Without a Hitch

pullrite-lead

Photo Credit: Chris Hemer

by Chris Hemer
February 3, 2016
Filed under Trailer Gear


 

PullRite’s ISR Series SuperRail Mounting Kit makes it easy to install or remove the fifth-wheel hitch assembly at will

Going big right out of the gate or upgrading from a smaller travel trailer to a fifth-wheel is fraught with decisions, especially when it comes to your truck. Because, beyond determining how much fifth-wheel it can tow and pin weight it can shoulder, you have to get used to the fact that installing the hitch will likely require some permanent modifications, and that the very thing that makes your truck a truck — its bed — will forever be compromised by a large, heavy hitch assembly that is difficult at best to remove.

PullRite feels your pain. Using the company’s patented Clean Bed Technology (CBT), the ISR Series SuperRail Mounting Kit restores the full use of the truck bed. You simply unpin the hitch, unpin the rails, and the entire hitch assembly can be lifted out. Then it’s just a matter of giving the four mounting posts a twist, and you have a completely flat load floor. The only things that would even clue you in to the hitch’s presence are four holes in the bed. Adding to the convenience of this system are the custom, application-specific brackets that bolt to the frame, most of which don’t require drilling.


 

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Part of what makes installing the PullRite ISR Series SuperRail Mounting Kit so easy is this cleverly engineered, application-specific bracket system that bolts to the frame just above the rear wheels.

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Starting on the passenger side, the bracket is moved into place behind the tire, and then hung on the frame rail.


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The piece of supplied fish wire is fed through the hole in the bracket and the corresponding hole in the frame, and then passed back out through the larger oblong hole in front of it.

PullRite’s ISR Series mounting kits with CBT are available for most late-model three-quarter-ton (2500 series) and one-ton (3500 series) trucks. PullRite tests all of its installation kits to SAE J2638 standards and rates them accordingly. It’s still a good idea to check with your dealer or PullRite to make sure you get the proper fit and weight rating for the specific application.

We recently visited Richardson’s RV Center in Riverside, California, and observed as the ISR Series SuperRail Mounting Kit was installed in a 2013 GMC 2500 HD. This kit, rated at a stout 24,000 pounds, was used to mount a PullRite SuperGlide hitch, rated at 18,000 pounds. Now, while the guys at Richardson’s are obviously well practiced in such installations, we were still surprised that the entire process took less than an hour. With first-time scrutiny, some hand tools and a little patience, however, we think it would be possible for an experienced do-it-yourselfer to complete the job in two hours, which is still pretty amazing. And once installed, it takes minutes to remove the entire hitch assembly, albeit with the help of a friend or a hoist. The slider hitch in particular is too heavy for one person to lift out of the bed safely.

So, if an obstructed bed is the only thing that’s kept you from choosing a fifth-wheel, rejoice. The ISR Series SuperRail Mounting Kit provides the safety and stability of a fifth-wheel hitch without compromising bed space.

PullRite/Pulliam Enterprises
800-443-2307
www.pullrite.com

 

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Now the bolt can be threaded into the coiled section of the fish wire, then pulled back into the frame. The piece of stock welded to the head of the bolt will prevent it from turning inside the frame when the nut is attached and tightened.
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The same steps are repeated for the rearmost hole in the bracket. Pull slowly
and carefully to prevent the bolt from falling off in the frame. Once this bracket is installed, the process is repeated on the driver’s-side frame.

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Another way PullRite alleviates installation anxiety is with this application-specific template that helps determine where the hitch base plate should be located in the truck bed. It is made of plastic, so it lies perfectly flat and isn’t easily damaged.
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As with almost every installation, careful measuring is key. The instructions for this particular truck call for the template to be positioned 24½ inches from the end of the bed on both sides. The edge of the template
is then outlined with a white marker.

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Once the template has been carefully measured from side to side to ensure it is centered, the holes marked in the template can be drilled through.
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A hole saw is used to cut through the bed sheet metal. The new hole should align perfectly with the hole in the bracket beneath.

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As you can see, the hole cut does indeed line up perfectly with the bracket underneath. Some minor grinding on one side of the hole was required so the posts could be inserted and turned more easily.
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When you’re ready to tow, the hitch installation starts by inserting these posts through the hole, then turning them slightly to lock in place.
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The rest of the holes are cut and the posts inserted.
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The rails are positioned over the posts and pinned in place — no tools required.

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The mounting brackets are positioned at the correct locations atop the rails and pinned in place as well.
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The hitch assembly is lifted into the truck and the cross members placed into the mounting brackets. Note that holes in the hitch cross member allow it to be adjusted from side to side.

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The fasteners are installed and tightened to specifications.
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Finally, the hitch head is slid forward and the rails treated to silicone spray for smooth operation. All of the fasteners used in the installation are then torqued to specifications.

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