Towing a 5th wheel experience

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
If you have ever towed a 5th wheel, how did your tow vehicle perform? The more stats the better. Interested in trailer weight and tow vehicle specs. TIA
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
Have done that for many years...but only with 1-ton dually trucks. Like this setup we have now for two trailers...(It's actually a gooseneck..slight difference having no bearing on how it tows.) We have friends with smaller/lighter gooseneck trailers that are happy with how their single rear wheel 3/4-ton (F-250 or eq) trucks handle them. Our truck is a 2002 F-450 Super Duty. 7.3 diesel. Gets about 13-14 mpg towing a load. Newer models are getting better numbers and have higher HP and torque ratings too.

The tare weight on the 32' dovetail is about 6000 pounds and the gross weight rating is 20,000.


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itsbob

I bowl overhand
I assume you're talking camper??

44 foot Toy Hauler.. with an F450. The F450 is probably the most capable truck you can get today without having to go commercial. Our 5th weighs in at 20k pounds, and coming through PA we lost the trailer brakes. We were in a small town, in traffic and other than the smell from the brakes it was barely noticeable in the cab. It was the smell that made me look at the dash, where I had the warning.

Depending on the size of 5th wheel though. You can go anywhere from a rig "1/2 ton towable" to Toy Haulers with a great living space AND a garage for a car, or small SUV.

The selection today is AMAZING, but beware of particular brands. Most use the same "stuff" so problems like water heaters, or refrigerators are pretty much all the same, but customer service after the fact is huge, and actual build quality is key.

We originally had an F250 to tow the Minnie, and it towed like a dream. Hard to tell the trailer was back there. Tracey got her first experience driving it back from FL when we picked it up. We towed all over (our kind of all over, not your kind of all over).. NH, PA, FL, VA, SC, NC.. Farthest Mo-Reece has been was to NH, but still, flawless, and comfortable. Truck rides better with a load on it.
 

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itsbob

I bowl overhand
The Minnie weighed in at right around 11,000 pounds (I think), the Mo-Reece weighs in at 20,000 pounds, with a garage under the master bed that seconds as an office while on the road. I haven't raised the bed yet in this picture.
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itsbob

I bowl overhand
Our F450 has amazing specs, and they are watered down to keep you below 14,000 pounds GVW, anything above that puts you into commercial licensing and insurance in most states. It still has a 5,000 pound payload, makes it my civilian deuce and half. WIDE front end, go to lock and it feels like you're spinning on the inside rear tandems, huge when backing a very LOOOOOOONG 5th wheel (Nicholas is a champ at it). Max 5th wheel towing is right around 35,000.

Trailer weighs in at 20,000 lbs with 3250 on the pin in the back of the truck, leaving almost 1800 pounds for our fat butts, and whatever extra we can fit in the truck. IF I had to do it all over again, I would have asked for the Reese Goose Box hitch on the RV to replace the 5th king pin, nothing but a ball in your bed instead of a large two piece 5th wheel hitch. Not hard to remove, more of a pain than difficult, but with a goose neck hitch (NOT an adaptor) there really is nothing that HAS to be removed. We went to NH, dropped the RV, unloaded the ATV, removed the hitch and put the ATV into the truck to take to the ATV parks. Just one more step we wouldn't have to do, and when it becomes just Tracey and I probably something we won't want to do.

Trailer has triple axles, drum brakes, but from the factory you can upgrade to heavier axles, hydraulic disc brakes, and even Independent suspension (no axles!). After watching some videos of the Independent suspension I wish I was rich enough. We went to a rally about 3 months ago in Beth Page and they had teams there doing axle and brake swaps in your site. Amazing how fast they could do it.
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
IF I had to do it all over again, I would have asked for the Reese Goose Box hitch on the RV to replace the 5th king pin, nothing but a ball in your bed instead of a large two piece 5th wheel hitch.
Even though this is written in English, to me it reads like a foreign language. I'm ignorant on what you are describing. That is my fear going forward with getting a 5th wheel. You make a purchase, then you get educated. I'd rather get what I need the first time around.

