Have decided to buy a fifth wheel toy hauler and decided on chevy duramax, but do I need long or short bed. When I see them on the road there is about a 50/50 mix. I would prefer a short bed but do not want the trailer hitting the truck. I have seen a slide movement on the hitch portion mounted in the bed of the truck, but have been told they are not very reliable. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
Vegas Rider, You are right seems about 50% of the 5th wheels are pulled by short bed trucks.
I have a short bed F250 and just bought a 30 foot Rage'n 5th wheel. The hitch was mounted properly directly over the axle. I DID spend a little extra money a got a sliding hitch just in case. So far I haven't HAD to use it but then I have only had my trailer a few weeks. I have towed it about 300 miles so far and all is very good, not problems. I assume you would need a slider hitch if you had to do some fancy backing where you might have to "jack knife" the trailer, but as I said, so far I have been able to back up with out a problem and with sliding the hitch back. Many of the new 5th wheels have an extended hitch or one that is sticks out in front of the trailer a bit more so it allows twoing with short bed trucks. And personally, the long bed trucks with a crew cab have a terrible turning radius. That's the main reason I chose the short bed and a super cab (not full back seats).
We got the short bed for a couple of reasons, first we thought it would fit into the garage (it doesn't) and second because it would be easier to drive and park (it's my wife's car/truck). And last, I don't have to get out and put the tailgate up after going under the king pin (my friend has to do that every time he hooks up). Some disadvantages are smaller gas tank and less room to carry things in the truck bed and, if you have a large trailer, it might make a difference in towing stability.
Welcome to the forum. I have a short bed (see my signature line) and been using a slider for two years. No problems (well almost, see If you have a Short Bed, Use That Slider!) to date with over 8,000 miles in two years.
Both Husky/Valley Industries and Reese produce high quality manual and automatic sliders and hitches. There are others and I am sure that other fifth-wheel owners will chime in.
You may want to drive them both without the tow.
The short beds are, in my opinion, far too choppy a ride...to a point where it can be difficult to carry on a conversation.
It is not my intention to start a contest on this thread, but you may want also to check out the Cummins products before you buy.
We went to the Baja with a couple towing an fifth wheel identical to ours in every respect, although theirs was loaded slightly heavier. He was towing with a Duramax, and the comparison between trucks was not even close. Their milage was about 30% less than what we were experiencing, and they could not keep up on the hills. Admittedly, maybe it was the particular truck.
When I was initially looking to buy a truck for my new FW, here's what I found for the 2001 Dodge RAM 2500 Quad Cab with all other things being equal except the SWB/LWB (from http://www.dodge.com/ and from my Dodge dealer) :
SWB Cargo Capacity = 3,383 lbs.
LWB Cargo Capacity = 3,255 lbs.
SWB GVWR = 8,800 lbs.
LWB GVWR = 8,800 lbs.
SWB GCWR = 16,000 lbs.
LWB GCWR = 16,000 lbs.
SWB Max. Trailer Weight = 9,900 lbs.
LWB Max. Trailer Weight = 9,800 lbs.
Difference in price between the SWB/LWB = $345.00 (SWB is cheaper)
Cost of the slider option for my hitch = $75.00
So, for less money, I get slightly more capacity due to less metal in the bed between short and long bed. BUT, as I said (and learned), you gotta use that slider to make it cost effective (I'm now only slightly ahead the "break even" point - was able to get an after-market replacement rear window for $249.00 installed).
In any event, I agree, you may want to consider the diesel as the fuel is cheaper than unleaded, you get better mileage when towing (I see no difference in mileage between towing and not towing). Yes it is more expensive initially (about $2,000 more), but I sure enjoy the power (torque) under the hood when going up hills and mountains while towing.
Hope this helps.
*This Message was edited on 10-Jan-03 05:43 PM by LLeopold*
I have a long bed. I bought it so that I wouldn't have to mess around with a slider. Too easy to forget if you are holding up traffic in a campground and want to get into your site in a hurry. The other reason is the larger fuel tank, 34 vs 26 gallons. I only want to stop for fuel once a day on a long trip. Also nice to know that you have more than enough fuel for most daily trips. The long bed also gives a better ride with the trailer attached. The only problem with the LB is when you have to park it in a tight parking lot, then I would love a SB.
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