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Old 06-21-2015, 02:56 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, 05:43 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 06-21-2015, 11:02 PM   #3
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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?
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, 07:23 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, 07:33 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, 11:59 AM   #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, 12:02 PM   #7
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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?
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, 12:04 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, 12:04 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, 01:43 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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Old 06-22-2015, 01:51 PM   #11
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Watch your tail swing, as well as where the front of your truck is. When backing, the biggest difference I have found, is that the trailer does not swing like it did with a bumper pull, due to the pivot being over the axle. The 5th does not begin any turns until that pivot point begins to move. Once it does begin to move, it begins to turn. It takes going out into a large empty lot to get the hang of it. I am new to fivers too, so take it slow and easy! Additionally, be very aware of the added height!!!!! That said, they are the difference between night and day to tow!
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:32 PM   #12
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I beleive that Reese or Husky makes an adapter to fit under your present hitch to make it a slider if you need it, also the rail kit, worth a look.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:18 PM   #13
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You will love a 5 th wheel 30 foot is perfect. Get the Pullmor auto slider.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:03 PM   #14
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I agree with the others, that you'll love the 5r. This is my first 5r, but sure am glad I made the switch. Handling is very much improved. With the my std. Bed a decided to go with the Demco 18k auto slide. Dealer did not think I needed it with the Wildcat, but I would rather be safe than sorry. Didn't like the idea of having to get out & manual slide, so went with the auto slide, & don't have have to worry about the clearance.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:09 PM   #15
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We just moved from a pull behind to a 5er.
We LOVE the 5er.
I have a 3/4 ton chevy and have the reese revolution pin box. GET IT!!!
Can't say enough about the piece of mind that you won't hit the back window.
I "TESTED" it when I first got the 5er and was 90 degrees and had no issue.
The 5er got me about 2 miles more MPG also, I am guessing that was because it wasn't a big parachute behind and the wind went over the top of the 5er.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:15 AM   #16
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This is a great thread. We are considering moving to a fifth wheel as well.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:58 AM   #17
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If you have a 6 '6" box and round nose 5er like the Wildcat you can do almost a 90 degree turn without it touching the cab. With the 5'5" box I bet you won't get close to that without a slider.. Then the choice is a slider or a Reese Revolution hitch on the RV. The Revolution pivots on the RV and not in the box so you can use a solid hitch in a short box..
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:30 AM   #18
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I do want to warn all those of thinking about going to a 5er about one thing.


Buying the trailer is the cheap part! My 32 foot cost me about 16 grand tax and title included. My truck cost me over 6 grand more than my trailer even though it is a year older, not counting tax and tags. I did luck out, it has low millage, 67000 on it when bought. I am sure that is part of what I paid for. Now add another grand or two for hitch and brake controller if you don't have one. The good thing is the controller and hitch can be moved from one truck to another.


I like to have another heart attack when I priced a new 250 crew cab, $55,000! I felt lucky when I found my Dodge!


Jim
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:37 AM   #19
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I know the OP was asking about towing but I know we switched from a TT to a 5th wheel because they offer so much more room on the inside. Sure it's 10 feet longer than our old TT but we still haven't even filled up all the cabinet space in it. The higher ceiling in the main living area makes it feel much more open. I can also get dressed in my bedroom without bumping my knees and elbows on the wall every 5 seconds.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:51 AM   #20
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I do want to warn all those of thinking about going to a 5er about one thing.


Buying the trailer is the cheap part! My 32 foot cost me about 16 grand tax and title included. My truck cost me over 6 grand more than my trailer even though it is a year older, not counting tax and tags. I did luck out, it has low millage, 67000 on it when bought. I am sure that is part of what I paid for. Now add another grand or two for hitch and brake controller if you don't have one. The good thing is the controller and hitch can be moved from one truck to another.


I like to have another heart attack when I priced a new 250 crew cab, $55,000! I felt lucky when I found my Dodge!


Jim
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.
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