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Old 12-03-2023, 11:16 AM   #1
DutchmenSport
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Sidewinder

In 2019 we were at a campground in North Carolina and they had a storage area for campers. On one of my walks I snapped the photo below because I'd never seen a "Sidewinder" fifth wheel king pin before.... ever. I did do some internet searching and found out they are (or were) a fifth wheel hitch option. I've never seen another one since, but I've always wondered how they work out when actually towing? Considering they have 2 pivot points, I think backing up would be a real challenge.

Thoughts on this anyone? Has anyone ever had one, used one? How did it work out?

Just curious... Yes, it's Sunday, it's dark and dreary in Indiana today, I'm board and was just going through my old photos and stumbled across this one. So, thought I'd just throw it out there for discussion.

 
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Old 12-03-2023, 02:23 PM   #2
AZMont
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I owned a sidewinder in an earlier 5th wheel toy hauler. It is an alternative to a sliding 5th wheel hitch. It does not pivot in 2 places. there is a wedge directly behind the king pin that locks the sidewinder extension into the 5th wheel hitch. the pivot point is then directly below the king pin box. This allows a pivot point further back from the 5th wheel hitch to prevent the 5th wheel from impinging on the tow vehicle's cab and rear window. The big drawback of this device is that if your tow vehicle is not working, it may be difficult to find another vehicle to connect to your 5th wheel without re-adjusting the wedge.
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Old 12-03-2023, 05:41 PM   #3
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Ah, that makes sense. If it pivots at only 1 place. I get it now.

So, in all the discussions about sliding hitches, why isn't this alternative ever mentioned on RV forums? I don't have to worry about it because I have a long bed, but for those who are looking at the option of sliders, ....??? just wondering "why?" then.

AZMont, thanks for the update.
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Old 12-03-2023, 07:16 PM   #4
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Because a slider gives 14" of travel. That equates to about 85 degrees of clearance with a short bed. That Sidewinder freaks the crap out of me. The engineering is sketchy as *$#@ IMO. Look at it
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:05 PM   #5
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I had one for several years. Worked fine.
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Old 12-04-2023, 08:36 AM   #6
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Everyone knows that YouTube videos can be sketchy. With that said, I took special interest of one that had computer animations of a pivot point hitch moving the pivot point rearward to the point that the fifthwheel mimicking the tail wagging the dog scenario of a bumper pull tow behind. I've no experience with a Sidwinder so to me that is all.speculation. Food for thought though - why do we see such a hitch only for the RV industry? No one else uses such a setup to my knowledge. I'm just grateful to have a Goosebox and 8+ foot bed.
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Old 12-04-2023, 12:10 PM   #7
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I have one and it is the best thing. I had a pull right before. When it was at 45-90Deg pivot the trailer mount would hit and damage the side rail of the truck bed. It also took away the use of the truck bed for stowage anywhere rearward of the kingpin.

With the sidewinder I have my 3500 generator in the right rear of the bed and chocks and other items on the left. The kingpin points straight back in the bed and is not in the way of anything.

It tows perfectly. I have never had any "bumper pull" type of sway ever occur. Sketchy engineering? Without any examples or specs on that statement I would just ignore it. I do wish I had the option to having the newer sidewinder with the actual roller bearing in the turret rather than the plastic wear plates.

My good friend also has a sidewinder on his Montana. We both removed the Morryde pinboxes and installed the Airborne Sidewinders.

As far as being compatible with standard hitches I carry two bolts to install per the instructions to make the hitch not rotate and then remove the wedge from under the plate and wa-la, now it can be pulled by any hitch. No problem. Simple as removing the adapter wedge plate from a pull rite king pin installation.

Questions on Sidewinders? Just ask.
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Old 12-04-2023, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prndl View Post
I have one and it is the best thing. I had a pull right before. When it was at 45-90Deg pivot the trailer mount would hit and damage the side rail of the truck bed. It also took away the use of the truck bed for stowage anywhere rearward of the kingpin.

With the sidewinder I have my 3500 generator in the right rear of the bed and chocks and other items on the left. The kingpin points straight back in the bed and is not in the way of anything.

It tows perfectly. I have never had any "bumper pull" type of sway ever occur. Sketchy engineering? Without any examples or specs on that statement I would just ignore it. I do wish I had the option to having the newer sidewinder with the actual roller bearing in the turret rather than the plastic wear plates.

My good friend also has a sidewinder on his Montana. We both removed the Morryde pinboxes and installed the Airborne Sidewinders.

As far as being compatible with standard hitches I carry two bolts to install per the instructions to make the hitch not rotate and then remove the wedge from under the plate and wa-la, now it can be pulled by any hitch. No problem. Simple as removing the adapter wedge plate from a pull rite king pin installation.

Questions on Sidewinders? Just ask.
Awesome info! Thanks for the reply. Just because something is different doesn't mean it is bad. As I alluded to in my post, YouTube videos can be sketchy at best. Safe travels and happy camping
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Old 12-04-2023, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prndl View Post
I have one and it is the best thing. I had a pull right before. When it was at 45-90Deg pivot the trailer mount would hit and damage the side rail of the truck bed. It also took away the use of the truck bed for stowage anywhere rearward of the kingpin.

With the sidewinder I have my 3500 generator in the right rear of the bed and chocks and other items on the left. The kingpin points straight back in the bed and is not in the way of anything.

It tows perfectly. I have never had any "bumper pull" type of sway ever occur. Sketchy engineering? Without any examples or specs on that statement I would just ignore it. I do wish I had the option to having the newer sidewinder with the actual roller bearing in the turret rather than the plastic wear plates.

My good friend also has a sidewinder on his Montana. We both removed the Morryde pinboxes and installed the Airborne Sidewinders.

As far as being compatible with standard hitches I carry two bolts to install per the instructions to make the hitch not rotate and then remove the wedge from under the plate and wa-la, now it can be pulled by any hitch. No problem. Simple as removing the adapter wedge plate from a pull rite king pin installation.

Questions on Sidewinders? Just ask.
Didn't mean to offend. Just my opinion at first glance. I'll stick with my slider
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Old 12-06-2023, 02:13 PM   #10
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Used a sidewinder to tow my 33 foot fifth wheel with my GMC short bed for 40,000 miles over 9 years with no problems. Now, I have a Anderson Ultimate Hitch for my 36 foot fifth wheel....easier to hitch up and tows better.
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