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Old 04-26-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
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I may be getting a 5th wheel... and I've never been around them before or really know much about 'em. I've always towed "regular" trailers, from small ones up to very long ones.

I'm coming from a Lance camper, which I got rid of just over a year ago. The truck is a 2005 Dodge RAM 3500 dually 4x4 6sp. The trailer I may be getting is a Keystone Raptor 3814SS toyhauler. The sucker is 39'7" long and will end up weighing probably 15k by the time it's loaded up.

I guess my main question is this... what do you do differently when towing a 5th wheel compared to a regular trailer? I know they'll turn sharper, but I'm also wondering about backing them up... is it much different?

I did a lot of Googling and have read all I could find, which wasn't much. I read some stuff on how to hook up and unhook. But I could find nothing on the very basics of towing one of these things.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Rob
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:30 PM   #2
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I may be getting a 5th wheel... and I've never been around them before or really know much about 'em. I've always towed "regular" trailers, from small ones up to very long ones.

I'm coming from a Lance camper, which I got rid of just over a year ago. The truck is a 2005 Dodge RAM 3500 dually 4x4 6sp. The trailer I may be getting is a Keystone Raptor 3814SS toyhauler. The sucker is 39'7" long and will end up weighing probably 15k by the time it's loaded up.

I guess my main question is this... what do you do differently when towing a 5th wheel compared to a regular trailer? I know they'll turn sharper, but I'm also wondering about backing them up... is it much different?

I did a lot of Googling and have read all I could find, which wasn't much. I read some stuff on how to hook up and unhook. But I could find nothing on the very basics of towing one of these things.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Rob
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:33 AM   #3
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They really do not turn sharper, but they will cut inside the tracks of the truck. So you need to swing wide on turns to allow for the trailer to follow inside the turn.

As for backing, they are different and the only way to learn is to practice. Find a large empty lot and set up some cones or 2L pop bottles as guides. You do need to start a backing turn pretty aggressively (sharp) and once started, straighten out and follow the trailer through. It is all about practice.

Once you learn the tricks, you can back a 5er into a slot or spot that it would be really hard to get a TT into.

Ken
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:09 PM   #4
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Thanks!! I'll make a point to do some good practicing. I'm good with a regular trailer, but I think 5ers are supposed to be easier.

We have a family camping trip planned in July, and the nat'l forest campground we're staying in has room for the trailer, but getting in there could be challenging... I'll have to practice up before attempting it.

Rob
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:17 PM   #5
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Getting into my drive is a bit of a challenge, but it can be done. Wife at the back of the trialer on a FRS walkie-talkie as I can not see the rear of the tailer most of the time.

Alos, once I get the rear end started down the drive (I have to back if down a non-straight drive for a total of about 120' and it is only 11' wide), I do not have room to get the truck back straight with the traile rwhen backing. I have to make a couple of pull forwards to get the truck and trailer at the right angle to push on back. May take all of 5 minutes to back it in.

Since you have some trailer experience, you should do fine. With the pivot point located over or forward of the rear axle, it starts the trailer turning slower when backing.

Have fun.

Ken
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Old 04-29-2007, 03:08 PM   #6
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Yes, you can turn the truck(longbed) sharper without hittng the 5er. A shortbed requires a sliding hitch. The 5er wheels will track about 6'-8'inside the duals of the truck in a sharp turn. Our 5er(see sig) is 39'9" long. You must be aware of the 5er height at questionable underpass's, tree limbs,etc.
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