You have heard a lot of good info here. Here is one other thing to think about.
I'll be headed to Tri cities about that time. I've got a Ford dually and I could haul it back for you for diesel money for the return trip to Everett. I'll be doing a round trip from Federal Way to Yakima to Tri cities and back.
I have a 40 ft. 5th wheel myself, I also teach RV and trailer driving, so could also give you a bit of instruction.
I agree with above, less than a week to get the truck set up, hitch installed, and some practice in isn't much time.
If you have towed a trailer before, it isn't too bad to switch to a 5th wheel, but there are some differences. Have you camped in an RV before??? you don't state your RV ing experience in general.
And don't rely on either of the salesman to give you the best advice. Especially on what truck to buy. You didn't tell us which Montana you have or are getting, but you want to really make sure that you get a big enough truck. both will tell you a 250 will tow anything, etc. etc.
If you want more info, feel free to PM me here and we can talk. I'd hate for your first trip out to be a nail biter for either you or your wife, as this is a great lively hood.
I have towed our 39'8" Grand Junction with both. Well, kind of. First had a 2010 6.4 F250 with airbags. As many will attest to in here, both salespeople said it would tow anything! Well, it towed it just fine, but couldn't carry it just fine. In all honesty though, it did seem to me to be fine. I didn't have a problem driving it over the mountain passes out here in the PNW. when I finally weighed the 5'er, found out we were about 1000lbs over the payload and 400lbs or so over the RAWR, plus over the GCVWR. Being over in one by a bit, maybe not too bad, but all three???????? And I hadn't added the extra batteries or W/D yet.
On our fourth trip out, coming home from CA back to WA, we stopped in Vegas and I traded it in for a 2011 F350 dually. Both were 4x4, LB, 4 door big trucks! Got a great deal there, so traded it in on the spot.
You could tell a difference just leaving the lot. Bit more "big truck" like feel. Even my wife could tell the difference out on the road sitting in the passenger seat. Cant say that the dogs cared one way or the other though....:)
I had thought that the 250 towed it just fine. Not till you try the same trailer, windy mountain roads, do you really feel much difference. It isn't like night and day, but it is there.
To me, the bottom line is if you need it for carrying capacity, you get a dually. If not, personal preference. Nothing wrong with having a bit of extra capacity.
It is my daily driver. Not an issue at all, but then the truck at work I drove for 24 years is a 40ft, 9 1/2ft wide straight frame fire truck....YMMV.
The one other test to do is to make sure the batteries are fully charged, then unplug the rig from shorepower and see how the 12v. systems work. That takes the inverter out of the equation. and as stated before, 12.5 v isn't really a fully charged battery.
Good luck. You just have to isolate each part of the system one at a time to see what is happening.
x2. Made a nice cabinet in the front of the basement where the gen. would go. Put the extra batts, inverter, BBQ, rugs, fishing gear and freezer all in there. Makes things nice and neat. Plug the unit into the inverter while traveling and the outlet down there when plugged in. Very easy.
We full time and have a haier freezer in basement storage and keeps stuff froze all day as we travel. Works for us. also used it in the motor home before getting the 5th wheel. Good luck.:)
There are lots out there, just have to keep looking for what will fit your liking. Let me be the first to say to just be careful weight wise with the 2500, depending on the year. And don't just you dry weights.
You may have to go up and down steps every time you go to the bedroom or bathroom in a rear living room set up, but most of your day to day things are on the same floor level. Try one out doing your daily routine.
First off, you can't just hook the speakers up directly to the TV as it doesn't have an amp to power them unless it is a special TV.
Is the am/fm/cd stereo a car stereo or home style? Does it have a DVD player build it?
Easiest way is to get an all in one home style stereo/amp/DVD player and hook the speakers to that. Then you can program the remotes to work on both TV and stereo/DVD player.
I agree. Check the battery. Especially the water level as it can be charged but won't hold it under load if the water level is too low. Then try it all with a fully charged battery. If it is charged, there is no need to be hooked to shore power or a vehicle. I can cycle my slides in and out over a dozen times easily without recharging. But they are group 31 105 amp batteries.
And yes, there should be a big (fat) black wire going to ground and a big red wire coming off of the battery. But without seeing your set up and knowing if it goes directly to a battery switch or anything, I couldn't guess where the red one goes exactly. Mine I have going to the battery switch first, so everything, even the jacks you have to have the bat. switch on.
