fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks

The 12 Best Fifth Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks

Chris Coleman

Fifth-wheel campers allow for the best overall towing experience by far and unparalleled stability on the road. In return, they also bring new considerations. You need at least a pick-up truck to tow and choose the best fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks to make towing safe and smooth

This comprehensive guide on fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks has everything you need to know, whether you’re a first-time truck owner or a trucker with some experience on your belt. 

Learn the criteria for a good fifth wheel hitch, different types of hitch for different needs and shop from a list of the best fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks on the market. At the end of the guide, you will find a step-by-step installation instructions and frequently asked questions by fellow truckers. 

Comparison Chart of Best 5th Wheel Hitches

NoFifth Wheel HitchesPricesOur Ratings
1B&W RVK3300 Companion - Best of The Best$$$$$*****
2Andersen Aluminum 3220 - Editor's Choice$$$*****
3Curt E16 16516 - Editor's Choice$$$****
4Curt Q20 16130$$$****
5B&W RVK3500 Companion$$$$*****
6PullRite 2900 SuperGlide$$$$$****
7Curt E16 16115$$****
8Reese Pro Series 30056$$***
9Reese 30142 Elite Series 18K$$$$$****
10Reese Pro Series 30128$$****
11CURT 16245 Q24$$$****
12PullRite Pulliam Enterprises 4100$$$$$*****

Things To Consider When Buying A Fifth Wheel Hitch For Short Bed Trucks

It is only a hitch but it affects your towing experience a lot more than what first-time truckers would imagine. Buying good fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks do require some knowledge and careful considerations beforehand. 

Buyers have different needs and priorities. However, paying attention to the following criteria will help you find the most well-rounded, functional and safe fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks. 

fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks
How to choose the right fifth wheel hitch for your short bed truck?

1. Capacity

The weight capacity of a hitch shows how much weight it’s able to safely tow. As a result, the capacity of your hitch must be at least equal to the weight of your camper. 

Of course, if you wish to play it safe, feel free to grab high capacity towing hitches that have the ability to support extra loads. Owning such hitches also makes it simple for you to change campers in the future.

2. Installation 

While checking out fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks, it would be wise for you to prioritize models with straightforward, no-nonsense installation processes. Hitches like that should allow you to set them up all by yourself without requiring considerable time and effort. 

Though you have the option to hire someone to fit the hitch to your truck, professional installations tend to be costly. Therefore, why don’t you save your money and pick up a hitch that you could set up on your own in the first place?  

3. Usage 

Owning and towing a camper requires countless considerations, thus buying easy-to-use hitches will take a load off your shoulders. 

Complicated, over-engineered hitching mechanisms will make installation and maintenance stressful businesses. Hence, spend some time going through customer reviews to grasp potential shortcomings in operations of the hitches on your shortlist. 

Another valuable source of information is the owner manual as it packs key data about essential characteristics of the hitch.

4. Brand 

If you come across a quality hitch with raving reviews and you know for certain that it’s well-suited for your truck requirements, you may just get it and ignore its origin. Nonetheless, numerous owners of short bed trucks still like to procure hitches from credible names. 

Though products of respected manufacturers such as Curt, Reese, Andersen, and B&W fail to deliver satisfaction on occasions, they are still relatively well-rounded and reliable options. Thus, in case you happen to be new to fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks, it is safe to pick among the models from the aforementioned brands.

5. Price 

Nowadays, you would be able to secure a 5th wheel hitch for short bed trucks on a variety of budgets. However, as the price is indeed linked to performance to some extent, it’s necessary that you stay away from buying dirt-cheap hitches as they often cut corners to keep down costs.

On the other hand, unless you experience particular challenges while towing, you have no need to purchase expensive, premium-grade hitches which strain your finances. You only need a capable and affordable hitch for your truck based on your usual driving conditions.

Types Of 5th Wheel Hitches: A Guide For First-Timers

Fifth-wheel hitches designs offer a variety but can be put into three categories: fixed, manual slider and automatic slider. So to make informed investments, you must have a firm understanding of each hitch type.

fifth wheel hitch

1. Fixed Slider

As the name suggests, fixed fifth wheel hitches stay solidly at one place after installation. Compared to others, fixed slider hitches tend to be more robust, reliable and affordable. 

As for the drawbacks, fixed models routinely require extension if you want to use them safely on short bed trucks. Without extensions, the risk of collision between the truck cab and the towed camper during tight turns is fairly high due to the reduced clearance.  

