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Old 09-11-2013, 05:50 PM   #29
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I had a 7000# bumper pull toy hauler, 27 foot inside, 30 foot overall, no slides, constantly putting beds up and down and had to store all of our stuff in the cargo area, it was a real workout to get everything out and setup, we sold it and bought a 9900# 35 foot 5th wheel bunkhouse with two slides. I drove 5 hours to get it and was amazed at how differently it pulled compared to the bumper pull, I have a F250 gas short wheel base with a B&W Companion and have plenty of clearance in the forwardmost setting, hitching the 5er is a breeze, someone said above "you are standing", how true, never thought about it but I was always kneeling with the bumper pull and up/down/up with the hitching, crawling over the hitch, backing is a little different but practice makes perfect.

It would be hard to convince me to get another bumper pull
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:51 PM   #30
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I've seen lots of pics now with frame damage on FWs. Some of it serious requiring mega $$ to repair. The pin box area is one area that seems to fall apart more than other parts of the frame. I don't believe for a second that FWs are better quality. Examples:

http://http://www.forestriverforums....rame-9307.html

Cracks in frame - Forest River Forums

Fifth wheels are just as prone to various problems as TTs. Do a little googling.

People seem to focus on towability as an important distinction. As noted, often the problem with TTs is improperly set up WDHs, lack of sway control, overloaded TVs and lack of driver experience. I love towing our 29' TT with our 3/4 ton. Have a great WDH with integral SC and I took the time to set it up right. I wouldn't hesitate to get a longer TT except that it won't make it down our driveway, around a corner and into the carport. If there is a challenge, it's because our truck has a supercab and long box so the wheelbase is nearly 2' longer than a reg. cab. Sometimes the truck can be harder to get around corners than the trailer. As long as the truck is aimed right before entering a corner, the trailer follows great. No problems backing up with the TT. We have a set of walkie-talkies that helps a lot. Have seen some 5-ers struggle to back up so it seems it can be operator error sometimes.

We've looked at lots of TTs and FWs at shows and on dealer's lots. Everyone has their own tastes, preferences and opinions. Being in the aging population sector (60 & 55) we found the the extra entry steps and the extra ones into the bedroom would get tiring and a big drawback for us. Can't imagine what that would be like 5 - 10 years from now. FWs are flippin' huge in comparison to TTs. Lower gas mileage. Need to watch for clearance height under bridges and elsewhere. You lose all of the space in the bed of the truck - sure there is basement storage, but's not the same as the bed of a truck. You need a bigger truck, often a 1 ton dually and sometimes even those aren't big enough. Fifth wheels are a more expensive than TTs. A 5th wheel means a much higher total cash outlay up front. If you get a 1 ton or bigger, the ride is harsher. A 5th wheel is harder to get up to the roof for cleaning and maintenance and there's more surface area on the sides to clean and wax. Sometimes cabinets can be so high off the floor you need a step ladder.When you're not towing, the FW hitch in the bed can get in the way. We can unhook our TT and I can go get a load of lumber straight away without having something in the way. You may find the need to go diesel for more torque and power -way more maintenance and upfront cost compared to a gas engine. If you wanted to build a carport or garage for the FW, it's got to be a lot taller and more costly.

Somehow I can't see a 15,000 lb FW and 9,000 lb 1T drw truck being that much easier to handle at speed, accelerate, stop or do emergency maneuvers
compared to a TT weighing say 8,000 lbs towed by a 3/4T truck at around 7000 lbs.

I could be wrong, but I think if you want to go full-timing or camp year round, there are more pluses to a FW and more to choose from. For us, a TT fits our needs. A lot less steps, a lot less expensive, lower operating/maintenance costs, and a 3/4T truck works well. If you could I would test tow a FW and a TT. Also, if you don't pay close attention to the TV tow capacity, RGAWR and GCWR, you may wish you never bought that 5th wheel.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:36 PM   #31
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We just purchased our second fifth wheel, it works well for us. We like not having to fold the bed down at night and up in the morning and the ease of hooking up is a winner for me. Downsides are needing a truck to pull it and the loss of storage in the box.
Our truck is a standard box, we have a slider but it is virtually impossible to move with the trailer hooked up. I managed to punch the back window out with the old trailer, that was a BIG ouch, but the current one has a flatter nose which clears the cab. I do have to watch the pin box doesn't strike the box rail, have not not yet checked for interference though.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:04 PM   #32
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I have 26 Toyhauler TT (bumperpull). My bed is in the front so I don't know about all this "bed up and bed down thing", but it does have an extra Queen bed over the garage area that has to go up for toys to come in. Different layouts in each type of trailer style. Find the one that works for you. Spend more than 10 minutes in the models you like to see how well you and the family move within its settings.

