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Thread: Reflection - short bed/hitch questions

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    Site Sponsor Second Chance's Avatar
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    Reflection - short bed/hitch questions

    Hello, everyone,

    Posted: 07/18/14 02:47pm Link | Quote | Edit | Print | Notify Moderator

    I'm retiring (for the second time) in February and my wife and I are considering a move up from our travel trailer to a fifth wheel for extended travel. When we list all of our requirements and compare them to smaller (read "not too heavy") fifth wheels, we keep coming back to the Grand Design Reflection 303RLS. The tow vehicle is a 2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 2WD crew cab/short bed with the Duramax/Allison combo. My questions are these:

    1. If you have any of the Reflection models and a short bed, have you found that you needed (or wish you had) a slider hitch? I know newer units from many of the manufacturers have extended pin boxes and rounded caps, so I'm not sure how the clearances work out in this case. It seems to me that the old width of overhang/2 + 4" for pin-to-cab clearance is mainly for square-front trailers and/or those without extended pin boxes.

    2. With the new trucks (especially the Chevy/GMC HDs) being so much taller than their predecessors, have you had any problems with either getting the trailer to sit level when hitched or with overhang-to-bed rail clearance? In other words, if you set the hitch plate low enough for the trailer to sit level, is the bed rail clearance too little?

    I want to do as much homework as possible before spending significant amounts of money.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rob

  2. #2
    Senior Member campinfool's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    I have had two short bed trucks with two fivers. Our current truck is a 2004 Dodge 3500 short bed 2wd. I have had a slider hitch with both of our trucks have only used it twice. I used it the very first night I towed our Laredo home because I thought that I had to use it every time I backed up and the other time I was in a very tight campground trying to get into a sight that our friends were holding for us. We have the Reflection 337 and do not anticipate having to use it but I have not tried to see how tight I can get either. I can't speak on the height of the new trucks so I will let someone else chime in on that. If I were buying a new hitch and the budget was not tight I would likely go with the Pullright auto slider. I have a Reese hitch now and have had zero problems in 10 years.
    Jim and Cal
    2014 Reflection 337RLS
    Ram 3500 5.9

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor 2hams's Avatar
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    We have a long bed, so can't help with your hitch question.

    Our 303 sits level with 6" clearance on our 2008 Chevy 2500 2wd Duramax.

    Kay

    Kay & Dave - Virginia Beach, VA
    Golden Retriever Molly - Been swimming in 28 states
    2019 Solitude 310GK
    2019 GMC Denali CC/LB SRW
    Previous rig: 2014 Reflection 303RLS #314 and 2008 Silverado 2500 D/A

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    Site Sponsor Justaguy's Avatar
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    Short bed here and would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
    Dean and Cindy
    2014 337 RLS
    Firestone Ride - Rite Airbags
    Ford F-250 6.7 Diesel

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    Site Sponsor LBnM's Avatar
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    My 303 sits level and I use a Pullrite Superglide. I don't worry about clearance but have noticed the hitch has automatically slid a couple of times.
    Floyd - Lake Tenkiller, OK (and occasionally Okla City)
    2014 Reflection 303RLS #9
    2020 Transend Xplor 221RB
    2016 F150 SuperCrew EcoBoost w/HDPP and MaxTow

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    I've been installing Curt custom rails on my 03 F250 today, and don't let anyone tell you no drilling is required. The holes didn't line up as promised, and it's been a dirty job with a lot of drilling 1/2" holes.

    I'm also installing Air Ride 5000 rear air suspension at the same time. They're the easiest way to get your vehicle to "not squat." While they don't improve your gross load limit, the do improve handling and braking by riding level.

    I've never seen so many nuts, bolts and washers as with the air suspension kit. And with poor instructions, I'll eventually figure out installation--over time.

    Next up is a TruCool transmission cooler. I think with 2 1/4" holes and one 1/2" hole, I can easily install it in 30 minutes. Best $150 insurance anyone can do to protect their transmission.

  7. #7
    Aeromech
    Guest
    My neighbor has a Sierra bunk house he tows with a 2014 Ford platinum 250 SB 4x4 with a Huskey 16k manual slider. He's never used the slide and I've watched him do a 90* cut backing in before. His bed rail clearance is about 6" while level.
    I have an 08 mega cab 2500 2wd with 6" shorter bed with a Pullrite Super Glide 16k on super rails I just installed. Just returned from our 1400 mile round trip maiden voyage towing our 369RL. Everything went very good but....
    I have 5.5" bed rail clearance and got very nervous pulling in and out of a couple of gas stations and the camper sits slightly nose down while hooked up on level ground. And that's with Airlift 5000 levelers. I think I need to use the 3" hitch lift and will feel more comfortable. If it's to much I may need to raise the pinbox one notch which would give me 1" of nose up and 6.5" bed rail clearance.
    Seems like most new trucks are 4x4 these days so the trailer mfg's are building to accommodate what they figure are the most likely trucks to pull their products.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Flat top's Avatar
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    We have a 2002 short crewcab Chevy with a RBW hitch mounted center of wheel wells and do not have any problems with our 303 coming close to the back of the cab. I have been in some pretty tight places with no worries. It seems like more manufactures are designing 5er's to be towed with SBW trucks. My truck drops about 2" but still sets very level. Hopes this helps. Happy Camping
    Steve and Connie Mitchell
    Lodi, California
    2020 Solitude S Class 2930RL
    2017 Ram 3500 Crew Cab SRW Cummins
    Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Hitch

  9. #9
    Senior Member dloase's Avatar
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    While I tow my Solitude with a long bed, I had my hitch (an RBW slider) moved over from my 2500HD short bed. I never needed the slider with my Sandpiper, but like someone else said, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Flat Top - have you had any issues with finding parts for your RBW hitch? I was doing some maintenance on mine this year and ran into an issue with parts availability.
    David & Linda - Plainview, VA
    2008 3500HD CrewCab DRW
    2014 369RL #258
    2007 Solstice
    2008 TrailBlazer
    2016 Kia Sorento
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
    Senior Member Flat top's Avatar
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    I have a stationary RBW 15k, so if I need anything I build it. Ive had this hitch 12 years and it was used when I bought it.
    Steve and Connie Mitchell
    Lodi, California
    2020 Solitude S Class 2930RL
    2017 Ram 3500 Crew Cab SRW Cummins
    Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Hitch

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