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Old 08-21-2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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T/T to Fifth Wheel is it a Easier PULL?

We have just finished a long trip and pulling a 25 foot T/T with a new half ton Chevy 4x4. As usual lots of wind and hills thru Missouri and up into Colorado. Can be a tiring drive with the draft from the trucks passing and the wind moving the trailer around even with a good equalizer hitch. So that brings up the point of is the fifth wheel connection that much better and does it really make the towing experience much more pleasurable? Not looking to tow a monster but something in the 25 to 28 foot range and my truck is rated at 9,900lbs so really don't want to be to close to capacity.

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Old 08-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #2
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I've been towing fifth wheels for 25 yrs with 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and now 1 ton trucks. Towed with lots of wind and truck draft conditions and never felt sway with any setup at any time. Underpowered setups on steep grades or strong headwinds would impact driver fatigue on long trips. Now, with a diesel, only problem is the driver's age that affects fatigue.

More to the point, with the hitch point over the truck's rear axle, there is no horizontal lever from the trailer that can affect the truck stability.

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Old 08-21-2014, 09:39 AM   #3
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We've been towing a fifth wheel trailer since '98 and love it! We will never go back to a travel trailer. Much easier to hook up and tows straight as an arrow, without any problems with side winds or passing vehicles.
2011 Heartland Landmark Grand Canyon
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #4
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I'm of the opinion that a 1/2 ton pickup will move a trailer down the road in an OK fashion. It's just that a 3/4 or 1 ton do it better due to suspension, tires, often engines and just plain being heavier built. I found when I went from an F150 to an F350 (in anticipation of buying a 5er) that pulling our then 27 foot Sunline went from a bit of labor to 'WOW' where's that 7000 pound load. We are now on the second 5er since that time and neither of those suffer much in the way of buffeting from those passing 18 wheelers that travel the interstates at warp speed, but both also have aero shaped noses and rounded corners, something that many TTs are just starting to catch up with.
Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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Had a 3/4 ton w/equalizer towing a 27 foot before our 1 ton dually & 37' 5er. Absolutely no comparison - can hardly tell it's behind us.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:25 PM   #6
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You need to 1st check the door sticker for payload on your 1/2 ton. Some are pretty low on payload ratings. As to the TT/5'er tow debate. Night and day IMO. I went from an F150 towing a 7300lb TT to a 2500 towing the same TT. Big difference. Much more solid feel. However when then went to a 5'er and the towing experience got even better. I do have a diesel and when towing it's just a one hand on the wheel, set the cruise and sit back and relax. I've always been of the opinion that if something were to happen to me and I couldn't drive, would my wife be ok driving? With the current 5th wheel set up she could definitely drive it. Would she be ok with the last TT? Maybe. If she had to drive the F150 and the 31' 7300lb TT, I think it would be nerve wracking. 5'ers are much more stable behind a truck because the pivot point is right above the axle as opposed to 4' behind. Only way to get the same 5'er experience with a TT is to use a Hensley Arrow or Pro Pride hitch. The design cancels out the pivot point. I guarantee if you used one you would love towing that TT.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:39 PM   #7
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Half ton is pretty light for a 5er. Check all of the numbers before you buy the trailer.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:24 PM   #8
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I just went from a TT a 5'er. HUGE difference. With the TT semi's passing caused the typical push/pull effect. High winds buffeted the trailer bad. I had a proper setup so sway wasn't bad but still there to some degree. Often had to keep two hands firmly on the wheel making minor adjustments constantly. With the 5th wheel its as smooth as can be. High winds and semi's have almost no effect. I do slow down in high winds or opt to pull over in extreme conditions.

Your truck maybe rated to pull 9900lbs but you'll exceed your payload rating before hitting that max tow figure. If you have a new Chevy 1/2 ton they're rated for about 1900lbs. Subtract out passenger, luggage and weight of hitch and thats whats left for payload capacity. Older 1/2 tons are closer to 1400-1700lb payload. Typical hitch pin weight is 20% of trailers weight. So an 8000lb loaded lite 5er will have a 1600lb pin weight thus possibly exceeding your trucks payload rating. There are smaller lite weight 5'ers that might work for you but watch the pin weight, not just the trailers total weight.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:08 PM   #9
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When were newbie RVers I asked a salesman the difference between FW and TT towing. He said "well TT towing is like this" holding both hands like a tight white knuckle 10-2 grip on the steering wheel "and FW towing is like this" holding one hand loosely griping that same imaginary steering wheel at about 1 o'clock.

After 10 years of FW hauling I still agree with him. With the weight over the axle that fiver just wants to follow your TV in a nice straight line. Side winds and passing semi's have little or no effect. I've seen some TT's in the grip of trailer sway in my travels and it's a scary sight from a distance let alone behind the wheel. I'd go FW, they make plenty of light weight models for 1/2 or 3/4 ton trucks. Go diesel if you can, I'm on my second Duramax HD after one Chevy HD 8.1L gasser and I'd never go back to a gas TV.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #10
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I had a popup, 30 ft TT, 19ft hybrid, 26 TT, skipped the fifth wheel and got a Class A. The class A is the way to go! That was a 35 span of RVing time flys RVing
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:03 PM   #11
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I tell as many people as I can get to listen " try to get what you really want and avoid working your way up" (loosing a lot of money along the way). I've towed TT, 5th wheels, and am now on my 2nd class A. After you get yourself into a 5th wheel, you won't look back, and... you will then start thing about towing bigger because the towing experience is so much easier with the 5th. But then, you need a bigger truck! SO... long story short, I recommend upgrading your truck first (diesel if you can) and getting into the 5ths with a 32-35 footer - maybe bigger. I wish I hadn't wasted so much money on my 1500 trucks and small 5ths. 10 years now (25 in my case) you'll have saved a bunch. JMO
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:44 PM   #12
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I had a 28'TT that I pulled with the same truck in my sig. There simply isn't a comparison in pulling the 5er is that much better. It's smoother going down the road, I have had no trouble at all from passing/getting passed.

Plus with the right hitch you can pull off a 90* turn. I seriously turned my rig around in a big three way intersection, no kidding. That was awesome.

One thing I'm still wrapping my head around, during turns it tracks inside more than the TT. My pin to the tires distance is the same from my TT to the 5er. But since the pivot point is moved over the truck tires the trailer tires track further inboard. It's taking some getting used to but it's no biggie especially since it backs up easier too.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:27 PM   #13
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I work in the oilfield so I pull ALOT of trailers.....both types. I will say goosenecks and fifth wheels are way easier to pull. Less chance of the coach fishtailing on you throwing your truck around and a much more solid feel!! Plus the turning radius is SO much better. All that being said, if you have a half ton pickup, it might not be the best route. The truck is simply not built for a fifth wheel load, it will do it, and with a smaller trailer it might do it well, but its just not made for it. The weight of the truck is much lighter than even a 3/4 ton and the rear suspension is isn't as beefy. In easier terms you will "feel" the trailer back there pushing, pulling and tossing around a whole lot more in a 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton or 1 ton. To top it off, the bigger trucks have larger powertrain options like a diesel and better gearing for pulling, making acceleration and climbing grades easier on you AND your truck, not to mention bigger brakes because its fine to get 'em moving but if ya cant shut it down it will scare the heck out of ya! Just my 2 cents.

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Old 08-21-2014, 07:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WReeder View Post
I had a popup, 30 ft TT, 19ft hybrid, 26 TT, skipped the fifth wheel and got a Class A. The class A is the way to go! That was a 35 span of RVing time flys RVing
For some that works but most will still end up towing a small car.

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