Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Towing: 5th wheel or bumper pull
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 > 5th wheel or bumper pull

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memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 08/23/19 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

5th wheel! Easier to tow, safer to tow, most have higher ground clearance, equal living space in a shorter overall (tow vehicle plus RV) length, many 5th wheels have much more storage space, there are more 5th wheels with improved “wintering” capabilities and where legal you can “safely” tow doubles....to name a few advantages. I’m sure there are some disadvantages.....I just can’t think of any. memtb

* This post was edited 08/23/19 08:03am by memtb *


Todd & Marianne
Miniature Schnauzer's - Sundai, Nellie & Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500, 6.7 Cummins, 6 speed manual, 3.73 ratio, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom, 39'
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tomman58

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Posted: 08/23/19 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with most of the above statements but there are other conditions to think of. First I have always had a TT and most of those on the last several year have been 38+ feet long.
I disagree about pulling in the sense that I have been in sever weather where 5ers are stopped yet I had no concerns other than slowing for the conditions. (we have turtled across the desert with semis do to the high winds without a problem).
I agree the TT is long but still we normally look for semi stops and fill up. There are plenty of those and the independents are cheaper then some gas.
stations.
Also I have never liked the steps in a 5er or living in the hottest place and of course being trapped in the event of a fire.
I also agree that we have 3 slides and have a large living area. 4' shower and current unit is available with any size frig.

The biggest thing here is this , if you travel ,as we do a lot, you can do well with a TT. If you are a novice and just a weekender then maybe a 5er is easier to learn. We travel no less than 9000 miles a year just cruising around the US to see family and going to Florida but that's us we are retired and required to travel........... LOL


2015 GMC D/A, CC 4x4/ Z71 ,3.73,IBC SLT+
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We have a granite fireplace hearth! Love to be a little different.

zenasboy

Southern Indiana

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Posted: 08/23/19 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi MLWalton...We pull a 12K 32' fifth wheel with our 2019 F350 6.2L that has 4.30 gearing. I don't know what it would be like with 3.73's but our set-up does a great job. She has a bit of a drinking problem (about 8mpg vs the 11 I got with the old 7.3L) but reliability and being stranded is no longer at the top of my mind now on trips....which unfortunately had become reality with my last truck.

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 08/23/19 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Disclaimer: Long winded here... my summary is the last paragraph if you want to skip the details:

I've been a TT owner and user all my life, except for the last year. We have our first 5er. I'm towing with the same truck as my last TT and now 5er.

Length:

Last TT was 35.5 feet long (tip to tip). This 5er is 41 feet long, tip to tip.

My overall length with the TT was 58.5 feet. My overall length with the 5er is 59.5 feet. (5er wins. 5 feet longer, overall length 1 foot longer)

Stability:

Stability, towing? Same truck is a 1 ton dualy. I used a 4-point Equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch system for the TT. My 5th wheel hitch is a no frills, simple hitch. Results, I experience no difference. However:

The TT receiver hitch had some slack in it where the pin went through. This slight slack in the pin hole would cause the hitch to move forward or backward when starting from a stopped position or moving to a stopped position. There was always a slight "bang" going on.

The 5er seems to make some clunking sounds every now and then too. Results (wash out, they are equal).

Wind? No difference. I have experienced the 5er being pushed hard by the wind, exactly the same for the TT. Never experienced sway with either one.

Breaks? The 5er has much stronger brakes. I can lock them up on demand and almost get whiplash. TT never locked up fully, but could feel the pull. However, my truck has the integrated brake controller which makes the trailer work seamless with the truck. It worked excellent with both trailers. In a real white knuckle panic stop, the TT responded perfect. (Wash out- both equal).

Hitching?
After years and years of TT hitching, the Equal-i-zer system was by far the easiest. Switching to a 5er was a hard-knocks experience. My first obstetrical was figuring how how to reach inside the bed of the truck to reach the coupler handle, and the break away cable. With dual wheels and a bed that sits high and being short, it's impossible to reach inside from the ground. A 4 foot step ladder solved that. But it took time to figure it out.

In my case, hitching was easier with the TT. Although I've adjusted to the 5er, I think the TT was easier. (TT wins hitching up).