Probably your best bet is to have a good local mobile tech guy come out and look at it.
For those of you who did this upgrade for 7000lb what did the kit cost for everything to replace it. I'm thinking of doing it, but I'll probably check on the wires and magnets first. I've seen a few of the heavier trailers where the electric brakes work just fine, locking up on dry pavement until we adjust the gain on them. If I can get mine to do that, that would be good enough for me. If not, then probably go for the disc brakes.
and by the way, whoever said that the new theory of locking the brakes up is better than not is wrong. It is true that a good driver can out brake someone who just stomps on a set of ABS brakes. But a locked up and skidding set of tires does not stop faster than a set that is braking hard right up to the point of locking up.
I say that as a emergency rig driving instructor.
Sounds like the neighbor at our cabin. Their 20 ft sailboat, we had to take the coupling and "v" support under the trailer tongue off, put the tongue on a handcart to lower it down enough so that the bow pulpit would clear the door. So he sells the boat, no problem, gets a new ski boat. Won't fit lengthwise. so he has a handiman cut a 2' square hole in the far end of the wall with a box over it. Now we just put the boat in backwards, tongue first into that hole. fits with about 2" to spare if you turn the outdrive to the side!
My dad was smart though, he built the garage with an 8' door and one 10' door for the ski boat and plenty long, so we could put the 22 ft. Searay in with no problem!
We've had no issues going either way over 97 to Wenatchee. Do it a couple of times a year. If you keep a look out ahead for slower trucks you should be able to time it passing them ok.
But I'd really look into the cooling problems, as that isn't good. You could even get down to 45 on busy holiday weekends anywhere around here.
I can attest to that MeAgain. I just replaced my last ST tire. We had Tow Kings originally that came with the trailer, then Akuretes, which did last a whole year! Then a Tow Max that lasted 2 400 mile trips in one year before disinagrating. I keep them properly inflated before each trip. I have a good gauge and my own compressor. They are covered when not traveling, and I never go over 65mph. Oh, but there must be something else I'm doing wrong, he says. Or they wouldn't blow.
I am trying Geo STar 574 LT 235 85 R16's 14ply LR G tires. I have 7000lb axles and about 12,500 on them total. The old E range should have worked great, but we went through 7 tires in 3 years. Luckily only one really blew, the rest had leaks in the sidewall or stone bruises we caught before they blew.
Personally, no matter what kind of tire I have in the future, it will be one load range above what is needed just for piece of mind. I go in tomorrow for an estimate on the skirt damage from the last blow out.
Not much different to add than what has been said before.
It is a lot easier to hitch by yourself, you'll like that. Pulls great. They are heavy though, so watch your pin weight, depending on the truck you have.
When teaching a new student (small plug for RV Driving School) to back a 5th wheel, the basics are the same, just the timing is a lot different. So experiment and practice to get used to it. Set up some cones and pace off how far away from your objective you need to be to start your turns.
Have someone else drive it around a parking lot doing some turns so you can visualize how far the tires track inside of the TV tires.
But most important, just go out and enjoy your new toy!
I start ours on propane the day before also. Plus it makes sure that it is working on gas and you don't have any air in the system. Otherwise it has been known to start and run for 10 min. or so, then quit when it gets air. Then have to restart it again.
Just blew up a Towmaster, after traveling only 60 miles from the camp ground. It is less than a year old with about 1000 miles on it. The other three are two year old Akurets, and one of them had a leak in the sidewall when we got ready to leave two days later. but with no spare left, we limped down the street to Les Schwab. We have replaced 7 tires in the last three years since we bought this thing.
Even though the old ones were 3500lb tires on 7000lb axles, with axle weight total of about 1200lbs, I went with the LT Geostar 14ply tires with a 3750lb rating. You could easily feel the difference in thickness on the inside of the rim of the tires. The trailer felt more stable with the stiffer sidewalls.
With lifetime warranty, etc, I hope it is the last ones we need for awhile now.
With my experience, The Tow master, Tow King, etc. the Akurets, are all junk. I wouldn't let anyone GIVE me another one of those. I wanted to tell the guy that had the trailer next to us getting a new set of Tow Masters on his trailer to think again after looking at my destroyed tire.