Tailgates getting taller?

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Hanr3

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I'm new to this RV thing. However, my perception was that you don't need a slider to hook up to the 5th wheel. I hear and read stories where you need a slider for turning, but not for hooking up. At first I thought it was my truck/5er combo. But now I'm not so sure. Let me elaborate. I have to slide my hitch back (manuvering position) to hook up the 5er, if I leave it in hauling position my tailgate will hit the camper before I am hooked.

Me- 2016 F150 standard bed (6.5'), KZ Sportsmens 231RK 25.4' long. So I assumed they shortened the nose of the camper to accommodate everything else. However last weekend I was camping with a group of friends. A buddy also bought a new truck and camper. He has the same problem.

Him- 2018 F250 with standard bed and Cougar 5er. Not sure of model, but it's about 33' long. His wife holds the tailgate up while he hooks up. He even bought one of those spring loaded cables to lighten the load for her. I was surprised his tailgate also hit.

Did truck beds get taller and the camper manufactures didn't get the memo or what? What am I missing?
 

Frank B

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Yeah, I can see that being a problem. I have a longbox pickup, which would make the problem even worse. Fortunately, the fifth wheel that we had also had a very long pin box. Gave me lots of room between trailer and tailgate when hooking up.
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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The dimensions on pick up boxes have definitely changed over the years.  People with older truck campers run into this all the time.  They routinely have to build up some kind of spacer in the bed so an older camper will clear the sidewalls and truck cab on newer trucks.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I suspect its a s much a change in 5W styling as tailgate height.  The distance between the kingpin and the foremost part of the trailer undercarriage is the critical dimension.

Note that nothing says you have to have the tailgate down while hitching either. You can raise the front of the trailer enough to clear the tailgate, then lower it as it nears the hitch throat. Yeah, that means an extra step in the hook-up.  Another, easier to use, option is to get a custom tailgate with a cutout for the kingpin.  Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Custom-Flow-VEL28-Wheel-Tailgate/dp/B000V0F2I4
 

Hanr3

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Central Illinois
Thanks for the feedback. 
I called KZ customer service and talked to them about it. He was interested and took some notes. He did tell me that KZ has used the same size pin forever and for all thier 5th wheels. They don't offer a longer pin. When i called them prior to purchasing they didn't think I needed the slider, the rounded nose should clear. However they always recommend a slider for standard beds (6.5') becuase they have seen situations where it was needed. So I shopped for a slider. Prior to purchasing online I checked Craigslist and found a local farmer who had the Reese 15k slider for $100. I figured if it functioned, it's only a $100 and a can of paint is cheap to make it look good. Meet up with him at his farm, the hitch looked brand new. It was dry, no grease and sticky. Greased it up and it functions perfectly.

I looked at the 5er tailgates, but not looking to spend more moeny just yet.




 

Optimistic Paranoid

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Hanr3 said:
I looked at the 5er tailgates, but not looking to spend more money just yet.

What, if anything, do you carry in the bed of the truck when pulling the fifth wheel?  Cause the tailgate could just be removed and left off.  And there are fairly inexpensive cargo nets that could go across in place of it, if necessary. 
 

steveblonde

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I question the position of the hitch - is it a factory hitch package? The 2017 and 2018'are the same dimensions my 2017 with the tailgate down has about 6 inches clearance before it hits the front dtorage on my 5er

Who installed the hitch?
 

steveblonde

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Hanr3 said:
I'm new to this RV thing. However, my perception was that you don't need a slider to hook up to the 5th wheel. I hear and read stories where you need a slider for turning, but not for hooking up. At first I thought it was my truck/5er combo. But now I'm not so sure. Let me elaborate. I have to slide my hitch back (manuvering position) to hook up the 5er, if I leave it in hauling position my tailgate will hit the camper before I am hooked.

Me- 2016 F150 standard bed (6.5'), KZ Sportsmens 231RK 25.4' long. So I assumed they shortened the nose of the camper to accommodate everything else. However last weekend I was camping with a group of friends. A buddy also bought a new truck and camper. He has the same problem.

Him- 2018 F250 with standard bed and Cougar 5er. Not sure of model, but it's about 33' long. His wife holds the tailgate up while he hooks up. He even bought one of those spring loaded cables to lighten the load for her. I was surprised his tailgate also hit.

Did truck beds get taller and the camper manufactures didn't get the memo or what? What am I missing?

O
Ps a standard bed in a crew cab f150 is 5.5 not 6.5 thats standard on an extended cab or super cab looking at that picture you have a Crew cab 5.5 box the 6.5 was an option not commonly found
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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He did tell me that KZ has used the same size pin forever and for all thier 5th wheels. They don't offer a longer pin.
He is talking about the pin box, but that is only one part of the distance between the lower front and the back of the truck.  They shape of the trailer front has varied a lot over the years and is also different for various models. I'll bet if you took a tape measure to any trailer sales lot you would find as much as several inches difference across various models and brands.
The other variable is the one steveblonde cites: positioning of the 5W hitch in the bed.  Long bed trucks have more room and installers can mount it a bit further forward of the axle. On short beds, the usual install is a few inches closer to the axle to give more clearance to the cab.  However, individual shops and installers do things differently and usually according to some shop-level standard procedure, which may or may not vary by trailer design or hitch choice.  An inch or two can make a difference.
 

Neal

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East Texas
I think, somewhere back in the late 90's they increased the pickup bed sidewall highths 3" or more. This also made the tail gate stick out more to the rear when down. On my last truck urge (back then) we looked, but refused to buy a new one because of the truck bed heighth. We worked much of our life, reaching over into the truck bed for something and didn't want to have to climb into the truck bed to get something out. Have not looked at a new truck since. Now some of the truck bed sides are as high as my car top.
We do still have a 96 pickup with 54,000 original miles, which we purchased new, and hopefully it will outlast me.
 

Hanr3

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Central Illinois
steveblonde said:
O
Ps a standard bed in a crew cab f150 is 5.5 not 6.5 thats standard on an extended cab or super cab looking at that picture you have a Crew cab 5.5 box the 6.5 was an option not commonly found

I have a SuperCab with 6.5' bed. Not a Crewcab? The picture is decieving. The Supercab has 4 doors, but the rear doors are 3/4 of a door, not a full door like the Crewcab.

I mounted the hitch per the instructions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2ObhIzAyfs&t=234s
My rear overhang is 49.1" (axle center to end of bumper). If I remember correctly, the pin is centered 1" in front of the rear axle (50").

The bedsides are 21.4" tall. Open tailgate to ground is 34.7", puts the top of my bed rails at 56.1". Glad I have the bedsteps, no way I can reach inside the bed without them. I'm 5'8" on a good day. lol

50" center of pin plus 21.4" tailgate height means I need roughly 71.4" from center of pin to front wall of basement.

Just went out in the rain and measured the center of the pin to front of basement, 70".


Could it be they moved te rear axle forward on the standard bed trucks? Don't long beds have a 48"-49" overhang as well?


 

steveblonde

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Hate to state the obvious but something is not adding up , with the tailgate down there should be 4-5 inches free space ,even my chev with the 6.5 box had that distance.

What hitch do you have and what rail sytem did you use do you have the part number? Did you use a no- drill bracket set up using the factory holes?
 
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