Frontier short bed 5er hitch installation - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
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Fran L's Avatar
Name: Fran L and Dave W
Trailer: 2008 Escape 5.0
New Mexico
Posts: 256
Frontier short bed 5er hitch installation

We had a private message request for this info and thought we would post it in case any one else was interested. Photos at the end.

This is a 2011 Frontier Pro4X 4WD with 5’ bed and factory standard heavy duty shocks
The bed is 5’ long (interior length)
Bed sidewall height from ground = 48.5” at front and 49.5” at tailgate
Bed interior sidewall height at the tailgate = 19”
We have a rollup tonneau cover installed and the railes for that add 1.5” to the sidewall height.

Hitch Measurements:
From inside the front bed wall to ball center = 25”
From ball to inside surface of tailgate = 34”

Distance between the inside surfaces of the mounting flanges is 43.5”

We had to trim the mounting cross bar to fit our bed – it had been on a larger vehicle before.
(Note: If you have to trim the cross bar, be sure to trim both ends equally in order to keep the ball centered. Also you might need to drill new bolt holes in the crossbar for fastening it to the uprights.)

Top of cross bar is 10” above the high point on the ridges in truck bed.
We have the cross bar in the highest of the 3 available positions in order for the Scamp to ride level.

Note that the truck bed is steel, not composite. We called Scamp and they verified that mounting to the steel bed, even without getting into the frame, was fine. They confirmed they had done several Frontiers (with steel beds) this way.
It was not possible to fully mount the hitch into the sides of the wheel wells…the bed is not long enough. Only one of the 2 possible side bolts is fastened into the wheel well. You want at least one bolt into the wheel well to stabilize the hitch for side flexion.
The other bolts go into the bed. The shop that installed the hitch was unhappy that there was no way to mount through the bed into the frame. They had never seen a Scamp 5er hitch. We think they added a 3rd bolt into the bed for extra security.

NOTES: We have ample clearance for the Scamp turning at the cab, sides and tailgate. Scamp likes to have the hitch over the axles but we weren’t able to do that because of the bed length. We probably could have mounted the hitch a little closer to the front of the bed (a little more over the axle), but we haven’t noticed any problems towing.

Hope that helps!
Fran in NM
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Name: James
Trailer: scamp 19
New Mexico
Posts: 1
Thank You Fran.
jim in organ

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Old 08-13-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Name: george
Trailer: FunFinder
Posts: 455
This is unrelated to the hitch....but did you know that the channels in the bed ( utilitrac ) is the same as standard "superstrut". So any bracket or accessory that you can buy at Lowe's for superstrut will slip right in there. I got a bunch of the "t-nuts", and some short stainless steel eyebolts, so I can have many places to tie off things in the bed, or hook bungee cords to, etc.

By the way, the rig looks great ! Does it tow well ?
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Name: Fran L and Dave W
Trailer: 2008 Escape 5.0
New Mexico
Posts: 256
Hi George,
Yes, I think we knew that - haven't had a need to add any tie downs yet but thanks for the reminder! Could come in handy.
Yes, the Scamp 5er seems to tow husband does all the driving and is happy with the way it handles. It doesn't sway and there's no noticeable tugging on the hitch (when the brakes are properly adjusted). We haven't noticed any undue 'bouncing' that some have reported with their 5er. He likes it better than the 16' Scamp we had before this one.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 3,561
Interesting installation. Thanks for sharing. Raz
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