suggestions as to what 5th wheel hitches that attach to a gooseball that doesn't void any warranties that I should look into, I'd be very interested in any comments and information.

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