If you’re a truck owner, you must be familiar with the pain of picking a suitable 5th wheel hitch for your truck. A 5th wheel hitch is supposed to be installed on the bed of a pickup truck which allows the trailer hitch to reach over the bumper. It works to keep the weight distributed between the cab of the truck and axle.
Now, there are a number of factors which need to be considered before investing in one and all that could be confusing. Therefore, we have put together a comprehensive guide and review to give you all the info you need to make a suitable choice plus some good recommendations for the job.
So keep on reading!
Comparison Chart of the Best 5th Wheel Hitch for Short Bed Trucks
Andersen Hitches 3220
B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400
Best for the Money
Pulliam Enterprises 2900
Pro Series 15K Head/Slider
Reese Towpower 16K Fifth Wheel w/Kwik-Slide
Aspects to Consider Before Buying
Here are a few things to consider before investing in a 5th wheel hitch. Keeping these in mind will ensure you pick the right choice.
The material your hitch is made of is important to consider. Good quality hitches are wear and tear resistant and durable. Therefore, you should look for ones made of aluminum or dual coated ones which are weather resistant, corrosion resistant and can withstand harsh, uneven road conditions as well.
It should be easy to assemble and disassemble on your own. The installation procedure for any hitch plays an important part in your experience with it. If it is too hard to install or remove, then it may not be practical for you especially if you remove it often.
Weight capacity is a measure of how much load it can withstand and is crucial for you not to overload your hitch to avoid it breaking. It will only make things risky and dangerous for you on the road. The proper functioning of your hitch is important for your safety and that of the surrounding drivers. Therefore, you must look at the gross weight capacity rating which most hitches come with. The higher the gross weight capacity, the more expensive the hitch.
An important part of owning a hitch is regularly maintaining it, which is essential for its continued good performance and durability. It is a heavily utilized device and spends an ample amount of time outdoors; therefore, it may need to be lubricated to reduce the effects of wear and tear.
What Makes a Great 5th Wheel Hitch Tailor-made for Short Bed Trucks?
If the truck you own has a bed less than 8 ft., it is categorized amongst short bed trucks. The best option for you is an automatic sliding hitch for a number of reasons. In this case, there are some specific things you want to look for in a 5th wheel hitch.
This is a major concern for people when it comes to investing in a fifth wheel hitch for short bed trucks. Unless you own one, you won’t be able to tell its turning radius however there are certain measurements which help determine whether or not it is suitable with your truck.
Automatic sliding hitches are the ones suggested for short bed trucks which are unfortunately expensive. Therefore, try to make your budgets more flexible to get the most suitable option. However, if you don’t have the budget for them, you can invest in manual ones even though they aren’t as convenient, they will get the job done.
How Often Should You Remove the Hitch?
It is important to know how often you will be removing your hitch from the truck. This could majorly affect your choice of the hitch as they come in various weights. If you remove your hitch more often, then you would want to invest in one that is lightweight and easy to install, so the process becomes hassle-free for you.
Review of the Best Short Bed Truck 5th Wheel Hitches
Here are some recommendations we have for you. These are some of the best hitches out there due to many reasons. We have discussed all of these products in detail to give you a better insight and help you make a wise decision.
Anderson Hitches 3220
Anderson Hitches are the topmost priority for most truck drivers. They are designed with such perfection that they perform with great excellence. This hitch has therefore made it to our best overall category.
This hitch was engineered especially for short bed trucks and is perfectly fit to work with them. Short bed trucks are tricky to find a hitch for and usually more expensive options are where you’ll find your match. However, this is an exception.
It works great as it has a gooseneck construction. This allows it to be versatile and work for long bed, standard beds, and short beds. One person can easily install or remove this hitch as it was designed in a user-friendly manner.
Furthermore, it is one of the lightest hitches in the market as it weighs only 35 lbs. which only adds to its ease of installation. One of the worst parts of installing a hitch is how dirty it gets our hands along with staining our clothes. However, that is not the case with this one as it comes with a greaseless coupler which prevents any mess in installation.
