POLL: To Slide, or Not to Slide...

Have you needed to use your manual slide?

  • Total voters


Hello All,
As some of you already know, I'm the proud new owner of a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 with all the trimmings... Except... the Hitch!

So.. I've started this thread not to ask which hitch to get.. ( I've already decided on the 18k Reese Signature Series ), but to find out if I really need a slider...

It is a short bed truck ( 6' 3" ), but with the patented Heartland 88 degree turning radius... I've heard a lot say that the slide isn't used at all.

So... To those that have manual slide hitches on short bed trucks,

Have you ever needed to use your manual slider?

If you have used it, please add a comment to this thread about the circumstances.

Also, to those with a Reese Signature Series WITH slide, do you notice any noise or chucking from the slide assembly?

Any other input is more than welcome... (no hitch wars please).

Thanks all!
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Founding VA Chap Ldr (Ret)
I have a manual slider, but have never used it, and I've made some turns that approached 90 degrees:eek: (usually when backing into really tight spots). However, I'm glad I have the slider. I figure I may decide to get another 5er someday that may not be as easy to turn as the Heartland, or I may need to help someone else out. I look at the slider as insurance for "just in case" situations. I do test it occasionally to keep it from locking up from non-use.


Ray LeTourneau

Senior Member - Past Moderator
I had a slider on my previous truck, a short bed Chevy. about 3 weeks into ownership of the BH I removed the slider and replaced with the standard reese legs. The slider also had a fair amount of "play" which made any chucking much worse.


Founding Illinios Chapter Leader-retired
I have the hitch with slider that you have chosen and been well pleased. I will also say after 2 years of use never had the need to engage the slider for use. I agree with Gus's post his reasoning was the same as mine before purchase and not sure now if I would add the slide if done over. The tolerances on the locking mechanisms are quite tight and have not noticed any noise associated with excess movement. When you order it make sure you get the 12 inch lube plate for the pin box, they are harder to find than the 10 inch ones. I guess after reading all the forth coming posts an still in a dilemma over the slide get it, its cheaper getting it together ,than separate. Good luck , LK nice ride even if it is a Dodge.:D....Kenny


Founders of SoCal Chapter
I did get a slider and am glad I did. If I slide it back, its easier to back the coach in the back yard. With the slider back, the coach reacts quicker like a bumper pull trailer. My 2 cts worth. BTW, I have a reese hitch and there are adjusting set screws on the bottom of the hitch assembly that you can tighten to stop chucking. Thanks Forrest for the info on the screws.:) Bob:D

Uncle Rog

Well-known member
I have never even considered using the slide feature, figured I threw $50 in the camp fire. Now, after reading Bob's comment, I might consider it for parking but I have never really had any problem..................


Well-known member
I have the slider hitch but haven't had to slide it yet. There was one occasion that I was 1/4" away from hitting my cab on a really tight u turn. I had to get a person parked in front of me to move or it would have hit my cab turning sharp enough to clear him. If I would have slid it back I wouldn't have had to have him move. I was thinking of getting rid of the slider before that. I think I will keep it for now.



Hey guys,
I really appreciate all the feedback! I've had similar thoughts about help'n out neighbors / friends, but in the end... If I end up help'n someone else out, I can probably get away with not make'n the tight squeeze into a spot.

If I find that I end up in tight spots of my own, I can always pick up the slide later. I think for right now, I'll save the extra $$ for fuel.. :)

Thanks again everyone... Excellent input as usual!


Past Michigan Chapter Leader
Oops, I didn't look at the category this was under and thought the question was directed to moving the 5er slides manually. If posssible, take one vote off the never vote - I have an auto-slider.


I've only been pulling my Sundance for about 4 months...but I'm impressed with their front cap. I've done U-turns in parking lots and even with the wheel to the stop, I still have about 1 foot of clearance to go before I'll "kiss the cab". Now backing up is a different story, but I have had it almost to a "right angle" while backing (I only needed this maneuver once while getting into a VERY TIGHT camping space) and it still gave me everything that I asked for.
I would say that for me (my truck has the 6.5' box) I will never need a sliding hitch.
It's nice to see that Heartlands advertising about the 88 degree turns is not marketing hype, but solid information!


Past Ohio Chapter Leaders (Founding)
Hey Michael,
When we bought our Fleetwood product back in 2003 the dealer installed a slider. We have never, ever used it. I do like that it seems to be very solid as a unit but it is heavier and a bit cumbersome to remove by one person. I recently had the pleasure of picking up my rig in Elkhart on a Saturday afternoon and brought it back to the hotel. I actually turned the complete rig around in the rear parking lot of the Jameson Inn Hotel. I can verify that the 88 degree cap works super. No problems at all turning a 360 degree circle without using the slider as I did. I was very impressed with myself also for making the turn without incident.

Good luck Michael and see you in Elkhart in June dude,


Well-known member
I have a B&W hitch and I have gone 90 degrees with the camper. Not even close. I have a short bed and if I didn't need it getting into Fishing Bridge Campground sites in Yellowstone I'll never need it.


Well-known member
I have a manual slide which I haven't used since picking up the Sundance. I did use it with my previous 5ver mainly to get into my driveway but on a few other occassions as well. I will eventually replace the slider with a fixed hitch but that is low on my priority list.

Best of luck with your decision.



I have the slider - have used it a couple times backing and turning on uneven ground but in reality didn't HAVE to use it - but makes me FEEL safer. My brother has knocked his back window out turning in the same place with his 5er.
Have never had a non-slider to compare for "chucking" but I sure experience it, especially in traffic around a city.
Happy Holidays,


Well-known member
I used a Pul-Rite auto slider hitch for 6 years on my 95 short bed. I can say we got into some very tight spots without any trouble and the hitch never failed. The auto slide is great, no getting out no guessing. A little pricey but what cost is peace of mind. With my long bed and the 3500RL I have not needed one.


the slide is necessary especially when backing up and there are any unleveled spots in the ground... when the angle is tight and the trailer 'pitches' just a little... it will 'kiss' that cab. Ask me how I know :-(

With the smaller truck boxes and the Sundance front cap it is a good mix. The problem is the weird situations that happen when in a smaller campground, turning tight in a cul de sac, or whatever.

Glad you have joined the 5er world! Do your research and have some fun.
I have an '08 Dodge Ram 3500 Short Box, single rear wheels.. with a Reese Signature Series 18k..and a manual slider. Never used the slider and have cranked her just about 90 degrees with no issues. But you need to be mindful and watch it. The slider does not make any noise or shuck as far as I can tell. I have the 5th Airborne pin on the trailer..which is a godsend. The 6.7 with 6 speed, Autostick and engine brake are a magnificent combination. Cruise at 63 mph..in cruise, at 1600 rpm.
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Well-known member

Driving a short bed one ton Dodge. My slide has a remote. I accidently hit the remote while driving so knows the system works. Never use it for backing into parking spots. Might give it a try, one of these days.