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Old 01-10-2019, 01:22 PM   #1
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Changing Fifth Wheel Tongue

I am new to this site and apologize in advance if I do something out of line.

We are now looking at purchasing a used fifth wheel and pick up. Have decided that Ram 2500 diesel is truck of choice, probably year 2013 or later in order to get the towing power we will need. Looking at long beds so as to not have to deal with sliding hook ups. Some one told me that I could change the tongue on the fifth wheel to put the center of pivot further out and thereby eliminate the need of a long bed or slider. Is this so? has anyone done this?, would the change in the pivot location alter handling characteristics?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captjim41 View Post
I am new to this site and apologize in advance if I do something out of line.



We are now looking at purchasing a used fifth wheel and pick up. Have decided that Ram 2500 diesel is truck of choice, probably year 2013 or later in order to get the towing power we will need. Looking at long beds so as to not have to deal with sliding hook ups. Some one told me that I could change the tongue on the fifth wheel to put the center of pivot further out and thereby eliminate the need of a long bed or slider. Is this so? has anyone done this?, would the change in the pivot location alter handling characteristics?

A longer pin box will not help in that regard, you will still have cab clearance issues and your Pivot point will remain the same. Why not look at a hitch like a pull-rite Superglide, then you get the best of both worlds, a short bed and 90* turns
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:39 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:50 PM   #4
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The Reese Sidewinder pin box is what you're thinking of.....It moves the pivot point of the trailer toward the rear 22"......they come in different widths, so you'd need to know what is currently on the trailer......they also use what they call a "wedge" that makes everything happen....you'd want a custom wedge as they fit better, and they offer those....the Sidewinder also has a lockout feature that makes the pinbox just like a standard type, where anyone could tow it.....Post number two is incorrect....
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:09 PM   #5
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Extending the pin box will increase the leverage and put extra stress on the upper frame. Some frames are even cracking under normal use. A lot of the newer 5th wheels have curved fronts that allows a tighter turning radius. A slider is still a good idea as you may still need it occasionally. An auto slider is the best choice, but they are about 100lbs heavier than a manual slider. Depending on the weight of the 5th wheel that extra 100lbs could become an issue.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:18 PM   #6
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Never hear of a cracking problem, unless the welder missed a section.....Lippert has been installing these for years..
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:22 PM   #7
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IMO changing the pin box or replacing with a ball hitch is not a good idea. The extra length would add additional torsion on the frame which may not stand the extra stress.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:37 PM   #8
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Howdy!

You might want to consider a Reece Goose Box. I read of folks using them on short bed trucks. The Goose Boxis a gooseneck style hitch which is nice because you don’t have a 5er hitch in the bed of your truck. You have a clean bed to use for other things when needed.

https://www.towuniverse.com/reese-go...yABEgJnwfD_BwE

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Old 01-10-2019, 07:02 PM   #9
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Be careful with a gooseneck conversion, many will void your warranty as they add extra stress and can cause frame cracking.

Not all 2500 series trucks are the same. The carrying capacity can vary well over 1000 pounds so be sure that the yellow sticker on the door frame says you can carry 25% of the gross weight of the 5er. Gross weight, not dry weight. So a 15,000 pound GROSS weight 5er may have a dry pin weight of 2200 pounds but the actual pin weight loaded for camping will be well over 3200 and could be as high as 3700 plus the weight of the hitch and anything else you carry in the truck like a generator or tools. That's a pretty serious load for even the most capable 2500. It adds up quick and you may really need a 3500 depending on the trailer you choose.

Not much difference between the two other than cargo capacity. For my money anything over 12,000 gross trailer weight is 3500 territory and over 15,000 gross trailer weight is dually territory.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:09 AM   #10
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Be careful with a gooseneck conversion, many will void your warranty as they add extra stress and can cause frame cracking.

Not all 2500 series trucks are the same. The carrying capacity can vary well over 1000 pounds so be sure that the yellow sticker on the door frame says you can carry 25% of the gross weight of the 5er. Gross weight, not dry weight. So a 15,000 pound GROSS weight 5er may have a dry pin weight of 2200 pounds but the actual pin weight loaded for camping will be well over 3200 and could be as high as 3700 plus the weight of the hitch and anything else you carry in the truck like a generator or tools. That's a pretty serious load for even the most capable 2500. It adds up quick and you may really need a 3500 depending on the trailer you choose.

Not much difference between the two other than cargo capacity. For my money anything over 12,000 gross trailer weight is 3500 territory and over 15,000 gross trailer weight is dually territory.
The Reese Goose Box is approved by Lippert on their frames.

https://www.lci1.com/goose-box
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:36 AM   #11
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Thanks,
I am considering a 2013 (or newer) Ram diesel tradesman that shows a max trailer weight of 18,350 and a payload capacity of 2520. As long as what I pull fits within these parameters, shouldn't I be ok?
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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Thanks,
I am considering a 2013 (or newer) Ram diesel tradesman that shows a max trailer weight of 18,350 and a payload capacity of 2520. As long as what I pull fits within these parameters, shouldn't I be ok?
Yes. But, keep in mind that a 5th wheel puts 20% of its weight in the bed of the truck. So a 18,000 lb 5er has 3600 lb of pin weight, far more than the 3/4 ton truck can handle. Even a 10,000 lb 5er will have 2000 lb of pin weight. As you can see, the payload will be used up very quickly.

If you want to pull a large 5er, get a one ton truck.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:00 AM   #13
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captjim, as said above, newer 5vrs mostly have a curved nose. We have No problems with a 6'4" bed Silverado and standard hitch. Plenty of clearance...
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by chiefneon View Post
Howdy!

You might want to consider a Reece Goose Box. I read of folks using them on short bed trucks. The Goose Boxis a gooseneck style hitch which is nice because you don’t have a 5er hitch in the bed of your truck. You have a clean bed to use for other things when needed.

https://www.towuniverse.com/reese-go...yABEgJnwfD_BwE

“Happy Trails “
Chiefneon
Downside is, all ball hitches require safety chains be attached in Indiana, because they are not as secure as a pin box.
I had a gooseneck farm trailer, got too old and stiff to crawl into the truck-bed to attach/disconnect the safety chains every time I used the trailer for road trips.
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