2. Manual Slider 

Unlike the fixed models, manual slider fifth wheel hitches permit truck drivers to apply necessary adjustments before performing tricky maneuvers. As a result, it’s possible for you to navigate your short bed truck and towed camper through challenging terrains by using these hitches. 

However, you have to adjust the hitches before every tight turn, so things may get a bit tedious. Additionally, if you forget to set the hitches properly, you would put yourself as well as your vehicle at risk.  

3. Automatic Slider

Convenient and modern, automatic sliding 5th wheel hitches need no input from humans in use. As you enter tight turns, the hitches proceed to move by themselves to accommodate and rerun to original positions afterward. 

So in case you truly desire smooth towing operations, feel free to go check out automatic sliding 5th wheel hitches. Keep in mind that automatic slider hitches these days come at steep prices and you don’t exactly have a lot of options to choose from.

Top Rated 5th Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks

1. B&W RVK3300 Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch

B&W RVK3300 Companion
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 20,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 5,000 Pounds

Why It Is The Best 

Boasting top-of-the-line materials and state-of-the-art functions, B&W RVK3300 Companion is held in high regard by truck owners worldwide. As it packs a tested double jaw design, RVK3300 is one of the best fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks in terms of stability. 

Regardless of the terrain, the hitch of B&W is going to stay securely in place which gives drivers a peace of mind on the road. By fitting B&W RVK3300 to your truck, you could say goodbye to sloppy starts and stops while hauling campers.

Because of its fully articulating head, RVK3300 is able to accommodate front-to-back and side-to-side pivoting. That is a major plus once it comes to making tricky maneuvers in confined spaces. 

Furthermore, B&W RVK3300 employs cam action latching handle so it’s a breeze for truck owners to release the hitch even on bumpy surfaces. As for the noise, the Companion hitch contains noise-dampen polyurethane bushing that addresses rattling and keeps things generally quiet.

For installation, the model of B&W could be mounted on your truck in a blink of an eye as its setup lacks mounting rails. RVK3300 is removable as well so it only takes a breeze for you to adapt your vehicles for other purposes aside from towing. 

Absolutely perfect!!

This fit perfectly into my 2016 F-350 with the factory pucks. Easy to assemble. Super easy to install. I love that it breaks down into two pieces (the base and the head unit) to make installation and removal a less than 5 minute task. Backed right up to my 42 foot fifth-wheel and hitched it up easily. Hauling with this hitch is a dream. It is very quiet and very secure. I highly recommend this to anyone with the factory puck system!

Shared by James P.

Pros:

  • Well-build and rugged
  • Straightforward operation
  • Stability is outstanding 

Cons:

  • Quality control requires improvements 
  • Some customers receive incomplete hitches

2. Andersen Aluminum 3220 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Andersen Aluminum 3220
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 24,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 4,000 Pounds

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Made for short bed trucks, Andersen 3220 Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 2 is considered to be top-notch for vehicles that have reduced turning clearances. Featuring up to 3 options for height, the Andersen model is capable of adapting itself to plenty of towing configurations. 

Since the coupler of Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 2 rides on a ball, it could easily swivel in pretty much every direction. That means you should be able to couple and uncouple your camper without much difficulty.

At a weight of 35 pounds, the hitch of Andersen is among the lightest fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks. Naturally, handling characteristics of Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 2 proves superior to the average models. 

In most cases, the installation takes less than 5 minutes which is why Andersen 3220 is well-liked by truck owners that face time constraint. In addition, Andersen 3220 Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 2 allows you to install and remove it easily on your own.

Regarding post-purchase support for customers, Andersen a limited lifetime warranty to all users of 3220 Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 2. As a result, if your Andersen hitch one day fails due to manufacturing flaws, you could claim a free replacement.

Absolutely thrilled with this hitch…..and I’m using it on a short bed truck!!! Pulls smooth, absolutely quiet, and just about a 90 degree turn!! Just finished about 500 miles with it, and after checking tightness nothing loosened up. All the bolts were at specified torque for the trip back and did not require any tightening. Truck is a 16′ Ram 2500 Megacab, and trailer is a Jayco Eagle HT. Front cap is not overly scalloped and still get more then enough turning radius

Shared by M. Edelen

Pros:

  • Undemanding setup
  • Superb adaptability
  • Smooth and quiet 

Cons:

  • The release cable should be strengthened 
  • A few hitches seem used on arrival 

3. Curt E16 16516 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Curt E16 #16516
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 16,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 5,000 Pounds

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Packing a tough dual-pivot head that delivers 10 degrees of lateral movement, Curt E16 #16516 guarantees solid, hassle-free towing experience. 

