View Full Version : Tow with short bed - still not a believer

06-04-2008, 09:32 PM
I really like the Heartland products, especially the Big Country 3490 RB and 3490 BHS. Everyone says a slider hitch is not needed. Prove it!!!! Post some pictures and videos so I could sleep better!!! I will be using a short bed GM truck to pull this trailer.

I'm just skeptical.


06-04-2008, 09:55 PM
We do not haave a Big Country, but we do have a Big Horn 3400RL. It gets pulled by a 07 Sierra Classic CC short bed. No problems without a slider. I also have a Trail-Air pin box. I'm a believer. We love it and Sunday we head for Branson.

06-04-2008, 09:58 PM
Dmax, become a believer. I have a short bed Chevy and can jack knife it and nothing bad happens. I dont know what the percentage's are but I am willing to bet 60 percent of the people on the forum have a short bed. 1 tons you dont have a choice of short or long. Bob:D

Ray LeTourneau
06-04-2008, 10:31 PM
This is a picture of my previous truck. Chevy short bed ext cab. I bought a Jayco 5th wheel in late 2004 and the dealer suggested I didn't need the slider. I bought it anyway. In August 06 I picked up our Bighorn 3400RL. I headed down the road and was very dissapointed at the ride and bucking caused by some concrete roads. The dealer said get rid of the slider. I did and there was an amazing difference in the ride and I never, even with the Jayco, Needed the slider. I now have a 3500 long bed only because I needed the extra weight capacity.

06-04-2008, 11:30 PM
This pic is straight off the Heartland website. I drew the line on it in Photoshop to show where the fifth wheel pin is. Even though the pic was not taken dead on the pin, it was close enough to see the pin is forward of the rear axle centerline a couple inches as it should be. How much more proof do you need.


1 tons you dont have a choice of short or long. Bob:D

Yes you do in Ford and Dodge. Just unfortunatly not available with GM

My 2000 F350 Crew cab was a dually short bed

Shortbed is available on........

- Dodge 3500 quad cab SRW
- Dodge 3500 megacab SRW and DRW in fact no longbed is available for the megacab
- Ford F-350 Supercab SRW
- Ford F-350 Crew Cab SWR and DRW

Terry H
06-04-2008, 11:45 PM
Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum!

Do a search on the forum for "sliding hitch needed" or other similar terms, and you will find other threads that more than likely answer you questions.
Also take a look at this video from the Heartland RV Web site.


Also visit the Heartland RV Web site, there is a wealth of information there.

David Broadbent
06-05-2008, 12:07 AM
We have an 09 3490BHS towing with a 07 GMC ex cab (classic) Short Box Duramax, I have a slider hitch, however I have had no reason yet to slide the hitch, and we have done 4 trips with this new Big Country I had the slider hitch installed when I owned my 05 Prowler 2952BHS and I did have to use the slider hitch to back in tight spots, but as of yet I have not had to move the hitch Back :) for the 3490BHS.

06-05-2008, 12:40 AM
I have a 3600RL and pull with a 06 F-350 short box. I too didn't believe the dealer or Heartland and bought a slider. Guess what, never had to use it and wishing I had a regular hitch for space saving.

06-05-2008, 06:56 AM
Thanks for the prompt feedback - information from the real world - not just the manufacturer.

Big thanks to Terry H for the link to the video - that is exactly what I was looking for!

So just how far forward of the rear axle can the pin be and maintain an 88 degree turn?

06-05-2008, 06:59 AM
I pull a Bighorn with a GMC Ext Cab Short Bed. I have a slider that I needed almost everytime I parked the Coachmen that I had. I bought the Bighorn last September. We are full timing and never once have I had to use the slider. I didn't believe it either. But am now looking at buying a non slider to improve the ride. I want to get rid of some of the chucking that is caused by the play in the slider. I can't imagine a scenario where I would ever need the slider.

06-05-2008, 07:32 AM
Well I'll add my 2-cents also.
We had a Bighorn 3500RL and we towed it with our Chevy 2500 HD Duramax/Allison shortbed. Although we do have a slider hitch we have never,never used it. We now own a Landmark August and the same holds true, never have used the slider. I'm not even sure if I remember how the slider mechanism works LOL.


06-05-2008, 08:42 AM
Same here. I have a '08 GMC Sierra 2500HD short bed. Have a slider but have not used it. Made a very sharp jack knife turn backing it up in my yard the day we brought it home and never came close to touching the cab. Love my Bighorn.

06-05-2008, 12:05 PM
I have a slider hitch for sale I am going to a non slider to get rid of some of the movement caused by the slider. No need for a slider with the Big Horn.

06-05-2008, 06:15 PM
I have an 02 extended cab duramax with 6 ft bed. I bought a Cyclone 3950 that is actually close to 42 ft long about 3 months ago and had the same concerns. The cyclone has rounded front corners that allow the pickup to get up to about 85 degrees which "I have done" and did not hit. With any pickup, even with a super slider, if you turn past 90 you are eventually going to hit the cab but the likelyhood of you turning that tight are zippo. I am a retired truck driver and can back the cyclone anywhere I want with a worry. I had it in a tight spot last weekend and cranked around pretty tight but no problem. I have a Reese 20K non slide.

Ray LeTourneau
06-05-2008, 11:15 PM
Thanks for the prompt feedback - information from the real world - not just the manufacturer.