I think this is what has kept me on the sidelines for so long.
 

black dog

Free America
PREMO Member
Even though this is written in English, to me it reads like a foreign language. I'm ignorant on what you are describing. That is my fear going forward with getting a 5th wheel. You make a purchase, then you get educated. I'd rather get what I need the first time around.

I think this is what has kept me on the sidelines for so long.
My 2000 Ford dually has a goose hitch, it mounts under the bed and a flush adapter 8" x 8" that holds the hitch ball is all you see in the bed. Its popular with the 5th wheel livestock trailers.
I dont know if its popular with the rv world. I use a old monster reese 2 5/16" with sway bars for my old trailer.
 

limblips

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
If you have ever towed a 5th wheel, how did your tow vehicle perform? The more stats the better. Interested in trailer weight and tow vehicle specs. TIA
Just curious. You thinking of going 5th wheel and dumping the MH? If so what is driving the decision? No pun intended.
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
Just curious. You thinking of going 5th wheel and dumping the MH? If so what is driving the decision? No pun intended.
Bear with me here. I'm gonna freeform this.

OK, in the campground, the places we go, not the state parks, the mix is somewhere say 40% class As, 40% 5th wheels, 15% travel trailers& class Cs and around 5% class B conversion vans. Talk to enough people and you will find a bunch that just love their rig. A few will point out what they don't like. Actually Vrai is much more content with our current set up. Her only beef is the bed is hard to make. I hate the carpet and I believe I would enjoy another slide out in the living area.

Plus I want diesel power. I've driven a gasoline, 34 foot motor home to places like Alaska, Yellowstone National Park and the greater Grand Canyon area. To be honest, when I see the mountains in the distance, knowing I have to drive over them, it makes for an unpleasant day's drive. Once I begin to climb, I lose speed. Doesn't matter how hard I smash the gas pedal. When I first got the RV, I put a Banks system on it for more power. I'd hate to see how slow I'd go without that aftermarket addition. But I've always managed to get to my final destination. I want to enjoy the ride more.

I think the solution for more power is to go diesel. Diesel RVs are big money. Even used. I'm at a point in my life where I will spend the money to get what I want. But there's always a max that I'm willing to spend. Right now it's good to roll down the road with no debts. The rig and tow vehicle have been paid off for a few years. I have assets that aren't easily liquidated, so most likely I'll have to finance part of any upgrade purchase. And on top of that, I'm debt adverse. So when the time comes, I'll do what I have to do.

Going the 5th wheel route, I can trade in my Jeep for a tow vehicle. Trade the RV in for a 5th wheel. I think this would end up costing me less in the long run. The important part is to get the correct truck to tow with. 5th wheels lack the under carriage storage that RVs have. We can go the toy hauler route and use that space for storage. Weights for 5th wheels are all over the place. I'd like to get a setup that I look forward to driving when I get in the mountains. But once I get to where I'm going, I will have to back up the 5th wheel at some point. I've backed up the RV, in some tight spots, by myself. But backing a 5th wheel in might be a challenge.

5th wheels live more like small apartments. I think we will enjoy the extra living space. We have seen a few with comfortable reclining chairs and inviting set ups. I also realize that no matter which route we go, we are trading our know issues for a complete set of different unknown issues. With an RV, it seems like there is always some sort of annoying issue going on. Some problems can be taken care of by the mobile repair people. Other fixes require going into the shop for a while. Once our rig goes in the shop, we have to find somewhere else to sleep for the duration. Getting an appointment for repairs can take weeks.

So in the mean time, I'll keep looking for that gotta have deal. The more research I do prior should pay dividends on the back end. Time will tell.
 

limblips

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
Bear with me here. I'm gonna freeform this.

OK, in the campground, the places we go, not the state parks, the mix is somewhere say 40% class As, 40% 5th wheels, 15% travel trailers& class Cs and around 5% class B conversion vans. Talk to enough people and you will find a bunch that just love their rig. A few will point out what they don't like. Actually Vrai is much more content with our current set up. Her only beef is the bed is hard to make. I hate the carpet and I believe I would enjoy another slide out in the living area.

