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Old 11-28-2020, 10:53 PM   #1
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Fifth wheel hitch help

Good evening everyone. We just sold our travel trailer this weekend and now are shopping for our first fifth wheel camper. Since this is a new direction for us I’m seeking a little help on selecting a fifth wheel hitch for my truck. I have a 2019 Ram 2500 with the 6’4” bed. Question #1 Do I need a slider? #2 will a sidewinder work ? #3 what is your recommendation for a hitch that provides a smooth quiet ride ? Looking for a reasonably priced option, not the cheapest but not $2K either.
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Darrell P
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:11 AM   #2
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It is advertised to work with short bed trucks. I often times say 'Go to YouTube and see a demonstration of this product'.
Also look for JB Reviews on YouTube as he tows a 5th wheel with a short bed Ram. I saw one of his videos he is seeing what angle he can get. He is using a Reese Goosebox with a goose neck ball.

I towed a 5th wheel from 2012 thru 2018 with a truck with an 8' bed. I used a standard type hitch with a morryde pin box.

Now I am shopping for another RV. 5th wheels are on the possible type would buy.
I also now have a short bed truck. I had a love/hate relationship with my standard 5th wheel hitch. It was heavy and clumsy to move. Took two guys to put it in the the truck and two guys to take it out of the truck. It also took up a lot of room in the bed of the truck.

Before I bought another heavy clumsy 5th wheel hitch again I would exhast the possibilities of using a goose neck ball. I think the ball weighs 18 lbs.

Also there are are a lot of 5th wheels that come with a RotoFlex pin box. Plus a lot of 5th wheels now have the corners of the front cap designed for short bed trucks.
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:51 AM   #3
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We pulled our 38' fifth wheel for years with our Ford F-250 with a short bed, but I believe our bed was 6 3/4 (or 6'9") and we never needed a slider. I was able to turn it around in very tight quarters. I believe the newer fifth wheels have a more aerodynamic front cap on them, which usually is more "tight turn" friendly.

We now have a long-bed F-350 dually for our 41' fifth wheel.

As was previously advised - go to YouTube and search there. That's generally a great source of information on things like this.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:29 AM   #4
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I had one slider before, a Reese 16K with rails, and hated it. Sliding mechanism was clunky, more movement than a break dancer. Got rid of the slider base and much better. Still not a good hitch in my opinion. I now have a B&W Companion but I also have a long bed. As stated most newer 5th wheels, made in last decade, have the contoured front caps and will be compatible with short bed pickups. A slider will not protect you from a truck to trailer impact. It's still possible to hit with careless backing. If you are trying to back very tightly, in the 90* range, you also run the risk of trailer tire and suspension damages due to tire side loading and scrubbing. Bottom line you probably don't need a slider hitch. Some swear by it, some swear at it.

For hitch type or brand, do you have the puck hitch mounting system? Are you familiar with the B&W Turnover ball system? I personally like the B&W hitch but they are heavier. Heavier also is solid and a solid hitch makes a more pleasant towing vs a clunky chucking one.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:09 AM   #5
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I have the same truck 2018, and have used a B&W Companion manual slider hitch for a few years, but have not needed the slider due to paying attention, and the rounded corners of the FW.

There are several good auto sliders out there, and also some gooseneck type like Anderson, and Reese, so you have a lot of choices.
The first thing is to decide is if you want permanent rails in your bed, or a removable ball, and this dictates your hitch choices.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:19 AM   #6
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The B&W turn over ball is pretty nifty. It is probably better than the puck system from the factory.

I think you need the bed camera to use a gooseneck ball...to see the ball from a crew cab. One way around this is to use one of the new ways to connect a 5th wheel. That is to use the Anderson Ultimate hitching system. If I end up with another 5th wheel this is what i would use. The Anderson Ultimate hitch fits on a goose ball (same as the B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch). You tighten the Anderson hitch to the ball? Add the tough nylon coupler to your 5th wheel pin and now you have a 38 pound 5th wheel hitch that one guy can easily remove from the truck.

If you have the puck system plus a bed camera you could use the Reese GooseBox on your 5th wheel to replace the standard pin box and connect that to the ball.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:41 AM   #7
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I have owned both short and long bed pickups. All were goosenecks but for the advice I am about to give I don't think it matters, standard kingpin or gooseneck.

Backing up the short bed at angles around 90 degrees (not sure exactly) will drive the front corner of my 5th wheel into the corner of the cab denting both (2004 Keystone Cougar). I have dents in the cab corners of of my short bed to attest to that.