The remarkable thing about this hitch is that even though it is extremely lightweight, it is very strong and has a rather heavy duty performance. Due to the fact that the coupler rides in a ball this hitch swivels in every direction.
The pros largely outweigh the cons, and it is one of the best hitches out there in the market. You certainly will not regret this purchase as it has great performance and is highly durable.
B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400
If you want premium quality and excellent build along with outclassing performance, then this is a great product to invest in. It has everything a great hitch should have, and therefore it has made it to our runner-up category.
This is a great hitch with an excellent design. It was engineered with great innovation which enables it to perform exceedingly well and leave one amazed at how smooth it makes your travels.
It promises you smooth rides irrespective of how uneven the road is. It is built versatile to match up to harsh conditions whether it is extreme weather conditions or the road conditions. It has a rugged and sturdy build which is highly durable, ensuring its long life.
Furthermore, if you at any point have to wander off-track, then this is the best option for that as well, given its high gross weight capacity and high duty performance. This allows it to work perfectly for large trailers and RVs as well as short bed trucks.
This is another great product. It might be particularly tricky for new truck owners who do not have experience with working with this device. It is better to have it installed professionally. Apart from the fact that it is heavy and bulky, which makes it slightly difficult to handle, it performs well.
Best for the Money:
If you want the best value for money, then this is an excellent product to invest in. It is one of the more affordable options out there which has excellent performance comparable to higher end models. This product has therefore made it to our best for the money category.
It has a premium build since it is manufactured of superior quality materials, allowing it to be highly durable and rugged. The best part about its build, however, is how protected against harsh weather it is due to the dual coated exterior. It has a rust-resistant Bonederite and a tough carbide black powder coat. It is, therefore, highly dependable and worthy of the investment.
Another remarkable thing about its construction is its sheer strength. It has a heavy duty gross trailer weight capacity of 20,000 lbs, which is a lot. It, itself weighs around 140 lbs. This isn’t the lightest hitch but is definitely easy to handle. You won’t have trouble installing it as its design is simple and highly user-friendly.
Some customers complained that the slider didn’t work as well as advertised; however, that was the only criticism this product received. It works extremely well and is definitely not going to disappoint you; it is a durable and well-performing product which has raised our bar high for hitches by the brand.
4. CURT Q20
Here is another great CURT product that we find an absolute must to mention. The brand makes some of the best hitches in the market, and it really isn’t difficult to tell since it has been featured multiple times on this list.
This product features an excellent design with a versatile fit that makes it perfect for short bed trucks. It has 12-inch rearward travel, which allows adequate clearance space. It has a smart operation technique as it operates with a lockable handle which self-resets to the ready to couple position. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to set up and very beginner friendly.
All in all, it is a great product which does not leave one disappointed. However, this has a really heavy construction which makes its handling extremely difficult. Its performance nevertheless outclasses and is surely worth the trouble.
This is another great model that definitely caught our attention. It will work wonders with your short bed trailer as it is specially designed for them. It is engineered to make it highly durable and heavy duty. It works great under harsh weather conditions and doesn’t corrode easily. It will last you a good amount of time.
Furthermore, it is capable of fitting standard base rails. It is one of the most economical options out there that are from a renowned brand, whose quality is always great. You will surely not regret purchasing it. However, it is a little too heavy to handle alone. You will need help for installing it but do note that the installation process is simple.
This is a great option for a standard simple hitch. It does its job well and has no complaints other than the fact that it is too heavy to handle. It is a major downside of an otherwise great product.
This product has the capacity of handling loads up to 15000 lbs. which is an average amount. You will be able to find hitches that have a higher capacity than this. It has a pretty standard construction and works fine as well.
This product surely will not leave you disappointed in terms of performance, though. It works great on even and uneven roads. It has a completely automatic construction, therefore, is very ergonomic. This product has a three-year warranty and is highly durable.
It is an overall great product for the price. It will not leave you disappointed on your investment. It is a masterpiece of a renowned brand that has great manufacturing skills and has proven it with this product and its innovative design.
