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Old 02-27-2021, 11:50 PM   #1
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Which is easier to backup with: Sidewider or autoslider

We've had a TT for several years, but I just bought a 2005 5th wheel. It has the "old style" cap so I'll need a sliding hitch or sidewinder for my 6'4" bed (Ram megacab).

I'm debating between the Superglide and the Sidewinder, but I'd welcome any other suggestions. In my research, I read that someone said the Sidewinder behaves more like a TT when backing up because the pivot point is further back. I assume that means it's not as responsive to steering inputs. Is that right or am I getting this reversed?

My 5ver is 30' long and I'd like to take it to National Parks where the sites tend to be smaller. So backing into tight spots is important to me. For that reason, the Sidewinder sounded like it might have a slight advantage because I believe you can hook up at any angle. But if it makes backing in harder than an autoslide, or isn't as responsive to steering inputs when backing up, I need to rethink things.

These purchases are not inexpensive! And it's not like buying a pair of jeans that you can return to the store if they don't fit : ). So, I'm trying to make an educated choice. I don't have any firsthand experience...so I'm hoping to get the voice of experience from autoslide and sidewinder owners. Your advice is more than welcome -- thank you!
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:33 AM   #2
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IIRC the sidewinder moves the pivot point back 22 inches. So it's about half way between a TT and having the pivot over the rear axle. That would seem to suggest needing less steering input than an over-the-axle pin location, but the pivot point with the sidewinder is closer to the trailer wheels and that amplifies the effect of steering input. Bottom line is you will have plenty of maneuverability. In fact I find that with the Sidewinder it's easy to put in too much steering input. I.e., I've always got more than I need and have to remember to not over do it even with a 169" wheelbase.

Theoretically there is a bit of loss of stability from moving the pivot point back with a sidewinder, but I've never been able to detect it.

You can hook up at any angle, but you must get the pin aligned well when engaging since the 5er will tend to rotate on the tires if there's much resistance to the pin going in. Also, you may not be able to move the sidewinder by hand. If it loosens so that you can move it by hand, it's probably due for a torque wrench on the pivot nut.

For convenience, I'll take the Sidewinder any day.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:20 AM   #3
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I had a demco autoslide , it worked flawless.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:35 AM   #4
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I have never had a SIDEWINDER King Pin Box so, take my answer for what it is worth.

I have had two different sliding hithes a manual and an auto slider hitch.

What I have notice is the manual slider hitch locks the hitch in two positions, one is in the tow and the other in what was called the maneuver position. The distance the hitch will moved back was what every was designed in the hitch locked maneuver position from the manufacture.

With the auto slider hitch this maneuver position is constantly changing as the hitch slides back. So, once you are use to the auto slider hitch, this works great for backing the trailer and turning the trailer on the highway.

Now would I go back to a manual sliding hitch, NO!
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:31 PM   #5
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I had a superglide auto slider. Worked fine- I did not notice a difference when backing up. I believe they make one now that will fit regular rails. Mine did not. I would go this way so you can keep it and use it on your next truck if you want to. I personally would not buy a manual slider but I am sure some like them. It boils down to preference. Auto you never think about it. Good luck.
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