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Review of the B&W Companion Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch.




When it comes to hitches, B&W is among the best manufacturers in the business. They make rock-solid hitches, made in the USA. The Companion Slider hitch is designed for short bed trucks (less than 8ft boxes), and has a rather unique connection method. "Companion" in this sense is companion to the B&W Gooseneck (turnover ball) hitch. At first glance, it would seem that this mounting configuration would not be up to task, but the hitch is rated for 20,000lbs, twice the weight rating as my fifth wheel.

This is not a light hitch - it weighs nearly 275lbs. and while it is a "removeable" hitch, it takes at least two people to remove it. The hitch though can be separated into two pieces; the head, weighing around 100lbs, and the base, weighing 175lbs. Even though these components are still heavy, they are at least manageable.

It should be noted that this hitch will only work with the B&W Gooseneck hitch. Actually though, having the Gooseneck is not a bad thing, as it allows you to use a Gooseneck trailer (for example, a fifth wheel with a Reese Goose Box), an Andersen Ultimate Fifth Wheel Connection, and of course, the B&W Companion hitch.

It should be noted though that any use of a Gooseneck adapter or even the Andersen hitch may void your trailer's warranty.

Installation went smoothly, other than the one issue I had was with GM, they crown the bed, and the hitch would not fit flush. After several calls to B&W's tech support, I was not able to get the hitch fully seated. B&W felt that the hitch might settle down in time, or if not, it should not hurt anything. Luckily the hitch is flush in the "tow" position (slider forward), but in the "manouver" position (slider rearward) is where the hitch is not flush.

After some time, if the hitch does not settle down, I may elect to add shims to the part of the hitch that is not making contact with the bed.

B&W did not recommend this as they felt it might cause the bed to be indented, but I determined the point where I would shim it is directly over one of the truck frame support crossovers.

So the shim would allow the hitch to rest directly on the frame, and I cannot see how this could dent the bed. In fact, I am having a hard time believing the hitch would ever flatten over a crowned bed.

B&W has known about the GM crowned beds for a few years now, and I have to tell you, I am not all that happy that they really have not done much about it. So other than being a perfect hitch, I have to take a few "brownie points" away from B&W for this reason.





Associated stuff
(note that the requred Gooseneck ball is vehicle specific).


Last reviewed and/or updated June 14, 2017