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Old 06-23-2015, 07:45 PM   #21
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 323
Tag or 5th wheel?

Originally Posted by Titanium-X View Post
I had a 2001 Dutchmen Lite 28BHS (what a lemon), and currently have a 2010 Flagstaff Super Lite 27BHSS (great little unit). Last year I sold my 2004 F-150 which I had used to tow both of these units. I bought a nice 2002 F-250 SD with the 7.3L diesel. I saw a significant overall improvement in my towing experience from torque, to fuel economy, to stability. I expected that, but what I didn't expect was how much more of a challange it became to handle my trailer with this truck. The trailer's over length is around 31'. My F-150 was an extended cab with the 5.5' bed (which is kind of rare) so it had a relatively short wheelbase. I realize a longer TV wheelbase is preferred for stability while towing but this shorter wheelbase came in helpful when manuvering. The F-250 is a crewcab shortbed and has a significantly longer wheelbase than the F-150--plus it has front leaf springs which restrict its turning radius more. Manuvering the trailer with this truck can be a bear in tight spots. I am considering a 5th wheel for several reasons, but maneuverablity is one of them. Would I see a significant improvement in maneuverability? More technically--would the advantage of the forward placement of the fifth wheel pivot point be cancelled out by the fact that I have a short bed truck, which restricts the turning radius of the coach due to cab clearance? I know that a slider hitch can help with that and a lot of newer fifth wheels have improved turning radius built into their designs. I think some may be short bed towable without a slider hitch. I have never towed a gooseneck or fifth wheel and there will be a learning curve involved in re-learning backing up. Loss of use of the bed while towing will also be a bummer, but overall I see a fifth wheel as a potential upgrade. My specific question here though concerns improvement in manuevaribility and is it significant in my case?
The whole reason I have a 5th wheel is the issue of it be safer to tow and easier to tow than most if not all tag trailers. My rig is a 39 ft coach and I tow with a long bed and a turnover ball with a goose adapter and it tows great.
The only change I want to make when I hopefully go full time is the air box from reesse and that just makes is ride better that's all.

Happy Camping

2010 Cedar Creek Silverback 35ts
2001 GMC 2500HD w/ Allison & 8.1
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:59 PM   #22
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Nanaimo
Posts: 431
Congrats on your choices...

I might suggest a couple of things to help you get the most out of your 7.3 SD.

The engine is known as 'bullet proof' however, the transmission isn't.

To help parking your rig in the CG use 4X4 low will be able to idle it into position , nice and steady and helps if you have disabled the front wheel on the fly hoses, (just disconnect them and plug them) that way the front hubs are not locked.... you can re-hook them if needed or use the manual hub locks to engage.

If you should have to back up any hills...again... use 4X4 low. This will help the transmission from heating up too much and blowing tranny oil out the top vent (messy).
An additional or larger tranny oil cooler will help a lot..."a cool tranny is a happy tranny"

If you don't have a programmer you might think about it.... it really unleashes some hidden power...and allows you to keep an eye on Engine Exhaust Temp.
Very don't want to over heat your turbo.

A 4" exhaust from the turbo back will help keep things cooler, especially on the hills.

So if you are letting the Hot gasses out will want to get a nice free flowing air cleaner as well to help the engine breath.

The sky is the limit as to what 'extras' you can put on your truck.

Just know that you have a very good truck there and enjoy knowing that it will work all day long and still ask for more. Plus... if you decide to do some mods your are still 'way-under' the sticker price of a new one.

I recently added a Trail-Air Tri-Glide pin box to our 5th wheel. It made a world of difference in the ride in the truck and smoothed out the bounce for the 5th wheel.

My SD is a super cab with a 8ft box. Only my wife and I plus the dog. Storage box in the bed for extras. No problem with 90 degree turns...but it is not good on the 5th wheel tires, as they will crab and ...well... I just try to avoid it.

Hope this helps

'07 WildCat 30 RLBS ~ West Coast Edition ~
Trail Air - Tri Glide Pin Box
2000 F350 Lariat DRW 4x4 7.3 Diesel 89k miles
Edge programmer, 4" SS exhaust turbo/back,
Tru-Cool Max Trans Cooler, Bilstein Shocks
Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:49 PM   #23
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 925
Originally Posted by elind View Post
I know the fun of it. Bought the perfect TT for $30k+ and later the perfect TV for $35k. Set for retirement? NO! Found & bought the better perfect FW for 45k+. Plus we needed a new TV to pull it for $50k+ and the toys to go with it ($5k). Now it's over $100k!!! Done? NO! Now we bought a park model in a resort in Arizona keeping the FW & TV. The kids will have fun when they get 'em all.
My kids, all 8 of them counting step kids, will probably fight over who gets my rig and end up selling it. I should put it in my will but it will be more fun watching them fight!

Second though thanks for making me think. Got a daughter in SC with a disabled son an I know she would use it. He loves to go camping. Hum.....


07 Dodge 1500 crew cab with 20" wheels, 08 Forest River Rockwood Signature Ultra-lite 8280SS
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw
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fifth wheel, wheel

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