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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Advice on towing a 5th wheel

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Sarah8

Oswego

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Posted: 11/18/20 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We plan to buy a new travel trailer that is 30'2" total length and about 6300 lbs dry. We also plan on upgrading our tow vehicle since we have been towing with an SUV. However, we recently found a 5th wheel floorplan that we really like. It has made us rethink our trailer since we already are buying a truck anyway. The total length of the 5th wheel is only 32'11". Would my total length be shorter than if we were to go travel trailer? I like to be small and tow ease is very important. So, my question is how different is it towing a 5th wheel? I believe it needs a larger turn radius? How often do you have gas stations or campsites that you can't get into? Anyone own a travel trailer at one time and a 5th wheel? My ideal situation would be a very small travel trailer but I want double bunks and some storage so...[emoticon] I am just really nervous about putting the extra money in a bigger truck and 5th wheel and not liking having to worry as we travel. Thanks!

agesilaus

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Posted: 11/18/20 02:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Total length on the ground will be shorter with the fifth wheel since it extends over the bed of the truck. I also found a fiver easier to pull and especially back into a spot. I find the fiver is much easier to back up to connect to as well since you can see what's is happening.


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corvettekent

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Posted: 11/18/20 02:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The overall length of a truck and 5th wheel would be 3-4 feet shorter than a truck and trailer.

The truck and 5th wheel can turn a much tighter turn then a truck and trailer.

There has only been a few times that I have had issues at a fuel station and it has to do with the height of the 5th wheel. I was still able to get fuel but I had to back out of the fuel dock.

If you go with a 5th wheel I would recommend getting a truck with a 8 foot box.


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Terryallan

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Posted: 11/18/20 02:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might want to check on the length. I saw where they don't count what is over the truck in the total length. Only the length of the "box" it self. So a listed 33' 5er is minus the upstairs, or bed if it has a bed up stairs.

Just like on a Travel Trailer. The tongue is not counted in the published length. Only the Box itself.

This is where a tape measure comes in real handy.


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way2roll

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Posted: 11/18/20 02:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Towing a FW or trailer of relatively the same length, your overall length will be shorter with the FW due to the FW having overhang over the truck. FW's I find are easier to tow. The pin weight is over the rear axle of the truck so there is very little tail wagging the dog. It's much more stable and I find easier to back up. As a general rule you will need a bigger truck with a FW than a TT because you need more payload capacity in addition to tow capacity since the pin sits in the bed. I went with an 8 foot bed with a FW because the shorter truck bed would have forced me to get a slider hitch to keep the front of the FW from hitting the truck in a tight turn. We looked at TT's vs FW and it's hard to beat the floorspace and floor plans in FW's when comparing the two. We love our FW and made the right choice on a FW and truck combination.


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Sarah8

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Posted: 11/18/20 02:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you, I am loving reading people's opinions.

BB_TX

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The manufacturer specs on our 5th wheel specifies the lengths as being from the center of the king pin to the rearmost part of the trailer. So yes, the overall length of truck and 5er would be several feet shorter than a bumper pull of same length.

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 34' (33'10")....that is OVERALL length from front cap to rear cap (ladder not included)

FW measurements are TOTAL Length front to back

roughly 3' is over truck bed
Truck (quad cab/8' bed) is slightly over 19'
With 5vr hitch...total length roughly 50'

5vr tracks INSIDE when turning corners
5vr is slow to respond at first when backing then SPEEDS up
I find it EASIER to back in 5vr vs trailer

No Swaying, no 'bow wave' from passing semis, less involvement when hitching/unhitching

I have towed all kinds of trailers from farm equipment, utility, dollies, TTs and 5vrs
I like 5vrs overall

We FT for 7 yrs and never found a CG we couldn't get into....some took a bit of 'finesse' due to older CG small sites and 90* approaches

With practice (large empty parking lots....churches/closed business etc) one can easily backin a truck 5vr combo

Just make sure you buy truck with actual capabilities to CARRY the wet pin weight of the 5th wheel (truck rear axle weight rating)
Use 22% of 5th wheel GVWR to guesstimate WET Pin weight that would be added to trucks rear axle PLUS hitch weight

Have fun shopping!!!


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Wadcutter

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 41 ft 5th wheel. To pull to Alaska last year I bought a 28 ft trailer. The overall length with the 5th wheel 57'2". Length with the trailer was 53 ft.
A fifth wheel will pull a lot easier, back easier, and turn in less distance than a similar length rig pulling a trailer.


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MFL

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will be happy with a FW, due to towing ease, hookup/disconnect ease, and lots of useable space in coach, as well as storage.

The down side is added height, which only requires you to look up, more than a TT. They back different than a TT, and IMO, takes a bit more to master, than a TT, but once learned, no problem getting in very tight spots.

Like OB mentioned, a FW will track inside more than a TT, when turning a corner, and you need to learn to swing wider in some instances.

Get a HD truck of your choice, one with the OEM FW puck system would be best choice. This is for ease of hitch mount, that you can put in/out quickly by yourself.

Jerry





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