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Old 01-24-2022, 02:33 AM   #1
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Size vs Space

We’ve been looking for a 5th wheel but focusing mostly on RVs that are around 35’ (or slightly over) to make it easier to get in and out of campsites, get in and out of gas stations, etc. We came across the Riverstone brand at an RV show this weekend and loved the decor, floor plan, and features. We saw the 3670RL first which is a bit larger than we’re looking for but very nice. Then we saw the 3850RK and loved the larger bathroom and kitchen. My question for the group is, how much more difficult is it to tow, maneuver and park a 5th wheel that’s 40’ compared to one that’s around 35’? We’re planning to get a new truck for this so we’ll get one that is capable handling whatever 5th wheel we get.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:22 AM   #2
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Well once u get the hang of it, size doesn't matter to much except for the gas stations. I find the bigger gas stations charge more. Getting into the smaller ones little bit of a prob if lots of ppl there. Wt is next thing, tongue wt that it. Get a better idea on which camper then look at the truck. 5th wheelers are like a boat, an extra foot = a lot more room. I got a 29ft 5'er, overall is 33ft. Sometimes i just park on side an walk across st/parking lot. Only time real issue is on the 10MPH curves. really tight expecially if u can't see if you can take up more room making the curve.
then there is the overall wt. going up hills.
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Old 01-24-2022, 05:15 AM   #3
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35 or 40 same difference. May be a stumbling block for some older parks that have a 35' size difference perhaps, but the extra 5' of living space is well worth it, As far as the truck, you'll get a diesel (Recommend a dually to make sure you are good for whatever size RV you get. World of difference in handling compared to a SRW). Just use the diesel truck lanes at truck stops. Piece of cake. Admittedly, if it's going to be a daily driver, dually can be a bit of a hassle, but just park near the end of the lot. Besides, you'll avoid the dings and the truck will look better!
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Old 01-24-2022, 06:53 AM   #4
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I just went from a 42’ to a 36’. We love traveling to the PNW some of our favorite spots 40 was max length others 38 . They are places that we did fit but they didn’t have the it factor for us. We have only taken the new shorter 5th wheel out and I think our old one would have backed in at Inks State Park I will say the shorter length made the backing easier. At Angelo state park I had even more room and again seemed easier than before., but have put the 42’ in very tight places.
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Old 01-24-2022, 07:15 AM   #5
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We have a 42' River Stone we tow with a full-size Kenworth tractor which some folks think is overkill, I drove tractor trailer for my job, so this is not a big thing to me. In over 6 years doing this I have only really had one issue where a site was tight, got in fine getting out was the issue. As some have said here once you get use to the size you will be fine, go slow take your time and use a spotter or get out and check your surroundings.
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Old 01-24-2022, 12:19 PM   #6
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Depends on where you like to camp. Some parks are not big rig friendly and it has nothing to do with site size. It has to do with getting through the park based on tight turns, tree and tail swing. So as long as you pay attention to reviews, checkout google maps and don't try to force it when you aren't sure, you'll be fine.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:37 PM   #7
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New 1 ton SRW pickups can handle the pin weight of most 35' 5th wheels (just barely but they do). Many people get away with a short bed and just be careful on tight turns or get a slider hitch. You get a much better turning radius and that helps out a lot backing into tight spaces with the 5th wheel. I know most weekend warriors and most full timers really like having the short bed SRW for driving around when not towing, which is what they do 95% of the time with the truck!

When we moved to the Riverstone from a big class A it was 100% certain we're going with a DRW long bed truck. Riverstone 5th wheels are heavy and getting heavier each year. You need a truck that can handle a 4k+ pin weight and that's 100% dually territory. I added a 50 ga aux tank too so I'm around 4,600 lbs total in the bed with pin weight, hitch and the extra fuel. It tows one handed down the interstate cruise set at 70 even when windy. Rock solid.

How does this pertain to your question of a 35' any manufacturer to 40'+ Riverstone 5th wheel? For me, the difference in the tow truck wheel bases is going to be more of a difference in/out of campgrounds and around town than the extra 5' in length.

To be clear, I love my setup and have had zero issues towing around the country and in/out of tight campgrounds. Unhooked I have even braved some parking garages (like Mount Rushmore) and never been in trouble. However...the truck is not my daily driver. If it had to be I would downsize 5th wheels and get a short bed SRW.
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:34 AM   #8
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We have a 35' 5er. We were shopping by pin weight so we could pull it with our 2500 gasser. I can fit that sucka anywhere. Even had an audience at a couple of state parks because they wanted to watch me back into tight spots. Haven't found a spot yet that a 40' wouldn't fit.



I don't like the longitudinal layout of our front bed and would prefer the lateral lay out for a bigger bedroom. That means a 38'+ 5er, which is no problem, IMHO. The bigger issue is now I need a bigger truck, and they are expensive. My dream would be to get an F-450 for it's tight turning radius and pull a 40' 5er. That's getting really big, but I think we could still fit into any spot we have been in so far.
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:56 AM   #9
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5' in length wont make much difference in big 5'ers. But your post has red flags such as RV show, love the floor plan, decor, and features, new truck and this is your first post. Concerns about backing and maneuvering indicates you are a novice.
I would highly recommend getting an experienced RV'r to go with you as a disinterested third party. You need an extra pair of objective eyes to keep the emotions out of your purchasing decisions. You are spending a ton of money on the thrill of the moment from an eager salesperson.
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregfcarlson View Post
We’ve been looking for a 5th wheel but focusing mostly on RVs that are around 35’ (or slightly over) to make it easier to get in and out of campsites, get in and out of gas stations, etc. We came across the Riverstone brand at an RV show this weekend and loved the decor, floor plan, and features. We saw the 3670RL first which is a bit larger than we’re looking for but very nice. Then we saw the 3850RK and loved the larger bathroom and kitchen. My question for the group is, how much more difficult is it to tow, maneuver and park a 5th wheel that’s 40’ compared to one that’s around 35’? We’re planning to get a new truck for this so we’ll get one that is capable handling whatever 5th wheel we get.
lots of interesting opinions here, but reality is the only effect on towing and maneuvering is the distance of the axels from the TV when considering 5th wheels overall length has little effect. over the years we have owned and towed many different configurations from TT to 42' 5th, the 42'ft towed and maneuvered better then the TT's. and both 5th wheels we owned towed and maneuver the same (a 42' and a 33'). You do need to match it to the correct TV thought and IMO you are in 3500 DRW land with either unit you listed.
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