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Pickup Truck Bed Length for 5th Wheel


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I understand that a short bed pickup truck may need a sliding 5th wheel hitch for adequate clearance for safely making sharp turns and backing up. My question is, what bed length is adequate with a standard fixed hitch, 8 ft. or 6-1/2 ft.? I am particularly asking about a newer Ford F350 crew cab truck. I would likely be most interested in an auto slider unit if a slider is necessary. There is no way I would want to chance damage by forgetting to make an external adjustment. Hitch cost is not a factor.

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I'd also suggest an 8 foot bed for towing, this will also allow an auxiliary fuel tank/tool box combo in the bed. It sure is nice not having to hunt for a fuel station with room to maneuver in while towing. We carry 70 extra gallons of diesel (50 would be fine too) so only have to fuel every 3 days when towing. By then we'll disconnect to explore or go out to eat or run errands so it's easy to fuel. Greg

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As big greg said, an 8' bed allows for carrying as much stuff as your GVW allows, if you use boards to keep things away from the hitch. I've seen extended bed trucks towing a 5er with bicycles mounted on the pin box of the 5er, and another with a genset mounted on the pin box. A standard bed (6') truck does not have a OEM fuel tank as large as the extended bed (8') model either. I've seen standard bed trucks with an in-bed fuel tank, but it and the hitch fills the bed, plus the fuel tank must not extend above the bed rails.

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