View Full Version : 5th wheel and short bed
12-19-2002, 01:08 PM
Im getting a a 3500 SRW and was wondering if u can tow a 5th wheel with the short bed. I like the looks of the short bed.
12-19-2002, 01:18 PM
Well yes and no. It depends on the style of your hitch and the width of the nose on your trailer.
12-19-2002, 08:37 PM
The short anwer is yes( no pun intended). The long answer is probably if everything is just right.
I pulled my fifth wheel with Ford SWB crewcabs from 1997 till I got my Dodge.
I have had my longbed Dodge since the end of October, I love pulling with a longbed now. The Dodge 4 door LWB is just a few inches longer than the Ford SWB crewcab.
The SWB is a comprimise but sometimes it may be necessary. If a LWB won't fit in your garage or so on. You just have to decide what is most important to you and what you will use it for.
As far as stability and all that with a SWB I never noticed any problems with my SWB trucks. The only time I had to worry with the SWB was when turning and backing with the trailer. Just one more thing to worry about when pulling a fifth wheel which I do not miss at all.
12-19-2002, 11:14 PM
Whats the diffrences in a swb and a lwb?
12-19-2002, 11:56 PM
kingofdodge7131,<br><br>Short WB = 140.5", <br>Long WB = 160.5"<br>Short Bed Quad Overall = 227.7" <br>Long Bed Quad Overall = 249.7" <br><br>The long WB gives a better ride on rough roads. <br><br>Short Bed Fuel Tank = 34 gal.<br>Long Bed Fuel Tank = 35 gal.<br><br>Short Bed 4x2 Turning Diameter = 44.6 ft<br>Long Bed 4x2 Turning Diameter = 50.3 ft<br><br>Short Bed 4x4 Turning Diameter = 48.9 ft<br>Long Bed 4x4 Turning diameter = 52.0 ft<br><br>When towing a 5er with short bed a "slider hitch" is a must. This hitch is $200-$300 more than a standard hitch. With a short bed and hitch between wheel wells, you don't have a lot of space for other gear in the truck bed. With long bed you have 20 additional inches which almost makes up for space lost by the hitch.<br> 8) 8)
12-20-2002, 07:40 AM
df5152,<br><br>I agree with you! I like the looks of the SB and the ability to park in smaller spaces, however, I bought a new 2000,2500,4x4,loaded, LB a little over 3 years ago and glad I got the LB. I also pull a 30ft. 5ver and did a 8 K mile trip West last summer. I have a Reese 16 K hitch and have been real happy with it.<br><br>With the SB, I would suggest a slider on the 5th wheel hitch. That way when backing and making real short turns, you don't have to worry about hitting the cab on the truck. My salesman told me a story about a guy who insisted on getting the SB, added a 5th wheel hitch "without a slider" and turned too short. The 5ver hit the cab and the guy had a real bad day. I'd research it all "first", "before" commiting to the big purchase. It's alot of money to spent and then end up with something your not happy with. <br><br>Good luck and Happy Holidays!<br><br> :) :) :) <br><br>smokinjoe<br>ohio
12-20-2002, 10:51 AM
Ditto to what smokinjoe just said, don't get in a hurry, df5152. Make sure. :)
12-20-2002, 10:56 AM
i have a 2003 sb qc 2500hd and pull a 28' dutchman-i have a regular 5th wheel hitch in it and a long tongue on the trailer and can get it in a fairly tight spot--practice makes perfect-so far i havent found a place i couldnt get it into
<br>i have a 2003 sb qc 2500hd and pull a 28' dutchman-i have a regular 5th wheel hitch in it and a long tongue on the trailer and can get it in a fairly tight spot--practice makes perfect-so far i havent found a place i couldnt get it into<br><br><br>Please tell us more information. How long is your extended pin? How far does your pin extend from the front of the RV? How about a picture of your hookup. What clearance do you have between the rear of cab and hitch? What kind of hitch? What ever else you can provide.<br>Thanks
12-20-2002, 01:53 PM
I agree with the people who say you need a slider with a SWB I towed my trailer yesterday for the first time and I weighed it and drove around a big parkinglot taking corners and backing up etc. Although I have had three conventional trailers this is my first fifth wheel. It is equipped with a 13" pinbox and my hitch is a HiJacker double tilt with a slide of about 10" and I can see that you could have cab to trailer interferance if you were not careful. I towed 172kms. (107Miles ) and unlike a conventional trailer with an equilizer hitch you do not hit every bump twice. The unit grossed out at 17360 LBS. and it is dry and not completly loaded yet but but the truck had just been filled with 64 gallons of fuel. The truck handled it as I expected very well.There is a web site I believe it is irv.com and it had a very good explanation of towing a 5er with a swb truck.
12-20-2002, 03:19 PM
KenR, I towed my Montana 5er with a Reese Kwick-Slide 5er hitch. The Reese instructions recommend a 13" extended pin box. The slider gives an additional 10" when in the rear position. The hitch in the forward towing position should be centered over the rear axle for maximum manuvering distance from the cab. With the popularity of SWB trucks, most manufacturers equip their 5ers with the extended pin box.
My fiver came with the extended pin box. This places the pin approximately 2 inches forward of the front cap on my 5er. Since the front cap is rounded, the sides of the cap are about 9 inches behind the pin location. If you have a flat front end cap on the fiver the pin should be about 6 or more inches in front of the 5er.
