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5w towing with a short 5.5' bed


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So we've now bought a new 25' travel trailer for our summer travels, and are leaving our 32' 5W permanently in a southern AZ park.  We're now ready to downsize our truck to an F-150.  I am wanting to go with a short overall length, 232", to continue with out Small theme - for state parks, ease of parking, etc.  That means either a 2 door Supercab with 6.5' bed (just foldup rear seats and a couple feet of space), or a 4 door crew cab with a 5.5' bed - both come out to the minimum 232" of overall length, 145" wheel base,  for the F 150s.

Any of the engine/axle packages can tow our small trailer, and some would be able to move our 32' 5w to a different permanent park, when we want.  So my question boils down to towing a 5W with a 6.5' or 5.5' bed using a special hitch.  Anyone have experience towing a 5er with a 5.5 or 6.5' bed?  Hitch recommendations or other considerations?

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If you're only going to occasionally move the 5th wheel, I wouldn't give much preference to one short bed vs. the other.  Both will require a slider hitch to be able to turn the truck 90 degrees to the trailer.  The alternative is to get a less expensive non-slider hitch and just be aware of how sharp you can turn before the 5er risks hitting the cab.  You can't turn the truck anywhere near 90 degrees with a conventional trailer, so this may not be as much of a limitation as it may appear at first glance.

Measure the distance from the kingpin to the front corner of the 5th wheel, then go to the truck you're considering and put the tape measure at the hitch point (halfway between the wheel wells) and extend it to the same length as you measured.  Rotate the far end towards the cab and it will show you how sharp you can turn with a non-slider hitch.  If you have an extended pinbox on the trailer, take into account the angle between the tape measure and the trailer when figuring out how sharp the trailer can turn.

For a slider hitch, see how far it slides to the rear and repeat the process from that location.

Of more concern is the rear axle payload capacity of the F150 vs. the pin weight of your loaded 5th wheel.  5ers typically have 20-25% of their total weight on the pin and it's all on the truck's rear axle.  A bumper pull trailer has 10-15% of it's weight on the hitch and a properly adjusted weight equalizing hitch distributes this between all 3 sets of axles (truck front, truck rear and trailer axles).

Edited by Lou Schneider
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