There is nothing more exciting than a road trip. When you have a 5th wheel hooked to the back of your truck, the possibilities are endless! Of course, for safety reasons, you will need a hitch compatible with your truck f2or the journey. If you are towing an RV or maybe even just a trailer behind your short bed truck, you don’t want to sacrifice safety or a decent turn radius while driving down the road. With a short bed truck, a sliding fifth wheel hitch makes taking tight turns while towing much easier. Sliding hitches can either slide manually or automatically, depending on the model. That is just one of the things that differentiates all the hitches out there. We’ve checked out the slider fifth wheel hitches and found the best of the best.
Out Top 3 Picks
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After looking through all the sliding fifth wheel hitches, the PullRite Superglide 24k is out top pick. A longstanding brand with a reputation for durability, this fifth wheel sliding hitch is ideal for short bed trucks. It features an incredible towing capacity of 24,000 lbs., optimum performance, and ease of use since it’s an automatic slide hitch. The Superglide hitch is versatile enough to handle whatever your towing needs, while still providing easy maneuvering with your truck.
5 Best Slider Fifth Wheel Hitches
1. PullRite Superglide – Top Pick
PullRite is a well-known, established brand that has been manufacturing truck trailer hitches for three decades. We really like the PullRite Superglide as the ideal fifth wheel hitch for a short bed truck. This is a heavy duty hitch that you will be able to use for a long time, towing practically anything since it has a gross trailer weight of 24,000 lbs. The versatility and ease of this fifth wheel hitch makes it a great choice for a short bed truck. It’s an automatic slide, so you won’t have to do anything while making sharp turns on the road. And when you’re off the road, the PullRite Superglide allows you to remove the hitch from your pickup truck when you don’t need it without any tools. It features a SuperRail mounting system in which you simply twist the mounting posts and the hitch lifts out of the truck bed. The PullRite Superglide fifth wheel hitch fits industry standard base rails, offering incredible value in addition to its performance capabilities. The only downside is that you will have to purchase a capture plate as an additional accessory since it’s not included.
24,000 lb capacity, Superglide, SuperRail mounting system, automatic slide
- Not tools to remove hitch
- Heavy duty
- Fits standard rails
- Well established brand
- Requires a capture plate and rails, sold separately
2. Demco Fifth Wheel Hitch – Best Automatic Slide
The Demco Autoslide Fifth Wheel Hitch is an automatic sliding fifth wheel hitch that is another high quality choice for short bed truck owners. Demco manufactures their sliding fifth wheel hitches using USA steel and they also provide a 5 year warranty for all of their products. This model has a maximum trailer weight of 18,000 lbs, so it doesn’t have quite the heavy towing capacity of the PullRite Superglide, but both brands are industry leaders. We really like the functionality of this hitch model since the whole head can pivot and slide when it needs to for taking tight turns. You can also completely remove the head if you need extra space. It provide a very smooth ride in your short bed truck, and since it is automatic, you really won’t have to think about it at all. It is a pretty large hitch, which makes it a bit bulkier and heavier than some other models on our list. But it is a heavy duty hitch meant for towing large loads. Due to its size, it is preferred by people who don’t intend to remove it from their short bed truck. If you do remove it, you will likely need someone else to assist you since it can be a bit cumbersome and difficult to both remove. The Demco Autoslide has a maximum tongue weight of 4,500 lbs., which is pretty high compared to other models. It also is a great fifth wheel hitch for truck beds that are six and a half feet or longer, but may not be as great at making 90-degree sharp turns when used on trucks with a bed smaller than that.