Backing up:
I had a bad learning curve with the 5er. TT was easier. But, I'm getting better after a year with the 5er. With a longer tow vehicle and a longer wheel based 5er trailer, the backing response is definitely slower at first, and then the response is faster. It just takes time to learn the difference. But, I've eventually been able to back into every campsite we've been to. (Backing -- wash - equal, just different).

One thing I wasn't prepared for with the 5er was the distance between the truck bed rails and the bottom of the 5er overhang. I have about 6-7 inches clearance, but I also never realized how the side-to-side movement of the camper to the truck can be. The underside of the 5er had contact with the truck bed rail (once) and cracked the fiberglass. I was able to repair it myself, as it was a surface crack, but still, it made me keenly aware, I never had this problem with a TT.

In this case ... TT wins by a land slide. The TT can tilt side to side all it want's and never make contact with the truck.

Space?
I always said I'd never give up the construction workers shell on the back of my pick-up truck. It had panel doors on both sides and 2 full length (8 foot long) shelves, for a total of 32 feet of shelf... off the floor bed of the truck. With the shell and those shelves, it afforded a LOT of storage for a LOT of stuff, keeping everything dry. In addition, I had ladder racks on the top for transporting a canoe.

Well, with the 5er, the shell was given away to someone else. I did get a cover for the truck bed to hide the 5er hitch and keep it out of the elements. I have since found alternative locations for everything I use to carry in the truck, which was all for camping anyway. We quit carrying the canoe about 4 years ago. We're getting to old to man-handle it any more. So, really, no need for those ladder racks. So, after finding new places in the 5er to store everything, getting the cover for the truck...

(Storage Space --- wash out -- same, equal).

Now I could ramble on for another 15 pages about all the interior differences, but really, each floor plan of every camper, of every model has it's own unique attributes. You either love it or you don't. No comparisons there.

Thanks for enduring my "thesis" ... but to summarize ... both are equal if the tow vehicle is a one-ton dualy and the TT is using a weight distribution system with built in sway control. If you are using a lesser tow vehicle, you may experience some very noticeable differences.

Grit dog

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Posted: 08/23/19 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Is your F250’s payload up to 2,000 pounds of 5er pin weight plus hitch, people and stuff in the cab? Or 1,100 pounds of TT tongue weight, the hitch and people and stuff in the truck? Champagne on a beer budget?


Yeah, it is....


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

big_jeff

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Posted: 08/23/19 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would pick the travel trailer. You will have the bed to haul stuff. I use mine to store the bikes ( 4 each), fire wood, chairs, etc. This makes loading and unloading easier and better for me. Plus I have my truck tool box, my spare tire and mastts in there as well. Something to cvonsider......

MLWalton

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Posted: 08/23/19 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Living in NW TN we would do long weekends traveling anywhere from 2 hours from home to over to East Tn. I do see us taking one long vacation a year to see some sites on our bucket list: Up state NY, Grand Canyon, Florida, Yellowstone just to name a few.

wowens79

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Posted: 08/24/19 05:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went with a TT so we could haul 4 kayaks on a ladder rack, and 4 bikes in the bed. I didn't want to mess with trying to hang all that on a 5th wheel or put any of it inside.


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BigDinAZ

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Posted: 08/24/19 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MLWalton wrote:

Hey, new guy here. I have a 2019 F-250 6.2L 3:73 and debating on getting a 5th wheel or bumper pull TT. The 5th wheel I'm looking at has a dry weight of 10k and is 35 feet in length where as the bumper pull is 39 feet in length and it's dry weight is 8300#. Please give me some opinions on why you would chose one over the other. Thank you all in advance for helping the new guy.


After reading the posts there is some sound advice posted here. Things like:

azdryheat wrote:

For starters forget the dry weight figures. The gross weight (GVWR) is the the number that matters. Will your truck with the 6.2L handle fully loaded trailers? I like the 5th wheel for it's stability in crosswinds but I don't like the steps to the bedroom but I do like that 5th wheels are easier to maneuver and backup.


