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Old 06-19-2017, 11:49 AM   #1
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Fifth wheel and tow vehicle questions

Hi. My dog, Maisie, and I have been full timing in a Sprinter van for almost two years. I love my sprinter but it is time for me to make a change. I find I stay in places for extended periods so I want to be able to separate my mode of transportation from my home. I am seriously looking at a 2016 Jayco Eagle HT 27.5 RLTS. I dream about sitting in the rocker chair looking out at my current view which is an inlet off the Atlantic in Lubec Maine. I have decided that most of the things that concern me, such as driving a much longer rig, are simply a matter of time and practice. My one real concern that remains is hitching. I am on my own (Maisie is no help!) and I have limited vision in my right eye. One of my camping neighbors who has a trailer showed me his 2015 Ford f-150 3.5L Ecoboost with a backup camera that looked perfect, but the salesman I spoke to today at Ford in Bangor said that he doesn't think the camera would work for a fifth wheel.

What I want/need is the smallest truck that will pull the 5th wheel well and some kind of backup camera, which may need to be after market. What works -- what doesn't work? All advice, suggestions and personal experiences are welcome! Thank you!
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:11 PM   #2
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A 1/2 ton truck might be able to pull it but it will work that truck to its full capacity in my opinion. What I recommend is a 3/4 ton truck. Now saying that I can speak only for a Ford. The Ford Super Duty line has the full 360 degree camera system available.
They also has the top mounted camera by the third brake light that shows a full view of the inside of the bed where your 5th wheel hitch is located.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:15 PM   #3
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My take;

I would not consider a 1/2 ton pickup for your trailer. The pin weight of your trailer will be about 1550 lbs, and the GVWR at 9950 bs. This will exceed the ratings on any 1/2 ton.
Will a 1/2 ton tow it? Yes. But........

You might consider a good used F250 or Chev 2500 with a V8 or diesel.

BTW, the backup camera in the tailgate is useless with a fifth wheel.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfreeland518 View Post
Hi. My dog, Maisie, and I have been full timing in a Sprinter van for almost two years. I love my sprinter but it is time for me to make a change. I find I stay in places for extended periods so I want to be able to separate my mode of transportation from my home. I am seriously looking at a 2016 Jayco Eagle HT 27.5 RLTS. I dream about sitting in the rocker chair looking out at my current view which is an inlet off the Atlantic in Lubec Maine. I have decided that most of the things that concern me, such as driving a much longer rig, are simply a matter of time and practice. My one real concern that remains is hitching. I am on my own (Maisie is no help!) and I have limited vision in my right eye. One of my camping neighbors who has a trailer showed me his 2015 Ford f-150 3.5L Ecoboost with a backup camera that looked perfect, but the salesman I spoke to today at Ford in Bangor said that he doesn't think the camera would work for a fifth wheel.

What I want/need is the smallest truck that will pull the 5th wheel well and some kind of backup camera, which may need to be after market. What works -- what doesn't work? All advice, suggestions and personal experiences are welcome! Thank you!
Hi jfreeland518,
The 2016 Jayco Eagle HT 27.5 RLTS seems to be a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. so obviously you need a p/u that will handle that plus some. The F150 can be configured to pull 12,000 lbs. so you might want to check that one. Ford also has the rearview camera that is mounted in the 3rd Taillight on the rear of the cab. Not sure if they put it in the F150, but I have seen them mounted on the F250 and F350. This would make hooking up to a 5er a breeze. I'll be looking for one for my F350, aftermarket. Well, good luck to you Sir!
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:38 PM   #5
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Hi jfreeland518,
The 2016 Jayco Eagle HT 27.5 RLTS seems to be a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. so obviously you need a p/u that will handle that plus some. The F150 can be configured to pull 12,000 lbs. so you might want to check that one. Ford also has the rearview camera that is mounted in the 3rd Taillight on the rear of the cab. Not sure if they put it in the F150, but I have seen them mounted on the F250 and F350. This would make hooking up to a 5er a breeze. I'll be looking for one for my F350, aftermarket. Well, good luck to you Sir!
... and I would opt for the F250 with the Third Brake Light Camera ... should be a nice package. The 6.2L Gas (385hp-430torque) engine will do fine, but if you like diesels (440hp-925torque) then it would do extremely fine.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:44 PM   #6
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KJD: The cameras on the Ford Heavy Duty are amazing! I loved seeing the video. Thanks for that. I will definitely check into it.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:02 PM   #7
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KJD: The cameras on the Ford Heavy Duty are amazing! I loved seeing the video. Thanks for that. I will definitely check into it.
All I can say is my F-250 is simply amazing with all the creature comforts available with these trucks. Compared to what was available just a few years ago... Granted its almost like buying a house but the technology is mind boggling............... Good luck in your search.......... KJD
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by egwilly View Post
My take;

I would not consider a 1/2 ton pickup for your trailer. The pin weight of your trailer will be about 1550 lbs, and the GVWR at 9950 bs. This will exceed the ratings on any 1/2 ton.
Will a 1/2 ton tow it? Yes. But........

