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short bed fifth wheel towing?


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Thinking of upgrading my truck to something newer. Can I tow my fifth wheel with a short bed meaning the 6 1/2ft bed? Not really wanting to buy a new sliding hitch. It is hard to find a 1 ton long bed srw around here. Would I benifit going to the 1ton over a 3/4 ton? I have heard there is only like 500lbs difference in capacity. Thanks

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I would avoid short beds for 5th wheel towing unless you got a slider hitch for it. Cab to RV clearance are very tight and won't take much to make contact with some RV's.

 

Few questions is what kind of 5th wheel do you have? A picture of the hitch might help.

 

What is the current scaled weight of the RV? And the gross RV weight?

 

What the length of the RV?

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I don't have pic but it is a 2014 wildcat. Roughly 34' and has a max weight of 12000 stamped on hitch. I don't have an actual scale weight either. Dry weight is supposed to be a little less than 10000. It does have those kind of rounded corners on the upper part. I heard they started making them that way just for short beds. I was thinking the longer wheel base might also give better control. The king pin sticks out a little farther then the camper itself. Any benifit to 1 ton over 3/4?

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I would suggest long bed for the stability personally. As for 3/4 or 1 ton trucks your still in the weight class for 3/4 being most 3/4 ton trucks are good for 13,xxx worth of trailer. I will admit 1 ton gives more stability but the maintenance cost goes up buying 6 tires over 4 tires. 

 

As for weight you need to find out the truck weight without the RV. (Front axle, Total gross weight, rear axle). Then hitch up and scale the truck and trailer both (truck front axle, gross truck weight and rear axle) then your RV axle weight. Then you can figure out pin weight on the truck. Typically 5th wheels are 25% pin weight so worse case would be 3,000 pound in the bed of the on the pin. This is where you need to know if the pin weight combined with the truck is going to exceed the axle weight limit of the rear axle of the truck.

 

Like on my truck its rated for it but I'm at 3,200 on the rear axle now so adding the extra pin weight I would be at 6,200 which is over the axle limit. (6084 pounds)

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Truck alone...

 

Then...

 

Truck and RV...

 

Weight out all your axles separate if possible. Like the scales down in Council, Idaho is a 3 pad scale. Then the scale in Grangeville is a single pad. So in Council I can pull up and get truck front and rear and trailer in one shot. Then in Grangeville I got to do each axle separate... Truck front axle, truck total, truck rear axle, trailer axle...

 

What this will do is let you know if your balance in weights maybe need to relocate weight in the trailer, lighten, etc. Like myself I scale at least once a year and funny to watch my RV start at 7,300 pound when I bought it to now at 8,020 pounds. Gross weight rating is 8,500 pounds on the trailer.

 

With the rear axle weight just subtract the truck alone from the truck & RV and you'll see your pin weight.

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Mike can vouch for me when I say this:

 

It can be done...

 

Is it the most ideal setup? No.

 

I use a superglide hitch with my truck and have the scalloped nose as well. You can call superglide and give them a few dimensions and they can actually tell you how far you would be able to turn with the hitch.

 

If you can help it, get a long bed at the least. This will eliminate having a sliding hitch, but the longer wheelbase helps with increased stability.

 

I'm usually pretty darn heavy towing my 5th wheel because its a toyhauler and I try to keep a happy medium with counterbalancing for pin weight.

 

As far as my knowledge goes, the only advantage you have with the 1 ton is having a dana 80 rear and some other things that help beef it up. Capacities though, they are really similar in rating until you get into doing a 1 ton dually.

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As far as my knowledge goes, the only advantage you have with the 1 ton is having a dana 80 rear and some other things that help beef it up. Capacities though, they are really similar in rating until you get into doing a 1 ton dually.

My observations  are,   2500  with  Manual Trans  use   the  Dana 80.    Springs  'look'  the same too,  as  compared  to our   '00   3500.

This is  comparing  my  1998 2500  parts donor,  and   our  2000  3500.  your  years  and  models  may differ.

 

For me,    I'd  say if  you are  running around   'naked'  with the  tonner... say   75%  of the time, or more,   I'd   rather  be driving the   2500.  your  kidneys,  wife,  and   tire  budget will thank you.    When you get caught  the first time  in slick conditions,  you'll be cussing those extra 2 tires too.

our  3500 would  be as  worthless as  **** on a boar,  if it didn't have  4x4.  (for  what is  required out of it)

Little  mud, or  snow...   it's not going anywhere 'empty'.  loaded,  it's  better.

Edited by rancherman
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I am looking at either a 2500 or 3500 srw I will not be going with another dually. That's why I'm asking about the short bed. Its hard to find 2500 crew cab long beds and even harder for the 3500. The short beds have the 6.5' bed not the 5.5 if that makes a difference.