Moreover, thanks to the auto-lock, the model of Curt facilitates the coupling process on a wide range of grounds. Because of that, E16 #16516 tend to be respected by truck owners that need to navigate rough landscapes every day. In order to minimize the disturbance in use, Curt put an anti-rattle skid plate into its hitch which keeps the noise at reasonable levels.

In terms of height adjustments, the Curt hitch offers owners of short bed trucks 4 settings to choose so it’s fairly flexible and versatile. 

Being a single-handle model, E16 #16516 could be put to good use in numerous situations by everyone from novices to veterans. 

As the hitch receives a carbide powder coating at the factory, it’s able to withstand the elements in the outdoors. Beside occasional lubrications, the model of Curt requires insignificant attention once it comes to upkeep.

As for capability, the ratings of Curt E16 #16516 are nothing quite exceptional compared to other fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks. That being said, the Curt hitch is still sufficient to take care of usual towing operations these kinds of days.

Super sliding fifth wheel

Used on a short bed 6.5ft chevy ext cab pu. With fifth wheel lock in driving position strong, tight and quiet. If you have to jack in tight situation this unit will slide effortlessly with pull of handle and lock. Very easy to assemble, does not come with bed rail and mounting hardware. A lot of work to mount rails to truck bed and frame. Highly recommend and would buy Curt products thru Amazon again. Shipping fast and well packaged.

Shared by JoeM

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty construction 
  • Intuitive coupling/uncoupling
  • Match all industry mounting rails 

Cons:

  • Shipping is barely acceptable 
  • Inconsistent performance between hitches 

4. Curt Q20 16130 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Curt Q20 #16130
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 20,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 5,000 Pounds

Why We Love It

Using a noise-reduction pattern, Curt Q20 #16130 is deemed to be one of the quietest fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks available for purchase. Hence, if you desire to have peaceful rides, it’s strongly recommended that you give the Curt hitch a look. 

Due to the convenient 3-position coupling indicator, you should be able to tell the coupling status of your hitch and camper through a quick glance. As a result, the hitching procedure is going to be relatively streamlined in most cases.  

By incorporating a unique spherical axial bearing, Q20 #16130 permits the head to tilt freely in all directions which ensure fluid movements for the towed campers. 

Regarding usage, the Curt model features an ergonomic short-throw handle that you could manipulate as you see fit. The handle of the hitch is lockable as well for optimal security on the road. 

Compatibility-wise, Curt Q20 #16130 would mount into market-standard 5th wheel base rails so it’s indeed possible for you to reuse old mounting rails. For lubricating, the Curt hitch boasts 3 built-in grease fittings for continuous lubrication that save time and effort during maintenance. 

To reassure customers about the quality of the hitch, Curt presents a generous limited lifetime warranty to owners of Q20 #16130.

Pros:

  • Fair price 
  • Installation is clear-cut 
  • Responsive customer service 

Cons:

  • Less than ideal packaging 
  • A couple of hitched arrive awfully damaged 

5. B&W RVK3500 Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch

B&W RVK3500 Companion
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 20,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 5,000 Pounds

Why We Love It

Like its cousin the B&W RVK3300 Companion, RVK3500 also employs strict manufacturing standards to address a number of towing risks. 

Rugged and durable, the hitch of B&W works flawlessly while being subjected to harsh weather conditions in the outdoors. Understandably, RVK3500 is widely known as the top choice of hitch for people that like to go off-road every now and then. 

The outstanding weight ratings of B&W RVK3500 Companion further enhance its usefulness in a variety of operations.

Possessing a wide stance, the B&W model packs marvelous stability which lets the jaw smoothly wrap around the kingpin. Thanks to that, B&W RVK3500 Companion is able to get rid of shabby starts and stops effectively and efficiently. 

Moreover, with up to 3 vertical adjustments and 3 options for coupling, the hitch is highly adaptable. That is why once truck owners talk about the best fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks in terms of adaptability, the hitch of B&W tends to comes up.

Cost-wise, compared to its competitors in today’s market, B&W RVK3500 Companion is quite expensive. However, what RVK3500 offer is well worth the price.

