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Will I Have Enough Clearance to Tow a Fifth Wheel Trailer with 2015 Ram 2500 with Sleeper Shell  


Hello, I have a 2015 ram 2500 crew cab 4x4 with 64inch bed. I am purchasing a Jayco Eagle HT fifth wheel 96inch wide with standard pin box. I am considering an auto slider hitch, or a standard hitch plus airborne sidewinder. Can you please help with a couple of hitch questions? I am considering getting a sleeper shell that would take up the front 30inch of the bed, leaving about 36inch of empty bed. 1. Would that be enough space for a standard hitch and airborne sidewinder to work? 2. Would that be enough room for an auto slider hitch to work? 3. If that is not enough room, what is the minimum clear length needed to work correctly? Thank you!


Expert Reply:

Unfortunately, there's no way you're going to get enough turning clearance with only 36 inches of bed space with either a sliding hitch or Sidewinder. You won't even be able to install the fifth wheel hitch with the sleeper shell installed. The hitch would be too far back in the truck bed.

In order to determine the amount of clearance you have you're going to need to do a little measuring and a little math.

Once installed, a fifth wheel hitch can sit either directly over or about 3 inches from the center of the axle towards the truck's cab. Placing the hitch any closer to the rear of the truck will put too much strain on the rear suspension. So you will want to meaure from this point in the truck's bed to the back of the cab. Take that number and add it to the amount of travel the sliding hitch is going to have (Or 22 inches for a Sidewinder). The amount of travel will depend on the hitch you're using. The Demco Hijacker Autoslide # DM8550034 travels up to 14 inches.

After you add those together subtract half of the width of your trailer from that. So it will be the number you calculated minus 48. That will be the amount of turning clearance you have and you want at least 4 inches.

expert reply by:
Charles S

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