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old-mo

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I am thinking of buying a 5th wheeler, about 26/28ft if there is such a size.
I have had a six wheeled motorhome with a 4 wheeled car trailer that I used to put a Nissan Micra on. Which came out at 42ft long.
I now tow a 22-23 ft overall caravan behind a Kia Sedona, which I find ok, but I do have a partial disabled son and the amount of space in a caravan is limited. Hence the idea of a 5th wheeler.
I am not daunted by the size, as I used to be an HGV 1, driver, until I let my license lapse..
What 5er would you recommend, in the size quoted and having at least one slide out ? and around the 7-6" wide, as I have heard conflicting reports about the legality of some 8ft wide american models. And wheather they would be acceptable on the continent, which is what I am looking to do over the winter months (touring europe) and to get as much use in this country during the summer.
Weights and train weights would be most appreciated. I have held a normal full car license for nearly 50 yrs.
Have any of you had dealings with the new Mitsubishi L200 Animal 2,477cc, Automatic, GVW 2910kg,, Kerb weight 1865kg,, max payload 1045kg,, towing capacity braked 2700kg,, unbraked 750kg,, trailer nose weight 115kg,,
Any infomation and guidance would be gratefully received.
Thanks.
 

Jim

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Hi Old Mo. Fifth Wheels are relatively new to the UK but their popularity is growing fast. We've had quite a few 5er owners join of late so your questions will be answered soon I'm sure. Meanwhile welcome to the fun. :thumb:
 

caravaner

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Hi Old-Mo.
i'm also thinking of getting a 5th wheeler, the size of van youre looking for is available from Calder leisure in Scotland web site Link Removed
also Niche marketing in lincolnshire Niche Marketing Campers and fifth wheels.
These are about 3.5 tons fully laiden, which according the to the Caravan club should be ok for U.K pickup trucks ,they recomend 40 bhp per ton of caravan.
If you speak to Niche Marketing they will explain the train weight situation.
One thing that is a worry to me is breakdown cover. I haven't seen any breakdown vehicles with a fifth wheel attachment.
Most of the units I have seen up to now have three rather awkward steps to get in, this may be a problem. Hope this is of some help.
Regards, caravaner
 

dazzer

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Have you seen this thread re tow vehicles??

I know your looking at the Warrior but the Navara is a very similar beast.

Link Removed

I still believe that a USA pick up is the only way to go with 5th wheels, European pickups will be right at the very limit of their capability towing a 5er with a slide out.

Having owned a Navara :Angry: (for 2 weeks before we sent it back in disgust!!!) and now driving a Ford F150 :thumb: I wouldnt consider towing a 5er with anything less.

Dont forget that the Yanks have been towing 5er for years and have lots of experience in the field. Here in the UK we play at it and UK 5ers are a very very new product.:Eeek:

You will be able to buy a USA pickup and 5er from the USA for much less than buying a UK built unit and have much more choice.:thumb::winky:
 

tink

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Hi old-mo I am running a 27' Sun valley from Nich Marketing behind a 98 L200 manual it copes o.k. with it, biggest prob. is the L200 is a bit narrow & you need good towing mirrors to see around the trailer.

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Jim

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The RVOC hopes to have a list of 5er owners in the Club book RV Friendly. The intention form the basis of the clubs own Link Removed with Members helping each other out. Its early days yet but as more 5th wheelers join the club it may well become very viable.
 
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old-mo

old-mo

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Thanks to all who have replied,, all very informative,,
I am going up to the NEC tomorrow and see what is on offer,,
 

algill

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Hi Old Mo
Our fifth wheel is a Jayco Jayflight 27.5 ft. We pull it with a Mitsibishi L200 4 work 54 reg with no problem. (See pic below).

We love the luxury of all the inside space (1 slide out) and all the extras and comfort we have. Can't get enough of it :thumb:
 
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old-mo

old-mo

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Hi Old Mo
Our fifth wheel is a Jayco Jayflight 27.5 ft. We pull it with a Mitsibishi L200 4 work 54 reg with no problem. (See pic below).

We love the luxury of all the inside space (1 slide out) and all the extras and comfort we have. Can't get enough of it :thumb:

Hi, "algill", thanks for that,, I think your remarks are what I was hoping for, I rather like the comfort of the L200 and it has a nice bit of leg room and seating comfort for rear passenger/s, Is yours an auto or manual ? and have you been abroad in it yet ?

Do you have to use extension mirrors ?

Sorry for all the questions, but if you dont ask, and some dealers will tell you what you want to hear just to get a sale..