Pros:

  • Tough and compact 
  • Uncomplicated handling
  • Straightforward setup   

Cons:

  • High acquisition cost
  • A bit cumbersome  

6. PullRite 2900 SuperGlide Fifth Wheel Hitch

PullRite #2900 SuperGlide
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 20,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 5,000 Pounds

Why We Love It

As an automatic sliding 5th wheel hitch that could handle reduced turning clearances, PullRite #2900 SuperGlide is highly sought-after by owners of short bed trucks. 

In use, the locking jaws of #2900 SuperGlide automatically wrap around the kingpin and the latch handle also lock all by itself once the jaw engages. As the PullRite hitch lacks secondary locking devices, you don’t have to awkwardly reach over the high-sided truck bed and make a mess of yourself while doing so.

Since components PullRite #2900 SuperGlide happens to be laser-cut, they have top-notch fitness which results in consistent towing characteristics. 

Furthermore, to eliminate issues such as bumping, chucking and so on, PullRite integrates an adjustable tension bolt into its hitch. Thanks for that, owners of PullRite #2900 SuperGlide would be able to enjoy uneventful time on the road without much difficulty. 

As the hitch comes fully assembled, mounting #2900 SuperGlide to your truck is going to be a walk in the park.

One thing that causes PullRite #2900 SuperGlide to stand out from ordinary fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks is that it could couple gooseneck campers. All you have to do is to get an adapter from PullRite to switch between fifth wheel and gooseneck settings.

Pros:

  • Capable and rugged
  • Versatile and flexible
  • User-friendly control and setup 

Cons:

  • Pretty costly  
  • Slightly heavy 

7. Curt E16 16115 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Curt E16 #16115
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 16,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 5,000 Pounds

Why We Love It

So you have a tight wallet at the moment but still want a good hitch for your short bed truck? If that is the case then Curt E16 #16115 is the ideal towing hitch for you. Being available at a reasonable price, the fifth wheel hitch of Curt is popular with many budget-minded truck owners. 

Despite its comparatively low cost, Curt E16 #16115 remain uncompromised in terms of build quality. From features to materials, Curt E16 #16115 only use the best, which is why it’s the best fifth wheel hitch for short bed truck once it comes to cost-effectiveness.

Since the Curt hitch pivots on dual axles, its limit of lateral movement is good enough to support tight maneuvers. 

To facilitate operation in the outdoors, E16 #16115 utilizes a single handle that dictates key functions. Thus, you should be able to get the hitch from Curt to perform essentially as you see fit. 

Another plus is due to the presence of an anti-rattle skid plate, E16 #16115 creates negligible noise. Therefore, you don’t need to endure the nasty rattling that could get quite tedious.

Once you purchase it, E16 #16115 would arrive in a set that includes the 5th wheel head, legs and associated hardware. You nonetheless must purchase base rails and brackets separately but that is a minor inconvenience. 

Pros:

  • Resistant powder coating 
  • Affordable and dependable
  • Limited lifetime warranty 

Cons:

  • Packaging require improvements 
  • Mediocre quality control 

8. Reese Pro Series 30056 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Reese Pro Series #30056
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 15,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 3,750 Pounds

Why We Love It

Featuring a GTW of 15,000 pounds and a VTW of 3,750 pounds, Reese Pro Series #30056 seems to fall behind other hitches once it comes to weight capacity. That being said, the Reese hitch is still by all accounts a first-class model for light-duty hauling nowadays.

Boasting a locking mechanism designed for automatic latching and a cushion grip handle, Pro Series #30056 would guarantee smooth coupling/uncoupling in most of the cases. Since the head pivots forward-to-back and the skid plate pivots side-to-side, the hitching process could even take place on rough grounds.

To ensure Pro Series #30056 matches a wide range of usual towing configurations, Reese makes its vertical height alterable. It should be a breeze for you to tune the hitch of Reese to your liking. 

Regarding stability, Reese Pro Series #30056 contains wide one-piece legs which cause it to be more stable than other fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks in its price range. As proof of confidence in the solid performance of Pro Series #30056, Reese backs it with an attractive 10-year limited warranty.

Thanks to the presence of tough tabs for locking padlocks on the jaw handle, you would be able to deter potential theft on the road. But if necessary, Reese Pro Series #30056 could be removed within moments for full bed access.

