Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-02-2012, 02:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: PacificNW
Posts: 82
Shorter vs. longer 5-ers

Within a year or so, I plan to purchase my first 5th wheel, towing it with a 3/4 ton Duramax. Assuming weight is within safe perimeters, is there much difference in driving a 30 footer vs. a 36+ footer. I'm not concerned about backing it up. Been towing and launching boats for years. My concern is with traffic and maneuverability.


Greg Schoenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
Senior Member
HTFireMedic's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hickory Tavern, SC
Posts: 258
I've towed a 38+4 gooseneck with two Jeeps on it and own my 35' 5th wheel with the gooseneck conversion. I've been on interstate highways, city streets and NC mountain roads. There is virtually no difference in the way they tow and handle.
Either way is far better than a tagalong!

HTFireMedic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 150
My 35' is easy to tow in the city. Even towed it through a shopping center parking lot that was pretty tight. Amazing where I can take it.

I got to tow a friend's 42' tow hauler and didn't notice any real difference.
2009 Chevy 2500HD Duramax
2008 Everest 305T
azdryheat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Walnut Creek Ca USA
Posts: 640
I have towed a 40 ft 5er for about 20 years. It's easy and, as already mentioned, a 5er has better road manners then a tag along. That said, there are real differences between a tag along and a 5er. Firstly, a 5er tracks to the inside of a turn. Always allow more room in a turn with a 5er and second, when backing the truck and 5er have to at almost a 90 degree angle before the back end of the fiver swings. It takes twice the room to back up a 5er while turning then a trailer. In camp sites I could easily get into with a 30 ft trailer, I can not get into with a equal length 5er.
-Paul R. Haller-
Paul R. Haller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
JohnT's Avatar

Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 1,218
I towed our 38' with a F250 crew cab short box thru the midwest and the rockies. Followed me wherever I went. Even down a couple of streets I shouldn't have been on.

Before the next trip out west I stepped up to a 3500 CC 4x4 DRW long box. Still follows me wherever. But now I can stop it. Pin weight and braking power becomes critical over 36'.
John & Diann
2014 Dutch Star 4364 - 2011 CRV EX-L AWD
JohnT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
jimcumminsw's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oswego IL
Posts: 1,016
I tow a 35 ft 5er now and use to tow a 31ft 5er before. To me there is no difference in towing either 5er just need to remember to make wide turns when towing which you already know. My total tow length with the 2008 Mega Cab and the 318SAB Cougar is just about 53 FT long when hooked up.
Jim W.
Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
jimcumminsw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Salisbury NC
Posts: 125
shorter vs longer 5ers

I agree with John T as I just went the same direction pulling a 37 ft 5er with a 2500 with no major issues as the weights were all within spec. We purchased a 41 ft 5er in December and even though the truck pulled it fine stopping and the constant battle of trailer sway wore me out so we went with a 3500 DRW in July and have never regretted it. Good luck with your decision and remember the bigger trailer the bigger the truck you need to pull it with.
pitcrew18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
TXiceman's Avatar

Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 17,139
Blog Entries: 21
No real difference in towing a 30' or a 36', provide you have enough truck to carry the pin weight of the larger trailer. be very care of the ones that claim they pull a 37' with a 3/4 ton. Ask then for pin weights and rear axle loading.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 03:15 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 389
i know your question is lenght and ease of driving. but are you going to be happy with the shorter 5er ?? you're going to have it for some time.. if yes why go bigger??? everyone told me not to go bigger than 32 ft mh. i bought a 38 ft. pusher and love it. you learn to adjust. but you do it happily.... and on the truck, imho, go with the one ton.
wonderer1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: PacificNW
Posts: 82
Great posts! Thank you!!

Greg Schoenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 07:00 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 389
imho --if you're worried about maneuving, you could go with a short wheelbase one ton . and so it does not beat you up when you're not pulling the 5er. take some of the short leafs out of the back springs and install air bags to replace the springs you took out. pulling 5er air up. no 5er air down.
wonderer1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
Junior Member
Baron37075's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hendersonville, TN
Posts: 28
There are already a lot of good responses in this thread. I'd just say to pick the floor plan that works best for you/your family and be sure to stay within the weight limits. I drive a Ram Mega Cab and tow a 41' 5'ver (add a couple extra feet with the bike rack down) and feel comfortable maneuvering this combo in any type of traffic along with many parking lots and fueling stations. Fitting into some local Army Corp campground lots is a different story, however.

Baron37075 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 389
baron --- nice rig
wonderer1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
Senior Member
caissiel's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,311
Just remember that a shorter trailer has the same standard equipment build in the unit. The stuff you carry will be the same in a short one as the longer one. One wise older man told me that and I have lived with these thoughts for 20 years. In a longer trailer you will have much more open spaces that will make the enjoyment of the unit overtake the few manuvering differences.

And our 39ft 2009 5th wheel is much better to tow then the previous top of the line 34ft unit build in the 90's. So to me lenght of the unit is not as important compared to the design of the unit. Shop wisely and buy the right unit for your requirements.

Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
caissiel is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.