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Old 06-14-2016, 12:00 AM   #15
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I have a 14 Ram SRW with 342 rears 18 in wheels and the 68 RFE tranny pulling about 14500 loaded and it pulls great! The Aisen has an even lower end grunt then the 68. The 6 spd tranny makes a big difference. You probably would have to limit your loaded weight to no more then 15000 with an SRW. Join TDR (Turbo Diesel Register) All Ram and Cummins all the time. Very informative. No! You are not too old ! As mentioned before a dealer can help you learn it just requires focus and knowledge as what to do. don"t be afraid to ask questions about any facet that you are unsure of , for your own safety and thos on the road with you. Happy Trails.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Larry Mac01 View Post
Don't own yet. Looking at this one.
that truck will do anything....


I say go for it, you can do anything!
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:16 AM   #17
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I'd get whatever tickeled my fancy. If you were next door, I'd help you learn how to back up. Get what makes you feel fuzzy, and enjoy life!
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:18 PM   #18
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I used to sell vehicles at a Chevy store and I was one of the rare ducks that actually knew what I was talking about. I won't tell you that truck you want can do anything, BUT I will tell you that it will tow anything that you will be comfortable in towing. Usually the first rv you get isn't the biggest and baddest one out there. So yes that truck will suit whatever needs you come up with.
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:22 AM   #19
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First off, you need to buy that truck! We have a 2010 DRW with the 68rfe and 3.73 and it tows our 15k HitchHiker beautifully. The Aisin with the 4.10 wouldn't even know our fiver was back there.

I've towed everything from pop ups to expandable hard-wall hybrids. First fifth wheel was 24' Forest River (Cherokee). Our current full-time rig is a 34' HitchHiker. The 24' was actually harder to back into a spot than our current rig. I've found that axle placement on the rig is the key. On the 24', the axle was just about centered between the king pin and rear bumper. On our current rig, the axle is about 2/3 of the way back from the king pin, and is much easier to back into a spot. Makes sense, when you look at the OTR rigs. Their trailer axles are at the rear of the trailer. Makes for a much quicker 'response' to changes in the steering wheel of the TV.

So, my answer to the question of 34' vs 40+' is look at axle placement. The shorter the distance from the rear bumper to the axles will be the easiest to back. Going forward is not an issue - just remember to make wide turns.

And no, you're not too old!!

Good luck in your search,

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Old 06-18-2016, 11:33 AM   #20
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I appreciate your responses. I didn't mean to imply I was physically unable. Just unsure of the time we had left for the learning curve to take place. Can't think of places in Central Florida to practice the handling of a fifth wheel or do I just jump on Interstate 4 at rush hour? LOL.
Also is there a significant difference in a 34-35 ft 5th wheel at 12k and another at 41 ft and 15k assuming your TV was correct?
You may want to check out the LazyDays driving courses that are offered in Seffner (east of Tampa). Some are free lectures which is probably all you need. I believe hands on courses are still available for a fee. I haven't personally taken any of the courses but have heard favorable reviews from others.
I'm not a LazyDays fan, but if you want to see most any 5er that's currently available, that would be the place to start. Not knowing where you are in central FL, Tradewinds in Ocala is a towables only dealer. We bought our current rig there eight years ago.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:46 PM   #21
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You may want to check out the LazyDays driving courses that are offered in Seffner (east of Tampa). Some are free lectures which is probably all you need. I believe hands on courses are still available for a fee. I haven't personally taken any of the courses but have heard favorable reviews from others.
I'm not a LazyDays fan, but if you want to see most any 5er that's currently available, that would be the place to start. Not knowing where you are in central FL, Tradewinds in Ocala is a towables only dealer. We bought our current rig there eight years ago.


Would you buy from there again?
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:22 PM   #22
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Would you buy from there again?
Tradewinds? Yes. Sales folks were what you would expect but the service and parts depts. folks were very knowledgeable. Keep in mind, my experience was eight years ago.
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:46 PM   #23
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You may want to check out the LazyDays driving courses that are offered in Seffner (east of Tampa). Some are free lectures which is probably all you need. I believe hands on courses are still available for a fee. I haven't personally taken any of the courses but have heard favorable reviews from others.
I'm not a LazyDays fan, but if you want to see most any 5er that's currently available, that would be the place to start. Not knowing where you are in central FL, Tradewinds in Ocala is a towables only dealer. We bought our current rig there eight years ago.
I started pretty much like you did Larry. I'll skip my learning details but would recommend the classes at Lazy Days (I wouldn't recommend buying from them unless you don't plan to bring it back to them for service). I'd recommend General RV almost across from them, talk to Nick Harrington. I've bought both my 5th wheels from him and the service is excellent. btw, Lazy Days only does the motorized driving classes not 5th wheels, unless they changed.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:56 PM   #24
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I started pretty much like you did Larry. I'll skip my learning details but would recommend the classes at Lazy Days (I wouldn't recommend buying from them unless you don't plan to bring it back to them for service). I'd recommend General RV almost across from them, talk to Nick Harrington. I've bought both my 5th wheels from him and the service is excellent. btw, Lazy Days only does the motorized driving classes not 5th wheels, unless they changed.

