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Reese 5th Wheel Base Rail Kit Installation - 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install the Reese 5th Wheel Base Rail Kit on a 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup


Today on our 2005 Dodge RAM pickup 1500 Series Quad Cab, we'll be installing the Reese Quick-Install Custom Base Rails and Installation Kit for Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitches, part number RP50040-58. To start our install, we're going to go ahead and remove the rear tires and lower the spare tire to give us some more working room. Next, we need to go ahead and remove the bracket that holds our emergency brake cables. We'll go ahead and take this bolt out, remove the bracket, but hold on to it because we will reinstall it. Now our wiring harness here on the driver's side, we need to go ahead and remove the hangers here that are just push fasteners that hold it in the frame, so when we move our side brackets up, it doesn't interfere. You can take flat blade screwdriver or a curved handle removal tool, and just pop it free. There's one right here, and then right by the gas tank, another one, pop that free.

Now our next step is just take one of the rails and set it into the bed. This will start our install of the actual fifth wheel rails. Now we need to go ahead and take our rail, get it into place, let's get it in a general area of where it needs to go, and then we start making our measurements. Now for the instructions, we need to go 50-21/32" back from the end of the bed. So we went ahead and hooked our tape measure up to the end of the bed.

You want to make sure it's flush with that, and then measure out your rail. After we get it measured here on the one side, we'll go over to the passenger side and make sure it's even, and then we need to make sure it's even on both sides by checking the distance from the wheel well to the edge of the rail. On this rail that's closest to the cab, we'll be using this hole ontis side of the rail, which is the second, and on the other side of the rail, we'll be using the fourth, or the most inside. We'll go ahead, take a paint marker, mark the middle, and then we'll take an 1/8" drill bit and drill our pilot holes. We'll do that for these two on this side and the two on the other side. Now we'll go ahead and leave the rail here in place while I do my 1/8" pilot hole, and once we get that drilled and we check underneath to make sure our rail is going to line up with our side brackets, I'm going to go ahead and remove the rail and then open up our holes to the size specified in the instructions. You do want to be careful on this hole as it is right over the gas tank, so you want to be gentle when pushing through.

We'll go ahead and take our side barcket here to help up in place to make sure our hole that we drilled here towards the front of the cab matches up with this hole. On this bracket, as you can see, it has a cutout here. That's going to go around the hatch panel right here. On some models, if it isn't cut out, you will have to go ahead, take a Sawzall, and cut this piece off right here. It is no structural support, that's just fore manufacturer when they're assembling it, cut that flush here so you can put your rail in place.

