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Old 05-22-2016, 09:16 PM   #15
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Gwynne,
Practical restrictions, the height is more of an issue than the length. Length just means long bed truck (or short bed with a slider) and you need to pay attention to getting in/out of situations. The main risk to a 5th wheel over a TT is the extra height (mine is at 13'3" or so).

Longer means more stable, easier to turn, slower to react. In some states, it means class-A license.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:10 PM   #16
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Well, I think at times a shorter mid-profile 5th wheel would be easier to get into some of the smaller campgrounds. However, I've been able to get our 40' into some pretty small state parks without issue. Like others have said, go slow and be careful. It's not that hard.


This was at a state park just north of Nashville. We pulled in after dark, after getting lost along the way. (I blame Google.) It was not fun, but we took it slow and my wife spotted the trees with my super bright flashlight while I pulled it into the slot.

I stick to the interstates and avoid rush hour. I drive 5 hours max (stopping every two hours for bathroom breaks for wife/dogs/kids) and call it a day while it's still light out.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:34 AM   #17
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I love the Grand Design Reflection and it is what I will most likely be getting. I've looked at several manufacturers now and it remains my favorite. Im leaning toward the 367bhs. It's 41 ft but im also looking at the smaller models and maybe replacing the dinette with a desk.
How do you like yours and if you are full time did you have any trouble getting insurance?
Thanks
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:00 PM   #18
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Don't be intimidated! Everything worthwhile has a learning curve. We just traded our TT for a fifth wheel and wish we had went that route from the start, although we got more on the trade than we payed for TT, so we didnt get hurt on the trade, after just less than a year. CAMERAS are ok, but no substitute for getting out and looking ! We bought used, both times . Both had been taken good care of, so we let someone else take the depreciation hit ! We found a floor plan we fell in love with, since we're both crafters . I call it a 3/4 toy hauler, as it has judt about enough room for a golfcart, and it works great for our two Schwinn Trikes. It has a desk with drawers down one side,(for wifes sewing/quilting), and a fold down counter on the other side for my wood carving, pyroagaphy! Its great FOR US . You will find the one for you too ! Dont be afraid to give it a try! A little fear makes ya more alert !
Have fun !
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:01 PM   #19
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The Euro recliners sit along side the desk, when we load our trikes.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:50 AM   #20
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I hope no one minds, but I'm going to offer my two cents, even though I don't have a penny's worth of experience yet. We've had our 36' fifth wheel Chapparal 336 TSIK for six months, and have only traveled 350 miles so far with it. It is our first RV of any kind. We've moved it six times, so the one thing I have a little experience with is the auto-leveling system it has on it. I love it, and it really shortens my set-up time! Even with my very limited experience, I can be set-up in 15 minutes. I just pull onto the pad, unhitch the truck, and push the auto-level button. While it is doing it's thing, I hook up the water, electricity and sewer. Then I roll out the cables for the Winegard Pathway X2 satellite receiver and point it south and get it started doing it's automatic set-up thing. By that time the trailer is leveled, so we put the slides out, turn on the a/c, roll out the canopy, grab the folding chairs and a couple of beers, and relax.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
I would suggest you shop for a trailer first and truck second. If you go any larger than 11,000ish, a dual wheel one ton truck is needed. The limitation of single rear wheels is the kingpin weight.
No, not really. I pull a 40' Jayco that is around 12k dry and 15k max weight. I dont travel with full tanks, so I run around 13.5K loaded weight. I'm just under my max payload weight for my SRW Ram 3500.

Now, I do wish I had bought a DRW truck simply to have the cushion in payload capacity as well as the extra stability in windy situations.


As far as the original poster. My first ever RV is a Jayco 361reqs at 40' and I tow it with a Ram 3500 mega cab. It ends up being a really long rig nose to tail. I was really nervous taking it for its first spin, but after a short while I got used to driving it. It does help that I grew up on a farm and have experience hauling trailers, but that was also 20 years ago.

Honestly, the most trouble I've had so far is finding places to fuel up. My truck manual says I can't use greater than 5% biodiesel. Just got back from a 2300 mile round trip vacation and we probably spent 3 hours total looking for places to fuel up. Truck stops are obviously the ideal place, as you know there is going to be more than enough space to maneuver around and long spaces to park. But it looks like most of the truck stops are switching over to 5-20% biodiesel at their pumps. Most of the standard gas stations seem to still be running regular #2 without biodiesel, but that means having to find one with enough room at the pumps to pull in, fuel up, and pull out without taking out other vehicles. I'm actually thinking about getting an auxilliary tank - tool box combo unit so I can have extra capacity and not have to stop so often.

