5 Best Fifth Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks Camper Reviews
- 1 5 Best Fifth Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks Camper Reviews
- 1.1 The 5th wheel hitch variants that you should consider
- 1.2 Top 5 best fifth wheel hitch for short bed trucks camper
- 1.2.1 1. PullRite 2300 24K ISR SUPERGLIDE HITCH
- 1.2.2 Pros
- 1.2.3 Cons
- 1.2.4 2. CURT 16521 A16 5th Wheel Slider Hitch
- 1.2.5 Pros
- 1.2.6 Cons
- 1.2.7 3. REESE Titan 30870 Fifth Wheel 20000 lb Load Capacity with Round Tube Slider
- 1.2.8 Pros
- 1.2.9 Cons
- 1.2.10 4. B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400 Companion Slider 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.2.11 Pros
- 1.2.12 Cons
- 1.2.13 5. Reese 30143 Elite Series 5th Wheel
- 1.2.14 Pros
- 1.2.15 Cons
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2.1 Do You Have the Ability to Install a 5th Wheel Hitch?
- 2.2 Is it necessary to maintain a fifth wheel hitch?
- 2.3 How can I attach a fifth wheel trailer to a fifth wheel hitch?
- 2.4 What is Bucking and Chucking?
- 2.5 What causes chucking and bucking?
- 2.6 What is a King Pin?
- 2.7 What can I do to keep my hitch in tip-top shape?
- 2.8 Can 5th-wheel hitches be removed?
- 3 Conclusion
Towing 5th wheel trailers and campers with the truck is a special task and it needs a suitable tool. To haul them successfully, you have to possess a good and reliable 5th wheel hitch. Even if you got a short bed truck, there is a lot of 5th wheel hitch models to choose from. Their number may make you feel lost at first but there is no need to feel worried. This article will give you a quick overlook of 5th wheel hitch variants and some of the best products around. Check them through and you may just get the best fifth wheel hitch for short bed trucks camper
Trucks with a bed shorter than 8 ft are called short bed trucks. If you want to install a 5th wheel hitch on this type of truck, there is one important condition. You need to make sure that it won’t let the trailer collide with the truck cab. In order to have a safe and unhindered operation, the hitch has to be right over the rear axle. For a short bed truck, this means it will be closer to the cab than in the case of a long bed one. This why an appropriate type of 5th wheel hitch is needed or you have to put in an extension.
The 5th wheel hitch variants that you should consider
The 5th wheel hitch is a popular style of hitch that is commonly used to pull heavy loads. One advantage of this hitch compared to gooseneck hitch you can actually remain in the trailer when it’s being towed. However, you may have to slightly alter the bed appearance to properly fit in the hitch. There many kits you can use to install a 5th wheel hitch from specially designed types to universal one fit all. Its variants consist of 3 primary styles
This type of hitch won’t move and stay securely in one place. Its operation is simple, robust and works best on long bed trucks. The price is also much more affordable compared to other styles. You should not use it on short bed trucks without an extension though. The small gap between the trailer and the cap will lead to a collision on tight turns so be careful
If you are using a short bed truck and on a budget, this is the style to go. It’s much cheaper than an automatic slide and you can fully adjust it to meet your needs. You do have to repeatedly get out and operate the slide whenever a tight turn is coming so it’s time – consuming process. It’s also prone to get into accidents if you happen to forget to adjust the hitch before a turn. One distraction and that may cost you dearly
Modern and the most expensive of all, automatic slide offers you the latest technology and innovation. As the name suggests, when you are entering a tight turn, the slide of this hitch will automatically move. It requires no input from your end so you can casually get on your way without any worry. Fast and convenient are the notable benefits of this hitch. If you want to have a safe and smooth 5th wheel hitch for your short bed truck, this is your best bet. Its price is quite high though and only a small range of products to choose from.
Besides the hitch, there is also the need for a set of rails. Generally, a universal installation kit will provide you the rails that can be used on any truck bed. But this means you may have to drill holes to tighten the rails. So if possible, get the rails that are specifically produced for your type of truck. This is how you can use pre-existing holes on the truck bed to secure the rails and preserve the bed appearance. Most 5th wheel hitch is manufactured with an industry standard. It means one hitch can work on pretty much any set of rails so try to purchase a set of custom rails to save time and effort.
Top 5 best fifth wheel hitch for short bed trucks camper
1. PullRite 2300 24K ISR SUPERGLIDE HITCH
One of the best 5th wheel hitch you can get for a short bed truck, PullRite 2300 can fulfill any requirement. Its fully automatic slide ensures that you don’t have to lift a finger when making tight turns. With weight support of up to 24,000 lbs, it can tow almost all truck trailers and campers. While the price is indeed high, your experience with it will prove that the hitch is totally worth its cost. You can also get a universal set of rails to install on your truck. In the case that you already have the rails on, just mount in the hitch and enjoy its usefulness.
