5th wheel hitch & Tacoma composite beds - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-07-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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5th wheel hitch & Tacoma composite beds

I have a 13 Tacoma DC 4X4 v6. Currently researching the Scamp 5th wheel camper and I like it so far. Had a couple 24' 5th's in the past so I am somewhat familiar with these units and hitch installation. Simple installs with all bolt on plates, etc. So today I called Scamp and questioned about the hitch installation details but he said he had no details at all but it would work. Wasn't the answer I was looking for.

The grey area of course is the composite bed. Was told by Reese and Curt that this vehicle couldn't handle a 5'er and they carry no frame side plates, etc., but I know it can handle the Scamp. Anyway, I know you are suppose to attach to the frame - that's what carries the load, not the bed.

So anyone install a 5th wheel hitch in the Tacoma composite beds and have some pictures and details. If its too much I may change and go another route.

(I don't really have the tools to fab my own brackets like I read about in other articles.)
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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Hi Joe, Toyota and all the composite boxes and hauling an all molded fiberglass "trailer 5th wheel" has been a discussion (and solution) here for YEARS.

Now, there's a lot of reading, but check out these topics/URLs for solutions that MAY work for you:

Scamp, S19 custom hitch - a set on Flickr
Tacoma 2.7 4cyl. engine
Scamp 5er Hitch Mod w/Photo Link

I probably have six more links available... but, this should tell you it's absolutely doable!
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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Absolutely! You don't ever bolt a 5th wheel hitch to the bed. Even on an all metal bed it would be "sheet" metal and that would never hold.

The one huge advantage to the Scamp is because of its light weight it is not imperative to place the hitch in "front" of the rear axle like you would in a much heavier 5'er. If something is in the way and you have to put it back towards the rear an inch or two it shouldn't make that much difference.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:04 AM   #4
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Joe
The Tacoma's I have seen build a metal frame and it is bolted to the truck with the bed bolts. On one the frame was built out of 2X2 tubing, the other was built out of heavy angle. They raise the frame just enough to clear the bed floor with washers or spacers. Then the Scamp hitch mounts to the frame. (Make sure you use grade 8 bolts.)
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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Joe I have a scamp 19 it was first towed with a 2005 2.7 tacoma that had brackets welded to the frame. Holes were drilled to fit the scamps 5th wheel hitch. The only problem is the hitch is hard mounted. IF I was you I would take the time to make your hitch removable I now have a 2012 tundra and had a Curt spider modified for the 19. The bracket for this were welded to the frame also. Rob
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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I would look into a b&w style hidden hitch, then adapt from there. Then you just need a hole in the center of the bed for it to come through. Personally, I think it's better to modify the scamp to be a real fifth wheel, than modify a real fifth wheel hitch to fit a scamp, but each to their own.

Somebody else makes a hitch like it, also.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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Scamp sells what you need, rather than trying to adapt something to work?
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Scamp5thHitch-01.jpg   Scamp5thHitch-02.jpg  

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Absolutely! You don't ever bolt a 5th wheel hitch to the bed. Even on an all metal bed it would be "sheet" metal and that would never hold.
I wondered about that when these folks posted there Frontier installation. Scamp told them attaching to the bed was fine.
Frontier short bed 5er hitch installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Scamp sells what you need, rather than trying to adapt something to work?
The pictures shown don't appear to be a Tacoma. If installed as the picture suggests, it would sandwich the plastic ribs between the metal frame and the metal hitch. I suspect Eddie's suggestion of metal spacers just above the floor, making a metal connection between the frame and the hitch, would be a more solid installation. Raz
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Scamp sells what you need, rather than trying to adapt something to work?
Yes I see that they do offer the hitch. The problem is how they attach it to the truck bed. They only use large fender washers on the underside with no frame attachment. I am sure in the future Scamp will come up with some other steel brackets to attach to frame - preferably a simple bolt on solution. I know I can adapt some universal brackets to attach to the rails, but for now I will continue doing some research for a solution that works for me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Scamp sells what you need, rather than trying to adapt something to work?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tibadoe View Post
Yes I see that they do offer the hitch. The problem is how they attach it to the truck bed. They only use large fender washers on the underside with no frame attachment.
The only part Eveland's (Scamp) customizes is the top. Otherwise, this is a commonly available fifth-wheel hitch system, using cross-rails on the box floor which are so common they interchange between a couple of brands. Proper frame brackets don't need to come from Scamp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibadoe View Post
I am sure in the future Scamp will come up with some other steel brackets to attach to frame - preferably a simple bolt on solution.
I wouldn't be so sure. It has taken them decades to come up with this. They are not in the hitch business, and I would not expect them (or any trailer manufacturer) to ever produce hitch solutions for specific vehicles, even though their oddball coupler setup doesn't work with available hitches.

Also...
Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
I wondered about that when these folks posted there Frontier installation. Scamp told them attaching to the bed was fine.
Frontier short bed 5er hitch installation
They've been claiming that their tacked-to-the-sheetmetal approach is valid for as long as they've been building the 19'. In practice, I suppose that Scamp 19' owners do generally get away with this hack.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:23 PM   #11
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I have the same uneasy feeling with my Subaru hitch. Sometimes you just have to believe.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #12
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Hi: All... Our Husky 16K EZRoller seems like overkill towing a fully loaded 3500# Escape 5.0. That hitch is one of the reasons I liked the 5.0. The hitch is mounted through the sheet metal box into brackets mounted to the frame rails. Pulling the rollers gives me ample room to manoeuvre in tight spaces but haven't needed to yet!!!
I'm sure a good hitch house can install the same way through a composite bed. Husky also has a gooseneck style hitch. I'd feel safer dealing with a hitch installer!!!http://www.huskytow.com
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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Husky also has a gooseneck style hitch. I'd feel safer dealing with a hitch installer!!!Husky Towing Products | Home
Yes, Husky (and the other major hitch manufacturers) sell ball hitches for truck bed mounting; however,
  • they may accommodate only 2-5/16" balls (not the 2" of the Scamp 19')
  • the ball is very near the truck bed, while the Scamp 19' ball is typically well above it

Look at any of the Scamp 19' custom hitches illustrated in this forum, such as the one Donna showed earlier, and compare them to the "gooseneck" hitches - they're very different in height.

Long ago there was one hitch system with both fifth-wheel and ball head options, which could be configured to place the ball up where the Scamp expect it... but even it was only set up for a 2-5/16" ball. Sorry, I don't remember the name, but it was shown in one of the several Scamp 19' hitch discussions - perhaps a FiberglassRV member was using one.

If anyone is aware of a commercially available height-adjustable bed-mounted ball hitch other than the Scamp customization shown earlier, please post it... I would much rather learn about a new equipment option than be right about the lack of availability!
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:34 PM   #14
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There is one. It's meant to use a bed gooseneck hitch on a fifth wheel, and they'll custom make a 2" ball. I'll try and find them later. I still say to make the scamp hitch right, rather than hacking something to fit it.
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