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Old 07-28-2021, 07:01 PM   #1
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Bed size for 5th wheel towing

Please forgive if this is just too stupid of a question. I only have a year experience with TTs, and I don't know anyone with a 5th wheel.

I am considering upgrading both my TV and TT at some point to a F350 and 11-13k lb 5th wheel camper.

Which is the preferable bed length for this truck for best towing?
My guess is the 8' over the 6.75', but why?

If I get a new super duty, I figure it would be best to have it prepped for the 5th wheel hitch, but do I want the Ford hitch itself?
Is it good enough? Do I want a sliding hitch(don't figure I would need one with an 8' bed)? Are there better options for the $1100 price tag?

I am still not sure exactly what to look for to know if pricing is accurate.

Also, I realize that right now is a better time to sell a truck than buy a new one.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:52 PM   #2
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I have a 6.75 foot bed and a 5th wheel. - To answer your question, I have a new truck on order that has an 8 foot bed.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:48 AM   #3
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I’ve towed a fifth wheel with both, first an ext cab with a 6.5 bed, then a crew cab with a 8’ bed. If I was going to do it all over again I would pick the 8’ bed. The only downside with the later one was more room needed for backing into sites, but it never was a problem. The comfort of the ride with the longer wheel base was so much better.

As for the bed comparison between the two, with the shorter bed, if you don’t have some type of sliding hitch you should measure and make sure the front cap and rear of the truck cab won’t hit. Many of the aerodynamic front caps allow for a standard hitch, but it’s best to measure.

With the short box I had I also had a toolbox next to the cab. With the space it took up and the hitch, there isn’t a lot of bed space left. With the long box first had the tool box in the same spot, but changed it to a Transfer Flow fuel/tool box, never regretted the extra space I had.

I even used the crew cab long box for a daily commuter for a short time, never minded it
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:52 AM   #4
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The longer the wheel base the better ride, just consider whether you want to garage it or not and whether it will fit.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:09 AM   #5
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We have the short bed and Anderson Ultimate. Works well. Our fiver is #12,000 dry, A slider was not necessary.

The short box truck is big. Parking is tough. The longer bed is harder.

If you camp a few weeks a year and the truck is used mostly for other tasks then there is an advantage to the short bed.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
If you camp a few weeks a year and the truck is used mostly for other tasks then there is an advantage to the short bed.
Unless you want to use it like a truck and actually carry stuff - - like lumber or plywood or sheetrock or fence posts . . . . .

Personally, I would always prefer a long bed. Trouble is it's getting harder and harder to find one without special ordering it. Last time I went looking I hit 4-5 dealers and not one had a long bed on the lot.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:21 AM   #7
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If your question pertains to towing only, then most will pick the 8' bed for the extra room you get in the bed for other things.

Wheelbase can be a consideration but you can get almost identical wheelbase lengths on a truck with 6.75' bed as with an 8' bed, depending on cab configuration.

Now if it's a daily driver and you also are considering things like garage space or hauling other things, then that's more of a personal choice depending on ones needs.

Best is relative to whomever is giving the advice and every one of the 'best' threads are simply opinions.

Yes, I'd want the factory puck system.
I'd not opt for the factory Reese hitch as I believe there are better after having owned one and now using a B&W.

Sliding?... again it depends on the hitch (adjustability) and the physical design of the front of the 5th wheel you choose. Many R/Vs are built with rounded front corners that negate needing a sliding hitch. Many hitches have enough fore-aft adjustability that you don't need a slider either.

Back in the day, I towed several different 5th wheels with several different 6.5 bed trucks using a slider hitch. In over 20 years, I never slid it. Never a need and I've put 5th wheels in hundreds of sites. If you ever watch the suspension get all jacked up crossways on a 90º turn, you'll never want to do that anyway. I've actually see a guy roll a tire off the rim trying to turn too sharply.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:50 AM   #8
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I preferred the truck with an 8ft bed but it was a Chevy and you could get an extended cab but I ended up with a Ram and 6 6" bed. At the time I had a TT now I have a 5er and use the Anderson hitch and the camper is built for a short bed truck. Works well. Later RJD
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:52 PM   #9
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I had a 6.5' box and never had to use my slider. But I have an 8' box now and like it because I can put my gen/inverter and firewood in the front of the box and then put our two bicycles there also. I have no problems on corners. The 8' box also comes in handy for my work also. I do miss the roominess of the back seat in my old crew cab though.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:53 PM   #10
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I just made the change to a 5er in June. I wanted a diesel and so needed a 1 ton for cargo capacity. My F-350 has 3450 cargo. I wanted the 6.75 ft bed because the 8 ft bed is a bear to maneuver around when you also have the crewcab. Its still longer than my crewcab 6.5 ft bed F-150 and a couple more feet of turning radius. Noticeable that its worse than before, and the 6.5 ft F-150 was harder to park than the 5.5 ft F-150 I had previous to that.

My 5er is a Cougar 27SGS and only 8000 empty, probably 9000-9500 loaded, depending on if the tanks are filled or not. Tows like a dream. One of the biggest advantages of the diesel is engine breaking. Love those air brakes. Got the 1 ton truck in case I want something a little bigger down the road.