Off to the NEC in an hour so might take the plunge,, :Smile:

Thanks.
 

derek h

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Going on with the 5th wheel tow vehicle thing. This is one of the options we are considering post retirement. 4 years 7 months 3 weeks, but who's counting? That is if the bankers leave us any of our savings.
I doubt if we will have a 5er this side of the pond, so Brit based pick-ups will not be an issue. But, what is getting me in a lather is, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton pick-ups. Everything is quoted in pounds, and I can't do the maths ( or can't be asked ). Help,or some guidance, would be helpful.
The general opinion in the US is that any tow vehicle under 3500 (?) will be, if not under powered, under braked.
Any thoughts ?
Derek

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TJ-RV

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Derek,

Everything is quoted in pounds, and I can't do the maths

Simple conversion: 1 kg = 2 lbs (approx), or 1 lb = 0.5 kg (approx)

So, just multiply kg 2 to arrive at lbs, or divide lbs by 2 to arrive at kg.

(Before anyone jumps on me, I know that 1 lb is actually 0.453 kg, but the approximations are close enough for this purpose).

The numbers you need to be concerned with are:

  • GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) = MAM (maximum authorized mass), of both the truck and trailer. Alternatively, you can use actual or calculated weights.
  • GCWR (gross combined weight rating) = train weight, of the truck.
  • Towing capacity = GCWR - GVWR.
  • Trailer tongue weight.

Here's a real live example I gave someone on another forum. It happened to be for a travel trailer (caravan), but the example will work for a fifthwwheel. Just substitute your own numbers. If you have a specific truck (make/model/year) in mind, it's easy to look up the numbers.

Calculate trailer towing capacity
by Tom Jones

Forum member Emmer asked for validation of her towing capacity before leaving on her first trip. Here are the specifications for Emmer's rig (note that much of the information was irrelevant to the calculations):

Tow Vehicle

2005, Dodge Durango, 2WD,
4.7 SOHC Magnum.
RearAxleRatio: 3.92
Wheelbase: 119.2 TV_
GVWR: 6400
GCWR: 14000
CurbWeight: 4823
Class IV Tow package, Reese dual cam sway control hitch assembly rated for 1200 lbs.

Travel Trailer

Year: 2006 Coachmen Captiva 265EX
GVWR: 6158
DryWeight: 4499
TongueWeight: 580
Length: appox 22 ft not expanded; 26.5 ft with rear slide out.

Here's the response showing the calculations:

Don't forget to add the weight of people, fuel, stuff and the tongue weight of the trailer to the curb weight of the tow vehicle. Also add the weight of any water, propane and stuff to the weight of the trailer. Our towing experts here also recommend giving yourself a 10% cushion, or 15-20% if towing in the western mountains.

Taking Emmer's specifications and making some assumptions:

Tow vehicle

Curb weight = 4823 lbs
2 people = 320
Fuel = 180
Stuff = 50
Trailer tongue weight = 580
Total laden weight = 5953 (vs GVWR = 6400)

Trailer

Dry weight = 4499 lbs
Water = 400
Propane = 80
Stuff = 500
Total weight of trailer = 5479 (vs GVWR = 6158)

Gross combined weight = 5593 + 5479 - 580 = 10852 (vs GCWR = 14000)

(don't count the tongue weight twice.)

It would appear that Emmer's rig is OK and has some headroom for towing in the western mountains.
 
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old-mo

old-mo

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Hi Old-Mo.
i'm also thinking of getting a 5th wheeler, the size of van youre looking for is available from Calder leisure in Scotland web site Link Removed
also Niche marketing in lincolnshire Niche Marketing Campers and fifth wheels.
These are about 3.5 tons fully laiden, which according the to the Caravan club should be ok for U.K pickup trucks ,they recomend 40 bhp per ton of caravan.
If you speak to Niche Marketing they will explain the train weight situation.
One thing that is a worry to me is breakdown cover. I haven't seen any breakdown vehicles with a fifth wheel attachment.
Most of the units I have seen up to now have three rather awkward steps to get in, this may be a problem. Hope this is of some help.
Regards, caravaner


