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Old 06-21-2015, 03:56 AM   #1
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Thinking about a fifth wheel

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?
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:43 AM   #2
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You will be able to move around better with the pivot point over the rear axle vs the ball hitch but you will need to watch your tail swing.

Will you will be getting a slider type fifth wheel?
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
You will be able to move around better with the pivot point over the rear axle vs the ball hitch but you will need to watch your tail swing.

Will you will be getting a slider type fifth wheel?
I actually have a Reese 16K standard fifth wheel hitch that I bought from a buddy awhile back and planned to try it first. If I am having issues, then I would step up to a slider. I am looking at coaches around 30' in length.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:23 AM   #4
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Forest River installs a Reese revolution pin on the 5th wheel which eliminates the need for a slide hitch in the truck. Lots of storage in 8529RKS. Without the revolution hitch I lost the window
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titanium-X View Post
I actually have a Reese 16K standard fifth wheel hitch that I bought from a buddy awhile back and planned to try it first. If I am having issues, then I would step up to a slider. I am looking at coaches around 30' in length.
Ah, the lite is a 30 footer went with it due to some state sites that do not handle much longer units.



The 16k is a good choice IMO, this is what I use it is 16k.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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I pull a Sandpiper 365SAQ with a Chevy 2500 4 door short bed 6.5'. I bought a B&W turnover ball since I have gooseneck trailers for the farm also. Then for the 5th wheel, I purchased the B&W 5th wheel companion with the 12" slide. I have not found a situation yet that requires me to slide, but it is nice to know I have it if needed.

I upgraded pickups from a 2007 to a 2015 and just moved the companion between the 2 trucks now. Tales 10 minutes to pull it out with 2 people, but a forklift or skid steer is a one man job.

You will like how a 5th wheel pulls a lot better than a bumper pull.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
You will be able to move around better with the pivot point over the rear axle vs the ball hitch but you will need to watch your tail swing.

Will you will be getting a slider type fifth wheel?
I agree, a 5th wheel is easier to tow. I own a 32 foot 5th wheel and really like it. I tow with a 07 dodge 1500 crew cab with a 6 1/2 foot bed. My dealer had a used, 8 year old, 16K Reese slider he installed for me. Have only used the slide once but it was worth its weight in gold that day! It can be removed by pulling 4 pins but have had no reason to do that yet.

I would invest in the slider. Never know when it might come in handy and can be moved from one truck down the road. And to be honest the 5th wheels tows so much nicer than the TT I owned and they were smaller,

Jim
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:04 PM   #8
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I have a 2001 F250 SD full 4 door cab and full 8' bed and my 39' Sanibel 5th wheel in tow. It is much easier than even the 26' bumper pull I traded in for the 39'. Enjoy but watch the tight turns.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:04 PM   #9
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You will definitely like how a 5th wheel pulls! We went from a TT to a 5er and were absolutely amazed and the night and day difference e in towing experience. More maneuverable, more stable, and virtually no sway - especially when those 16 wheelers pass you doing 85 MPH!
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:43 PM   #10
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Have had multiples of both. 5th wheel pulls better and MUCH less whip from wind and passing trucks. But new problem is "chucking", which occurs when 5'r wheels hit old pavement joints. Pulls knot in your back every 15 to 20 feet of road. Our current 5r came with MorRyde suspension, which helped on the chucking, and I added a MorRyde pin box which virtually eliminated it. I pull with a SuperGlide hitch in a 6.5' bed GMC 2500HD crewcab Duramax, and highly recommend having a slider. I've had 2 occasions where I have had to turn around on a 2 lane road with virtually NO shoulders, remote locations with nothing around, and no cell service. Would not have been impossible without being able to position the truck at a full right angle to the RV. You can not do that even with a cut nose on a 5r without a slider hitch or a 8' truck bed.
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