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Rick_NE
The storm is brewing...
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Posted: 5/22/2012 3:56:40 PM
[Last Edit: 5/22/2012 3:58:00 PM by Rick_NE]
We are in the market for a 25-30 foot camper to pull behind our 04 Chevy K2500 with the 8.1(I know, it's a gas hog). When I purchased the truck it was already setup for towing a 5th wheel, but it has a heavy duty receiver hitch too.

We are looking for a trailer with bunk beds in the rear of the trailer and one slider. The 5th wheels in this configuration seem to be $1500- $3000 more expensive for the same length, condition and age compared to the bumper pull versions I am seeing on Craigslist and at the majority of RV dealers within a 200 mile radius of Omaha.

Besides an overall shorter total length with a 5th wheel versus a bumper-pull trailer and a bit better weight distribution, are there any other advantages to the 5th wheel?
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Quarterbore
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Posted: 5/22/2012 4:05:46 PM
[Last Edit: 5/22/2012 4:09:58 PM by Quarterbore]
Huge difference in how the trailer tows! My father had a big toy hauler camper and he was headed down a steap grade and a gust of wind got the trailer wipping and it turned the F350 around (jacknifed) and totaled the trailer. He went to a 5th wheel setup and the towing is just vastly superior with the trailer mounted over the rear wheels as opposed to the back of the truck. With the old trailer you really had to keep both hands on the wheel and anticipate the trailer is going to try to whip the truck at some point, the 5th wheel trailer just doesn't do that.

It is also a whole lot easier to park the 5th wheet trailer as compared to a bumper trailer.

If you are going big, I would look at the fifth wheel! Just depends on how much driving you will do with the camper too as short trips a tag-a-long will be fine but long trips I sure would want the 5th wheel!
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Chacal87
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Posted: 5/22/2012 4:20:46 PM
Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
Huge difference in how the trailer tows! My father had a big toy hauler camper and he was headed down a steap grade and a gust of wind got the trailer wipping and it turned the F350 around (jacknifed) and totaled the trailer. He went to a 5th wheel setup and the towing is just vastly superior with the trailer mounted over the rear wheels as opposed to the back of the truck. With the old trailer you really had to keep both hands on the wheel and anticipate the trailer is going to try to whip the truck at some point, the 5th wheel trailer just doesn't do that.

It is also a whole lot easier to park the 5th wheet trailer as compared to a bumper trailer.

If you are going big, I would look at the fifth wheel! Just depends on how much driving you will do with the camper too as short trips a tag-a-long will be fine but long trips I sure would want the 5th wheel!


+1 they tow, back, and turn much nicer than a bumper pull. Also they're easier to hook on to by yourself IMHO. I couldn't imagine owning a camp trailer as long as what you want and not having a fifth wheel.
backbencher
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Posted: 5/22/2012 8:35:15 PM
Originally Posted By Rick_NE:
We are in the market for a 25-30 foot camper to pull behind our 04 Chevy K2500 with the 8.1(I know, it's a gas hog). When I purchased the truck it was already setup for towing a 5th wheel, but it has a heavy duty receiver hitch too.

We are looking for a trailer with bunk beds in the rear of the trailer and one slider. The 5th wheels in this configuration seem to be $1500- $3000 more expensive for the same length, condition and age compared to the bumper pull versions I am seeing on Craigslist and at the majority of RV dealers within a 200 mile radius of Omaha.

Besides an overall shorter total length with a 5th wheel versus a bumper-pull trailer and a bit better weight distribution, are there any other advantages to the 5th wheel?


5th wheel w/ diesel tractor is the biggest bang for your buck in the RV world. If you're buying a 25-30' trailer & already have a pickup, get the 5th wheel. There are some pretty exciting videos out there about trailer sway on YouTube.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
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jc270
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Posted: 5/22/2012 10:53:15 PM
What they said and will add that when looking at 5th wheel rv's look for one that has all the tanks in front of the axles or you may run into weght distribution problems (makes it easier to pack gear) or it will pull like shit. That said propperly set up you may forget it's behind you barring high wind or hills.

