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Old 03-17-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Installing Hitch in a Short Bed ...

So a while back I purchased am '01 Dodge long bed, and '96 Automate 5th wheel combo.

I sold the Dodge and recently picked up and '02 Crewcab Ford, SB.

I kept the hitch from the Dodge, and will be installing soon.

I'm assuming the 6" ahead of rear axle holds true ?? (I used to install these years ago)

Obviously measuring from the kingpin location to corners of trailer and comparing to position in truck will be checked.

I noticed some of the "newer" trailers seem to have a king pin plate that protruded farther forward ...

I run a custom fab shop and am capable of modifying the trailer if need be.

Should I be ok, or will mods be necessary ??

Thanks !

John
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:42 PM   #2
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Never heard of a 5th wheel RV hitch installed 6" fwd of the rear axle.

When I towed Large GN/5th wheel flatdeck trailers for a living we never ran our hitches/plates more than 2"-3" forward of the rear axle.

I've had two short bed trucks and had both sliding hitches mounted zero over the trucks rear axle. That way my pin slides a full 10" behind the trucks rear axle for max cab clearance on sharp turns.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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+1 on the sliding hitch. That's what my dad has on his F350 short bed dually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMNLIN View Post
I've had two short bed trucks and had both sliding hitches mounted zero over the trucks rear axle. That way my pin slides a full 10" behind the trucks rear axle for max cab clearance on sharp turns.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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I have a Reese 16K slider in my Silverado 6.5' bed. It's installed 2" in front of the axle.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chiefrocka View Post
I'm assuming the 6" ahead of rear axle holds true ?? (I used to install these years ago)
Ummmm. No.

In an 8' bed, the center of the kingpin should be 2" to 4" in front of the center of the rear axle.

But in a 6.5' bed, you must compromise if you don't plan to install a sliding hitch, so you want the center of the kingpin as far back as you can get it but keep it in front of or centered on the rear axle. Try to install the hitch so the center of the kingpin is dead center of the center of the rear axle, or maybe a half-inch or so in front of the center of the rear axle. Never behind the center of the rear axle.

Quote:
Should I be ok, or will mods be necessary ??
If you were my son, I'd kick your butt if you installed a non-sliding hitch in a 6.5' bed without an extended kingpin. You probably will be okay when going forward, because the pickup cannot turn sharp enough to get into trouble. But put that puppy in reverse gear and you can have a jackknife in a heartbeat. Regular 5er hitch in a shorty will work okay if you NEVER back up the rig into a jackknife.

Quote:
I noticed some of the "newer" trailers seem to have a king pin plate that protruded farther forward ...
Sounds like an extended kingpin. Those are available from RV dealers, and you can DIY. Here's one:
Popup, RV5 Extended King-Pin

With that extended pin (or pin box), and with the kingpin located dead center over the rear axle, then you might not have a problem with a CRUNCH of cab to trailer contact when you jackknife the trailer to near 90.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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Hmmm ...

That 6" number for weight distribution stick in mind for some reason.

In fact, I called the guy I worked for before and he confirmed it.

This was to preload the front axle a bit.

But, I guess it is not needed as the truck is a CrewCab, giving it more weight ahead of the kindpin.

Well I don't have a fancy sliding hitch, I have a 15k unit that is in good shape, so I don't really want to purchase another one.

So with that said ....

Where should I place the king pin centerline in relationship to the axle ?!?!!?!?!?
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:53 PM   #7
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Where should I place the king pin centerline in relationship to the axle ?!?!!?!?!?
We were typing at the same time. Read my reply right ahead of yours.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Ummmm. No.

In an 8' bed, the center of the kingpin should be 2" to 4" in front of the center of the rear axle.

But in a 6.5' bed, you must compromise if you don't plan to install a sliding hitch, so you want the center of the kingpin as far back as you can get it but keep it in front of or centered on the rear axle. Try to install the hitch so the center of the kingpin is dead center of the center of the rear axle, or maybe a half-inch or so in front of the center of the rear axle. Never behind the center of the rear axle.



If you were my son, I'd kick your butt if you installed a non-sliding hitch in a 6.5' bed without an extended kingpin. You probably will be okay when going forward, because the pickup cannot turn sharp enough to get into trouble. But put that puppy in reverse gear and you can have a jackknife in a heartbeat. Regular 5er hitch in a shorty will work okay if you NEVER back up the rig into a jackknife.



Sounds like an extended kingpin. Those are available from RV dealers, and you can DIY. Here's one:
Popup, RV5 Extended King-Pin

With that extended pin (or pin box), and with the kingpin located dead center over the rear axle, then you might not have a problem with a CRUNCH of cab to trailer contact when you jackknife the trailer to near 90.


Thanks man, you beat me to the punch.

I will look into a slider, but I need to mount an Onan under the trailer, and also fab up a trailer hitch to pull my boat.

So the money can only go so fast and into one thing at a time.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:58 PM   #9
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The extended king pin look like a good plan ...

My thoughts were to make my own.

I can get kingpins new local, and fab up a permanent mount.

But I will definitely look into it.

Thanks again
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:57 AM   #10
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Well, looks like either a manual or auto-slide typr of hitch would be the way to go, but $$$$$$

This weekend I will mock up my existing hitch to my truck, and test fit my 96 Automate, which doesn't have too big of a protruding nose and double, triple check my clearances.

SO WHAT IS THE MINIMUM DISTANCE AHEAD OF THE AXLE ??

I have an '02 Ford F250 CrewCab 4x4 ... 7.3 PS of course
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:14 AM   #11
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SO WHAT IS THE MINIMUM DISTANCE AHEAD OF THE AXLE ??
Dead center over the axle, or a tiny bit ahead of the axle. That's the center of the kingpin to the center of the axle.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiefrocka View Post
Hmmm ...

That 6" number for weight distribution stick in mind for some reason.

In fact, I called the guy I worked for before and he confirmed it.

This was to preload the front axle a bit.
Diesels tend to load the front axle pretty good. At least the Cummins do!
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Dead center over the axle, or a tiny bit ahead of the axle. That's the center of the kingpin to the center of the axle.

Cool ... just found "tiny bit" on my tape measure ...

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:09 AM   #14
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I had my hitch set up at 3in in front of the axle on my LWB Ford and with the new trailer I had to move it back to center. The trailer with extended pin box leaves no room between the truck and trailer.
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