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Old 11-19-2020, 02:59 PM   #1
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Towing travel trailer with a dually

Hi. I have a newF350 Dually and currently pull a 5th wheel. My wife loves 5th wheels due to storage. She is having a harder time getting up and down the steps. Mostly down. We like the stability of the 5th wheel when towing but I am talking with her about a Travel Trailer. My question is this, when pulling a 34 to 36 foot TT that the hitch is setup correctly with a dually is there much sway. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:03 PM   #2
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I will have to say "it depends". My good friends have Micro Lite 21' trailer, and they have no sway. I have an Ultra Lite 23' and I have sway, but I corrected it with a WDH with built-in sway control. At 34-36', I'd recommend you do the same.

Stay tuned, there will be lots of answers.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:15 PM   #3
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Obviously hitch needs to be set up correctly.

Also pay attention to tire pressures especially on rear of tow vehicle.
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:10 PM   #4
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I towed for several years with my Dually pulling a 35 ft V-Lite after having several 5ers. Big difference in towing and it took a lot to find the correct hitch set up. I ended up withe 4 point equal-lizer hitch. Alot may have had to do with the V nose of the trailer causing some strange areo dynamics. I did the same thing as the DW was having a hard time with the steps in the 5er but now that she passed I went back to a 5er do the the stability when driving so much better. Later RJD
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Old 11-19-2020, 06:02 PM   #5
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First off, look in your manual to see what tongue weight your truck says to have a WDH. Your truck was tested to see what amount of tongue weight caused handling issues under SAE J2807 and your manual will reflect this by telling you when a WDH is needed.

There isn't anything magic about sway...it is induced by an outside force (typically wind or tow vehicle swerving). With improper loading a pendulum effect is just waiting to happen (sway).

Sway is controlled with proper loading. Load as much weight forward of the trailers axles as your truck will allow (and it should allow a bunch being a dually). Keep from adding any weight behind the trailer axles. Folks with half tons may need to compensate for the inability to have a high tongue weight but you don't have any excuse. .Using a sway control hitch as a band-aid for improper loading is bad form...solve sway with proper loading. If you choose a trailer that is very tail heavy you may need to compensate with a WDH.

My trailer is near 10k and I tow all over at the speed limit with no sway. I load tongue heavy (up to 1500lbs) and keep as much weight forward of the trailers axles as possible. No WDH and no mechanical sway device.

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Old 11-19-2020, 09:42 PM   #6
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I pull 36' toy hauler with no sway. I'm using 4 point equal-lizer hitch.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:54 PM   #7
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I pull a 34' TT with my CC LWB Dually and the Fastway E2 Trunnion Hitch and it's rock solid. Great tow experience.

IMO, a dually is the way to go.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:33 AM   #8
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A different suggestion here is a 5th wheel that you might find to your liking. It is from Palomino a division of Forest River. The unit a River Ranch 5er new for 2021 and is all on one level similar to a Class A motor home. The 5er has over 480 CUFT of storage and a 2 ton residential basement A/C w/heat pump, with a clean roof on top. The only openings in the roof are for the celling vent fans.

