How to Measure Truck Bed for 5th Wheel & Gooseneck Clearance

This video is a step-by-step guide to help you decide if you need a 5th wheel roller / sliding 5th wheel hitch or an offset gooseneck ball. We’ll use a simple equation and a couple measurements from your truck and trailer.

There are many questions associated with 5th wheel towing, particularly in relation to truck bed size and short bed trucks: What kind of hitch do I need for a 5th wheel? Do I need a long bed to tow a 5th wheel? Do I have to have a sliding 5th wheel hitch in a short bed truck? What size truck do I need to pull a 5th wheel?

A 5th wheel roller or short bed 5th wheel hitch provides extra clearance when towing a 5th wheel trailer, particularly when making turns. If your truck bed does not provide enough room for the trailer overhang, a roller may provide the extra clearance needed.

In this video, we will walk through the steps needed to answer the question: how to determine if a roller or sliding 5th wheel hitch is needed, whether you have a long bed or short bed truck.

First, measure the width of the 5th wheel trailer and divide by two (X). Common trailer widths include 84”, 96” and 102”.

Next, measure from the center of the 5th wheel hitch / coupling point to the cab of the truck (Y).

Then, apply the equation: Y - X = Z.

If Z is positive, you have enough clearance in the truck bed without a roller. If Z is 0 or negative, a roller will be needed for extra clearance.