The weird fifth wheel hitch arrived today just as promised. I'm always amazed that Amazon can get things to your house so quickly. I ordered this hitch Sunday afternoon and it arrived Tuesday before lunch, simply amazing. I can remember long time ago when I would order something and it would say "please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery" and I thought that was pretty quick.
But I digress. The hitch arrived in fine shape and after lunch I started installing it. The hardest part of course was taking out the old hitch. The old hitch is heavy and a little greasy from all the times I've sprayed it with oil so I could get it to lock up properly. After pulling out a couple of pins the old hitch becomes two parts so it's a little easier to handle. After about 20 minutes of struggle, and having yet another excuse for a bad back I managed to get the hitch off of the truck and stored out of the way in my daughter's yard until I can find someone to buy it.
Putting the new Andersen Ultimate hitch in was considerably easier. I had it unpacked, out of the shipping box, installed on the rails and the retaining pins put in, in about 10 minutes. It probably wouldn't have taken that long but the hitches male tabs that fit into the rails female slots were very tight, which I consider a good thing, and the last pin had to be gently cajoled into place with a plastic mallet.
I finished up the installation in the truck bed and was about to install the part that goes on the trailer kingpin when the whole project had to be called on account of rain. The installation of the part on the kingpin looks pretty straightforward so I'm going to make a wild guess and say that I believe a person could, take out the old hitch, install the new hitch in the bed of the truck, and put the female part on the kingpin, in less than an hour, but I won't know for sure until I do it tomorrow morning.
So far I'm pleased with my purchase. The parts look well-made and well designed. I checked the welds and they all looked clean and strong. The aluminum parts are solid and well finished, and the frame has a blemish free powder coating on it. So far so good.
The old hitch in two pieces. I swear there wasn't a speck of rust on that hitch until I spent a month on the beach at Padre island Texas.
The old rails waiting for the new hitch. One of these days when I get the energy I'll spray paint them black.
The new Andersen ultimate hitch parts. The black pyramid thing goes in the bed, and the red thing goes on the front of the trailer.
The new Andersen ultimate hitch penned to the rails
The final pin took a little gentle persuasion to find its home.