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Old 08-08-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn boyd View Post
.... The 5th wheel vs. TT is matter of opinion, but I personally would suggest 5th because ease of hooking/unhooking, and they pull so nice. any 4door truck will suit your need, but with how many miles you are planning I would make sure you get a diesel. good luck in your search. make sure to keep us posted. have fun, and safe travels!
I've towed a travel trailer with a Hensley hitch for 11 years through all the lower 48 states and 5 Canadian provinces. I did it with 3 daughters and my wife in a 2500 Suburban.

Hitching is no problem. I can do it as fast as my friends with 5th wheels. It provides the towing stability of a 5th wheel. No sway, ever.

ProPride makes a similar no sway travel trailer hitch.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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Crew Cab dually....forget vans and anything less than 3/4. If you plan to drive through the winter as much as said...you need a comfortable driving vehicle that can safely pull what your wishing to pull. The dual rear wheels give tons of stability for the most adverse of driving conditions.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:47 AM   #17
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The OP has 3 children.

It will be difficult for 3 children to sit on a single bench seat and tour the country. Can they do it, yes. Will it be comfortable, no.

That is why I advised a van.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #18
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The back seat of our crew cab is shared by two dogs and a small parrot in his travel cage.

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Old 08-09-2012, 07:31 AM   #19
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It really does not matter so much about the length of your trailer. It's weight you need to be concerned about.
Determine the weight of your trailer and make certain the towing capacity of your motor vehicle exceeds it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:28 PM   #20
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Mick, length should always be considered when thinking of a tow vehicle. WHY you may ask? .....wind currents.....short tow vehicles will be ALL over the road due to the side force of the window being exerted on the trailer.

drfife...a crew cab dually has a full back seat and for a trailer as long as the OP is asking about a van in not a wise towing decision
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:41 PM   #21
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....drfife...a crew cab dually has a full back seat and for a trailer as long as the OP is asking about a van in not a wise towing decision
Sorry, I will agree to disagree.

Equipped with a ProPride or Hensley hitch, a 1 ton van can handle most any production model travel trailer available. The OP was asking about 30' trailers.

I towed a 30' trailer with a 2500 Suburban with 3 kids and a wife through all the lower 48 states with a Hensley hitch. I can attest it can be done and did not require a dually.

3 kids on a bench seat is a recipe for disaster. Somebody gets stuck in the middle and somebody is always touching somebody else.

A 2500 Suburban or Excursion would be a MUCH better choice with kids than a crew cab truck. But, a 1 ton van would probably be even more stable towing a 30'+ trailer.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:45 PM   #22
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I would go with the van. Pick up a nice used Ford E-350. It will give you plenty of room, and tow a 30-34' trailer just fine. You could go with the Hensley hitch, though I hear they are quite expensive. Diesel's are nice, I've got one, but they are not necessary for your application. Suburban's are good too, but only come in 2500 series, where you can get a club van in 3500, if that makes sense. We've owned three Suburbans, and loved them. (No minivans for us!)

The other way to go, (which I think would be better) is to buy a crew cab pickup and tow a fifth-wheel trailer. A fifth-wheel gives far more room than a "travel trailer", and tows much, much better. This is because the weight distribution is much farther forward, vastly increasing stability. The other benefit is that passengers can ride in fifth-wheel trailers in more states than bumper pull trailers. Another big advantage to a fifth-wheel is they have big master bedroom setups in front.

All in all, I would recommend a fifth-wheel trailer far and above a bumper pull travel trailer.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #23
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....All in all, I would recommend a fifth-wheel trailer far and above a bumper pull travel trailer.
A Hensley or ProPride hitch will provide the same towing stability as a 5th wheel.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:24 AM   #24
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yes dr your right a trailer hitch will always make a poor/marginal tow vehicle better.

Just because you towed all over and where ever with your setup doesn't mean it was correct or safe

A trailer hitch can NOT make up for the foot print a tow vehicle makes.

Due to the leverage factor exerted on the rear of a tow vehicle with a rear hitch....it will always have more "side push" on the tow vehicle as compared to a 5th wheel hitch. A 5th wheel hitch is inline or very close inline with the rear axle...unlike a hitch hanging 3-6 feet behind the centerline of the rear axle. While they both may pull in a straight line just fine....curvy roads, high winds, panic maneuvers etc etc a 5th wheel always wins when pulling a good size load!

Dr, Do you by chance sell hitches????
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:58 AM   #25
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A Hensley or ProPride hitch will provide the same towing stability as a 5th wheel.


I've not used a Hensley hitch, but I do have considerable experience towing both fifth-wheel trailers and pumper pull trailers. I currently tow an 11,000 lb. 26' stacker trailer filled with three race cars and a ton of spares, tools, etc. Based on your statement, we assume you've towed similar length and weight trailers both fifth-wheel and Hensley hitch?

I expect the Hensley type would improve a bumper pull unit, but it's still a fact that the actual trailer rides totally behind the tow vehicle. A fifth-wheel unit has a good amount of frame and structure over the rear bed of the truck. So I don't think simply moving the pivot point forward could accomplish the same effect as a fifth-wheel. I didn't major in physics, so I may well be incorrect, but I don't think I am.

By far, the most stable towing I've done was fifth-wheel, not to mention the superior interior accommodations a fifth-wheel trailer also affords.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:15 AM   #26
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dr, not insulting...but factual...I'm sure I have logged FAR more miles than you pulling all sorts of trailers..short to long..light to heavy....single, double and triple axle.

Owning a Class A sure doesn't mean that that person has no towable experience now does it? Certainly not.


With all my years of towing trailers..I have yet to log any tire failures on all those trailers that have been hooked behind me....because I choose to use quality trailer tires....just that in itself should prove to you I may just have a wee bit of towable experience. One who chooses good tires...might just know other correct/proper ways to tow a towable.

I don't see how 3 kids in a back seat is recipe for disaster either...that is if the kids are behaved. I never had any issues with that.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:09 AM   #27
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Folks, let's stop the personal comments as they are not permitted by iRV2's rules.

Please discuss issues, not each other.

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Old 08-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #28
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Back to the question, I have a 10,000 lb 36' long travel trailer that I was pulling with a Yukon XL Denali(1/2 ton). It had plenty of horsepower but I was getting pushed all over the road. Tail wagging the dog. I upgraded to a GMC 2500 HD Diesel and there is no comparison in the quality and safety I now can tow. I would guess that any vehicle with enough tow capacity (E3500 van, Excursion, 2500 Suburban, ...) will do fine. Just don't get a 1/2 ton truck or SUV. It's not big enough.

I have 5 kids. We don't full time, but when we all go camping we do have to take a second car. We frequently travel with three kids in the crew cab and it works fine. In fact they are more comfortable sitting three wide in my truck than three wide in the back of the Yukon, even when one of the three is my 16 year old who is 6'2" and weighs 210 lbs. My other four are 12 and 14 years old (2 of each) and are all 5'2" and weigh 85 lbs max. They have plenty of room in the crew cab but sit should to shoulder in the Yukon.

Be safe and best wishes
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