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Old 11-02-2012, 02:47 AM   #1
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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.


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Old 11-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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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!

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Old 11-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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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'.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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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.

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Old 11-03-2012, 03:15 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Great posts! Thank you!!

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Old 11-03-2012, 07:00 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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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.

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Old 11-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #13
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baron --- nice rig
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
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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..
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