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Best Cushioned Pin Box and Fifth Wheel Hitch for 2016 GMC Sierra 3500 With Short Bed


Good Morning: Im buying a triple axle fifth wheel toy hauler with a dry weight of 15,400 lbs. and a max weight of 20,000 lbs, what hitch and pin box would you recommend? I have a 2016 3500 GMC 6.6 Diesel for the pulling. It has no prep for a fifth wheel. I will need installation kit for sure. I hear a lot about the Mor/ryde systems. I dont what a lot of shake while towing. Thanks


Expert Reply:

Let's start with a fifth wheel hitch for your 2016 GMC Sierra 3500, and because your truck has a short bed and the trailer you will be towing has a GVWR of 20,000 lbs you will need a sliding hitch with that much capacity. I highly recommend the Curt A20 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch # C16541 because it will offer you the best combination of a sliding hitch that minimizes road shock while being easy to use.

The Curt A20 # C16541 has an articulating torsion head which is what will help to decrease the bounce and noise that comes with towing a fifth wheel hitch. This hitch also has a handy indicator system which will let you know if its jaws are ready to couple, uncouple or tow. This color-coded system, which you can check out in the accompanying photo, makes the process of hooking up or disconnecting your trailer much simpler.

This hitch also has a dual-jaw system which ensures complete contact with your king pin; this is beneficial because because the amount of rattling - and thus noise - is reduced with such a secure jaw-to-king-pin connection. The A20 # C16541 has a 20,000 lb capacity and comes with a lifetime warranty.

To mount this fifth wheel hitch you will need an installation kit and base rails, like you mentioned, and I recommend the Curt Custom Fifth Wheel Installation Kit # C16411-204 because it will not require any type of drilling into your 2016 Sierra 3500's frame to install. This is not only beneficial to your truck but it also greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to install the kit. I have added a link to a video of this installation kit being installed in a '16 3500 for you to check out as well as a link to a video review of the A20. In addition, if you needed a 5th wheel wiring harness I recommend the Bargman # 50-97-410 which will work so long as you have a factory 7-way on your truck.

As far as a pin box you will want one that is cushioned and has enough capacity to tow your 20,000 lb trailer. The best option for that is a Reese 5th Airborne because it uses an air bag which diminishes the amount of back-and-forth movement (called chucking) by well over 50% compared to a regular pin box, and diminishes the up-and-down movement by more than 40%.

The 5th Airborne, which has a 21,000 lb capacity, also has a shock absorber behind the air bag to further minimize the amount of movement and vibration; you can see the air bag and shock absorber in the accompanying photo.

To select the right one for your new fifth wheel toy hauler you will need to know the manufacturer and model number of the pin box on your fifth wheel and match that with the correct replacement. If you do not know this information the dealer should be able to provide it for you, or they should be able to provide you with the VIN and you could call the trailer manufacturer with that info to get the pin box model number.

- 5th AIrborne # 5AB-E1621-610 will replace Lippert 1621 and 1621HD, Fabex 665, as well as M&M 665 pin boxes.

- 5th Airborne # 5AB-E510-710 will replace Lippert 1716, Fabex 500, 503, 765, and 770, as well as RBW 7028 pin boxes.

- 5th Airborne # 5AB-S500-700 will replace Lippert 1116 and 0115, Fabex 520, 530, and 560, as well as RBW 7019 pin boxes.

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expert reply by:
Kyle S

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