Shortbed vs. longbed

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jackbetsy

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We are interested in purchasing a 5th wheel for retirement and are wondering if a longbed truck is needed or if a shortbed will  work just as well. Thanks!
 

Jim Dick

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Some short beds will work with certain trailers but many times you need a sliding hitch. If you try backing into a tight spot with a non sliding hitch you may take out the rear window of the truck. I've seen it happen. I know there are at least two types. One is manual and the other is automatic. Can't give you specifics on the differences but I'm sure someone will know.

There are also pin box options that place the trailer further back but keeping the weight over the axle of the tow vehicle.
 

jackbetsy

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Thanks for your quick reply! We haven't purchased anything yet....still in the looking/researching stage!
 

Shayne

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Please let it be known what you are looking for and it's possible members of the forum can assit you in locating what you want.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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A shortbed truck will generally work with any fifth wheel that has an extended pin box (one that juts out in front about a foot).  The concern is while backing up - some trailers can clip the back of the truck cab in an extreme backing turn.  You can measure the clearance need for the trailer or you can get a sliding type hitch and always be safe.
Howver, I thoink you will generally prefer a long bed while towing - it leaves some room for the ineviable gear you will want to carry.  Maybe some firewood, bikes, BBQ grill, big cooler, perhaps a generator, etc. etc. etc.  The long bed adds about 1.5 feet to the length of the truck, e.g. an extended cab long bed truck is a shade over 20 feet long.  Big, but not humongous.
 

Jim Dick

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jackbetsy said:
Thanks for your quick reply! We haven't purchased anything yet....still in the looking/researching stage!

I'm sure you'll get your questions answered. Just keep asking them.
 

Mike Goad

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We just bought a short bed 3/4 ton extended cab GMC a month ago.  After several months of research, we have pretty much settled on a  Heartland Bighorn.  We keep looking at other brands and models, but keep coming back to the same Bighorn model (3055).

The Heartland fifth-wheels are designed to be towed by a shortbed truck.  They say they have a patent pending on the design of the front end cap of the trailer.  A slide hitch is not required.

Heartland makes three levels of fifth-wheels.  The Landmark is the top of the line; the Bighorn is in the middle; and the Sundance is their model intended for vacations and general recreational use.  (We will be spending from 2 to 3 months at a time in the trailer once we get it 2 or three times a year and want the added comfort of the Bighorn.)

Heartland is a relatively new brand to the RV industry.  There is a good Heartland Owners Forum online and there is already a good amout of information available there about the product.  As well, all of the Heartland lines have a detailed construction booklet available on their literature page.
 

jackbetsy

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Aug 5, 2006
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Wow, that is a beautiful rv! We are planning to attend the RV show in Hershey, PA, September 15-16. Hopefully we will be able to get a first-hand look and compare options, prices, etc.  Another question we have is the size of the hot water tank? Most brochures list sizes of 10-12 gallons. Is that sufficient? Thanks for all the info..
 

Jim Dick

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jackbetsy said:
Wow, that is a beautiful rv! We are planning to attend the RV show in Hershey, PA, September 15-16. Hopefully we will be able to get a first-hand look and compare options, prices, etc.  Another question we have is the size of the hot water tank? Most brochures list sizes of 10-12 gallons. Is that sufficient? Thanks for all the info..

There are two standard sizes for hot water tanks, 6 and 10 gallons. We have a 10 gallon and it is sufficient for the two of us. I'm sure a 6 gallon would be fine for most situations. You might have to wait a little while for it to recover from someone taking a shower but it won't take long. Propane will heat it up fairly quickly. Obviously you won't be able to shower the way many people do in a home.
 
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