My recommendation would be to find a trailer that you would be comfortable living in and not worry too much about how long or tall it is. You will get used to pulling it, but if you get something that you end up hating you wont last long as a full timer.

I haven't run across any parks where my trailer was too large to get in, but I have read that there are places where length is a limitation. If you know the places/parks where you are going to want to stay; you may call them and talk to see what kind of size limitations there may be. then you will have to decide if the ability to stay in certain parks is worth a smaller trailer that may not be suited for your needs. If you weren't full timing, then I'd say that you could give a little on the trailer to be able to go to all the parks you want; but you'll be spending a lot of time in the trailer and that could get uncomfortable really quick.

I dont have experience with shorter trailers, but I can't see there being a huge difference between towing/backing a 35' trailer vs a 40' one. I had a hell of a time backing up my trailer the first time or two. I got on the internet and read recommendations of people with experience, watched some youtube videos, and then practiced quite a bit. I wouldn't say I'm an expert now, but I can usually hit my mark on the first shot now a days.

Overall, as a full timer I think that you need to make sure that you are comfortable with your tow vehicle and trailer and the handling of it will fall into place. Practice, dont be afraid to ask questions or ask for advice. Pretty much every person I've met at RV campgrounds has been very friendly and more than willing to help out.

Good luck!
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:52 AM   #22
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Resident evil, sent you a pm
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:23 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
I think if most people were really honest they would tell you that their wives or whoever they have watching for them while they back up are just a safety net. I know mine is. I always walk around before backing in and don't really trust the instructions of anyone behind the trailer.
It usually goes like this:
her: "go to the left"
me: "my left or your left?"
her:"just left"
me:"how far back?"
her: " quite a bit"
At this point I get out for a 2nd time and walk back to see what I'm dealing with and find that I'm right where I thought I would be and all this yelling is not necessary.

You left out

Her--stand dead center in back of the trailer where you can't see her and speak the directions.

Then after it's parked----

Her--Na, I think I want it scooted over closer to the tree/ditch/cliff/volcano/forest fire/earthquake zone

Then after it's moved-----

Her--Na, I like it better where it was
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:11 PM   #24
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As many have said: Have enough truck and practice! My 30' backed up with ease (once I learned my turn and visual pointers). Don't trust a salesman about weights and capability; their job is to sell stuff - your job is to know the laws and be within limits.
Welcome to the lifestyle!
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #25
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"YEP"

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
I think if most people were really honest they would tell you that their wives or whoever they have watching for them while they back up are just a safety net. I know mine is. I always walk around before backing in and don't really trust the instructions of anyone behind the trailer.
It usually goes like this:
her: "go to the left"
me: "my left or your left?"
her:"just left"
me:"how far back?"
her: " quite a bit"
At this point I get out for a 2nd time and walk back to see what I'm dealing with and find that I'm right where I thought I would be and all this yelling is not necessary.
I know sometimes I just have to wonder about the lack of reasoning
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Just like the semi-truck drivers You need to make wide turns as the 5th wheel will track way inside the path of the truck.

I am often surprised how close I come the curb when make a right turn.

Backing a 5th wheel is easier that a TT.
Agreed. As a new member to the 5er family (we had a 30 foot TT for past 12 years before buying bigger this spring), I'm very surprised to how wide you have to take the turns compared to a TT...even when I think I'm over doing it, I end up closer to the curb then I thought I was going to be on the turn. Spent some time in the neighborhood elementary school parking lot practicing and getting used to the reactions of our new unit. I'm still adjusting to the learning curve.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:47 AM   #27
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Update

I really appreciated everyones advice!
It was hard deciding which way to go, but I am now the owner of a Grand Design Reflection 318rst!
At 14,000 lbs it looks like a dodge ram 2500 will do the job so thats what Im hunting for now.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynnem33 View Post
I really appreciated everyones advice!
It was hard deciding which way to go, but I am now the owner of a Grand Design Reflection 318rst!
At 14,000 lbs it looks like a dodge ram 2500 will do the job so thats what Im hunting for now.
Congrat! There are a lot of knowledgable folks her that can help in selecting the right truck if you would post some of the weight specifics (pin weight) on that new fifth wheel. And the reason I'm posting is that recently when I was making these decisions myself, I was shopping for a 2500 but as I became smarter on towing weight I realized I needed a 3500. Actual payload of the truck is what usually tips the scale.
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