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Old 12-26-2008, 12:02 PM   #1
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Towing with a short bed truck

I have a C2500 short bed with a Duramax/Allison drive train. I intend to purchase a Montana this winter and after talking with some people I am getting concerned if I will be OK with my short bed even with a slider or Super Glide hitch. I camp alot in State Parks and National Parks which means I usually have to back into a fairly tight slot. Montana claims that with the extended pin box and new front design it should improve manuverability even with a short bed. My question is does it really? Let me hear from you guys and gals with short beds.

Second question. I am looking at a Montana 3075RL or 2980RL. Any pros or cons to either would be appreciated.

Allan Baumbach, Houston
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:29 PM   #2
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You should be OK with the short bed and the slider. From what I've heard about the sliders you would probably want the automatic one. That way you won't "forget" to activate it when needed. I've read that some folks with the manual slider would "push" the envelope. Rather stop and get out and activate the slider they'd try backing and would end up hitting the truck or knocking out the windows.

As far as the use of National or State CGs..... well that is much more problematic. We have had our rig for about 6 years and find that we fit into a very limited number of State and or National parks. We have camped in them but have always found them to be a challenge. It can be done but do be prepared to camp somewhere else. Our experiences have been for the most part in the west and southwest. Perhaps they are much different in the south and or east part of our country.

Good luck.

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Old 12-26-2008, 12:51 PM   #3
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First welcome to the forum.
I have the short bed on a crew cab, i.e., longer wheel base. I opted for the 5th air borne pin set. It has the air bag and shock in it and moves the pivot point back about 19 inches. I can do full 90 degree with no problem, or worry. Don't have to think about it at all. We live in Oregon, A good number of the parks here we can get into, but are limited to the larger sites. Across the country you will need to check on the specific parks to make sure you can get in. From what I can tell, its not a Montana issue as much as a physical size issue. Any 5th wheel 34' or larger and/or 13'tall will have the same problems at most parks. When we make reservations we always inquire about "Big Rig" accessibility and the height. If a 40 or 45' Motor home can get in usually we can as well.
Sorry can't help with any information on those two specific models.
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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[I have a 2005 montana 3295 RK and a 2005 2500 short bed and we tow all over . one trip was 1800 miles out west and no problem at all. i live in Florida.. BUT IT AND GOOD LUCK
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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Welcome to the form. I have been pulling a 3000RK with a shor bed Dodge for about three years and yes I have some black marks on the nose of my rig to prove it. I have learned to stop a move my slider (it is manual) as soon as I pull into a camp ground. Mary goes in the office, Maggie (the Elkhound) and I slide the fifth wheel, it is just automatic. Good luck with your rig and have fun rving. Jon
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:55 PM   #6
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I have a shortbed Ford 350 Its box may be slightly longer. I have a companion hitch which gives you some adjustment options when you install it and later with some work. I have camped in state parks from Iowa to North Carolina with no problem. I can't use all the sites but usually can find one that I can get into. I can not turn a full 90 degrees but pretty close. An automatic slider might give you more comfort but my setup works fine in all the situations I have been in.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:08 PM   #7
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Alan, first of all, a big welcome to a great bunch of people, also known as the family!
You will see by a lot of MOCers signatures there is a lot of short bed trucks. I have been pulling a Montana since 2001 with a s/b truck and a manual slider hitch. Although I have never had a problem(knock on wood!) with the manual, I would suggest the auto slider, why take the chance if you don't have to!
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:48 PM   #8
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To everyone that replied a big Thanks. I'm glad to hear that I can fully manuver with a slider hitch. I will look into the Airborne Sidewinder. That sounds like a good hitch to perform close quarter manuvers. I certainly would hate to break out a window when I'm in the middle of New Mexico or Utah.

We are looking forward to going to a 5'er. We have trailered many years but want to move up for more comfort and more room.

I still would like to hear from some folks that have the 3075RL or 2980RL.

Many thanks for the welcomes.

Allan Baumbach, Houston
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:32 PM   #9
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I have a 2005 2955RL. T.V. is a short bed 2500 Dodge Ram. Do not consider myself and expert on back-ins, but have not had any problems, even in state parks. In my opinion, the key is to go slow, keep your eyes on the rig and cab. Don't try and back-in in one step. You may have to back, pull forward, back, etc. I perfer to do the back-in myself without instructions from D.W. I have a slider hitch, and only used it once.

