Will Installed Air Bags Interfere With Installation Of Fifth Wheel On 2001 Ford F-250 Or F-350

Question:

I have watched your installation videos for the custom brackets for a 5th wheel hitch and was wondering how the install will change if the truck is equipped with air bags. it appears that the install brackets go right where the air bag mount is located. Can you shed some light on this for me please. Thanks

Expert Reply:

I spoke with my contact at Firestone about your 2001 Ford F-250 or F-350. Since we have a couple of air bag systems manufactured by Firestone I asked if there would be any interference when installing a fifth-wheel hitch and using the custom brackets like part # RP50082-58.

My contact at Firestone said that if you have an air bag system like the # F2550 installed on your truck, they would not interfere with a fifth wheel installation because the brackets for the air bag system are installed on the inside part of the truck frame rail. They told me if you have the # F2071 Firestone system, it would not work with a fifth wheel system on your truck because the brackets for a system like the # F2071 are installed on the outside of the frame rail and would interfere with brackets for the fifth wheel installation.

I also spoke with my contact at Reese and they said they have not installed the two systems together so they could not tell me if there would be interference or not.

A note of caution is that it will void the warranty for the fifth wheel brackets if they are modified in any way. We have had many customers that have opened up the hole on the fifth wheel bracket on the # RP50082-58. I have attached a photo of the bracket and have noted the hole that would may need to be opened up. Since the frame rail does have a recess at that point you may not have to do anything. You will want to make sure the bracket sits flat against the frame rail. I have also attached a photo that shows where the bolt for the # F2550 air bag system is.
Another alternative would be to use the universal installation kit like part # RP30035. The brackets included with this kit do not interfere with the air bag brackets or hardware when installed.

If you do not have the fifth wheel hitch yet I recommend the Pro Series Fifth Wheel, part # PS30855. This fifth wheel has a 16,000 lb gross towing weight abd 4,000 lb vertical load limit.

I have attached a couple of installation videos you can check out.

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expert reply by:
Jeffrey L

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