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Old 10-26-2018, 06:00 AM   #1
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5th wheel vs really big travel trailers

I was at a Jayco dealer a few days ago and looked a the 330XX travel trailer models. These travel trailers are 38' long and set up just like a 5th wheel with 2 large opposing slides in the back living area and a slide for the bed.

At one time 5th wheels were a big step up from travel trailers but these 38' travel trailers seem just as well laid out as most 5th wheels.

I am thinking a SRW 1 ton diesel truck could pull one of these large travel trailers easy. Everyone I looked at had a GVWR of about 11,500 lbs. with a dry weight of about 9,000 lbs.

Anyone else look at these big travel trailers? What do you think?
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Old 10-26-2018, 06:36 AM   #2
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Many of the newer travel trailers have nice open floor plans. I’ve noticed a lack of under belly meaning you’ll have to put your chairs, grill etc inside the trailer while traveling
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Old 10-26-2018, 06:39 AM   #3
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I have had my old 1 ton dually in both my travel trailer days (23 and 28 foot) and with my fifth wheel. Even with a good equalizer/sway hitch the 28 foot was no fun to drive on the interstate.
I'll take my steer with one finger at 70mph fifth wheel any day vs going back to the white knuckle death grip of a semi passing me TT days.
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:30 AM   #4
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Bumper pull just will not pull as nice as a gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:03 AM   #5
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Plus, a 38' TT and truck is about 8' longer than a 38' fiver and truck.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:25 AM   #6
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Better storage in 5er.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:41 AM   #7
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Advatanges as I see it:

1.Space can be increased by use of the truck bed by putting a cap on the truck.

2.Weight on the truck is at least 1,000lbs less, more like 1,200 - 1,500 less.

3. Much lower height and one less worry about hitting low hanging tree branches, wires.

4. Less expensive to purchase, money can be spent on a pro-pride p3 hitch set-up

These trailers seem solid and are coming with all weather packages, dual pane windows, lots of interior space.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:05 AM   #8
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I've done both, and purely for the ease of towing and hitching I would never go back.

Having said that, not having to climb three steps to get into a lower TT is nice.

To your "weight on the truck" point, I like the weight right on the rear axle where it belongs. :-)

I think all of the other things I could point out are already here...
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I was at a Jayco dealer a few days ago and looked a the 330XX travel trailer models. These travel trailers are 38' long and set up just like a 5th wheel with 2 large opposing slides in the back living area and a slide for the bed.

At one time 5th wheels were a big step up from travel trailers but these 38' travel trailers seem just as well laid out as most 5th wheels.

I am thinking a SRW 1 ton diesel truck could pull one of these large travel trailers easy. Everyone I looked at had a GVWR of about 11,500 lbs. with a dry weight of about 9,000 lbs.

Anyone else look at these big travel trailers? What do you think?
It's been a couple years since we looked at new TT, but I've never seen one with a floor plan even close to a 5th wheel. Also like others have said "STORAGE" does not compare to a 5th wheel's storage. Another point already brought up is handling while traveling down the road. You can't beat the way a 5th wheel handles compared to a bumper pull. I wish we could switch over to a bumper pull, I would love to be able to use our truck bed for big things like a side x side or a Harley. But I think it will always be a 5th wheel for us.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:54 AM   #10
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I would never buy a 38' TT. Of course I'm in Oregon and towing is different than in FL, where things are wide open. I couldn't get into half the CG's I camp in with a 38' TT and a 22' truck. Thats 60' OAL. I can get the same amount of living space in a 35' 5er and because of the overhang front on the 5th the whole OAL would be 53'. Still long for the CG's we camp in. But way more manageable.
If you like to tow out on wide open roads and stay in RV parks then it would work.
If you like to camp out in nature then it won't work.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:55 AM   #11
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A) Check your State DOT/DMV as, in CA, any TT over 10k GVWR requires a new license. The same license isn't required on a 5th Wheel until the 5th Wheel hits 15k GVWR.


