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Old 09-27-2014, 06:25 AM   #1
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Short bed to Long bed clearance ?

I've been towing with an 06 F250 6.0 short bed with Pull Rite slider. We just picked up our new 15 F350 DRW long bed with 5th wheel hitch prep and I'm planning on putting in a Reese Elite 25K hitch. My questions are;
how do I know I'm going to clear my cab when turning. I have an 06 Excel 30 RSO with Demco

How much space, ideally, do I need between my bed rails and coach

Brian & Pam Grateful for our travel adventures.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:20 AM   #2
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I was told anything over 6' bed, a slider was not needed. I had a 6'5" bed and insisted on a slider, you know I didn't trust my driving or the salesman. NEVER had to slide the hitch, and in some of the COE parks I had to jackknife into some tight places.

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Old 09-27-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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Between bed and trailer is 6" bare minimum. I prefer 8"-9".
Only way to know if you'll hit the cab is go somewhere and do a bunch of tight turns, get out, and see what it looks like.
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Big B View Post
how do I know I'm going to clear my cab when turning. I have an 06 Excel 30 RSO with Demco
That is ez, as long as the distance from the back of the cab to the hitch king pin location is greater than 1/2 the width of the Excel, then you have no problem turning to 90 degrees. Most long bed trucks have a 60 inch cab-to-axle distance and the hitch is supposed to be within a few inches of the axle, so you probably have at least 58 inches distance. Even if the Excel is a 102 inch wide body, you will be fine.

But, go past 90 degrees and every fiver will have a problem.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:56 PM   #5
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dayle1 is a little off on his discussion of CA (cab to axle distance). For chassis cab trucks, he's right on. The industry standard for the shortest chassis cab trucks is CA of 60", regardless of truck brand. But pickups are different. For 2009 F-350 DRW with 8' bed, CA is 56.3". I'm pretty sure that 56.3" CA hasn't changed since at least the '99 model year, so his 2015 should also be 56.3". (GM and Ram might be an inch or so different).

Some 5er hitch install instructions say to mount the hitch in the bed so the center of the kingpin will be 4" in front of the center of the rear axle. So if your installer follows those instructions, your kingpin will be 52.3" behind the cab wall.

52.3 times two = 104.6". The widest RV 5ers are 104" wide, so even those wider 5ers should (barely) miss the cab with the hitch mounted 4" in front of the rear axle when you jacknife the 5er into a 90 turn. Just a hair more than 90 and you could have cab to trailer contact.

But most 5ers are 96" wide, so if your trailer width is 96", you'll have several degrees of turning left when you back into a 90 turn.

And some hitch install kits won't let you mount the hitch 4" in front of the rear axle. On my 2012 F-150 SuperCrew with 6.5' bed, the custom install kit for my Reese 5er hitch had to be mounted so the center of the hitch was about 1" in front of the center of the rear axle. Handling is fine, but I'd prefer a bit more forward to shift more hitch weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle.

CAUTION! After you have the hitch installed and the 5er tied on, go to a big empty parking lot with a helper, and slowly back the 5er into a jackknife. Even with a 104" wide 5er, you should be able to achieve a full 90 jackknife. But have your helper scream bloody murder if you are about to have a CRUNCH! Play with backing unto a jackknife until you are comfortable with knowing where are the limits for your rig.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:34 PM   #6
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Well, IRV2 won't allow me to edit my post after an hour or so, and I had to take a break to watch the mid-season finale of Outlander, so I'll add another post.

You probably can never turn sharp enough when going forward to have cab to trailer contact, even with a shorty pickup and a wide trailer. Your pickup won't get anywhere near a 90 angle when going forward. But backing up is another story. You can back into a jackknife of more than 90 in the blink of an eye.

If you like your PullRite SuperGlide hitch, note that PullRite also makes what they call the 25k PullRite Super 5th hitch that will plug into your Ford prep kit. So you're not stuck with the choice of only the 25k Reese Elite hitch.
OE Series Super 5th - For Ford Prep Kit | PullRite Hitches
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:08 AM   #7
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Use a tape measure. DUH

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