Thanks "caravaner" for the above.
Got back from NEC, had a look at the two 5th wheeler company`s their, ie 5th wheel company and Calder leisure, 5th wheel company`s units are superbly constructed, Calders are far more affordable to me anyway, but as they say you only get what you pay for, which is what I am going to opt for.
The steps are an issue, I have a two step unit with a grab rail that can be anchored to the ground which I use on my caravan now, so hope this will do, otherwise I will have to get some sort of adaption grab rails made up, but I think this can be overcome.
The amount of space with the slide out is unbelievable, and will suit us down to the ground. And make camping more pleasurable.
Thanks for your reply. :thumb:
 

derek h

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Cheers Tom, Guess I should have come to you in the first place. Font of all knowledge::bigsmile:
 

vwalan

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it really all depends on your driving licence, here in uk if you have a pre 97 car type you can pull up to 8250kg combined weight.i dont know the weights for american trucks, they will pull a house down. with japanese and euro trucks i recomend 5ton minimum, as your truck gross wgt. i use a 6300kg mitsubishi converted to mini artic original train wgt 10600kg[truck n trailer]. now voluntary down plated to 8250kg train . be carefull with some smaller pickups as their train wgt is not high enough for heavy trailers . i chose the mitzy as its about the lightest truck on the market so all its laden wgts give the highest payload . as for going fast it handles the speed limits with ease but you cant go fast pulling 5ers. a 4x4 mitzy canter would be even better .
 

vwalan

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the pics on my profile show my old vw lt50 it worked but was slow. it as been in the sahara n up the atlas mnts.

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TJ-RV

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Derek,

You're welcome as say in Wales. Glad it helped.

I learn something new every day, but I'm starting to forget at least as many as I learn. Used to be I could memorize a phone book and folks would hate debating with me because of my ability to recall facts and details. Nowadays I can't remember what I had for breakfast.
 

algill

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Hi, "algill", thanks for that,, I think your remarks are what I was hoping for, I rather like the comfort of the L200 and it has a nice bit of leg room and seating comfort for rear passenger/s, Is yours an auto or manual ? and have you been abroad in it yet ?

Do you have to use extension mirrors ?

Sorry for all the questions, but if you dont ask, and some dealers will tell you what you want to hear just to get a sale..

Off to the NEC in an hour so might take the plunge,, :Smile:

Thanks.


The L200 is a manual and we use extension mirrors with it. They're the "suck it and see" type which we've been very happy with.

Not been abroad in it yet but hope to do so one day - 3 years to retirement hopefully. :thumb:
 

vwalan

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tom. just wondered as yourprofile says you are in usa do you know the rules on artics or fifth wheelers in usa. people i ask here with american trucks n 5ers dont seem to have train wgts to hand . as some of the big 5ers are well up to 6/7 tonnes you would need a big truck to tow it using uk regs . i know a big yank has same motor as a uk hgv. be interested in drive permit rules.thanks. alan.
 
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TJ-RV

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...as yourprofile says you are in usa do you know the rules on artics or fifth wheelers in usa.

Alan, an artic in the true sense, known here as a tractor-trailer, requires a commercial drivers license. When it comes to towing 5th wheel style RVs or travel trailers (aka caravans), the laws vary by state and are somewhat beyond my full comprehension. Here's one site that has made a good attempt at collating trailer towing laws in the USA and Canada. Scroll to the right to see driver license requirements.

Most, but not all, states recognize a drivers license from another state which might seem illogical.

I assume, but don't know, that a commercial tractor towing a heavy fifthwheel as a business (e.g. delivering for profit) would require a commercial license. Then you have specifically-designed tractors intended for towing fifthwheels recreationally; They look like commercial tractors until you get up close. I honestly don't know how these are treated when it comes to licenses, but I'll attempt to find out. I don't recall if the one in the attached photo was the commcercial variety or recreational.

Here's a quote from a colleague who has towed for many years and is quite conversant with California laws:

... to confuse matters even further, California does require a Class A ticket for vehicles over 26000 GVWR. However, they have a Non-commercial Class A ticket for RVers hauling the really big 10,000+ GVWR travel trailers and 15,000+ GVWR fifth wheels. That license involves special testing and driving testing.

Here's a quote from another colleague in Florida who also towed trailers for many years:

.... here in Florida and every written manual and even the actual text of all the laws I could find said a different class license was needed above 26,000 lb Gross Combined Weight
.
 

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vwalan

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hello tom thanks for the info. in uk we can have a proper artic upto 8250kg. combined weight. i am at a loss with american wgts etc. i have a good knowledge of uk/ euro rules but i think my head is getting too full of info. keep on trucking thats what i say!:thumb:

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TJ-RV

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Alan,

If you lived here you'd be as confused as we all are. Here in California we have lots of driving laws of the kind "You can do this unless there's a sign saying you can't" and "You can't do this unless there's a sign saying you can".

