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Old 06-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
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Don't make this TV mistake

I bought a 5th wheel, then a tow vehicle to match the weight requirement.
I found a F350 flatbed diesel dually for a good price. What caused me a big headache [and $$] was that this was a cab and chassis truck. The flatbed was 9 feet long.

To translate, I had to replace the pin box on the trailer due to the added length [9 foot long vs 8 foot bed] of the flatbed. Replacing the flatbed with an 8 foot one is not an option as that would require relocating the fuel tank, which would require modifying the frame, which would require....the list goes on and on.

And, on my 5th the pin box was a welded on. Had a hard time finding a welder who would do the job due to liability, etc.

My recommendation, be picky-make sure you are looking at an 8 foot bed and not a 9 foot one. Save your money and headaches.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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Good to know, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
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While unfortunate the real problem was in a having a pin box welded on, not with the truck or bed length. All kinds of cab chassis Ford and other trucks towing fifth wheels without the headaches. I have an F550 Cab Chassis with no problems.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:24 AM   #4
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Lengthening the pin box can be a big mistake. The added lever arm increases the stresses on the are where the pin box attached to the trailer frame. You would be much better off dealing with shortening the flat bed to an 8' length.

Ken
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:19 AM   #5
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While unfortunate the real problem was in a having a pin box welded on, not with the truck or bed length. All kinds of cab chassis Ford and other trucks towing fifth wheels without the headaches. I have an F550 Cab Chassis with no problems.
jablair-Would have been overjoyed if my pin box was bolted on-it was welded so it was extended via welding. I agree with 'all kinds' of cab chassis tow without headaches, but with a 9 foot bed, how does one prevent it from hitting during a turn? Replacing it with an 8' bed would have been easier, except that the fuel tank must be moved, lines rerouted, I believe cutout for the transfer case, and the frame shortened. If I had known then what I know now a pickup would have been purchased. That was the entire reason for this post.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Lengthening the pin box can be a big mistake. The added lever arm increases the stresses on the are where the pin box attached to the trailer frame. You would be much better off dealing with shortening the flat bed to an 8' length.

Ken
Ken, ya gonna love this one......I pretty much agree with what you say....except for what I outlined in the above post.
And now, much to your [and my] dislike, I am basically forced to use a gooseneck adapter. PITA to hookup but solid. And yes, I know all about leverage and somewhat agree with you, but sometimes one has to do what one has to do. Lacking a donated pickup or a winning lottery ticket I will continue with my present setup. Thanks for the thoughts anyway.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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I guess I'm a little confused on this one. Here's why: In a standard 8' pickup box, the axle is 48" from either end. All the hitch literature, 5er or goose, I've seen says to mount the hitch centered over the axle, give or take a little (6"?). All the 9' hauler bodies I've seen are intended for a CA of 60" and most have a goose hitch, recessed or bed mounted, centered over the axle, leaving 48" to the end of bed. Why would there be an issue with your truck, unless the hitch is not mounted in the right place? Or did the truck not begin its life as a CC, but rather was a converted pickup which would have only had a 48" CA? There has to be some rational explanation.

As far as lengthening the pinbox, that seems like treating the symptom and not the root cause.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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I guess I'm a little confused on this one. Here's why: In a standard 8' pickup box, the axle is 48" from either end. All the hitch literature, 5er or goose, I've seen says to mount the hitch centered over the axle, give or take a little (6"?). All the 9' hauler bodies I've seen are intended for a CA of 60" and most have a goose hitch, recessed or bed mounted, centered over the axle, leaving 48" to the end of bed. Why would there be an issue with your truck, unless the hitch is not mounted in the right place? Or did the truck not begin its life as a CC, but rather was a converted pickup which would have only had a 48" CA? There has to be some rational explanation.

As far as lengthening the pinbox, that seems like treating the symptom and not the root cause.
Sorry I failed to clarify that point. You are correct as to the measurements should be. The gooseneck ball is about 4" or so in front of the axle, and [here's the problem] there is 58" to the end of the bed. This truck has a 168" wheelbase. To shorten the frame would entail, among other things, relocating the fuel tank.
As much as I tried to figure this out, the only two solutions were to purchase a different TV or lengthen the pin box. If I installed an 8 foot flatbed , which I seriously considered, it would have to be installed 12" from the cab due to the length of the frame, thus the ball being about 10" behind the axle. To relocate the fuel tank the saddle boxes would be in the way of the fuel neck. Everyone I spoke to about relocating the fuel tank strongly stated 'Don't do it!'

Rest assured I had no idea of the problems I bought with this TV. I made sure there was at at least 48" from the ball to the front of the bed, had no idea that the length from the ball to the rear was anything but 48".

Oh, one last item. I have and wanted to use a 5th wheel plate, but to do so would still have to be positioned with the pin over the ball, so there would be no point in doing so. The length would still be 58" vice 48".
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Sorry I failed to clarify that point. You are correct as to the measurements should be. The gooseneck ball is about 4" or so in front of the axle, and [here's the problem] there is 58" to the end of the bed. This truck has a 168" wheelbase. To shorten the frame would entail, among other things, relocating the fuel tank.
As much as I tried to figure this out, the only two solutions were to purchase a different TV or lengthen the pin box. If I installed an 8 foot flatbed , which I seriously considered, it would have to be installed 12" from the cab due to the length of the frame, thus the ball being about 10" behind the axle. To relocate the fuel tank the saddle boxes would be in the way of the fuel neck. Everyone I spoke to about relocating the fuel tank strongly stated 'Don't do it!'

Rest assured I had no idea of the problems I bought with this TV. I made sure there was at at least 48" from the ball to the front of the bed, had no idea that the length from the ball to the rear was anything but 48".

Oh, one last item. I have and wanted to use a 5th wheel plate, but to do so would still have to be positioned with the pin over the ball, so there would be no point in doing so. The length would still be 58" vice 48".
Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. Yeah 58" is a lot of reach. Any idea what the previos owner was towing?

I've been leaning toward a CC w/flatbed (hauler) body (Knapheide PGNC, or similar) so this is good info to keep in mind.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. Yeah 58" is a lot of reach. Any idea what the previos owner was towing?

I've been leaning toward a CC w/flatbed (hauler) body (Knapheide PGNC, or similar) so this is good info to keep in mind.
He done something with road tar, tar pots and highway repair. Hauled heavy equipment.

A hauler bed would be very nice, but not on this truck. I really wanted a Dodge diesel dually extended cab 4x4 [try saying that twice!], but I found this for less than half the asking price for most Dodge trucks.

Still need to address a chucking problem, but that will be 'down the road'...and I suspect much easier, but not cheaper.
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