My hitch is a 16k reese, manual slider adjustment. The dealer preferred that it was not factory prepped. I had just about given up on upgrading this year. Then the truck suddenly became available and the trailer was a leftover in a remote place. Drove south 200 mi for the truck and 140 north for the trailer. No time to pick my own hitch, its what he had in stock and parts to put on a ford. Would prefer an automatic slider or a sidewinder. I may look into a sidewinder and leave the hitch in a fixed position, if that's possible, when I return or an automatic reese hitch if it fits on the same rails. The reese is a little clunky, had some chucking on a road with lots of seems, but overall not bad.

At 31 ft the 15k A/C can't get the job done at 95 in the sun, especially if the humidity is up. It was 100F in Boise, but did get the temp down for sleeping 1 hr after unset. Shade and 95 and very dry was just acceptable. Will add the second A/C when I return.

So I left home the last week in June with less than 1k mi on the truck and had the trailer home for just over a week. Its been over 3k mi to get to Washington state from PA and everything is still working great. Would have liked a test trip but had no time. Still working storage issues, etc.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:51 PM   #11
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I have a F-250 crew cab with the 6’9” box and I tow a 35’ 5er with a factory-installed Reese Revolution rotating pinbox. The only thing an 8’ box would do for me is it would give me more room for “stuff” in the bed when towing which would be nice. It’s a SuperDuty and rides like a truck. Can’t avoid that without compromising payload capacity. We don’t have our kids camping with us very often anymore so if I replace this truck I’ll look at an extended cab with an 8’ box because the overall length won’t really be any longer.
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:59 AM   #12
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Truck

I have exactly the combo you are looking at w/ 8' bed. Advantages are 48 gallon gas tank, better ride, having side to side tool box, w/o a 350 lb. slider hitch. I did get the pre fitted bed for the cam lock hitch, great set-up. I have the B&W hitch that breaks down into 2- 75 lb. pieces, well designed w/ handles on both parts.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:22 AM   #13
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Bed size of 6.5' or 8' is simply a matter of preference. All my personal trucks are 6.5' as that is what I prefer.
Why? I simply don't like the way long beds look!
I have pulled with both and I never felt any discernable difference in ride. Shorter beds are easier to manuever. I don't need extra bed space. I found a perfect towing solution for shorter beds clearance concerns with a Sidewinder air ride hitch.
So buy what you want, what will fit your needs or preferences. Either one works just fine!
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:54 AM   #14
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I tried towing my new FW without a slider in my short bed. I now have an auto slider, 'nuff said.
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Old 07-30-2021, 03:37 PM   #15
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Unless I missed it, your second question wasn't answered above. Last time I checked the 5th wheel hitch supplied by Ford is the Reese hitch. That may have changed, but that was what it was. Also, the 5th wheel package supplied by Ford will eliminate your need to have an RV dealer install the hitch, and possibly the wiring harness and the brake controller. My F250 came with the brake controller, but the RV dealer installed my Reese hitch and wiring harness. Be aware also that the hitch needs to be of a weight capacity to handle your fifth wheel trailer. I don't know if you can specify the hitch capacity when ordering the truck with the 5th wheel package. I ordered my trailer first then ordered the appropriate hitch.
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Old 07-30-2021, 05:05 PM   #16
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@DrLewie

Someone touched on it earlier, but thanks for expanding on the subject.

I think my choice of 8' will work for me. I like extra fuel and I can park it in my garage.

As far as the hitch, I will likely get one with the Ford "puck" system as it was called above.
Instead of the factory Reese, I will likely get the B&W for the same price. Not to knock Reese, but I know B&W is quality.

As far as when I will do this, I am not sure. It's not like I can just go to my local Ford dealer and pick one. SuperDuties are nearly unobtainium in my part of SC.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:11 PM   #17
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8 foot bed, no need for a slider, better ride (longer wheel base)
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfrede View Post
I just made the change to a 5er in June. I wanted a diesel and so needed a 1 ton for cargo capacity. My F-350 has 3450 cargo. I wanted the 6.75 ft bed because the 8 ft bed is a bear to maneuver around when you also have the crewcab. Its still longer than my crewcab 6.5 ft bed F-150 and a couple more feet of turning radius. Noticeable that its worse than before, and the 6.5 ft F-150 was harder to park than the 5.5 ft F-150 I had previous to that.

My 5er is a Cougar 27SGS and only 8000 empty, probably 9000-9500 loaded, depending on if the tanks are filled or not. Tows like a dream. One of the biggest advantages of the diesel is engine breaking. Love those air brakes. Got the 1 ton truck in case I want something a little bigger down the road.

My hitch is a 16k reese, manual slider adjustment. The dealer preferred that it was not factory prepped. I had just about given up on upgrading this year. Then the truck suddenly became available and the trailer was a leftover in a remote place. Drove south 200 mi for the truck and 140 north for the trailer. No time to pick my own hitch, its what he had in stock and parts to put on a ford. Would prefer an automatic slider or a sidewinder. I may look into a sidewinder and leave the hitch in a fixed position, if that's possible, when I return or an automatic reese hitch if it fits on the same rails. The reese is a little clunky, had some chucking on a road with lots of seems, but overall not bad.

At 31 ft the 15k A/C can't get the job done at 95 in the sun, especially if the humidity is up. It was 100F in Boise, but did get the temp down for sleeping 1 hr after unset. Shade and 95 and very dry was just acceptable. Will add the second A/C when I return.

So I left home the last week in June with less than 1k mi on the truck and had the trailer home for just over a week. Its been over 3k mi to get to Washington state from PA and everything is still working great. Would have liked a test trip but had no time. Still working storage issues, etc.
Are you saying your F350 has air brakes ?
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