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Old 12-04-2010, 11:49 AM   #1
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Need help with choosing 5th wheel size

My wife and I have a 36' motorhome and my wife will not drive it because she is intimidated by the size. We would like to have something she could handle comfortably, and are considering a fifth wheel. However, we are at odds in choosinng the size.

I would like to have 3 slides with two chairs, a couch, dinette, bedroom slide, and an entertainment center with fireplace. I have searched all the floorplans I can find on the internet, and the smallest size I can find with the features I want is 34'.

My wife thinks 34' is too long for her to tow and back up, so she wants something 30' or less. The only floor plans I can find in that size don't have much in the way of living space.

We could use some help from other user's experiences. Is there any noticeable difference between a 30' and a 34' so far as towing handling, turning, and backing up?

Does anyone know of a 5th wheel less than 34' that has the features I want?

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:23 PM   #2
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In straight towing, length really doesn't make any difference to speak of. In turning, the longer the 5th wheel, the more disciplined one must be in making the turn to ensure that you don't clip a curb - either swing wider or (when not possible) wait longer to turn and turn more sharply with a longer 5th wheel. In backing, the longer 5th wheel will respond more slowly and takes a little more room to maneuver.

Having said all that, my wife tows our 36' 5th wheel at times and does an excellent job with it. The difference in towing characteristics between a 34' and a 30' would be minimal - I would go with the 34' for the additional living space. We had a 30', and it was tight for me after a few days.



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Old 12-04-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
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You might look at the Excel Winslow. It has a very open floorplan. You could probably get the factory to install a fireplace.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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I am new to this site, but have towed two different 5er for some time. Our first was a 30 ft 5er with a single slide. This was OK for our first time in owning and towing a 5er around. But we soon found out that the unit was just too small for the two of us. No chairs and just a jack-knife couch with an entertainment center and cabinets. This was find for a short weekend trip but on extended trips of two or more weeks it would not do.

We now have a 34 ft 5er with three slides and this seems to be the right fit for us. The unit has two chairs and a couch along with the dinette and free standing chairs. A entertainment center with a built in desk and a bed room slide. This seems to be the right size for our needs when we are travailing on extended trips.

The only other thing that I can add to this is make sure you purchase a lager enough truck to pull your 5er. Different models of 5er will have different pin weights and GVW of the camper. A 1 ton dually pick-up truck with a 4:10 gear set will pull most mid-size 5er's easily.

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Old 12-06-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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You probably already know, but a 30' 5er and TV will be almost 50', so if length is an issue you are going backwards. Have you taken your wife & MH to an empty parking lot an done a lot of practice? That could make a lot of difference.

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Old 12-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #6
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I'm with CD...before spending the money to change rigs (which your wife will probably still be reluctant to drive), spend the money for an RV driving class. RV Driving School
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CD View Post
You probably already know, but a 30' 5er and TV will be almost 50', so if length is an issue you are going backwards. Have you taken your wife & MH to an empty parking lot an done a lot of practice? That could make a lot of difference.
We have a 34' 5er and a longbed F-250 pulling it and we are pushing 53' in length.

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Old 12-08-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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Sorry but I agree with some of the others, I think you are going backwards. I plan on moving to a Class A motor home so I can get the old lady to drive it. She is intimidated by the truck and 5th wheel. She wants to be able to climb into the bed and sleep while I drive and maybe even watch tv if I get the in-motion satellite setup. There are some advantages of a 5VR, you don't need a TOAD because you are driving a BIG truck. But you are driving a big Pickup truck in order to pull that Big 5VR. The wife doesn't like the BIG truck because it is BIG.
Another plus of Class A motor home is you don't have to even get out in bad weather to setup, just air down the suspension, level and extend the sides. You can wait until it stops raining to hook up shore power, water, sewage.
With the 5VR you will get wet, cold and what else while your DW is complaining while you level the 5VR, hook up shore power and sewage and disconnect the BIG truck.
OK so now you really need to figure out what the DW really wants.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:56 PM   #9
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There are many Class A's at or under 30ft. As others have pointed out, a truck+5-r with the furnishings you're looking for will be at your current MH+toad (or over if just MH) length. You won't be going less in length.

You could also consider Class C's. I've seen those as small as 24 ft. Something to consider if you like the set up convenience of Class A's but in a much smaller length.

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Old 12-08-2010, 11:57 PM   #10
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Nash/Artic Fox builds a very nice fifth wheel.

Has your wife ever driven a fifth wheel?

I find driving and parking a class "A" is easier than a trailer.

My wife will not drive our coach either so we have an agreement. I always drive the coach and she always drives the toad when we arrive at our destination.

Suits me. She gets the worst part as far as I'm concerned. She really liked driving around Boston and throught the Big Dig....NOTTTT
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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A new group, New Horizons, has joined irv2 here are some of their 5th's 29' & 30' that maybe of interest.
Good luck in your decision.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:53 PM   #12
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I am single. I would not want to share my 30' 5er with another person. It is too small for that.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #13
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Here is a nicely designed 33 footer.

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