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Old 11-10-2013, 07:15 AM
jr66 jr66 is offline
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Default Is A slide 5th wheel hitch needed

I just bought a 2014 F350 with 6.5 foot box, I have a 2014 Cougar 320 QBS, my question is do I need a sliding hitch? will the front cap hit truck when backing up on sharp turns
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:24 AM
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JRTJH JRTJH is offline
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Congratulations on your new rig !

To answer your question: ALL fifth wheels will hit the cab if you back them into tight enough an angle. Even the "wide turn molded front" with a sliding hitch installed in a long bed truck can be turned tight enough (past 90*) to crush the cab.

In years past, fifth wheel front caps were straight across and to turn past about 60* or so, you needed a sliding hitch or you risked contacting the cab. The new front caps are cut away on the lower parts and give much more clearance.

Some people still feel a sliding hitch is a good "investment" for a "just in case" situation, but more and more people with sliding hitches are reporting that they never have needed the hitch, even in tight situations. In fact, a number of people are reporting that the only time they ever used the slider was to see if it really worked.

Do you "need" a sliding hitch? No, not really, provided you are aware of your rig's capabilities and stay within them.

Could you "use" a sliding hitch? If you're the kind of driver that doesn't think about "situational awareness" (knowing where you are and what's about to happen) then you may find a sliding hitch "might" keep you out of trouble. But even then, it's "insurance" not a necessity. Almost always, you can pull forward, jockey the rig and get where you need to be without a slider.

I'm finding, as I talk to fifth wheel owners, that as they upgrade to newer fifth wheels with the improved front caps, that they are saying, "Since I already had the sliding hitch from my old rig, I decided to keep it, but I wouldn't have it if I were buying a new hitch."
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2013 F250 FX4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS

Previous RV's
1971 VW Campmobile
1972 Dodge Camper 7500/Harvest Cabover Camper
1968 Airstream 26' TT
1972 Jayco Jayraven 20' TT
1966 Apache Tent Camper
1978 Dodge SuperCab/Real Lite Cabover Camper
1993 Ford F250 7.3L Diesel/34' Alumalite TT
1999 Ford SD F250 7.3L TF Diesel
1994 33' Seabreeze Motorhome
2005 Ford Ranger FX4/Sunlite Skyhawk Popup Camper
2010 Ford F150 FX4/Springdale 242FWRLSS
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:54 AM
BlindGuyNAR BlindGuyNAR is offline
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Here is my setup when I tested for clearance.

I was at nearly 90 deg and had 4-5 inches to spare. I could have went to 90 without hitting. I'd have to be backing at an extreme up angle to hit and wouldn't want to be at 90 deg then anyway. Being at that angle really torques the trailer axles so you wouldn't want to do it unless you have to.

With my B&W set at up at the most rear point "I" don't need the slider. Your results might be different.


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Last edited by BlindGuyNAR; 11-22-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:15 AM
jr66 jr66 is offline
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Thanks for feedback, pics were awesome advice.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:39 AM
Adventurider Adventurider is offline
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Short answer: It all depends on the shape of the nose. Case in point, a few weeks ago, I took out my cab. Last unit it wasn't a problem. Expensive lesson.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:33 PM
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Terry W. Terry W. is offline
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OK here is my 2cents. As you can see in pictures we have short box crew cab. I went with a slider. Have I ever "needed" it, not sure. We camp at state parks & COE campground most and we we stop to check in at office my wife goes to office I slide hitch back. After we dump I slide back to tow position. Guess I just feel better haveing the room then worry.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:09 PM
theeyres theeyres is offline
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That model Cougar definitely has the sides that are angled from the front so you should be fine without the sliding hitch.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:44 PM
Chip999 Chip999 is offline
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"Better to have it and not need it than Need it and not have it...."

I didn't price regular vs. slide hitches, so I couldn't tell you if the $ is worth it. If it's more than your comprehensive insurance deductible, then it may not be worth it (if you only bash your cab with the fifth wheel once).

Or maybe your truck and your fifth wheel deductible should be taken into consideration when figuring the savings.

Just sayin'.... better to have it and never need it then need it and not have it....

I have used my slide when learning to back in a parking lot. Never had to use it in a campground. Used it once when backing out of my driveway, but when I figured out I could drive in without being slid back, I knew I could back out in tow mode. But I am still glad I have it.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:39 PM
Outbackmel Outbackmel is offline
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Default short box truck

I hit mine, cost me $400 and I did not break the slider window. I was fortunate. I have a slider hitch BUT made an extremely sharp U turn in a boxed in area. BANG, OUCH, OHHHH CR --!!

Note to self: use the slide, stupid!

Prior note to self: $500 damage.... leave the stock tail gate home stupid when slider is in rear position and there is ANY chance of unlevel backing.
( Bought a light 5er gate I can easily remove ) Use it all the time. Backed off level concrete and hitch dropped down on top of gate. UGH!!

Hey, made me a better backer and turner...education is expensive.

All good now.......

GET A SLIDER AND USE IT....
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:18 PM
jtyphoid jtyphoid is offline
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I have seen used 16 & 18K Superglide auto-sliders regularly advertised for anywhere from 500 to 800 in my area. I went with one of those as cheap insurance and because I KNOW that I'm too lazy to get out and slide a manual slider every time that I should.
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