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Old 04-27-2013, 11:03 AM   #15
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Right, but I'm just trying to post information on how a slider SHOULD be used for those who have never used one. Whether it's automatic or manual, it should be returned to the forward position for over-the-road towing in order to place the kingpin 2" to 4" in front of the rear axle where it should be for axle loading and handling purposes.


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Old 04-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by wandering1 View Post
8' is for towing fifth wheels. If you go with a shorter bed you will need a very costly slider hitch to compensate for the bed not being long enough.
Not necessarily true... I have shortbed RAM 2500. No slider, I use a B&W Companion and have never needed a slider or feel the desire to have a slider and my cab is pristine. I can get 90 degrees (thanks Keystone for the sculpted nose) and can now, with the aid of a slightly longer TrailAir Tri-Glide pinbox, probably a few degrees more since the trailer sits about 4" more to the rear. I've never needed 90 degrees, but, if the need ever does arise, I've got it and it is in a non-slider equipped short bed. Your statement is quite a fews years out-of-date...

I don't miss the extra foot and a half in length. It handles in town easier, my DW will drive it, it fits in standard parking spaces and garages and I've got 4 doors and a real backseat. I can haul 8' plywood and sheetrock with the tailgate down using the tie downs and ratchet straps, I can carry 16' 2x4's with the bed extender (it attaches in the tow hitch and provides support for long loads, I had it from when I had an 8' bed truck - 8' doesn't support, adequately, 16' loads either). Do I miss my 8'? I thought I would, but, it turns out that I actually don't. If I had a bunch of stuff to carry in the bed while hauling the 5er, I might wish for an 8 footer, but, I don't carry stuff back there while towing. I thought, initially, that I would want the longer bed for an in-bed aux. fuel tank, but, I'd be over weight if I did and I find I do OK with the stock 34 gallon tank (diesel); I've learned to adjust to the range and that range is actually a tad more than a full day for us anyway, so, in a pinch, I can wait until we settle for the evening if I can't find a fuel stop I can't get into (hasn't happened yet and I do carry two 5 gallon cans of diesel in the bed for an emergency).

Does an 8' have advantages? You bet. Just not enough advantages (and it does have enough disadvantages of its own) to get me to give up my short bed, but, that's our personal decision (myself and DW). If you want an 8' bed, by all means get one, but, don't feel you have to in order to tow a 5er; there are many of us short bed owners out there towing all over the country and we don't all have crushed cabs and no back windows, nor do we all own "expensive sliders".

As for the "travel" position of a slider... It wouldn't have a "travel" position if there wasn't any point in it being there, they would simply make an "extended base 5th wheel hitch". If you "travel" with it in the "maneuver" position, you aren't using it the way it was engineered. Just like "overweight", it can be done, just not very sensible in doing some things just because you can...

Hope I didn't ruffle any feathers, that wasn't the intent, but, sometimes I find it terribly hard to keep my mouth shut... I'll go back to my usual lurking status now.


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Old 04-28-2013, 06:21 AM   #17
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I have a Ram 3500 short bed with a slider hitch but I have never needed to use the slider and I've made some pretty sharp turns with it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:45 AM   #18
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And yet I can point you to a Ram 3500 SRW short bed pulling a 5th wheel that has both cab C pillars pushed in. As I said earlier, it all depends......

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Old 04-28-2013, 10:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DaveTN View Post
Is there any information on optimal truck bed size for 5th Wheels?

4 feet, 6'6", 8 feet? Why is one better than others?
I own a 8' bed truck and a 6' 4" short bed truck pulling my 5th wheel RV and several bumper and GN trailers up to 16k and 36' long.

One isn't better than the other. These short bed vs long bed discussions are always amusing.

Some folks have never used a short bed truck and have no experience with using one to pull a 5th wheel trailer or even knowing a sliding hitch isn't needed with certain combinations.'

WE have manual and auto sliding hitches for a short bed truck.

We also have the short bed GM truck that has a longer dimension from the back of the cab to the truck rear axle. Many GM owners with a trailer with notched corners do not use a sliding hitch and can make a 90 degree turn with cab contact.

We have hitches like the Sidewinder from Reese Reese Sidewinder Shortbed Towing Solution.wmv - YouTube for short bed trucks.

Some of the newer trailers come with a notched/ radius front corners for using on a short bed truck that can eliminate the need of a sliding hitch.

I use a manual sliding hitch on my short bed and have never had a contact. I also have seen long bed trucks with bed contact damage.

One big advantage I've found with my manual sliding hitch is when the hitch is slid all the way back in maneuver position it puts the pin 10" behind the trucks rear axle for less steering input and faster trailer reaction to steering input.

Some folks mistakenly will say a long bed truck rides better or handles better that a short bed when towing. Simply isn't true as its the trucks wheel base that determined ride and handling quality.

Simply choose the truck with cab and bed selection you like or need.
I prefer crew cab trucks so my short bed quad cab sits in the heated garage and my crew cab long bed sit is the cold/hot tractor barn.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:03 PM   #20
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If you want a short bed truck, go ahead and buy one. Buy you need to consider yourself forewarned of the potential for problems.

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Old 04-29-2013, 07:01 AM   #21
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Had a short bed with a PullRite Super Glide SRW. Now have a LB DRW (crew in both cases) .... sure parking in the local (grocery, hardware, home improvement...) means a walk.... but it is good for me.
I enjoy the pulling of the trailer more now.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #22
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Our tv is a crew cab with the long bed. I don't have to worry about the 5er cap kissing the truck rear window. A friend has a short bed with a manual slider - he's had to replace his truck window twice, 'cuz he thought he could make it without having to release the slider - twice!

I also have room for a tool box at the front of the box - it sits below the rails - and between the tool box and the hitch I have my Honda 3000i bolted and locked to the bed. If we don't need the generator, I have room fort the grandkids' bikes - ours are on the bike rack on the back of the 5er.

The point - the long bed works the best for us.

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:50 AM   #23
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I have a 5'7" bed crew cab and the Reese Sidewinder pinbox. No clearance problems at all. Many new fivers have the "max turn" design with extended pin boxes and cut away lower corners (more aerodynamic as well) that work well without a slider for 6'6" beds.

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