Calculating Clearance Between 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Short Bed Cab and Gooseneck Horse Trailer

Question:

We have a 06 Ram heavy duty 3/4 ton shortbed pickup. We are thinking about buying a 3 horse living quarter gooseneck horse trailer. The trailer is 10,800 lbs empty, 24 deck length, 8 wide 76 high. Please give me your thoughts about safety.

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Expert Reply:

The gooseneck horse trailer is best towed using a gooseneck trailer hitch. For a gooseneck hitch, I recommend the Hide-A-Goose Underbed Gooseneck Trailer Hitch Installation Kit, # 9464-35. With this hitch installed you can flip the ball over when not in use to have full access to the bed floor. I have included links to the installation details and a video installation on a similar vehicle.

When towing a gooseneck (or 5th wheel) trailer with a short bed truck like your 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, there are some measurements that need to be made to determine if you will have enough clearance between the truck cab and the trailer to execute 90 degree turns. There is a simple formula you can use to determine if you have enough clearance. No matter which of the setups below best suits your needs, you will most likely benefit from an offset ball on a gooseneck hitch or a slider on a 5th wheel hitch.

(A + B) - C = Clearance
A = Distance from center of fifth wheel hitch jaw or gooseneck ball to truck cab
B = Length of Sidewinder, Slider, or Offset arm
C = Width of trailer divided by 2 (to get half)

For example: With a 5 inch offset using # 19308, the distance from the center of the gooseneck ball to the cab is 44 inches, 44 + 5 inches = 49 inches. If your trailer is 96 inches wide, take half (48), then plug in: 49 inches - 48 inches = 1 inch of clearance. You need 4 inches to safely make 90 degree turns. However, some horse trailers come to a point unlike 5th wheel trailers, so you very well could have several more inches of clearance.

If you want to install a 5th wheel trailer hitch, I recommend a slider like Reese 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch with Round Tube Slider, # RP30075, with installation kit # RP50140-58. This round tube slider will allow for 12 inches of clearance. You would still be short on clearance as the center of the hitch jaw would be 36 inches from the back of the cab (36 + 12 = 48. 48 - 48 = 0). But again, horse trailers that come to a point are different and you could have enough clearance. I have included a link to the installation details below.

To use the 5th wheel hitch with the gooseneck trailer, you would need to convert the gooseneck for use with a 5th wheel trailer hitch using a gooseneck to 5th wheel adapter like # KPG5-R25-IP (round tube) or # KPG5-Q25-IP(square tube).

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Michael H

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