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5th Wheel Hitch Installation on Lifted Short Bed 2014 Ram 2500 Without Factory Rail Kit

Question:

I bought a 2014 RAM 2500 short bed truck that was already lifted, and now trying to figure out the best hitch to tow my 30foot 5th wheel. Also, someone mentioned that switching or reversing? the axles on your trailer can help as well, any suggestions? P.S. Im trying to upload multiple images so you can see that the overhang of the 5th wheel has about only 1inch of clearance from the bed rails, but I dont think this form is letting me. I can send via email if you give you me your email address. Thanks in advance.

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Expert Reply:

Let's start with a 5th wheel hitch for your truck. For a short box truck like your 6-foot-bed 2014 Ram 2500 you'll need a sliding 5th wheel. I recommend a round tube slider with the greatest amount of slider travel to give you the most turning clearance. Demco's 18K slider # DM8550034 offers 14-inches of travel and works with their custom base rail install kit # DM8552025-71. For a 5th wheel wiring harness use part # PK11893-11932.

The 16K Reese set up you referenced, hitch # RP30869 and install kit # RP50054-58, provides only 11-inches of front-to-back travel.

A truck with a suspension lift is not ideal for 5th wheel towing due to the clearance issue you point out. If the truck has a body lift you cannot install a 5th wheel hitch. If you check out the linked diagram you'll see the recommended minimum clearance dimensions between truck and trailer. At least 5-inches of clearance is recommended between the trailer overhang and the tops of the bed rails. Based on your photo, it looks like you might have 1-1/2- to 2-inches, which would definitely not be enough. Since the trailer nose will pitch downward when you're making downhill turns you would have bad things happen between the trailer and your bed rails.

It is possible to lift a 5th wheel trailer's height by using an axle over-under kit that moves the spring stack to the top of the axle. These will give you a couple of inches of height gain depending on the axle diameter. Kit # K71-384-00 works for 2-3/8-inch diameter axles and part # K71-385-00 fits 3-inch diameter axles. Each kit will give you a trailer height increase of roughly the axle diameter.

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Adam R

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