Best 5th Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks – 2020 Complete Round-up

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Finding the best 5th wheel hitch for short bed trucks can be a challenge. But if you have a good idea of what they are and how they work, then the search might not be as difficult.

It’s important to find a good hitch that will be great for transporting trailers or whatever else regardless of the distance. If you can find a hitch for your short bed truck, you’ll be able to rely on it for as long as it’s needed.

We’ll be taking a look at the list of 5th wheel hitches in a moment. But for now, let’s discuss whether ​any hitch can work on a short truck bed and how you can choose one for your own intents and purposes.

Comparison of the Best 5th Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best for the money
  • 20,000-pound weight limit
  • Polyurethane included for reducing rattle while in use
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Weighs around 285 pounds
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Gross trailer weight of 24,000 pounds
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Handles up to 20,000 pounds
  • Self-aligning head for coupling
  • Includes a three-position indicator
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Can Any Hitch Work on a Short Bed Truck?

Not every hitch can be good for a short bed truck. And there are reasons why that is. For one, a short bed truck can do so much in terms of towing or hitching onto heavier trailers. However, some hitches will work for both short bed and long bed trucks. But don’t translate that into “any hitch can work”. Short bed trucks can handle up to a certain weight. But anything above it will need a much larger truck.

How to Choose a 5th Wheel Hitch

Finding a 5th wheel hitch doesn’t have to be a difficult task. But we can say for certain that finding the right one can and will be helpful in whatever capacity where a hitch can be needed. Here are some things to look out for when you are finding a 5th wheel hitch:

Price

Indeed, the price will probably play a role in your decision process. But make no mistake, it shouldn’t be the be-all to end-all decision. Find the best hitch that you can afford in terms of quality and performance. Avoid any hitches that might be ridiculously low in price. A crazy low price will always equal poor quality.

Construction and Quality

The best hitches are made from high-quality materials and are always well-constructed. The last thing you want to deal with is a hitch that will easily get rusted or corroded. Find one that will be resistant to all kinds of weather and at best, be really hard to rust, corrode, or even scratch.

Find The Perfect Fit

Every hitch has to be a good fit for your short bed in order for it to be operational. Be sure to measure your truck’s bed prior to finding your hitch. Some hitches may vary in size, so it’s important to know your measurements before choosing the right one that will fit you. 

Quick Take  - Best 5th Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best 5th wheel hitches for short bed trucks:

  1. B&W RVK3500
  2. PULLRITE 2300 ISR
  3. CURT 16536

Review of the Best 5th Wheel Hitches For Short Bed Trucks

The following is a list of the best 5th wheel hitches for short bed trucks. It’s important that you take a good look at every single one of them and make any notes of things that stand out. Especially when you are looking for a hitch based on a certain feature or characteristic.

Let’s take a look at the first hitch on our list -- our “best overall” choice:

Best Overall:
B&W RVK3500

B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500

PROS

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Fits nicely on most truck beds
  • Really durable for consistent use
  • No rattling or noisiness when in use
  • Can handle heavy trailers and vehicles

CONS

  • May be a little too heavy for some
  • Assembly may be a challenge at times
  • Some complained about the number of bolts that needed to be tightened

​What Recent Buyers Report

This was a great buy for a lot of new users who have never used a hitch before on their trucks. They knew they got the deal of a lifetime when they put this to use. They were able to install this in a little over an hour and it fits on most short truck beds. One user said that he uses this to transport his camper wherever he went. Campgrounds, in the woods, you name it...he’s taken it there. So far, he said that it can handle as many cross country road trips as it wants to. And he isn’t disappointed in the slightest.

Why it Stands Out to Us

At this point, this hitch has the highest weight limit in the lineup. It can handle a mere 20,000 pounds of whatever the heck it is that you’re towing. This could be another truck, a camper, or some industrial supplies that you need to transport from one job site to the next. And this sucker is built for multiple amounts of use no matter how many heavy loads you deal with. Plus, the addition of polyurethane eliminates what is considered a common problem among hitch users. It eliminates rattling and squeakiness, which does trigger concerns for those wondering if the hitch is actually secure enough.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be the perfect hitch for those who want something that is easy to use, easy to fit, and just all-around awesome to have. It’s a great hitch for the newbie that has never used one in their lifetime. Plus, it’s at an affordable price so they don’t have to worry about having to settle for something that might be considered “high-end”.

Bottom Line

The B&W RVK3500 is perfect for any kind of heavy-duty tasks while keeping it easy on your wallet. This is no cheap and flimsy hitch that will fail on you. It can and it will handle the heavy hauling consistently and won’t quit on you halfway. Plus, it will handle any kind of weather no matter where you are. For a super solid 5th wheel hitch that is actually the best you can afford for quality, this is it.