Pros:

  • Come along mounting hardware 
  • Convenient latching mechanism 
  • Great values for the price 

Cons:

  • Kind of noisy 
  • Need uncommon drill bits  

9. Reese 30142 Elite Series 18K Fifth Wheel Hitch

Reese 30142 Elite Series 18K
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 18,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 4,500 Pounds

Why We Love It

By employing a combination of lockable extended handle and quick lock system, Reese Elite Series # 30142 truly excels at decreasing slops compared to pin-mount designs. 

Due to its accommodating stamped rounded head, the hitch of Reese is able to offer 4-way pivoting which enhances overall handling in lots of conditions. 

Packing durable forged single jaw, Elite Series # 30142 could maintain secured contact between the jaw and the kingpin without much difficulty.

As for stability, the Reese model happens to have wide footprints so its stability on the road would be superb. Unfortunately, Reese Elite Series # 30142 is unable to fit on trucks with beds shorter than 6 feet. The same is also true for all trucks that have flare sides and step sides. 

On the other hand, the hitch is pre assembled so if it matches your truck, the setup process is going to be a piece of cake. In order to speed up installation, Reese put a wrench into the package alongside the hitch so you don’t have to go get one.

Similar to many hitches for short bed trucks on the market, Reese Elite Series # 30142 is engineered to be vertically adjustable. You can apply changes to the height of the Reese hitch to suit your vehicle. 

Pros:

  • Simple, no-nonsense setup
  • Come in preassembled 

Cons:

  • Somewhat heavy 
  • The price is slightly steep 

10. Reese Pro Series 30128 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Pro Series 30128 Fifth Wheel Hitch 15K
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 15,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 3,750 Pounds

Why We Love It

Famous for being a well-balanced hitch, Reese Pro Series #30128 is perfect for truck owners that desire some qualities without having to spend a fortune. 

Like certain fifth wheel hitches from Reese, Pro Series #30128 uses an innovative rounded slide bar mechanism that supports automatic latching. Hence, you would be able to hitch up your camper in a blink of an eye which is definitely nice. 

In addition, the integration of an ergonomic cushion grip handle into the design makes it easy to regulate functions of the Reese model.

As the head of Reese Pro Series #30128 is capable of 4-way pivoting, the hitching process is straightforward and you could do that on uneven surfaces. 

Since the vertical height of Pro Series #30128 is variable, it’s possible for truck owners to put the hitch to good use in various settings. As the jaw handle of the hitch possesses solid lock tabs for padlocks, it should be a breeze to secure Reese Pro Series #30128 against theft while traveling in the outdoors.

Regarding post-purchases supports, all users of Pro Series #30128 receive outstanding treatments from Reese that include a 10-year limited warranty. Considering its price and performance, this Reese model is undoubtedly a purchase that brings a peace of mind.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price 
  • Sublime warranty 
  • Adaptability is top-notch 

Cons: 

  • Several hitches arrive with missing parts 
  • Delivery could use some refinements  

11. CURT 16245 Q24 Fifth Wheel Hitch

CURT 16245 Q24
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 24,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 6,000 Pounds

Why We Love It 

You need a strong towing hitch with high weight ratings? If that is so, you must see what you could gain by buying Curt Q24 #1625. Strong and sturdy, the Curt hitch could satisfy the grueling demands of extended towing operations. 

Moreover, as the spherical axial bearing of Curt Q24 #1625 tilts head in every direction, the hitch only generates insignificant noises. Q24 #1625 is considered to be second to none once it comes to quietness these kinds of days.

Made to be essentially self-aligned, the model of Curt would help you avoid maneuvering errors while backing up to your camper in most situations. The fact that the dual jaw of Q24 #1625 wrap around kingpin also means that chucking is less than a problem. 

Thanks to the prominent 3-position coupling indicator, you should be able to determine the precise coupling status through a glance. 

Last but not least, Curt Q24 #1625 fit industry-standard base rails its installation tends to take a couple of moments.

Curt Q24 #1625 boasts easy-access grease fittings in the construction for the lubricants. In order to address messy grease deposits, the Curt hitch features a simple but functional polyethylene lube plate as well.

Pros

  • Marvelous towing capacity  
  • Smooth, intuitive handling
  • Versatile and flexible 

Cons

  • Minor inconsistencies in functions
  • Ununiformed wearing 

12. PullRite Pulliam Enterprises 4100 5Th Hitch for Short Bed Trucks

PullRite Pulliam Enterprises, 4100 Superglide 16K 5Th Hitch for Short Bed Trucks
amazon cta

Specifications:

  • Gross Trailer Weight: 16,000 Pounds
  • Vertical Tongue Weight: 4,000 Pounds

Why We Love It

Capable of allowing truck owners to make tricky maneuvers without slowing down while hauling fully-laden campers, PullRite #4100 SuperGlide is a great hitch to have. 

