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Can Fifth Wheel Bed Rails Be Removed When Hitch is Not Being Used

Question:

I have a 2011 F150 6.5foot bed. When not camping I use the bed all the time for plywood, drywall, soil, etc. and absolutely need the full, flat, uninhibited, line-xed, bed when I take my 5th wheel hitch out. This includes mounting rails, bolts, any protrusions, etc. Will the Reese 15k slider with the RP50081-58 custom mounting kit allow me to achieve this? If not, could you point me in the direction of a rail mounting kit that would meet this criteria. Thanks!

Expert Reply:

When the Reese 5th wheel hitch is removed from the bed rails, the rails will remain in the truck bed. Once the rails are installed by bolting them through the bed to the frame brackets and tightened to their specified torque, they need to remain in place. Removing the bed rails repeatedly would cause undue stress on the mounting hardware thus weakening it, which is why the hardware is rated for a one-time use only.

Using the Reese Elite Series Under-Bed Rail and Installation Kit, part # RP30064 and the Reese Elite Series 18K Sliding Fifth Wheel Hitch, part # RP30144 will allow your bed to remain almost completely free of obstructions once the hitch is removed. The hitch would install using the 4 pucks that are set into the bed, as shown in the photo I have edited for you. As you can see, the pucks (which include plugs to keep debris out of them) are far less obtrusive in the truck bed than the standard bed rails. The RP30144 also includes a fifth wheel wiring harness for the truck bed.

Given your requirements, I believe the under-bed mounts and hitch would be the best choice for you. If you click the provided link, you can see installation details for the under bed rail kit.

For install details, click the provided links.

Click to Enlarge
expert reply by:
Michael L

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