5th Wheel For Dodge 1500 Hemi 4-Door?

Is it feasible or possible to pull a 5th Wheel with my new 1500 Dodge 2003 5.7 Hemi 4-Door Short Bed Truck.

If so, what are some recommendations? I'm new to RVing.

Would appreaciate help. In the latest Trailer Life magazine I saw a Dodge 1500 pulling a regular Tahoe Widelite 23' trailer... this got me interested in RVing.

I also saw a ad for a 5th Wheel Hitch for short box trucks that would actually glide back when making corners... this interested me also.


Senior Member
5th Wheel For Dodge 1500 Hemi 4-Door?

Yes, it is possible, with limitations.

Limitation 1) Weight. Your truck has a maximum gross weight, a maximum rear axel weight and a maximum combined weight (truck and trailer). Most of the trailers out there will cause you to exceed 1 or more of these limits, which is unsafe and unduely wearing on the truck. Furthermore, even if you are within the weight rating of your truck, small gas engines are not very good for pulling heavy weights up hills at highway speeds. In general, you will want to limit yourself to trailers whose gross weight is under 6000 pounds and dry weight under 4500 pounds. There is also some concern about mismatch in truck wheelbase and trailer length leading to poor handling and/or ride, but with the trailers you can pull weight wise (25' or less) this may not be a problem.

Limitation 2) Turning angle. With a short bed truck and a wide trailer, a sharp turn can cause the trailer to run into the cab of the truck, to the detriment of both. There are ways to overcome or reduce this, though. One is to get an extended pin box (one where the king pin is forward of the front of the trailer. This is simple and cheap, but only reduces the problem. You could get a narrower trailer, but that often will not be satisfactory due to lack of space. The last, as you mention, is a sliding hitch. Most 5th wheel hitches can be converted to a 'slider'.

These are often cheap (about $100 more), but a pain to use. To use it, you need to stop the truck, throw the lever, move the truck forward, stop, lock the lever, make your turn, stop, throw the lever, back up the truck and lock the lever. On the other hand, there is at least one gear driven hitch, but the price is pretty steep. One final option is the PullRite Superglide, which automatically slides as the angle of turn gets bigger. Price is in the middle.

If you can get an 'under bed' mount for your hitch, you may prefer it. Even those little REESE rails left in the bed when the hitch is removed annoy me. The under bed hitches claim nothing left in the bed (except the holes the hitch attaches through).

The truck needs to be set up for towing, particularly with a transmission cooler and preferably a trans temp guage. High rear end gear ratio will help with towing, but hurt gas milage. Plan on slowing way down going up hills.
5th Wheel For Dodge 1500 Hemi 4-Door?

Ruffup, I pull a 2000 Catalina Lite 5th wheel(dry wt.4356#)(gross wt.6500#)with a Chevy 1/2 ton pick-up with a short bed extended cab and the 350 engine. It pulls it with ease, although it uses some gas to do so. It is 27' long. At the present time I'm trying to sell it. If interested, contact me direct. kitfoxjh@floodcity.net John H....
5th Wheel For Dodge 1500 Hemi 4-Door?

ruffup, according to the Dodge webpage, here are the specs for a 2003 1500, 4X2, 5.7, quad cab, short bed

With a 3.55 rear axle ratio
Tow 7850, GCWR 13000, curb weight 5018

With a 3.92 rear axle ratio
Tow 8850, GCWR 14000, curb weight 5018

GCWR - Curb weight = maximum trailer weight



Senior Member
5th Wheel For Dodge 1500 Hemi 4-Door?

Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Curb weight is a stock truck, with nothing in it except a 150 lb driver and a few drops of gas. ANYTHING you add into or onto the truck, comes off the GCWR and thus off the trailer weight.

Not only that, but the trailer adds its pin weight (the weight at the king pin) to the truck. This is usually 10 to 20% of the trailer weight, and often causes you to exceed either the maximum truck weight, or maximum truck rear axel weight, or both.