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How to Determine Clearance for Towing a Fifth Wheel with 2016 Ram 2500 Short Bed with Factory Kit  


I have a ram 2500 short bed will the height and distance from king pin to end of tailgate down be enough to clear when coupling and will rear corner of truck clear in a turn with tailgate up? I have a 2014 cougar 30ft 5th wheel model #279rksw.


Helpful Expert Reply:

To determine if you're going to have clearance you're going to have to do some measuring. Since you have the factory rail kit on your 2016 Ram 2500 with the 6 foot bed, you can find the center point between the pucks in your truck bed. This will be where the jaws of the fifth wheel hitch will be. With your tail gate open, measure from this point to the end of your tail gate, and measure on your trailer from the king pin to the body of the trailer. This will tell you if you have the distance with the tail gate open.

The Curt Q16 Fifth Wheel Hitch # C16520-16021 has a range of 13 to 17 inches high. And you will ideally want about 6 inches of clearance between your trailer and the side rails of your Ram while towing to allow for uneven ground. So if you measure from the underside of your trailer to your truck's side rails with the king pin sitting within the 13 to 17 inches you will be able to tell how much clearance you will have between the truck and trailer.

Finally for turning clearance. You'll want to find the distance from the fifth wheel jaw center to the truck cab. So use that same point in the center of your truck's pucks and measure to the cab. This is figure A. Then measure the width of the nose of your trailer and divide it in half. This is figure C. And figure B is the offset, which in your case with the standard Q16 is zero. So the formula looks like this:

(A + B) - C

This gives you the turning clearance, and you will want at least 4 inches. If you do not have the 4 inches of clearance you may want to look at a sliding hitch like the Curt A16 # C16521 with the Adapter Rails # C16022. This will give you up to 12 inches of offset (Which you can plug in as figure B to determine the turn clearance) and will also be a taller hitch sitting between 17-1/2 to 21/1/2 inches.

Also, if you need a 7-way wiring harness installed into your Ram's bed to make it easier to hook up you can use # C56000.

expert reply by:
Charles S

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