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Thread: Short Bed Hitch Blues

  1. #1
    Virginia Camper
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    Short Bed Hitch Blues

    Hello Everyone,

    I started a thread in September called “Proper 5th Wheel Hitch”. It was my first post and was happy to get all the responses back. Thank you for those who responded. Basically, my wife and I are ordering a Solitude 369RL next month for a spring arrival. I have a 2014 F350, CC, 4x4, 6.7 diesel, short bed with a 5th wheel prep package. I desperately wanted to put the B&W Companion OEM hitch in my truck because it breaks into two pieces that weigh about 71lbs per piece. It would make my bed clean when not towing and wouldn’t break my back pulling the hitch out. As you can imagine, I got a lot of folks suggesting I buy a slider…better to have one and not need one than, need one and not have it. Anyway, towards the end of the thread, there was a gentleman who said he uses a sidewinder with his Companion and it works great. My prayers were answered. I called eTrailer.com and they confirmed that I could use a sidewinder with the Companion. Yay!!!

    Then I read today on the forum that a guy from Grand Design (Ryan) told someone that with a short bed truck the Solitude will allow a 77 degree turn. Life is getting better. So I called Ryan today and yes, he confirmed that the turn could be 75 – 77 degree turn. So then I decided to ask the what I thought was the big question…Why don’t you folks consider putting a sidewinder on the RV to make it easy for short bed trucks to tow? …this would really help a lot of folks out. His answer did NOT make me very happy and it will NOT make some of you very happy either. In all fairness to Ryan (and Grand Design) it is not their fault. He said, “if you use a sidewinder, Lippert voids the warranty on your frame”…Well, that sucks!...once again, not Ryan’s fault. So I don’t want to panic anyone who has a sidewinder, just wanted to share that with you if you did not know.

    To make a long story longer, I have decided to roll the dice and put the Companion in my truck and keep the turns down to 60 – 70 degrees. To be honest with you all, we keep our trailer in a place where I don’t get close to this amount of turn backing up. When we go on the road (once a year) we go to a place where the site is a pull through. We should be safe…famous last words, right?

    Is anyone else out there rolling the dice with me?

  2. #2
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    Set your hitch to the rearward position, watch what you are doing, and enjoy the ride. I would be willing to bet B&W brings a OEM Slider to market before long, lots of people are in your position.
    Steve and Schlonda- Virgie, Kentucky
    2017 Momentum 328M
    2015 Chevy 2500HD LTZ Duramax CC/SB/4X4
    B&W Companion Slider

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Dave and Monica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia Camper View Post
    To make a long story longer, I have decided to roll the dice and put the Companion in my truck and keep the turns down to 60 – 70 degrees. To be honest with you all, we keep our trailer in a place where I don’t get close to this amount of turn backing up. When we go on the road (once a year) we go to a place where the site is a pull through. We should be safe…famous last words, right?

    Is anyone else out there rolling the dice with me?
    I've just recently installed a B&W Patriot (non-sliding) hitch in our SB truck. The beauty of the B&W hitches is that they have 4" of adjustment front to back...I'm not aware of any other hitch that allows that. This will enable you to set up the hitch to be directly over the rear axle centerline...the rear-most it should be and with that I don't think you'll have any issues or want for a slider. Our Reflection has a similar shaped front cap and I've never used the slider on the previous hitch and have gotten into some tight spots. The B&W hitch is now 4" further back than the previous Reese hitch was, so even more clearance now.

    Dave
    Dave and Monica - Gore Bay, Ontario
    Vitus the Hungarian Vizsla
    2014 Reflection 337 RLS #129
    2008 F250 V10 CC Lariat RWD

  4. #4
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    I have a F250 with a 6'.75 bed and the B&W puck. Ihave Used it for 6 months with only one issue in that period and that was totally my fault of not paying attention. I was backing into my neighbor's driveway and I cranked to hard and went past the 77 degree turn radis and the rest is history. That was my third trip and since I've been in several tight backins without any problem. Lesson learned pay attention and you won't have any problems.

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Dave and Monica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe N R View Post
    I have a F250 with a 6'.75 bed and the B&W puck. Ihave Used it for 6 months with only one issue in that period and that was totally my fault of not paying attention. I was backing into my neighbor's driveway and I cranked to hard and went past the 77 degree turn radis and the rest is history. That was my third trip and since I've been in several tight backins without any problem. Lesson learned pay attention and you won't have any problems.
    Interesting. Which of the three possible positions of the pivot arms do you have on your hitch...forward, middle or back?

    Dave
    Dave and Monica - Gore Bay, Ontario
    Vitus the Hungarian Vizsla
    2014 Reflection 337 RLS #129
    2008 F250 V10 CC Lariat RWD

  6. #6
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    Dave, I have the pivot arms set at the middle position and the angle to the cab.
    Joe

  7. #7
    Virginia Camper
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    Ten days and only 3 people replied. I guess everyone else has a slider or is keeping quiet. Thanks for the replies.

  8. #8
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    Nah! Most people with SuperDuties are running non-sliders if they have a fifth wheel trailers like a Grand Design that gives you extra room for tight turns.

    We often hear of those with sliders to seldom even use them.

    I have the B&W Patriot hitch, and they're top of the line products--and very adjustable front and aft, up and down.

  9. #9
    Site Team WhittleBurner's Avatar
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    We also have a ford with a shortbed. We went with the airride hitch. It has 4 airbags and 2 shocks. This system will absorb 90% of the chucking and banging you get from a 5th wheel. This really helps my wife with her bad back. We just returned from a 6 week trip in the mountains and everything performed very well. Truck and trailer.
    Marcy & Gary
    2014 Grand Design - Reflection 303RLS
    2015 GMC Denali 3500 Duramax Longbed SRW
    2003 F350 - retired
    Michigan
    We're in trouble now, the dog are bloggin'!
    https://3dogsandatrailer.wordpress.com/


  10. #10
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    We have a nice little dent on the driver's side cab due to backing in at too much of an angle and clipping the cab. The bad thing was, I have a slider, but failed to deploy it because I was in a hurry while I was blocking traffic. Oops!

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