Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: 36 ft FW vs 30 ft TT backing
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 > 36 ft FW vs 30 ft TT backing

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ken burke

usa

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Posted: 12/31/17 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

davisenvy wrote:

I am trying to see if my FW will fit a campsite I have booked. My FW is 36 ft overall and my dads TT is 30 ft. The CG says the TT will fit in the site, but the FW will not fit because of site access (too sharp of turn), not because the site is too small for my FW. I'm thinking they would be very similar in maneuverability because of my FW being over the axle. What say you?



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jffnkrn

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Posted: 01/04/18 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have had travel trailers for most of the 18 years with rv and fifth wheel at about two and a half years of those. In all the towing I have done, for me, backing the fifth wheel can have its challenges. I so far have been able to get into all the spots we have picked. some are super tight, but like said before, watch not only the sides, but the top and bottom too! My co-pilot and spotter, Oh my best friend and wife, Is the best. I have at times got out and double checked, she reminds me then she won't let me hit anything. She is awesome. OH sorry, but we also check google maps and get an idea of the space before we make reservations. Good Luck & Be Safe ! ! !

mtofell1

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Posted: 01/05/18 11:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

36' 5th wheel and 30' TT are going to be very similar in overall length (front truck bumper to rear trailer bumper). Lots of good info so far and I generally agree that you can put the 5th in the same space as the TT.

Everyone's got their method of backing up so just go with what works for you. My DW is an amazing woman in many ways but helping me back up an RV just isn't one of them. I go it alone and am fine with it. I congratulate those of you who can tag team it. I imagine it works out quicker/better in the end. Being alone in backing into spots, I just get out of the truck and evaluate several times, if needed. Of course, turning to the driver's side is way easier but turning the other way isn't bad. Just a few times getting out and getting a good line and I'm all set.

OP, if a 30' TT can fit, your 36' 5th will make it too... it just may take a bit more time and patience.

ETCrockett

Greenwood, IN

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Posted: 01/06/18 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a 35' TT that we towed with 2000 Excursion. Now we are backing a 42' FW with an F450 DRW long bed. I did the TT for 13 years and just finished my first year with the FW. I agree the TT reaction time is quicker, but I found the turning radius of the FW is greater. Also, I follow the Z method of backing the FW just as Valhalla360 suggested. This sets the tail end of the FW going in the right direction. Using Google Maps to see the site for preplanning is a great idea that I will be trying this next season. The key is a calm head, patience and sometimes accepting the fact you may have to pull forward or go around the block and try again. Don't get concerned about what others might think of your backing skills. Everyone has had bad days backing up. Happy Camping!


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slapshot12

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Posted: 01/07/18 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just went from a 30' bumper pull to a 39' 5er and the overall length when hooked to the truck is very similar since the 5er pivots up in the bed instead of the rear bumper. The biggest difference in backing the two is the 5er is slower to respond to steering inputs. When I back it into the driveway, I had to change my landmarks I use for lining up and turning. One challenge is leaving room to swing the front of the truck around to change direction. You'll do more of the pull forward, straighten out, and back up again with a 5er. Trailer space, I'm comfortable I can get it wherever I got the 30 footer. I have lots of bumper pull experience, and there has been a learning curve going to the 5er.


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Jack Spratt

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Posted: 01/07/18 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like others we have had both,
TT reacts a lot faster
Use the ā€œZā€ maneuver to put wheels near the inside corner
We have a slider and it does make the fifth wheel react faster
in the rear position but very seldom needed it.


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kohai

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Posted: 01/08/18 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In my limited experience, I find swinging the front end of the truck around to line up with the trailer to be the issue. Often there's trees or other obstacles that block the front of the truck from swinging to be in line with the trailer once the trailer is on the right path backwards. (I don't know if this same problem applies to TT.)


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shepstone

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Posted: 01/08/18 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot depends on the length of the truck too. A lot of federal, state and provincial campsites we get into, the nose of the truck ends up being 1 or 2 inches from an obstacle at the front or scraping the bushes at the front before I can get it straight enough to back in. Hence why **for me** I like supercab LB's, there has been a number of times I wouldnt get a cc LB in with my 34ft.


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Fisher Bill

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Posted: 01/08/18 12:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think there are other considerations, Being the tow guy for my Salty boat buddies I've towed a couple of boats about 30' counting the entire trailer and backing up a long bumper pulled trailer is fairly straight forward but looking at the main differences, pulled from bumper or from over the axle, I think they will react differently no matter what.

When the bumper pull follows you the bumper is leading, when I tow the 5er the point becomes closer to the cab over the axle and when I pull out I have to square off corners in order to make the corner.

I think the two styles might require a slightly different footprint (or tire print) to accomplish the same move.

I want to think my 5er axles will tear up the grass on the corners more so than a bumper pull rig if I were to steer out the same attitude.

Am I dreaming or could this be a factor in what the CC said about TT vs. FW in a particular site on their premises?

I'm also a big fan of checking out the site from space to help in choosing a site.

Bill


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troubledwaters

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Posted: 01/08/18 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fisher Bill - I don't know if the Campgrounds would have much of an understanding of the subtle differences between backing a 5er and backing a TT. But I do however believe they would understand an irate camper standing in their office all pissed off because he couldn't back his fifth wheel into a particular site because, a couple of tree are situated in a particular bad spot, the electric post was in to close to a couple of huge rocks, or whatever. An irate customer is what the campground would long remember and make sure not to put a 36-foot fifth wheel on that site again. If the campground says it won't fit, I would tend to agree with the guy that knows about his own campground.

Everyone says they can put a 36-foot fifth wheel on the same site a 30-foot TT will fit. But then, they can's see the trees, bushes, elec post, water spigot, drop off across the road, telephone pole, low wire, slope on the site, or anything else that can effect what can go where.

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