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How to Determine if a Slider or Rotating Pin Box is Needed When Towing a 5th Wheel Trailer

Question:

I just sold my travel trailer to move up to a 5th wheel. I have a 2012 F350 with the short box, 6 3/4foot bed. I have a A20 hitch that it came with. Can anyone tell me if the 298BH or 3660SUITE will have turning issues clearing the cab with this setup? From the looks of the Chaparal, they would work without a slider, they have an extreme curve and cutout to allow for it, well, at least until now, the mid 2020 cap design changed. But it is hard to tell from videos and pictures how much cutout and angle the Cherokees I am considering have, and would need to know if I have to get the R20 slider, or some other device like the Sidewinder to move the pivot point back.

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Expert Reply:

I do have a way that you can measure to find out if you would need a slider or sidewinder. But unfortunately, this is not something that we could verify for you without you taking some measurements. I have included the steps you would take to find these measurements below.

Steps Needed to Determine the Turning Clearance You Have When Towing a 5th Wheel Trailer with a Tapered Nose:

1: Go to the far edge of your trailer nose, about 1 foot up to allow for the curvature of the nose you will place a piece of tape with a string hanging with some sort of weight (a lock would work). This will create a point you can use for measuring.

2: You then want to take your measuring tape and measure from the center of your king pin to the string.

3: Take the measuring tape to the bed of your truck with your 5th wheel hitch properly positioned in the bed.

4: You will want to position the end of the measuring tape in the center of where your king pin will sit in the jaws of your 5th wheel hitch.

5: You will then extend the tape towards the truck cab to the measurement you got from the center of your king pin to the string.

6: You will want to keep the the end of the measuring tape centered in the king pin jaws and use that as a pivot point.

7: You will then rotate the other end of the tape using that pivot point, if you can rotate the tape all the way through without making contact with your truck cab then you have enough turning clearance to use a fixed hitch. If you make contact at any point, then you would need a slider or rotating pin box.

- Curt R20 Round Tube Slider for Curt 20,000-lb 5th Wheel Trailer Hitches # C16550 (slider base for A20 hitch head)

- Reese Sidewinder 5th Wheel King Pin with Rotating Turret # RP34FR (fits Fabex 663 and 665, Lippert 0719, 1621 and 1621HD, M&M 663 and 665 and Lippert 1716 and 0115 with spacer)

The correct sidewinder is determined by your pin box. I have included a help article that goes over how to determine what pin box you have.

expert reply by:
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Scott S

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