So you’re finally ready to take your RV out on the open road, eh? Well, before you can get going, you’ll need to install a gooseneck hitch. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds – we’ll walk you through the process step by step.
Take off spare tire and trim it
The first step is to remove the spare tire and any trim that might be in the way. You’ll need a few tools for this part – a socket wrench, a Phillips head screwdriver, and a flathead screwdriver. Start by loosening the lug nuts on the spare tire and removing it from the RV. Then, use the Phillips head screwdriver to remove the fasteners holding the trim in place. Once the trim is removed, you should have clear access to the gooseneck hitch mounting location.
Make a Pilot hole for the ball
Now it’s time to measure and drill the ball hole. The ball hole needs to be big enough to accommodate the gooseneck hitch ball, so be sure to measure carefully. Once you’re confident in your measurements, drill a pilot hole. Then, use the appropriate hole saw to drill the full-size hole. To help prevent corrosion, cover any exposed metal edges with touchup paint. And that’s it!
Connect the crossarm brackets to the vehicle.
With the ball hole drilled, you can now insert the crossarm brackets. These brackets will support the gooseneck hitch, so be sure to position them correctly.
I always like to start from the rear and work my way forward, but you can do it however you want. Just be careful not to damage any brake lines or wiring! Once the rear bracket is in place, use a wrench to rotate it to the proper orientation.
Then, do the same with the front crossarm bracket. You need to read the instruction manual carefully before trying to get the front crossarm bracket in position. With both brackets in place, your truck should now be ready for some serious off-roading!
Insert the gooseneck center piece.
Now it’s time to install the gooseneck center section. The center section needs to be put to place and if you are finding it to manage it all alone, you can always ask for assistance from your friends. The hitch itself can weigh upwards of 50 pounds, so it’s best not to try this one alone. Once you have the center section lifted and in place, simply secure it with the necessary hardware. And that’s it!
Attach the side plate brackets
Attach the side plate brackets. Now that the crossarms are in place, it’s time to attach the side plate brackets. These brackets provide additional support for the hitch, so be sure to position them correctly. Use the included hardware to attach the side plate brackets to the crossarms. These will bolt into place inside the wheel wells, so you might need to get a little handsy with a fishwire if your truck frame is being obstinate. On the bright side, this is also a great opportunity to get familiar with your truck’s undercarriage!
When you are working with the side plates, just make sure that the gooseneck hitch is complementing the truck frame and not the other way around.
When attaching the side plates, make sure the gooseneck hitch is squared up with the truck frame. On the driver’s and passenger’s sides, install side plate brackets.
Make sure the hardware is secure.
Now that all of the brackets are in place, you can torque all of the hardware to the specifications in the instructions. This is an important step, so be sure not to skip it.
Install the safety chain anchors
The next step is to install the safety chain anchors. Installing the safety chain anchors is simple enough, but it’s important to do it right. After all, you don’t want your load taking off down the highway without you. First, use the gooseneck center section as a template to drill holes into the truck bed. Then drop in the safety chain loops and attach the necessary hardware. With that done, you can rest easy knowing that your load is secure. Just don’t forget to hit the brakes when you get where you’re going.
Installing the operating handle
The final step is to install the operating handle. You need to install the locking pin mechanism and it needs to be installed into the side of the ball hole. If you don’t, you’ll be driving down the road and suddenly find that your ball has gone missing! Then, insert the operating handle into the wheel well via the hitch center section and through the locking pin. Attach the necessary fasteners, and double-check the ball’s functionality. If your hitch includes a ball trim ring, install it now.
And that’s it! You now know how to install a gooseneck hitch on your RV. Just follow these steps and you’ll be ready to hit the open road in no time.