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PLEASE HELP! 5TH WHEEL HITCH, SHORTBED TRUCK?


silverfox
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HI ALL, WE JUST BOUGHT A NEW TO US 2004 DUTCHMEN SPORT 24L AT GENERAL RV. INCLUDE IN OUR DEAL WAS THE HITCH AND INSTALL PLUS THE HITCH HAVE TO BE EASY TO OPERATE FOR ME, MATCH THE TRUCK AND FIVER. I HAVE DISGUISE MY CONCERNS TO THEM. FIRST TIME 5TH WHEEL OWNER. I HAVE READ MANY OF YOU POST ON HITCHES. SHORTBED TRUCKS. NOW MORE CONFUSE THEN EVER. THE DEALER SAYS WE DONT NEED A SLIDER HITCH FOR OUR TRUCK. OUR TRUCK IS NOT A SHORTBED. TURNING RADIUS WILL BE FINE.THE HITCH IS A REESE 16K MODEL #330047.COST + INSTALL 1399 NOT INSTALL YET! BUT SOON. I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE FIV'ER HITTING THE CAB WHEN TIGHT TURNS,BACKING UP R MADE IN CAMPGROUND,BOONE DOCK,STATE PARK,ETC. TRUCK IS A 99 F250 SUPERDUTY CC DIESEL 4X4 BED LENGTH 6.7FT. PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHICH HITCH IS NEEDED AND WHY? TRUCK SHORTBED OR WHAT? THANKS FOR THE HELP!!

 

 

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You state that your truck is not a short bed but then go on to describe it as 6' 7" long which most consider a short bed. Any pickup bed that does not allow a full sheet of plywood to be slid in and the tailgate closed is a short bed. I have used both long and short bed pickups with fixed hitches to haul 5th wheels. When I had the short bed I installed a fixed hitch because it was cheap (came with the 5er) and lived with it (even drove it down from Alaska). Anyway long story short I banged the cab on more than one occasion but got fair at making short turns for many normal driving maneuvers (especially in reverse). My advise get a sliding hitch.

Later,

J

Edited by KodiakJack
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You state that your truck is not a short bed but then go on to describe it as 6' 7" long which most consider a short bed. Any pickup bed that does not allow a full sheet of plywood to be slid in and the tailgate closed is a short bed. I have used both long and short bed pickups with fixed hitches to haul 5th wheels. When I had the short bed I installed a fixed hitch because it was cheap (came with the 5er) and lived with it (even drove it down from Alaska). Anyway long story short I banged the cab on more than one occasion but got fair at making short turns for many normal driving maneuvers (especially in reverse). My advise get a sliding hitch.

Later,

J

thanks for the reply. sorry for the misunderstanding ( THE DEALER SAYS WE DONT NEED A SLIDER HITCH FOR OUR TRUCK. OUR TRUCK IS NOT A SHORTBED. TURNING RADIUS WILL BE FINE.) thats what the dealer told us!

Edited by silverfox
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don't believe everything a dealer tells you. Sometimes they just want a sale and maybe he doesn't understand why a slide hitch is so important with a short box. Yes, anything less than 8 feet is considered a short box. Go get a slider, it might save your front air dam on the trailer and a bad dent in your cab, or worse.

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I had a 2011 F-250 short bed 6'5" and I needed a slider hitch, I would suggest that you spend the money and get one of the autoslider hitches. If you get a manual slider you will try to take a short cut sometime because it is raining or you just don't think you need to and not release it and end up with a ding in cab or a broken rear window. Now there are some new 5th wheel models that can use non sliders in a short bed, they have curved and cut back fronts.

Edited by N TX Dave
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thanks for the reply. sorry for the misunderstanding ( THE DEALER SAYS WE DONT NEED A SLIDER HITCH FOR OUR TRUCK. OUR TRUCK IS NOT A SHORTBED. TURNING RADIUS WILL BE FINE.) thats what the dealer told us!

 

But if the bed of your pickup is 6.7' as you stated, then your truck DOES HAVE a short bed, regardless of what the salesman says.

 

While there are fifth wheels made that supposedly can be used with a short-bed pickup without a sliding hitch, if it were ME, I'd spend the money for an automatic sliding hitch.

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The problem, unfortunately, is one of semantics. Traditionally, pickup beds came in two sizes. The nominally eight foot "long" bed (at least 96" long front of bed to tailgate), and the nominally six and a half foot "short" bed (at least 78" long from front of bed to tailgate).

 

In recent years, in conjunction with the gain in the popularity of crew cab pickups, truck manufacturers have added a less than six foot bed (typically only offered on half ton models, I believe) that allows a full crew cab, mini-bed pickup that's no longer than an extended cab, long bed pickup. In fact, the same chassis can support either the EC/LB or CC/MB configuration.

