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Old 04-29-2019, 11:34 AM   #1
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Fifth Wheel Questions

Wife and I are thinking of looking into some 5'vers and I had a few questions for those who have them.

1. I use my truck bed, A LOT.. When Im not towing. When I am camping I put 4-5 Bicycles in there. Now that my bed would be full of Hitch and camper, how could I haul 5 bicycles with me?

2. How hard is it to take the hitch out to use for , say, hauling mulch or lumber?

3. Most of the ones I have looked at seem kinda small in the living quarters.
Our current bunkhouse (2018 Cherokee Limiteed 304BH) has 3 slides and the living area seems more roomy than many fifth Wheel bunkhouses we have looked at. However the Master bedroom is smaller than Iw ould like and that is nice and large in the 5th wheel campers.

4. Towing would be an advantage, no sway to warry about. However seems it may take a bit to get used too backing up.. I have to back down about a 250 foot wooded driveway.

I suppose most of my concerns though are losing the truck bed for cargo capacity for large bulky stuff like bikes etc..

So anyone made the switch and regretted it?
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:51 AM   #2
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I know I'm going against the grain here, but...

I like our fiver, but if I were doing it over again, I'd stick with a tag-along.

We have an Andersen Ultimate hitch so removing it isn't an issue at all. And it leaves the bed completely clean. No rails or anything in the bed.

The 5er has more room, but since it's just me and the DW we'd have plenty room in most TT's we'd want.

As for sway, I can't tell any difference. We never had sway with any of the TT's we had and don't with the fiver, so that's a net zero.

One thing that the fiver has over a tag-along is that I can pull a boat behind the fiver, but would never even consider it with a tag-along. But, the DW doesn't like us pulling the boat, so we usually pull it with a separate vehicle anyway, so that's almost a net zero.

There are low clearances a few places we go and the tag-along would fit without an issue, but we have to route around them with the fiver.

As for backing them up. It really isn't much of a difference. Once you learn to back up a trailer it's about the same whether it's a fifth wheel or a tag-along.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:25 PM   #3
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And I'm the other side of that opinion. I would never go back to a bumper pull. Don't like all the extras you need for the hitch (anti sway, load leveling, etc), don't like the way they tow (especially longer ones). But the main thing is, I actually hate the extra time and effort to hook/unhook them.
It just depends on what matters most to you. If you really need the bed of your truck, that's your answer.
As far as taking the fiver hitch in and out of the truck. It depends. If you buy a slider, it's going to be a pita. Heavy and cumbersome. If you have a standard fiver hitch, not much effort, but I wouldn't want to do it during a trip at every stop.
There are numerous hitch options for any RV. You just have to find the one that fits your needs. Good luck!!!
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:12 PM   #4
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Well, you're not gonna get 5 bikes in the bed with a 5th wheel. You might be able to lay a couple down, but I kinda doubt it, unless they are smaller children's bikes. You might get 2 or 3 on a roof rack over the truck. Maybe. Never seen it, but I can't say it wouldn't work. Do not put that many bikes on the back bumper of the 5th wheel. Okay, enough of that.

If you want to easily and constantly remove the hitch from the truck, the Anderson is probably the way to go. Only 40 some odd pounds. Anything else is doable, but yeah, like mine (a Curt Q20 slider), it is a heavy bugger. Me and my son can barely get it out anymore. So it stays most of the time.

Good luck...I'd be interested to see how/if you solve the bike problem.
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:35 PM   #5
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Toy hauler and lift the hitch out with the 5th wheel. Do it all the time my truck bed is ready for 1 ton pallets in 5 minutes or less.
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:37 PM   #6
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How about just putting the bikes inside the camper when traveling?
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:57 PM   #7
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Carring bikes

You can always add a 2" receiver hitch on the front. A friend has this set-up. Disadvantage is you are looking around the handle bars as you drive and more stuff in front of you. He has a Kuat bike rack(wheel trays) and it is solid and steady. He carries 4 bikes. I think it would bug me. Other disadvantage, bikes are covered w/ road dirt and bugs. The receiver hitch is a bolt on.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:08 PM   #8
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Most questions were answered. I would offer the thought of a good bike carrier along with a front mounted hitch for the truck. That's what we had with our old 5er due to what was called a rear bumper, Basically a sheet metal sewer hose carrier, I wouldn't even leave the spare on it. With the rig we have now I cut off the 1 1/4" factory hitch and fabbed up a real 2" hitch. Carry 4 bikes everywhere we go. Lots of miles and no issues.