Well, I'll hope to "sneak" the fiver over to a local school after hours and work on backups and turns at least. Lot of traffic in Central Florida. Can't imagine my first run will probably be on 1-75 and /or 1-4.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:51 AM   #25
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I agree on the dually. Great idea. Then you are not limited in your 5th wheel choices (within reason). It's not really about "towing power", it's about rear axle weight limits and rear tire weight limits. The dually will have enough capacity limits in both that you can go with the larger size 5ers you're looking at without worrying about excessive pin weights.

Learning to drive one is not hard. Go slow. Turn wide. Watch your overhead clearances.
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:23 PM   #26
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I tow a 12,000gvw 27ft 5r with a single wheel 2001 dodge 2500, auto 3.54 gears combo wt is 17,900. Towed 78,000 miles over past 22years. Twice to Alaska for 3months. My first tow rig was a 3500 dual rear wheel. I see no diffrence in towing with the drw. Length? bunk house? How often are all these people going with you? Extra folks can camp on the floor, couch or dinnet. Are you going on short trips or long vacations? Lots of remote camp grounds (especially western forest service) are limited to size. 40 ft overall. Are you only going to resort rv parks that will handle 60 ft. Your truck is already 21ft long. If you are always going to stay in a resort, save your money and go to the Hilton.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:58 PM   #27
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I'd really like to do this, but wondered if we got into this too late. I turn 65 next year, and DW is older. I have trailered a 22-ft boat before, but nothing like this.
My TV will probably be a 3500 Ram with 4.10 and Aisin tranny. So I should be able to tow most rigs.
Here's where I need some advice.
First advice I did receive very early was go small like around 34-36 ft and 10-12 k in weight. And then after a while go bigger if need be
But at our age, not sure if we have time for " after a while," and it seems we need bigger right away.
You're doing the right thing going with the DRW. You won't be limited on the 5th wheel that way, unless you go into a crazy high end / custom one; which it doesn't sound like you will be doing.

There is not much learning curve going to a diesel vehicle. They require a bit more maintenance and you'll have to add DEF every so often. I'd just suggest that you do a thorough read through of the truck manual so you know the ins and outs and how to properly care for and maintain the truck.

If you know that you are going to want/need a bigger trailer, buy that first. Dont buy a smaller one with the intention to go to a bigger one after a few years.

The learning curve isn't going to be significantly easier if you buy a 35' one vs a 40' one. There will be a learning curve, but getting one 5' smaller isn't going to make a huge difference. If you don't/can't find a driving school, I suggest finding a large parking lot (Wal-mart if it's not crowded, school on the weekend, etc) and get familiar with it where you have large spaces to turn around and back up without many obstacles.

Its a really good idea to do a lot of reading and learning about your TV and RV. This website is a great resource, and youtube was invaluable to me when I was getting started. Watching videos about how to hook up, unhook, set up at a campsite, how to back up, etc...those things can help greatly.

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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
If the truck is a SRW than you can only get a 3:42 differential regardless of transmission with a 6.7L Cummins.
You can get the AISIN transmission in a 3.73 gear ratio in a SRW. Not sure about the 4.10.
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Old 07-02-2016, 01:39 AM   #28
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I have a 14 Ram SRW with 342 rears 18 in wheels and the 68 RFE tranny pulling about 14500 loaded and it pulls great! The Aisen has an even lower end grunt then the 68. The 6 spd tranny makes a big difference. You probably would have to limit your loaded weight to no more then 15000 with an SRW. Join TDR (Turbo Diesel Register) All Ram and Cummins all the time. Very informative. No! You are not too old ! As mentioned before a dealer can help you learn it just requires focus and knowledge as what to do. don"t be afraid to ask questions about any facet that you are unsure of , for your own safety and thos on the road with you. Happy Trails.
The truck he's looking at is a dually.
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