 

Where the problem comes is that the industry now refers to the less than six foot "mini-bed" as the "short" bed. The former "short", 6 1/2 foot bed is now known, if I'm not mistaken, as the "standard" bed. So, when your RV dealer or your RVing buddies tell you that towing a fiver with a short bed pickup requires a slider hitch, they're referring to YOUR configuration. But when you go ask the salesman at your truck dealership, who's probably only dimly aware of pickup history, at best, and knows nothing other than what he/she finds in his/her manufacturer-provided reference materials, he or she will tell you that no, you don't have a short bed pickup, so you must not need a slider hitch.

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Measure the width of your fiver, divide it in half.

 

Mark the center of your bed (side to side) directly over the rear axle. If your truck towing guide has a different hitch mount location required use that instead.

 

Take your 1/2 trailer width measure and hold one end over the mark and swing it in a arc up by the cab.

 

If you don't have four or inches of clearance you need a slider, 6 inches would be safer if you get on off-level ground.

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I had a Ford F-350 Crew Cab, short bed pulling a Keystone Fuzion 362. The RV had the relief cut front corners to improve the turning radius. I had a Reese slider hitch and failed to slide it one day. I turned too sharp and the RV kissed the rear of the cab. If you have a short bed (anything less than an 8 foot bed) spend a few extra dollars and get a slide hitch. You can get the expensive auto sliders or the manual type. If you get a manual type, just remember to use it or we'll have matching cab dents. :D

 

Dent.jpg

Edited by cwill925
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Hey all, I have bought one for less than half price and the one I got was used because the guy had a welding flatbed on his truck and the gooseneck ball was below the deck. Fine for Gooseneck trailers, but the Andersen needs the ball level with the bed to even install. So it was new except for a heavy coating of dust on it.

 

In any event, don't everybody go out and buy one for their short bed from my post because I have not talked to anybody using one yet. I have corresponded with a new member here who did an unboxing video but seemed to want me to go look at the sales videos. I want to correspond or talk to someone who had a 6.5' short bed and has used it on the road. Or at least did a 90 under his fiver with it. I hope it works as advertised.

 

I am going to go down to the local dealer and see if he can give me references to anyone with one locally. I don't normally buy without seeing new stuff in action, but this one was too cheap not to buy. If it works on a full size bed and is as stable and strong as they claim I'd install a Gooseneck Hitch in my long bed that turns over od can easily be removed.

 

If any of you with long beds disregarded the video for that reason check them out. If you don't have the bandwidth for the video oh well. But for those who do, the 12 minute one shows them collapsing the aluminum one in the press, then hitching an 18 wheeler full size trailer to it, with two sand buggies in it, and travel to the dunes at 65 mph or so for a half hour drive. All on the crushed hitch. I gotta tell ya it is impressive, and at the same time I thought testing on the open road to be a bit over the top with a damaged hitch.

 

You gotta see the video regardless. https://www.youtube....h?v=qMW-ynhTatA

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I just bought a new truck that had goosneck in it and bought the Andersen hitch and got the new aluminum one, I have not been able to use it yet but looks pretty easy, they do have a different hitch that is made for truck with flatbed trucks.

 

3221 - Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection–Gooseneck version (lowered) NOTE: This unit is 4" lower than the standard 3220 and is intended to be used with flatbed or super-lifted trucks that have a RECESSED gooseneck ball. If your gooseneck ball is not recessed, please see part #3220.

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He bought the one he sold me a long time ago. And he has no fiver as he sold that too but that's god info. I'll pass it along when he comes out to do the sheetrock work on our new place whenever it dries up enough to build the pad and pour the concrete. Like I said if I get to use mine I'll post here. If you are first I'd be interested in any actual use tips you might have too.

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Measure the width of your fiver, divide it in half.

 

Mark the center of your bed (side to side) directly over the rear axle. If your truck towing guide has a different hitch mount location required use that instead.

 

Take your 1/2 trailer width measure and hold one end over the mark and swing it in a arc up by the cab.

 

If you don't have four or inches of clearance you need a slider, 6 inches would be safer if you get on off-level ground.

This was great infor for us. we follow these direction and the fiver we have is not enough play between the cab + fiver .thanks :) am requesting a slider :angry:

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Update! talk to the head service department mgr. he quote: in his 25yrs of experience a short bed is a a truck bed that is under 8ft and short bed need a slider unless the fiver was design for short bed trucks. the gm don't even know these rules about trucks :huh: . if they not going to install a slider we taking our truck somewhere else. Thank you everybody, each and every one of you, for your well informed excellent answers to my question. :D

 

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  • 4 years later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know pappy.... lol  Some people take a long time to decide on options/actions.  I've been trying to decide for 26 years on whether to move back south or stay in ND.  I figure I have 20ish years left to decide on what to do.  I bet I end up moving back to NM, or just sell everything and go full time, sell the SnB sometime in the next couple decades.... LOL   🙂

Edited by NDBirdman
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