Plus I want diesel power. I've driven a gasoline, 34 foot motor home to places like Alaska, Yellowstone National Park and the greater Grand Canyon area. To be honest, when I see the mountains in the distance, knowing I have to drive over them, it makes for an unpleasant day's drive. Once I begin to climb, I lose speed. Doesn't matter how hard I smash the gas pedal. When I first got the RV, I put a Banks system on it for more power. I'd hate to see how slow I'd go without that aftermarket addition. But I've always managed to get to my final destination. I want to enjoy the ride more.

I think the solution for more power is to go diesel. Diesel RVs are big money. Even used. I'm at a point in my life where I will spend the money to get what I want. But there's always a max that I'm willing to spend. Right now it's good to roll down the road with no debts. The rig and tow vehicle have been paid off for a few years. I have assets that aren't easily liquidated, so most likely I'll have to finance part of any upgrade purchase. And on top of that, I'm debt adverse. So when the time comes, I'll do what I have to do.

Going the 5th wheel route, I can trade in my Jeep for a tow vehicle. Trade the RV in for a 5th wheel. I think this would end up costing me less in the long run. The important part is to get the correct truck to tow with. 5th wheels lack the under carriage storage that RVs have. We can go the toy hauler route and use that space for storage. Weights for 5th wheels are all over the place. I'd like to get a setup that I look forward to driving when I get in the mountains. But once I get to where I'm going, I will have to back up the 5th wheel at some point. I've backed up the RV, in some tight spots, by myself. But backing a 5th wheel in might be a challenge.

5th wheels live more like small apartments. I think we will enjoy the extra living space. We have seen a few with comfortable reclining chairs and inviting set ups. I also realize that no matter which route we go, we are trading our know issues for a complete set of different unknown issues. With an RV, it seems like there is always some sort of annoying issue going on. Some problems can be taken care of by the mobile repair people. Other fixes require going into the shop for a while. Once our rig goes in the shop, we have to find somewhere else to sleep for the duration. Getting an appointment for repairs can take weeks.

So in the mean time, I'll keep looking for that gotta have deal. The more research I do prior should pay dividends on the back end. Time will tell.
You make good points, especially the debt adverse! I will throw out a few of my opinions. For your type of traveling I do think diesel is the way to go. I wouldn't do diesel because our travels are mostly east and we travel light (28ft bumper pull with two slides) and my tow vehicle is also a daily driver. I decided I didn't want the added maintenance costs, fuel costs, and initial purchase cost of a diesel. Again, for your type of travel if a MH isn't right a 5vr is a nice way to go. The difference in handling of a 5vr and a bumper pull is night and day, my only caution would be with the toy hauler. All of that space looks good but you need to be careful how heavy you get back there. A tail heavy trailer is a white knuckle ride. If you do go diesel everybody you ask will tell you their brand is the best. I believe all of the big three make quality vehicles so it boils down to price, amenities, and comfort. As with the RV options each truck has it plusses and minuses. The DW wanted me to trade my 14K miles 2019 in because the 2021 Fords have the lay flat seat option! Told her to find some hot pants and a street corner to pay for it.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
The DW wanted me to trade my 14K miles 2019 in because the 2021 Fords have the lay flat seat option! Told her to find some hot pants and a street corner to pay for it.
I was going to trade in my 2014 Sierra for a 2020 version with the 'invisible trailer' camera system, I hate not being able to see out the rear window when towing. Decided my 2014 was just fine after seeing the cost of the new trucks.
 

DoWhat

Go Trump!!!!!
PREMO Member
Travel down to Florida.
You can get some good deals on used RV Diesel Pushers with low miles.
 

Stovebolt

New Member
No experience with RV's, but I've done a fair amount of hauling with g/n trailers. My last rig was a '15 Ram 3500 with the 5.7 Cummins and Aisin 6-speed automatic pulling a 40-ft Big Tex flat trailer. Truck was rated up to 30,000 tow capability. The set up worked very well. The truck was well engineered and the Cummins/Aisin pairing was perfect. Under load, the acceleration was fine and gear changes were smooth and barely even noticeable.

