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Can You Use An Anderson 5th Wheel Hitch On A Short Bed Truck?

You’re setting up a towing assembly with your short bed truck. Now, you’re wondering if you can use an Andersen 5th wheel hitch with that towing vehicle. We researched this concern for your convenience, and here’s the answer we found.

It’s possible to use an Andersen 5th wheel hitch on a short bed truck, but it depends on the model of your trailer hitch. Check the product’s description or ask the hitch manufacturer if it’s possible to install a particular 5th wheel hitch to your short bed truck.

One Andersen 5th wheel hitch that’s compatible with short bed trucks is the brand’s Ultimate Connection hitch. So continue reading as we talk about this particular hitch, particularly how to install it onto your short-bed truck.

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Does The Andersen Ultimate Connection Work In Short Bed Trucks?

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As mentioned already, the Andersen 5th Wheel Ultimate Connection hitch works on short-bed trucks. Also, this hitch has no limitation with its turning radius. It has a flexible build, allowing you to maneuver the towing setup without your hauled load hitting the hitch’s nose or sidewalls.

However, Andersen recommends users offset the hitch to ensure users can take advantage of the Ultimate Connection hitch properly. For instance, if you have the gooseneck version of this particular 5th wheel hitch, you can have an offset up to 9 inches while you set the king pin back 4 inches.

On the other hand, the rail version allows an offset of up to 8 inches. But you still need to set the king pin back 4 inches.

Check out the Andersen Hitches Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection Trailer Hitch on Amazon.

How Do You Set Up An Andersen Ultimate Connection Hitch?

rv pick truck trailer climbing scenic view

The specific steps to install the Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection hitch often depend on the kit’s mounting system. In this section, you’ll learn how to install this particular hitch on your short bed truck for each of the hitch’s mounting types:

Installing The Andersen Ultimate Connection Hitch Gooseneck Mount

Before you install this 5th wheel hitch to your short bed truck, make sure to check the structural integrity of every item in the kit. Avoid proceeding with the installation if one of the parts may look like it’s going to break soon.

But if you deem the parts to be safe to assemble, continue this process by following these steps:

What You’ll Need

  • ¼-inch Allen or hex wrench
  • 5/16-inch socket wrench
  • 2 x medium adjustable wrenches
  • Torque wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Wheel chocks (optional)

Step-By-Step Guide

Step #1: Secure The Vehicle

Park your short bed truck at a site with flat and level ground. Then, engage its emergency, hand, or parking brake. You can also chock the wheels as an extra security measure.

Step #2: Calculate The Turning Clearance

Take note that each towing setup often has different turning clearance requirements. You can find the appropriate turning clearance for your towing assembly with the help of a tape measure.

Start by measuring the coupler’s center to the farthest corner of the hauled load. Next, measure the distance between the Ultimate Connection’s ball to the rear of the truck’s cab.

Step #3: Install The Hitch’s Base Unit

Place the base of the 5th wheel hitch on the truck’s bed. The location of the base should be as close to the tailgate as possible without the risk of harming that surface.

Then, insert the pin through the lower coupler sleeve. Secure this component as you push the hitch's base in the direction of the truck's cabin's rear.

Tighten the bolt at the top of the base with an appropriately sized ratchet and socket. Then, tighten the two bolts at the bottom of the hitch’s base.

Step #4: Install The King Pin Coupler Block

At this point, you need to find two measurements:

  1. The distance between the coupler block’s ball socket to the hauled load’s pin box
  2. The distance between the Ultimate Hitch Ball’s center to the inside of the tailgate and side rails

Identifying these readings can help ensure that the hitch has adequate clearance as your towing setup moves.

Next, put the king pin coupler block onto the hauled load’s king pin. Ensure to follow proper orientation, which generally means that the greaseless ball socket is facing down. Then, insert the two long king pin bolts into their correct holes. Secure this assembly by using torque and standard wrenches.

Step #5: Connect The Remote Latch Cable Bracket

Install the screws for the remote latch cable bracket. Then, attach and secure the bracket to that location. Route the remote latch cable afterward, and ensure it works as intended.

Step #6: Finishing The Installation

If you don’t have a trailer or hauled load for your towing setup, you can skip this step. Otherwise, set the hitch’s latch to its open position and reverse the pickup truck until it goes underneath the hauled load or trailer. You’ll know when to stop if the king pin coupler is above the hitch’s ball.

Once the towing vehicle and towed load are at their correct positions, you can lower the load or trailer until its entire weight rests on the ball. Secure the connection by inserting and pushing the remote latch handle in place.

You can also watch this video if you need a visual guide for this procedure:

Installing The Andersen Ultimate Connection Hitch Rail Mount

Installing the Andersen Ultimate Connection hitch to your short bed truck has some similar steps when compared to the installation procedure of the product’s gooseneck mount. In particular, you can follow steps 1 and 2 of the gooseneck mount’s installation procedure.

The main difference between the gooseneck and rail mount installation procedures is the base setup process. For the rail mount, place the Ultimate Connection hitch’s base on the truck bed. Ensure that the hitch’s ball is closest to the tailgate without the risk of the component bringing harm to that surface.

Next, insert and secure the four rail pins into their holes. Insert and secure the hitch’s ball after you secure the four rail pins in place.

After completing the base’s installation, you can install the king pin coupler block and remote latch cable bracket as you would with the gooseneck hitch mount setup. Then, attach your hauled load or trailer to complete the towing setup.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using A 5th Wheel Hitch?

rv pick truck trailer parked on the wide open area

You should be aware of the possible advantages and drawbacks of using a 5th wheel hitch, regardless of its brand and model. For instance, 5th wheel hitches typically put additional weight on the rear axle. This property aids the towing setups by bringing them closer to the ground, providing enhanced stability and traction.

But 5th wheel hitches are also quite short in length as compared to other hitch types. So it might put the towed load or trailer at risk of bumping into the towing vehicle's rear. Still, you may reduce the risk of this instance from happening by ensuring the hitch and the towing setup has proper clearance.

What Should I Look For In A 5th Wheel Hitch?

red paint pick up truck side view angle on the car park, Can You Use An Anderson 5th Wheel Hitch On A Short Bed Truck?

Take the time to think about certain factors before purchasing a 5th wheel hitch. Some elements to watch out for and consider carefully are:

Gross Trailer Weight

Identify the gross weight of your 5th wheel vehicle or hauled load. This measurement can be your baseline as you check for 5th wheel hitches on the market.

Remember, you should avoid buying and installing a 5th wheel hitch with a maximum towing capacity that’s less than your towed load. Otherwise, you’re going to run into issues like putting the coupler at risk of breaking.

Truck Bed’s Length

Take note that the truck bed’s length helps you in determining the amount of clearance possible for the hitch setup. If you’re using a short bed truck, you’ll typically have a shorter clearance as compared to a 5th wheel hitch in a long bed truck.

So make your hitch selection by looking at the length of your truck’s bed. Some 5th wheel hitches have sliders to help you reposition them without going through complete removal procedures.

Final Thoughts

You can use an Andersen 5th wheel hitch on a short bed truck. One ideal candidate is the brand’s Ultimate Connection hitch. If you purchase this particular 5th wheel hitch, you can use this post as a guide if you need help with the installation process.

If you’re looking for answers to other hitch-related concerns, check out these other great posts:

What Are The Torque Specs For A Weight Distribution Hitch?

Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Towing Capacity?