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Old 04-03-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
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Nervous Nellie

We have a 30 foot Excel 5th wheel (2006), still like new because we use it very little and it has been stored indoors. We have used it within 100 miles of our home only. We converted hitch to goose neck to fit our 2500 HD Silverado pickup bed drop ball. We are planning our first long trip from SW Nebraska to Lena Wisconsin this summer now that hubby has retired. We are a little nervous and scared about hauling our RV this far for our first extended summer trip. My hubby does not want to travel the interstates. Once we reach our destination to brother's home in Lena, we plan on just short trips around the bay area. We put new 10 ply tires on two years ago, and have about 100 miles on them and they have not been in the sun. We also just put air bags on the pick up to make pulling some what better. Guess I am a nervous nellie, any one ever have these same first long trip worries? Thanks, Jannelle
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
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Yes! and Yes.

But just go, everything will be fine.

There will be times when you:

A) Didn't see THAT one coming!
B) OH SHOOT, I shouldn't have turned there.
C) did YOU leave THAT switch on?? What were you thinking?
D) Honey... where are we?
E) Ooops, I lost my cell phone signal.
F) Shoot, I thought I could drive that far today, but...
G) Did you just trip down those steps? Be careful honey.
H) I should have taken the interstate.
I) Is there a gas station nearby???? I thought I could make it further!

And the whole thing will be worth it!

Being nervous is normal, and the only way to get over that... is to go! And if you never go, you never get there. And you miss out on alllllll of it, and that would be a shame.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
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I agree with everything Plasma told you in their excellent response. We have FTed for 7 years now, so its second nature. But I still remember worrying about doing everything right on the first long journey with a fiver.

Now I don't want to worry you about something else, but did think I might mention it so you can check it out. It has to do with using the gooseneck hitch rather than a fifth wheel hitch. Peterson Industries (Excel), will not cover warranty issues with cap/frame issues if one is using a gooseneck. I believe they had some issues years back with how they affect the stress in the cap area. Some of the other RV manufactures have the same exclusion. With that being said, warranty is not an issue for an "06" but you still might want to check if it could cause issues and what they might be. Lots of people use a gooseneck, and you have used it on your short trips, so its probably not a problem. But at their service center, they have a big advisory notice on the wall.

The easiest way to check it out specifically is to call the service manager at the Excel plant. His name is Ralph-and he will always return your call if he is not immediately available. The number is 800-368-3759. I was hesitant to post this because I sure don't want to cause undue worry about something else. But then I figured for a fellow Excel owner, I should at least give you a heads up. I don't know any of the specifics because we've never used one.

Have tons of fun!!
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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I had my tube framed 5 th wheel towed in PA by a tow truck with a GN adapter and only used the JBrakes on the truck.
Had to repair a failing front beam on my trailer the next summer. I could see the movement from the rear seat and told the driver to switch of the JB but he did not. I was also scared it was going to break right there. Set the trailer brakes right. Its not the pulling of the weight. Its the slowing down that gets scary.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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if you were asking about the hitch conversion being ok for that long of a haul, I certainly did not understand that. So If I mis-spoke to the nature of encouragement needed, I apologize.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:14 PM   #6
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Not sure about your Excell, May not be the same, but I pulled an '83 28 foot Aljo-Alia around for 10+ years with a gooseneck adapter on it with no problems. That rig sure pulled a lot better that it's replacement!, and with no issues.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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GN Hitch

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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
if you were asking about the hitch conversion being ok for that long of a haul, I certainly did not understand that. So If I mis-spoke to the nature of encouragement needed, I apologize.
Yes, I was asking about the GN Hitch conversion that hubby changed over to. Between tires and the hitch, I am really nervous about traveling 900 miles. We plan on about 300 miles a day, and no Interstates. We have not had any problems with pulling it around our area. Our Excel dealer put the GN hitch on for us and I also did see the warning about the GN hitch, but had already changed over to it. We plan on leaving our 5th wheel in Wisconsin in brother's garage shop during the winters and just going back in the summers to use around the Bay area. We winter in Cape Coral Fl in our rental home and won't use the 5th wheel there. Now I am really a nervous nellie. Love my Excel, sure don't want to damage it in any way. Thanks for all the helpful support. Charlie and Jannelle
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:38 PM   #8
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GN Hitch

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Originally Posted by bigmichael View Post
I agree with everything Plasma told you in their excellent response. We have FTed for 7 years now, so its second nature. But I still remember worrying about doing everything right on the first long journey with a fiver.

