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Can A Truck with 6-1/2 Foot Bed Pull a Fifth Wheel Trailer with out use of a Slider or Sidewinder

Question:

Is there a rule of thumb on wheather you will be able to tow a fifth wheel trailer without hooking the trailer to the truck? I have been told that some trailers can be towed with trucks with a 6.5ft bed without a slider.

Expert Reply:

Just to clarify, you will always have to hook the trailer to the truck. It is possible that some fifth wheel trailers may be able to be towed on 6-1/2 foot bed trucks without a slider, but we would never recommended doing so.

Trailer widths, truck cab widths, and turn conditions all play a part in calculating clearance. Since these factors vary so much, there is no set rule of thumb on trailer size. It may be possible to tow a trailer down the highway with out any problems, but as soon as you have to maneuver in a small gas station or camp site, without a slider or a Sidewinder a truck with less than an 8 foot bed is going to be in trouble.

It may be possible, if you always keep an eye on your trailer as you turn, but as soon as you forget, you could end up turning too tight and the trailer could crush the cab of the truck.

Truck beds ranging from 6 to 7 feet should use a Slider to make sure there is adequate clearance in tight turning situations. Truck beds under 6 feet will need a Sidewinder to provide enough clearance. With some wider trailers, even a Sidewinder will not provide enough clearance to be used on a truck with less than a 6 foot bed.

I have added links to a couple articles below that you may find helpful.

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