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Old 10-19-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
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Fifth wheel lengths and towing them

I am a real rookie in the RV field. My questions may be elementary but I need advise in order to make a proper choice on what to purchase. I have pulled a fifth wheel that measured 36'-5" in length and it seemed extremely long when trying to jockey it into different places.

My question is, is there a big difference between the 36' + units and one that is 30'-33' in length. I know sometimes when comparing things like this a couple feet can seem like a lot and make great deal of difference. I am looking at units that are in that 30 to 33 foot range, although have not had an opportunity to pull one

Any advise in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Old 10-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #2
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No real difference. The longer trailers take a bit more space to turn and yo need to swing a bit wider.


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Old 10-19-2013, 08:04 AM   #3
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The length difference is almost always going to be behind the truck--king pins are generally the same place on fivers, unless you have an extended pin box. If you have a long bed truck, the extended pin box would not be needed.
We have found no problem in towing/backing our nominal 36' unit (37'1'' actual) but it does limit where you can get it in some parks. Of course, the shorter you are, it is sometimes easier to maneuver, especially if large rocks and trees are abundant. Mostly it just takes practice. But, have found myself giving up several times after trying for 20 minutes to back in. The more help you have yelling at you, the harder it gets...
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
The more help you have yelling at you, the harder it gets...
Ain't that the truth though. Darling Wife has been trained to keep her mouth shut and use hand signals only. Works fine, but I still get out and look things over about half-way into the backing turn. Tow mirrors just don't allow me to see enough to be certain in a tight parking situation. I understand why pull-thru spaces are in high demand.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #5
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There are some advantages to the longer trailers when it comes to backing. Try to back a 10ft trailer then one at 36ft and you will soon find that the longer trailer is slower to react to the steering wheel.The short one will quickly get you into trouble because it quickly jacknifed.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:08 AM   #6
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further away from the kingpin the trailer tires are, the longer the reaction time when backing up. If ya ever get the opportunity, try backing up a tractor trailer and you'll see.

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