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Benefits of Using Higher-Rated 5th Wheel Hitch

Question:

The Curt website says that the Q25 C16566 is not compatible with my 2011 F-250, but your website lists it as compatible. Which website should I believe? I really only needed the 16K rated Curt, but this is comparable $$$ and you are out of stock of the one I want the A16, C16521. The Q25 is rated for more that what the F-250 can haul, am I overkilling it with the Q25? Is there a downside to going big? Thank you for your help!

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Expert Reply:

Curt's 24K-rated 5th wheel hitch # C16566 is a slider type that will fit into any industry-standard above-bed 5th wheel base rails from any manufacturer. Since this is a slider hitch is it ideally suited to a short-bed truck application like your 6-3/4-foot bed F-250 where extra clearance is needed to avoid trailer-to-cab contact when making tight turns. Long-bed pickups do not need this slider feature so they can use fixed-type hitches that do not slide. Very short beds (under 6-feet) cannot get enough clearance from use of a slider hitch; they need a fixed hitch along with a Sidewinder or Revolution replacement trailer pin box which moves the pivot point to the rear by 22-inches, even more than a slider hitch can.

It is not unusual to see hitches rated for more capacity than the host vehicle. Once you get above the 15K rating hitches tend to include more of the nicer features found on higher-end models, features like a fully-articulating head that can pivot in all directions for easier hitching and/or cushioning to reduce the effects of chucking. You will also see 360-degree wrap-around type jaws that maintain much more consistent king pin contact.

Safety margin, always a good thing, is the other reason to use a higher-rated hitch than you absolutely need. Whether a hitch, a jack or a winch, items used well below their maximum capacity tend to work better and last longer than those that have been maxed-out.

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