Originally Posted by wandering1
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 Your statement is quite a fews years out-of-date...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.