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Author Topic: Long Bed or Short Bed?  (Read 511 times)

Free Spirit

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Long Bed or Short Bed?
« on: May 07, 2017, 03:19:20 PM »
Can I assume that only a long bed will do for a 5th Wheel?
TonyB
Retired and full time living aboard our Denali 293RKS. We plan to start serious cruising around mid-Dec.of 2017
Don't know much about RV"s in general and are still learning. First lesson learned is that dealerships are not responsible for anything and warranties can be used for toilet paper

Pugapooh

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 06:00:26 PM »
We have a short bed truck and 5 th wheel.  We have a "sliding" hitch in case we get in a tight spot.  Only been out once and didn't need to use it yet.  I am told that new fivers are made differently to work better with short beds.  Hope that helps.  I'm sure someone with more knowledge will be along.
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
2001 GMC Sierra 3500
1996 Dodge Ram 1500

Rene T

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 06:03:11 PM »
We have a short bed truck and 5 th wheel.  We have a "sliding" hitch in case we get in a tight spot.  Only been out once and didn't need to use it yet.

X2
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grashley

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 07:10:08 PM »
First, let me define terms.  Long beds are 8 ft long.  Regular beds are typically about 6 ft long.  Short beds are typically around 5 ft long.

The short bed is normally found on ton trucks, which are NOT suitable for towing a FW because of weight limits of a ton.

Older FW had a flat front.  This "square" to the camper front design would often hit the corner of the cab of regular bed trucks.  Newer FW have curved fronts, or radial cuts on the front corners of the FW, providing the clearance needed to make sharp turns (usually backing up) without hitting the cab of regular bed trucks.

Many folks have slider hitches or automatic sliders, like PullRite hitches in their regular bed trucks.  Many report they have them,  but never needed it.  Slider hitches are more expensive and heavier than standard hitches.  Some say it is cheap insurance, if you ever need one, you will be really glad you have one, while others say it is unnecessary.

Careful measurements from the FW pin to the corner of the camper and from the FW hitch to the corner of the truck may help you decide.  Remember a 90 deg turn will go to the center of the cab, but you never want to turn quite that far.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
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edjunior

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2017, 07:48:41 PM »
Grashley said it well.  As long as you're in the 250/2500 range, the general term long and short bed are 8' and 6.5'.  I've had both, and while an 8' bed is not a necessity, but it does give you more storage in front of the hitch, and does negate any need for a slider.  However, as also said, a slider is rarely needed with the modern 5th wheels.  I have one, and have never "needed" it, but it does give peace of mind.  If you have no issues driving a truck that is 23' long (crew cab long bed), I say go for it.  My long bed was a daily driver also and I had no issues with it.  Just parked out a little further.
Ed.....KF5INW
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Pugapooh

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2017, 08:57:25 PM »
Thank you ,grashley, for clarifying things.  Well said.
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
2001 GMC Sierra 3500
1996 Dodge Ram 1500

SargeW

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2017, 10:31:07 PM »
I disagree with one point. A modern 5ver may be more aerodynamic than older ones, but they are still 8' wide. Jack knife that rig to get into a right angle campsite and you will have 4' of fiver in front of the pin looking for some place to go. Granted it may not happen much, but I have had 2 different fivers and pulled them both with long bed crew cab pickups. Both were 20' long. One dually and one SRW.  Each made me glad when maneuvering that I was pushing that monster backwards with a long bed.  Get all the available info, and make your decision. 
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PopPop51

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 10:22:34 AM »
Having some fun thinking about the geometry of this topic, it occurs to me that trailer pin/ball-to-trailer axle length is a factor in how likely you are to get into a jack knife situation.
The setup is this:
Backing two such trailers, both 8' wide, along an arc of a given radius.
Seems to me that to keep the trailer wheels on the arc, the pin/ball of the longer trailer will have to move farther laterally per foot of travel along the arc than will pin/ball of the shorter trailer. That would require a more acute truck-trailer angle for the longer trailer, and so a 90-degree situation is more likely.
What do you think?
Paul--
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edjunior

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 05:45:48 PM »
Having some fun thinking about the geometry of this topic, it occurs to me that trailer pin/ball-to-trailer axle length is a factor in how likely you are to get into a jack knife situation.
The setup is this:
Backing two such trailers, both 8' wide, along an arc of a given radius.
Seems to me that to keep the trailer wheels on the arc, the pin/ball of the longer trailer will have to move farther laterally per foot of travel along the arc than will pin/ball of the shorter trailer. That would require a more acute truck-trailer angle for the longer trailer, and so a 90-degree situation is more likely.
What do you think?

I think I have a headache after reading this!  Too much math.
Ed.....KF5INW
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

grashley

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 05:54:51 PM »
I disagree with one point. A modern 5ver may be more aerodynamic than older ones, but they are still 8' wide. Jack knife that rig to get into a right angle campsite and you will have 4' of fiver in front of the pin looking for some place to go. Granted it may not happen much, but I have had 2 different fivers and pulled them both with long bed crew cab pickups. Both were 20' long. One dually and one SRW.  Each made me glad when maneuvering that I was pushing that monster backwards with a long bed.  Get all the available info, and make your decision.

You are very correct!  That is why I made reference to clearance measured the back center of the cab.  This is a real issue I did not highlight well.  Thank You for the extra statement.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Buggy-Bumpers

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 04:27:36 AM »
Towing with a Short bed 3/4 or 1 ton is easy wit a Slider Hitch.  No matter what they tell you, you need one. Personally after having a 1 ton SB with a Superglide Auto Slide 5th wheel hitch.  I can say that its the only way to go.  Unlike some Slider hitches, you don't have to do anything but drive.  No levers to pull, no pins to pull, no special maneuvers to perform, just drive, its all automatic and no power necessary.
Your decision on what  bed to get should be based on how big a 5th wheel you are looking at.  You have to take into consideration the hitch weight of the 5th wheel and the GVWR of the 5th wheel.
Retired Navy Submariner
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 08:37:02 AM »
I've towed 5W with both short & long bed trucks, neither with sliding hitches.  Never even came close to hitting the cab, simply because I didn't ever need to turn that sharply. .  I think most RVers won't ever "jack-knife" enough to risk a cab strike, even with an older square-front trailer, but it only takes one "Oops" to make the extra cost of a slider seem cheap. For that reason, I think that the general advice to get a slider for a short (aka "standard") bed is good, if just for peace of mind. An experienced Rver may determine they don't need one with their trailer and driving style, but a newcomer doesn't have much basis to make a judgment call like that. Or they may simply get the trailer jack-knifed due to inexperience.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 08:42:48 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
Gary
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SargeW

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Re: Long Bed or Short Bed?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 09:59:50 AM »
Being from the west, I love beach campgrounds (when you can get a spot) and many of them just don't allow much room. It was common place for me to have to jack knife to slide the fiver in between a couple other rigs to get into the spot.  A lot probably has to do with the kinds of places you like to camp. If you are a boondocker or a desert camper, then it probably wouldn't make much difference. 

I did however have to slide my fiver into a spot in Yellowstone one year that had giant Sequoia's on either site of the 10' wide right angle campsite with my long bed dually. After hitting the spot on the first try, I was approached by the camp host who's spot was directly in back of mine.  He told me later in conversation he saw me pull up and look at the site with my fiver. He turned to his wife and stated "see that guy? He's gonna run out of gas before he gets that rig into  that spot!" ;D  Yup, glad I had a long bed that day! :)) :))
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

 

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