You might consider a good used F250 or Chev 2500 with a V8 or diesel.

BTW, the backup camera in the tailgate is useless with a fifth wheel.
I'd take exception to this, if you were to find a good deal on a model w/this.
DW backs up our truck all the time using the tailgate camera, she stops about 3 feet away, and I drop the tailgate and she nails it almost every time.
I've put white/red reflective tape on the pinbox over the pin.
Also if you place a medium/small safety cone in the center of the bed / gate you line them up, you can nail it using your center mirror most of the time too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMelder View Post
... and I would opt for the F250 with the Third Brake Light Camera ... should be a nice package. The 6.2L Gas (385hp-430torque) engine will do fine, but if you like diesels (440hp-925torque) then it would do extremely fine.
Indeed, the new features are nice.

You can do it! Best of luck to you & Maisie.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for good wishes -- and the advice!
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:42 PM   #10
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I am amazed at the comments about not seeing to back up. I reach up to my rear view mirror, drop it down a touch and see exactly where I am backing. The windshield mirror is in the middle of the truck, so it is lined up exactly with the line you wish to follow to place your kingpin in the middle of your hitch. One short bed I saw had a problem seeing the hitch. He made up a short pole that sat in a tube he put in the middle of the hitch - - he just put the kingpin on a direct line with that pole and knew exactly where to stop, get out and remove the pole, then finish the job. That is my rear view camera. LOL
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:42 PM   #11
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Got a laptop? Webcam works just fine as a backup camera and they're cheap, and a much bigger screen....
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:00 PM   #12
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I am amazed at the comments about not seeing to back up. I reach up to my rear view mirror, drop it down a touch and see exactly where I am backing. The windshield mirror is in the middle of the truck, so it is lined up exactly with the line you wish to follow to place your kingpin in the middle of your hitch. One short bed I saw had a problem seeing the hitch. He made up a short pole that sat in a tube he put in the middle of the hitch - - he just put the kingpin on a direct line with that pole and knew exactly where to stop, get out and remove the pole, then finish the job. That is my rear view camera. LOL
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Hi FiverBob, LOL, Some of us can't afford the fancy options like you descibe, so I guess we'll have to be stuck with the 3rd brake light camera for now. Just kidding, that's a good trick there.

I'm usually pretty close or at least close enough for the 5er, but when lining up on my gooseneck trailers the bed camera would be sweet for sure.
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:12 PM   #13
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Lubec, we stayed in a nice RV park in Lubec in 2014...hmm

We had a 30' 5ver for 17 years, so I've hitched and unhitched a few times. In order to hook the break away cable to the truck, I had to crawl up into the truck bed and hook the break away cable to the truck. Also had the umbilical cord mounted in the truck bed, so while I was there......anyway, lining up the pin with the fifth wheel hitch is the easy part. Just pulling the lock handle to release the hitch (so you can drive away) can be frustrating, back and forth in and out of the truck until you get the pin so that the lever can be moved. It takes practice, and a little luck for it to go smoothly. Now it sounds like you will be in Lubec most all summer, so you won't be moving as often as we did, but still, might be a good idea to find someone with a rig (even a dealer) so you can practice hitching all by yourself. Its really not for the faint of heart!
Try it out a few times to see if its for you. Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:06 PM   #14
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Lubec, we stayed in a nice RV park in Lubec in 2014...hmm

We had a 30' 5ver for 17 years, so I've hitched and unhitched a few times. In order to hook the break away cable to the truck, I had to crawl up into the truck bed and hook the break away cable to the truck. Also had the umbilical cord mounted in the truck bed, so while I was there......anyway, lining up the pin with the fifth wheel hitch is the easy part. Just pulling the lock handle to release the hitch (so you can drive away) can be frustrating, back and forth in and out of the truck until you get the pin so that the lever can be moved. It takes practice, and a little luck for it to go smoothly. Now it sounds like you will be in Lubec most all summer, so you won't be moving as often as we did, but still, might be a good idea to find someone with a rig (even a dealer) so you can practice hitching all by yourself. Its really not for the faint of heart!
Try it out a few times to see if its for you. Good luck!
Is it really that difficult?
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