Reese also gives this warning:
CAUTION: Turning clearance is reduced when towing with a Short Bed Truck! This can result in trailer striking inside of truck bed. Always monitor truck cab and trailer clearance during turns. Failure to do so could result in significant property damage.
Sierra Phil,<br><br>Thanks for that information. Valuable. What truck was you pulling with in that situation? I see you have a Long Bed now. What is the brand name and number of your extended pin. I would like to see a picture of it.<br><br>By the way, I must say, "Isn't this internet and forum just great". Super information for us all to share.
12-20-2002, 04:52 PM
KenR, This is a great site with great people, lots of varied experience on this site.
I was pulling with a 98 Ram 2500 4x4 with auto. The extended pin box was the factory one Keystone, Montana mod 2955RL. Most 5er manufacturer have a standard pin box and an optional extended pin box.
Here is a picture of 5er and 2003 hooked up:
Thanks for the picture. I cannot see it from the side at the hitch but get the idea of the hookup. Nice looking rig. I can see that you have lots of experience pulling with a short bed.
My pin Leland AF 7920 can be viewed at the following url:
My actual pin is recessed 3 1/2 inches from the most forward projection of the RV but ahead of the corner of the RV front due to the sloping of the sides about 3 inches. My pin is not the standard pin that comes with the RV. That pin is further recessed 9 inches from mine. My RV is 8 foot wide. I have found two individuals on the net that are pulling my RV with earlier Dodge SB's, except theirs have the bedroom slide and their hitch is the AF 7910 which gives them 9 inches less than mine. They have the Reese slider (only slides nine inches -the current Reese allows 11 inches) and both state no problem for them. Their trucks have 3 more inches clearance than the 2003 Dodge from rear of cab to center of rear axle . Since I have no experience with the Short Bed I am basing my truck order on this information. Additionally, I have a friend that is pulling the 24ft Sunnybrook with a Toyota with only 33 inches between the rear of cab and center of rear axle. He has the same pin I have and he is not having a problem and uses the slider rarely. I also hooked up his truck to my camper and it allows the same clearance that his does. Our RV fronts are the same. We did not pull it due to his truck being a 1/2 ton and I did not want to put my pin weight on his truck.
Every chance that I find to obtain more information on this subject I jump in to gain more knowledge from the ones that have been there.
12-20-2002, 10:47 PM
KenR, The "Intermediate Pin Box Assembly<br>18,000 GVW" on your link looks exactly like my pin box. You shouldn't have problems if you use the slider hitch. Since it is a pain to use it properly one is tempted avoid its use. Just keep in mind that in its rear position the pin should be 52 " from the truck cab. This is not possible even using the slider with the short bed. The sharpest angle you can turn is about 75deg from straight. <br><br>Good luck.
Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it. I think with the Reese slider, at maximum, I will be 46 inches from the rear of cab and with the Pullrite I will be 49 inches. Of course with the RV sides sloping back like my RV it will add another 2-3 inches.
I read somewhere once on a forum that a guy said "Do yourself a real favor when entering a campground; engage your slider until you leave the campground". Makes sense to me. Why take a chance.
12-21-2002, 11:09 AM
If there is ever any doubt about a trailer's clearance when turning a corner while lot shopping just carry a tape measure with you. Start by measuring the bed inside front of box to center of axle -2/4" which will be what the center of pin setting will be. When looking at possible trailers to purchase measure from the center of pin and pull tape out farther most corner of trailer on front (swing clearance) take min 4" off. Compare this measurement to the truck measurement minus the 4", if you exceed the number of the truck measurement it will connect causing damage. This takes the guess work out of will it or wont it, discuss optional tongue pieces and re-adjust numbers. Please note adding 12" of tongue does not give you 12" more swing clearance, if it is to short measure ahead of pin eg;12" then pivot from that point if this is satisfactory this the tongue length you will need. When the tongue becomes to long however a secondary clearance problem comes from the tongue hitting the truck box. This sounds like a lot of work but will dispell any discrepancies a salesman may lead you astray with. There has also been a lot of discussion about pin setting in the truck, I would recommend 2" ahead of axle center maximum and no more than center with any trailer that is over 8000lbs. The CTD front axle is a 4500lb axle and they usually scale in at 43-4500lbs empty, loading beyond this weight with a trailer will cause heavy steering in the front unit will plow through the corners. Moving the pin behind center will make it ride better but will start to lighten the front axle and cause wandering. Hope this gives you a little help in deciding what truck to buy and how to set it up. PK
12-21-2002, 05:55 PM
P Kennedy, Just checked GAWR for front on my 2003 2500 4x2, 4750#.
12-21-2002, 08:05 PM
I know the basic 3/4-1 ton front ends are rated for about 4500lbs and these trucks are nose heavy. My point was that it is easy to create an overweight front end situation by improper hitch placement. I know in my truck that is still only 320 lbs that can be transferred forward. After 26 years of driving/hauling equipment I will feel a plowing front end or a light steer feel. Johnny salesman won't care once Ken leaves the dealer and the money is spent, I was just trying to give him some tidbits on preventing this. I spent lots of my money learning what screwups are worth and how to get it right economically. It's up to each individual to check the specs of their tow vehicle as like the manufacturers state "specifications and information may change without notice". PK
12-21-2002, 08:36 PM
Sierra just went to Ram specs for 2003 and 4x4 axle rating up to 5200lbs, this gives a guy a little more room but not much. Fellow should be able to run up to 4" ahead of center unless you pack a 128 gal fuel tank like I do. PK
vBulletin® v3.8.6, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.