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Recommended 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch for 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Short Bed

Question:

Hi: Im looking into buying a 2002 Alpenlite Riviera 29RK as my FIRST 5th wheel. I have no experience towing such, but know I need a sliding hitch for my vehicle. Trailer GVWR is 13000, so a 16k hitch would work nicely. I also know I want an automatic system. Ive looked at both the Pullrite Superglide, as well as the B andW Companion. My question is what would be the best and most frustration-free hitch for a brand new 5er driver? Im currently using a tow behind, so how steep would the learning curve be? And the TV is the one referenced in the subject line. Many thanks !

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Expert Reply:

If you are wanting an automatic sliding fifth wheel hitch, I highly recomend the Demco Hijacker Autoslide 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch # DM8550022 along with the Underbed Rail and Installation Kit # DM8551005 for your 2005 Dodge Ram 2500. This hitch slides automatically as you drive to give you 14 inches of additional clearance for tight turns. It also features a premium wraparound jaw that will provide an extremely smooth ride and secure connection with the trailer. It has an 18,000 pound gross towing weight capacity along with multiple hitch height settings. The underbed rail kit will also allow for uninhibited use of your truck bed when the hitch is removed. This is a fantastic system and one I recommend for your application, as the automatic slider is going to eliminate a lot of the potential headaches from towing a fifth wheel trailer with a short bed truck.

I have attached a short video demonstration on this system so you can see exactly how it works.

The B&W Companion 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch # BWRVK3400-5W along with the Underbed Kit # BWGNRK1313-5W that you referenced is also a great option, however it does not feature an automatic slider like what you are wanting. This sliding hitch will require you to leave the cab of your truck to operate the slider in order to make sharp turns.

I recommend adding the 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Wiring Harness # 51-97-411. This will provide you with a 7-Way connector in the bed of your truck for easier hookup with the trailer.

Once you obtain your new trailer and have everything installed on the truck, I recommend taking it out for a couple short trips and maybe to a few local parking lots. This will give you a good idea on how everything handles when compared to towing a standard travel trailer, as well as simply getting you comfortable with your setup. You might find, as a lot of people do, that a fifth wheel trailer is actually easier to handle and maneuver than a bumper pull alternative.

Lastly, I also recommend checking the owner's manual for your Dodge Ram just to ensure that your new trailer weight will fall below the capacities of the truck.

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Chris R

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