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Old 01-15-2021, 11:56 PM   #1
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5th Wheel or Travel trailer for 2nd purchase

We bought our first camper 4 years ago. Wildwood 26tbss travel trailer. Didn't want to spend a wad of cash just in case our boys didn't get into camping. Well, we do love it and my wife, who is not known for being an outside person, says lets upgrade. When we normally pack up, the truck bed is full of bikes, coolers, air compressor, big green egg, and fishing gear for the kids.

So now looking for something a little nicer and bigger and the ones that we like are 5th wheel. I have 2019 2500 hd duramax diesel so a 5th wheel can be done but im looking at 2 things. 1. cost of converting to 5th wheel and 2. Where do I put all the stuff that is normally in the bed of the truck!

What would you do? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 01-16-2021, 12:39 AM   #2
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Have you considered a toyhauler?
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:17 AM   #3
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We have a pickup and you can still load it up to the side rails without interfering with the fifth wheel hitch. Aldo, you'll find most fifth wheels have immense storage compared to the average bumper pull so that's more space. I don't know what you intend to haul, but short of bicycles, large grills, smokers, etc. you should be OK.

On one of our trips with our fifth wheel, we purchased a VERY LARGE smoker and it fit behind the cab of the truck in front of the fifth wheel hitch and we got it home just fine.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:54 AM   #4
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Couple of things you need to think about as you are making your decision. A 3/4 ton truck with a diesel is a lot heavier than the gas engine, and it takes a big chunk of your payload. This can limit your selection on 5th wheels, which have a heavier pin weight.

I think your best bang for the buck will be a bumper pull, which will still give you all the space in the bed. Most 5th wheel toy haulers are too heavy for the 3/4 ton trucks.

I had a 2500HD Dmax, and ended up with a bumper pull due to weight for the size I wanted. I now have a 3500HD, and looking for a 5th.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:07 AM   #5
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... On one of our trips with our fifth wheel, we purchased a VERY LARGE smoker and it fit behind the cab of the truck in front of the fifth wheel hitch and we got it home just fine.
I do not own and have never pulled a fifth wheel, but does that arrangement not interfere with acute turns when backing?
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Old 01-16-2021, 12:08 PM   #6
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I do not own and have never pulled a fifth wheel, but does that arrangement not interfere with acute turns when backing?
Yes it could, but with pull thru sites ant not backing up you could do it. Remember you can always un-hitch remove the grill first if you need to.

I have never own a travel trailer, we went from 2 different pop-ups units to a 5er. We are on our third 5er now and I would not tow a travel trailer after towing a 5er. They are much easier to tow and for the most part the trailer will not sway when towing (I have never had a 5er sway on me). In fact most of the time you do not even know the trailer is behind you.

I have seen way to many weekend warriors pulling their travel trailers at 70 + MPH and constantly correcting the tow vehicle and trailer to eliminate the sway of the TT. Wind and traffic effects the TT more than a 5er, especially when a semi pass.
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:16 PM   #7
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You should assume 20% of trailer weight, loaded, as payload. The diesel takes a huge chunk out of payload. You will probably need to go with a very light weight smaller 5er. I'll bet you will get more room with a TT where its more like 12% of trailer weight for payload.
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:56 PM   #8
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Neither for us. Our next one will most likely be a motorhome. Trying to decide between a class C and a smaller Class A. I will say in the past i have owned and enjoyed everything from a big truck camper, TT and Fifth Wheel. The Fifth Wheel was the easiest to pull all be it a bit harder to maneuver due to the pivot point being over the axle. Just have to learn to swing wide. ��
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:41 PM   #9
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5 th wheel Vs TT

First look @ your cargo cap numbers on your driver's side door. That will give you an idea what you have to work w/. There are advantages to both. A lot depends on how far you are traveling, longer trips the 5 th. wheel will have an advantage due to improved towing. Also in my experience, the 5 th. wheel w/ a heavier frame works better w/ a bike rack on the rear bumper than the TT. Stay away from any Ultra Lights if the bike rack is a thought. Also, if you plan to boondocks, it seems easier to find a TT w/ propane refrigerator. We tend to go to national parks boon docking, and have found even w/ a generator and solar, I prefer LP refrigerators. Also 2 less batteries to keep up. Also consider size, we have found that the longer you get over 30' of trailer, the less available sites there are. Especially if you are considering the older national parks and want to stay in the park. I pull w/ a F-350 wheelbase and 31 foot TT currently and the older parks roads are just are not built for the length.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:30 PM   #10
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I had a 34 ft 5th wheel, it was to big for me and my bride, that thing was a beast, but i must admit, at 8800 lbs dry weight, it did pull well with a gas 2016 F250. Anyway, we went back to a smaller TT, 27 feet, that i pull snuggly with my 2013 F150, eco boost...
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:01 PM   #11
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I pull a 34 ft 5th wheel with a 3/4 ton diesel. I'm at the top end of my weight limits but it pulls great. If you go the 5th wheel route expect to spend $1000 to $1500 (or more) on the hitch setup. You have the cost of the hitch plus the mounting hardware in the truck. Spend some time researching the hitches and pin boxes (the part that connects to the hitch.)
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:11 PM   #12
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We take 2 motorcycles, 2 kayaks, 2 bicycles, grill, fishing gear and everything needed to support all that...we didn't find a 5er that would take everything and as an added bonus a toyhauler under 30 foot will...

