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Old 11-03-2014, 07:06 PM   #281
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Hello to everyone! First I wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributes to this forum. I get so much value from online groups like this and your thread is a great one.

I've been looking to buy my first camp trailer and...
Backing a fifth wheel is a little different from a bumper pull in that the trailer turns very slowly at first (compared to the truck) then starts to accelerate the turn as you get it moving. Some practice in a big empty parking lot is all you really need.

The one big surprise for me when going from a bumper pull to a fifth wheel was how harsh the ride was and how much chucking I got between the truck and trailer. I would highly recommend an air ride type pinbox or better yet have your dealer install the Reese Goose Box, it has made a world of difference in the ride and freed up the bed of my truck. ALso, adjustable shocks have made my dually ride even better loaded and unloaded.

While I have one of the most reliable 6.0 Fords around I agree with everyone's advice on avoiding it and the 6.4. Mine will be replaced sometime in the next 11,000 miles, right before the extended warranty is up.

Good luck
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:30 PM   #282
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I have never noticed chucking with any of my fivers with standard pin boxes, but both trucks had 8 foot beds. The ride was much better for us with the plain fivers than travel trailers. Alot depends on the set up (weight distribution & the truck.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:40 PM   #283
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I have never noticed chucking with any of my fivers with standard pin boxes, but both trucks had 8 foot beds. The ride was much better for us with the plain fivers than travel trailers. Alot depends on the set up (weight distribution & the truck.
Agreed, the setup and particular dynamics of both vehicles can be a factor, in our case the 351 chucked less (before the Goosebox) with a full load of fresh water and as much gear forward as possible. With the Goosebox I can load it pretty much any way I want (within reason) and get a good ride. The added bonus is not having to remove a fifth wheel hitch before hauling anything in the bed or towing a gooseneck trailer.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:06 PM   #284
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I assume that a 5th wheel would be more manageable backing around the house and through the gate opening.


ANYWAY, I was hoping to get a couple of questions answered as I work my way to ultimately buying a camper...

One of the things that has drawn me to a toy hauler is the bunk beds in the garage area. We have three young children and a dog and wanted to have a separate space for them (that is convenient and easy to clean as well..)

Also, Other than the question on the convertible couches in the garage, if anyone has any sage advice for someone looking to investigate and buy their first pull trailer, let me have it!
With a fifth wheel you need room for truck to maneuver/swing as opposed to a bumper pull.

If you are going to be in the southern US in the summer time, get two Air conditioners. One does not cool the garage area well.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:30 PM   #285
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Thank you again to everyone for the responses.

First, I said that I would post an aerial image of my house to get some feedback on whether I would be able to back this unit onto the pad beside my house. When I was looking at the image on google earth I realized that it is a pipe dream to think I will be able to back it in. I will have to pour a wider pad and get a bigger gate.

As I've gotten more set on getting this fifth wheel and really considered it's size (while looking at the aerial image), I'm starting to question my reasoning that led me to it. I'm scared that it's maybe too big?? It offers all of the features and the layout I want and need for my family, but I am concerned how manageable it will be for the kind of camping I want to do.

I envision being able to jump in the truck and take off for the weekend to a high mountain reservoir, Yellowstone, Camping in the pines, etc. etc. (Northern Utah or southern Idaho). Anyone give any feedback on my thoughts? Do I need to reconsider and settle for something smaller?

As a side note, my brother owns a smaller TT Toy hauler and I asked him about it. He told me that the locations we end up at would probably be somewhat different than I imagine because of the wife and kids' preferences. He also said that he woud have gone bigger and done something more like the 351THSS... That helped to cinfirm things for me but I'd ike to hear from some seasoned vets.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:56 PM   #286
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Thank you again to everyone for the responses.

First, I said that I would post an aerial image of my house to get some feedback on whether I would be able to back this unit onto the pad beside my house. When I was looking at the image on google earth I realized that it is a pipe dream to think I will be able to back it in. I will have to pour a wider pad and get a bigger gate.

As I've gotten more set on getting this fifth wheel and really considered it's size (while looking at the aerial image), I'm starting to question my reasoning that led me to it. I'm scared that it's maybe too big?? It offers all of the features and the layout I want and need for my family, but I am concerned how manageable it will be for the kind of camping I want to do.

I envision being able to jump in the truck and take off for the weekend to a high mountain reservoir, Yellowstone, Camping in the pines, etc. etc. (Northern Utah or southern Idaho). Anyone give any feedback on my thoughts? Do I need to reconsider and settle for something smaller?

As a side note, my brother owns a smaller TT Toy hauler and I asked him about it. He told me that the locations we end up at would probably be somewhat different than I imagine because of the wife and kids' preferences. He also said that he woud have gone bigger and done something more like the 351THSS... That helped to cinfirm things for me but I'd ike to hear from some seasoned vets.

