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Old 09-22-2016, 06:45 PM   #1
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Sidewinder Dynamic Forces

I'm really intrigued by the Sidewinder 5th wheel hitch but just can't get into my head how it down not redistribute the pin weight 22 inches behind the axle. It seems to me without the SW hitch the pin weight is sitting on top of the 5th wheel hitch and rotating around the pin with the weight right over the axles. When you add the SW the new pin location is 22" behind its original location and there would seem to me be a lot of downward force on the 22" arm thus it wanting to pop up out of the 5th wheel hitch jaws.
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:23 PM   #2
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We have had the sidewinder on the last two rigs. Love them and have had no problems. As far as your thoughts about the kingpin wanting to 'pop out', I'm not sure how to alleviate your worry, but it is not a concern. The sidewinder is a very sturdy piece of equipment. There is no play in the 22" extension and the turret that supports it. So the down force is the same as original, weight on the base plate not the kingpin. Your pivot is just 22" back. I will never have a swb truck without using one. I don't have to worry about sliding anything, or watching the corners. It also causes the 5ver to track more closely to the truck. We have been parked nose to tail with other RVs at a rally and had to leave early. We hooked up 90 degrees to the rig and pulled out while everybody was watching and shaking their heads and telling me it wasn't going to work. We have the older style sidewinder that has 4 bolts on the turret top. I believe the newer Revolution has one large bolt but functions the same as far as I can tell. If you still have concerns please call them up and they will be happy to talk with you. http://www.reeseprod.com/contact
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
We have had the sidewinder on the last two rigs. Love them and have had no problems. As far as your thoughts about the kingpin wanting to 'pop out', I'm not sure how to alleviate your worry, but it is not a concern. The sidewinder is a very sturdy piece of equipment. There is no play in the 22" extension and the turret that supports it. So the down force is the same as original, weight on the base plate not the kingpin. Your pivot is just 22" back. I will never have a swb truck without using one. I don't have to worry about sliding anything, or watching the corners. It also causes the 5ver to track more closely to the truck. We have been parked nose to tail with other RVs at a rally and had to leave early. We hooked up 90 degrees to the rig and pulled out while everybody was watching and shaking their heads and telling me it wasn't going to work. We have the older style sidewinder that has 4 bolts on the turret top. I believe the newer Revolution has one large bolt but functions the same as far as I can tell. If you still have concerns please call them up and they will be happy to talk with you. Reese - Contact Reese
Thanks for the reply. I guess since it is only 22" back there is not much difference in the overall scheme of things but I would think there has to be some weight shift. I think of a teeter totter and the 22" arm being one side and the hitch being the fulcrum. I know there is not the other side of my teeter totter here but the principle is the same. The 22" arm wants to go down but in this case it is stopped by the jaws of the 5th wheel hitch. Must be negligible but I for some reason see a lot of force there.

Still looking at getting one though as everyone seems to be pretty happy with them.

I seem to remember some posts on here a while back where some users were having problems with them freezing up or something like that. I remember reading banging on it with a sledge hammer. Am I mistaken?
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:04 PM   #4
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Those folks were talking about the Revolution which actually has a slight difference in design and bearings even though everyone's says they are the same.

The one I have is the fifth airborne sidewinder: https://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel...e/RP61452.html

Notice it has 4 bolts on the top of the turret, where the revolution has one. This is my second sidewinder and while they are not easy to turn by hand, even my 120lb wife can turn it. Never had a problem with 'freezing' or groaning while turning. I also never lube it and it is 5 years old and used A LOT. I would highly recommend it. I got mine for half the price shown in the link through the dealer where I bought my fifth wheel. Good luck and I hope you find one that works for you.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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I forgot to add that I took it apart (dropped the turret) at 4 years to check for wear and found no discernible bearing wear. I sent pics into Reese and asked if I should lube it and they said it looks fine and to just clean the surfaces and put it back together. So I did
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:22 PM   #6
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Just read your post in another thread about your concern of the sidewinder shifting the load from the rear axle. Here is one article from an expert that might be helpful: https://www.etrailer.com/question-55026.html.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Just read your post in another thread about your concern of the sidewinder shifting the load from the rear axle. Here is one article from an expert that might be helpful: https://www.etrailer.com/question-55026.html.
Thanks NMwildcar..c Lightbulb just came on. The pin is already sticking out about 22" in front of where the pin box is bolted to the chassis...,duh... For some reason I kept seeing the pin right where the pin box is connected to the RV... Sometimes I can be a hardcore untrainable... I want a Sidewinder...
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:12 PM   #8
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Dalford, sorry for the late reply. It appears you have you answer. I will only add, with a qualifier that I am not an engineer, based on the construction ( 16,000 lbs) of a sidewinder and the length of the arm, the force is transferred directly to the hitch without the upward force you were concerned about.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:17 PM   #9
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Dalford, sorry for the late reply. It appears you have you answer. I will only add, with a qualifier that I am not an engineer, based on the construction ( 16,000 lbs) of a sidewinder and the length of the arm, the force is transferred directly to the hitch without the upward force you were concerned about.
Thanks Dr. Safety.. Makes sense to me now...
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:02 AM   #10
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OK, I have heard from the folks who like their Sidewinder and I'm really interested in upgrading to it. I'm not really interested in a Pullrite or other auto slider due to added weight and many more moving parts. I will stay with my manual Reese slider unless someone can tell me the pitfalls of the Sidewinder, if any. I appreciate all constructive reviews.
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