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Can A Fifth Wheel Trailer Be Used with a Ford F-150 Supercrew 5-1/2 Foot Bed

Question:

I have a 2009 ford f150 super crew with a short box 5 & 1/2 foot . Can I get a trailer hitch to enable me to tow a 5th wheel trailer. If so what model hitch assembly do I need?.

Expert Reply:

You may be able to use a fifth wheel, depending on the width of the trailer. Since the 5-1/2 foot bed is so short, in turning the fifth wheel trailer can end up making contact with the cab of the truck resulting in damage. The Sidewinder is essentially a hitch extender that will provide enough clearance for some fifth wheel trailers to be towed behind 5-1/2 bed trucks.

You will need to take some measurements on the truck and the width of the fifth wheel trailer and calculate if you would gain enough clearance with a Sidewinder. I have added a link to a Sidewinder information page that will walk you through how the part works and how to calculate if it will provide enough clearance for you. If you determine that the Sidewinder will do the trick, then it will be time to pick a fifth wheel hitch.

We have a custom install kit for the 2009 Ford F-150, part # RP50081-58. This kit includes the brackets that attach to the truck frame and provide the mounting connections for the rails that sit in the bed. Once you have the brackets and rails installed, the hitch sits in place and locks in with 4 pins.

A Fifth Wheel hitch should be selected based on weight of the trailer and capacity of the truck. With a 1/2 Ton Pick-Up the weight capacity of the truck will be less than a 1 Ton Pick-Up would have so there is no need to select the highest capacity fifth wheel. I would recommend the 16K Reese hitch, part # 30047. With a 16,000 pound capacity you will probably be able to tow the full capacity of the truck. The 16K head is a dual pivot head whereas the 15K head is single pivot which is why I recommend the 16K over the 15K, even when the extra weight is not needed. A dual pivot allows the head of the hitch to tilt backward and forward which makes hook-up and traveling over hills smoother, it also tilts side to side which does not twist the truck suspension as much when going through turns.

Once you have the fifth wheel and installation kit, you will need to pick the proper Sidewinder. Sidewinders are built to fit the pin-box on the trailer so you will need the manufacturer and model number off the pin box of the trailer. With this information, you can select the proper Sidewinder that will fit your trailer via the page I have linked below.

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Questions and Comments about this Question

Will this guidence work with the 2004? Are The part numbers different?

comment by: Mike H - 4/21/2013

It depends on what model 2004. 2004 was an overlap model year. The F-150 Heritage in 2004 (the older body style from 1997-2004) there is no fifth wheel kit for the 5-1/2 bed. If it is a 2004 F-150 with the newer body (2004-2008) then there are some fifth wheel kits available for the 5-1/2 foot bed. If you do go this route, you will need a Reese Sidewinder or Reese Revolution on the trailer to prevent damage to trailer and truck from lesser clearance on 5-1/2 foot beds. Here is a link to the hitch systems available for a 2004 F-150 (11th Gen 2004-2008). They are the same as the kits for the 2009.

Patrick B - 4/25/2013




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