Hitched: 2011 RAM B&W Trailer Hitches Gooseneck Install

When choosing the correct trailer to tow Project DeadSpool, we looked at many trailers and considered many different factors. While bumper pull and gooseneck trailers have their advantages, we choose a B&W Trailer Hitches gooseneck for our 2011 Ram.
Knowing we’re going to be towing into some heavy populated race tracks with our truck, we’re going to need maximum turning radius as well as the safety of it while traveling, we turned to the towing specialists, B&W Trailer Hitches, for the best hitch system on the market. The newest turnover ball system for Dodge trucks is ready to install.
A truck requires a certain type of hitch system to utilize this type of trailer and that is exactly what we’re doing. With a bumper pull, under a heavier load, all of the trailer tongue weight will be placed directly at the rear of the truck. With that being said, if you’ve ever towed, you’ll know with a bumper pull, with heavyweight, has the tendency to get unstable.

B&W was formed in 1987, in a small garage in Humboldt, Kansas by Roger Baker and Joe Works.

An option to deter that from happening is either towing lighter or install a gooseneck ball and utilize a gooseneck trailer. The gooseneck ball and trailer, just like a fifth-wheel, will place the load over the rear axle, which will make for a safer towing experience. Unlike a fifth-wheel hitch, the gooseneck ball will allow sharper turning because it rests on the ball with no restriction.

At B&W Trailer Hitches, all of the products are outfitted with American-Made hardware.

Recently, our first towing experience with this truck was with a bumper pull at around 8,ooo-pounds. After the swaying and rocking from all the tongue weight, we knew it was time for an upgrade. The turnover ball system (GNRK1308) was outfitted for the 2006-2012 mega cab trucks. Being that it’s a mega cab short bed, we also installed the B&W four-inch (GNXA4085) extender to allow even more clearance when turning.

The four-inch extender is a removable piece of 3/4-inch steel, that moves the pivot point rearward, four inches.

After hitting the B&W dealer locator, we found our local installation shop, Creative Trim, And Performance, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Creative Trim And Performance was glad to help out with our install and get us towing safely.

A good rule of thumb is before tearing into this install, you should make sure that any and all obstructions are out of the way. You don’t want to be deep into the install and then something you didn’t remove is now in the way.

Getting Hitched

To begin, we lowered the spare tire to allow access under the bed where the hitch will be placed. We also removed the exhaust heat shield and inner fender wells to make room for adjustments on the side rails. When doing an installation like this, you want to make sure you give yourself enough clearance to get everything thoroughly tight.

Knowing we had some available adjustments to make, we then drilled our four-inch hole in the center of the bed for our receiver ball.

Cutting the receiver hole in the bed is very important. Although you do have some adjustment of the base plate, you should still measure twice and cut once. It was clear that Creative Trim has done this a time or a thousand. Every aspect of the install was precision and looks completely factory.

Before mounting the actual hitch plate itself, we had to add the cross members to the frame of the truck, so the plate had something to ride on. The angled cross members slid into place and awaited the hitch plate to be picked up and bolted into place. Having someone hold up the plate while starting in on the hardware is doable, but isn’t necessary. There are some tricks that will help.

Creative utilized a 2×4 that was the width of the bed and laid it on the bed rails. By tieing a ratchet strap to the board, they hoisted the hitch up to the bottom of the bed for bolting. This kept someone from not having to hold it up against the bed while another person installs the hardware.

The crew from Creative Trim and Performance tightened up all of the hardware that remained. A quick tip is, if you have access to a shop, with air tools, use it. Some of the areas in which you’ll need to tighten hardware would be easier and quicker with air tools. Without watching the clock like a hawk, the install took just over an hour.

Once all of the hardware is tight in our cross members and it’s held solidly to our mounting plate, we’re nearing the end of our installation. The holes should be on the bottom plate but used to drill through the bed floor. The safety chains are a last resort if somehow the truck and trailer came disconnected.

After a very quick and easy install, the holes on the bottom of the base plate were used as guides to drill through the bed for the safety chains hooks.

This turnover ball system is a far superior item in the towing market. It features a durable, all powder coated finish, one-piece machined receiver socket, and a flexible latch pin handle attached to a spring-loaded, 5/8-inch steel locking pin that goes completely through the ball.

A few other great benefits of this kit are that you’re only required to drill a four-inch hole in your bed and on top of that, the kit is entirely factory outfitted. Meaning, other than the ball hole, you aren’t required to weld or drill anything to work. This hitch is designed to use the existing, factory frame holes.

We spoke with Beth Barlow, of B&W Trailer hitches to get her thoughts on the newer kit. “Every Turnoverball is truck specific, so bolt holes in the hitch line up with existing holes in the frame, for instance.  We work hard to engineer our products to install with as little hassle to the installer as possible,” Barlow said. “One of the things that customers like about the Turnoverball is the square post in a round socket.  This arrangement allows us to keep tolerances very tight on the ball, which mean less sloppiness and a better towing experience.”

We’re stoked to try out our new B&W Turnoverball system in the very near future. Be sure and check back for our follow up article on how it performed. For more information on B&W Trailer Hitches, check out their website. What’re your thoughts on the newest system from B&W? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds as well as sled pulling competitions.
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