In operation, the hitch will never fail to deliver. From mountain track to muddy road and tight turn, the coupling will always stay strong. The attach and detach processes can be performed very simply. With the hitch on, you can drive with your mind at ease knowing that the trailer connection is secure. You may feel it may be a bit tight at first but some lubrication will be enough to fix that problem. Spray in a bit WD 40 to smooth the hitch operation and prevent moisture accumulation.
- Maximum towing capacity: 24,000 lbs
- Jaw design: Double jaw
- Weight: 287 lbs
- Product Dimensions: 49 x 35 x 17 inches
- Perfect for short bed trucks
- Can be mounted in virtually any set of rails
- Very expensive
- Slightly on the heavy side
2. CURT 16521 A16 5th Wheel Slider Hitch
Employ a sliding system, this 5th wheel hitch will satisfy the towing need of any short bed truck owners. The fixed position hitch is stronger and can tow more weight than the sliding type. But it also raises the chance of collision between the cab and the trailer on short bed trucks. To neutralize this problem, some hitches like this one use a slide mechanism. While doesn’t have the same capacity as a fixed position style, you can make turns more convenient with this hitch. You can have up to 12 ft of displacement which is better than most models.
The jaw design of the CURT 16521 A16 is the double jaw. It envelops the kingpin and minimizes the noise when in operation. The accommodate handle can be operated with ease making this hitch very simple to use.
You can always lock the handle to deter theft and that will also eliminate any chance of the hitch unbuckling in use. Every time you detach the handle, it will reset so you can save lots of time adjusting the hitch
- Maximum towing capacity: 16,000 lbs
- Jaw design: Double jaw
- Weight: 96 lbs
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 48 x 48 inches
- Sufficient towing capacity in most case
- Generate minimal noise when in use
- The handle is versatile and durable
- Theft proof handle
- Tricky to install by yourself
- Require some times to get used to it
3. REESE Titan 30870 Fifth Wheel 20000 lb Load Capacity with Round Tube Slider
The REESE Titan 30870 is a manual slide hitch that can be used effectively on short bed trucks. While you have to adjust it whenever you near a tight turn, it’s a cheaper option compared to an automatic slide. And effective vibration isolation mechanism allows the hitch to have a swift and smooth operation in most of the case. It also got height adjustment so you can modify to better fit your own condition.
- Maximum towing capacity: 20,000 lbs
- Jaw design: Double jaw
- Weight: 194.3 lbs
- Product Dimension: 33 x 16 x 12.2
- A cheaper alternative compared automatic slide hitch
- Highly customizable to adapt to a variety of requirements and needs
- Need to be manually prepared when making tight turns
- Slightly expensive compared to other products
4. B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400 Companion Slider 5th Wheel Hitch
Another great 5th wheel hitch with slide for short bed trucks, this one has an innovative feature. Most 5th wheel hitch requires a certain level of installation with rails and bolts, there is no need for any of that here. When you need to need to tow, just put it in and that should be it. And after the hauling is done and you need to use the truck bed for other tasks, you remove the hitch completely in mere minutes. The only thing the hitch need is a mounting bracket that you can purchase separately. It’s a flexible choice for people who want to multitask.
For its performance, you can expect everything a quality 5th wheel hitch can deliver. Its notable features consist of a spacious kingpin, double pivot head, and theft-proof handles. The double jaw design should reduce any noise that may occur on the ride. Utilize corrosion resistant steel, it can withstand any kind of weather and temperature conditions. A maximum of 12 ft clearance will allow you to get into turns easily and comfortably.
- Maximum towing capacity: 20,000 lbs
- Jaw design: Double jaw
- Weight: 207 lbs
- Product Dimensions: 47 x 207 x 14 inches
- Durability and versatility are respectable
- Very fast to install and remove
- 3 settings of height for you to pick
- Smooth and quiet operation
- Rather heavy
- Quite expensive
5. Reese 30143 Elite Series 5th Wheel
A 5th wheel hitch main purpose is to help you pull heavy trailer and camper. That is why its towing capacity is an important specification that you must consider. About this, the Reese 30143 is a high-quality hitch that can sufficiently support a lot of weight without breaking or detaching. The single jaw design allows it to have a very firm and durable grip on the kingpin. There are also fewer parts that can break or malfunction when you are using it. The 7-year warranty speaks a lot about the manufacturer’s confidence in its product quality.
Another great thing to talk about this hitch is its 4-way pivot head. This feature helps to stabilize the hitch when your truck goes up and down or traverse rough terrain. That means you don’t have to worry that the hitch may be deformed due to constant vibrating and bumping. While pivot head is present on the front and back of many 5th wheel hitch, the only high-end product got them side by side. It provides you up to 4 degrees of clearance to make turns without incurring damage to the trailer or the cab.
