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Old 01-17-2016, 10:09 AM   #1
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New to fifth wheel

Got a question. I had a TT before and as you know you can't jack knife a TT without hitting the A frame and I never had any issues backing up into a camp site. Now that I bought a fifth wheel, which I don't have yet, people are talking about jack knifing the fifth wheel and buying a slider hitch not to hit the cab. In my mind if you need to jackknife your trailer maybe you shouldn't be there in the first place I am asking this question because I am searching for a hitch for my 2015 F250 diesel, 6 3/4 foot box. I see on the forum that there is mixed opinions on getting or not getting a slider hitch. I know this thread has been talked over and over, just want to understand why people jackknife their trailer, I have zero experience pulling a fifth wheel but once you hit a certain angle, only the nose of the trailer will move and not the wheels, am I right?
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:52 AM   #2
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We're new to a fifth wheel too and from my VERY limited experience, it's based on the way the 5er pivots while turning. In our driveway with the TT I would never come close to hitting the A-frame, but with he 5er I'm almost jackknifed making the same turn. Overall length behind the TV is about the same with both units.

I'm going to watch his thread closely though as I'm sure someone with more experience will provide a better answer, and hopefully a few tips too
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:10 AM   #3
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Pros and cons to several points you are asking about. I really have no advice to give. Slider hitch or no slider hitch. As I posted on another thread, back when I had a 5er, my F250 was also a long box. I did not have a slider hitch and never did I have a problem with turns, and never did I hit the cab. Came close during a couple of jack knife issues... The closest I came to damage was having my 5500watt generator loaded in the bed of the truck up near the cab on the passenger side. While backing in and coming into a jack knife position at a site, I hit the generator with the nose of the 5er, causing a bent frame on the genny and a dent in the nose. Hitching up, was the only real issue I ever had. I either had to raise the king pin above the tail gate or I had to drop the tail gate and back up till the pin was clear of the tail gate and then close it and finish hooking it up. Once I was hitched, I could not open my tail gate all the way. With that said, is a slide hitch necessary? No. Is it nice to have? yes. You state you have a short box, so you shouldn't have any issue where that is concerned.
Are there times when you may have to jack knife? Yes, there will be times. I had several occasions. One was performing a u-turn on a backwoods forestry road, because we missed a turn and went to far. I was really glad to have a 5er that day. The ability to jack knife the rig made the turn around a 5 point process. Whereas my father with his regular tow trailer, barely made it, almost got stuck and took around 10 points to complete the u-turn. Another time while on a boondocking trip we had the RVs parked in an 'L' shape, with my fathers tow trailer backed in so my 5er nose was close to the back passenger side of his TT. When we were loading up and hitching up to leave, he had some issue where he was not ready to hook up yet and would be a couple more hours. So I backed in an extreme jack knife position and was able to hook up and had just enough room to pull out.
Again, I know this really isn't advice, and just some mere ramblings, my point is; there may come times when a jack knife maneuver is necessary. How far extreme that maneuver is and whether you hit your nose and TV cab depends upon you.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:52 AM   #4
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I also can't speak from experience yet as we are still waiting for our 5er to be built. However I have been very in tune to the conversations on hitches.
You would probably be good most of the time with a new 5er and a standard non sliding fifth wheel hitch. Lowest cost solution. Next would be a manual slider, however you need to realize you need to slide the hitch back when you need to. Then you have the automatic sliders that will slide the point of the king pin back as you turn so you don't have to think about it. this is more $$$ and the hitches are heavy. But you should have insurance that you will not hit the cab doing a U-turn. Others are looking at the Revolution hitch where the piviot point is back farther. I chose the MOR-Ryde pin box to limit the bucking and chucking instead of the revolution. So I'm going with the Pullrite #4100 SuperGlide automatic slider hitch. I don't want to have to worry about hitting my cab along with backing the 5er in to a tight campsite.
Everyone will have a different preference on this subject. Research and have a conversation with your dealers service manager for more specifics for your setup.

