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Old 01-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
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How do I determine if I need a sliding hitch

Currently have a 31' travel trailer and will be upgrading to a 5th wheel in the near future. How do I know if I need a sliding hitch or not. Some of the manufacturers indicate in their literature a sliding hitch is not required and some do not. For instance Heartland do not require a sliding hitch.

My short list is:

Big Country 3251TS (Heartland)
Gateway 3200 RS (Heartland)
Columbus 320 RS (Forestrive)
Goldrush Nugget (KZ)

I have a F350 short bed

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #2
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There are alot of variables in the equation but here is my view. First of all a manually sliding hitch won't help during normal driving only an automatic slider such as the Pullrite will. I have a B&W Companion (non slider) in my Ram 2500 shortbed, adjusted in it's most rearward position and I can turn nearly 90 degrees without cab contact. I know this doesn't really answer your question but may give you a few more things to think about!
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:40 PM   #3
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Generally speaking, if the trailer has an extended pin box you will probably not need a sliding hitch. If you have a short bed truck you may need a sliding hitch. If you have a long bed truck and an extended pin box you will no need a sliding hitch. Having a sliding hitch does not automatically guarantee you will have to use it all the time. Even those with short beds don't always need or use a slider hitch. Really the only times a slider is necessary is when maneuvering tight situations.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
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I have found out that a slider hitch is only required for beds smaller than 6 ft (BUT) you can use a reese sidewinder pin box instead
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:20 PM   #5
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Sorry, but I've seen a number of 6.5' bed trucks with crushed cab C-pillars. There are many factors that go into whether you'll have cab-to-5th wheel cap interference. Amount of offset of the extended pin box (if one is used), width of the 5th wheel, configuration of the 5th wheel cap, placement of centerline of the 5th wheel hitch's kingpin bore relative to the rear axle, distance from rear of cab to hitch's kingpin bore are just a few of them. Even if everything checks out on level surfaces, it will be tighter if the truck is backing into a dip in the road surface while the 5th wheel is coming out of it.

A slider hitch is one of those things no one with a short bed truck ever needs - until they do!! Many times they won't realize they need it until they hear the crunch of the cap hitting the cab pillars or the rear window of the cab shatters.

Rusty
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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The Big Horn has curved front corners which allows you to make a tighter turn than you could with a flat nosed 5ver. That being said I have an 8 ft bed and have come close but never have hit the corner. I have seen several short beds pulling w/o sliders.

I think if I had a short bed, my close call may have been a hit.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:26 AM   #7
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If I had a short-bed truck I would get an automatic slider. I have friends with a manual slider that didn't think they needed to use them!! Short story - they smacked the cab. One of my friends did it twice!

I have been in several situations where the turn was tight and there was a dip. Since our truck is a long-bed there was no problem - just took it easy to make sure the 5er wouldn't kiss the bed rails.

Jim
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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I have a 2013 Ram 2500 CC with the short box. Just purchased a V-Cross Platinum 365VTSB. Dealer told me I would not need a slider. I ended up buying a Curt 24k slider for my truck for a couple hundred dollars more. I was able to back into my driveway at home without having to move the slider. With that said, My philosophy is, it's better to have it and not need it, than to not have it when you need it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:14 PM   #9
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I was in a campground with very uneven terrain- no slider - but I had tried my rig in a parking lot and in no way did the trailer come close to the rear window.That day I found out when you hear a scritch scritch just behind your left shoulder its too late ,a instant later I was covered in glass.
I bought a slider as soon as we got home.
(short box truck)
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
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Get the Pullrite super slide it's automatic so you don't have to worry about forgetting to get out and manually slide the hitch back.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:51 PM   #11
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If you have a short wheel base truck no matter what the make is you need a slider!!! Trust me....I've been pulling 5th wheels for over 20 years and I would not pull a 5th wheel without one no matter what anyone tells you. Don't believe the RV dealer or manufacturer...just look around...they tell people a 1/2 ton truck will pull a 35 foot 5th wheel and it will for a little while but not long!!!! Be safe and spend the money on a slider. I drive a long whell base truck just for that reason.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:21 PM   #12
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I have a 2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD SRW standard bed (6 1/2'). I have a B&W Companion non slide hitch. I tow a 2013 Excel Winslow 34IKE.

I've had this lashup for 16 months and 16K miles. I have not had an issue not having a sliding hitch.

Much depends on the 5th wheel cap design, pin box and hitch position.

Blanket statements that all standard bed trucks require a slider are false.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfife View Post
I have a 2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD SRW standard bed (6 1/2'). I have a B&W Companion non slide hitch. I tow a 2013 Excel Winslow 34IKE.

I've had this lashup for 16 months and 16K miles. I have not had an issue not having a sliding hitch.

Much depends on the 5th wheel cap design, pin box and hitch position.

Blanket statements that all standard bed trucks require a slider are false.
Same with my 98 GM with 3 in less to the cab.
I choose a long box Ford because Ford and Ram are much closer to the cab,
No slider for GM and slider for others would be my choice.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by caissiel View Post
Same with my 98 GM with 3 in less to the cab.
I choose a long box Ford because Ford and Ram are much closer to the cab,
No slider for GM and slider for others would be my choice.
Thats 'cause GM trucks have a longer dimension from the back of the trucks cab to the trucks rear axle.
One GM poster bought a Superglide because of info he was told on this and another RV website and even after the hitch dealer and trailer mfg/dealer told him he didn't need a sliding hitch with that particular combo. Luckily he bought the hitch just before high steel prices started pushing hitch prices up and didn't take a soaking when he sold it on ebay.
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