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Towing - 5th-Wheels & Travel-Trailers 6.2/6.5 and Duramax towing performance? Towing accessories? Truck/trailer setup? Compare RV trailers? Trailer maintenance? Great destinations & vacations? Anything towing or trailer related.

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Old 03-09-2010, 03:27 PM
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lmholmes11 lmholmes11 is offline
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Default Short Bed, can I tow a fifth wheel?

Hey all, I have a 6.5 ft bed and there are already rails in the truck (were there when i bought it). Can I tow a fifth wheel if I get a sliding hitch? And do I have to stop all the time if I have to make a tight turn and slide out the hitch, or can I just tow with it to its rear most position?

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Old 03-09-2010, 03:34 PM
DmaxMaverick DmaxMaverick is offline
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The difference between long and short beds isn't that much. Only 9-10" in hitch position in relation to the cab. No, you won't have to stop all the time. You will have to slide if you need to maneuver and jack-knife. The turning clearance is not bad, at all. I've been doing it with a short bed for years, and don't miss the long bed. My current 5'er has a hitch pin behind the front of the trailer, making it closer, and still isn't a problem. I even have room for a small motorcycle in the bed in front of the hitch, but I do have to watch that one (still no problem maneuvering on surface streets). I slide it back for getting it into and parked at my house and when off the highway (desert/campgrounds), but hardly ever any other time.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:45 AM
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lmholmes11 lmholmes11 is offline
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Thanks for the input Dmax Maverick, I think i'll still look into a sliding hitch just in case, but im more at ease knowing what you said.

Does it matter where the rails are in the truck bed? Mine are right about inbetween the wheel wells. Would it hurt to move the rails more towards the tailgate to help clearance issues?
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:49 AM
DmaxMaverick DmaxMaverick is offline
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The rails need to be deliberately located. You can't just put them where they are convenient. They should be centered about 1" in front of the axle on a short bed extended cab 2500HD. The rail center determines the hitch weight distribution. If you get a slider (highly recommended), it'll be a non-issue. Most all maneuvering can be done with it forward in travel mode. If you need more turning ability, slide it back. That simple. You don't/can't leave it slid back, as that places the hitch center well behind the axle, and would likely not be legal with a moderate pin weight (axle and tire overloading). The Reese (and clones) have a 9-12" slide travel, so slid back puts the pin center +8" behind the axle.

With my 5'er on and motorcycle in the bed (placed across, at the front, and as high as the cab), I can still get around town and make right turns. It gets really close maneuvering parking lots and such, but no problem during normal driving. The pin placement on your coach can effect the amount of turning ability you have, too. Where is your pin, in relation to the front corners of the 5'er?

Or....You could fork out the bucks and get an auto-slider. It automatically (cam system) slides the hitch rearward more as the turn increases, and returns to forward as you straighten out. Very nice, but very spendy ($3K-ish for new).
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:52 PM
MacDR50 MacDR50 is offline
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Have a Reese Slider but haven't needed to use it yet. My 5ver has a front cap enhanced for use with short bed trucks. As DM said never tow with slider in rear position. Some have also tied the pin extender but seems, from what I have read, this puts a lot of extra strain on the 5ver front framing and pin box connections.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default New Trailer

If you don't have the trailer yet and aren't looking for a toy hauler, check out Titanium Trailers. They have a trick front end that doesn't require a sliding hitch. Also, the front end of the trailer hangs over the cab so you don't have so much behind you. I have a rack on the back of mine for my dirtbike.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:31 AM
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arveetek arveetek is offline
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A lot of the answer to this question depends on what 5th wheel you end up buying. Most modern trailers (like the Montana we sell) are specifically designed to be towed with a standard bed pickup. (The term 'short' now refers to the small pickups with 5' beds..'standard' beds are the 6.5' models, and 'long' beds are the 8' models. You'll only find the 'short' beds on the 1/2 ton crew cab models.) The front caps and the pin boxes are designed to give maximum turning clearances while using the standard beds.

However, if you end up buying an older 5th wheel from the mid nineties, for example, you may have tremendous trouble towing it with that bed. On these trailers, the pin box is located back under the front of the trailer. So make sure the trailer you are looking at has the pin box pointed out in front of the trailer at least an inch or two, and you should be fine.

Casey
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