The written part of the CA driving test will confuse even the brightest of minds, with multiple-choice questions such as:

"Is a table with 4 legs

  • a place where people gather to eat
  • an item of furniture
  • something seen in someone's house
  • a chair
  • a wheelbarrow

Only one correct answer".

(Sorry, it's been so long that I can't recall the actual questions, but they're just as silly.)

One thought - since almost all states recognize drivers licenses from other states and, since most states recognize a "foreign" drivers license, I wonder if your UK commercial license would be recognized here.

This is all going to become even more confusing when we're forced to speak Mandarin or an Indian dialect. Imagine the road signs - just like when you cross the Severn Bridge.
 
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old-mo

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Thanks for all the reply`s on my queery. (first post). :Smile:

Totally confused with all the American truck`s weights etc,, not switched on when it comes to all the technical stuff. :Confused:

So I think I will have to take my chance and go along with the dealers recomendations and buy my self a Navara.

And er in doors wont be non to pleased if I am sat here next spring wondering what to buy instead of taking her on the continent in our new 5er and pickup.. :tears:
 

robrobc

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Thanks for all the reply`s on my queery. (first post). :Smile:

Totally confused with all the American truck`s weights etc,, not switched on when it comes to all the technical stuff. :Confused:

So I think I will have to take my chance and go along with the dealers recomendations and buy my self a Navara.

And er in doors wont be non to pleased if I am sat here next spring wondering what to buy instead of taking her on the continent in our new 5er and pickup.. :tears:

Before you go and buy the Navarra I would look at the other thread below this one......especially the review web site......this makes fascinating reading relating to the Navarra reliability.
 

derek h

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Derek,


I learn something new every day, but I'm starting to forget at least as many as I learn. Used to be I could memorize a phone book and folks would hate debating with me because of my ability to recall facts and details. Nowadays I can't remember what I had for breakfast.

I read about someone who had alzheimer's and deja vu. That would be scary. Even scarier, it may have been you.:whatthe:
Derek
 
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old-mo

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Thanks for your opinions gents,, :Smile:

The car I own at the moment is a two n half year old Kia Sedona, which I bought from new at just under £18K.
After buying it I read similar write ups and it was slated no end as a gutless heap of ***t,, and I thought Oh,, what have I done,,

Two n half years down the line and it has been superb, only ever been back to the Kia garage for it`s anual service and that has been towing a heavy Coachman caravan around loaded up to the gunwalls. :thumb:

The only let down is now,, 17000 on the clock, two n half years old and all I have been offered in part X from various car manufacturers is £4K,, over 13K depreciation in two n half years.. Think not,, :Angry:

So going to try and sell it privately,,

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TJ-RV

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Totally confused with all the American truck`s weights etc,, not switched on when it comes to all the technical stuff.

For your own comfort and safety, and that of others on the road, you really should make an attempt to understand the weights, irrespective which brand of truck you buy or where it was nanufactured. The only difference between "American weights" and "UK/European weights" is lbs vs kg, and the calculations are the same for both.

So I think I will have to take my chance and go along with the dealers recomendations ...

With all due respect to dealers, most have no clue about the stuff we're talking about. There are exceptions but, for the most part, their main interest is to make you part with your hard earned cash and, if you're lucky, make you feel good about it. As one truck salesman told me "they're just sheet metal to me".

In another place, we see so many folks who relied on the misguided advice of a dealer and ended up with a truck that's not up to the job. We've been advising RVers for over 15 years, and the story never changes ... "The dealer told me this was the truck I needed."
 

robrobc

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TJ-RV...............I think you are absolutely right when you say we should all attempt to understand weights and towing allowances. The problem starts when you move beyond what is standard in Europe (namely smaller size pick ups)
There is a real shortage of information available in the UK that relates to US Pick ups.
Speaking personally, I understand exactly what I am, and am not allowed to tow with my current driving licence.
What is not clear is which American Pick Ups do what.
For example, off the Dodge Web Site it is easy enough to find that a Ram 1500 can tow 9,100 lbs, and a Ram 2500 can tow 15,650 Lbs. What is not so clear is such things as............Is that a 2500 with a Twin Axle, Twin wheels on One Axle, Single Axle.