I have owned 2 long beds and towed 5th wheels with a gooseneck and they can't come together. If buying a short bed with gooseneck please be aware of the danger. I have never had a standard kingpin but I understand a sliding hitch is available which circumvents the corner to corner issue. Maybe someone else can elaborate.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Darrellp View Post
Good evening everyone. We just sold our travel trailer this weekend and now are shopping for our first fifth wheel camper. Since this is a new direction for us Iím seeking a little help on selecting a fifth wheel hitch for my truck. I have a 2019 Ram 2500 with the 6í4Ē bed. Question #1 Do I need a slider? #2 will a sidewinder work ? #3 what is your recommendation for a hitch that provides a smooth quiet ride ? Looking for a reasonably priced option, not the cheapest but not $2K either.
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Darrell P
My suggestions is the demco autoslide or the pull rite . The demco I had owned was a 18K version , it worked well and fairly easy to hook up and required no thought about getting out pulling a lever, turning on the trailer breakes pulling forward , backing in then pulling the lever again setting the trailer brakes backing up again to lock it in the forward position again. I know Demco makes 3 sizes of the autoslide. Depending on what pin box you have you many need a capture plate. (short money)
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:41 AM   #9
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First question to answer is does your truck have enough payload capacity to carry the 5ers pin weight plus other cargo in the truck. A 3/4 ton truck has a limited payload capacity. They can easily handle a 5er, provided you do not want a huge heavy 5er.

Look at the trailer GVWR and use 20% of that for the pin weight, plus the hitch, plus cargo, plus passengers for the load on the truck/

Now for the hitch. I would not have a short bed truck without a slider hitch with a 5er. Slider hitches are heavy.


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Old 11-29-2020, 11:54 AM   #10
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A pivoting type pin box will certainly work as they were designed for short bed trucks. This type of pin box will exclude certain hitches like the Andersen unless the pivoting function is locked out. A gooseneck mount B&W Companion hitch would also be out.

I would look at the Blue Ox Super Ride hitch as it fills many of your needs. It will articulate rearwards should you need extra cab clearance. Breaks down into 3 pieces for easy removal/installation. Air springs for cushioned ride. Innovative wrap around jaws for rattle free hook up plus an imbedded lube plate. Can't say on the price. Not a popular hitch and receives few reviews which are all positive as far as I have seen.

Fifth wheels tow differently than travel trailers due to their high hitch design. Not all 5ers tow the same, some tows are fine, some aren't. I always like to recommend a soft joint hook up to mitigate fifth wheel forces to first time buyers. You have a new truck and might be looking at a new trailer. A soft joint hitch would help protect both.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:56 PM   #11
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I had one slider before, a Reese 16K with rails, and hated it. Sliding mechanism was clunky, more movement than a break dancer. Got rid of the slider base and much better. Still not a good hitch in my opinion. I now have a B&W Companion but I also have a long bed. As stated most newer 5th wheels, made in last decade, have the contoured front caps and will be compatible with short bed pickups. A slider will not protect you from a truck to trailer impact. It's still possible to hit with careless backing. If you are trying to back very tightly, in the 90* range, you also run the risk of trailer tire and suspension damages due to tire side loading and scrubbing. Bottom line you probably don't need a slider hitch. Some swear by it, some swear at it.

For hitch type or brand, do you have the puck hitch mounting system? Are you familiar with the B&W Turnover ball system? I personally like the B&W hitch but they are heavier. Heavier also is solid and a solid hitch makes a more pleasant towing vs a clunky chucking one.
Yes I do have the factory fifth wheel/gooseneck prep package with the pucks in the bed. Meant to mention that in the original post. So Iím hoping to find something that works with that and can bolt right in. Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:06 PM   #12
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Yes I do have the factory fifth wheel/gooseneck prep package with the pucks in the bed. Meant to mention that in the original post. So I’m hoping to find something that works with that and can bolt right in. Thanks.
Then the puck mounting makes the most sense in my opinion. Now you have to decide whether a slide is really needed and in my opinion it's not IF you are careful backing and avoid trying to get 90*. I have the B&W 25K Companion puck mount in my Ram. It's a 3500 DRW but the hitch is the same as you would use. Comes in slider or fixed. There are other brands if that's your fancy. B&W is made in the USA and a very solid stable hitch.

EDIT adding. I haven't had the B&W slider so not familiar with how much movement it has. The Reese I had was bad. Other's may help with that.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:29 AM   #13
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Seeing those dents in the cab make me think I need a travel trailer and not a 5th wheel with my short bed truck. What happens even if you ard watching the gap closes much faster than you think. There is a gap, then you hit the cab. I can not explain it other than it happens fast.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:10 AM   #14
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Auto slider hitches are worry free, but have limits on the angle to hitch.
That said, all FW's made now have a rounded front, and the corners are angled.
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