Forgot a couple of things to ask;

I assume this is considered a 35 foot 5th wheel (based on the "351THSS" name) but the total actual length is really 37 feet. Is that correct? So as I search forums and sites I get confused as to what people are referring to when they say "I have a 35 footer" or "I have a 37 footer" are they generally referring to total length or to the rated size of the trailer? It seems at times like people refer the trailers that are only a couple feet longer as being much bigger rigs. I've seen people referring to 35 footers as reasonably sized but to 38 footers as being "really big".

Also, is the garage area water proof (at least the lower couple of feet where the walls are covered by the metal diamond-plate siding)? I assume it would be as atv's would sometimes be muddy. I just wondered for cleaning purposes.

Does anyone have the outside shower? Is it just a hose with a showerhead? Does it have a floor? (so the user isn't standing in the mud.)

Anyone have the fuel station? Does it work well and is it worth getting? I like the idea of having it just as an emergency preparedness tool at the house even if I didn't regularly use it for toys while camping.


Thanks for helping with all my questions!
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:01 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by dustycoyote View Post
I envision being able to jump in the truck and take off for the weekend to a high mountain reservoir, Yellowstone, Camping in the pines, etc. etc. (Northern Utah or southern Idaho). Anyone give any feedback on my thoughts? Do I need to reconsider and settle for something smaller?
I had to think long and hard on this same thing. I wanted something I could easily grab and go for the weekend also. I originally wanted something more 34-35 feet. Then we looked at a 356QLB, and I decided I could live with 36'4". We like to camp at state parks and they often don't have huge sites, so I sat down with the computer and pulled up a lot of the parks we want to visit here in PA. Some only have pads up to 30'--that won't work either way, 351, or my current setup, or 34'. I found a lot that did have 50+ foot pads. Maybe not primo wooded sites, but I will at least get a site.

I came to the conclusion that I will be able to work with the length, and feel that the 12' height may be more of a factor for grab n go. Certainly a lot easier than dragging a 13' plus foot tall unit around. Still, if they had an option to get one with a 10' garage rather than 12', I'd have jumped on it. I don't need 12, but the Puma just looked to be the best option in the price range.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:14 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by dustycoyote View Post
I assume this is considered a 35 foot 5th wheel (based on the "351THSS" name) but the total actual length is really 37 feet. Is that correct? So as I search forums and sites I get confused as to what people are referring to when they say "I have a 35 footer" or "I have a 37 footer" are they generally referring to total length or to the rated size of the trailer? It seems at times like people refer the trailers that are only a couple feet longer as being much bigger rigs. I've seen people referring to 35 footers as reasonably sized but to 38 footers as being "really big"..
From my research I have found the length to vary wildly. Some are called 38's but measure 40+. I looked at a 29' that measured 34'. I measured the 356, and found my numbers on par with what forest river prints. So I've ventured my guess that the 351 will come in right at 37.

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Does anyone have the outside shower? Is it just a hose with a showerhead? Does it have a floor? (so the user isn't standing in the mud.).
It's a faucet on the outside with a showerhead on a hose.

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Originally Posted by dustycoyote View Post
Anyone have the fuel station? Does it work well and is it worth getting? I like the idea of having it just as an emergency preparedness tool at the house even if I didn't regularly use it for toys while camping.
I decided against it. I've had the offroad toys and am done with them. The only thing I could think to use it for was for gas for a generator, but given how much it would be used the gas would most likely go bad before it got used up.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:07 AM   #289
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From my research I have found the length to vary wildly. Some are called 38's but measure 40+. I looked at a 29' that measured 34'. I measured the 356, and found my numbers on par with what forest river prints. So I've ventured my guess that the 351 will come in right at 37.



It's a faucet on the outside with a showerhead on a hose.



I decided against it. I've had the offroad toys and am done with them. The only thing I could think to use it for was for gas for a generator, but given how much it would be used the gas would most likely go bad before it got used up.
Thanks again for the help. I've appreciated your advice. I thought the same thing about the garage. I wish it was 10ft.

Funny, my brother said the same thing about his fuel station even though he still has ATV's. He just doesn't use it very much. He doesn't even fill it anymore but said that was mostly because he pulls with a chevy 1500 so he needs to watch his weight as much as possible.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:37 AM   #290
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The length of mine matches the Palomino specs exactly. I have to fit it inside a 40X40 building. The 351 in it's name is the square footage of inside area, not the length. I have the fuel station and use it both for refueling my UTV and motorcycle. I also use it for generator refueling when off the grid. It is necessary to run the pump once a month or so to keep it free. That can be a pain for some people who rarely use it.
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