PullRite 24K Isr Superglide

PROS

  • Easy fitting
  • Very well-built
  • Doesn’t rust or corrode after a short period of time
  • Handles heavier weights compared to some hitches
  • Allows for hitching and unhitching that is quick and painless

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A majority of the new users were those who were looking for a hitch that was perfect for construction and industrial purposes. Sure enough, this was the best hitch that they could find for hitching trailers of different shapes and sizes. It does a good job keeping the trailers hitched securely and can handle the distances whether it was for a mile or 1,000 miles. One user said that it was perfect for a trailer that carried well over a couple of tons of steel. And for a short bed truck, that was quite an accomplishment he added.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The SuperGlide lives up to its name for sure. If you hitch something to your truck and make a turn, it will be quite smooth and will still keep your load secure no matter how many turns and straightaways that you travel on. Once you have this on your truck, everything you transport will be smooth sailing without the tension. If that’s what you need in a hitch that will be fitting for a short bed truck like yours, then what have you got to lose if this isn’t the one you go with?

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent hitch for the many short bed trucks that can handle the heavy-duty towing and carrying around. You will take your camper or a trailer full of heavy materials from one place to the next and it will keep itself intact the whole way through. And yes, traveling from one place to the other with the help of this hitch will certainly be a lot easier and a lot quieter as well.

Bottom Line

The Pullrite 2300 ISR is one of the toughest S.O.Bs around when it comes to 5th wheel hitches. And it won’t steer you wrong no matter how many times you put it to work. It’s built to last and is built to handle so many heavy-duty projects. It might just make your short bed truck a force to be reckoned with.

CURT 16536 Q20 5th Wheel Slider Hitch for Short Bed Trucks, 20,000 lbs.

PROS

  • Easy install
  • Perfect for everyday use
  • Super sturdy construction
  • Reliable through 30,000 miles
  • Sets up in about 30 minutes or less

CONS

  • None

​What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a good number of new users were quite satisfied with the hitch overall. This was a perfect fit for most short bed trucks. Overall, the construction was solid and hitching was quick and easy on most trailers. One user said he was able to install this in less than a half-hour. Later that same day, he used it to hitch his camper and it did a good job keeping it intact for the 100-mile drive.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is probably one of the best hitches you can find for the purpose of long-haul hitching. Whether it’s a few heavy things or your favorite camper, this hitch is the perfect addition to any short bed truck that can be useful for all kinds of hauling. It doesn’t matter how long you use it or how much weather it can withstand. A hitch like this can definitely be your best road warrior if and when you need it for the 10 mile or the 1,000-mile ride.

Who Will Use This Most

This is perfect for the user who might consider going on a cross country road trip (with the rolling hotel room intact). Not only will it save you a ton of money on reservations, but it also is one of the more budget-friendly 5th wheel hitches in its class. After all, investing in this would probably be the most financially smart thing you’ve ever done.

Bottom Line

The CURT 16536 is undeniably one of the better 5th wheel hitches for a short bed truck that will be perfect for hauling all kinds of trailers and campers. And what’s more, it’s one of the best hitches you can find south of $1000. So, it’s one of the more ideal hitching solutions without having the life sucked out of your bank account.

B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500

PROS

  • Easy installation
  • Very easy to use
  • Excellent quality
  • Solid construction
  • Perfect for hitching campers and trailers

CONS

  • None

​What Recent Buyers Report

New users were able to put this to good use for the purpose of transporting campers and even moving trailers. They said the hitch was well-constructed and very durable. Plus, it was easy to hitch loads that can be taken across town or across the country. One user said so far, he’s had no complaints or regrets investing in this.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This hitch is well-fit for most truck short beds. And it weighs in at about 150 pounds. So, it’s sturdiness is hard to challenge. And it will definitely hitch to your precious cargo (whatever it is) without any fitting issues or the like. For a hitch that will keep your loads in line and secure, this might be what you need.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great 5th wheel hitch to take with you either for a weekend of camping or a long road trip across the country. You know it can handle trailers and campers, so why not give this a shot? It’s super durable and will stand up to all kinds of environmental elements.

Bottom Line

The B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400 is well-deserving of the best overall title and for all the right reasons. You’d be surprised by how awesome this bad boy is when it comes to quality and operation. It can handle heavy-duty tasks like nothing else.

Reese Titan 30870 Fifth Wheel 20000 lb Load Capacity with Round Tube Slider

PROS

  • Easy adjustments
  • Well-built and very durable
  • Can handle the heavier weight loads
  • Height adjustments are smooth and easy
  • Can hitch and unhitch with the greatest of ease

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were amazed by the hitch’s ability to hitch and unhitch without a single instance of struggle. The adjustments at various heights made the operation a breeze. They said that it was also the perfect fit for their short beds and it still left them plenty of room to store all kinds of additional accessories and tools. One user said that he pretty much uses this every weekend for hauling all kinds of junk. So far, he is quite happy with the overall functionality of the hitch saying that it stays secure and never unhitches itself at the worst possible times.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you want the best 5th wheel hitch that can handle the heavy weighted tasks, then you’d be crazy to pass up the opportunity to give this a closer look. In fact, it’s probably one of the better options if all you want is a hitch that is perfect for retention. You don’t need to deal with a hitch that will cause trailers and whatever else to sway and move around all over the road (and put other motorists in danger). This hitches and locks up pretty good (but unhitching it isn’t difficult either).

