I know there is a lot of great advice out there, and I am thinking of moving up to a 5th wheel, something in the 15,000 pound GVWR range with up to 3,000 pounds hitch weight. Still in the planning stages but I think the wife will want a shortbed crewcab, and if I can't talk her into the longbed, I would be needing a recommendation on a shortbed hitch.
I saw this picture while doing a search on shortbed trucks, and think that it might transfer to much stress onto the hitch pin box with the trailer I am considering.
It is a Sidewinder air ride hitch - If I recall right.
The other things I want to know is the hitch that adjusts itself forward and back automatically, will it work with the trailer I am considering - 3000# hitch weight and 15,000 - 18,000 overall weight?
At least I did not buy the truck and trailer and then ask "Why will this not work?
I have always liked the idea of a air ride suspension on either the hitch or pin box. From those using a air ride, do you agree that it is the best thing ever? Do you have a air ride hitch, or the pin on the trailer with air bags?
The truck I am considering is a crewcab 3500 SRW GMC, with a GoShichi conversion on it. I have not found anything else wheelchair accessible that can tow a fifth wheel, short of taking a van and putting a cargo box on the back like was done in the 80's. I am not totally against that, but it would not make a good daily driver, and would not fit into the hospital parking garage, so that is sort of out of the picture.
Just my opinions here. What you are considering will be diaster. Very minimum, longbox dually with that heavy of trailer. Anything less will have lateral sway and steering issues. Remember when you brake, you throw a lot of weight down on that pin and it can make the back wheels walk. Also, I would not use the pullrite superglide with that heavy of trailer. My experience has not been good, very rough and sloppy. That being said, I am a Class A CDL driver and used to hauling weight. That's the only way I would drive my setup (which is what you're proposing). From my experience, you will be EXTREMELY unhappy with what you are planning for a TV. F-450 or equivalent would be a good choice for you. Since you are in the planning stage why not put together a proper combination that will serve you well. The Airborne hitch connection I have never used, however that heavy of three axle trailer isn't going to bounce. A superior set of shocks on your truck will do. Hope this all helps, truly do.
The trailer I see listed in your signature is a bit longer and heavier than I plan on towing, and the 2000 F-350 SRW only has a 9,900 GVWR, while the 2012 GMC 3500 SRW has a 11,500 GVWR, about 1,500 pounds more than your pickup.
So are you stating that your truck is not towing correctly? The one I am looking at will have a higher GVWR, and the trailer will be slightly shorter with a lower GVWR. It is also a toy hauler.
I really don't want a dually, and will have to select a lighter weight trailer if that is my only option, so that the truck can stay a daily driver, and fit into the hospital parking garage.
Yes I know all about the F-450, but they don't have a wheelchair lift available, and the dually is a little to large GVWR for going to get groceries when I am not towing the trailer. Even dropping the kids off at school, the truck would be a little to large. I don't want two wheelchair vehicles - just one that can tow the fifth wheel and carry the wheelchair.
I can fully understand the desire to avoid the dually if possible. Parking anywhere is difficult for the full size trucks as you cant open the doors enough to climb in and out especially with any physical limitations.
Ratings (GVW Rating) can also be misleading. Not too many load their camping trailers to the limits - at least from our experiences. We had all the usual stuff (bedding, dishes, games, camp gear, folding metal chairs, table top stove, spare propane bottles, some tools, wheel blocks, etc) and when we sold our 5th wheel had it all in our driveway at one time. I doubt if it was 1200-1500# total. It just isnt heavy stuff.
The point is try to identify the actual weights rather than ratings. They may help a great deal in this case to determine what trailer and truck you will need.
Do be careful. Pin weight can be a killer on a SRW truck - any of them.
The pinbox in your photo is a Sidewinder pinbox extension. This design shifts the pivot of the trailer to the second section (large section directly under the 2 large bolts). There is a large turret that serves as the pivot. The hitch arm has a capture plate to prohibit the long arm of the Sidewinder from moving in the hitch.
I may come under fire but this design shifts the pivot position behind the TV axle and that is against the safety design of a 5th wheel which was to have the pivot between the front and rear axles. There is little difference between using a manual slider in the maneuver position than this design. True, it does carry the weight over the axle, but in a turn the pivot is behind the axle as a manual slider would be.
