B&W Fifth Wheel Companion FAQ's

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a cover for the hole in the bed?

The beauty of the Turnover Ball is that, when the ball is stored upside-down in the receiver, it perfectly fills the hole and doesn't allow dirt and grime to get in. We have been reluctant to provide a cover because doing so may also keep the hitch from being flush with the bed, a benefit we have worked hard to engineer into each of our hitch models.

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What color is the Companion, I can't tell from the pictures?

The Companion is painted with a medium gray powder coat finish.

Will the Companion work with my bedliner?

Yes. However, if you are using a plastic drop in bed liner you will need to cut a hole in the liner large enough for the Companion base to set in.

Where do I position the RV arms? How much adjustment does it allow?

The Companion has three height positions; 16.25", 17.25" and 18.25". In addition, it has two positions for mounting the post, which allows more forward/aft adjustment. There are several things that you will want to consider when deciding what configuration to use for your Companion arms. In choosing the height for the arms, keep in mind that that the king pin will need to clear the truck bed sides. In choosing the post/arm position that allows for the best fore/aft towing position, consider turning clearance as well as the position relative to the axle.

I have seen products, such as converters and extenders that say they can be used with your products. Is it true?

At B&W, there is nothing more important to us than the safety of our customers. Because of our commitment to exceptional design and quality, we often see products on the market that refer to B&W products or state that they can be used with B&W products. As a rule of thumb, we do not recommend any product that is used in conjunction with our mounting system that has not been manufactured and tested by B&W, even if that product states that it can be used with B&W products. Doing so will void our warranty, but more importantly, could create a safety issue.

We have been made aware of a product that is of special concern. This product replaces the pin box on a 5th wheel trailer and changes the pivot point from the hitch jaws to a point rearward of the hitch. It is our opinion that this configuration creates stress loads that fall outside the normal testing done on 5th wheel hitches. We are concerned that moving the pivot point rearward as much as 20 inches puts stress on the hitch (and the truck) that has not been widely studied. Therefore, we strongly discourage the use of our Companion 5th Wheel Hitch with one of these pin boxes. Any product that prevents the king pin from rotating within the jaws of the Companion with a wedge or other device and moves the center of rotation to a point other than the locking jaws should not be used with the Companion.
When the Companion was engineered, the goal was to raise the bar in the 5th Wheel Hitch industry. We did that by offering a truly versatile hitch that has many desirable features including jaws that tightly fit the king pin, and a coupler that is cushioned and pivots in four directions. We also championed the ability to have a rail-free bed when not towing, with a single point attachment to the mounting system. The result is a sturdy, high quality hitch with a superb safety record. This document in no way challenges the quality of the Companion.
I have seen products, such as converters and extenders that say they can be used with your products. Is it true?
How does the Companion install?

One of the reasons the Companion is so innovative is because the mounting system (commonly referred to as 'rails') are beneath the bed of the truck, mounted to the frame. This mounting system includes a four inch hole in the bed that a post can be dropped into. The Companion base has a square post that fits into this hole.

After the Companion base is set into the mounting hole, a lever in the wheelwell is released, engaging a pin through the post. A drawdown bolt on top of the post creates upward pressure on the pin.

The last step is locking the coupler portion of the hitch on top of the base.

Check out our installation videos on our YouTube page to see a hands on demonstration.

Q: What are the differences between the Companion 3000 and the Companion 3500

The Companion 3500, released in October 2013, is just an updated version of the Companion 3000 that essentially hasn't changed in over fifteen years. The coupler is exactly the same, but a few updates were given to the base of the hitch. These include :

  • The base is equipped with plastic 'feet' that fill in the bed corrugations
  • There is more height adjustment (max height of the 3000 was 16.75, max height of the 3500 is 18.25).
  • The post is affixed to the hitch using bolts, rather than u-bolts.
  • The entire hitch is rated at 20k, rather than 18k.

A video covering the updates is available here.

Can I use the Companion with my short bed truck?

The short answer is yes, many folks towing fifth-wheel trailers with shortbed trucks successfully use the Companion.

There are many factors to consider when addressing the issue of cab clearance. To answer the question for you specific truck and trailer, pay attention to the following:

  1. Pin Box Location-Is the Kingpin even with the front of the trailer, or is it recessed behind the front of the trailer? Some 5th wheel manufacturer's have compensated for the prevalence of shortbed trucks by building extended kingpin boxes.
  2. Type of trailer and shape. Narrower trailers allow a tighter turning radius. Trailers that are built with rounded corners accommodate more cab clearance than squared corners.
  3. Finally, the type of maneuvering that will be required while towing. Do you anticipate lots of sharp turns while towing, or is it only highway driving with little or no backing?
Can I purchase the base separate from the coupler?

Yes. Because all of our Companion products (Patriot not included) use the same coupler head, you may purchase the base that works best for you. Depending on your needs, we offer the Ford OEM Companion (using factory installed pucks) or a Companion Slider for short bed trucks. We also offer a Flat Bed model.

 

 

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