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Old 03-03-2015, 05:50 PM   #1
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Do I need a slider 5th wheel hitch?

We're moving up to a 5th wheel from a TT. So this is a new experience for me. Looking at a new Forest River Sandpiper 371 REBH. Towing with a 2015 Dodge Ram 3500 mega cab SRW. So far everyone I speak to can only guess. Anyone have experience with a similar set up? The dodge hasn't changed in several years and it seems like all the newer sandpipers use the same curved front cap.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
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I was told that if your bed is 6' or more you don't need a slide. My bed was 6'2" and I made them give me a slider hitch in the deal on my 5er. Never slide it, wasn't needed. That's my Experance with it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:57 PM   #3
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Slider hitch on 3500 Ram

I own a 2014 2500 Ram and have installed the B&W Slider hitch. Have never had to slide mine ether. Just measured and the center of 5 th wheel latch is 3'10" from the inside frt. box wall at the top edge. I think that is a standard / recommended position on all of the newer 25/3500 series Rams. You should be able to measure off the king pin and determine the radius and capability of turns. Would say mine will turn approx. 80 deg.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input. I just realized that I forgot to mention the most important part...its a short bed 6' 4". I'm leaning toward the B&W Companion RVK3600. Non-slider. It is a direct fit in the factory holes.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:58 PM   #5
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No, you don't need a slider. Some of us were towing with short box trucks before sliders even existed. You just need to know how far you can safely turn and then pay attention while maneuvering. Any trailer today with an extended pin box and a notched front cap design should be good for at least 80 degrees. And that angle puts more stress on tires, wheel bearings and suspension than is desirable anyway. Most tight situations can be handled with a little extra jockeying back and forth. Older, boxier units were limited to around 65 degrees and I never had a problem with them.

But if you feel the need, then get a slider. Or, better yet get the Sidewinder pin box, faster response while backing and the back of the pin box can't hit the sides of the truck bed.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jjvallee View Post
Thanks for your input. I just realized that I forgot to mention the most important part...its a short bed 6' 4". I'm leaning toward the B&W Companion RVK3600. Non-slider. It is a direct fit in the factory holes.
Here ya go!

Just installed this into my new RAM Dually Crew Cab.

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Old 03-07-2015, 10:14 PM   #7
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Now that's a nice looking hitch package. Must be nice to nix the rails in the bed. I just love my B&W Patriot hitch.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:15 PM   #8
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Now that's a nice looking hitch package. Must be nice to nix the rails in the bed. I just love my B&W Patriot hitch.
Thanks!

IMHO B&W makes the best non air ride hitch.

The puck system works great!
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:50 PM   #9
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I hope you will follow up with your experience after you purchase your hitch. I have a similar Ram 3500 SRW truck on order(only a crew cab) with the 6'4" bed.

I initially was leaning towards a Pullrite slider but it requires an adaptor to fit the puck system and I've been reading another thread where the person was having problems getting everything level. I'm drawn to the B&W Companion as it fits the puck system directly and still has some vertical adjustment.

I'm still nervous about not getting a slider as this will be my first fifth wheel.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:28 PM   #10
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I will definitely post my experience; although it may be several weeks. Truck order was just places.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:46 AM   #11
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I will definitely post my experience; although it may be several weeks. Truck order was just places.
Sorry that I am late to the table but in my humble opinion their are two type of users with short box trucks who tow a 5er.

Those who tow with a slider hitch and those who wish they had the slider hitch after they hit the cab.

Both of my short box trucks have used a slider hitch and will continue to use one with my new trailer and the Mega Cab.

Jim W.
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:30 PM   #12
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Don't need no slider hitch with the last 2 short bed trucks I've had, that towed or currently tows a large 5th wheel hasn't needed one. I m quite sure I don't need one.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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Just watch your turns backing up. Even with standard box the 5th wheel will turn sharper then the TT any day.
But I do have a Long box Ford after success with a standard box Chev because Ford and Ram have much shorter distance cab to axles.
But I did find that shorter wheel base maneuver much easier and take less sharp angle when parking a 5er.
Having had both I find disadvantage to my Ford compared to my Chev.
But only have seen the cabs of Rams with dents.
I had CB arials installed on the box side 6 in from the cab and stopped turning when the aerial moved. Only needed it a few times. But with the longer WB ford I do need much sharper turn angle to park my 5er while in reverse.
Both trucks are extended cabs. Crew cabs might compare similarly. I sure do not want to try parking my RV with a Long box crew cab at the places I parked it with my standard box Chev.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:03 AM   #14
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First off to all who think the short bed is a disaster waiting to happen. This could be a factor most definitely if you don't have any driving skills towing or backing. If you can't back your trailer into a spot without jack knifing your rig, then maybe you should practice more or go out and buy a slider, or long bed truck.

Our 5er had the 88į corners, and I have never even come close to making contact, and I don't have a slider. It works for me, and I don't think people should tell others that they absolutely need a slider if they might not. I certainly don't believe everything I read on the Internet, and I'm sure the experts won't believe me either. I really don't care. Hope the OP can sift through all this and make his own informed decision on what he really needs.

We fulltime and are on the road every week, and most places I can find to stay are all back ins, not pull throughs. All the smart people and the snowbirds make reservations for those well in advance. We're new to to this as far as full timers go (7 months) , and terrible planners. So we get stuck with back in's. It's tough with a 43 footer but we don't have any dents in the cab yet.
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