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Old 11-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #1
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Short-Bed Turn Angle Reality?

Folks--5'er manufacturers make great turning angle claims (78-90 degrees) for thier units. Is this achievable with a short-bed truck? Is is acheivable with a sb truck without a slider hitch?

Background: Doing our due diligence as we set up our family of five for full timing in a 5'er. We are leaning towards a Dodge mega-cab for cab room, which restricts us to a short-bed (modifications aside). Trying to glean experience from those with a short-bed and a "high turning angle" 5'er.

Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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I've read that the mega cabs have the same seating room as a crew cab. Only difference is the mega seats recline and also fold flat.

I have a slider and can make some pretty sharp turns when locked in the rear position. I learned the hard way not to try it in the front position. I paid the $500 deductible and my insurance paid the remaining $1,300 balance to replace the rear window.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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I guess that 90* turns are the "standard" that we try to achieve with our 5ers. There are some combos that will work and others that wont. For instance, we looked at several different brands before purchasing what is now an orphan, a Glendale Titanium, With the Titanium's areo nose, I can get to at least 80* and probably 90*+ but have had no need nor opportunity to test. I really do NOT like sliding the tires which those acute angles will cause to happen so in a couple of CG's, have refused sites that require those kinds of angles on asphalt. Now, will all 5ers do the mythical 90* turn hooked to a short bed truck - no, no, no. And a Dodge from what I have seen might be the worst for that "requirement" - but of course, I have no statistical evidence, only personal observations
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abnmarine View Post
I've read that the mega cabs have the same seating room as a crew cab. Only difference is the mega seats recline and also fold flat.

I have a slider and can make some pretty sharp turns when locked in the rear position. I learned the hard way not to try it in the front position. I paid the $500 deductible and my insurance paid the remaining $1,300 balance to replace the rear window.

Been there did that also. Real close to the same cost also. At the time was using a Lil Rocker. It was a left over from my 1/2 ton and 2 previous light weight 5vers. Now have a Reese Slider. Either get a slider or a long bed. JMHO.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:31 PM   #5
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Short Bed Turn Angle With 5er

I have a 2008 F250 short bed Super Duty no slider hitch. I pull a 2009 Sundance 35 foot made by Heartland, claims to have 88 degree turning. I have never had any problems turning even in a tight turn.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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We used to have a Chevy 2500HD CC short-bed, stationary Husky hitch & pulled a 286EFS Cougar 5-r. I don't think we actually made a 90-degree turn, but we came about as close to it as one could & we didn't have an issue. Not saying that we couldn't have, but we didn't encounter any situation where our short-bed truck was an issue.

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Old 11-23-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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Somewhere I remember seeing a video taken from inside the cab during a short turn where the rear window gets smashed. I tried to find it, but found these two informational videos instead:
YouTube - Extended King Pins? 5th Wheel Trailer & Short Bed Trucks
YouTube - The Proven 5th Wheel Hitch Solution Short Bed Truck, Trailer
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:42 PM   #8
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If you're like me and occasionally forget things, do yourself a favor and use a SuperGlide. You don't have to remember to get out of the truck and pull a handle. I have (carefully!) turned my truck past 90 just to see what would happen and still had clearance. You can't beat the peace of mind.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:00 PM   #9
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All sorts of info

1) For short beds, max turning angle will be determined by the cab-to-axle (CA) distance. GM is longest at 41.6 inches, Ford is 40 inches and Dodge is 36.8 inches. For a hypothetical fiver with extended pin box and flat front cap and neglecting any curve to the truck's cab, the GM with have a 60 degree turning angle, the Dodge will be 50 degrees.

2) Clearly modern front cap designs are going to be better that these numbers. How much better?? How much do you need??

3) Maximum angle for a TT before it hits the truck's rear bumper is about 65 degrees, so the Dodge short bed with today's fiver design is probably no worse that what every TT owner lives with every single day. However, while a TT can't turn too sharp it does respond to steering changes faster than a fiver.

4) I have owned short bed/fiver setups since '89. Back then, there were no slider hitches, automatic or manual. And with front cap designs back then, I was limited to slightly better than 60 degrees. Never had a problem. My second truck didn't have a slider either. My 3rd truck has a slider that I have used twice in 7+ yrs. My real point is that any time an angle sharper than 60 degrees is needed, the same task can be accomplished by being careful and making multiple cuts, jockying back and forth. This will also put less stress on the fiver tires/suspension.

