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Old 10-05-2015, 10:51 AM   #1
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How big is TOO big?

My wife and I are about to begin a new career as catastrophic insurance adjusters and will possibly be on the road for 6-8 mos at a time. She wants a new 44ft toy hauler and I am leaning toward a smaller used 5th wheel until we see if staying in a rv is at all what we want.

I have pulled bumper trailers all my life, but know nothing about 5th wheel adventures.

Any input would be appreciated.

Scott
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:58 AM   #2
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Scott, you might want to look at the tools of the trade before you consider what type a rig you'll need. Carrying tall ladders could be difficult if towing a 5th wheeler. Or requiring tool boxes in the bed of the truck. A motor home towing a work truck / van equiped with the tools maybe a consideration.

Good Luck on the new career.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:06 AM   #3
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Howdy and welcome Scott!

Sadly, there is no "right" answer to this question or even a calculator to figure it out. It is entirely based on one's opinion, how the unit is used, and where it is used. About the best you can do is buy something that seems to match your comfort "needs" and type of use (where will you be parking) and then make an adjustment after you know exactly what you want/need. This is why first timers buying a brand new rig is always interesting to me.

I think most will agree, the bigger the rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and find places to park.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:19 PM   #4
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My wife and I are preparing to "mostly" full time starting around August of next year... just traded our 39' 9" HR 5er in for a 44' TH.. We don't own any "toys", but now have much more room for storage. If you go long and heavy, make sure you have the right truck to tow it with. For what you're talking about, it would be, at the least, one of the newer 3500/350 1 ton diesel dually's, (2013+). Only one engine to maintain instead of two ,(if have a MoHo).

Do the research and buy for your needs...As stated above, the bigger the rig, the harder it is to maneuver around and it'll limit some places where you may want to stay..
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:43 PM   #5
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It can be nerve racking pulling a large 5er through a campground with lots of trees next to the skinny little interior roads with sharp turns, and large rocks at every corner just waiting to take the rear end of you 5er off. Not to mention 13'-3" of vertical height. I love the 43 footer we have, but it's a handful. Some will say it's super easy, or they never have a problem. Good for them. I say BS to that.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:54 AM   #6
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Scott, you might want to look at the tools of the trade before you consider what type a rig you'll need. Carrying tall ladders could be difficult if towing a 5th wheeler. Or requiring tool boxes in the bed of the truck. A motor home towing a work truck / van equiped with the tools maybe a consideration.

Good Luck on the new career.
Yes, tools of the trade are items on our checklist. The ladder is really the only item that cannot be stowed away easily. Thanks for the input!
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:58 AM   #7
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Howdy and welcome Scott!

Sadly, there is no "right" answer to this question or even a calculator to figure it out. It is entirely based on one's opinion, how the unit is used, and where it is used. About the best you can do is buy something that seems to match your comfort "needs" and type of use (where will you be parking) and then make an adjustment after you know exactly what you want/need. This is why first timers buying a brand new rig is always interesting to me.

I think most will agree, the bigger the rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and find places to park.
My wife is demanding the biggest (at this point Heartland Cyclone 4200 Dodge Ram 3500). I am not sold on the idea because I will be doing the pulling. Although, everything is bigger in Texas; what about when we get to Rhode Island...lol Also, new or used? Thanks for your advice!
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NC Hauler View Post
My wife and I are preparing to "mostly" full time starting around August of next year... just traded our 39' 9" HR 5er in for a 44' TH.. We don't own any "toys", but now have much more room for storage. If you go long and heavy, make sure you have the right truck to tow it with. For what you're talking about, it would be, at the least, one of the newer 3500/350 1 ton diesel dually's, (2013+). Only one engine to maintain instead of two ,(if have a MoHo).

Do the research and buy for your needs...As stated above, the bigger the rig, the harder it is to maneuver around and it'll limit some places where you may want to stay..
Fortunately, we have time for research as we are a year away from making the jump. She has her heart set on a Heartland Cyclone 4200, Dodge Ram 3500 Dully. UGH... Have you pulled your 44 yet? Any advice? Does the 39 pull easier than the 44?

Thanks for your advice!
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dasmoeturhead View Post
It can be nerve racking pulling a large 5er through a campground with lots of trees next to the skinny little interior roads with sharp turns, and large rocks at every corner just waiting to take the rear end of you 5er off. Not to mention 13'-3" of vertical height. I love the 43 footer we have, but it's a handful. Some will say it's super easy, or they never have a problem. Good for them. I say BS to that.
De you regret the 43? Any issues on road bridges at that height? If we were going for pleasure, then mapping out places to stay that would handle a 44 would be no issue. But, since we will be going where and when a storm hits, limits the where to stay planning.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:28 AM   #10
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JMO but that 4200 with the side patio may be a hindrance. You're are subject to RV parks at that length in the town that you're are drawn to for work. Not all Parks are going to have the room for that fold out side patio. Same for the rear patio.
I would want a view some where. If you can't put the rear or side patios down then the only windows are the ones on the dinette side. It could get quite dark during the winter months.
That size and style of TH needs some big room to be functional IMO, plus a DRW diesel truck.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:31 AM   #11
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It sounds to me that your plans are finding campgrounds made for living as apposed to heading for the National or State parks. Many of them were located in groves of trees and built for the shorter trailers that vacationers would tend to have. With a place they can light up a fire and roast their hot dogs. Getting a RV into those spots can be difficult if it is over 30 ft. However if you tend to use the RV as a home instead of a tent then your needs are different. As an old truck driver, I can tell you it is easier the back a long trailer than it is a short one as the short trailer will respond to your turning of the wheel quicker. What your DW wants is the KEY. An unhappy wife, an unhappy Life! AND when she is unhappy, ya want as big a space that you can get!
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #12
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If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

You will find that you will become accustomed to the larger size. IMO once you get past 35' the extra length may be bothersome but not super critical. You will soon learn to judge the surroundings. The height of the 5ers will not vary a lot based on length.

No matter what you buy operating a truck and 5er is not a mindless game. Look, observe and learn. Always go into tight spots slowly. Stop often, get out and take a look. You will be surprized at what you will be able to do.

If it will not fit go somewhere else where you will fit.

Having a place that fits your needs will go a long way for comfort. Good enough is a rationalization that many times results in an upgrade.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:23 AM   #13
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My wife is demanding the biggest (at this point Heartland Cyclone 4200 Dodge Ram 3500).
Many campgrounds have length limits. The longer the rig, the fewer places you can park it. Kiss national forests pretty much goodbye, along with national parks. You'll have to camp at private parks and drive to the park every day. I went small because it can go to more of the places I want to go.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:37 PM   #14
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With a dually truck the towing will be easy and the rig will go down the road very nicely. A TH with the flexible garage area will be handy. I would put file drawers in that area as well as a desk or two. You really can not do that in a 34 or 35 foot 5th wheel.

Go look at as many different rigs as you can including a TH motorhome.

Good luck
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