Hi Everyone. Well, after 15 years the RV-Dreams Community Forum is coming to an end. Since it began in August 2005, we've had 58 Million page views, 124,000 posts, and we've spent about $15,000 to keep this valuable resource for RVers free and open. But since we are now off the road and have settled down for the next chapter of our lives, we are taking the Forum down effective June 30, 2021. It has been a tough decision, but it is now time.


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Post Info TOPIC: Bed Clearance


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Date:
Bed Clearance


Haven’t been on here in a long time. Our rv dream has started to happen oh so slowly. We finally pulled the trigger and purchased our pickup, a 2019 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel shortbed. I knew this would be the place to ask our question(s) about bed clearance. We are zeroing in on one or two different 5th wheels in order to find “the one”. Today we were viewing a fifth wheel that measured 48” from pin plate to the ground when level with an 11” drop from the plate to the bottom of the front overhang. Hubby tells me our truck measures 60” from ground to bedrail and 20” drop from bedrail to bed floor. How do we use all of these figures to determine if there is adequate bed clearance? Your knowledge would be appreciated. Thank you. Karen

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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Karen,

I can't help a lot here as it has been a long time since I was involved with calculating such measurements.  I don't know if it applied to the 2500 series trucks, but I do remember that the F350/3500 series trucks all had higher bed rails.  Some RV manufacturers are even install 2" or 3" risers to compensate for the higher bed heights.  One other number that might be needed is the height of one's fifth wheel hitch when installed in the truck's bed.

And, one other thing to mention.  Since you stated that you have a short-bed truck, also be cautious of the clearance between the front corners of the fifth wheel and the truck's rear window and cab when turning.  Many a short-bed truck owner has put out the rear window of their truck.  With many of them, a "slider" fifth wheel hitch might be necessary.  Some manufacturers of RV's may be "rounding off" the front corners of their fifth wheels to allow for the turning.

Edit:  In Osanmike's thread about having a month and a half to go before RV'ing starts, he mentioned a Reese Sidewinder pin box that he is waiting for to put on his fifth wheel.  It will allow him to make shorter turns without fear of having the RV nose hit the pickup.  I'd say to check out that pin box.  I even saw a video on it when I searched for it.


Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Monday 18th of January 2021 10:53:34 PM

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Karen:  Here's how.

First, make sure the trailer is perfectly level and the ground is level as well.  Best to do this on concrete.  Measure from the ground to the living room overhand.  That's a fixed number.

Measure the truck bed rails from the ground on level ground.  (Don't' be concerned about bed squat under load.  Everything moves together.)

Subtract the truck from the trailer number and that will give you a very close number as to bed rail clearance.  I prefer 7" with 6" being really too close; trust me on this.

The trailer should (must actually) run level for proper axle loading on the trailer so don't count on adjust the hitch or pin box to compensate for bed rail clearance issues. Bad idea.  The hitch / pin box should be adjusted such that the trailer is level when hitched and the truck is fully loaded.

ALL of the new trucks have high bed rails.  There are only two proper solutions to this:  1 - put on an RV hauler bed or 2) lift the trailer by putting steel rails between the frame and the axles.  This is NOT a big deal, just costs money.  Its done all the time.  Recommend MORryde in Elkhart to do the work.  Had two trailers "lifted" by them.  Many have.

As to the Sidewinder - not recommended as they can: 1) void the trailer warranty as to frame warranty assuming trailer was not delivered from the factory with one installed and designed for.  2) The pin box / frame is not designed to take that additional leverage caused by the longer "arm" (think lever) of the Sidewinder.  Under the right/wrong conditions one can break the trailer's back so to speak.

Honestly, short bed trucks are not recommended with 5th wheels.  I'm not saying they can't work, it is just not recommended.  Remember, the salesperson's job is to sell you a trailer.  Not tell you all you need to know.  If you purchased a 5'6" bed as opposed to the 6'4" then, honestly, its likely too short regardless of the Sidewinder. Just being honest.  I've looked into this but naturally YMMV

Safe travels,

Bill

 

 



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Bill & Linda



RV-Dreams Family Member

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I realize your excitement in preparing to go full time, but in my opinion you have put the cart before the horse. First, (my option) find the trailer/rig that will work the best for you. Remember there is no perfect rig. I realize money is important but try to put that aside as you look for the best layout. Then if the money is too high, drop off items on your must “have” list until you meet your price point. That way down the road you won’t have regrets as you know the money just wasn’t there. Once you have identified the rig, now purchase the tow vehicle that doesn’t just match your requirements but provides additional capacity. You don’t have to go crazy, but be realistic. Doing it incorrectly will cost you more money and headaches in the long run.

Yes, one could say we got lucky setting up our present rig, but I spent time researching both trailer and truck requirements for over a year prior to any purchase. We love our trailer and for the foreseeable future have no need or desire to change. While it would have been nice to have a few more creature comforts in the truck, I bought a bighorn rather then a laramie to save money. I just drive the truck from point a to point b. I don’t live in it like I did when I was working. As they say YMMV.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Rickl wrote:

I realize your excitement in preparing to go full time, but in my opinion you have put the cart before the horse. [Edit}  Once you have identified the rig, now purchase the tow vehicle that doesn’t just match your requirements but provides additional capacity. You don’t have to go crazy, but be realistic. Doing it incorrectly will cost you more money and headaches in the long run.  


 I really didn't want to say this, but now that it has been said, he's 100% correct.  Much more to this matching the truck to the trailer and not the other way around . . . 

Bill 



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Bill & Linda



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thank you everyone. Crazy times now and just got back on here to check out all of the valuable information. We did measure bed clearance correctly this last time out searching according to information found here and have found several possible 5th wheels. Bill, we do have the 6’4” bed and will be purchasing the PullRite Superglide hitch. So very glad to have you all as a sounding board before after our research and before making a final decision. Safe travels all.

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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



RV-Dreams Family Member

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We had about 6" clearance(at the very rear of the truck) but the trailer was nose high. We upgraded the trailer suspension at MORryde and they lifted the trailer to ride level. We now have nearly 8" at the same location. 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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BiggarView wrote:

We had about 6" clearance(at the very rear of the truck) but the trailer was nose high. We upgraded the trailer suspension at MORryde and they lifted the trailer to ride level. We now have nearly 8" at the same location. 


 Hi Brian:

Hope all is going well. 

To the OP: Brian's clearance number of 8" is a really good number.  7" is good but 8" is really safe.  That's about the most any rig should require assuming the pin box is not over extended and could touch the rails in a turn.  That no unheard of but also unusual.  MORryde is the place to make this happen with a lift if required.

Bill



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Bill & Linda



RV-Dreams Family Member

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“but I spent time researching both trailer and truck requirements for over a year prior to any purchase”

A wise RVer IMO.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Any plans on getting your truck a tonneau cover? I have the same truck and just got mine a hard-folding tonneau cover from 4wheelonline. Have you already bought a 5th wheel?

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Ideshine: sorry, just saw your question. We debated on the tonneau cover and decided against it. We are zeroing in on our perfect fifth wheel but are being careful because of the current rv situation. It seems that prices have been driven sky high by demand of all those who don’t feel quite safe yet traveling taking their usual big vacation dollars and deciding camping/traveling in an rv might be a good alternative. We want to make certain we get exactly what we want but we are willing to give a little due to the current situation.

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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields

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