Who Will Use This Most

This is great for construction workers and for those who are planning on hauling heavy loads on a regular basis. It’s no slouch when it comes to construction and operation. And it’s not afraid to get down and dirty either. Whether you use it for a weekend or every single day, this is a hitch that will never quit.

Bottom Line

The Reese Titan 30870 is the real deal when it comes to heavy hauling. And you best believe that it will be built tough to handle such tasks. This is the go-to option for you if you are hauling things from one job site to the next or from whatever is considered point A and point B. This is guaranteed to give you the easiest operation possible and really good retention on top of that.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

It’s better to choose a 5th wheel hitch with the knowledge of what it is and what it can accomplish. Here are some additional things to consider so you are able to approach your final purchasing decision more informed than ever:

What Weight Limit Do I Need?

The weight limit you need will depend on what you are planning on hauling on a regular basis. It’s imperative to choose the weight limit that will fit you best. Be sure to choose the closest weight limit possible. Don’t go any lower than you need to or otherwise it won’t be as useful. 

Consider Measuring Your Truck Bed

You want the best fit possible for your truck bed. So you want to measure it so you can find the closest one you can find to a perfect fit. Don’t find anything too large or too small. The closer you can get, the better off you will be. 

What Am I Planning to Haul?

The important thing to know is what will you be hauling on a regular basis. Is it your camper? Is it a trailer that you rely on? Your boat? These are some things that you need to consider. You are looking for a 5th wheel hitch for a reason. The question is: what will you be hauling? 

How to Install a 5th Wheel Hitch

Knowing how to install a 5th wheel hitch can be tricky. But lucky for you, we have this handy guide that you can use so you can make any install a breeze. Here’s how you do it:

  1. You will need the following tools and equipment: Torque wrench, 19mm, and 24mm sockets, power drill with 9/16 inch bits, safety glasses, and a tape measure.   

  2. Install the bracket above the passenger side rear tire and install the front and back bolts and fasten them securely. Install the bracket on the driver’s side and repeat the same process.  

  3. Line up the rail kit on the bed. Start with the forward-most rail and make sure it’s lined up properly.  

  4. Install the rearward rails with the fifth wheel upright. Make sure everything is squared right prior to installation.  

  5. Drill the two outer pilot holes and the outer center holes. Make sure the holes are lined up. Drill the holes using your 9/16 bit. 

  6. Place a galvanic isolated strip over the center hole and pile on a large u-clip and a small u-clip on top. Repeat with the forward-most rail.  

  7. Remove brackets from either side and place a galvanic isolated strip underneath the bed. Make sure it’s linked up with the drilled holes.  

  8. Place the bolts with lock washers on the inner side of the rearward rail. Install carriage bolts into the center holes and the remaining holes that follow.  

  9. Install the use of spacers in between the bracket and the bed of the truck. Make sure the open side of the spacers are facing the outer part of the vehicle.  

  10. Locate the hex bolt inside the hex support and using a second pair of hands, tighten it up. Repeat on the other side. 

  11. Tighten the phlange nuts on the center holes.  

  12. Torque the bracket bolts on both sides. At this point, you should be done.  

Conclusion

If you want the best 5th wheel hitch for your short bed truck, then you might want to consider some of the options above. Nothing is more reliable than a hitch that can get the job done quite like a 5th wheel hitch. Find out which one works for you best and you will be able to use it for any hauling job it calls for. 

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions that come from new buyers. These are perfect for you to fall back on if and when you need more info on how a 5th wheel hitch for short bed trucks work. Here are the following questions:

Which is Easier to Tow, 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer?

In the case between the two, a 5th wheel is a lot easier to maneuver and is often the safer option compared to its travel trailer counterpart. However, the 5th wheel will likely be a bit larger in size than a travel trailer. 

How High Should My Fifth Wheel Hitch Be?

It should be at the appropriate height to where the trailer is level. Also, you need to have a six-inch minimum space between the bed rail and the trail loft. 

What Is Better Gooseneck or Fifth Wheel?

If you are looking for something that will be more recreational focused, then a fifth wheel hitch will be the better option. Gooseneck hitches will be more focused on your industrial toting and hauling.

Are Fifth Wheel Trailers Easier to Tow?

They are easier and one of the safest ways to tow, despite the trailers being a bit large in size. The good news is, they are able to maneuver and move around quite nimbly. 

What Size Truck Do I Need to Pull a 5th Wheel?

At a minimum, a half-ton truck might do you some good if you plan on using a 5th wheel. However, if you are hauling a much larger trailer then a truck that is classified as a three-quarter-ton truck might be the best option.