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are you getting a quad cab or mega cab? as the frame lengths are close. you can tow a fifth wheel witha short box. i have a superglide (automatic sliding) hitch. and i towed several 5er's with it. on the wider trailers you have to pay attention when turning but still very doable.

i upgraded trucks as well. i ended up with a qclb so i pined my slider forward as i no longer need it's sliding feature.

with my old shortbox truck.

 

 

 

no issues at all. just pay attention.

 

this is my setup now.

post-1725-0-40083900-1406935798_thumb.jp

Edited by Killer223
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Depending on the year of truck you get, I don't think any other truck dodge offers has a shorter bed than 6.5' other than the mega cab. I think the mega cab is a 5.5' of 5' bed? Regardless, if you use a 6.5' bed, you need a sliding hitch. If you get a shorter bed, you will have to use a sidewinder hitch.

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OK, I'm old school...  I specifically bought a quad cab, long bed.  I got my fifth wheel camper gone before I took the C30 camper special, std cab/long bed old school fifth wheel & gooseneck hitches (fixed, solid to the frame), off the road. 

The Dodge is has a gooseneck Hidden Hitch centered over the axle.  (The guy who set my Chevy up...  highly experienced fabricator...  recommemded the gooseneck be 1-2" ahead of the axle centerline but not possible with the purchased Hidden HItch). 

I've never regretted the long bed.  My gooseneck horse trailer has the axles further back than ideal...  a lot of weight on the ball but never a problem.  I have twice had to jackknife to 90 degrees to get out of a jam...  no problems from it but it is hard on the trailer tires & axles...  scuffs them pretty had on ashault. 

It is possible to cab-crunch even a long bed because my friend did it.  He was very unhappy.  He has a new truck since then. 

About every problem I can think of...  heavy equipment, trucks, trailers...  wouldn't have been a pickle if a spotter had been used.   

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You don't really NEED a slider with a 6 1/2' bed. If you want to verify, just take a tape measure and go to a trailer you may pull and holding the tape on the center of the pin measure the longest distance (generally 48") to any point on the front of the trailer. Then measure from the center of the axle (Dodge hitches normally go there) to the back of the cab. Then you will know for sure.

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I would suggest long bed for the stability personally. As for 3/4 or 1 ton trucks your still in the weight class for 3/4 being most 3/4 ton trucks are good for 13,xxx worth of trailer. I will admit 1 ton gives more stability but the maintenance cost goes up buying 6 tires over 4 tires. 

 

As for weight you need to find out the truck weight without the RV. (Front axle, Total gross weight, rear axle). Then hitch up and scale the truck and trailer both (truck front axle, gross truck weight and rear axle) then your RV axle weight. Then you can figure out pin weight on the truck. Typically 5th wheels are 25% pin weight so worse case would be 3,000 pound in the bed of the on the pin. This is where you need to know if the pin weight combined with the truck is going to exceed the axle weight limit of the rear axle of the truck.

 

Like on my truck its rated for it but I'm at 3,200 on the rear axle now so adding the extra pin weight I would be at 6,200 which is over the axle limit. (6084 pounds)

So if I have a regular cab long box which is the same wheel base as an extended cab short box then what should we all do????????????

 

 

Sorry just had to throw it in the mix folks........................But this is where all started years ago before extended , quad, crew or mega cabs became the norm.......remember??????

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So if I have a regular cab long box which is the same wheel base as an extended cab short box then what should we all do????????????

 

 

Sorry just had to throw it in the mix folks........................But this is where all started years ago before extended , quad, crew or mega cabs became the norm.......remember??????

 

Yes, you have a point. But Mike also stated it was his personal opinion. It does not mean the truck in a different configuration such as a regular cab long bed is not safe to handle a 5th wheel. In fact, dodge used a regular cab long bed dually in their commercial to advertise their astronomical towing capacities of 30k lbs.

 

All mike was saying, was that a long bed with I assume he also meant quad cab as well is the longest wheelbase offered and therefore has the most stability out of all the configurations.

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Really common over on the RV forum I moderate on to see people getting Ford Eco-boost trucks (little 1/2 ton) and attempting to tow a 35-40 foot 5th wheel. Just about 90% of them come back telling tales of white knuckle trips. I'm not saying it can't be done... But what quality of towing are you going to have with a short wheel base? Depends on configurations, weights and total length of trailer. Kind of like Hex0rz trailer / truck combo. His trailer is a monster compared to his little 3/4 ton truck. Another one that comes to mind is Dripley with his monster 5th wheel. But I think he's set properly and travel long distances with his.

 

Another example I can load my BigTex with firewood and be nearly the same weight of my RV and be able to tow it with my little 1/2 ton truck and not even think about it. But now take the length of my RV and same weight my little 1/2 ton couldn't even imagine the idea of towing now. (Tail wagging the Dog). Again its about configuration, weight, length of trailer.

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