There are other options that I would recommend. Pullrite is the primary. Pullrite does it right. They carry the 5th wheel pin in the normal "tow" position except when the TV and trailer are not in a straight line. As the angle between the TV and trailer moves from 180º (left or right) the hitch will begin to draw toward the rear of the TV - slightly on slight turns and the full 14" on a very tight turn.
There are other options like HiJacker (also auto slider) and other manual slider models.
Good luck on your search.
I was born in Great Falls, Mt. My parents moved when I was 5. I found them when I was 10 - they were in California.
With the front caps on newer models of 5ers you can turn 80 degrees and sometimes more without any special equipment. My SB SRW is fine with the trailer in my sig. I did install air bags to keep the trailer from bumping the overload springs (sometimes referred to as chucking) and I only run 35-40 psi in them. I have been all over the western US with this rig without a slider or extender and have never had any problem. A slider would be handy if I wanted to do a U-Turn on a two lane road. But I don't and never will. The side loads on the trailer tires, wheels, bearings, axles, and springs are just too severe. I don't intentionally tear up my equipment, I baby it. The weight police will tell you a 3/4 ton SRW is not enough truck for a decent sized trailer. I've been pulling bumper pulls and 5th wheel trailers since I was a teenager, some of them even had brakes in those days, and I am here to disagree with those that insist you need a 450 or that you need a slider, you don't.
If you are considering a 3500 truck then my suggestion is go to a dually. With the weight that you are considering, a SRW is a little too light for it. Unless you're into off-roading, a 4X2 is the way to go because you get more allowable payload.
I thought that 3500's were only sold the long box version but I might wrong. If you can get the standard box then a 18k slider would be a good choice instead of a SideWinder. Personally, I think the SideWinder puts too much stress on the pinbox.
Helen & George VE3INB and Max (Bichon Frise) 2006 Silverado 2500HD D/A, Isspro Gauges, Linex, Westin Nerf Bars, Fold-A-Cover 2006 Cruiser CF30SK.
Reese 16K Slider, Bedsaver, Prodigy Controller, Rearview Camera, JT StrongArms
Can't speak for Chev, but those numbers fit for my SB SRW F350 and it tows comfortably.
With all the frame issues out there, I personally would never consider the sidewinder myself because of the exact reason you ask. I know some factory units offer the sidewinder which is fine, but I wouldn't put one on as aftermarket. Just me. My slider works fine.
2006 Ford F350 4X4 SB CC SRW Powerstroke 6.0
2013 Redwood 36RL - full paint - disk brakes
"Comparison is the thief of joy! - Theodore Roosevelt"
Yes the primary purpose of the truck will be driving around town, so top requirements are shorter length and single rear wheels. Towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer is something that I wanted to find out the maximum ability while still keeping the truck a SRW GMC.
Yes stuck with GMC, even when I can get a much better price on a Ford (brother works there). That is because the manufacture of wheelchair lifts is putting them on crash tested GMC's not other brands because doing one crash test is a million dollar venture, they will not be testing any other brands that I can finance! At least now GMC has a much higher GVWR and cargo rating. They can carry over 4,000 pounds, and yes I do understand that that is including the passengers, generator and anything else in the cargo box.
The largest trailer that I am looking at is about 40' long fifth wheel with a 18000 GVWR, but only 14,000 empty. I don't expect to have more than about 2,500 pounds of stuff in there (including water), with perhaps one trip a year to carry my 1,500 pound dune buggy.
The alternative is to buy a motorhome, and leave the wheelchair truck at home, towing a much smaller car that will prove difficult while out sightseeing.
So I guess the only suggestion is the Pullrite 18K superglide or finding a fifth wheel with a extended hitch pin, so that 80 degree turns are possible.
we have the Cyclone 3010 (smaller than what you are looking at in a toy hauler) and the GMC 3500 crew cab and short bed. It has the 88 degree turning radius but I was concerned and still bought the pullrite 18k automatic glide and super rails.
I love the set up although I'm having some issues with the pullrite hitch (I think I found the problem) we love the set up.
I live in a small town with no parking and have a 15 month old toddler. We needed the crew cab and the short bed.
Good luck with your search!
2012 GMC 3500HD, Diesel, Crew Cab Standard Bed, SRW
2013 Cyclone 3010 (to be picked up)