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Sliding 5th Wheel Hitch & Base Rail Fit on 2004 Ram 3500 Short Bed


Slider hitch. I am getting ready to by a 2004 Ram 3500 5.7 Reg bed. What do I need to know for the fit. Also I want add an auxiliary fuel tank between the cab and hitch. Is this possible. How much space will I have? Thank you


Expert Reply:

I can help you with the fit of a sliding 5th wheel hitch as well as base rails for your 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 short bed. The year, make, model and bed size that you provided is what is needed for the fit, so let's go ahead and start with the base rails and install kit for your truck:

- B&W Custom Installation Kit w/ Base Rails for 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches # BWRVK2600

These are the best option for base rails for your truck as they do not require drilling into your frame rails for install, which is not only good for your truck but also saves a lot of time. This will give you standard base rails that will allow you to mount a sliding 5th wheel hitch. For that, you want one that has a capacity that exceeds the GVWR of your trailer, and there is an option from Curt, the A-Series, that I highly recommend:

- 16,000 lb Capacity: Curt A16 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ R16 Slider # C16521

- 20,000 lb Capacity: Curt A20 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ R20 Slider # C16541

I really like the A20 because because it will give you a really comfortable ride relative to other hitches, using an interlocking dual jaw system that wraps totally around the king pin, gripping it like a vice to reduce any type of movement at the hitch. It also has 12 inches of travel so you get the most possible clearance, and can sit up to 21-1/2 inches high, ensuring you can tow level.

The only other thing you will need if you don't have one is a 5th wheel wiring harness, the Draw-Tite Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck Wiring Harness with 7-Pole # 20111.

In regards to an aux fuel tank, that is not recommended; the issue is that you won't have the necessary turning clearance, even with a sliding hitch, to safely turn without the trailer contacting the tank. I have added some links below to video reviews for you to check out as well if you'd like to take a look.

expert reply by:
Kyle S

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