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How important is 90 degree turning?

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
We are looking at going to a 5th wheel from a TT. I keep hearing people talking about being able to turn 90 degrees. I really want to do with the standard B&W hitch in my F-350 with the 6'11" bed.
I realize if I turn too sharp I can damage the truck and camper, but I figure if I can turn a 5ver to 80degrees, that is alot sharper than the probably 45 degrees I can turn my TT. My current TT is 33', and the 5ver we are looking at is 35', so actual towing length will be shorter. Am I missing something?
2022 Ford F-350 7.3l
2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 268k miles (retired)
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up
26 REPLIES 26

Loretta
Explorer
Explorer

The ability to make a 90-degree turn is often crucial when maneuvering a 5th wheel. While an 80-degree turn might work in many situations, having the flexibility to make a 90-degree turn can be advantageous, especially in tight spaces. Consider the specific scenarios you'll encounter and the maneuverability needed for your 35' 5th wheel to ensure a smoother towing experience.

shadows4
Explorer III
Explorer III

You will be fine with your B&W hitch. With the trimmed corners on our fifth wheel, I haven't come close to hitting the cab. Can't say the same for my old truck and trailer. I dented both sides of the cab. (slow learner) LOL

2016 4X4 F350,CC,SB,Lariat,6.7L diesel,
2015 Coachmen Chapparal 324 TSRK
B&W Patriot 16K hitch.

schlep1967
Explorer III
Explorer III

Just remember going backwards is not your only worry. Eventually you will get yourself into a tight fueling situation where turning sharp is the only way out. I would rather have the hitch slide back automatically than have to stop in a crowded high stress situation, get out and unlatch the hitch, then get back in and pull forward to move the hitch. And after maneuvering out of the tight spot, find a safe location to stop and slide the hitch back again. 

2021 Chevy Silverado LTZ 3500 Diesel
2022 Montana Legacy 3931FB
Pull-Rite Super Glide 4500

GaryUT
Explorer II
Explorer II

I have a short bed GMC and a B&W manual slider. I normally don't use the slider. But when I need it I need it.

We boondock in out of the way places, we may be miles down a dirt road. If I have to go through a large dip it's nice to slide the hitch back so the tailgate wont hit the bottom of the trailer when the front of the truck drops down. It's also great if we have to hitch up at an angle,

The trailer is also much more maneuverable with the hitch slid back, comes in handy when getting into tight spots.

 

2019 Keystone Laredo 255SRL
2009 GMC Sierra 2500 4x4 Crew cab short bed

like stated already, you don't need 90* turning until you do ! 

the long beds not only give you ability for full turns, larger fuel tank, better ride ( from longer wheel base). it also gives you more storage.. I will NEVER go back to a Short Bed when towing

Me-Her-the kids
2020 Ford F350 SD 6.7
2020 Redwood 3991RD Garnet

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
bpounds wrote:
I have a long bed, and I have turned 90 degrees one time - in a parking lot when it was all new and I wanted to be sure it was possible. Never needed to in real life.

Still, glad to have a long bed. If you have a cross-bed tool box, or some kind of rolling bed cover, there isn't much space left in a short bed truck, especially since all your gear needs to sit below the bed rails while towing. Pretty sure my next truck will also be a long bed.


I owned "ONE" shorty it was a 77 GMC and a great truck. Hated the SB and never owned another.
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

bpounds
Nomad
Nomad
I have a long bed, and I have turned 90 degrees one time - in a parking lot when it was all new and I wanted to be sure it was possible. Never needed to in real life.

Still, glad to have a long bed. If you have a cross-bed tool box, or some kind of rolling bed cover, there isn't much space left in a short bed truck, especially since all your gear needs to sit below the bed rails while towing. Pretty sure my next truck will also be a long bed.
2006 F250 Diesel
2011 Keystone Cougar 278RKSWE Fiver

StirCrazy
Nomad III
Nomad III
when you buy your hitch get a manual slider and then you can only unlatch it and move it back when you do have a tricky situation. I had that on my old short bed ford and it was great.