When looking at used rv's check the axles, springs and shackels (these are known to wear quickly) and the framerails around the axles for damage or wear. Also after purchase plan on having the wheel bearing replaced and breaks checked maybe even tires (use high quality parts not the cheap stuff) for peace of mind.
Rick_NE
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Posted: 5/23/2012 8:39:22 AM
Originally Posted By jc270:
What they said and will add that when looking at 5th wheel rv's look for one that has all the tanks in front of the axles or you may run into weght distribution problems (makes it easier to pack gear) or it will pull like shit. That said propperly set up you may forget it's behind you barring high wind or hills.

When looking at used rv's check the axles, springs and shackels (these are known to wear quickly) and the framerails around the axles for damage or wear. Also after purchase plan on having the wheel bearing replaced and breaks checked maybe even tires (use high quality parts not the cheap stuff) for peace of mind.



I will be definitly looking at the bearings/tires/brakes on whatever I get.
There is a 5th wheel for sale near here on Craigslist that had a tire blow out. Externally it doesn't look that bad, but inside it is all torn up. Electronic controls and wiring and frige were right above the "wheel well" that gave way when the tire blew. What a mess that one is. Not cheap enough for me to try to fix that nightmare.
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DocGP
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Posted: 5/23/2012 12:41:43 PM
When I bought my bumper pull, I was told by the salesman (as a selling poing) that passengers could ride in a 5th wheel while being towed, but not in a bumper pull.

I have never confirmed that, or had occasion to wish I could pack my unsupervised kids in the camper whlle traveling. I am not even sure it is true. Someone here can correct me if I am wrong.

Doc
backbencher
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Posted: 5/23/2012 12:53:26 PM
Kids in the 5th wheel is done, but not very smart. Would be better off strapped in the back of a Class A/B/C w/ a video cam & a seat belt alarm.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
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CROQ
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Posted: 5/23/2012 1:27:20 PM
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Kids in the 5th wheel is done, but not very smart. Would be better off strapped in the back of a Class A/B/C w/ a video cam & a seat belt alarm.

Gig 'em,

backbencher


But this is legal in a 5th wheel and not in a bumper pull?

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fish223
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Posted: 5/23/2012 2:00:03 PM
Originally Posted By CROQ:
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Kids in the 5th wheel is done, but not very smart. Would be better off strapped in the back of a Class A/B/C w/ a video cam & a seat belt alarm.

Gig 'em,

backbencher


But this is legal in a 5th wheel and not in a bumper pull?



Depends on the state.

Some are legal in one, and not the other, some both, some with communication

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm
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CROQ
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Posted: 5/23/2012 5:17:50 PM
Originally Posted By fish223:
Originally Posted By CROQ:
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Kids in the 5th wheel is done, but not very smart. Would be better off strapped in the back of a Class A/B/C w/ a video cam & a seat belt alarm.

Gig 'em,

backbencher


But this is legal in a 5th wheel and not in a bumper pull?



Depends on the state.

Some are legal in one, and not the other, some both, some with communication

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm




Aside from adequate seatbelts, what are the safety concerns?

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fish223
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Posted: 5/23/2012 5:29:00 PM
Originally Posted By CROQ:
Aside from adequate seatbelts, what are the safety concerns?



My understanding is that the trailers do not have the same level of crash protection and rollover protection.

No airbags for sure, may or may not have seatbelts. Lots of unsecured objects, possible propane canisters.

Not really the best enclosure in a significant accident.

OTOH, I don't believe in helmet laws, or seatbelt laws, even though I use them personally.

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backbencher
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Posted: 5/23/2012 5:44:45 PM
Originally Posted By CROQ:
Originally Posted By fish223:
Originally Posted By CROQ:
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Kids in the 5th wheel is done, but not very smart. Would be better off strapped in the back of a Class A/B/C w/ a video cam & a seat belt alarm.

Gig 'em,

backbencher


But this is legal in a 5th wheel and not in a bumper pull?



Depends on the state.

Some are legal in one, and not the other, some both, some with communication

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm




Aside from adequate seatbelts, what are the safety concerns?



Trailer sway:

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WarHound55
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Posted: 5/23/2012 9:27:42 PM
Your wife can jack up the cab of the truck now too!
Chris1836
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Posted: 5/23/2012 10:24:08 PM
Originally Posted By DocGP:
When I bought my bumper pull, I was told by the salesman (as a selling poing) that passengers could ride in a 5th wheel while being towed, but not in a bumper pull.

