Sliding fifth wheel hitches are very popular among RVers.
They provide the advantage of being able to tow larger, heavier RVs easier and faster.
But Do I Need a Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch?
In this blog post, we will discuss the advantages of using a sliding hitch, and how it can help you tow more effectively.
Do I Need a Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch?
If the distance from your truck bed to where your fifth wheel’s jaws would touch is less than half the width of your trailer, you need a Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch.
This hitch allows for easy maneuvering into tight spaces while hauling large trailers.
A trailer’s nose obstructs the truck cab during a turn if the slider isn’t used.
If you are towing a fifth wheel trailer, the sliding hitch is required.
So if your short-bed truck can’t be parallel to your trailer’s rear when changing direction, you will need a sliding 5th wheel hitch.
Do You Need a Slider Hitch for a 5.5 ft Bed?
Yes. You definitely need a sliding hitch if you have a 5.5 foot bed.
This is because a trailer that fastens to your truck in the traditional way, via mounts and pins, can’t be pulled with any ease if it’s longer than your bed.
A hitch has been designed especially for this problem: the slider hitch.
The slider hitch works by allowing you to slide your trailer backward.
So that it rests on top of the hitch instead of attached to it.
This gives you plenty of room for other cargo in the bed and makes pulling any length trailer a breeze.
Do You Need A Slider Hitch For A 6.9 Ft Bed?
No. Sliding 5th wheel hitches are not necessary for a 6.9 ft bed.
With a 6.9 ft bed, you have more than enough space to maneuver and install your 5th wheel hitch without needing a slider hitch.
A slider hitch can be cumbersome and create added stress on your truck, so it is best to avoid using one if possible.
Instead of purchasing a slider hitch, consider investing in a 5th wheel hitch with a built-in slider feature.
These hitches offer the same benefits as a slider hitch but are more user-friendly and easier to install.
They will also help to protect your truck from damage, which can save you time and money in the long run.
So if you have a 6.9 ft bed and are looking for a reliable way to safely transport your RV, consider investing in a 5th wheel hitch with a built-in slider.
With the right equipment and proper installation, you can easily and safely tow your RV without worrying about added stress or damage to your truck.
How Does A Sliding Fifth Wheel Hitch Work?
There are two types of sliding 5th wheel hitches.
They both do the same job, but they accomplish it in different ways.
A manual sliding hitch needs the driver to work the slider. You have to tug on a lever to disengage the slides.
Next, apply the trailer brakes and carefully pull the truck forward until the hitch lines up with the back of the sliders.
It will then lock in place, allowing you to make tighter turns without hitting your vehicle.
After you turn or maneuver, remember to unlock the hitch on the sliders. Then apply the trailer brakes and reverse until the car is in towing position.
In general, the driver must be aware of when to use a manual sliding hitch.
In contrast, an automatic sliding hitch is more effortless and might be a better option if you don’t want to remember using it constantly.
An automatic brake system can detect changes in positioning and will automatically adjust to keep a safe distance between the truck and the trailer.
After you make the turn or maneuver, the automatic sliding hitch will automatically return to its original position.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use and safe sliding 5th wheel hitch, then an automatic option might be the right choice for you.
However, if you prefer a bit more control over your towing experience, then a manual slider is probably the better option for you.
Whether you are considering a manual or automatic slider, it is important to do your research and choose the option that is best suited to your needs and driving style.
With the right information and consideration, you can be confident in your choice of sliding 5th wheel hitch.
Pros & Cons Of Having A Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch
Pros of 5th Wheel Hitches without Sliding Feature:
A sliding fifth wheel hitch can be more expensive than the standard fixed-style hitch, especially if you plan to use it for a long time.
This is because your trailer and truck have to be retooled, which is expensive.
The sliding hitch requires less maintenance because the coupler and deck plate do not need to be moved back and forth all the time.
Because it stays in place, there’s no dealing with pins that come loose and need repairing or replacing – no more worrying when your hitch is going to slip out of place while you’re driving down the road.
Less Weight On Truck Bed
Since there’s no need for a mechanism that slides back and forth all the time, these hitches have fewer moving parts (and therefore less weight) on your truck bed than do other fifth wheel hitches.
Cons of 5th Wheel Hitches without Sliding Feature:
One problem that some owners have is that a sliding hitch is not as versatile as other hitches, because it can only be used with one kind of tow vehicle and trailer combination.
This can be annoying if you already have a truck with an adjustable hitch and suddenly need to tow something else, like a fifth wheel trailer.
Because the sliding hitch is mounted on the back of your truck bed, it doesn’t offer as much stability as other fifth wheel hitches in some situations.
For example, if you’re driving on winding roads, the weight of your trailer could shift and change as you make turns, which can be dangerous.
Using a sliding fifth wheel hitch means that it’s not possible to get quite as close to obstacles when backing up or turning corners.
This isn’t always an issue, but if you’re in a tight spot and can’t get the trailer where it needs to go, you’ll find yourself wishing for a different hitch!
For the average truck driver who wants to tow a fifth wheel or travel trailer without spending much money, choosing a fixed fifth wheel hitch is often the best bet.
If you want added convenience and versatility, though, you might want to look into getting a slider hitch instead.
Additional Tips When Using A 5th Wheel Slider Hitch
In the below part, we will talk about some tips and tricks related to using a 5th wheel slider hitch:
1. Pay attention to the weight capacity of your vehicle – The first thing you need to consider when shopping for a 5th wheel slider hitch is the weight rating of your vehicle.
This will help ensure that you choose a model that can safely support the weight of your vehicle and any additional cargo you may have.
2. Consider the length of your trailer – Another important factor to consider when choosing a 5th wheel slider hitch is the length of your trailer.
This will help ensure that you choose a model that can safely accommodate your desired setup.
3. Take the time to do your research – When shopping for a 5th wheel slider hitch, it’s important to do your research and compare different models to find the one that best meets your needs.
This will help ensure that you choose a model that is well-designed, high-quality, and reliable.
4. Be sure to properly install and maintain your 5th wheel slider hitch – Once you’ve chosen and purchased a 5th wheel slider hitch, it’s important to take the time to properly install and maintain it.
This will help ensure that your hitch is operating at peak performance and can safely support your trailer.
Whether you’re a seasoned RV enthusiast or just starting out, these tips will help ensure that your trailer is securely connected and safe on the road.
FAQs on if I Need a Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch?
Is A Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch Worth It?
Yes, a sliding 5th wheel hitch may be worth it depending on your needs and preferences.
This type of hitch has several benefits, including less weight on the truck bed, more versatility in terms of the tow vehicle and trailer combinations, increased stability, and better maneuverability.
What Does The 5th Wheel Slide Button Do?
The sliding fifth wheel is a coupler that links a tractor unit and semi-trailer together with a mechanism on the truck that allows the entire coupling to slide forward and backward.
Can I Use A Fixed Fifth Wheel Hitch On My Truck?
It may be possible to use a fixed fifth wheel hitch on your truck, depending on the type of vehicle and your desired tow setup.
But it’s generally a better idea to use the type of hitch that is designed for your particular vehicle and trailer.
Doing so will help ensure safe and reliable performance on the road.
We hope now you know you need a sliding 5th wheel hitch if you want to enjoy the benefits of increased maneuverability, versatility, and stability when towing a trailer.
Also, be sure to do your research, install and maintain your hitch properly, and read up on the latest tips and tricks when using a 5th wheel slider hitch.
With these considerations in mind, you can enjoy a safe, hassle-free towing experience.