After I purchased my 2015 Ford F350 dually in June, I needed a new 5th wheel hitch. My truck came with the factory installed tow prep package including under-bed 5th wheel hitch rails, and so was ready for a Ford puck system compatible hitch to drop in.
I was aware of big players, Reese and B & W, both of whom produce Ford compatible 5th wheel hitches, however an Amazon.com search also brought up hitches by Curt Manufacturing, a company I had not heard of.
The Curt hitches appear pretty sturdy, have a reasonable price, and the few reviews available are good. Hitches are available with gross trailer weight (GTW) ratings of 16K, 20K, 24K and 25K pounds. I decided to buy the 25K rated hitch, not because I intended to tow that much, but because I didn’t want to be close to the limit of the hitch during use.
My Curt Q25 5th wheel hitch with Ford puck system legs (manufacturer model # 16039) arrived in two boxes, one containing the head and the other the legs. Assembly was simple, each leg is held to the head with two bolts torqued to 100 ft lbs. I did this on the ground behind my truck. Three height positions are available on the head, I chose the middle position.
Bad idea! The assembled hitch is very heavy and there is no way I would be able to lift it into the truck bed. A quick call to a neighbor for help remedied this.
I just checked the manufacturer’s website and the instructions there do recommend assembling the hitch in the truck bed. I don’t remember reading that in the instructions that I used!
To install the hitch into the factory mounts, latch pins are removed from the lock handles and the handles opened a quarter of a turn. With the hitch dropped down in place, cotter pins are removed from castle nuts which are gradually adjusted until the handles close snugly, but without requiring force.
The Curt Q25 fifth wheel hitch is very easy to use. The short throw handle includes a color coded system, so it is easy to identify the current state. If the window in the shaft shows red it’s ready to unhitch, yellow it’s ready to hitch and when green it’s ready to tow.
With it’s spherical axial bearing the head is able to move in any direction, rubber stoppers help cushion the head as it moves, helping to reduce chucking.
Driving with our fifth wheel hooked up is very smooth, we’ve covered about 600 miles so far, and it has met all expectations. The middle height setting worked well with our old fifth wheel, however it was necessary to raise it to it’s highest setting to allow adequate clearance between the new fifth wheel and the pickup truck bed rails. Over all I’m happy with this purchase.