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Use of a Sidewinder or Slider Hitch with the # RP50140-58 Install Kit on a 2007 Dodge Ram Mega Cab

Question:

I just bought a 05 Cherokee CKF285B 5th wheeler. Truck is Dodge 2007 2500 Mega A Cab. From what I read, I can use part # 50062 for the rails. Do I really need a sliding 5th. Most people who have had them dont to use the slider. Is the sidewinder a better way to, than a slider?

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Expert Reply:

Yes, you can use # RP50140-58 installation kit to install the fifth-wheel rails on your 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab Pickup. This kit includes all of the under vehicle brackets and the rails that mount in the bed. Once you have rails installed in the bed you will be able to use either a slider hitch or a sidewinder depending on the amount of clearance you will need for your trailer. If you determine that you need the Sidewinder or want the convenience of not having to move the slider when tight situations are encountered I would recommend the 20K Reese Fifth Wheel Hitch, item # RP30928.

Measure the width of your trailer at the widest point of the loft and divide that measurement by 2. Next find the axle center line in the bed of your truck. With the # RP50140-58 install kit, the king pin will be centered over the axle in your truck. Measure from the axle center line to the cab of the truck. With these measurements and the following formula you can determine which slider unit or Sidewinder will work with your truck and fifth-wheel combination.

Use the following formula to make your determination. Add the distance from axle center line to cab to the amount of extension provided by Sidewinder or slider. Then subtract 1/2 the trailer width from that number. The result will be the amount of clearance between the cab and trailer loft. If this is a negative number there will definitely be contact between the trailer and vehicle. If you have a positive number that is at least 4 inches greater than half the trailer width, you will have enough clearance to allow for pitch and roll of the trailer when maneuvering. For example, say you have a truck that measures 30 inches from the center of the axle to the cab and you have a trailer that is 96 inches wide. If you were using a sidewinder that provides 22 inches of extension, your formula would look similar to (30+22)-48=4. A result of 4 inches provides just enough clearance to use a sidewinder extension. A formula using a slider hitch, that provides 12 inches of clearance, using the same dimensions, would look like this (30+12)-48=-6. A result of -6 would indicate that a slider would not provide the extension needed.

The Sidewinders provide 22 inches of extra clearance. The 20K Select Plus Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch, item # RP30084, provides 10 inches of extra clearance when extended and the 20K Reese Fifth Wheel Hitch with Round Tube Slider, item # RP30083, provides 12 inches of extra clearance when extended. Use these numbers, the formula described above, and measurements from your truck and trailer to determine which option will be best for you.

When ordering a Sidewinder you will need the pin box manufacturer and model number from the pin box on your trailer to order the correct Sidewinder with rotating turret (see link).

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