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:19 PM   #13
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Take a look at the Palomino River Ranch.
It has basement storage like a motorhome.
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:08 AM   #14
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5th wheel advantages

Every camping trip with the TT I would have to load the bed, return and unload the bed, now that I have 5th wheel everything I loaded in the bed fits in the what they call the basement. I still do load fire wood and the generator in the bed with other smaller items, got a Bakflip bed cover, allows for securing my items while unhitched. I have seen where a square hitch is mounted on the pin box of the 5th wheel, that is the best way to carry your bikes. rear bumper mount has way too much bounce. I have seen square hitch mounted to the front of tow vehicle and that is a nice setup as well for bike rack, I have the duramax diesel towing 8500 lbs loaded, pulls up any hill without a struggle. I have a 30 foot, because it is mounted over the wheel base it is like towing a 24' TT
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:12 AM   #15
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The big green egg can go in front of the fifth wheel in the bed of the truck, the coolers behind the fifth wheel below the bed rails or inside the camper just inside the door. The bikes can go on a bike rack behind the 5er connected to the rear bumper.

Our basement (the storage area under the 5er overhang in the front) is where we keep our Sureflow 12V compressor and all sorts of other things. There is also a large pass through right behind that.

We have had both and MUCH prefer the 5er. If you have a short bed truck consider changing your pin box on the camper to a Reese Revolution. It changes the rotation location from the hitch in the bed to the point where the pinbox connects to the camper. Makes backing it MUCH easier and prevents the cap from contacting the rear of the truck.

Some 5ers are coming from the factory with a Reese Sidewinder which is basically the same thing. Ask a dealer to show you a camper with one so you will know what Im talking about.

As for installing the actual Fifth Wheel Hitch, does your truck have the GM Puck System, or will you have to mount rails in the bed of the truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wileykid View Post
Couple of things you need to think about as you are making your decision. A 3/4 ton truck with a diesel is a lot heavier than the gas engine, and it takes a big chunk of your payload. This can limit your selection on 5th wheels, which have a heavier pin weight.
We have an 08 Silverado Duramax with less load capacity than he has with that 19 and we pull a 35' 5er with 14200 GVWR just fine. The Cat Scale tells me the
camper is at 14, 100, neither the front or rear axles are overloaded so we are good to go. Do we have any excess capacity no we dont.

But, no need to forego a 5er with the Magnificent rig he has with that L5P under the hood.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:13 PM   #16
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You should assume 20% of trailer weight, loaded, as payload. The diesel takes a huge chunk out of payload. You will probably need to go with a very light weight smaller 5er. I'll bet you will get more room with a TT where its more like 12% of trailer weight for payload.
Being a retired structural engineer in my humble opinion the only people who care about payload are the internet weight police! They read somewhere on the internet about payload and if it is on the internet than it must be gospel. This is not a requirement of DOT scale houses for commercial towing of any pick-up truck when used in this application.

What anyone needs to concerned themselves with when towing a trailer is the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of the truck and trailer, the RAWR (Rear Axle Weight Rating) and the tire load rating for a given PSI. As long as these numbers are not exceeded, when you are fully loaded with the occupants and trailer you are good to go.

Everyone loads their trucks and trailer differently so, only you know what you are towing. As long as you scale the load at a certified scale you will know the actual towing weights.