I have never confirmed that, or had occasion to wish I could pack my unsupervised kids in the camper whlle traveling. I am not even sure it is true. Someone here can correct me if I am wrong.

Doc


He lied to you. No one is allowed to ride in a trailer bumper pull or 5th wheel.

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NUCdt04
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Posted: 5/23/2012 10:44:40 PM
start at .45


'



scary!
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J75player
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Posted: 5/25/2012 9:20:21 AM
alot has already been said so i will add this.
getting that sleeping area up and over the bed of the truck has a HUGE impact on your useable floor space.
its amazing how much larger your camper feels when your not taking up a third of that 30 feet with a bedroom.
mcnizzle
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Posted: 5/28/2012 9:44:29 AM
Originally Posted By Chris1836:
Originally Posted By DocGP:
When I bought my bumper pull, I was told by the salesman (as a selling poing) that passengers could ride in a 5th wheel while being towed, but not in a bumper pull.

I have never confirmed that, or had occasion to wish I could pack my unsupervised kids in the camper whlle traveling. I am not even sure it is true. Someone here can correct me if I am wrong.

Doc


He lied to you. No one is allowed to ride in a trailer bumper pull or 5th wheel.



This is a state dependent rule. Some states allow it, others don't.
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toadmeister
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Posted: 5/28/2012 4:57:33 PM
I got a 28' travel trailer and I like it for the short ranges I take it. The layout of a travel trailer also suits our family needs better and allows me to store stuff in the back of my pickup as bonus storage.

That said, I would agree the 5th wheel is superior towing/handling/backing up in most every way. If you have the truck for it, go 5th wheel.
ma1775
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Posted: 5/28/2012 11:56:10 PM
Originally Posted By Chris1836:
Originally Posted By DocGP:
When I bought my bumper pull, I was told by the salesman (as a selling poing) that passengers could ride in a 5th wheel while being towed, but not in a bumper pull.

I have never confirmed that, or had occasion to wish I could pack my unsupervised kids in the camper whlle traveling. I am not even sure it is true. Someone here can correct me if I am wrong.

Doc


He lied to you. No one is allowed to ride in a trailer bumper pull or 5th wheel.


actually, in Texas it is not against the law, you can even ride in a boat being pulled. It just is not very smart.
djc94
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Posted: 6/1/2012 4:00:04 PM
Originally Posted By toadmeister:
I got a 28' travel trailer and I like it for the short ranges I take it. The layout of a travel trailer also suits our family needs better and allows me to store stuff in the back of my pickup as bonus storage.

That said, I would agree the 5th wheel is superior towing/handling/backing up in most every way. If you have the truck for it, go 5th wheel.


This. I have a 27ft toyhauler travel trailer that Ive pulled through several states. A 5th wheel tows better, but I like have a topper on my pickup for dry storage. Plus, my truck is a shortbox. 5th wheels work better with a longbox. Ask someone who's smashed their cab corners.
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rsday75
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Posted: 6/11/2012 8:23:56 PM
A travel trailer can be as safe to tow as a 5th wheel, but most are not. I blame lazy, cheap, sorry ass dealers who do not set the trailer up with the correct hitch.
Most throw on the cheapest hitch they can. Some not even weight distributing. Then they add a cheap ass friction sway control device that is almost useless.
With a Reese Dual Cam or Equlizer Hitch, travel trailer can be safe. Pull-Rite or Hensley Hitches are as safe as 5th Wheels. However, the first 2 are $1000-1200 and the last 2 are $2000-2500. Dealer put the cheapest crap on they can and people who don't know better think tat is as good as it gets, or that all Travel Trailers tow badly.
I have a 35 foot Travel Trailer with a Reese Dual Cam and towing is a pleasure. It is setup right. 5th Wheeler require little setup to tow right, but it can be done with a travel trailer.
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Posted: 6/11/2012 11:17:26 PM
Originally Posted By NUCdt04:
start at .45





scary!

Seen many a trailers on their side traveling all over the country, EVERYONE was a bumper mount!!