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Is a Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch Needed for a 2017 GMC Sierra 3500

Question:

I need to clear this in my mind once and for all! Ive read so many articles regarding the use of a sliding 5th wheel hitch with a standard short bed truck, that Im a bit dizzy. Some article read that its not required, and others state that the wider width of current 5ers 102, you need a sliding hitch. Then to top it all off - conventional 5th wheel or gooseneck conversion!! Which creates the least amount of stress on the trailers frame ARRGGHH. My TV is a 2017 CC GMC 3500HD SRW Duramax w/out OEM hitch option : This is a standard 6.5foot bed. I dont have the trailer yet, but Im drawn to the Keystone Raptor 356. Could you please provide some guidance. Thank you.

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Expert Reply:

The only way to be certain whether or not you have the correct fifth wheel hitch in regards to sliding vs fixed is to first measure both the truck and trailer. I understand this may be difficult if you do not physically have the trailer but is needed to ensure accuracy. There are certain truck/trailer combos that can use a fixed fifth wheel hitch and short bed and there are certain truck/trailer combos that can't use a fixed fifth wheel hitch and short bed. The general rule we use is to get a fixed fifth wheel hitch for long bed trucks and sliding fifth wheel hitch for short bed trucks. If you want to try and see if you can use the fixed fifth wheel hitch and short bed combo then you need to measure first, there is no way around this. Please note, the issue is cab clearance and will only be present when making sharp turns which you can avoid sometimes so these are just guidelines to use, not necessarily hard rules.

If you decide on a sliding fifth wheel hitch, the Demco Hijacker Autoslide 5th Wheel Trailer part # DM8550037 with the Underbed Rail and Installation Kit part # DM8551010 is what I recommend because it has an auto-slide mechanism which eliminates getting in and out of the truck to make a sharp turn and the install kit is an underbed mount so you won't have anything in the truck bed with the hitch removed.

If you decide on a fixed fifth wheel hitch, the Curt A20 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch part # C16140 with the Curt Custom Fifth Wheel Installation Kit part # C16411-204 is what I recommend because the head can be removed with one pin which makes getting the hitch in and out of the truck bed very easy.

Please note, both the Demco Hijacker Autoslide and Curt A20 have tight locking jaw systems which reduce chucking and jarring along with custom install kits which don't require drilling into the frame.

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Conner L

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