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Old 06-17-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
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What type truck bed

WE bought a 2003 coachman 31ft tag-a-long if we like RVing we may go to a fifth wheel. whats the better truck bed to have a short bed or a long bed
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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I prefer the 8' or long bed for towing a 5er. You don't have to worry about banging the trailer and cab in a tight turn. When we had a 5er, I could get 90 degrees to it with the long bed.

With a short bed, you should use a manual slider or an automatic slider.

In order to get 90 degrees to the trailer, measure the width of the trailer and divide by 2. The center of the pin should be at least over the rear axle, but it is preferred to be about 2" forward of the axle. From this pin pivot point, you need the 1/2 of the trailer width plus about 2 inches to the rear of the cab.

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Old 06-18-2009, 08:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
In order to get 90 degrees to the trailer, measure the width of the trailer and divide by 2. The center of the pin should be at least over the rear axle, but it is preferred to be about 2" forward of the axle. From this pin pivot point, you need the 1/2 of the trailer width plus about 2 inches to the rear of the cab.
Once you have this measurement (~48" for a standard-width 5th wheel, ~51" for an 8.5' wide 5th wheel like mine), take a string of that length and swing an arc with that radius from the centerline of the pin for 180 degrees. You may find, depending on your pinbox design/pin placement, that the front corners of the 5th wheel protrude beyond the string, meaning that you're at risk of hitting the back of the cab with the corner of the 5th wheel before you get to 90 degrees.

I'm another member of the "long bed for 5th wheels" club.

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
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I haven't had too many problems with my short bed. More annoyance than anything else. You have to slide the hitch back (which isn't hard, just annoying).
You can't put in a truck box (depending on your hitch).
Your back up turning radius sucks with the short bed.

I like my short bed, but I would buy a long box if I had to do it again.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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This one is a no brainer for me, Long Box. Room for tool box/aux fuel tank, fire wood, No slider hitch needed, longer wheel base = better handling tow vehicle, larger fuel tank vs short bed, when you go to buy a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood you can close the tail gate.

Some people claim they like the short bed, say they bought a house with a little garage, they also like spending money on expensive slider hitches.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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Like gearman so aptly pointed out,
some of us folks with very large working garages at our house, and also owners of actually quite reasonably priced maunal slider hitches (Husky),
have short boxes because of reasons other then the ease of largebeds in hauling a tad bit more firewood or groceries every now and then.

If your circumstances, other then towing a 5'r, favor a shortie,
circumstances such as ...
you offroad in snow country or sanddune land and prefer your truck have real traction capability and want a SRW commonly found on shorties, ...
or your garage at home just will allow a shortie to fit in but not something any longer, ...
or you shop at HomeDepot excessively and hate to walk across the parking lot,
or many other situational reasons such as aesthetic appeal ...,
then a short bed can be an easy and attractive option.

Setting the slider, which just costs a few hundred measely bucks more then a good standard hitch, is easy to do and is something which becomes ingrained in you quickly. You will get to be as good at determining tight curves in the road ahead as a NASCAR race driver. Really the only time you'll use it is at some campgrounds, not too many.

I have a shortie. The only time i have regretted it is when i have wanted to toss one of my harley's in the bed, the harley with the extended front forks and its a miserably tight fit. The answer to that is to keep the bike in good running condition i guess.

So weigh the possibility of you actually towing a 5'r with the truck you intend on buying against numerous other reasons of SB v LB.
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Old 06-20-2009, 03:45 PM   #7
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I'm with gearman, I never have enough room as it is with a long bed when on a long trip. And to me its no more trouble to park, drive or anything else, to me its a win, win, there are no negatives.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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I have never towed with a long box, so I am short half the equation I guess. I will say with my shortie I've never had problems with trailer sway/control. I have performed emergency stops, done mountains, and I have been around a pack of semi's. I felt no stress (more than normal for the e-stop) in these situations. Not sure how a long box would help with stability when I have no issues with it to begin with? Perhaps this is because I have a quad cab, which makes it longer anyways?
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEER2 View Post
WE bought a 2003 coachman 31ft tag-a-long if we like RVing we may go to a fifth wheel. whats the better truck bed to have a short bed or a long bed
BEER2
Whats a tag along?? 8 ft beds are for 5th wheels.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #10
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Tag-along is a bumper pull or a travel trailer.

Ken
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearman View Post
This one is a no brainer for me, Long Box. Room for tool box/aux fuel tank, fire wood, No slider hitch needed, longer wheel base = better handling tow vehicle, larger fuel tank vs short bed, when you go to buy a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood you can close the tail gate.

Some people claim they like the short bed, say they bought a house with a little garage, they also like spending money on expensive slider hitches.
I agree with gearman. Those cutie trucks are good for parking in the garage and not towing a 5er.
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