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  • Companion and Turnover Ball Package - Two Hitches In One

Companion and Turnover Ball Package - Two Hitches In One

Companion-and-Turnover Ball Package Offers Some Great Advantages for Towing

Larry S. Saavedra
Jul 1, 2011
Photographers: Larry S. Saavedra
If you’ve spent time researching hitches, you know there are several quality brands on the market, each with unique features for different towing situations.
Photo 2/19   |   companion And Turnover Ball Package custom Truck
In our opinion, one popular standout is the Companion-and-Turnover Ball setup, which offers tremendous versatility and convenience from a manufacturer with a long history in the RV market. The Companion is essentially a B&W accessory to its popular Turnover Ball. Together it provides an irresistible solution for those towing large trailers.
There are many of reasons why this unique setup is at the top of the list, but the primary factor is that it allows you to use the full length of the truck bed at any moment when the hitch is not in use. There are no permanent railings mounted to the bed. Also, if you have a variety of trailers, the Companion-and-Turnover package can be used as a gooseneck (horse trailers) or as a conventional fifth wheel (toyhaulers), depending on your preference.
Tow Rig and Trailer
On our visit to Diesel Tech in San Jacinto, California, we met with owner Loren Taylor, who had put a tremendous amount of miles under tow on his Ford F-350. The Ford handled his 39-foot toyhauler trailer fine using a conventional fifth wheel, but his hitch setup was permanently mounted on the bed, and it wasn’t designed to tow the different types of trailers required to run his business. The smart solution for Diesel Tech turned out to be the B&W setup, and in a few days the gear arrived in separate packages. Since these B&W products are all designed specifically for each make and model vehicle, we requested Model No. 3000 and Model No. 1108R for the Ford F-350.
While the installation process was actually very straightforward and the instructions were written well and fully illustrated, we recruited nearby mobile RV specialist Chad Pastorius of Dedicated Express to assemble it, while prepping the Ford for the new hitch.
“My experience has been that you don’t want to sacrifice safety for saving a few dollars,” Chad said. “You can feel the difference in a well-engineered hitch versus a cheap one. Inexpensive hitches never seem secure and you get a lot of play between the truck and trailer.
“This is the Cadillac of fifth-wheel designs.”
It’s All in the Details
Because it mounts directly to the Turnover Ball hitch, the Companion doesn’t require permanently mounted rails. Everything needed is secured from under the bed at the chassis of the tow rig, and it is rated at 18,000 gross trailer weight (GTW). The Turnover Ball itself is rated up to 30,000 pounds GTW or 7,500 pound vertical trailer weight (VTW), if your truck was designed for these loads. Under no circumstances should you ever use a different aftermarket product in place of either the Companion or Turnover Ball, or you can void the warranty.
Special Features
The first thing you see is that the coupler head of the fifth-wheel Companion hitch rides on polyurethane bushings that encases a steel bar for support, and because of it the Companion absorbs much of the shock from poor road conditions. We confirmed it with a test drive through some typical mountain roads. Another feature worth mentioning is that the Companion has 1 1/8-inch locking jaws machined from cast malleable iron, and the jaw mates securely with the king pin, thus eliminating those unnerving jerky starts and stops. The jaws operate with a cam so that it unlocks with little effort, even in a “bind” situation.
To keep side-to-side movement stable, the Companion is designed with a built-in shock absorber that allows seven degrees of gentle movement. According to B&W, this feature helps in hitching and unhitching a trailer because the coupler is allowed to give slightly.
Turnover Ball
The Turnover Ball is essentially a gooseneck hitch, ideal for horse trailers and ranch trailers. It meets all OEM fastening specifications and bolts to factory mounting points, so there’s no need to weld anything during the installation phase. The only fabrication work that you’ll need to handle is drilling a 4-inch hole in the truck bed for the gooseneck ball and perhaps notching the crossmembers of the Turnover Ball kit. Other than that, it’s really simple to mount without removing the bed.
What make it even more attractive are the seven unique accessories, which are optional and work on other types of hitches using the same system. These include an eyelet ball, a kingpin, a 4-inch extender, an inverted ball, a high-rise ball, a 3-inch ball, and of course the Companion fifth wheel.
Some gooseneck designs feature a ball that rotates within the receiver, but B&W’s Turnover Ball is fixed in place. According to B&W, a rotating ball design is just one more lube area and wear point, and they do not believe it is critical to the performance of the product. Having the security of a pin that goes through the ball and receiver was more important, B&W said.
The entire installation took about four hours from start to finish, but if you are planning on handling it alone, plan for more time. Our test drive towing Loren’s toyhauler revealed how smooth and jerk-free the B&W product was, especially on twisty sections of mountain roads. Another satisfying aspect was how simple it engaged and disengaged without the need of any type of lining equipment.
On a side note, the truck bed paint was in such bad shape that Loren asked his friend Mark Harrington to dress it up with a spray in liner, which he did. Mark doesn’t usually do this sort of work, but he happened to have the right equipment, and it turned out beautiful, adding to the overall look of the vehicle.
Now let’s take a look at how the major steps were performed, thanks to Dedicated Express Mobile RV Repair.
Next Generation Connectors
After we installed the B&W products, we upgraded the standard seven-pin electrical connector with one of the highest tech connectors on the market. It’s called the EZ Connector.
According to Chad from Dedicated Express, he gets a tremendous amount of repair calls about seven-way plug failures, many from the horse and trailer industry. Typically, repairs turn out to be corrosion related.
“This EZ Connector is the next step in seven-pin connectors, because they are waterproof and offer very reliable contact under extreme conditions,” he said.
The EZ Connector’s EZ Recreational 7-Pin (EZR7) electrical connection system is made for a variety of recreational, non-commercial, and commercial uses, including boats, motorhomes, trailers, and work equipment.
Here’s how it works: The female socket is made up of seven stainless-steel, spring-loaded brass pins. These pins simply mate up to the contacts on the male plug housing. The male plug has dual O-rings to seal out moisture, dust and dirt.
The female has a locking key to ensure that both housing fit securely. But the real trick is that both housings are magnetic, able to withstand 2,500 pounds of pressure without coming unhooked.
The product was tested to SAE specifications to ensure that it conformed to the toughest standards. It is backwards compatible for four-, five-, and six-pin configurations, and an entire list of accessories are available for different types of towing situations.

Sources

Diesel Tech
San Jacinto, CA 92583
951-766-5777
www.dieseltech1.com
EZ Connector
Tulare, CA 93274
559-686-5889
www.ezconnector.com
Dedicated Express Mobile RV Repair
951-990-8442
http://www.sourceurl.com

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