Big thanks to Terry H for the link to the video - that is exactly what I was looking for!

So just how far forward of the rear axle can the pin be and maintain an 88 degree turn?
If you haven't had your hitch installed yet, there isn't much room for changing it's placement. Hitches come with specific instructions for location of the mounting brackets and such. I think they end up pretty close to an inch or two forward of the center of the axle. I mounted my rails as the instructions read.

06-06-2008, 01:31 AM
dmax, i have a short bed and if u get an awesome automatic slider like i did u will be happy i assure u. go to www.pullrite.com (http://www.pullrite.com) and take a look at their slider. camping world installed it and i wouldnt know if i use it because its automatic and works also if going forward if u cut a corner to much. just IMHO. but i aint an expert like all these other folks just a rookie happy to have the auto slider.

06-06-2008, 08:07 AM
I would have to agree with Larryheadhunter as you will note in my signature all auto and don't worry about it.

06-06-2008, 08:40 AM
I have to agree also.I use a superglide hitch and you yust don't have to worry about it.:)

06-06-2008, 05:06 PM
Wow thanks Patti and Randy for your support. It's not often anyone agrees with me when it comes to RVing. As a rookie, having that auto slider has been a godsend, as many times I have noted, after I pull in to a park, I can tell the auto slider had been utilized. Even if you only use it one time its worth it, especially making U turns when I am lost, which is often. Those GPS units are wrong quite a bit.

06-07-2008, 02:50 AM
I was only going to get an 08 Dodge mega cab, so I went with the Bighorn so I would not need a slider hitch. At the last minute the dealership changed their mind and installed a slider on them. Have not used it once.

Uncle Rog
06-07-2008, 12:56 PM
Howdy, if you need to use a slider with a BH you are already in deep "guacamole", and if you hit your cab without using the slider that will be the least of your worries!
I am just like several others, bought the slider any way, I would need to get out the instructions to use the feature, if I can find them..............................

06-07-2008, 03:00 PM
I have a 3400RL with a 05 Dodge Quad cab Short box and to back in my drive way it is no problem. This morning at Terre Haute IN I went to get on the west bound ramp of I 70 and it had been washed out. I had to back down the ramp and into a tight intersection. The turn was very short but I did not hit the cab. I don't think you should have a problem.
Good Luck

07-08-2008, 09:47 PM
I was a skeptic also but purchased a 2008 Cyclone 3210 to pull with my 2008 F350 shortbed. I was already sold on the Cyclone as my choice toyhauler but the turning radius of the heartland was the deciding factor. I have owned the Cyclone a year now and have put 6000 miles on it and have been in a few tight spots but have never needed a slider. I am now a believer.

Rick & Tina
2008 Ford F350 SB SRW
2008 Cyclone 3210
07 HD Ultra
06 HD Fat Boy

07-08-2008, 10:49 PM
We actually did use ours this past week, but this is the first time. We had a very tight spot to get into and slid it back. Once we moved the turn point further back, we were able to get in with no problem. It was nice to have in this situation because there were tree stumps on the other side that might have punctured the tires of the truck.

07-20-2008, 11:45 PM
Well today I hit the back of my cab with the trailer. Had it turned about 88 -90+ degrees and heard a terrible crunch. No major damage, a small scuff on the front cap and a 8" dent in the cab about 1.5" from rear window and a whole lot of wounded pride. Apparently you still need to pay attention when backing up:o. Pretty suprised (and thrilled) that the fiberglass cap didn't break and the truck dented.

07-21-2008, 03:17 PM
When going forward, is it even possible to get the trailer at more than 88 degrees to the truck? It would seem that when going forward it would be impossible to smash the trailer into the cab.

Can anyone confirm this?

07-21-2008, 03:38 PM
When I took my driving lesson, the instructor had me jack knife my rig. It was almost perpendicular to the truck with was kind of cool cause I could easily see everything on the driver's side of the rig. We were performing a U-turn and wasn't hard to do at all. Wish I had taken a picture but I think that pmmjarret has already posted one on this thread. I have an Augusta and a 1 ton Chevy dually.

The only bad thing about this experience was that I scuffed the plastic molding at the top of driver's side of the bed. There was an electrical box located below the level of the flat plate at the bottom of the trailer side of the hitch. I had them move it up and no more rubbing.


Uncle Rog
07-21-2008, 03:51 PM
Hey, if it makes you feel better, buy the slider hitch. No matter what you get, if you are not careful, you can have an accident, as our esteemed colleague nhunter can attest to. I have yet to find a situation that required me to use the slide feature. I also have yet to be confronted with the dreaded 88 degree + turn! I have to grin at the use of "impossible" in the context of RV / 5'er situations...................

rob hutch
07-21-2008, 08:40 PM
:):)I don,t have a Big Country either but do have a 3200 Sundance bhs that sometime I use my 2003 GMC 1500 quad steer 5.3 liter short bed reese 16k slider never hae had to use the slider position yet, but on long trips usually out of fla I tow with a 2008 ford 450 twin turbo dually big difference in power but no complaints fron th short bed

Big G
07-22-2008, 12:20 AM
I have a '06 F250 short bed SRW, with a Pullrite 18000, no slide. I have a hard 90 to get backed in my drive. No problem with the Razor 3212.
Good Luck, Big G