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Old 07-11-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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Differences in the Length of a Fiver

We are still learning and studying in our quest for a used or maybe new fiver. My question of the day is about differences in length.

We want to do some cross country trips and perhaps some snow birding.
I have found that most of the floor plans we like are at least 34 feet long.
I also saw a used Bighorn advertised that had a floor plan I really liked.
It is 38 feet long.

We are very mindful thanks to all of you here of the overall weight and weight of pin issue as it relates to the size of truck needed to pull the fiver.

Outside of a weight issue would any of you have an opinion as to whether it is any more effort to tow and take care of a 38 foot fiver as compared to a 34 foot model?

It seems as though models smaller than this are not as attractive floor plan wise. It will be only DH and I as well as our small dog so the number of places to sleep are not so important as it would be to some.

Once more I thank you all for your kind advice,


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Old 07-11-2014, 12:28 PM   #2
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We have a 40' Pinnacle, only problem is sometimes in State an federal parks they don't have big enough pads.otherwise you will appreciate the extra room.

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Old 07-11-2014, 12:34 PM   #3
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I just upgraded from 35 feet to 40 feet and see no difference in towing. You just have to remember it's back there and watch it when turning. If you like the 38 foot Bighorn, go for it. You have to like the floor plan to enjoy your rv! On the down side, DH will have 4 more feet on each side to wash and wax
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:47 PM   #4
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We selected a 34' that we liked the floor plan in an effort not to limit the parks we could stay in. I don't think there would be much difference in towing other than a few more pounds. Choose the one you like and press on. Good luck, happy camping. Stay safe.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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The wind drag should be the same whether you're towing 34' or 38', from what I've seen the Bighorn is a pretty nice trailer. If you like the floorplan why not, just make sure your truck can handle it.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
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I too like the Big Horn fifth wheels, and others in that price range.

However my single rear wheel 3/4 ton crewcab diesel just won't handle the 3000 lb. hitch weight, and such trailers are substantially heavier than my truck needs to tow.

A dual rear wheel 1 ton is needed for the "full size" fifth wheels commonly seen for full timers or long distance travel.

We have ordered a Grand Design Reflection series fifth wheel with 2000 lbs. dry hitch weight and 11,000 lbs. dry total weight. Our 3/4 ton truck will handle it, but it'll be max'd out.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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Whatever the GVWR is on the Reflection, take 20% of that for the max pin weight you might end up with.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #8
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Yes, the truck situation would be difficult. DH is planning on ordering a 3500 diesel but we do not really want a dually. We were looking at a dually at the dealership.

I just do not see him driving it as his everyday car. He is retiring soon.
Maybe if we found a used dually and kept his current vehicle as well.

I have learned my lessons well here and do not want to be overloaded in any of the several ways in which you can be overloaded.

I almost forgot to check the hitch weight on the BH. I would have later this evening but I have been doing yard work all day between sneaking in some posts and looking at fivers online.

Thank You all,

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Old 07-11-2014, 06:26 PM   #9
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I have a 27 single slide. 12000 lb gvw. Been across us twice, Twice to AK. Lived in 3 1/2 years. Wife I and dog love the compact size. Great for boon docks and GVT forest camps. Tows at 12 mpg with swd 235 hp dodge auto like a feather.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:37 PM   #10
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Just an FYI, a 36' 5'r is actually longer, like 37' 11". A 38' is probably 39' 11". We have friends that just bought a 39', it's 40' 11'. Figure that into your calculations for backing up & towing. Don't believe the dealer on the "dry weight", when you get it take it straight to the scales and weigh it.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:46 AM   #11
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lengths posted are misleading. mine shows 24 ft 5 " on the title and side of unit actually measures 27 ft 5 " from pin the rear bumper.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #12
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FYI - with a 38' compared to a 34' there will be more "tail whip" ie - a sharp turn will cause the rear of the 5er to need more room at the rear. Be aware and take care.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:04 AM   #13
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Depending on the unit the GVW might very well be the same. Longer is wider corners. If you are doing pull through and large roads it is less of an issue than small spots and roads. Larger units have larger areas to heat and cool.

oh, oh, takes more to clean and wax...
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:17 AM   #14
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39' is a lot to wax. lol. I wouldn't have it any smaller either.

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