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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Motorhome, 5th Wheel or Pull Trailer

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pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 12/19/19 09:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SGTJOE wrote:

Which RV handles best in windy weather and 18 wheelers passing you and then pulling over in front of you Motorhome, Pull Trailer or 5th Wheel???


For "handles best in windy weather" - the physics of boxes traveling down the road dictate that you travel in as small of a one-piece RV, on as heavy duty a chassis, as you can tolerate and afford.

This means that you rule out towed RVs, and instead go for a short and not too tall Class A or Class B or Class C motorhome on the highest rated chassis it can be had on.

I didn't realize the above when we bought our new RV, but luckily - from a handling and stability viewpoint - wound up with a 24 foot Class C on a Ford E450 chassis. This chassis happened to be stock rated and built to handle consideraly more weight than the coach portion requires (hence stiff springs), came stock with a front hydraulic steering stabiliizer (hence no hassle to keep it going strait down the road), came stock with a full box delivery truck type rear dually stance (hence a wide side-to-side footprint where coach weight is the heaviest) and most importantly, came stock with both front and rear torsion bars to reduce coach sway relative to the chassis frame.

We have no problems driving in healthy side-winds, and big rig push when they pass is at a minimum. Another subtle benefit is that we don't need stablizer jacks when camped because walking inside the RV doesn't cause any rocking to speak of.

However towables outsell motorhomes by a wide margin, so IMHO the next best stable setup is as small and non-tall 5'er as one can tolerate being pulled by a one-ton dually pickup.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 12/19/19 11:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

SGTJOE wrote:

Which RV handles best in windy weather and 18 wheelers passing you and then pulling over in front of you Motorhome, Pull Trailer or 5th Wheel???


For "handles best in windy weather" - the physics of boxes traveling down the road dictate that you travel in as small of a one-piece RV, on as heavy duty a chassis, as you can tolerate and afford.

This means that you rule out towed RVs, and instead go for a short and not too tall Class A or Class B or Class C motorhome on the highest rated chassis it can be had on.

I didn't realize the above when we bought our new RV, but luckily - from a handling and stability viewpoint - wound up with a 24 foot Class C on a Ford E450 chassis. This chassis happened to be stock rated and built to handle consideraly more weight than the coach portion requires (hence stiff springs), came stock with a front hydraulic steering stabiliizer (hence no hassle to keep it going strait down the road), came stock with a full box delivery truck type rear dually stance (hence a wide side-to-side footprint where coach weight is the heaviest) and most importantly, came stock with both front and rear torsion bars to reduce coach sway relative to the chassis frame.

We have no problems driving in healthy side-winds, and big rig push when they pass is at a minimum. Another subtle benefit is that we don't need stablizer jacks when camped because walking inside the RV doesn't cause any rocking to speak of.

However towables outsell motorhomes by a wide margin, so IMHO the next best stable setup is as small and non-tall 5'er as one can tolerate being pulled by a one-ton dually pickup.


Well as stater before 32" 5er, 13' tall towed by a 2001 Ram 2500 rock solid in the wind and passing semis.
I don't want small, but want solid, and our combo is now the same 5er towed by a 2016 Ram 3500 DRW.


Russ & Paula the Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 Aisin DRW 4X4 Long bed.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS, 32' GVWR 12,360#

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Veebyes

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Posted: 12/20/19 06:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not many arguments against it, the 5ers are very good in wind.

You can be going along very nicely & not even notice the warning signs that you are reaching a critical point in wind effects. Then the tripping point occurs. That one big gust comes along that is not survivable & over she goes. If you are lucky, we were, the king pin will break out of the 5th wheel & leave you upright in the truck. Ours stretched the 5th wheel hitch jaws open before breaking out. An 18,000 lb hitch holding a 13,000 lb max trailer.

Moral of story, don't be so confident with that 5er. You have no idea how many times that you have been close to going over. It is quite the ride.

No matter what you are driving, pay attention. Look at wind effects on trees, grass, ponds, other vehicles & flags. If in doubt it is far cheaper & less inconvenient to get off the highway & wait it out somewhere sheltered than have to deal with a blowover.


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Jayco-noslide

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Posted: 12/20/19 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No the "Gale" in Galesburg was the name of a founder. I would second the handling concerns of a MH, with or without wind. We just spent a fortune on a "suspension upgrade". No doubt it helps some but wind will still toss it around. It's a tall 12000 lb. box on wheels.


Jayco-noslide

Cummins12V98

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Posted: 12/20/19 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Well as stater before 32" 5er, 13' tall towed by a 2001 Ram 2500 rock solid in the wind and passing semis.
I don't want small, but want solid, and our combo is now the same 5er towed by a 2016 Ram 3500 DRW."

I had basically the same setup as your 01. My 98 and 32.5' Avion Platinum at 20,500# combined handled VERY well. BUT I sure could tell when the wind was blowing or passing a Semi. Current DRW RV combo at 65% more combined weight ya don't feel Semi's or the wind unless it's blowing HARD.


2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

larry barnhart

wenatchee. wa usa

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Posted: 12/20/19 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Veebyes wrote:

Not many arguments against it, the 5ers are very good in wind.

You can be going along very nicely & not even notice the warning signs that you are reaching a critical point in wind effects. Then the tripping point occurs. That one big gust comes along that is not survivable & over she goes. If you are lucky, we were, the king pin will break out of the 5th wheel & leave you upright in the truck. Ours stretched the 5th wheel hitch jaws open before breaking out. An 18,000 lb hitch holding a 13,000 lb max trail


I have told your story many times how the dually probably saved you folks from injury to SWR guys and it really does not sink in.
chevman
No matter what you are driving, pay attention. Look at wind effects on trees, grass, ponds, other vehicles & flags. If in doubt it is far cheaper & less inconvenient to get off the highway & wait it out somewhere sheltered than have to deal with a blowover.



chevman
2001 35 ft avalon alpenlite RK
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scanguage II
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larry barnhart

wenatchee. wa usa

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Posted: 12/20/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sorry I messed up Veebyes post. chevman

ol Bombero-JC

USA

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Posted: 12/20/19 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SGTJOE wrote:

Which RV handles best in windy weather and 18 wheelers passing you and then pulling over in front of you Motorhome, Pull Trailer or 5th Wheel???


My Class A Motor Home (gas) experiences are a bit limited. Owned two over the years - no complaints - althouh I didn't keep either one very long.

Also two TTs (what you call "pull trailers"- are there push trailers..[emoticon]).
In spite of sway control, always had my hand on the brake controller lever when an 18 wheeler was passing ("drag" on the trailer -if needed- to counteract sway).........and yeah - you knew when you were being passed! You learn to live (deal with) it.

Towed the TTs with 2 different 3/4 ton vans, and a 1T SRW long bed crew cab, Ferd diesel pickup. All had a few 'white knuckle' events due to the passing big rigs.

34' fifth wheel, towed by a 1T SRW, short bed, QC, CTD. Night and day compared to the TTs..[emoticon]

You can almost forget it's back there!..[emoticon]
No "afterthoughts" as to whether a long bed *could* be any better!
(Wow factor prevails when towing -and parking- with my short bed)

BTW - *if* I ever feel the need for a dually -or another long bed-
it will be a singled (not tandem) HDT "dually".
Will tow whatever you can put behind it, with all the whistles and bells, with a std DL, registered as a MH in most states.
(Suggest visiting the Escapees HDT forum)

Roll on...[emoticon]

.

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