https://palominorv.com/fifth-wheels/river-ranch
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:48 PM   #9
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You mention your wife has trouble mostly getting down from the rig. Has she tried to go down the steps backwards (think coming down a ladder)? On my Super-C Freightliner based HDT, you ALWAYS face the cab and, three out of four hands / feet are ALWAYS in contact with the truck (you ONLY move ONE hand or foot at a time. This means that you'll ALWAYS have three out of four points of contact steady). Descending this way gives a person a LOT more control and, might make your wife feel much more secure when leaving your fifth wheel. If she does feel more secure, you both could be able to continue enjoying the rig you already have. My Super-C has a total of FIVE steps and, I often feel more in control if I descend those steps as if they were a ladder rather than steps.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:55 PM   #10
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We had a 32 foot TT before our 5er. Used a basic bar and chain wdh with one sway control unit. Zero sway. Zero problems at all, actually. See my sig line for our truck.
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Old 11-20-2020, 02:39 PM   #11
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I can't imagine you'd have a sway problem with a properly set-up hitch and that dually; but if that doesn't turn out to be the case, consider a Hensley Arrow or ProPride hitch. I have no personal experience with ProPride, but have heard good things about it. I have had our beloved Hensley Arrow on the last 3 TTs, and it virtually eliminates sway. I wouldn't have a TT without the Hensley, but others have had great success with other types of hitches that control sway. The Hensley is pricey, and heavy - but it works. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:20 PM   #12
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My wife also has issues with the steps in the 5er. Those steps have a rise of between 8 and 10 inches, I modified the steps by adding blocks made of 2 2x8s nailed together and put them at one side of the factory steps. By doing this I made it so that she only has to raise her foot half as high to climb the steps. Looks a little funny but it works so now I'm trying to figure out a way to make it more attractive.
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim34RL View Post
A different suggestion here is a 5th wheel that you might find to your liking. It is from Palomino a division of Forest River. The unit a River Ranch 5er new for 2021 and is all on one level similar to a Class A motor home. The 5er has over 480 CUFT of storage and a 2 ton residential basement A/C w/heat pump, with a clean roof on top. The only openings in the roof are for the celling vent fans.

https://palominorv.com/fifth-wheels/river-ranch
Very interesting, Jim. I like the idea of that setup. The comparison to a motor home makes a lot of sense, especially with all the side compartments. Once you’re in you’re all on the same level, which is pretty cool.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:06 AM   #14
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I would sure experiment with different steps before buying a new trailer. When I had a slide in camper on my lifted truck, I built a 30" wide stair made of bleacher aluminum. X2 on going down backwards. We have a spiral stair on our houseboat with narrow stairs. No one has fallen when going down backwards. Frontwards, not so good.
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Old 11-22-2020, 02:01 AM   #15
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Sway with Dually?

In 2016 we pulled a 37’ TT with our 2001 F-350 dually from Kentucky to Alaska and back again, driving a total of 17,300 miles in 5 months. No sway.
We also are owners of the “beloved” Hensley Hitch, which when we bought a fifth wheel was cleaned, lubed and carefully stored for the day when steps are a problem and another TT is in our plans. Like CGK stated, I would not tow a TT without it.
Your statement “set up correctly” will make it a joy to pull if you decide to go that route. Six tires on the ground and the weight and capacity of a dually make it a favorite of a lot of RV folks. Good luck with your decision.
Travel safe
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:49 PM   #16
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When going from a 5th wheel to a travel trailer you won’t like the difference. They don’t handle anything like the 5th wheels. I have both types of trailers and wish I’d have bought a 5th wheel camper instead of the travel trailer. It’s easier to maneuver and pulls better. My 32BH Vibe travel trailer pulls great for a bumper pull. It’s 39 feet from tongue to rear bumper weighing loaded 9,125lbs loaded. I have no sway unless driving to fast. My speed on good roads with 70 mph speed limits is 62 to 65 mph. That’s where it’s comfortable. I run an older set of Sway bars with chains and a sway bar. But pulling the loaded 5th wheel dump trailer is much different. Backing is easier and emergency handling is better. The aero dynamics is different but just my 2 cents. If you can figure out the step issue such as a railing to quickly install and remove. Anyway I’m sure with your truck set up well it will pull just fine. I pull with a 2005 2500Hd 6.0 and don’t have issues either way. It’s just if you compare the two the 5th wheel wins every day for ease, comfort and flexibility. One plus is you do gain the use of your truck bed with a travel trailer.......
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:32 PM   #17
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Another thing you might want to consider whether you are in a TT or a 5er is a power lift to help your wife get into the trailer. Once we had found our trailer my wife was addamant that we get a power lift. We contacted a local company that modifies vehicle for the handicaped and they found a lift designed for RVs. It's manufactured in Arizona and can be customized to fit your specific RV. We now are able to carry her handicap scooter in the trailer and she is able to get into the trailer without issues. Good luck on your search, don't give up camping because of mobility issues, there is help out there if you just look and ask.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:33 PM   #18
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My parents sold their 5th for a TT because of Dad’s knees. Neither of them were happy and they went right back to a 5th. Dad just deals with the steps.
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