Where in relation to the Driven wheels is the optimum position for the Towing Plate to be positioned on the flat bed. I am told that the heavier the nose weight and total weight of the fifth wheel the nearer to the Driven Axle it should be, but for the life of me I cannot find a formula anywhere .............. I could go on.......::bigsmile:::bigsmile:

As you are based in the US I believe, accessing this data is much easier for you, maybe someone over there could point us to an informative web site?
Thanks.
 

vwalan

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robrobc.. put the 5th wheel or swanneck cup just in front of the rear axle. i believe all vehicles over 3.5ton gvw will have to have twin rearwheels .its possible for some 3.5 ton trucks to have 7ton train wght so could pull nearly 5 tons of artic trailer. i have a problem like you when we talk yank kgs are much easier. ihave looked on chevy web site and in the end my mind goes blank working out the conversions. everything really depends on the wwwwwgt of trailer and how much it puts on the tow unit. have fun mine works fine, off to maroc in 2wks. :ROFLMAO::thumb:
 
T

TJ-RV

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There is a real shortage of information available in the UK that relates to US Pick ups.

You have access to the same information as us. We get the information from a combination of manufacturers' web sites and some industry magazine web sites. I'll see if I can put together a list of these resources. The one advantage we probably have is that there's a greater percentage of folks who've been there and done that.

For example, off the Dodge Web Site it is easy enough to find that a Ram 1500 can tow 9,100 lbs, and a Ram 2500 can tow 15,650 Lbs. What is not so clear is such things as............Is that a 2500 with a Twin Axle, Twin wheels on One Axle, Single Axle.

I'm not sure if you're referring to the number of axles on the truck or the trailer, or both. But, here's my simplified answer to both scenarios:

  • If it matters on the truck, the manufacturer's web site will show different numbers for single vs dual axle. For the most part, one or two axles on the truck mainly affect the payload the truck can carry, including all the passengers and junk you throw in the back. The only effect the trailer has on payload is the tongue weight of the trailer; This adds directly to weight of "the stuff in the back".
  • The towing capacity of the truck is not affected by the number of axles on the trailer. The latter is determined by the weight and carrying capacity of the trailer.

Where in relation to the Driven wheels is the optimum position for the Towing Plate to be positioned on the flat bed. I am told that the heavier the nose weight and total weight of the fifth wheel the nearer to the Driven Axle it should be, but for the life of me I cannot find a formula anywhere

Since I'm not a fifthwheel expert, I have no clue, but I'll attempt to find out from one of our experts. I see it talked about occasionally, but don't usually pay attention, leaving it to the experts on our forum.

For clarification, my personal towing experience has been limited to towing large boat trailers, cars and SUVs behind several trucks and motorhomes. This doesn't change the calculations, except the king pin issue you raised and the amount of trailer tongue weight carried by the respective axles of the towing vehicle.

As you are based in the US I believe, accessing this data is much easier for you..

Not at all; We all use the same internet. In fact, buyers over here are hindered far more by the dealer issues I alluded to in my earlier message.

.. maybe someone over there could point us to an informative web site?

I could, but I have a policy of not promoting our forum on any other web site or forum. (I just wish others had the same respect when they visit us.) However, a number of members here also visit our forum, so maybe someone will whisper in your ear. Then you can ask the experts directly and get first hand answers.

Note: For the folks who think that lbs are more difficult to deal with than kg, just divide the lbs numbers you see on U.S. sites by 2, then everything is in kg. FWIW when I grew up and was educated in the UK, weights were in ozs, lbs, stones, and cwt (hundredweight). By the time I went back to school, the UK had converted to metric, so I had to learn all over again. Meanwhile, the UK government had an educational ad program on TV for a year or more explaining to shoppers that a 1kg bag of sugar was roughly the same as the 2lb bag of sugar they'd bought all their lives. When we moved to the U.S. I had to revert to lbs again.
 
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TJ-RV

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Where in relation to the Driven wheels is the optimum position for the Towing Plate to be positioned on the flat bed.

The response from several folks so far is unanimous (I'm paraphrasing):

  • You need to have the correct hitch/plate for the specific make/model/year of truck; They vary significantly even within the same manufacturer.
  • The hitch will come with instructions on exactly where to locate the hitch, drill holes, etc. These instructions will take into account the strong and weak areas of the bed, rails, etc.
  • Short bed trucks &/or gooseneck trailers have additional considerations due to the possibility of the trailer contacting the truck in the even of a sharp turn. Some folks use a slider hitch to avoid these problems but, again, the mounting instructions come from the hitch manufacturer.

I'll pass along any additional info that comes to light. Meanwhile, if you don't have the mounting instructions for a specific hitch, you could email the manufacturer. Google will usually find their web site.

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