The small difference in backing is minor, Basically the beginning of the back up.

Luckily if I need the bed of the truck I just hook the chain hoist to the hitch (Curt Q20) and lift it out.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
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Here is how I haul my bikes. This one holds 4. If you have a long bed you donít have to put them as high but mine is short bed so I had to get it above the cab. It is actually higher in this pic than it is when hooked. I have a gooseneck hutch so it is sitting above the ball in the picture. It takes a few minutes longer to load it and usually 2 people 1 on the ground to hand the bikes into the bed and the other to put them in the rack but it works.

Once you get used to backing the 5er I think they are actually easier. Just my opinion. The way the pull down the highway is no comparison. The 5th wheel pulls like a dream.

The ease of the hitch depends on the hitch. I wish I would have gone with the B&W companion but what I have works and is quieter than any 5th wheel hitch I have hard in the camp grounds. Again my humble opinion.

As for space. Look at as many models as you can. There are some with plenty of room. I feel like ours has plenty of room. Wish the master bedroom had more room but I can live with it. The bunk house and living space has plenty of room. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-29-2019, 09:54 PM   #10
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Bikes on back

Make sure you get a good bike rack and a heavy duty 2" mount if carrying bikes on the back of the 5th wheel. My experience w/ the bolt on receiver on the back was not confidence inspiring. I added braces, welded to the frame and only carry 2 bikes on a wheel tray rack. It is like being on the end on a roller coaster, puts a lot of stress on everything. The weight of the bikes puts a lot of leverage on the bumper.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:16 PM   #11
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My husband is a contractor and constantly hauling things. We put a gooseneck on our 5er and the ball in the truck folded down in a second to make a flat, leve bed. We only towed 2 bikes on a rack on the back of the trailer.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:26 AM   #12
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Here is how I haul my bikes. This one holds 4. If you have a long bed you donít have to put them as high but mine is short bed so I had to get it above the cab. It is actually higher in this pic than it is when hooked. I have a gooseneck hutch so it is sitting above the ball in the picture. It takes a few minutes longer to load it and usually 2 people 1 on the ground to hand the bikes into the bed and the other to put them in the rack but it works.

Once you get used to backing the 5er I think they are actually easier. Just my opinion. The way the pull down the highway is no comparison. The 5th wheel pulls like a dream.

The ease of the hitch depends on the hitch. I wish I would have gone with the B&W companion but what I have works and is quieter than any 5th wheel hitch I have hard in the camp grounds. Again my humble opinion.

As for space. Look at as many models as you can. There are some with plenty of room. I feel like ours has plenty of room. Wish the master bedroom had more room but I can live with it. The bunk house and living space has plenty of room. Attachment 203197
This is good info thanks.. But geesh That looks hard to get the bikes on!
I do have an 8 foot bed on my 3500 though so that may help!
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:34 AM   #13
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So some of you have offered suggestions for the bikes, and honestly that is a sticking point, But it seems I do have options anyway. As was mentioned I thought about simply putting them in the rv, but that would get dirty putting mountain bikes back into the rv etc.. after using them.
Think I will check a few out maybe tonight or this weekend.. Camping world is only 3 miles from my office or so and they usually have a large selection to at least browse through and get an idea of floorplans.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:47 AM   #14
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Another option is a front receiver hitch and bike rack.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ronheater70 View Post
Wife and I are thinking of looking into some 5'vers and I had a few questions for those who have them.

1. I use my truck bed, A LOT.. When Im not towing. When I am camping I put 4-5 Bicycles in there. Now that my bed would be full of Hitch and camper, how could I haul 5 bicycles with me?

2. How hard is it to take the hitch out to use for , say, hauling mulch or lumber?

3. Most of the ones I have looked at seem kinda small in the living quarters.
Our current bunkhouse (2018 Cherokee Limiteed 304BH) has 3 slides and the living area seems more roomy than many fifth Wheel bunkhouses we have looked at. However the Master bedroom is smaller than Iw ould like and that is nice and large in the 5th wheel campers.

