Slider hitch choice for 5.0TA, 5.5' truck bed? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-22-2016, 04:09 PM   #1
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Slider hitch choice for 5.0TA, 5.5' truck bed?

Thanks to everyone who responded to my previous post on this subject!

Since there seemed to be some confusion on the forums about Reace's setup (same TV as ours: F-150 w/ 5.5' bed), I checked with ETI, and learned:
- He does use the Reese Pro Series 15K, non-sliding hitch. It's mounted ~2" behind the axle / ~33" from the back window.
- He had the sliding version but found he didn't need it. However, he says I probably should have a slider for the very tight maneuver I need to make where we'll park the trailer at our cabin.

As I said in my previous post, Trademasters (who will install) recommends the Demco Hijacker Ultra Slide 16K hitch (they are a Demco dealer...). Of course they will also install the Reese hitch, since that seems to be ETI's default choice, and presumably most any other if I prefer.

Updating my list based on everyone's input, I need to choose one of the following. Any additional (dis)recommendations or comments much appreciated!

-- Pro Series (Cequent/Reese) 15K Square Tube Slider (Reace uses the fixed version of this one)
-- Reese Titan 16K Round Tube Slider
-- Reese 16K Square Tube Slider

-- Demco Hijacker Premier Series Double Pivot Ultra Slide 16K (Trademasters' recommendation)

-- B&W Patriot 18K with slider

-- Curt E16 / R16 Roller
-- Curt Q20 / R20 Roller

-- Husky 16K Roller
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:54 PM   #2
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The Reese 16k slider says it won't work with beds shorter then 6'.

B&W slides 12"
Reese 15k slides 10"
Demco slides 8"
Curts do 12"
Husky is 9"

I'd check the jaws on each to see how they work, I've heard the slide bar types are inferior.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:01 PM   #3
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Just a thought you can get parts for the Reese 16K Square Tube Slider just about anywhere as its been out awhile, well used and highly regarded in the industry.

Not saying that others won't work just as well. I asked around about parts and talked to a couple of different hitch shops and made my choice.

Cheers
Doug
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
The Reese 16k slider says it won't work with beds shorter then 6'.

B&W slides 12"
Reese 15k slides 10"
Demco slides 8"
Curts do 12"
Husky is 9"

I'd check the jaws on each to see how they work, I've heard the slide bar types are inferior.

The Reece 16K slider worked great in my five and a half foot GMC box.


Cheers

Doug
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsherrard View Post
Since there seemed to be some confusion on the forums about Reace's setup (same TV as ours: F-150 w/ 5.5' bed), I checked with ETI, and learned:
- He does use the Reese Pro Series 15K, non-sliding hitch. It's mounted ~2" behind the axle / ~33" from the back window.
Do you know how he did that? The frame bracket kits which are specifically fitted to a truck model don't offer a choice of placement - because the work with specific existing holes in the frame - and I've yet to see one that puts the centre of the mounting rails or pads (depending on your chosen system) behind the axle line. A generic bracket kit can typically be placed where you want (within the limitations of other interfering brackets and hardware), but requires drilling holes in the frame. I don't have any issue with the hitch being behind the axle (assuming axle load has been verified as within GAWR), but I wouldn't drill the closed-box frame of a modern truck.

You can use any brand of "standard"-rail-mounted hitch with any brand of rails and brackets, but looking at the available Pro Series parts provides a clue: their rail and bracket kit (30035) just uses generic angle brackets - you could build your own with a strip of steel from Home Depot, a vice to bend it, and a drill to make the holes. The installation manual applies to any truck you happen to have, and requires ten holes in the bed floor plus several holes in the frame... all custom-drilled by the installer. For the 2015-up F-150 is also requires part 58545N; the installation instructions for that shows that it is used instead of the regular drivers-side frame bracket, apparently to avoid interference with some part on the frame, and it is bolted in using existing holes. That places the hitch pin 1 inch forward of the axle, so for the rearward position Trademasters must have drilled extra holes for this bracket (either the adapter or the stock angle piece).
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:18 PM   #6
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Brian I think the answer to your question is in the last sentence of your post.

Cheers
Doug
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
The Reese 16k slider says it won't work with beds shorter then 6'.
Reese says all fifth-wheel trailers are 102" wide, so you need to pay a thousand dollars for their special pivoting extended pinbox. Escape 5.0 and 5.0TA owners apparently do the impossible routinely.

This is from the rail and bracket kit instructions that I linked in my earlier post:
Quote:
To prevent the trailer from hitting the cab with the trailer turned 90, the center of the hitch should be at least 52" from the back of the cab when using a long bed truck. (Actual distance required will depend on trailer width and king pin location.) Short bed (Minimum 38 from back cab to axle center line) trucks require a minimum of a 13 extended pin box or a Reese SIDEWINDERTM Pinbox for regular maneuvers and 52 does not apply. DO NOT INSTALL ON OR ATTEMPT TO TOW WITH A TRUCK HAVING LESS THAN A 6 BED WITHOUT A REESE SIDEWINDERTM PINBOX INSTALLED ON THE TRAILER.
So, since the trailer is 88" wide (not 102"), the cab to pin distance required for this extreme (and likely unnecessary) turn is 45" (not 52"). If the actual cab-to-pin distance plus the slider travel is at least 45", you pass.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
Brian I think the answer to your question is in the last sentence of your post.

Cheers
Doug
That's my guess, but Trademasters could have used any bracket kit for "industry standard" rails; for instance, Curt makes a kit (16442) properly fitted to the F-150 (but it puts the pin 2" ahead of the axle line). They also could have welded the brackets (Pro Series, Curt, or whatever) to the frame (another thing I wouldn't do with a 2015 F-150). My question was really whether or not the original poster knows what was done.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:31 PM   #9
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Or no kit was used. A lot of shops do their own fabrication.

Cheers

Doug
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:04 PM   #10
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Thanks, everyone, for the detailed thoughts, links, etc.

I don't know how Reace's hitch is installed. I will put the various questions to Reace and Trademasters and post what I hear.
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