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Old 01-14-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
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Hitch Question for Newbie

Hey all, new to the forum, although I have been reading for some time. We (only the wife and I) are planning to purchase our first, a small to medium size 5th wheel compatible with our F250 short box with a 5.4 and towing/camper package. Researching hitches I have found there are a number of manufactures out there. I am leaning towards a Curt, although they mention it is not compatible with a Sidewinder. That lead me to look at the sidewinder component. I have a couple of questions.

1 What are your thoughts on hitches and is the Curt a good one?

2 Understanding what the sidewinder does, is that a necessary function
with the newer trailers.

3 Which trailer manufactures would you suggest we look at for a smaller, although very comfortable rig, for extended weekend use.

Thanks
This is a great forum
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2. Not answering your hitch question...but I would be concerned with towing a 5er with a 5.4L engine. That is not much engine for towing duty in a 3/4 ton truck. You will also find that it will not pass up too many gas stations. If you stick with a smaller 5er, low profile, you might do OK with a 4.10 axle in the truck.

Ken
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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I have a Curt q20, 20,000 lb. in my truck. They are very well made, and I did a lot of research before I bought mine. My non-scientific count would be about 98-99% positive from those that responded to my questions, and those I spoke to. Have only used it once since buying it, and it is very tight and gave a comfortable ride. Don't think you could go wrong getting one.
Also get the custom brackets for the install.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback, I drive my wife nuts with the amount of research I do.
Like yourself I have found the Curt to be the best, although not the most used.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
I would be concerned with towing a 5er with a 5.4L engine. That is not much engine for towing duty in a 3/4 ton truck. You will also find that it will not pass up too many gas stations.
Ken
I agree completely with the above quote based on personal experience. The 5.4 will pull a lite 5th wheel but you'll burn lots of gas and hills can be a problem. Also, I had a Sidewinder on my previous rig and you need to be aware of the hook-up problems with Sidewinders. The Sidewinder does what it is advertised to do once you're hooked up, but if your truck isn't perfectly lined up with the Sidewinder you can't hook up. Sometimes it can take several tries to get hooked up, especially if the ground approaching your 5th wheel is uneven. After my experience with the Sidewinder, I'd suggest any of the other options for short bed trucks.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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bskip, welcome to the forum. Do some more research on towing capacity and etc. before you buy your 5er. Look at some 5er's and think about what you would like to have and then you may decide to get more truck.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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bskip,

Are you asking about the 5th Airborne Sidewinder or Sidewinder?
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Lots of water under the bridge since you first asked the question back in the middle of January. But I'll reply anyway, in case others have a similar question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bskip View Post
We (only the wife and I) are planning to purchase our first, a small to medium size 5th wheel compatible with our F250 short box with a 5.4 and towing/camper package.
You don't give much info about your truck, so I'll use the following as an example:

2005 F-250 SuperCab shorty 4x4.
GVWR 9,200
GCWR 16,000 with a 3.73 axle or 18,500 with a 4.10 axle

Wet and loaded pickup ready for towing, including sweetheart, 5er hitch, full tank of gas, and normal tools, jacks, extra fluids, etc. will weigh about 6,500 pounds. (Confirm your wet and loaded weight on a CAT scale.) So if your truck weighs 6,500 pounds as you back up to the 5er, and if you have the 3.73 axle ratio, that leaves 9,500 pounds for the weight of the wet and loaded 5er before you bust the GCWR of your tow vehicle.

Unlike the folks with PowerStrokes, you have plenty of GVWR to handle the hitch weight of a 9,500 pound 5er.

But as others have noted, the 5.4L in an F-250 is not really noted as a towing machine. The heaviest trailer I'd want to tow with that powertrain would have a GVWR of about 8,000 pounds.

Quote:
2 Understanding what the sidewinder does, is that a necessary function with the newer trailers.
You definitely need something to prevent trailer to cab contact when making sharp turns. The Sidewinder is one way, a manual sliding hitch is another, and best of all is an automatic sliding hitch such as the Pullrite SuperGlide. I would not want to tow a 5er with a 6.5 bed unless I could do it with a SuperGlide.
PullRite has a SAFER, STRONGER, BETTER designed hitch for you

The hype that some newer 5ers can be towed by a shorty pickup without a slider hitch is a bunch of hooie. It's true only if you never back the 5er. But when backing, you can jacknife in a heart beat, then WHAM!!!, there went your back window and probably with a huge dent in the back of the cab.

Quote:
3 Which trailer manufactures would you suggest we look at for a smaller, although very comfortable rig, for extended weekend use.
A lot of RV trailer manufacturers went bust in the latest Obama economy, so I'll just name a few that are still around.

Keystone makes 5ers from the economical thru the mid-grade to the luxury. But glancing at their 5ers, the lightest has a GVWR of 9,900 pounds. I bought a new 201 Keystone Sprinter 25' mid-profile 5er and drug it all over the lower 48 for over 10 years. Just me and the wife and a puppydog, and we enjoyed the heck out of it. But our Sprinter had a GVWR of 7,900 pounds, and the replacement is now called the Copper Canyon by Sprinter, and the same size 5er how has a GVWR of 9,600 pounds. That's more trailer than I would want to tow with your 5.4L.

My new TT is a Skyline. Skyline makes Layton Alumabond fifth wheel models 213 and 214 that have GVWR of 6,700 pounds. They both have one big slide, sovery roomy for a compact RV. Keystone also has several other larger 5ers, but the GVWR jumps to at least 9,600 pounds. With your tow vehicle, I'd try to find something with a GVWR less than 8,000 pounds, and those two do it. Layton Recreational Vehicles by Skyline

If you have the 4.10 axle ratio, then I might take a chance on one of the three the LaYton 5ers with GVWR of 9,600 pounds, but only if Darling Wife insisted. Then expect to learn why I suggested a max of 8,000.

If comfort is you goal, then the first mod to your new RV will be to replace the stock queen-size mattress with a good one from Sam's Club. (Sam's Club price is about half the "sale" price at most sleep shops.) I donated my brand new RV mattress, still in the plastic wrapper, to Habitat for Humanity and replaced it with this:
SertaŽ Perfect SleeperŽ Edgebrooke Cushion Firm Eurotop Mattress - Queen - Sam's Club

Now that's a mattress!
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:54 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advise. I have decided I need to wait until I can get a beefier truck. Although my F250 is still performing as new the fact is, the overall capacities in 2000 for the F250 are not much better than the capacities of the late model F150s. I do have a 3.73 rear end and a GVWR of 9000. I'd like something smaller but I do have a co-pilot (my lovely wife) who just fell in love with the fivers.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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The problem with gas 3/4 tons is that they can carry lots of pin weight (no heavy engine) but lack power, so the GCWR is very low. The problem with diesel 3/4 tons is that their ability to carry PW is low (they have the heavy engine), however, their GCWR is high.

The bottom line for a serious 5th wheeler is to get a diesel dually.
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:53 PM   #11
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I am also new to the 5ver (2 years) but have had several small trailers and fifth wheel is the way to go. This is my first diesel and I would never go dark to a gas, not a big one Cummins,dodge 03, but does us fine, back to the 5er ., we bought a Coachman Chapparal 276RLDS. 30ft. Dry weight is 7900. It is made for us not so rich partimmers, and is made to be pulled by 3/4 ton trucks and short beds. I can turn 88 degrees and not hit my cab and I have been in some pretty tight spots. Don't wait get out thare and enjoy! By the way I have a Reese non slider and have no problems.
Hpoe this helps.
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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OPPS!!! Didn't see the date maybe it will help someone else that don't read dates! Ha!
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