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Old 09-13-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
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Is a full size bed required to tow a fifth wheel?

We are looking to upgrade our truck to a one ton to ready for retirement and a 32-36 foot fifth wheel.

But I'm not sure if we need a full size truck bed or not. I would rather get the mid-size, if only because it will be slightly shorter for driving around town when disconnected to the unit.

Thanks! (Been reading the gas vs diesel thread with a lot of interest too! But I sort of think if we want a fifth wheel large enough to live in full time, or at least 6 months of the year, we should go with a diesel....)
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:18 PM   #2
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Yes, with the right hitch a shorty pickup can tow a 5er with no problems - provided you don't forget to slide the hitch before you put the truck in reverse gear. Or better yet, get a fully-automatic slider hitch such as the SuperGlide and you don't have to remember to slide the hitch.
http://www.pullrite.com/products/tra...ort-bed-trucks

Another option for shorty trucks is a Reese Revolution or SideWinder kingpin box on the trailer. A Sidewinder and a Revolution are the same thing. It is called a Revolution when it comes as OEM equipment on a trailer, or a SideWinder if you buy it from a supplier to add to your trailer.

http://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel-...e/RP61421.html

The normal 5er hitch plus the SideWinder kingpin coupler will probably cost you more than a good manual slider hitch, but competitive with the SuperGlide.
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:41 PM   #3
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What do you mean by full sized? Truck beds come in generally two lengths. Long or short. 8 or 6 foot. I guess I have to ask why would you sacrifice and go for a short bed when the extra 2 feet gains you a smoother ride more storage/hauling space? Personally I cant see any use in buying half a truck. But to answer your ? Either can haul a fifth wheel properly equipped
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
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Bed length has noting to do with ride quality but rather the trucks wheel base.

I've owned several of both with all different wb lengths and found both work for towing GN/5th wheel/pintle/bumper pull or any kind of trailer.

Some of the new gen 5th wheel trailers may have a rounded/notched front corner and can eliminate the need for a sliding hitch.
Also some trucks have a longer dimension from the back of the trucks cab to the trucks rear axle.
This is where a good RV dealer can help as he will have experiences with other customers with the same truck/trailer combo.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:06 AM   #5
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Full size bed. Set some priorities. What do you want to do, RV or ride around town?
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #6
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I've had both beds - 6'8" and 8'. The short was OK and didn't require a special hitch since the 5er was a newer one with the rounded nose. I just had to watch to not cut it too tight backing up because I could hit the cab with the 5er's nose. However, the long bed is a lot better and easier. I didn't really want a long bed but now I am very happy with it. I had concerns about parking spots, etc. especially since it it a SuperCab also. After having the long bed for several months now, I wouldn't go back to a short bed. Diesel is the way to go! What power, and I like that growling engine!
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:35 AM   #7
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25 years towing fivers and never owned a long bed. In '89 there were no fancy hitches either so learned to pay attention. Easier now with today's notched front cap designs. I've never had a problem. So, there is nothing wrong with using a truck with a 6-1/2 ft bed.

Ride comfort is more about wheelbase than bed length, besides a crew cab short bed like mine has a longer wheelbase than a reg. cab long bed or even an extended cab long bed. But even with the longer wheelbase, it fits in my garage while an extended cab long bed will not, so short bed really works for me.

If I were a newbie and buying right now, I'd probably get a fixed hitch and the Sidewinder/Revolution. Faster response when backing, less cutting inside on corners, and the back of the pin box won't hit the tailgate or truck bed sides.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:32 PM   #8
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I would only tow a fiver with the long bed. The long bed will give the longest wheelbase with a given cab configuration so a long bed will actually have a better ride. With the long bed you won't have to worry about special front caps, slider hitches and whether or not you can safely cut as short as need forward or back. It only takes one time to mess up and cost you a lot of money.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:51 PM   #9
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I tow the 5er with a 450 crew with custom truck. The box is 9' long. Cab and chassis fitted with an extended truck box.

The truck has a great front end and the cut is almost as tight as the 150 daily driver.

While snowbirding the 450 is my daily driver. I take it to the store, golf course, retaurants, etc. I am able to park in all of them without many issues. Most of the issues come when the folks beside are unable to stay between the lines and encroach on the parking spot. Because of the dually it makes it tighter than I want to fight into.

I normally park near the edge of the parking lot and have lots of room.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
I tow the 5er with a 450 crew with custom truck. The box is 9' long. Cab and chassis fitted with an extended truck box.

The truck has a great front end and the cut is almost as tight as the 150 daily driver.

While snowbirding the 450 is my daily driver. I take it to the store, golf course, retaurants, etc. I am able to park in all of them without many issues. Most of the issues come when the folks beside are unable to stay between the lines and encroach on the parking spot. Because of the dually it makes it tighter than I want to fight into.

I normally park near the edge of the parking lot and have lots of room.
Would you mind posting some pics of your truck? Sounds like a sweeeeeeeeet setup!!!
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Larry View Post
I would only tow a fiver with the long bed. The long bed will give the longest wheelbase with a given cab configuration so a long bed will actually have a better ride. With the long bed you won't have to worry about special front caps, slider hitches and whether or not you can safely cut as short as need forward or back. It only takes one time to mess up and cost you a lot of money.
Larry,
Would you tow with a Ram Mega Cab? The model I have has a 6' 5" bed but the same wheel base as a crew cab long wheel base truck a reg cab long base truck has a short wheel base for that model year. I tow with this truck with no issues at all.

Jim W.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:14 AM   #12
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Would you mind posting some pics of your truck? Sounds like a sweeeeeeeeet setup!!!
As requested.

24,000 5er hitch.

40 gallon propane tank I had installed with vapour quick connect to attach to the trailer. I can also fill propane bottles from the tank.

In front of the propane tank is a 40 gallon aux fuel tank I had built in Lake Havasu. The tank feeds directly to the fuel system and has its own gauge. (Dealer installed 8' box and added a compartment by cutting another box and welding it to the 8' box. Fuel tank fills the compartment)

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Old 09-18-2014, 10:55 AM   #13
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I have a long bed (8') and would never consider a SB. It's my 1st LB truck. It's also our 1st 5'er, so I don't know any way else. I've had SB trucks before and a LB just makes things easier. You also get 1.5' more room between the cab and 5th hitch. Which is basically 12 sqft more of storage space. I carry some camping gear there. With a SB I couldn't get as much stuff between the cab and hitch. I also don't need an expensive slider. Of course the cost of the LB over the SB mutes that. But it's just less to deal with. Only issue is parking in tight parking lots. Very rarely have I had an issue with it.

If you do any work around the house or need to haul longer items on occasion the LB is sure handy.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:04 PM   #14
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Larry,
Would you tow with a Ram Mega Cab? The model I have has a 6' 5" bed but the same wheel base as a crew cab long wheel base truck a reg cab long base truck has a short wheel base for that model year. I tow with this truck with no issues at all.

Jim W.
Jim, no I wouldn't tow with that setup, however it is the same wheelbase so it would have the best ride. I still wouldn't recommend it simply because of the possible issue with contact between the truck and trailer in a tight turn, that just creates one more thing you always have to be watching. I know you and many people do it with no issues, but once they have hit their cab it is too late.
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