What Size Truck Bed Do You Need For A 5th Wheel

What Size Truck Bed Do You Need For A 5th Wheel

What Size Truck Bed Do You Need For A 5th Wheel

Hauling a 5th wheel trailer safely and comfortably depends heavily on the size of your truck’s bed.

These trailers use a unique hitch system mounted directly within the truck bed, offering a smoother and more stable towing experience compared to traditional bumper-pull trailers.

The Magic Number: 8 Feet

For optimal 5th wheel towing, experts recommend a full-size truck with a minimum bed length of 8 feet (a long bed). This generous space does two crucial things:

  • Turning Safety: The 8-foot length provides ample room for the 5th wheel hitch to sit forward of the rear axle, giving the trailer’s front end (which hangs over the truck bed) clearance to turn without damaging the truck’s cab.
  • Truck Capacity: An 8-foot bed is usually found on ¾-ton or 1-ton trucks. These have the strength and payload capacity to safely handle the significant weight of a 5th wheel trailer.

Hitches for Long Beds

While an 8-foot bed lets you tow with a standard 5th wheel hitch, other options exist to enhance the experience:

  • Fixed Hitches: Affordable and reliable, ideal for those who don’t change trailer types often.
  • Slider Hitches: These slide back on rails within the bed, providing temporary extra turning clearance for tight maneuvers. Useful if you occasionally need to turn sharply with your 8-foot bed truck.

What if My Truck Bed is Shorter than 8 Feet?

Don’t worry if your only option is a short bed truck (usually 5.5 or 6.5 feet):

  • Slider Hitches: These become essential for short beds, providing the extra clearance to avoid the trailer hitting your cab during sharp turns.
  • Sidewinder Hitches: A specialized option that relocates the hitch’s pivot point further back in the bed, significantly increasing turning clearance, even on very short bed trucks.

Which Trucks are 5th Wheel-Ready?

If you’re in the market for a truck specifically for your 5th wheel, here are top choices:

  • Ford F-Series Super Duty (F-250, F-350): High towing capacity, generous bed lengths in all models.
  • Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500/3500: Powerful, reliable, with long bed options for a smooth ride.
  • Ram 2500/3500: Comfortable and well-equipped, offering both short and long bed choices to suit your needs.
Truck ModelBed LengthHitch Options
Ford F-Series Super Duty (F-250, F-350)LongFixed or Slider
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500/3500LongFixed or Slider
Ram 2500/3500Short & LongSlider or Sidewinder


The Takeaway

Don’t let your truck hold you back from enjoying your 5th wheel!

Choose the right bed length and hitch combination for worry-free, comfortable towing.

Whether using your existing truck or looking for a new one, now you have the knowledge to make the best decision for your adventures.

I hope you enjoyed this post on What Size Truck Bed Do You Need For A 5th Wheel let us know in the comments below what you think.

1 thought on “What Size Truck Bed Do You Need For A 5th Wheel”

  1. Yes I do agree with most points in this article so kudos to you jim for highlighting the facts here.

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