18,000 lb capacity, 4,500 lb. tongue weight, automatic slide
- Whole head pivots
- 5 year warranty
3. CURT 5th Wheel Slider Hitch – Best Manual Slide
The CURT fifth wheel sliding hitch is a great manual slider model for short bed trucks. Its gross trailer weight is 16,000 lbs., and its vertical load capacity is 4,000 lbs., making it a good heavy duty sliding hitch. Although it is a manual slider hitch, we like that a lot of the features for easier maneuvering of turns, including the single handle operation. The slider hitch features a dual-pivoting hitch head that provides 10 degrees of movement. This helps ensure a smooth and stable ride in your short bed truck. To help reduce rattling at the coupling point, an anti-rattle skid plate is included with this fifth wheel sliding hitch. The coupling process is simple and secure with an automatic locking feature on the coupler. A feature that we really like is that this hitch also comes with a roller that allows 12 inches of additional turning clearance with short bed trucks. It mounts onto any standard 5th wheel hitch rails and can adjust for height, making it very versatile. The polyethylene lube plate that is included also helps to eliminate messy grease deposits.
16,000 lb trailer weight, 4,000 lb vertical load capacity, manual hitch
- Mounts onto any standard rails
- Reduced rattling
4. B & W Companion – Best for Ram Pucks
The B&W fifth wheel sliding hitch is a companion slider that is designed to fit the Ram hitch platform on short bed trucks. Its gross trailer weight is 25,000 lbs., and its vertical load capacity is 6,250 lbs. It is very easy to use and install due to the cam-actuated latching mechanism. Even when you are parked on uneven sites, it’s easy to release. Because it has no mounting rails, it is removable so you can use your short bed truck for other things. The head allows front to back as well as side to side pivoting. It features one inch thick cast locking jaws that allow for tight tolerances, providing a solid connection when taking turns and a smooth towing experience. Overall, it provides a relatively rattle-free towing experience thanks to the polyurethane bushings. Since this sliding hitch is designed for as a companion for Rams, you won’t want to consider this model if you don’t have a Ram truck. Also, it fits four pucks in the truck bed, so if you have a Ram, also make sure you have a puck system.
25,000 lb. gross trailer weight, 6,250 vertical load capacity, medium gray powder coat finish, 12″ clearance
- Easy to install and remove
- Reduced rattle
- Fits the Ram Puck System only
5. Reese Pro Series 31860 – Best Budget Option
The Reese Pro Series Fifth Wheel Hitch is a model we like as a solid budget choice. Since it is a manual sliding hitch, it is much more affordable than several of the other automatic options on our list. However, due to the simplicity and ease of the automatic sliding hitches, this one comes in as number five. It has a 16,000 lb. trailer towing capacity and 4,000 lb. vertical load capacity. The dual jaw system helps to reduce wear and tear as it surrounds the king pin. This is a versatile hitch as it can be used with a full size truck or a mini truck with a short bed. The full floating head making hooking and unhooking easier than ever, and the wide stance one-piece legs provide nice stability. Padlock security is optional with this model with its jaw handle and tab. It’s important to note that a padlock is not included, so if you want to take advantage of this feature, you will need to purchase one separately. It can adjust vertically from 13″ to 17″ so that it can match-up with different trailer sizes. The design of this hitch help to provide clearance and prevent damage in tight spaces.
16,000 lb. towing capacity, 4,000 lb. vertical load capacity, dual jaw system around the king pin
- Padlock security feature
- 10 year limited warranty
- Manual slide
Slider fifth wheel hitches are an important safety feature for short bed trucks to keep the corners of your trailer from making contact with your truck cab during turns. Not only can this cause damage to your trailer or truck cab, but it can also be dangerous. When comparing sliding fifth wheel hitches for a short bed truck, it’s important to know what your plans are for towing. It’s best to already have in mind exactly what you will be towing behind your short bed truck so that you can make the best decision based on what you will need. We’ve identified several things you should consider when buying a fifth wheel sliding hitch: hitch type, size, maximum load weight, maximum tongue weight, and cost.
There are two main types of fifth wheel sliding hitches for your short bed truck: automatic and manual. While both hitches serve the same purpose, there are some distinct differences between the two, which we’ve highlighted below.
