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Old 02-29-2012, 07:56 AM
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Question Fifth wheel questions...and some other stuff

Please feel free to give me your honest opinions on my summer plan here. it's open for discussion. I am a student at Texas A&M (junior in Petroleum Engineering) and I have a summer internship in Holly, Louisiana starting in late May with Exco Resources. They are giving me a $2500 living stipend and I get to keep what I don't spend as long as I work at least 8 weeks.
So here's my idea:

I figure that I'm going to have a lot of off time (I can't work overtime or else I would) so I wanted to live on a lake or river so I could fish. I also have some family friends with an awesome fifth wheel travel trailer that aren't planning on using this summer so they agreed to rent it out to me for $500 (3 months of insurance on it). They would let me use the hitch off of their truck (also a 7.3 but thats beside the point) but I don't want to pull the brackets and mounting rails off also. I found a Reese Quick Install Base Rail kit online that has good ratings and should be compatible with their hitch also.

I have never pulled a fifth wheel trailer before but have heard many times that is is way better than just a regular hitch. I have pulled big and heavy loads before though like a 24 ft pontoon boat (sail) and a heavy a** tractor.

I am wondering if my truck will be alright pulling the fifth wheel however because it is a short bed. I have a tool box but I know I will have to take that off. I love to tinker on my truck it so I don't mind doing the work. In the mail already is an add-a-leaf kit ( more for the lift but it also stiffens the springs a little...I keep telling myself) and some new shocks which need to be replaced anyway.

My brother will also be going with me on the pull and camper setup. It's about a 7 hour drive according to google so I figure around 8 or 9 with that trailer.

Here's the link to the base rail kit

Reese Quick-Install Custom Base Rails and Installation Kit for 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches Reese Fifth Wheel Installation Kit RP50082-58

The hitch I want to borrow is a Reese 16k 2005 PN 30047


I will be living 32 miles one way from my location but I don't mind the drive. My truck gets really good mileage and I feel like this will keep me sane over the summer with fishing and also save money because 3 month siging in apartments is out the a** expensive and no fishing. Oh yeah, the RV park I found is 450 a month but the lady was willing to make a long term deal for a better rate. and they just hosted Bass Masters this last week so I think the fishing should be alright

Tell me what y'all think.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:22 AM
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Man, wish I was in your shoes! Sounds like a killer deal to me.

Your truck will have no problem pulling it. Well depending on the size. But a 5th wheel is a little different to pull than a bumper hitch. They feel more stable but if they aren't loaded right can give you a harsh ride in the truck. I pulled a dove tail empty once down a bad road and it sounded and felt like it wanted to rip the frame out from under the cab.

I run a tool box in mine and still have plenty of room between the box and the plate. The big thing to be caustious of with a short bed is the trailer to cab clearance when making really tight turns. Such as backing it into a camping spot. The trailer can hit the cab long before a jack-knife scenario.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:34 AM
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Yeah I have heard that from a few people but that seems to be the only problem. I feel like the only tight turns I will be making will be right when I hook up and pull out and when I get there and back into the spot. I feel like I should be paying very close attention to all of this so I'm not too worried about it. Thanks for your thoughts! I'm really excited. Just have to survive this semester haha
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:50 PM
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For a short bed you will need a slider 5th wheel hitch for you to make turns otherwise you will damage the truck and trailer.
There is not enough clearance between them from what I am told.

You should have the hitch professionally installed if you have never installed one for insurance reasons.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:59 PM
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Just be careful on the turns like you said.
That hitch is the standard fifth wheel most people get. You can get slider base rails for it instead of the standard legs. Like this - Fifth Wheels - Reese
If you want to use the custom brackets from Reese, you can. It's no frame drilling. Still have to drill the bed, but it's easy. Or you can get the standard kit. Ford installs are eeeaasssyyyyyyy. Standard kit - Fifth Wheels - Reese
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
Just be careful on the turns like you said.
That hitch is the standard fifth wheel most people get. You can get slider base rails for it instead of the standard legs. Like this - Fifth Wheels - Reese
If you want to use the custom brackets from Reese, you can. It's no frame drilling. Still have to drill the bed, but it's easy. Or you can get the standard kit. Ford installs are eeeaasssyyyyyyy. Standard kit - Fifth Wheels - Reese
Sorry man I'm a newbie do you mind explaining exactly what the diffidence is between the custom rails and the standard rails? Do the standards connect straight to the frame (through the bed of course) ?


Also I have rhino lining. Will this pose a problem? I feel like a grinder in specific places could fix this..
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:07 AM
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The actual rails are the same. But the brackets where they bolt to the frame are different. The customs are a no drill install into the frame. The universal ones require drilling.
Rhino line is not a problem at all.
I'll see if I can find a good install video of them. Reese has install sheets, and maybe videos.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:51 AM
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And probably the best advice when pulling a 5th wheel is be sure to double check and make sure the pin is locked before you take off.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:59 AM
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Take a look at pull right superglide
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:20 AM
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The guy is going to be pulling a 5th wheel TWICE. There is no way he needs to spend the extra $1000 on a slider hitch. Just be careful when turning and backing up.

It sounds like you have everything planned out pretty well, but a word of caution. I had an internship once similar to yours, in that, I was driving 33 miles one way to work. When diesel hit $4 a gallon, I was spending 40% of my pay on fuel just to get to work and standard driving around town, and I was living at home. That sucked! Diesel is around $4/gal now, have you figured in the cost of fuel for all of your driving this summer?
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