Bumper pull vs. 5th is all preference on how you want to hook up, weather or not you want bed space in the truck. 25' and longer 5th wheel and bumper pulls, NEED 3/4 ton trucks at a minimum (except fot the ULTRA LIGHT models), and of course TT only for SUVs.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:41 AM   #33
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If you're only 60-55 yrs old and are worried about the extra steps then you're not in very good shape. A TT would be better because you couldn't lift the 5th hitch out of the truck if you needed. I will say hitching up the 5'er is less taxing tha hitching up a TT. No bars to deal with, no dirty chains to attach, no removing the WD head after every trip and packing it somewhere to store it. Just less hassle. Zero movement when towing the 5'er. I can run side by side semi's and feel nothing. No push pull like TT's. People can say what they want about towing differences but a 5'er wins every time. Guys with 1/2 ton trucks towing 5'ers report great handling. And those 5'ers are weighing around 8-9000lbs. Just read how many times a guy with a 1/2 ton comes on and complains about sway. Never hear about it with any 5'er owner, cause it just won't happen. Peoples might feel that their TT is good but tow a TT and a 5'er in 30-40 mph cross winds and then come back and say which one felt more comfortable. I'll never go back to a TT again. You just get more space per foot in a 5'er.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #34
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If you're only 60-55 yrs old and are worried about the extra steps then you're not in very good shape.
One might think so at first, but it's often got nothing to do with fitness, strength or being overweight. Many people have chronic health conditions including things like vertigo (Meniere's), arthritis, chronic pain (muscle, joint, bone disorders etc.) and a whole host of other disorders and diseases that make it either difficult or tiring to negotiate too many stairs and/or too often. Sometimes it's just the husband or wife with medical issues. Sometimes a person may have been in an accident leaving permanent problems to live with. DW and I have seen and sometimes spoken to people in cgs with the above long term health issues to deal with.

Sometimes people may have chronic or slowly deteriorating health conditions but they don't think about what it's going to be like in the coming years. Some people have to get up many times in the night to use the bathroom. If it's not on the bedroom level, that's a lot of stair use at night.

FWs can have another 7 steps from ground to bedroom level compared to a TT. At the end of a day of camping, that can be a lot of steps to climb/descend. Had a FW once while building a new house on acreage so I know what it's like to have the bedroom on an upper level. We find our TT to be very comfortable and convenient being all on one level. It's pretty easy to fall in love with something they see at a RV show or on a dealer's lot - there are often a lot of things RV-ers don't think about and notice until they have been camping in their new unit and stairs is one of them.

On the 1/2 ton trucks, the thing is, typically FW owners usually have at least a 3/4 ton and often a 1 ton. A larger truck is going to be inherently more stable than a 1/2 ton. Our old 1/2 ton was a bear compared to our 3/4 ton. Our 29' TT is a breeze to tow with a 3/4 ton and I wouldn't hesitate to tow a longer TT. Problems with 1/2 ton truck is more often than not due to oveloading or improperly set up WDHs or lack of sway control. It's not easy to compare FWs and TTs in an apple to apple comparison, but one should at least consider the various issues between them, what they're used for and how they are set up. I would be willing to bet that a 1 ton pulling either a FW or a TT of comparable overall length would not handle much differently (assuming WDH and SC set up right). I think some people may not think beyond the "1/2 ton towable" label which can cause major problems and the RV makers are partly to blame.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:11 PM   #35
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I have all the towing gauges and our 39ft FW tows with less energy then a 27ft TT with one slide. Maybe it would be different if I had a cap on the truck.
My unit has LR G tires and TT have mostly LR C tires. And newer TTs have slopping fronts that seam to create more vaccum drag and also waist of space up front. I was told years ago that TTs were designed mostly to park and short distance traveling. Look at all the transport trucks they are all 5th wheels for comfort and ease of operation.

Besides just setup a 5th wheel hitch behind the axle. I did and the stability is night and day different.

Most TTs with slides and worth owning have 3 steps to go in the unit and our unit has 3 steps to bath bed room.

No guess complained yet about the steps but I get the comments about how it does not feel like a camper but like an apartment.

My blind grand daughter never complained neither.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
One might think so at first, but it's often got nothing to do with fitness, strength or being overweight. Many people have chronic health conditions including things like vertigo (Meniere's), arthritis, chronic pain (muscle, joint, bone disorders etc.) and a whole host of other disorders and diseases that make it either difficult or tiring to negotiate too many stairs and/or too often. Sometimes it's just the husband or wife with medical issues. Sometimes a person may have been in an accident leaving permanent problems to live with. DW and I have seen and sometimes spoken to people in cgs with the above long term health issues to deal with.

Sometimes people may have chronic or slowly deteriorating health conditions but they don't think about what it's going to be like in the coming years. Some people have to get up many times in the night to use the bathroom. If it's not on the bedroom level, that's a lot of stair use at night.

