April '14

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rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 29 28 • RV PRo • April 2014 rv-pro.com e Companion fifth wheel hitch pro- duced by B&W Trailer Hitch does not mount to industry-standard rails. e unit mounts to B&W's Turnover Ball gooseneck mounting system, completely underneath the truck bed, with only the hole for the gooseneck ball visible from inside the bed. e Companion is pinned in place to the gooseneck ball socket in the bed using an adapter, and the legs of the hitch rest on the truck bed. e unit can tow goose- neck trailers by having the fifth wheel hitch replaced with the gooseneck ball. In addi- tion, the truck bed is completely undis- turbed by protruding mounting rails, so that using it to haul raw materials is easier. "is unit has been the standard of the gooseneck towing industry for over 25 years," says Jen Unruh, marketing coor- dinator at B&W. Curt Manufacturing offers the high-end Q20 and Q24 fifth wheel hitches, rated at From the Top Not surprisingly, high-end fifth wheel hitch offerings feature higher gross trailer weight (GTW) ratings than basic models, more rugged and durable head and pivot assemblies, a dampened ride using rubber bushings and shock absorption, and styling for an improved appearance. While suppliers offer a range of fifth wheel hitch prod- ucts, they strongly suggest that dealers offer the top-of-the-line products first, and then offer the lower-priced product if the customer asks for it. "It's much tougher to upsell once the lower-priced product is offered," Romero says. "Too many dealers want the least expensive product available so they can 'throw it in with the deal' to sell a trailer. is shortchanges the customer and the industry in the long term, because the entry-level product, while inexpensive, does not offer the ride, features, benefits and overall towing satisfaction and confidence that our top-of-the-line product does." e latest high-end fifth wheel hitch from Cequent's Reese brand, the Titan, is offered in 16K and 20K ratings. A cast-pivot beam uses vibration isolators to smooth out the ride. e oversized cast head resembles those on big tractor-trailer units, and features a bright silver cast, dual-jaw system with tight tolerances to reduce chucking. A new con- toured handle and grip assembly makes latching and unlatching the jaws easier on the arms and hands. Reese's slider unit is available for short-bed installations, and the Titan uses the same universal mounting kit or custom-fit bracket as the company's Pro Series. Above: B & W has staked its reputation on the Companion hitch, together with the newer Patriot 16K. Top: B&W is one of several fifth wheel hitch suppliers which now offer OE-compatible versions of their topline models that now simply drop into the factory mounting pucks on Ford and Ram trucks. RVPApr.indd 28 3/19/14 3:17 PM

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