When it comes to hauling heavy loads, fifth wheel towing hitches are usually considered by many people to be some of the most popular choices. However, if your towing vehicle is a short bed truck, it’s important that you use an appropriate fifth wheel hitch to maintain towing safety. Using fixed position products without an extension for short bed trucks may lead to collisions between the trailer and the truck cab during tight turns. As a result, to achieve smooth and uneventful towing operations, you should get the best fifth wheel hitch for short bed available on the market.
Nonetheless, with multiple models and manufacturers on the market, it may be a bit difficult to make a wise purchase. In addition to that, personal preferences, vehicle setup along with towing demands would potentially complicate the selection process as well. Fortunately, if you know little about fifth wheel hitch and could use some suggestions, you come to the right place. Right down below, you would find a couple of highly rated fifth wheel hitches along with their characteristics and reviews. Moreover, the article also contains some useful information about fifth wheel hitch in general and how to install it properly.
Top 5 Best Fifth Wheel Hitches Reviews 2018 Edition
1/ PullRite 2900 SuperGlide
- Trailer Weight Rating: 18,000 Pounds
- Tongue Weight Rating: 4,500 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 40 x 24 x 18 Inches
- Product Weight: 183 Pounds
Durable, dependable and reliable, PullRite 2900 SuperGlide is essentially the best 5th wheel slider hitch in term of all-around performance. The PullRite hitch is an automatic slide model and that means you don’t have to get out and prepare it before making tight turns. For most of the time, the hitch could move the towed trailer up to 14 inches away from your truck cab. Once you finish installing it to your truck bed, the hitch should be able to work with minimal human interaction.
As PullRite 2900 SuperGlide employs a SuperRail mounting system, you are able to remove it at moment notice with little effort. All you have to do is to twist mounting posts a quarter turn and then lift out the PullRite hitch.
What remains is a clean truck bed which you could easily use for whatever tasks you have at the time. Thanks to the effective use of Plastic Wear Plates, constant lubrication is not absolutely necessary for a couple of components.
- Robust and stable
- Informative manual
- Industry-standard rails
- Quite heavy
- Some structure failures are reported
2/ Reese Pro Series 30128 – Best rated fifth wheel hitch
- Trailer Weight Rating: 15,000 Pounds
- Tongue Weight Rating: 3,750 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 51.2 x 20.5 x 7 Inches
- Product Weight: 145.8 Pounds
Come with a high-performance slider designed for short bed trucks, Reese Pro Series 30128 is what you need to safely and conveniently haul heavy loads. As the Reese hitch possesses a vertical adjustment mechanism, you could adjust its height from 13 to 17 inches with relative ease. Because of that, it’s quite simple to adopt the hitch to your towing setup. Featuring a 4-way pivoting head, you should be able to hook up your trailer on uneven grounds and rough terrains. The design of hitch head also offers you a jerk-free and quiet ride no matter what you are towing.
In term of performance, Reese Pro Series 30128 could support up to 15,000 pounds of trailer weight and 3,750 pounds of tongue weight. Therefore, the Reese hitch is capable of meeting the needs and requirements of the average towing tasks without much difficulty. If you suddenly need the truck bed for other uses, the hitch could be detached in a blink of an eye.
- Excellent ratings
- Well made and rugged
- Straightforward operation
- The shipping service could really use some improvements
- Some products arrived with missing or damaged components
3/ B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3405 – Best Fifth Wheel Hitch For Short Bed Truck
- Trailer Weight Rating: 20,000 Pounds
- Tongue Weight Rating: 5,000 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 44 x 32 x 19 Inches
- Product Weight: 207 Pounds
Offering 12 inches of clearance, B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3405 is a great fifth wheel hitch for people that are towing with a short bed truck. In the usual case, the presence of polyurethane bushings let the B&W hitch operates in quiet, rattle-free manner. There are 3 vertical adjustment levels available for you to choose from: 17 inches, 18 inches and 19 inches.
One innovative feature of B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3405 is that it has no need for mounting rails and bolts. When you need to tow, just install the hitch to your truck using a bracket and that should be everything. After you finish towing and want to use the truck bed for other tasks, you could remove the hitch in mere minutes. As a result, the B&W towing hitch is appreciated by truck owners that desire a certain level of flexibility.
- Adjustable height
- Admirable resistance
- Work smoothly and quietly
4/ Curt Manufacturing 16541 A20
- Trailer Weight Rating: 20,000 Pounds
- Tongue Weight Rating: 5,000 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 49 x 24 x 11 Inches
- Product Weight: 242 Pounds
Utilizing cast yoke and poly-torsion inserts, Curt Manufacturing 16541 A20 is well liked by people that want to have a quiet and uneventful towing experience. With the combination of solid wheel rollers and a sturdy mounting, the Curt hitch could handle a lot of weight. Since the hitch rollers permit up to 12 inches of displacement in total, it’s comparatively simple for you to make sharp maneuvers with the trailer.
About its operation, Reese Pro Series 30128 possesses a lockable, single-throw handle that automatically reset itself to the ready-to-couple position after you uncouple. To make it easy for the driver to quickly determine the current state of the hitch, a coupling indicator is visible from the truck cab. In term of endurance, the hitch is equipped with a black carbide finish to protect it from rust and wear.