B) Myself having a Shell topper on my truck I can say...buy knee pads. Crawling around under the shell getting to all the stuff that you brought with you is very hard on your knees. If you don't need a shell topper, buy a spider web net to keep your stuff in the truck while traveling. Much easier to access once you get home/campground. I put the shell topper on because that is where the dogs are when traveling (I have kids in car seats in the cab).


C) That long of a trailer would only appeal to me because I wouldn't feel comfortable putting the dogs in the 5th wheel while traveling since they cant go in the truck cab. I would believe this would be a very minor segment of the buying public.


To those saying they prefer how a 5th Wheel pulls over a TT, not having pulled a 5th Wheel...My trailer, though only 32'7" long, but 11700 GVWR with an Anderson hitch, there isn't a single bit of wiggle on that trailer. It is rock solid behind me, yes when a semi passes me I do get a very gentle shove towards the shoulder from the bow wave, but I can correct it with a single hand on the wheel. No white knuckle driving at all.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:53 AM   #12
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Been there done that, 5th wheel IMO wins easily.

We've had 4 travel trailers over the years and 1 5th wheel. One of the trailers was a Jayco 338RETS which was 39' and weighed about 10k. I pulled it with a F250 diesel and 14K equalizer hitch. I hated pulling the thing, it was squirrely, especially in wind. When a truck passed you you'd better hold on.
Loved the layout but it was poorly insulated from both temperature and sound. Leveling was a bit of a pain but the Andersen levelers made that the easiest. BTW you had to leave the drivers (street) side about 3/4" inch high when setting up because when you put that slide out the trailer settled 3/4" due to the weight of that slide. P.S. You had to go outside and push to help get it started to close when it was cold.

We bought a FR CC 5th wheel about 3 years ago and had absolutely horindance support and service from the selling dealer and FR so we will never by another from them.
That said, the 5th wheel is a much better trailer than any other trailer we have owned and if we stay with trailers in the future it will be a 5th wheel.

Pulling a 5th wheel is easy, wind has little effect on it, passing trucks have no effect on it. Towing is a million times better. The 5w likes to stay right behind the truck.
Larger storage, water heater, fridge, bedroom and bathroom. Much better insulated. Did I mention auto leveling, which 90-95% of the time is wonderful. (We have found it likes to start pretty close to level.)

Old way... Pull into a spot, get a beer, get out a level to check side to side. Get out Andersen levels, wedge them under the tires have DW pull onto the levelers go back in and check level. Get another beer yell at my wife to move the truck to get it level, put the wedges in.
Jack the trailer up as high as it would go to disconnect the Equalizer hitch, take all that apart and put it. Get another beer. Get the level for front to back then put out the slides.

5w way... Pull into a spot, get a beer. Turn on the auto level and scroll to check the side to side if it's more than 1/2% and level pads to the tires on the low side, have the wife pull up on them. Unlock the hitch, put the tailgate down and lower the front jacks until the 5w is a couple of inches higher than the ball. Have the wife move the truck. Walk over and hit the auto level. Done

It would take me at least 3 beers to level the old trailer and a fair amount of muscle. Now it's less than 1 beer and usually I just push a couple of buttons.

IMO everything is better.
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:03 AM   #13
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You can get auto level on the Jayco. The option runs about $1650 compared to the 4 pt 5er leveling option thats about $2700. $1650 would be well spent getting a TT that big.
As for needing knee pads goes. Get a bed slider. I DIY'd one for an F150 I had. Made getting to all the stuff in the truck under the canopy way easier.
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavenger View Post


To those saying they prefer how a 5th Wheel pulls over a TT, not having pulled a 5th Wheel...My trailer, though only 32'7" long, but 11700 GVWR with an Anderson hitch, there isn't a single bit of wiggle on that trailer. It is rock solid behind me, yes when a semi passes me I do get a very gentle shove towards the shoulder from the bow wave, but I can correct it with a single hand on the wheel. No white knuckle driving at all.
Youll just have to take my word for it but as good as you think the bumper pull is the 5th wheel/gooseneck setup is better. Think of it like trying to thread a bolt. The gooseneck is like you threading the bolt with your fingers. Your fingers (the trailer) has very little leverage on the bolt (truck). So what happens when you put a 6ft cheater bar on your wrench? More leverage.
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