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Old 09-22-2018, 03:37 PM   #1
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First time pulling a fiver...any pointers?

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Today I signed the papers on my first fifth wheel. I plan to pick it up next week, the hitch is on order. Having owned a TT for 10 years, along with a 16' enclosed work trailer & a 8' utility trailer, I'm actually pretty adapt at pulling and backing the tow behinds.

I'm thinking about this fiver. It has a Revolution hitch that is supposed to protect me from jack knifing into the cab. I'm wondering how my experience with a TT will translate to all aspects of handling the fifth wheel. The box of the fifth wheel, from bumper back, is only about three feet longer than mt old TT.

Is there any wisdom those of you that have gone before me can impart to me?

We will leave on our maiden voyage Thursday. Bandit's Roost, Wylkesboro, NC, is an hour from home, so it's not a long or involved voyage. Probably the perfect test run for us.

Thanks
Benny
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:56 PM   #2
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You will love the fifth wheel towing in comparison. I was shocked at how much easier. However, I had a substantial tow vehicle compared to the past experiences with long boat trailers. Our trucks built in stability control and the fiver just feels like a single unit. No sway. No white knuckles.

Towing long fivers is tricky to get used to backing up. They do not pivot as easy. No big deal. Have a spotter. Practice. Remember to tell the spotter to look up. Them tree branches are after you. We are 1 for 2.

It is possible to hit the tow vehicle with any fiver. Frankly going beyond about 80 degrees is unwise...The frame is stressed and the tires scrape sideways. I have some wonderful marks at our house.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:06 PM   #3
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Pulled TT's, horse trailers and goose neck horse trailer (varying lengths) with sleeping compartments. I really enjoy pulling a 5er myself. The big thing you need to watch is the tail swing. Yep agree, spotter and practice.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
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X2. Our turning radius is just alittle longer than your TT but will handle better
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:57 PM   #5
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If you unlock your revolution hitch, it puts the pivot point back 22", so your turning point won't be much different from a TT if the hitch to trailer axles distance is about the same.

Otherwise, yes comparable length fivers turn a tad slower than a tt but nothing major.

You will be fine.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:18 PM   #6
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I agree with the tail swing also it won't follow you on turns like a bumper pull it will track early . Your pivot point is at the wheels. If you have pulled a trailer for 10 plus years. You will be fine.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:55 PM   #7
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I agree with the tail swing also it won't follow you on turns like a bumper pull it will track early . Your pivot point is at the wheels. If you have pulled a trailer for 10 plus years. You will be fine.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:26 AM   #8
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1. It will not react as quickly as a tt when backing.
2. It cuts corners in turns more than a tt. So you'll need wider turns.
3. If you have tow mirrors with upper and lower mirrors, set the lower ones wide to see the trailer tires when turning. You can watch how close the tires and trailer are to curbs and signs.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:29 AM   #9
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~

Thanks for the tips....It will be a learning experience, I'm making mental notes as I read your comments several times over.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:01 PM   #10
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The longer the trailer, the slower it will react when backing up. If you do fine with an 8’ trailer you’ll be a pro with the 5th wheel.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:10 PM   #11
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Biggest tip I can offer is that fivers are taller then bumper pulls. DO NOT assume that cities and neighborhood streets trim branches so you trailer can clear them. Most main streets are ok but lots of smaller streets and subdivisions have tree branches that can ruin your day.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:26 PM   #12
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I know what you mean, I'd much rather back my 16' enclosed work trailer than my 8' utility....

The pivot point on the 5er vs the bumper trailers I am used to, is what has me concerned.....

These pointers are helping me to know what to expect. Thanks. A lot more at stake with the 5er than anything I have ever towed!
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:11 PM   #13
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I just took delivery of our first 5er in August. Like you I was worried about the differences especially backing up. I've found everything I learned backing a 33 ft TT translated very easily to backing the 5er. I have not had any trouble with it on the 3 trips so far. Our storage bay is a 90 degree back-in and I've done fine with it.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:35 PM   #14
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I have exactly the same 5er you have, with the revolution unlocked and the wedge properly positioned into the hitch you will have no issues turning with your short bed Ford. I tow with a short bed Ram 3500. What I will be curious to know after you get it set up by the dealer is if your 5er is Nose High when hitched, Fords sit higher than RAM does and that trailer was designed for a half ton truck which sits even lower yet. You may have some rail clearance issues as well. I had to have my 8289WS lifted with the Dexter Axle lift kit to make it sit level on my RAM. I also changed out my tires to Goodyear E rated tires which makes the trailer sit just a little higher yet due to the side wall height.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:01 PM   #15
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~

The height issue don't sound good. We are picking it up Tuesday...more likely on Wednesday, and have reservations Thursday. No time to correct any issues.

We shall see. I do feel better about the towing aspect, though.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:12 AM   #16
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~

The height issue don't sound good. We are picking it up Tuesday...more likely on Wednesday, and have reservations Thursday. No time to correct any issues.

We shall see. I do feel better about the towing aspect, though.
You'll also want to check the tires on that 5er, unless I miss my guess they'll be load range C tires and just barely legal for that GVWR. They're junk china tires "China Bombs". Do yourself a safety favor and change them out to Goodyear Endurance or Sailun E rated tires and change the Valve stems on the wheels to all metal 100psi stems. Don't let them put in "high pressure" rubber stems in those wheels, they'll leak. Since you're towing with it now run the china tires at full sidewall pressure.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:15 AM   #17
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~

I looked at the tires. they are Castle Rock load range D. I will leave them on until next spring. We will not likely camp any more till then after this short trip.

I changed my tires on my first camper to Maxis tires after a conversation here several years ago.

Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:38 AM   #18
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This comment is probably the same for both bumper pull, and 5th wheel, but be careful when you pull away from a curb. The trailer will pivot on the front axle, and the rear axle will swing to the outside against the curb which can cause tire damage, and/or bend an axle if you pull too sharply away. As others have said, have a spotter when backing and be sure they look up, (voice of experience), pull farther ahead than you think you need to give room for the rig to start to cut. We've all had our multiple backs with the rest of the campground watching. Just remember, if it's not going well, pull forward and take another shot at it.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:43 AM   #19
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Thanks for that response, I did that once with my work trailer. At the time I couldn't understand exactly what happened to cause busting a tire. Pulling these rigs is serious business, you must stay alert and think through every maneuver.

Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:24 AM   #20
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Biggest tip I can offer is that fivers are taller then bumper pulls. DO NOT assume that cities and neighborhood streets trim branches so you trailer can clear them. Most main streets are ok but lots of smaller streets and subdivisions have tree branches that can ruin your day.
Absolutely! It seems our local public works and street departments depend on large delivery trucks to keep the low limbs at Bay. You can see UPS, Furniture Delivery trucks, garbage trucks and others riding around with the paint scraped off on the top right corners. Sometimes there's even a leafy twig hung up there. Sad. I had to get a new roof on my fifth wheel last year ($6000) from low limbs near my home. Got my 12' pole saw and a neighbor, and we cut limbs for 3 days down our road. Other neighbors were bringing is water and lemonade as a "thank you." Public works? Crickets!
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