4. Towing would be an advantage, no sway to warry about. However seems it may take a bit to get used too backing up.. I have to back down about a 250 foot wooded driveway.

I suppose most of my concerns though are losing the truck bed for cargo capacity for large bulky stuff like bikes etc..

So anyone made the switch and regretted it?
I have the 304BS....It's a big ***** trailer. We've slept up to 11 in ours. Yeah Master bed could be a tad bigger, but I'm use to it. As for your cargo question...that kinda got lost....one other had suggested...Goose Neck. No need to worry about taking the hitch out everytime.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:34 AM   #16
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Five bikes????????? Wow. 3 kids and a couple, maybe???

I have 3 trucks, Dually, Half Ton, and old '84 pickup. I couldn't get five bikes in the back of any of them, even if I didn't have a hitch! Even if I did, nothing else would go there.


We have a huge bedroom. BUT, if I had 5 folks that had to live in my fifth wheel, there wouldn't be any of them on the market that was big enough.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:53 AM   #17
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Five bikes????????? Wow. 3 kids and a couple, maybe???

I have 3 trucks, Dually, Half Ton, and old '84 pickup. I couldn't get five bikes in the back of any of them, even if I didn't have a hitch! Even if I did, nothing else would go there.


We have a huge bedroom. BUT, if I had 5 folks that had to live in my fifth wheel, there wouldn't be any of them on the market that was big enough.
We have 6 kids, 3 boys, 3 girls.. 28,26,23,23, and 14, 13.. So two are still young and live with use and campw ith us, the others have moved on in life, but sometimes spend a night or two with us while cmaping. The girls always bring a friend with them. Thats why we must have a bunkhouse. As far as a standard trailer I dont know that they make any much bigger than the 304 series..

In the Bed of my truck last week on our trip I had 3 adult bikes against the right rail, strapped in, two bike against left rail strapped in. 5 beach chairs, my dump tank (no full hookup where we were) , a homemade porch for the outside kitchen because my wife is short, firewood for 4 days, a 6 foot step ladder, a step stool, and all my leveling blocks. It wasn't too bad! I think loosing the storage is what would hurt me the most.. But I know the fofth wheels has so much more storage underneath it wouldnt be too bad except for the bikes. Im gonna look at some of the racks here that folks have suggested.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:04 AM   #18
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I really think you need to be concentrating on toy hauler 5th wheels.

While some 5th wheels have pass through storage that would fit several bikes, that kind of defeats the storage purposes.

Also, don't listen to the nay-sayers that tell you not to haul anything on the back of your 5th wheel.

Yes, while it is true there are some with flimsy bumpers that won't hold a roll of toilet paper, they are not ALL like that.

There are many models with built in, frame attached racks and receivers, that have the capability of hauling lots of bikes on the rear. You just need to find them.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:32 AM   #19
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Personally I would never like to go back to a bumper pull. A toyhauler was great for us. There is another member on here that has a bike rack that was lower and attached to his pin box.

As far as the hitch some use chain falls, I just use my tractor / mower......... takes lees than 2 minutes.

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Old 04-30-2019, 08:32 AM   #20
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I loved moving to a 5er and wouldn't want to go back. We travel a lot and have run into some wild winds. The 5er doesn't move much with crazy crosswinds, where the pull-behind wanted to jump into the next lanes, even with a very tight anti-sway system. Hookup and unhook takes A LOT LESS Time!

I agree with 5picker. For the bikes, there are pin attachments, which will allow you to put a couple of bikes up there. The others you can put on the hitch on the back of the 5er. If it doesn't come with a hitch (many now do), you can attach one. The manufacturer or Lippert make hitch attachments that are made for your RV. Ask the dealer. 2-3 bikes on the pin and 2-3 bikes in the back.

Also, removing the hitch depends largely on what you get. I put in a manual slide. It weighs almost 200 pounds. It breaks down into two sections. the head is easy to remove. The rest of the assembly, I need an engine hoist to remove. Therefore, it only comes out if I REALLY need it out. Otherwise, it stays.

You'll hear lots of opinions. Many will say the sky WILL fall if you do X or Y. You'll get others who say they do crazy things and haven't died yet, so it must be ok! Sift through the extremists to pick out the correct answers.
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