For example; I do not carry any fluids in my holding tanks. I do not want the unnecessary weight which effects my fuel mileage. As this is approximately 2,200+ kg (1,000 LBS) when all of the tanks are full. I also do not carry everything under the sun when we travel since we are not full-timers. This all adds up to extra mass (weight) that requires more HP and TQ to get the load moving.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:18 AM   #17
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thanks for the information guys and girls! After discussion with the "boss", she loves a couple of the 5th wheel floorplans but she doesnt want to spend the amount of money that they are going to require so we are going to scour for another TT. We are leaning towards the Cougar 34tsb. Any thoughts? I will search under the appropiate thread for that. Anybody had experiences with Wholesale RV club? I own a small retail/service based company and I do not buy into this but if you can change my mind, I will listen.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:48 AM   #18
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A cougar 34tsb is 37.5' long. That is a ridiculous length for a bumper pull RV. Dry weight is 8600 and GVWR is 10600. Hitch weight will be around 1200 to 1600. It is advertised as 1/2 ton towable. Ahhh.... NO.
While your 3/4 ton can easily handle it, you would definitely be better off with a fifth wheel. After looking at actual prices on the new comparable models, it can't be much different.
Have you considered lightly used models?
I have never known anyone personally who RVs regularly and kept a bumper pull of that length very long. After a few trips it either sits in storage or is traded for a fifth wheel. Just my experience and personal knowledge. I'm sure there are folks out there who say it's the best towing/RV experience there is. But I'm willing to wager they have never pulled both a TT and a fiver of that length. There is no comparison.
If cost is your major deciding factor, you have lots of cboices in the fifth wheel area if you really look.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:49 AM   #19
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... Anybody had experiences with Wholesale RV club? I own a small retail/service based company and I do not buy into this but if you can change my mind, I will listen.
Are you referring to RV Wholesalers? It's not a club, if that's what you're suggesting. If you object to the model of customers buying online rather than locally, I don't think it's a direct comparison to big box stores and online shopping replacing local businesses.

RV Wholesalers is a privately owned small business in OH. They have no advantage over any other RV dealership except proximity to the manufacturer, which cuts their transportation costs. Customers who buy from them remotely and take delivery locally end up paying the same transportation cost either way.

They get everybody's business by offering low prices. The give the customer the bank kickback as a discount if the customer finances through them. (You can pay it off within a year for a nominal early payoff fee at significant savings.) They make it easy to buy by way of email and telephone. They also make warranty service much easier by contacting with independent RV repair techs anywhere in the country. Any other dealer could do the same.

The best way for a small local dealer to have a competitive advantage is to offer reasonably competitive prices, be honest in their sales practices, provide advice that is in the customer's interest rather than their own, and offer good service. Many don't.

I would have bought locally had the only nearby dealer been anywhere close to my cost at RV Wholesalers. I would have paid a premium over the additional cost of transportation, but they were unrealistic.

Also, RV Wholesaler's willingness to address warranty service anywhere in the country was a big plus. If you're on the road and have a problem, local dealers have a bad two for being unwilling to help. The warranty matters only for the first year but I have no doubt they'd be willing to help me find a nearby RV repair service for when our if warranty, too.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jim34RL View Post
Being a retired structural engineer in my humble opinion the only people who care about payload are the internet weight police! They read somewhere on the internet about payload and if it is on the internet than it must be gospel. This is not a requirement of DOT scale houses for commercial towing of any pick-up truck when used in this application.

What anyone needs to concerned themselves with when towing a trailer is the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of the truck and trailer, the RAWR (Rear Axle Weight Rating) and the tire load rating for a given PSI. As long as these numbers are not exceeded, when you are fully loaded with the occupants and trailer you are good to go.

Everyone loads their trucks and trailer differently so, only you know what you are towing. As long as you scale the load at a certified scale you will know the actual towing weights.

For example; I do not carry any fluids in my holding tanks. I do not want the unnecessary weight which effects my fuel mileage. As this is approximately 2,200+ kg (1,000 LBS) when all of the tanks are full. I also do not carry everything under the sun when we travel since we are not full-timers. This all adds up to extra mass (weight) that requires more HP and TQ to get the load moving.
The manufacturer provided cargo capacity numbers printed on stickers in the door opening are based off of the axle ratings. They are a little conservative on the CC number because they don't know how you are going to load up your vehicle. So the CC they provide will be less than the vehicle wt minus the two axle ratings.

Many people may not load the vehicle to perfectly spread the load between both axles so that they can get to max on both at the same time. You can only check that by going to the scales. The manufacturers know this and provide the CC for convenience because they know most people do not go to the scales.

And yes, you can go over the manufacturer provided cargo capacity and still meet the axle ratings and gross vehicle rating which are what really matter. So the payload or cargo capacity is not some internet payload police internet myth - they are good numbers for the typical person to follow until they study up and go to the scales.
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