Look up there, make sure it lines up, looks like we're good on this side, and then we'll go ahead and do the same thing on the passenger side. Now we're going to go ahead and move our rail out of the way so we can enlarge our holes. Now we have it opened up for our final size of 9/16. For our two holes, the foremost hole going towards the cab will be 9/16, and this hole,w hich will go into the hatch panel of the truck bed, will be 3/4". You'll only want to do a 3/4" hole, though, through the bed corrugation. Now, we'll go ahead and take a vacuum and clean up our shavings. Now here in our 3/4" hole, we need to go ahead and drill through the hatch panel with the 9/16 hole. To do that, we're first going to take our spacer bushing that comes with our kit and install it into our 3/4" hole. We're then going to take a 1/2" drill bit and drill down through our bushing, through the hatch panel. That's going to keep our hole straight while we drill down. Now once we get through with our 1/2" drill bit, go ahead and remove that spacer tube, and then open up our hole here to 9/16. We'll do the same thing on our passenger side hole. Next, we need to loosely install the side brackets for our fifth wheel installation kit. Sub bracket is here, will mount to the frame in this general area. You use the carriage bolt and spacer blocks that come with it to put it in place. For our forward mounting location here on the back side, you'll bring in the skinner of your carriage bolt block and you'll run your carriage bolt through it. Then you want to bring in one of the gold spacers, feed that over, and then feed it over from the inside of the rail. Go ahead and take that, feed it here over the frame, and then we'll slide our bushing spacer over the bolt. The hardware will be the same for the inaudible 00:05:53 location, also. Now here on the front bracket, you're going to want to add the spacer that comes with the kit. It will be the block that has the round hole at the top and and an oval hole at the bottom. The oval hole will go towards the bottom, so we'll slide that on to our carriage bolts, and now we'll bring our side bracket and set it into place. We'll go ahead and use this split lock washer and our 1/2" nut here on our carriage bolt. Once you get one started, that will help hold everything in place so you can get the other bolt started in the hole and install your hardware. Here on our back final location for our side bracket, we use the wider strap. We'll put our carriage bolts through the top and the bottom, and for the rearmost mounting location, we're going to use the black bushings that come with our kit as our spacers. We'll go ahead and go on the inside of the frame, feed it through our two holes. Again, you'll see the split lock washer and nut to hold these in place. Get the bottom one started. That will allow you to move the side bracket around just a little bit to get the top one in place. Now that we have those loosely installed, we're going to go ahead and reinstall the emergency brake cable bracket here that we removed earlier loosely. As you can see, there's a cutout here in our bracket for the emergency brake cable inaudible 00:07:38. You'll just get that started and we'll tighten it down as one of the last steps. Now we need to go ahead and install our rail into our bed. For the two larger holes that we drilled out, the 3/4" and then through the hatch panel, we'll get a 4" carriage bolt, which will go through the rail, and then we'll install the gold spacer that we used to drill out the hole. We'll do that for both holes, and it will hold the spacers in place as we turn the rail over and put them into the holes. inaudible 00:08:24 channel. Now for our forward-most holes, we're going to use the 2.5" carriage bolt. Before that, we're going to our U-shaped spacer her, put it around our hole, and it'll just keep it from crushing the corrugation of the bed when tightened down. Then that will go through the side bracket. Do that for both sides. Now we need to go ahead and install our hardware on the bottom side of our carriage bolts we just put in place. Once we get it installed, we're going to snug it down because that will keep our front rail in place as we install the rear rail and keep everything square. For the 4" carriage bolt that goes with the hatch panel, we'll install a 2" by 3" spacer block, a split lock washer, and a nut. Now 2.5" carriage bolt that came down through our rail and through our side bracket, we'll get a 1.5" by 2" spacer block, and we're going to attach with a split lock washer and a nut. As you can see here, you have to do it over the frame, so it's kind of hard to see. You get up here enough, you can get up under there and get your hardware in position. Now with our hardware installed for this side of the rail on the passenger side, we'll repeat the same process with install on the blocks, split lock washers, and hex nuts on the driver side. Once we get those installed, we can go ahead and snug everything down just to keep that rail in place. Now we're going to go ahead and bring in our fifth wheel head assembly. This will help us set the back rail. We'll go ahead and set in the rail that we have installed, and we snug down, and then we bring in our rear rail and put it into our head. We'll go ahead and get our tape measure and make our measurements to make sure it's even from side to side, and diagonal to make sure it's square. We'll be using the second hole on the front and back for each one of the locations. We'll go ahead and make our mark. Again, we'll use an 1/8" drill bit to make our pilot hole, then we'll move the rail and open it up to a 9/16 hole using the step bit process, like we did for the front rails. Now we'll go ahead and move the rail and the head assembly out of the way, and we'll go ahead and check underneath just to make sure our holes line up with our side brackets. Now that we have our holed drilled out, we'll go ahead and move our rail into place. Now the hardware for these attachment points is the 2.5" carriage bolt and the U spacers. Feed the U spacer into place like we did for the front rail and drop in our carriage bolt. We'll do that for both sides. Now we can go to the bottom side and attach our hardware. You'll get the 1.5" by 2" block that will go on, and it will get secured with the split lock washer and our hex nut. Now there is a sequence that you want to go ahead and tighten and torque your hardware. You will now go ahead and tighten and torque the bolts that go from the cross rails through our side brackets, and then once you have those tight, you'll go ahead and tighten the side brackets around the frame. Now once we get the bolts tightened that hold the back rail into place, I'm going to go ahead and loosen up the carriage bolts that are holding the side bracket in place here towards the rear. That will give us access to these bolts to tighten the torque up. Now with our cross rails tightened and torqued to our side brackets, we're going to reinstall our carriage bolt and spacer here on the back inaudible 00:12:45. Now with our hardware reinstalled, we can go ahead and tighten it down. We'll go ahead and tighten down both sides, and then we'll torque as specified in the instructions. Now you do want to tighten these down evenly. We need to go ahead and drill two more holes. We need to install carriage bolts through the inside hole here and on the inside hole here on each rail. We'll go ahead and take our pilot bit again. This time, we're just going to keep the rails in place while we drill. Now once we have our holes big enough, we'll go ahead and clean up the shavings, then we'll go ahead and take our block here, slide it in over our hole, take our carriage bolt, and drop it through. Now for the last two carriage bolts we just dropped through, we're going to use a conical tooth washer and nut that comes with the rail kit. Get started hand tight. Now with our hardware tight and torqued and everything installed, we can go ahead and reinstall our head assembly. Now our last step in installing our fifth wheel rails is tighten down our emergency brake cable bracket that we took down earlier. Now with our rails installed, we can go ahead and put our tires and wheels back on and our spare tire. Once we lower it to the ground, we can go ahead and torque on. That will do it for inaudible 00:14:35 Reese Quick-Install Custom Base Rail Kit for Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitches, part number RP50040-58 on our 2005 Dodge Ram pickup 1500. .


Questions and Comments about this Video


Ricky S.
Will my B & W fifth wheel hitch work with the Resse rail kit
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@RickyS The Reese rail kit is not certified to work with B&W hitches. I assume you have this rail kit in your truck already? Take a look at this link https://www.etrailer.com/question-289768.html There is a dimensioned photo of the rails. You may be able to see if they could work by measuring your B&W and comparing.

Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Alan C
Test Fit:
Alan C
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R
Employee Andy C
Installed by:
Andy C

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