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Old 10-15-2010, 11:55 AM   #1
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If you were going from a DP...

We're currently happy -- except for now when we're in the shop for repairs -- with our CC. But I have to say that after having 3 tows following our front tire blow-out (you can read about it on our blog @ An RV Life | Life & Living in our RV -- we're starting to think that a 5er may be better for us.

For those who have gone this route, what insights or advise can you provide? We do need at least the same space as we have now (it's a 40' pusher), like a stacked/seperate washer/dryer, definitely need a big TV and will be full-timing. Just to let you know, when we're running on less than 50 AMPS we consider that rouging it .

As an FYI, we are planning on looking at some at the Pomona show and then once we select the desired 5er to then get the truck.

While we have a lot of experience in A's (including 5 years now in the current rig) we are definitely newbies when it comes to other types of rigs.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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I mean no disrespect however the exact same issues that happen with a DP can happen with a 5er as well - in fact, it's double the chances of something going wrong since you have two vehicles in play, your tow vehicle and your TT. If your tow vehicle breaks you're still stuck. If your TT loses a tire (as in what happened with your DP) or has axle issues, you're still stuck.

There is little difference in the scenarios that could happen. Perhaps you could consider pulling a TOAD with your CC of some sort - at least you'd still have a vehicle to drive somewhere with if all else failed. I just hate to see you throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:16 PM   #3
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We do have a toad. What was so painful about this experience was that we had the front tire blow out. Then had to have it towed -- with the long & low front-end the tow driver damaged the generator slide. Then when Wingfoot was replacing the tire they had the jack on a suspension arm and broke it; then it got towed to a shop to fix the suspension where there was more damage from the tow truck and then finally to where the original damage is being replaced where yet another tow driver did more damage.

Most of the damage has been related to the very long/low front end (2 tows were on a low boy and one with a wheel lift).

This doesn't even include the additional waiting time for getting tires that are 295/80x22.5 which even in So Cal they had to go through a couple of warehouses to locate.

Just seems that with a 5er you at least would expect (maybe I'm wrong here) to have less tow-truck related problems and at least on the truck would be able to take it to a regular or truck shop withoujt taking the house with you.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
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Im sure there are mixed opinions. I just like the DP better for road travel because 90% of the suspension hard parts are going to be in stock at just about any travel plaza that has repair facilities. Air springs, air lines, treadle valves, air relays, brake springs, shoes, bearings, and most other common drivetrain parts are readily available and quite common at most OTR truck shops - many open 7 days a week. The more unusual stuff I carry with me like an unmounted 22.5 spare, transfer switch, fresh water pump, etc etc.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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Sounds like you have had very bad experience with tow truck drivers.

I have also thought about going to a 5er but after watching the set up and take down I just like the DP better.

The wife and I have decided that if the time comes that when will stay in one area for a couple of months at a time we will consider going with a 5er but we only stay in one spot for a couple of weeks then move on. Also I like driving a smaller car instead of being stuck driving a one ton truck to go sight seeing.

Either way it has to be your decision. Don't let anyone make your mind up. Just do what makes you and the dear wife happy.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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There are limitations to both a MH and towable RV, whether it be a 5th wheel or travel trailer. All ST (special trailer) tires are limited to 65 MPH, and most brands are cursed by owners for frequent failure rates. The solution is to run LT tires of the appropriate rating, for instance I run Sailun tires: http://www.treadepot.com/tire/8244393.html
Which are much heavier, rated for 75MPH, and are used mainly on heavy low-boy, dual-tandem trailers for hauling heavy equipment.
We tow a 40' 5er with our Chevy K3500, towing is pleasant and comfortable.Yes, I do have to watch where I park occasionally, and cannot park in some parking garages.
We live in our RV for 3-4 months at a time, travel frequently sometimes, and always feel like we have our own apartment wherever we park.
Shopping for the exact layout and brand you both desire is the hardest part. First it is done on-line, then in person to view what you think fits your needs and desires. Quality and cost are one-in-the-same here, one cannot expect to buy a High quality RV for the cost of an entry-level unit.