Good luck,Lou
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:00 PM   #10
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Welcome!! We have a 2955RL which is the same length as the 2980. We have a Dodge 2500 quad cab short bed. We live in Florida and go to Fort DeSoto Park all the time. I mention that because they have what my husband calls "guard trees" and it makes for some challenging backing. We have been RVing for 3 years and DH has only been using the slider option recently. Tough going for all that time, now is soooo much easier. Just be careful about sharp turns. When backing up have your partner watch the space between the cab of the truck and the Monty to be sure you don't crunch the cab. Been there done that. Sorry honey, I just had to warn them. Good luck and happy trails!! Joanie
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Old 12-27-2008, 12:48 AM   #11
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You should have no problem. We have the 3465sa and are pulling it with a 2500HD Crewcab shortbed GMC. We camp in the stae parks in SC. It's true that you will be limited on the number of sites that you will fit.
BTW we use walkie-talkies backing in sites. That allows the spotter to move around, so she can see everything.
Bobby . . June
2019 "3791RD" Montana - 2019 Chevy Duramax/Allison Crewcab
Summerville, South Carolina

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Old 12-27-2008, 02:42 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum.

We have a short bed Dodge with no slider. We pull a Montana 2980RL. We are also full timers.

We stay in state parks whenever possible and have never found a park without a site we couldn’t “eventually” get into.

Yes, it takes some work, a good eye and good communication (his and hers walkie talkies), but having the short bed truck is our choice, and we are happy with our choice, and find no need for a slider.

Take your time, watch your clearances carefully, and after a few tries, you’ll be surprised where you can fit!

We like the shorter RV, but you have to decide on your own lifestyle.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:55 AM   #13
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I pulled with a short bed Chevy and slider hitch for a year. NEVER needed to operate the slider, NEVER dinged the truck. I did not do much "90 degree" backing either, (if that's what its called). It was nice knowing I had the capability to move it back but never did. I think many of the state parks are a little harder to park the bigger rigs and a slider may come in handy. IMHO

"In this RV business, I find, one must define his camping style first and then "RIG UP" to fit that style." If boondocking and state parking is your thing, like Robbie and some others, then you need to set your rig up for that. Personally, I'm still into pull thru sites when possible with the ocassional back in to keep what little skills I have current.

Whatever your style, camping is camping, to each his own, I would never fault anyone for their way of doing it. After all, whether in a State park, Federal park, run down trailer park, 5 star resort, Walmart parking lot, beach front park, back roads park, Nascar infield, county fairgrounds, off road location or in your driveway at home, it is still camping, and that's what it is all about. (Of course, some would argue, Cathy included, that staying in these great trailers is more like "living" and not camping). Whatever you call it, it is sure enjoyable......

Happy trails to everyone. Still love that picture Robbie!!!!
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:10 AM   #14
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One more time thank you all who responded to my short bed question. I can see I am going to learn alot from everyone on this thread. It seems that everyone is willing to share their expierences and thoughts.

After the first of the year I need to get going on finding me a new rig.

Allan and Audrey Baumbach, Houston
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:42 PM   #15
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We have a 2008 3000RK and tow with a 2004 F-250 CC short bed and do not have a slider. We have never had a problem and there are no dings or marks on cab of 5er.
But this is our situation and may not be the same others.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:29 PM   #16
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I have the Superglide in my 2500HD shortbed and would not be without it. The cost difference between a manual sliding hitch and the Superglide is minimal compared to what a repair bill would be to fix the coach and truck if the two were to ever meet.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:32 PM   #17
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OK, here's my [s]2 cents[/s]err 10 bucks on the subject of slider hitches....

I tow a 3485SA Monty with a 2005 2500HD D/A short bed. I use the Pullrite Superglide. In 5 years I have never concerned myself as to whether or not I was going to TOUCH the front cap, muchless take out the TV's window.
While manual sliders will do the job, they ONLY do the job if you remember to pull the lever and YOU MUST pull that lever when the TV is in-line with the trailer. Once the trailer is turned into the position of hitting the TV it is too late to pull the lever. You must now straighten the rigs out in order to slide the hitch.
The Superglide is 100% automatic and takes away all apprehension concerning tight turns or backing. Once the trailer is 16% into the turn the Superglide begins it's task. With a Superglide you can have the TV and trailer at a 90° and not worry.