As people enter tight turns, #4100 SuperGlide would move the campers away from the cabs by itself without requiring human inputs. Therefore, the risk of catastrophic collision is minimal in most cases. 

Additionally, the PullRite hitch could go back to its original position automatically so your experience on the road is going to be fairly streamlined.

Like other models from PullRite, #4100 SuperGlide packs a first-class fully articulating dual pivot head as well as a patented rotary latch that locks automatically. As a result, the handling characteristics of PullRite #4100 SuperGlide prove unmatched compared to usual 5th wheel hitches on the market. 

Since the gear-driven latch is designed in order to address bumping, you should be able to enjoy smooth rides. Though the specifications of the PullRite model seem unimpressive, the hitch is more than enough for today’s towing needs.

Regarding installation, PullRite offers customers two options once it comes to #4100 SuperGlide: 1/a affordable fixed universal installation rail kit and 2/a costly removable custom-made hitch mounting bracket. Take your preferences into account to decide what suits you.

Pros:

  • Excellent durability
  • Flawless mechanism
  • Optional installation

Cons:

  • Quite cumbersome
  • Pretty expensive

How To Install A Fifth Wheel Hitch On A Short Bed Truck

You should be able to get your hitch up and running without much difficulty by following the owner manual closely. However, you have to be mindful of a few issues beforehand to ensure hassle-free installation.

best fifth wheel hitches for short bed trucks

Think About The Hitch Compatibility 

Nowadays, you can find special hitches made for specific lines of trucks. Such hitches often accompany purpose-design installation parts that match pre existing features of targeted vehicles. 

If you want hassle-free installation, it’s best for you to choose from models produced for your own truck. 

On the other hand, manufacturers of fifth wheel hitches also offer universal installation products that fit a variety of vehicles. However, if you buy universal installation hitches, you need to make several structural changes to the bed of your truck.

Pay Attention To Turning Clearance 

As mentioned above, the turning clearance of short bed trucks falls behind long bed ones. Therefore, while mounting fifth wheel hitches on short bed trucks, it’s important that you determine if the turning clearance of your truck is adequate. 

Usually, 5th wheel slider hitches compensate for the reduced turning clearance of short-bed trucks. 

As for fixed hitches, some sorts of extensions tend to be required to prevent collisions. Take measurements of your truck in order to decide the best approach to the issue.

Beware Of Plastic Bed Liners 

In most of the cases, truck owners may install hitches to vehicles that have spray-in bed liners without trouble. But if the bed liners happen to plastic, people must avoid mounting the hitches directly. 

Since plastic eventually disintegrates, hitches mounted on top of plastic liners get loosen as time passes by which is dangerous. So if your truck employs plastic bed liners, you should consider removing portions of the liners to give your towing hitch a firm mounting surface. 

FAQs About Short Bed-Compatible 5th Wheel Hitches

Is it possible to remove the hitch after installation concludes? 

As truck owners obviously need the bed for lots of tasks, 5th wheel hitches nowadays routinely use removable designs. That means taking the hitch from the bed of your truck to create room for cargo is by all accounts a walk in the park. 

A couple of parts have to stay behind including the rails, the mounting brackets, … but the main body of the hitch often come off smoothly. Still, as a precaution, go through the manual to see exactly how many parts of your hitch could be removed. 

What should I do to keep my hitch in shape? 

Manufacturers of fifth wheel hitches list maintenance recommendations in the owner’s manual so follow them and everything would be fine. 

Generally, you have to lubricate parts of your hitch from time to time but remember to only use moderate lubricants. In addition, before actually lubricating the hitch, it’s necessary to wipe clean old lubricant. 

Last but not least, every now and then, inspect all of the hardware to make sure that the hitch is securely fastened to the bed.

Do I need to add safety chains to my hitch?  

Technically, assuming that you installed your hitch like the manual instructs, it’s going to have a high safety level. But if you want certain insurances, it’s fine to add safety chains to your hitch before hitting the road.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Rick Hamilton January 2, 2020
  2. Avatar Paul Anderson January 10, 2020
  3. Avatar Duane Barkel January 25, 2020

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