PRIMER:

The Ram 2013-2014 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group

Can You Use It Yet?


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With the 2013 model year, Ram introduced a factory 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group for the Ram 3500. It's also available for 2014 Ram 2500's and 3500's.

This $400 option provides an in-bed trailer 7-pin wiring connector on the driver-side wall on the interior of the bed, and a set of 5 quick-disconnect mounts attached to the frame and the accompanying holes in the bed. The center hole is for the QD Gooseneck ball, and the other 4 are for attaching a 5th Wheel Hitch.

The Factory 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group installed in our 2014 Ram 3500. It also has the factory Spray In Bedliner.

Bed Mounted Electrical Connector

The Bed Mounted Trailer Electrical Connector

What it turned out to be is a good idea with a very flawed roll-out implementation. To be blunt, Ram screwed up. They started shipping trucks with the prep group installed, but it wasn't technically complete because they didn't have the parts ready to use with it. They are starting to appear, but it has taken a lot of time. Even when we picked our truck up in late December of 2013, they were not in stock at the dealer.

There have also been a lot of reports from the field of trucks delievered without the trim rings and covers for the holes in the bed included with this package. Those are included as part of the prep group, and the dealer can obtain them if they were missing or lost.

The installation sheet for the trim rings and covers included with the 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group. They come in a large zip-lock bag with this sheet.

Trim Rings Installed

The 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group with the trim rings installed

Trim Rings And Covers

The 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group with the trim rings and covers installed. The covers are easliy removed for access to the mounting points.

The gooseneck ball is NOT included as a part of the kit. You have to pay extra for it. It is Mopar part number 82213631 in a 3" ball (MSRP $250) or Mopar part number 82213632 in a 2 5/16" ball (MSRP $250). Both include the QD ball unit that goes into the center hole and two safety chain tie-downs that mount in the outer QD holes.

As for the 5th Wheel portion, Ram intended to supply (at a cost of $575) a square "picture frame", where the corners attach to the QD connections in the bed. You then bolt your 5th Wheel Hitch to that. The Mopar part number for that picture-frame adapter is 82213667. There were manufacturing issues with them, and until early 2014 were in short supply. Our dealer had none in stock when we picked up our truck.

As of 03-January-2014, the folks in Media Relations at Chrysler corporate have told me that all three kits are available in-stock for dealer/consumer fulfillment.

Understandably, many existing owners were quite unhappy about the delays. If they wanted to tow at the time they drove off of the lot, they either had to locate one of these very hard-to-find adapters (on which they could then mount their 5th Wheel hitch), or they had to have their 5th Wheel Hitches mounted in their truck bed with yet additional holes.

In my opinion, the whole setup was a brilliant idea, but releasing it without having all of the needed supporting parts available in needed quantities was a major mistake. Many say that they should have included the gooseneck ball and the frame adapter in the package, and I have to admit that I agree with that. You should be able to go from the dealership ready to tow - after all, that's generally why people buy trucks like this. The kit should have been complete and available with the truck.

When we picked out our 2014 Ram 3500, this factory option was one of the features we wanted. We figured it was only a matter of time before other manufacturers took the opportunity to build on that system - and we had the luxury of time before we pick up the trailer.

It has taken a good bit of time, but other companies are starting to put their parts on the market to take advantage of this factory package group. I am receiving press releases about them now. We are also trying to see what we can get from Mopar to review and show how to use this system.

We plan to review as many of the options as possible, however most of the 3rd party products won't be seeing general availability until January of 2014 and later. Until we have those systems in house and have a chance to review them, we want to provide information on systems that are due to be released soon to take advantage of this package.


B&W

We have received their Model 3600 Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch. It's designed to drop right into the factory package. It's rated for 25,000 lbs. trailer weight and 6,250 lbs. trailer tongue weight.

Our First Look Video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps-6WL4fRy0&list=UUThfO4FutufDywtPa7EIrTQ

This is a photo of the first unit they sent. The base unit did not perfectly fit. They discovered some variances in measurements, and as of late on the 24th of March we have a replacement. They re-designed the interface system, and it works perfectly.

Shipping Version Of The Companion 3600

You will note that the feet on the new one are a bit different. This one adjusted easily and dropped right in. There will be more to come on this unit shortly.


CURT

I received the following notification from CURT on 23-December-2013:

"CURT will release a RAM OEM Compatible 5th Wheel Leg Kit for the 2013-2014 RAM 3500 and 2014 RAM 2500. Our part number will be 16021. These leg kits will work on any of CURT’s 5th Wheel hitches to include the 16K, 20K, and 24K hitches. You will not need an adapter from the OEM Prep Package to a set of legs on a 5th Wheel Hitch. These kits have a handle built into the side as you can see in the attached photo to help with the installation and removal from the truck bed. The leg kits passed the stringent SAE J2638 standards and will be rated to 24,000lbs. GTW. These leg kits are made here in Eau Claire, WI. We should have these on the market at the end of January."


MOPAR

As mentioned above, MOPAR has the following offerings...

Hitch Mounting Bracket (Picture Frame) #82213667. $575 MSRP - this is a one-piece unit onto which you mount a standard 5th Wheel hitch.

Mopar Adapter

They also offer two Gooseneck balls that go in the center hole of the prep group - the Mopar part number 82213631 in a 3" ball (MSRP $250) or Mopar part number 82213632 in a 2 5/16" ball (MSRP $250). Both include the QD ball unit that goes into the center hole and two safety chain tie-downs that mount in the outer QD holes. These are rated at 30,000 pounds.


PULLRITE

PullRite has announced their #4439 "Picture Frame" Adapter that allows you to mount any industry standard 5th Wheel Hitch into a Ram Truck equipped with the factory prep group. Theirs supports towing up to 25,000 pounds. It also comes apart in 4 pieces, which is different than both the Mopar and Reese adapters.

PullRite 4439


REESE

Reese has released the following the #30140 Elite Under-bed Gooseneck Accessories Kit for the Ram with the factory 5th wheel/gooseneck group. It includes: (1) 2-5/16" Pop-In™ Ball #19311, (1) Storage Bag, (2) Safety Chain Attachments & (1) Hole Cover.

Reese 30140

Reese 30140 Kit

The Reese 30140 Kit - The included hole cover is not shown

Reese 30140 Installed\

The Reese 30140 Kit Installed

They also have their #30154 Rail Kit Mounting Adapter (their identical version of the Mopar "picture frame") which is a one-piece unit.

Reese 30154


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