Installing a 5th wheel plate

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Patty0315, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    When installing a 5th wheel plate in the bed of a truck{97 ford} does it mount to the frame just in front of the rear ties{toward the bed} or the frame right over the tires or both ? Thanks ~ Patty
     
  2. Peak

    Peak Active Member

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    I prefer to mount just in front ot the rear axle. The reason for this is it put some of the weight on the steering axle. This will give you much better control. When I say just in front I mean maybe two inches ahead of the center of the axle.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Lets define this a bit tighter, a 5th wheel plate is a minature of what an uncoupled tractor trailer's plate looks like, they are used in camper trailers mostly. A 'gooseneck trailer plate' is a flat plate with a 2 and 5/16th ball mounted in the middle of it, normallyused for horse and stock trailers.

    The 5th wheel plate usually has a pair of V shaped inverted towers, each mounted near the wheel wells and centered over the axel. On that tower pair there is a cross bar with the minature plate. There are usually 3 or 4 bolts placed lengthwise with the towers mounting area with a thick back up plate placed under the bed, pre drilled for the bolts.

    The gooseneck plate is normally 1/2 inch or thicker plate that is anchored through the bed to the frame via a couple of cross members that bolt to the frame at their ends and to the gooseneck plate's cornors.

    Either application should for safety purposes be attached to the frame via at least 2 pieces of chain under the bed, in the event that the upper fasteners shear.

    Both applications require that the piviot point be centered in the bed and vertically centered over the axels. Mark out where the piviot point will be and check the measurements to the nearest obstical. I have seen poorly made trailers not have clearances needed to prevent touching the truck bed. Remember that gooseneck and 5th wheel both are pulled with the tail gate up and latched, so height also needs to be noted for clearances. Also use only 'grade 8' bolts with locking nuts for best service, never allow any slack or shift to exist in that they will eventually destroy something.
     
  4. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    OK what I got is a piece of steel with a ball in the middle it measures 42 inches by 13.5 inches. I have grade 8 bolts ,nuts and washers. I am to assume the 42 inches goes between the wheel wells ? with the 13.5 from front to back ? I can only bolt it into 1 piece of frame , the frame is 17 inches or so appart. So I should bolt it in the frame that is in front of the rear wheels ? At least 3 bolts per side ? Thanks alot guys ~ Patty
     
  5. Peak

    Peak Active Member

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    Patty I think your talking about mounting it to a crossmember in the frame not the frame its self. you might have to get some brackets to mount it to the frame rails.A local welding shop can make these if you need them.
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Theese are the toy 5th wheels right? I am only used to the 5th wheels on a class 8 truck , but make sore of the bolys and your frame or the 5th wheel may come loose.
     
  7. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    O peak maybe your right. I will go look again. Thanks ` Patty
     
  8. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Another thing that needs attention is gas tank placement before you start drilling holes in the bed.
     
  9. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    I got it all installed !!!! Even used the trailer for about 16 hours. Thanks