Lwiddis wrote:

Is your F250’s payload up to 2,000 pounds of 5er pin weight plus hitch, people and stuff in the cab? Or 1,100 pounds of TT tongue weight, the hitch and people and stuff in the truck? Champagne on a beer budget?


cavie wrote:

GVW is listed on your driver door post. That is where you start. Now add up EVERYTHING that will be in the truck and trailer. ALL people, dogs kids, and don't forget the wife. ADD everything you walked thru the door of the trailer. Fill up the storage tanks. Fresh, Black and gray with water. All this can be done on paper. Now compare that to the truck GVW and see what you got. Not only do you pull it but you have to stop it.


You can not use the Dry weight to calculate, who buys an RV then tow's it around empty? You have to use a real figure, and it's best to use GVWR of trailer to get a good idea, you may never load to GVW (you will be shocked how fast you add up to that number), but at least you know you are using a good figure to calculate.
Take the GVWR of the trailer and use 15-20% of that number to get pin weight. Some use 15%, I use 20% because again it allows for some cushion. NEVER operate at MAX capacity, always give room I like to use 80%. In other words if you have a tow rating of 17,000lbs, multiply 80% of that and stay under that weight for trailer weight. Example: 80% of 17,000lbs is 13,600, so get a trailer at or under that 13,600lbs, providing the pin weight is under the payload capacity of the tow vehicle.

Yes the truck will do it, but remember, just because you are doing it does not mean you are doing it right, or safe.

Remember, tow rating is an important number and you need to know it, but it's the least important. Payload Capacity, GVWR, GCWR, Axle Rating and Tire rating are far more important, and IF you stay under those numbers, chances are you will never exceed tow rating anyhow.

Just my .02 that I learned the hard way.


2018 Ram 3500 Laramie Crew-cab Long Box DRW, 6.7L Cummins Diesel, 4:10 rear, 14,000 GVWR, 5,704 Payload, 30,300 GCWR.


2019 Coachmen Chaparral Lite 30RLS, 34', triple slide, 11,000GVWR.


rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 08/24/19 06:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

big_jeff wrote:

I would pick the travel trailer. You will have the bed to haul stuff. I use mine to store the bikes ( 4 each), fire wood, chairs, etc. This makes loading and unloading easier and better for me. Plus I have my truck tool box, my spare tire and mastts in there as well. Something to consider......

DutchmenSport wrote:

......
(Storage Space --- wash out -- same, equal). ......


This is one statement I have found interesting, those with TT fearing the loss of the "Bed" space for storage. Well before we started to full time we did many quick weekend trips. Our fiver has mid sized basement, we could get all the chairs and other accessories we needed in there. Bike rack on the the 5er pin box. The 5er in a storage lot about two miles from the house. we would "Pack" for the next trip upon return from the last! The week following return we would fill propane tanks, do laundry and return all clothes normally in the 5er, we kept enough clothes in it to camp for a week hot or cold, we also kept stocked with non-perishable food. The only thing we needed to pack the day of travel was perisable food, loaded from home refer, us and the dog and her bed. We might also need to air up tires and install hitch.

We could be headed out of the storage lot in about 1-1/2 hours of getting off work.

Counting on using the truck bed for storage, means likely needs to be loaded and unloaded every trip, for us it was all in the 5er.



wowens79 wrote:

We went with a TT so we could haul 4 kayaks on a ladder rack, and 4 bikes in the bed. I didn't want to mess with trying to hang all that on a 5th wheel or put any of it inside.


There are many roof racks out on the marked that will carry kayaks forward of the bed, bikes on a pin box mount

The choice of trailer type is a personal choice, but many of the "Issues" some see with a 5er taking up the bed are mostly easily over come with a little "Thinking outside the Box" [emoticon]

That and the fact that a 5er is inherently far more stable than a TT, even on a grossly overloaded TV as long as within axle and tire ratings they will handle great even with passing semis and strong side winds. Before we got the current TV we were towing 1,200# to 1,700# over GVWR for about four years and never an issue.
Just my 2 cents



Russ & Paula the Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 Aisin DRW 4X4 Long bed.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS, 32' GVWR 12,360#

"Visit and Enjoy Oregon State Parks"


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