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Old 02-14-2007, 03:12 PM   #1
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I recently bought a 1986 fleetwood 5th wheel camper, but I have a small crew cab truck. the truck bed is only 4.5 feet long. Is there any way to mount the hitch to allow me to tow the unit safely.The truck is rated to pull 5500lbs and the camper is only 3750lbs so i'm not worried about the weight just the hitch placement.Any info will be great Thanks
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:12 PM   #2
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I recently bought a 1986 fleetwood 5th wheel camper, but I have a small crew cab truck. the truck bed is only 4.5 feet long. Is there any way to mount the hitch to allow me to tow the unit safely.The truck is rated to pull 5500lbs and the camper is only 3750lbs so i'm not worried about the weight just the hitch placement.Any info will be great Thanks
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:16 PM   #3
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Hello Bill,

Welcome to iRV2, we're really glad to have you here as a new member and are looking forward to reading your posts about your RVing experiences and adventures with your Fleetwood 5th wheel trailer. You'll find a great bunch of folks on this site who are very knowledgeable of RVing, the rigs we use, and the places we go in them.

As you'll see, they're eager to help and share their knowledge and experiences with others.

I think you'll be challenged to properly locate a fifth wheel hitch in such a short bed truck. A fifth wheel hitch pin needs to be located in front of the centerline of the rear axle and in a 4.5 foot bed the truck's cab would contact the trailer when turning.

There are sliding hitches made that you might look into, maybe one that slides automatically as turns are made. Try posting the make and model of the truck, someone may already be towing a fiver and worked all the problems out.

Again, welcome to iRV2, we're glad you joined.
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:16 PM   #4
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Welcome Bill Parker to irv2.
I'm going to short cut your question down to the 5th & TT towing forum to give it more exposure.
You will get your answers,enjoy the forums and post often.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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Most people consider a 6' bed to be small, 4'6" is downright tiny. Really too tiny for a normal 5th wheel - even with a slider hitch. A slider hitch is one that can move backward while backing in order to allow for more swing. It sounds like you have a 1/2T rig such as a SportTrac. Please double check your tow ratings to be sure they apply to 5th wheel towing and not standard TTs - there is a difference. A 5th wheel carries more of its total weight on the pin. 5th wheel hitches also weigh more than a ball hitch. You need to make sure that this extra weight will not overload your truck - that is not exceed the GVWR or the axle ratings.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:36 AM   #6
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Bill Parker, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and hope that we can be of some help to you. It looks like you are already getting some answers to deal with the 5th wheel hitch and small bed truck issue. Good luck and this will be intresting. Take care and be safe.
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:45 AM   #7
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I really doubt you'll find you can install a 5er hitch in that bed, but I seem to remember reading a post about the short beds on the Toyota pickups somewhere. Hopefully an internet search using the search terms you desire wil uncover some information. I use dogpile search engine because it reaches out and searches all others on the internet.
Moving the hitch rearward of the rear axle may create a problem, but it is done on the modified HDT's by some guys. To calculate weight transfer you must first know the actual pin weight of your loaded 5er, the wheel-base of your truck, and your rear axle weight limit. First divide the pin weight by the wheel-base of the truck, this is the actual weight transfer per inch of movement from the centerline of the rear axle. Multiply the inches ahead, or behind the axle by the transfer weight per inch. This result is for ahead of the rear axle. For behind the axle you must double the weight transfer figure because you are removing weight from the front axle and adding to the rear.
I hope I've explained my theory correctly, if not, hopefully some of my "seniors" will correct me.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #8
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Something you might consider is a gooseneck type hitch, this is where there is a ball mounted in the bed and an extension in place of the fifth-wheel hitch I've seen them used on short bed trucks. good luck tinker
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:08 PM   #9
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Given the limitations of your TV, "tinkercb" probably has the best solution to your problem. You still may have a problem with clearance between your truck cab and the front of the 5th wheel--doable, but it will require you to be constantly aware of your close tolerances.

As stated by "Ray, IN", placing the hitch aft of the rear axle is desirable when using an HDT. This transfers more weight to the rear axle versus distributing some of that pin weight to the front axle.

Happy trails and be safe.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:34 PM   #10
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You might want to run a search on "gooseneck adapter" before you decide to use one on your 5th wheel. These greatly increase the forces applied to the pinbox and frame of a 5th wheel type RV - forces a 5th wheel frame isn't designed to withstand. Pinbox and frame failures have occurred.

At any rate, a gooseneck adapter isn't going to help your 5th wheel to truck cab interference problem with such a short bed.

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Old 02-15-2007, 05:40 PM   #11
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A couple of years ago, I saw an Explorer Sport trac and a small 5er. He had the 5er hitch set so far back in the bed, he he had to tow with the tailgate down to prevent the 5er pin box from hitting the tailgate. The truck was setting pretty low in the rear and nose high. He had to been experiencing some steering and handling problems.

I would certainly not recommend anyone set the hitch so far back.

Rusty, you beat me to the comment on the 5er adapters or pin box extenders.

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Old 02-15-2007, 05:44 PM   #12
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One solution would be to sell the truck and reinvest into one that's suitable for towing a 5th wheel. Another option would be to sell the 5th wheel and buy a Travel Trailer.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info. I've been thinking about moving the hith back some The truck is a s-10 crew cab Txiceman said he saw one in a sport trac. My bed is a little bigger than that.I backed my truck under the camper where i was thinking of placeing the hitch. Then i used a wood block and lowered the camper down to put all the wieght on the truck.It pushed the truck down about 5 inches. I will proberly install some air shocks or air bags to level the truck out.I wish i could buy new camper, but right now i can't. I quess i could always use my 1994 popup. Thanks for all info
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:13 PM   #14
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I looked at the Chevy site for the Colorado and found that it is not recommended for 5th wheel towing and only 4000lb at that. I know that for awhile you could get the 4.3L V6 in the S10 do you have one? You should also look closly at the GAWR for the rear axle - a 5" drop indicates that you are probably overloaded. You would probably be better off going to a regular TT or getting at least a 1/2T full sized truck.
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