Now I don't want to worry you about something else, but did think I might mention it so you can check it out. It has to do with using the gooseneck hitch rather than a fifth wheel hitch. Peterson Industries (Excel), will not cover warranty issues with cap/frame issues if one is using a gooseneck. I believe they had some issues years back with how they affect the stress in the cap area. Some of the other RV manufactures have the same exclusion. With that being said, warranty is not an issue for an "06" but you still might want to check if it could cause issues and what they might be. Lots of people use a gooseneck, and you have used it on your short trips, so its probably not a problem. But at their service center, they have a big advisory notice on the wall.

The easiest way to check it out specifically is to call the service manager at the Excel plant. His name is Ralph-and he will always return your call if he is not immediately available. The number is 800-368-3759. I was hesitant to post this because I sure don't want to cause undue worry about something else. But then I figured for a fellow Excel owner, I should at least give you a heads up. I don't know any of the specifics because we've never used one.

Have tons of fun!!
Thank you, I will be making that call to Ralph. Just want to make sure before we set out on our first long haul trip that everything is okay and under control. A lot of us out here in SW Nebraska use a GN hitch for pulling ranch trailers also. Thank you again for the help and advice. Just hope I am still smiling when we get to Lena Wisconsin. Charlie and Jannelle.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:39 AM   #9
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That trailer is heavy, and was built with a fifth wheel hitch. If Peterson wanted a GN hitch, they would have done that. Take it off, get a real fifth wheel hitch, and be happier and more confident in the way it pulls.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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my only question is! Is there enough clearance between truck and trailer to make turns. Most short bed trucks us an slider 5th wheel.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:13 PM   #11
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A GN has the same pivot point usually as a fifth wheel. So if GN clears, fifth wheel usually does.
It also depends on the trailer end cap.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:14 PM   #12
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I would not pull a heavy 5th wheel with a gooseneck hitch either since it changes the whole geometry of the hitch, it basically turns the short kingpin into a long lever which is very bad. The pinbox is usually designed to barely handle the maximum trailer weight without modifications, do a Google search concerning this issue.
Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection has the perfect setup for in bed gooseneck balls, it only weighs 75# is inexpensive, extremely strong and does not change the physics of the trailer hitch. I will not go back to a conventional 5th wheel hitch. Give them a call their customer service is very good.

I have no interests or connections in the company, this is only my personal experience (just in case).
John
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #13
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If your hitch for the gooseneck is a B&W Turnover Ball or a Youngs Welding Pop Up hitch, you can buy a B&W Companion Fifth Wheel which mounts in the bed socket...great hitch from a great American Company...

You could also look at the Anderson Ultimate Fifth Wheel Hitch ...it also mounts in the bed socket...

Regards
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:15 PM   #14
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The B&W Companion is definitely a very good hitch only somewhere on this forum I read several people complaining about chucking.
I went for the Andersen last year when I bought my RAM 3500 which came with 5th wheel and gooseneck mounting pockets installed from the factory but no 5th wheel hitch anywhere to fit these brackets - go figure. That's when I came across the Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel hitch, I called them and had all my questions answered plus it gets the best reviews on the web. Opening the box and paying for the hitch took literally longer then installing the hitch and no help needed. It is good for 4500# pin weight and 24000# trailer weight.
The only negative I could maybe come up with is when hooking up the trailer the connector on the pin box has to be precisely over the ball and due to the box cover I have on my truck I can't see it from the driver seat, but an inexpensive pencil magnet placed right in front of the ball solves this problem, it just falls over when the connector on the pinbox makes contact.
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