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Old 02-22-2005, 01:16 PM   #1
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Been popup camping since late 60's. Just purchased a new 2005, 3500 Dodge Diesel dually. Going to buy a "LARGE" 5th wheel RV. Looking for experienced knowledge about hitches and 5th wheel trailers. I've heard about hidden hitches, are those any good? I guess I'm hoping for some good heads up advice for a novice 5th wheeler. We live in Houston area and plan to travel all the states once we get set up. Just don't know anvthing about 5th wheel equipment or which 5th wheel Rv to buy. There are so many manufactors and.
Thanks for your help
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:16 PM   #2
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Been popup camping since late 60's. Just purchased a new 2005, 3500 Dodge Diesel dually. Going to buy a "LARGE" 5th wheel RV. Looking for experienced knowledge about hitches and 5th wheel trailers. I've heard about hidden hitches, are those any good? I guess I'm hoping for some good heads up advice for a novice 5th wheeler. We live in Houston area and plan to travel all the states once we get set up. Just don't know anvthing about 5th wheel equipment or which 5th wheel Rv to buy. There are so many manufactors and.
Thanks for your help
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:54 PM   #3
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I have a RBW hitch and love it. My 5er is an Automate which more than meets our needs. They make custom units based upon a floor plan that you may like. Try automaterv.com.

Your truck should allow you to tow a big RV but I recommend you determine several vital numbers. Truck GVWR mine is on the driver's door post. Truck GCWR mine is in the owner's manual. Truck weight. This one should be an actual measurement with a full tank, all the stuff you expect to take in the truck when you travel, mom and the kids. Weigh it and then estimate the weight of the hitch and add it to the measured weight. Look at the 5er's you like and look up the 5er GVWR, usually on a plaque on the left side of the rig near the hitch. I recommend that you use the trailer GVWR as the weight you will actually tow. Now do the math:
Pin weight = 20% of trailer GVWR. Truck weight + pin weight should be less than the truck GVWR. Truck weight + Tailer GVWR should be less than the truck GCWR. Expect that you will find that the truck GVWR will be approached before you get close to the truck GCWR. On mine I am over GVWR by 200# and under GCWR by 400#. If I had followed the above recommendations I would have bought a 3500. Mty 2500 is a good truck and I have towed my 5er 39,000 miles but have had to overhaul my transmission.
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Old 02-23-2005, 06:02 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. With your truck, you will have lots of fivers that will fit your rig. We had a popup before moving to our 32 foot Holiday Rambler Alumascape in 2002. I highly recommend them as a brand to look at. Also 30-32 foot is a good size. Big enough to give you space, yet small enough to fit many campsites. After a popup you will think you are taking an apartment with you. We love the difference. We also have an RBW hitch and we like it.

Others will chime in with good RV brands and their preference on hitches. There are several good brands of both. Rusty will probably post a reply. He is one of our moderators and lives in the Houston area. You did real good on the truck size you chose. Dont get a monster fiver like a 36 to 40 footer that grosses 15,000+ pounds. Those are too much for a one ton to be happy with. We are a little heavy pulling ours with a 3/4 ton but are in process of moving up to a one ton.
You will find fivers are made with three different ceiling heights in the front bedroom...
short(crouch down to crawl into bed)
medium (bend over to walk around the bedroom)
tall (able to walk around without hitting head on ceiling if you are not over 6'2" +/-)

Get a tall one. Although this does cause more wind drag and hurts fuel economy, you will enjoy the stand up room after experiencing the popup beds.

Have fun, ask lots of questions.
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Old 02-23-2005, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thanks cwsoules,
I really think you info was great until I got to the bottom. All those abbreviations, acroynms, and the others stuff, I don't understand yet. Heck I just found out what rear end came with the truck and now I've already forgotten it. Maybe, if you have the time could you brake down some of those things in a language that a beginner would understand? If not, well thanks again.
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:44 AM   #6
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MW,
After you choose a 5er you think you may like, try everything, everything, out. Lie down on the bed, is your head from the shoulders up under overhead cabinets and between walls, are you comfortable with that? Is there room beside the bed to get in and out and make it without crawling on top of it?
How about the bathroom layout, we prefer a room that contains everything with a door that closes, like home. Those with the shower and / or the washbasin in the bedroom and the commode in a closet size room are not our cup of tea.
Sit in the recliner, will it tilt without hitting the wall and if not is it so heavy as to require two men and a boy to pull it out and put it back, is the back high enough to support your head when tilted.
Is the tv located where it can be seen form the sofa and chair?
Is the tv in the bedroom located where it can be seen from the bed or on in a side wall?
Sit four people at the table, the built in type require those who sit on the inside to slide in first and vice versa to get out. The stand-alone table with chairs is more flexible and may be pulled out into the room and two more chairs added at the ends should you have guests.
If you choose a kitchen with an island is there room to work behind it, particularly with the oven door or refrigerator door open.
There are many other things that might best be answered by trying it for a weekend, not likely, so spend a couple of hours with the family just pretending you're camping and going through all the motions.
Good luck,
Mike
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:50 AM   #7
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Hearty welcome to this forum mwturner. You will find just about any information you need to get started in a new aspect of camping here. I suggest you visit the different topics found on irv2 and go back and read the many threads posted here about 5th wheels, full timing, trailer weight limits, hitches, etc.