Just remember if you go with the higher GCVW rigs, you should check the MVA/DOT regs for licensing requirements. Some of these rigs will put you in Class A territory. I have an A CDL anyway so it wasn't an issue for me ... But be careful pulling those big RV trailers ... Just because you aren't a commercial hauler doesn't necessarily mean your Class C license is going to cover you. Also, check the tags on your door pillar -- just because the curb weight is under the limits don't save you if the rated weights put you over.
 

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struggler44

A Salute to all on Watch
31' 5th wheel, 2016 2500 Ram/Cummins and it's the best towing setup I've used. Camper is 8k and 10k loaded, 1400 pin weight and we have a Sidewinder hitch on the camper which sets it back about 2' but I don't have to worry about engaging the slider on the hitch.. Love the versatility of being able to take off at any time while camping, no towing another vehicle, I get about 14 mpg hooked up and get 19mpg not towing. I've found the longer the camper the easier it is to back up. Our camper has a ton of room underneath as it has a pass-through and storage in the front as well. There's a couple things I would have paid extra for if I had to do it all over again... 2nd a/c unit for sure, ours has a 15k btu and does ok until it gets balls to the wall hot out, 93 degrees+. Get a good bed, we have had 3 and finally found one we like, got ride of the factory for a sleep number and it wasn't too long after that we bought a 10" mattress and we are both satisfied with it. Our 5th wheel is a '12 so I'm sure they offer better options today.
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
31' 5th wheel, 2016 2500 Ram/Cummins and it's the best towing setup I've used. Camper is 8k and 10k loaded, 1400 pin weight and we have a Sidewinder hitch on the camper which sets it back about 2' but I don't have to worry about engaging the slider on the hitch.. Love the versatility of being able to take off at any time while camping, no towing another vehicle, I get about 14 mpg hooked up and get 19mpg not towing. I've found the longer the camper the easier it is to back up. Our camper has a ton of room underneath as it has a pass-through and storage in the front as well. There's a couple things I would have paid extra for if I had to do it all over again... 2nd a/c unit for sure, ours has a 15k btu and does ok until it gets balls to the wall hot out, 93 degrees+. Get a good bed, we have had 3 and finally found one we like, got ride of the factory for a sleep number and it wasn't too long after that we bought a 10" mattress and we are both satisfied with it. Our 5th wheel is a '12 so I'm sure they offer better options today.
What model 5th wheel do you have? I don't think I've ever noticed a 5th wheel with only 1 a/c. Most have 2. Recently I saw a rig with 3 a/cs.

Current rig has 1 rear pass through storage bin. Plus 5 additional bins of various sizes. Most rigs we look at don't come close to that much space.

We got a replacement mattress a few years ago. Plus we have a foam topper. The bed is quite comfortable.
 

struggler44

A Salute to all on Watch
We have a Flagstaff Classic ultra light, believe it's a 8528 RLWS, ours has 2 slides with the recliners, only sleeps 4 and the pass through is big, I stand my spare tire up inside and still have all the carry alongs in there, grill, tables, ladder 6 bag chairs, zero gravity chair and a papasan along with all the camper needs . Ours is prepped for a 2nd ac but we bought it new and didn't consider adding one, will get a different camper before I tackle that. There was a guy in Myrtle Beach this fall who had the exact same truck and was pulling a 18k Montana, I stopped and talked with him a bit about it as the camper was huge, said he put air bags in the rear springs and it tows easily, has me thinking... lol.
 

m7lukas

New Member
A bit old thread but I need a fifth-wheel hitch. I will tow a 381 Momentum that has a dry weight of 17,000 lbs. Does anyone have a personal experience with blue ox towing products particularly their Super Ride? I'm curious if it is worth the cost.
 

BadGirl

I am so very blessed
A bit old thread but I need a fifth-wheel hitch. I will tow a 381 Momentum that has a dry weight of 17,000 lbs. Does anyone have a personal experience with blue ox towing products particularly their Super Ride? I'm curious if it is worth the cost.
Not to answer your question, but just wanted to say congratulations on your new 381. We also have a Momentum (376), and absolutely love it. Great build quality and VERY comfortable. Enjoy, and hope to share a campsite with you. :cheers:
 
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