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Old 12-30-2014, 09:56 AM   #1
Willy Bee
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I called 3 Resse hitch dealers in my area and none of them like the hitch called the sidewinder. They tell me that it makes the 5th wheel tow like a bumper pull trailer. Is this true?
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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I have not used one, but I would say that is something of a half truth. Since the pivot point of the sidewinder is behind the hitch it does move the pivot toward the rear. But not nearly as far back as the pivot point of a bumper pull. How much difference that would make is debatable I guess.

Edit: After more thought (I know that is dangerous) the pivot only really comes in to play on sharp turns. Normal towing down the highway the pivoting would be minimal. Similar to an automatic slider. And even though the pivot point is slightly behind the hitch, the weight is still on the pin, just as it would be with a conventional 5th wheel hitch. So I can't envision much difference in towing with one vs towing with an auto slider. Certainly not the same as a bumper pull.

Odd though that 3 dealers would have the same opinion.
Bill & Patricia
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:31 PM   #3
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Did these dealers specify what they mean when they say it tows like a bumper pull trailer? Do they mean that you get trailer sway?
We have an 18K Reese hitch with the 5th Airborne Sidewinder Pinbox setup and don't find it tows any less stable than our previous setup on a Cougar which had a standard Pin box. The 5th Airborne does provide some cushioning from chucking although not sure if it is the equivalent of the TriGlide or other like options.
In the past 7 weeks we have put on about 2500 miles towing and much of that was with strong head and crosswinds. Did I feel the wind on the trailer at times? Yes, but not so it was a problem. Did I experience any sense of the tail wagging the dog? No. And I know all about trailer sway from our first bumper pull and 1/2 T truck a few years back..
The Sidewinder does what it is supposed to do. It provides about 20" more clearance so tight corners with a SB truck is not a problem. The alternative is a slider hitch which has its own pros and cons.
Only two problems we have experienced so far:
1. You really need to be straight-on to hitch or un-hitch. If you come at it at an angle it's hard to get it to latch properly. Not a problem but just something to be aware of.
2. The wedge slipped back about 1/2 an inch resulting in some play. This caused some metal on metal grinding which was kind of embarrassing as everyone could hear us when we made a turn. A visit to a dealer that knew what they were doing and they readjusted the wedge and applied some locktite to ensure the bolts wouldn't loosen. I'm sure given enough miles this will have to be done again but it is a simple process and only cost me $60. for the service tech to fix it.. Could have easily done it myself if I had the tools.
I think my Sidewinder was the first one my selling dealer had ever installed and it took a lot of attempts for them to get the wedge adjusted properly and then they relied on only the lock washers to keep the wedge in place. The tech that readjusted it for me said he sees that a lot from Dealers that don't know the product. He said he always uses the Locktite in conjunction with the lock washers.
My choice was the Sidewinder or an Auto-Slider and so far I'm happy with my decision.
Bruce & Lori & Charli our 60# lap dog
2017 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 6 1/2' box, Reece 18k Elite
2015 Mountaineer 331RLT, Dual pane windows, Dual A/C, Fireplace, 5th Airborne Sidewinder, Sailun tires.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:41 PM   #4
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I think what they are talking about is the fact that a bumper pull travel trailer doesn't cheat as much as a 5th wheel when making a corner due to the location of the pivot point. As a TV turns, the back end moves away from the turn, which swings the front of the trailer away from the turn causing less cheating. With the 5th wheel, the pivot is over the center of the rear axle which does not move the front of the 5th wheel, and it therefor cheats closer to the curb when making a turn.
Bob & Becky
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:45 PM   #5
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Great article
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:52 PM   #6
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Video on the sidewinder.

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