Here's my standard response I use whenever ever the Superglide question arrises...

If you look at my signature you will see my 3485SA Montana is hooked to my short bed GMC using a PullRite 16K SuperGlide Automatic Sliding hitch.
I am firmly convinced that the PullRite SuperGlide automatic sliding hitch is the only hitch for short bed trucks. Although an automatic sliding hitch may cost a little more up front, it has some decided advantages.
First, it rules out the possibility of forgetting to slide the hitch rearward before turning. To me this peace of mind of never having to remember to get out of the truck and manually push or pull some lever to activate the slide mechanism is worth every penny of the difference in price. Not to mention the temptation of leaving a manual slider in the potentially unsafe rearward position during highway driving. Also, there are times when manually operating the hitch is virtually impossible, such as during emergency U-turns or when the trailer jackknifes on icy roads. Under these conditions, the extra cost of an automatic sliding hitch could easily be recouped in damages prevented.
Just forget to pull that manual lever one time and take out the rear window, like this guy did, or do body damage to either or both the truck and trailer and I promise you will wish you had that automatic slider. The SuperGlide has an automatic rearward travel of up to 14" while making a turn, going forward or in reverse, that's 50% farther than the manually adjusted "slider" designs. In most all cases, turns as tight as 90 degrees are possible.
The SuperGlide also features the unique, gear driven, automatically locking, latching mechanisms. You won't be dropping the trailer accidentally on the bed rails because there is no safety lever, pin, or locking handle to mess with. The way it works is the SuperGlide wraps 140 degrees around the king pin totally enclosing it into the latch. There is no "clam shell" closure that might open if you forget to lock the release handle in place. The reason the clam shell hitches have potential of dropping the trailer is all the force is pulling against the opening of the latch. When you back into the SuperGlide you can watch the release handle slide close at which point you are locked in. You can also get out and look directly into the opening where the king pin slides into place and see the silver latch totally wrapped around the king pin. This positive locking mechanism is as close to foolproof as you can get. If the release handle is all the way in, the hitch is locked, period. Unlike the "clam shell" mechanism, a pull test to be sure you are locked in is unnecessary.
Another plus is when the hitch is out of the truck "everything" is out of the truck. Absolutely nothing, no rails, no nothing left in the bed to interfere with whatever you want to haul.
You almost have to see it to believe it, either go to your RV dealership and take a look at the display model or contact PullRite and request their FREE video showing the hitch in action. In the mean time read this PullRite Article in RV Lifestyle.
When you consider the total overall cost of the your 5er, your tow vehicle and a manual slider what is another few hundred bucks for the safety, security and peace of mind of a PullRite SuperGlide hitch?

And NO I do not have any financial interest in PullRite other than being a 200% happy user/owner in a SuperGlide.

Last but far from least... When you get to the negotiations on that new Monty negotiate the hitch right into the end price. This will not only get you the best discount it will also throw the cost of the hitch into your monthly payments spread out over the entire length of the rig's loan.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #18
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Now that I remember correctly the time DH crunched the cab was before we got the Monty. We had a Keystone Hornet that didn't have the nice rounded front like the Monty has. We think it happened when he made a really tight turn at a campground while we were both inside the truck. Will never know for sure. Now Glenn, promise not to tell Dave when you see him that I outed him on this crunchie thing!!
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:26 AM   #19
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Like Glenn and Dave, we pull with a Chev 2500sb and we have the superglide. Wouldn't be without it. It is well worth the investment!!!
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:27 AM   #20
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We have a 3075RL we purchased July 07. Have spent about 50 nights in it so far and love it. We specifically chose the 3075 because of the open floor plan in the living area. It is relatively short (which was also one of our criteria, about 34'). But with the 3 slides and minimal counter extending out into the living area it leaves a very open feeling in the living area. And even with the sofa bed out, you can still get around the kitchen with no problem, and even sit in the recliners and watch TV or read while the grandkids are asleep on the sofa bed.
Has Mor-ryde suspension and tows great, smooth and steady. It caused a little chucking at first but not really that much. But I added a 5th Airborne hitch to get rid of even that little bit it did have.
Bill & Patricia

2007 3075RL
2012 F350 SRW CC LB FX4 6.7
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