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Above vs Below-Bed Hitches and Recommended Hitch for 2018 Ford F-350 with 6.75-Foot Bed

Question:

Q1: What is difference between above bed and below bed 5th Wheel hitches? Q2: Hitches you sell are 12-21 inches tall. How do I right one for 2018 F350 crew w/ 6.75 ft bed?

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Helpful Expert Reply:

Above-bed hitches are installed on rails that remain in the bed of your truck even when the hitch is not in use. With below-bed hitches, the installation equipment is installed beneath the truck bed, so the fifth wheel hitch simply drops into the pucks and locks in. Below-bed systems provide complete access to your truck bed when the hitch is removed—there are no rails that remain inside like there are for the above-bed systems. I've included a photo of each for you to check out.

Because your truck has a “short” bed at 6.75 feet, I strongly recommend using a sliding hitch. Sliding hitches allow you the clearance to make sharp turns. Without a sliding hitch, your trailer can strike the truck cab on sharp turns. I've attached a helpful article on fifth wheel hitches for you to check out if you're interested.

You have a couple of different options for sliding hitches. The first is the traditional sliding hitch. With these, you will have to get out and manually set the hitch to the turning position, then set it back to towing position once you've completed your sharp turn. For a traditional sliding hitch, I recommend the Pro Series, # PS30121. It has an adjustable height of 13-17 inches and a maximum weight capacity of 20,000 lbs.

The other option is an auto-slide hitch, which adjusts its position automatically, so you don't have to get out of your truck to adjust it. If you wanted to go with this type of hitch, I recommend the Demco Hijacker Autoslide 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ Slider - Single Jaw - Above Bed - 21,000 lbs, # DM8550035. This model has a weight capacity of 21,000 lbs and 3 height settings at 15-1/4 inches, 16-1/2 inches, and 18 inches.

Both of these models require base rails # RP58058, and an installation kit, # RP30439. I've also attached review videos of both hitches for you to check out.

To figure out at which height you need for the hitch, jack the trailer so it's level. Measure from the underside of the pin box (not the king pin) to the ground, which will be measurement number 1. Then, also on level ground, measure how high above the ground the floor of your truck bed is, which is measurement number 2. Subtract measurement 2 from measurement 1, and you'll get the needed height above the truck bed floor.

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