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Old 01-17-2016, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicbob View Post
Got a question. I had a TT before and as you know you can't jack knife a TT without hitting the A frame and I never had any issues backing up into a camp site. Now that I bought a fifth wheel, which I don't have yet, people are talking about jack knifing the fifth wheel and buying a slider hitch not to hit the cab. In my mind if you need to jackknife your trailer maybe you shouldn't be there in the first place I am asking this question because I am searching for a hitch for my 2015 F250 diesel, 6 3/4 foot box. I see on the forum that there is mixed opinions on getting or not getting a slider hitch. I know this thread has been talked over and over, just want to understand why people jackknife their trailer, I have zero experience pulling a fifth wheel but once you hit a certain angle, only the nose of the trailer will move and not the wheels, am I right?
In a 5er it doesn't take a "jacknife" condition in order to break out the rear cab window, if it were one of the older fifth wheel makes. I had a 2005 5er SOB and needed a slider hitch cuz it would have broken the rear cab window at about a 45 degree turn. In my 2012 Jayco there is plenty of room to do a 90 degree turn (if needed) so I never use the slider.
The other thing I watch for is when turning a corner where there is a culvert that would allow my 5er wheels to dip into. There have been times when the fiver nose almost hits the truck bed side and I have about 8" of clearance during normal operation. I hope I explained that well enough to make sense of it. In other words, I am concerned more about ditches than turns
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:37 PM   #6
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I have researched this thread till I had a herd of cows at my house! So many of the people that I have personally spoke with that have damaged their TV while making turns that they "thought" would have no issues of, they forgot, or was bad weather so they didn't want to get out of the truck and then they had thousands of dollars of repair needed on the cab due to the trailer hitting! The 2 downsides of the slider are the weight and the cost. I thought that the cost was worth it for I am semi accident prone and to help the weight issue is I purchased a electric winch that I put on the rafter of my garage to lift the hitch in and out of the bed of our truck. It works like a dream and I have had to make many tight turns in campgrounds and our cul-de-sac. I will always suggest people to get the slider with the shortbed truck!
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
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We have a SB with the B&W non-sliding hitch. I cannot make a full-lock U-turn without buying a new rear window and repairing the corner of the cab. We live on a street that has a cul-de-sac, I use extreme caution making the turn. I can make a bit less than 60deg(estimate). Have spoken with other owners that "claim" they can break 90deg. I think much depends on the shape of the cap.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:46 PM   #8
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I'm in the same boat with you. Never towed a 5er before. I have an appt on Tues to have the B&W Patriot slider installed. If nothing else, I figured I'd like to have the piece of mind that I have a slider "IF" I ever need it. Pick up the new 5er on Friday.

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Old 01-17-2016, 11:24 PM   #9
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My wife and I are also new owners of a 35-foot fifth wheel, and loving it. Regarding the towing, it's definitely different than towing a TT, and there are several more things one has to research on. And, buying the right hitch is one of of those things. After exhausting research, we ended up with an 18k B&W Slider Hitch. We've been towing our 5er for four trips now, and have to say that we have yet to use the slide feature. On most turns (including normal U-turns), it maneuvered fine, with some room to spare between the nose cap and back of our cab. We're guessing our max angle has been between 65 to 70 degrees. We normally try to plan our stays at RV parks with pull-through spots, but have backed ours in a few times already--with no issues.

We figured we would need to use our slider feature only when we need to back it up into a very tight parking spot, which hasn't happened so far.

One thing to keep in mind, if you're going with a slider hitch: make sure the back of the pin box will clear your tail gate when the slider is in use. We tested ours and it would not clear. So, we will have to invest in a tailgate with a V cut-out.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:37 AM   #10
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I have a 2013 f250 diesel with a short wheel base. I ordered my 5er with the revolution pin box which moves the pivot point back approximately 21" so no problems turning. I have a pull rite 16k straight hitch with the removable rails and love that my bed is flat when the hitch is out. It is also easy to remove as it comes apart in three sections. I do not get chucking in the hitch area. It is nice to be able to not worry about hitting no matter how tight my turn is. The revolution pin box also makes it easier to turn around in a much tighter space.
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