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Old 05-10-2015, 07:59 PM   #1
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Too lightweight?

Hi everyone,

I traveled full-time for five years in a Forest River Cardinal, full heavy weight, 33 feet. I sold it and now am looking at a new fiver.

There are so many brands, but they all have switched weights and lengths to where I cannot get what I had before.

Problem! I want something shorter than 33 feet and heavy weight. I cannot find this anymore. My truck is an F-250 diesel and I'll be keeping it, regardless.

I am afraid to tow a lightweight in wind. Do any of you have this problem? I'm terrified, since I had hit high winds in my heavy weight and felt vulnerable.

I'd be living in it full-time again and heading across the U.S. and the Blue Ridge. Kansas and Oklahoma were nightmares in the past with wind.

I feel disturbed. What are your experiences with lightweight fivers in wind and towing?
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:02 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't provide an answer for you, just wanted to say , Hi , and I'm sure you'll get answers soon.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixpaws View Post
...What are your experiences with lightweight fivers in wind and towing?
I don't have any experience towing a lightweight fiver, but my recent experience shopping for a new fiver tells me the lightweights are built for weekend use and may not stand up to 365-day a year full-time use.

Most of the fivers we saw that were recommended or warranted for full-time use are bigger and heavier. Excel was one of the few manufacturers that made shorter fivers. Although Excel is out of business, you might still find a new one sitting on some dealer's lot, or you could look for a used one.

The only thing is, even a shorter Excel may exceed the tow capacity and/or pin weight your F250 is capable of hauling.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:34 AM   #4
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What is your definition of heavy and lightweight?

A fifth wheel is not that light weight anyway. 8k lbs is about the lightest 30' I've seen, and that's not light.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:00 AM   #5
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You might look at a used HitchHiker. They are pretty heavy and right at the limit for your F250. We had a 29.5LKTG, it had three slides and was pretty roomy for a 32' rig. I towed thousands of miles, all over the country, and had no problem with crosswinds. They are no longer manufactured but you can find some reconditioned ones at NuWa Factory Direct Sales website | Kansas RV Center
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:51 PM   #6
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If I am understanding correctly, lightweights are classified, usually, at under the 9,000 mark unloaded, or at least capped at 10. I am used to pulling one at about 11,000 unloaded, at 34 feet.

I desperately wanted one about 29 or 30 feet, as my family has shrunk, but to get a heavier one, I'd have to go back up to 34 approx.

The weights might not make that much of a difference in a high wind... I'm just not certain...

I would be full-timing, 365 for several years.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:13 AM   #7
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My 27' 5th wheel is a fairly light one. The specs are 6,863 lbs. dry and 9,163 lbs. GVWR. I tow with a Chevy 2500HD Duromax, crew cab, long bed.

Despite the light weight, I can't really feel it back there, even in gusty, cross winds. I don't think you need to worry about it.

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Old 05-12-2015, 09:50 AM   #8
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I tow a 28' 9000lb loaded 5er with a 2500 CC LB CTD. Never had any issues with towing. Probably not as windy as you get, but did have one trip where we had extremely strong side winds heading south in eastern Oregon. 5th never faltered.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixpaws View Post
If I am understanding correctly, lightweights are classified, usually, at under the 9,000 mark unloaded, or at least capped at 10. I am used to pulling one at about 11,000 unloaded, at 34 feet.

I desperately wanted one about 29 or 30 feet, as my family has shrunk, but to get a heavier one, I'd have to go back up to 34 approx.

The weights might not make that much of a difference in a high wind... I'm just not certain...

I would be full-timing, 365 for several years.
25+ yrs towing 5 different units, all have been lightweights. Only time I felt uncomfortable was strong cross winds associated with a dust storm. Parked in blowing dust didn't seem desirable, so I just slowed down. But normally, the best solution is to stop towing during high winds. Also, getting a heavier unit by getting a longer unit, is not a solution, the extra 'sail area' offsets the extra weight. An Airstream TT would be safer than any fiver. Finally, there are sudden wind gusts that can flip any high profile vehicle. The probability of having the 'right' weight vs. sail area at the 'right' time is near zero.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:55 PM   #10
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We towed a 5-r for a while years ago. When we were shopping, Jayco was one of the heavier weighted brands. You could also go older. RV's a decade ago & older were much heavier than current models. Everything now is geared towards being lighter, so if you want heavy, go old school.

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Old 05-12-2015, 10:25 PM   #11
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I bought a Grand Design Reflection fifth wheel--37' with 4 slides. It weights 11K lbs. and has a 2K lb. pin weight--as large as I wish to tow with a 3/4 ton diesel.

Grand Design has a series of fifth wheels that can be towed with single rear wheel pickups. And they now have a lightweight line of fifth wheels that can be pulled by properly equipped 1/2 ton pickups.
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