5) If you absolutely need a safety net, then IMHO the best option is the Sidewinder pin box. Fully automatic. Works with most hitches, except B&W Companion hitch. Less cost, weight and maintenance than an auto sliding hitch. Provides faster response when backing up than any other fifth wheel option. The Sidewinder moves the pivot point 20 inches behind the truck's rear axle yet the pin weight is still 100% over the rear axle.

6) Just one more tidbit, the front wheels of any light duty truck or passenger car can only turn around 36-37 degrees. So, when making a 90 degree turn with the steering wheel at full lock, the maximum angle that will occur between the truck and fiver will only be about 45 degrees (depends on length to the fiver axles). A 60 degree limitation doesn't become an issue until a turn of somewhere around 120 degrees at FULL LOCK.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:44 PM   #10
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Reference Dayle1 item 5 using the sidewinder I submit that one has to be careful using some types of pin boxes as they can put extra stress on the 5er's frame. Some mfg units does not have a strong or proper welded supporting frame so one has to consider this.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:53 AM   #11
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RVhauler speaks the truth! The 5er engineers go to a lot of trouble to calculate how long a lever (pin box and bracket) the frame can support. I know they build in a margin of safety, but the more you extend that lever the greater the chance of bending your frame.

I bought my SuperGlide 16K with SuperRail mounts and brackets pre-owned (but never used) for $850. Look on Craigslist.

Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:45 PM   #12
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Reference Dayle1 item 5 using the sidewinder I submit that one has to be careful using some types of pin boxes as they can put extra stress on the 5er's frame. Some mfg units does not have a strong or proper welded supporting frame so one has to consider this.
While I don't own a Sidewinder, some of you clearly have not studied this pin box. It has a free pivot directly below the pin box mounting brackets, so it puts less stress on the fiver frame than any extended pin box. Stress on the fiver frame is identical to a straight drop pin box. All of the stress is at the hitch head, where the wedge keeps the king pin from rotating as it locks between the guide ears on the hitch. This is why the B&W Companion hitch won't work, since it has a single gooseneck mounting point that can twist. When un-hooked, the Sidewinder can rotate 360 degrees at the mounting brackets.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #13
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Guess I need to elaborate, there are multiple Sidewinder part numbers to replace specific factory approved and/or installed extended pin boxes. Since the entire purpose of an extended pin box is to increase turning angle and the Sidewinder does the same thing by instead moving the pivot point rearward, there is no need for the Sidewinder to be any longer than the existing pin box. It could be shorter. In my case, a Sidewinder about 10 inches shorter than my existing pin box would allow a 90 degree truck to fiver angle (vs. 65 degrees with the factory extended pin box). So, the Sidewinder should have equal or less leverage on the fiver frame than the stock pin box.
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:30 PM   #14
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... some of you clearly have not studied this pin box. It has a free pivot directly below the pin box mounting brackets, so it puts less stress on the fiver frame than any extended pin box. Stress on the fiver frame is identical to a straight drop pin box. All of the stress is at the hitch head, where the wedge keeps the king pin from rotating as it locks between the guide ears on the hitch. ...
While I definitely don't want to get into a argument, unless I missed something in high school physics, all three Sidewinder products increase the lever (or moment arm) acting on the 5er frame. All three models extend the distance between the pin-box attachment to the trailer frame and the hitch that carries the weight. That creates a longer lever. You are absolutely right that they move the pivot point rearward. But that doesn't mitigate their greater stress on the frame.

Also there is a disadvantage to permanently moving the pivot point rearward. The beauty of a 5th wheel hitch is that placing the pivot point above the rear axle eliminates sway and porpoising caused by a pivot point at the rear bumper. The farther rearward from the axle that one moves the pivot point, the more susceptible the rig becomes to sway and porpoising. If one moved the 5er hitch pivot point all the way back to directly above the bumper, one would have exactly the same dynamics as a bumper-pull setup (except for the effects of the higher attachment point, which I'm not smart enough to predict).

Before I installed a sidewinder I would check with somebody in the engineering office of my trailer manufacturer.
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