- Quiet operation
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Commendable towing stability
- Require your inputs to work
- Heavy to handle by one person
5/ Reese Towpower 30051 – Best rated 5th wheel hitch
- Trailer Weight Rating: 16,000 Pounds
- Tongue Weight Rating: 4,000 Pounds
- Product Dimension: 33.5 x 14.5 x 9.5 Inches
- Product Weight: 156 Pounds
In the case you are shopping with a limited budget, it definitely worth the effort to check out Reese Towpower 30051. Simple to install and easy to remove, the Reese hitch offers you lots of versatility when it comes to towing. Possessing a Square Tube Slider, the hitch is able to provide short bed trucks with sufficient clearance while towing trailers. You do have to manually set up the hitch before you make sharp maneuvers though.
Designed with wide stance one-piece legs, Reese Towpower 30051 is generally stable which mean your towing experience should be smooth. The height of the Reese hitch is adjustable, you could select between 14.5 inch and 18 inches. Because of the side to side pivot design, it’s a breeze to hook up on less than ideal surfaces. While the ratings of the hitch are not impressive, it’s nonetheless a quality product for budget-minded truck owners.
- High endurance
- Reasonable price
- Robust mechanisms
- Average weight ratings
- Need to be set up manually
Types Of Fifth Wheel Hitch
There are a wide variety of hitch models but they all fall into 1 of 3 types:
- Fixed Position Type
Models in the category are fixed to one place on the bed of the truck and they won’t move. In the usual case, the operations of such hitches are simple, robust and they work best on long bed trucks. Furthermore, the acquisition cost of fixed position models is lower than other types of fifth wheel hitch so it’s relatively easy to obtain them. On the other hand, you are advised not to install a fixed position hitch on short bed trucks because of the limited trailer – cap gap. Without an extension, there is nothing to stop the trailer from hitting the truck cap when you make sharp maneuvers.
- Manual Slide Type
Most sliding hitches you could find belong to this hitch type, hence, there are many models for you to choose.
As they are able to slide toward the rear of the truck, manual slide hitches allow people to safely make tight turns without much difficulty. About the price, hitches in the category are more affordable compared to automatic slide models in most of the case. On the downside, you have to get out of your truck and manually set up the hitch which may prove tedious from time to time. One moment of carelessness is all it takes for a dangerous mishap to occur to your towing truck and trailer.
- Automatic Slide Type
Come with straightforward mechanisms as well as advanced features, automatic slide hitch is the best type of towing hitch in term of all-around performance. This particular category contains some of the best sliding fifth wheel hitch models you could find on the market nowadays. In contrast with manual slide hitches, automatic slide hitches are fully capable of moving on their own which mean they don’t require human input. Therefore, these models provide people with an excellent level of convenience when it comes to towing with short bed trucks. The average cost of ordinary automatic slide hitches is high though and there are only a limited number of models.
Shopping For A Suitable Fifth Wheel Hitch: Tips And Tricks
- Check Out The Weight Ratings
One of the most essential factors that you should consider before buying a fifth wheel hitch is the trailer ratings. In order to make sure that your hitch could meet your towing demands, there are 2 ratings you need to know: Trailer Weight and Tongue Weight. You should be able to figure out these ratings through many ways but if you want to play it safe, just contact the trailer manufacturer. To use a hitch with insufficient weight ratings may cause it to break apart and cause serious traffic accidents so be careful and thorough here.
- Think About The Installation Process
Of course, you could always hire someone to take care of the hitch installation for you, a lot of places offer that kind of service. That being said, it’s not a bad idea to look for a hitch that you could install by yourself. You already spent a considerable amount of money on the fifth wheel hitch so this is indeed a great way to cut down further expense. Spend some time and effort to determine whether the hitch you about to get could be installed without outside assistance. It’s also important to make sure that you could easily remove the hitch in case you need to use the bed for other tasks.
- Consider Getting A Custom Kit
In most of the case, it’s widely recommended that you get a custom kit to reduce the installation time. As the name suggests, custom kits are designed to match the layout of specific vehicles. If needed, you could use a universal installation kit if you want to, it should match most vehicle in circulation. However, universal kits may require you to drill a couple of holes which is not well received by some people. Furthermore, the entire drilling has to be done precisely if you don’t want to damage your truck by mistake.
How To Install A Fifth Wheel Hitch On A Short Bed Truck Quickly And Properly
Generally speaking, all fifth wheel hitches usually come with an installation manual, follow it and everything should turn out fine. However, if your truck possesses a plastic bed liner, you need to prepare it beforehand. Plastic bed liners tend to disintegrate as times goes by and the towing hitch would become loose in the process. As a result, you have to remove parts of the liner in order to properly secure the fifth wheel hitch. In the case the bed liner is a spray in, you should be able to install the hitch as usual.
While using the hitch, it’s important that you lubricate its component periodically to keep the hitch in working order. Depending on the hitch construction and your own taste, you could use automotive greases, plastic lube plates, engine oils, lithium spray lube and so on. Before you start adding new lubricants, you have to remove the old ones in order to achieve maximum lubricating effects. Every once in a while, you should inspect the hitch to make sure that all the hardware are secured properly.
Hope that with our short guide you could choose for yourself the best fifth wheel hitch to applied with your truck.