At the top of the page you will notice a tab with the word Find and a magnifying glass. If you click on this tab and enter a keyword that you want information on, you will be taken to those "threads".

Happy hunting and hope this helps.
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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As for hitches, I have an 18K rocker hitch from Hidden Hitch. Never a problem. I bought off Ebay three years ago for $300 dollars new. Set it up and installed it myself. I would not recommend doing that. They can be a pain to install.

As for 5vers, we are weekend warriors, so we probably look at different class of trailer that you would be looking at. As mentioned above, go with a standup bedroom. We have a mid profile, and it literally is a pain in the back getting in and out of bed. I would recomend looking at Forest River products. We have a Rockwood by Forest River. We have been very pleased wit it and the customer service at Forest River has been exceptional.

You are definately headed in the right direction with the truck, and asking here for advice. Good luck and happy RV'ing.
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:33 PM   #9
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Sorry. GVWR gross vehicle weight rating.Truck GVWR refers to the maximum total weight your truck is designed to weigh when loaded. This includes the weight of the truck. Trailer GVWR refers to the maximum your trailer is designed to weigh when fully loaded.
GCWR gross combined weight rating. GCWR refers to the maximum weight your truck is designed to move and stop. It includes the weight of the truck and the trailer.


I weigh our rig at a truck stop whenever we make a long trip. I discovered that the salesman who told me that we would not load our rig to close to the GVWR was wrong. We are usually within a few hundred pounds of the GVWR of the trailer. I have tried to move weight to on top of the trailer axels or behind them and have not been able to reduce my pin weight below 18% of the trailer GVWR. The problem is that the stowage under the bed, the bathroom storage, and clothes closet are all between tghe axels and the trailer hitch. Then there is the basement storage which also near the 5er pin. As I said in a previous post I would have bought a 3500 if I had understood the weight issues better.

When we go to a RV show the 5er's GVWR is one of the first things I look at. My 5er's GVWR is 10,640# and that is marginal for my truck. It is discouraging that 29 to 30 foot 5ers seem to be getting heavier and heavier.
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:19 PM   #10
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Hello MW,

My wife and I spent a great deal of time looking at fifth wheels in our price range. Very quickly we found a floor plan that we both could live with. This is VERY important. Primarily, we found we really wanted a rear living room rig. We have found some sites where you would swear you were in a house boat looking out the rear windows. Makes it very nice to go to the beach, too.

One other hint - plan on putting in a new mattress. We put in a full queen pillow top and both of us sleep so well, sometimes I think I should sleep out there all the time.

I would also recommend at least one slide out. Ours has 2 and we just love it. The 2nd slide is in the bedroom and just adds another touch of comfort.

Good luck!

David
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:18 AM   #11
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mwturner

You don't mention if you got the long bed or short bed. Don't know the Dodge product line well enough to know if they even offer a 1-ton dually in a short bed. But if you do have a short bed, then you need to look at slider hitches. They slide rearward when you are performing tight maneuvering so that trailer doesn't hit the cab. Many will say that you don't need a slider that even a short bed has enough room for a tight turn. I thought so too until I punched out my rear window (on my old truck) one day. Then I got a slider hitch.

Only other advise I would provide is that you pay attention to the weights to that you don't exceed the GVWR and GCWR of your truck. The real BIG 5ers are too much trailer for a 1-ton dually. Go out and weigh your truck with a full tank of fuel, all your passengers and everything loaded in it that you would normally take with you camping. From there you can calculate the trailer weights that your truck can handle.

Just MHO
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