7. CURT Q25
CURT is a brand that is the number one priority for most truck drivers when it comes to picking a suitable hitch for their truck. The reason being, the high-quality performance and durability that the products by this brand provide. This one is no different and is truly a masterpiece.
This product has a fully automatic slider construction, which is ideal for short bed trucks; this makes it a great option already. However, there are more great things about this product. One of these includes its heavy-duty gross weight capacity, which is far more than what one would expect with this price tag. It has a gross weight capacity of 24000 lbs.
Furthermore, it has a 3 position coupling indicator installed that displays the coupling status. It has a unique and ergonomic design that makes it highly user-friendly. It can withstand many harsh conditions. It works well for different sized trucks due to its versatile fit. Its head is built on a cast yoke with poly torsion inserts to reduce shock damage.
CURT is a well-loved brand and for good reason. They create products that are appreciated globally, and this is another one that we love. It is a great investment overall, one which you will not regret. It is highly durable and possesses high strength.
This is a great product by the brand that we all love dearly. This brand has a global following and for good reason. This product serves its purpose well and has excellent performance. It has the gross weight capacity of 16 k lbs. which is great for one of this price range. It has a two jaw locking system with a locking handle that makes its handling very easy.
Furthermore, a great benefit of this product, especially for short bed trucks, is that the hitch slides a full 10 inches and gives a great clearance turning radius, which is crucial for short bed trucks. There is nothing you can really complain about other than its heavy weight, which makes it very hard to handle and install.
This overall is a great product that will not leave you disappointed. It is a great investment and provides a smooth experience. It is a global favorite for its durability and consistent performance. The only downside of this is that it is hard to handle due to its weight.
Types of 5th Wheel Hitches
There are essentially five kinds of hitches available. These are:
Fixed 5th Wheel Hitches
These are rather simple hitches. They have a lighter weight, and they are cheaper to purchase. They are suggested for larger trucks which have more room in their bed. Furthermore, they do not make noises since they have fewer moving parts.
Sliding 5th Wheel Hitches
These are of two types together, which are automatic sliders and manual sliders. These kinds of hitches are preferred for short bed trailers. The most common concern of short bed trailer owners is to avoid hitting the cab. These sliding ones are ideal as they provide sufficient turning clearance to avoid such an incident.
These are the kinds of hitches which are especially for gooseneck trailers, and they work by connecting through the coupler. These are basically used for industrial trailers, not recreational trailers for which their fifth wheel counterparts are used for.
2-way Pivot Head
It has the same functioning as that of a standard hitch. It is named so, due to the fact that it is able to pivot in two directions, forward and backward. These kinds are used when your truck needs to climb a slope, and these are good for that as their head shifts accordingly.
4-Way Pivot Head
These are the kind of hitches, which, as their name suggests, have an adjustable head and can pivot in all four directions including side to side. They are more flexible and ergonomic than other hitches and work great for uneven surfaces.
Benefits of Investing in a 5th Wheel Hitch
There are many benefits of investing in a fifth wheel hitch. Let’s take a look at a few, so you know well enough what an excellent investment these are.
These are long term investments, as they are highly durable devices. Not only do they withstand a lot of wear and tear but also allow your trailer to be safely transported, and in retrospect, ensure its safety as well. Thus, it is an investment you definitely want to make. They work in adverse weather and with only little maintenance, can serve their purpose for years.
It provides you a great deal of convenience. They disconnect and reconnect at your will and perform exceedingly well. Furthermore, these allow you to drive your trailer with ease on even and uneven roads, which is a great added bonus.
For your own safety, investing in a quality hitch is crucial. In fact, it not only ensures your safety but that of the others around you. This product allows you to hitch your trailer with your truck and safely transport it without causing any accidents. All of the mentioned products are great at doing so.
Finally, we’ve reached the end of this article! Hopefully, by the time you’ve reached this section, you will have all the information you need to invest in a quality product. We aim to give you all the facts ranging from the good, bad, and in between about all the products we talked about. They are, in general, some of the best ones out there. Keep in mind the qualities you need included in your ideal product based on all the information we gave you; you’ll definitely make a wise decision.