5th Wheel Trailer Hitch and Installation Kit for a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Long Bed

Question:

what does a slider hitch do that a fixed hitch cant? This is my first everything with pulling a trailer and getting my truck ready to pull it. The trailer is a 5th wheel 28 ft Laredo...The GVWR is 10000..dry weight is 7210..the hitch weight is 1650....Maybe an easier question is what do I need to get my trailer ready to be pulled...thanks

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Expert Reply:

Slider hitches can slide back towards the tailgate of the truck which allows for more clearance between the trailer and the truck cab when making turns. Short bed trucks pretty much require a slider for most 5th wheel towing applications because the distance between the centerline of the hitch and the back of the truck cab is so short.

If you have a long bed truck then you don't have to worry about clearance and you can use a fixed 5th wheel hitch. For your 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 long bed the first thing you will need is an installation kit. There are above bed options and below bed options.

Above bed kits generally cost less but once the hitch is removed the above the bed rails that hold the hitch will always be present. So if you need a completely clear bed for cargo then an above the bed kit is not the best option.

Below the bed kits and the hitches that fit them generally cost more but once the hitch is removed the bed is basically clear. I can provide you options for both types and hitches that will fit them.

First for an above the bed kit I recommend a custom kit # C16419-204 which will not require drilling into the truck frame. I have included a link to the installation instructions for you to view. For a compatible hitch you won't have to go with a high capacity hitch since the gross trailer weight is 10,000 pounds max. I recommend the Curt A16, # C16120. This hitch features a secure dual jaw design and a cushioned head for improved ride quality when towing. I have linked a video of it for you.

For a below the bed kit there are fewer options but I recommend Reese kit # RP30074. This is the same type of set up that the newer Ford, Chevy, and Ram trucks have. For a hitch that fits this kit you can use # RP30142. This is a Reese Elite Series hitch with a premium single hook jaw. This also comes with an in-bed 7-Way trailer connector which is recommended to making hooking up easier without the need for a 7-Way extension.

If you go with the above the bed set up then an in-bed 7-Way will have to be added separately, # HM42137. I have linked a video showing how it installs.

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Michael H

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