If you only plan on camping in resorts and pull through sites you will never get close to 90 degrees, unfortunatly not all of us can aford nor want to stay in resorts. heck I have to swing it to 90 degreees just to park it in my yard and I do go to campgrounds where to get in I have to crank it almost or over 90 quite often so for me the manual slider in my old truck was important, now I have a long bed so I don't have to worry about it.

I myself went from a 28 foot trailer to a 40 foot 5th and I can get the 5th wheel in places that I used to barly be able to get the trailer in because of the ability to turn it sharper, but I woulnd't chance a fixed hitch in a short box, unless it is one of the brands with the nose cone that is designed to be able to do it. having that ability to shove the slider back when you need it is priceless and a manual slider is about the same cost as a normal fixed.
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

MFL
Nomad II
Nomad II


OP...here is a pic of my rig, with B&W no-slide, hooked up. It has pin centered over R/A, which is 41"s behind the cab. It allows plenty of turn/backing clearance with my FW, which has rounded corners (EZ-turn), designed to not need a long bed truck. I could be 38"s behind cab, and still be confident.

Jerry

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
Nv Guy wrote:
What will "get you" is if you are turning while the truck is going up a slight grade while the trailer is facing down.
Think of pulling out of a steep driveway while turning to enter a lane of travel.
Same thing if you are cutting it sharp while backing into your RV space next to your house- up a 8% grade.


Thanks for the info! I've got the truck, but I do not have the hitch or trailer yet. I'm pretty sure we are going to go with the Brinkley Z3100, and want to get the B&W hitch. Whether to slide or not slide is the question. I'd rather not have the slide to make it easier to take in and out, and have a little more space in the bed.
2022 Ford F-350 7.3l
2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 268k miles (retired)
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

schlep1967
Explorer III
Explorer III
Most don't break out their back window at 90 degrees. It happens closer to the 45 degree area when the corner of the trailer is pointed at the truck and the trailer is going up a slope. I use an auto slider. Yes, it was comparatively expensive at the time of purchase. But I can tell you this. Just this summer I saw two different trucks at campgrounds with broken windows and bent cabs. Both had manual slider hitches that they didn't think they needed to move to back in.

A Pullrite Superglide puck mount (16K) cost around $1800.

A non sliding hitch costs $600 to $800. A new back window and straightening the cab will run you around $3,000. And then you will spend the $1800 for the auto slider.

As you can see spending the money up front is actually cheap insurance. Granted you do already have the B&W. So you are a little bit ahead on the costs. Sell that on FB Market place.
2021 Chevy Silverado LTZ 3500 Diesel
2022 Montana Legacy 3931FB
Pull-Rite Super Glide 4500

valhalla360
Nomad II
Nomad II
phillyg wrote:
You don't need to get to 90 degrees, until you do. My experience has been that auto sliding hitches for short bed trucks are important.


Never did 90deg turn. We had a slider hitch but never used the sliding feature.

That said, do get up around 50-70deg occasionally. With a TT, you are capped around 45deg.

The difference is a TT starts turning almost immediately while a 5er takes a while before it starts turning.

That said, a long bed just avoids the issue all together.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Nv_Guy
Explorer III
Explorer III
What will "get you" is if you are turning while the truck is going up a slight grade while the trailer is facing down.
Think of pulling out of a steep driveway while turning to enter a lane of travel.
Same thing if you are cutting it sharp while backing into your RV space next to your house- up a 8% grade.

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
op wrote:
I really want to do with the standard B&W hitch in my F-350 with the 6'11" bed.

OP has the truck and trailer so no need to hijack his question with more mindless "gotta' have a long bed truck non sense".

OP you have the combo so make some 90 degree street corners and watch how it goes. You'll find the cab/trailer gets closer faster while making backing maneuvers.
That size bed and the newer trailers with the rounded/notched front corners won't need any help unless the pin is located too far forward of the trucks rear axle.

Then make a decision if a sliding hitch or Andersen or PullRite type GN ball hitch or one of the rotating pin box brands that can be used with your B&W conventional hitch.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides