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Is Demco Autoslide 5TH Wheel Hitch Or Reese Sidewinder Pin Box a Better Option For Short Bed Truck?  

Question:

I recently bought a F-250-68inch box, 6.2 and a 2016 Keystone Cougar Xlite 28RKS with hitch weight of 1415lbs dry weight of 8170lbs and GVRW 10,000lbs. This is first journey in pulling a 5th wheel and I need some neutral advise. My 5th wheel came with 16K-Reese Sidewinder air ride pin box. The person I bought it from pulled it with Dodge-2500 610inch box that he used to pull it. He said it pulled great and was able to turn 90 degree. The local RV dealer parts manager who seems legit said he would install it if thats what I wanted. He also said he would never sell his customers with a short box anything other than an Auto-Slide, he sells Demco-Auto Slide, He suggested I would run the risk of busting a cab window or crushing front of camper using the the Reese Sidewinder. From what Ive read it sounds like the Reese Sidewinder would give me up to 22inch clearance. The RV parts manager said Demco Autoslide would give me 14inch clearance. I trust the RV guy but he said he sells Demco as thats what he owns and trust. I also trust and know the guy I bought the Keystone from and know he wouldnt lie to me about it pulling great with the sidewinder. Can you shed some light on this on pros and cons of each and whether you think I should spend the extra money on a Demco auto slider vs installing the Reese Sidewinder that came with n was used with the 5th wheel I bought. Thanks

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Expert Reply:

To begin both the Demco Autoslide 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch # DM8550034 and Sidewinder # RP77FR are both great options for towing your 2016 Keystone Cougar Xlite 28RKS. Personally I tend to side with going with the Demco as it is easier to adapt with different trailers. I tend to notice most campers tend to trade in campers as they learn what they really like and don't like. With the Demco you may need to get a different locking plate depending on the pin box with that camper. The Reese being bolted to the camper will tend to fit a limited amount of campers. And as Lippert keeps coming out with new pin box bolt patterns you may have to get a whole new sidewinder pin box when you upgrade your camper.

As your 5th wheel came with the Sidewinder already I recommend just keeping it in place. Like I said it is a great product, just know in the future you may have a decision to make if you get a different camper.

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