- Maximum towing capacity: 25,000 lbs
- Jaw design: Single jaw
- Weight: 120 lbs
- Product Dimensions: 36.8 x 20.5 x 18.8 inches
- Very tough
- Can haul heavyweight
- Efficient design and simple to operate
- Sufficient clearance in most case
- Quite expensive
- Take some time to install on your own
- May require an extension
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have the Ability to Install a 5th Wheel Hitch?
Your expertise and the type of rail kit you choose will determine which one is best. If you buy a custom kit that is specifically tailored for your vehicle, you won’t need any assistance. However, universal kits can be quite complicated, especially for amateurs.
Drilling holes in the frame may seem easy, but welding brackets will require professional assistance. You will need to hire a professional if you are unsure how to install it.
Is it necessary to maintain a fifth wheel hitch?
Although maintenance requirements can differ depending on the design, manufacturer, and engineering of the fifth wheel hitch, the main thing is to lubricate them.
Start by removing any lubricant and grime that may have built up.
Even excess tree pollen can clog up old lubricants.
After it is clean, you can apply automotive-type chassis grease for lubrication of the skid plate’s surface.
The engine oil or white liquid lithium spray lube can be used to lubricate any moving parts.
White lithium spray is also a good option to lubricate the joints of the hitch head.
You can use any other moving parts with a high-pressure gear oil (80/90 gear oil).
Double-check that your jaws lock and engage smoothly before using them. Also, ensure that all pull pins are correctly positioned.
How can I attach a fifth wheel trailer to a fifth wheel hitch?
It is not difficult to attach a trailer hitch to a truck. A fifth wheel hitch has a kingpin that connects to the trailer and truck.
This pin secures the hitch in a fixed position, but it allows for some flexibility when turning.
What is Bucking and Chucking?
This term is used to describe the uncomfortably pushing and pulling caused by loose connections between the fifth wheel trailer and the hitch, or fifth wheel hitch, and the frame of the truck.
It’s more common to feel it on bumpy roads, but it can also be an issue on smooth pavement if there’s a mechanical problem.
You might need to double-check that everything is correctly installed if you have either a lightweight gooseneck adaptor or manual slide fifth wheel hitch.
It could be that the manual slide fifth wheel hitch needs to be set differently.
Double-check the connections between the frame and fixed fifth wheel hitches or other fifth wheel hitches that are permanently mounted in your truck.
Particularly if you have noticed underbody rust. If the fifth wheel pin and truck frame aren’t connected tightly, the fifth-wheel trailer can begin to move independently. This can pose a serious safety risk.
What causes chucking and bucking?
There is a chance that you are having a problem with bucking or chuckling. These issues occur when the trailer pulls or pushes against the tow vehicle, making the ride unpleasant and bumpy.
This problem can be fixed by checking the connections between the truck’s frame and the kingpin. These connections must be tight enough to stop the truck and trailer from moving apart.
What is a King Pin?
The king pin, a cylindrical pin made of heavy metal, is attached to the front nose on the fifth when trailer.
It locks into the truck’s fifth wheel hitch to join the two. The jaws can still pivot within the lock when properly installed.
King pins can be mounted near the trailer’s cap or offset so that there is more room between the truck’s cab and the fifth wheel’s front cap.
What can I do to keep my hitch in tip-top shape?
Fifth wheel hitches manufacturers provide maintenance guidelines in the owner’s manual. Follow these and you will be fine.
You should lubricate your hitch occasionally, but only moderately. It is important to clean out any old lubricants before you actually lubricate the hitch.
Last but not the least, make sure to inspect all hardware periodically to ensure that the hitch is properly fastened to your bed.
You should prioritize a trailer with a kingpin that is approximately 18-24 inches from the trailer’s cap when you’re looking for a fifth-wheel trailer.
Can 5th-wheel hitches be removed?
It all depends on the model, the manufacturer and the features it comes with. However, most 5th-wheel hitches can be removed with just the mounting brackets or bars remaining in place.
Some hitches can’t be removed, but they are often used on commercial trucks and not in the truck box. These models are heavy-duty and have a very high weight capacity. You won’t find anything like them in your truck bed.
The 5th wheel hitches that you will like to encounter can be removed by pulling on the pins or another similar mechanism. There will still be parts, however, as mentioned above.
As with the brackets, the rails will be kept in place. The hitch is the only thing that can be removed. You’re probably wondering how I can lift this massive hitch by myself.
Most of these hitches can be removed in multiple pieces so the lifting load of the hitch won’t be too heavy. However, I recommend that you have someone assist with this task as it should only be done by two people.
You don’t want your back to the ground before you go RVing. It will ruin any plans that you have for your RVing trip. Ask for assistance from others. These products are heavy and should not be considered something you can lift yourself.
And that is pretty much it, not too hard to take in, right? A short bed truck may limit your choice of a 5th wheel hitch but there are still great models around to choose from. Just check the products and see If anything that catches your attention. If one of them can fit all of your needs and requirements, it will be your best fifth wheel hitch for short bed trucks camper.
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