Manual slider hitches have to be manually put into place. This is the biggest difference between the two types and will make a difference driving experience for you in your short bed truck. With a manual sliding hitch, you will need to stop your truck, get out of the truck and disengage your hitch from the slider rails, and drive forward slowly so the RV you are towing moves towards your truck bed. This can be an exhausting process to do every time you are going to take a tight turn. The advantage to manual slides is that they are more common, which means when you are looking for one, you will have a greater selection than if you were looking for an automatic sliding hitch. Not only will there be more choices, but they are also significantly less expensive than automatic sliders.
Automatic slides are an easier sliding fifth wheel hitch option for short bed trucks. Since you don’t have to do anything for the hitch to slide onto your truck bed when you need it, automatic slider hitches are very convenient and keep you moving on the road, without having to stop your truck. This is a big advantage when the weather is bad or you need to get to your destination quickly. It’s also very handy because you don’t have to think about it. If you don’t want to have to remember about your hitch every time you take a turn, then this is probably the best choice for you. The downside to the automatic slide hitch is that you pay for the effortless functionality. They are more expensive than manual slides and there are not as many on the market, so you will be more limited in your selection.
It’s important to take into consideration the size of the sliding hitch that you plan to purchase. Not only do you need to make sure that the hitch will fit in your truck bed and still leave you enough room for everything else, but you will also need to be sure that you have enough room for it in your garage so that you can store the slider hitch when you remove it from the bed of your truck. Generally, sliding hitches are pretty large, but some are certainly bulkier than others. And, all hitches that slide will take up room in your truck bed, regardless of the model you end up buying.
Maximum Load Weight
Understanding how much weight you can tow behind your short bed truck is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when looking at sliding fifth wheel hitches. You need to choose a hitch that has a great towing capacity than the weight of your trailer or RV. For a longer trip, you might be needing a different gear to store all of your stuff. You can also consider getting car roof boxes so you can maximize the space on your car. Learn more about it on our recent post about 9 best cargo boxes and best hitch cargo.
So, you will really need to think about exactly what you will be towing and plan for the long term. If you think you may be towing a larger, heavier trailer or RV in the future, you should probably consider getting a heavy duty model with a high trailer capacity as it will be a better investment down the road. After all, hitches can be expensive. You might as well accommodate for a larger trailer in the beginning. You might be also thinking of going out for a boat trip with friends. This might require to install a drop hitch for lifted truck. Our recent post will surely guide you all the way.
Maximum Tongue Weight
The maximum tongue weight is the vertical weight capacity. It’s the amount of weight your hitch can handle downward, from the tongue of the trailer. Generally speaking, it should not be more than 10% of your vehicle’s gross combination weight rating.
While the cost of a product is typically a factor in a purchase, we think it’s something to highlight as a consideration when it comes to a sliding hitch for a short truck bed. Fifth wheel hitches can vary greatly in price, particularly because they can either be automatic or manual. If you are looking for a less expensive sliding hitch, then you will want to consider purchasing a manual hitch. Because there is more effort involved in operating these hitches, they are cheaper. However, if the price of the hitch is not a concern and you are just looking for the easiest to operate hitch for your truck bed, then we recommend investing in an automatic fifth wheel slider hitch. In our guide below, we’ve included hitches with varying prices, from top of the line expensive to a budget choice, so you should be able to find the right hitch to fit your needs.
Overall, sliding hitches make it possible for a short bed truck to tow a trailer or RV, but some hitches make the experience easier and better than others. After looking over all the available sliding hitches, the PullRite Superglide 24k is the best. This sliding fifth wheel hitch makes your road trip smooth and simple, with its automatic slider hitch and outstanding performance. For a short bed truck, this heavy hauling slider hitch can accommodate whatever you need to tow while navigating sharp turns with ease. You might also want to consider having the best fifth wheel to gooseneck adapters to give your ride convenience and comfort. Also, during your trip, you might encounter a muddy area that is hard to avoid. We have listed some of the best hitch mounted winches of 2023 which we think is necessary for that kind of situation.
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