Many years ago I owned a MH; seems like I was working on it every week. My 5er has required only normal maintenance, and new tires of course, since it was new in 2005. Up until this summer, that is; now it has a sidewall crack that must be repaired by the factory. My 4WD truck has required some fuel system work which cost me just over $750, one set of new tires, and it is a 2002.
That is my story, hope it is useful in making your decision.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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Opinions on this subject are always interesting. One can only relate their experiences for whatever they are worth. I have had motorhomes since '73. The last two were DP's. Both were a pain. When I finally fully retired, I decided I didn't need the hassles of a motorhome anymore. Never been happier. I would say anything in the 36 - 38' fiver will give you equal, or more, room than the 40' DP. Usually the slides are larger and deeper.

I drive the tow vehicle at least weekly making sure it stays in good shape. Their are many less integrated problems in the fiver than the MH. On the fiver, if the tires are in good shape and I have maintained the batteries and brakes with good routines, I am ready to roll. Very few big surprises like the MH can give you. It is more pleasant riding in the MH, but I think the fiver rig is easier to drive. Lots less depreciation on the fiver rig and repairs are amazingly less expensive. We are very happy with our choice.

Now, just make sure you get a good fiver with the appropriate tow vehicle. Look around for the good brands.

Hey Ray, ALL ST tires are not limited to 65mph.

Bob
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
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OP, sorry this is off-topic.
fiverbob please enlighten me. What brands of Special Trailer (ST) tires do not have the 65 MPH limitation? Something must have changed since I last read most ST tire warranties.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #9
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The nature of life on the road is the same regardless of your setup, JMO, G
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:25 PM   #10
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A 40 foot MH is in reality going to have about the same real usable living space as a 35-37 foot fiver. I think you will find that a 40 foot fiver will have more living space. The problem is that a 40 foot hi line fiver will really require a MDT to haul it safely. So you will be back in the same boat if you have tire troubles. If you like what you have and can afford the cost of maintenance and repairs, then stick with it. Just don't skimp on things like tires.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:23 AM   #11
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OP, sorry this is off-topic.
fiverbob please enlighten me. What brands of Special Trailer (ST) tires do not have the 65 MPH limitation? Something must have changed since I last read most ST tire warranties.
Goodyear G614 ST for one. There are more.

Bob
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #12
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Goodyear G614 ST for one. There are more.

Bob
Bob,

With all respect, the trailer-specific G614 RST is labeled by Goodyear as an LT tire; specifically, LT235/85R-16. See HERE.

Rusty
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:47 AM   #13
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A 40 foot MH is in reality going to have about the same real usable living space as a 35-37 foot fiver. I think you will find that a 40 foot fiver will have more living space. The problem is that a 40 foot hi line fiver will really require a MDT to haul it safely. So you will be back in the same boat if you have tire troubles. If you like what you have and can afford the cost of maintenance and repairs, then stick with it. Just don't skimp on things like tires.
I agree with this. If you're looking at any high end 40' or so fifth wheel, you should, in my opinion, have a MDT. I have a 40' Kountry Aire and a Freightliner and this spring on our way to NC I blew one front tire and blew the other on the way back. Each time we sat on the side of the road for 6 hours waiting for someone to come with a replacement tire. So, it can still happen. Lesson learned; don't try to max out the number of years you keep your tires. BUT.....we love our truck and trailer. I think it's a perfect setup.

Good luck with you research.
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #14
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Bob,

With all respect, the trailer-specific G614 RST is labeled by Goodyear as an LT tire; specifically, LT235/85R-16. See HERE.

Rusty
Yeh, I know about the label, Rusty. Threw me too. Called Goodyear and had a looooongg talk with an engineer about the LT's that were on the rig and the new ST's. He stated that the LT in the beginning of the size is only for sizing the tire - - look at the end of all the gobbly goop and you hit the magic stuff - - RST - - radial special trailer. All you have to do is pick the sucker up and compare it to the regular LT and you know there is something different - - it has to be about 15% heavier. It is a beast to handle and much heavier than the Michelin of the same size in the LT. Look at the tread - - it is rounded and entirely different - - and regroovable. Look at the specs - - it is rated for straight running. Look at the tire as you back into a site while turning - - the sucker hardly bends at all. I was forever holding my breath that I was going to pop a tire off with LT's. The G614 is most definitely not a normal LT tire. It really puzzled me too when I saw that size label. If you click on your link and look at the end of the list, you will see the "RST". And, it is rated at 75 mph.

Bob
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