FWs can have another 7 steps from ground to bedroom level compared to a TT. At the end of a day of camping, that can be a lot of steps to climb/descend. Had a FW once while building a new house on acreage so I know what it's like to have the bedroom on an upper level. We find our TT to be very comfortable and convenient being all on one level. It's pretty easy to fall in love with something they see at a RV show or on a dealer's lot - there are often a lot of things RV-ers don't think about and notice until they have been camping in their new unit and stairs is one of them.

On the 1/2 ton trucks, the thing is, typically FW owners usually have at least a 3/4 ton and often a 1 ton. A larger truck is going to be inherently more stable than a 1/2 ton. Our old 1/2 ton was a bear compared to our 3/4 ton. Our 29' TT is a breeze to tow with a 3/4 ton and I wouldn't hesitate to tow a longer TT. Problems with 1/2 ton truck is more often than not due to oveloading or improperly set up WDHs or lack of sway control. It's not easy to compare FWs and TTs in an apple to apple comparison, but one should at least consider the various issues between them, what they're used for and how they are set up. I would be willing to bet that a 1 ton pulling either a FW or a TT of comparable overall length would not handle much differently (assuming WDH and SC set up right). I think some people may not think beyond the "1/2 ton towable" label which can cause major problems and the RV makers are partly to blame.

You missed my point on the 1/2 ton towing. 5th wheels tow better, that's why even guys using 1/2 tons to tow them don't complain about sway. Even 3/4 ton guys often complain about sway with a TT. A properly set up TT shouldn't sway, but all to often TT's are designed poorly and sway control devices are needed. Not so with 5th wheels.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #37
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With a 5th-wheel trailer the truck bed is lost for the most part. Room for an extra fuel tank but that is about it. With a conventional trailer the bed is available for a camper shell or a rack and a good place for toys - fishing gear, bicycles, boat, kayaks, and even an ATV. Where ATV's are popular the great majority of people I have seen have the ATV in the bed of the truck and pull a conventional trailer. The alternative is a motorhome or truck with a slide in camper pulling a trailer for the ATV.

Anyone who is active and has a need for bulky toys will do better with a conventional trailer. Anyone who want to take all the conveniences they enjoy at home and have a large spacious trailer as they will be spending more of their time indoors at a campground will need the tow capacity that is possible with the setup for a 5th-wheel trailer.

The cost for the 5th-wheel is more than simply the cost for the trailer. It will also require a much more expensive truck with a diesel engine to pull it uphill and downhill as well. The truck to pull a 14,000 lb. 5th-wheel is going to cost at least $10,000 more than the truck needed to pull a 10,000 lb. travel trailer. And the potential gain in fuel economy with a diesel engine is completely lost when pulling a very heavy 5th-wheel trailer load and dealing with the added air drag with its higher profile.

From my own experiences towing TT, and horse trailers, and boats with 1/2 ton trucks I would opt for a 3/4 ton truck instead though still go with a gas engine and 4.10 gears. The 3/4 ton have a much stronger drivetrain and stronger frames and stronger suspensions and all of these contribute to more control.

I would be careful about the length of any trailer as the longer the trailer the fewer public campgrounds campsite spots where it will fit. Over 30' and the available campsites drops quickly and the spots that are available where a longer rig will fit may be already reserved or taken by someone who arrived earlier in the day or the week. Friends traveled around for years in a 28' 5th-wheel and sold it and bought a 35' one and regretted it the very first trip. After two years they sold it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:44 PM   #38
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Here is a list our stuff we carry with our 5er.
1. 16 ft tandem kayak and safety equipment for 4 kayakers.
2. 2 single kayaks for other possible use.
3. 2. Bikes
4. 3 Guitars and amplifier and Pa setup equipment.
5. A DW hobbies sewing equipment including sewing machiles.
6. All my maintenance tool required to do repairs to truck and trailer.
7. All carpenter hand tools for our Habitat for Humanity volunteer work.
8. 2000 Watts solar system
9. 70 gallons of fresh water.
10. 2 portable and one desktop computer with 11x17 full size printer on a full size (48 in) desk.
11. 3 televisions and one more used for Karaoke shows.

And more.....

Just the fresh water in a TT is usually a problem. Try to store that in an SUV or SWB truck.
We do not limit ourselves and enjoy life to the fullest on the road.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #39
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With a 5th-wheel trailer the truck bed is lost for the most part. Room for an extra fuel tank but that is about it. With a conventional trailer the bed is available for a camper shell or a rack and a good place for toys - fishing gear, bicycles, boat, kayaks, and even an ATV. Where ATV's are popular the great majority of people I have seen have the ATV in the bed of the truck and pull a conventional trailer. The alternative is a motorhome or truck with a slide in camper pulling a trailer for the ATV.

Anyone who is active and has a need for bulky toys will do better with a conventional trailer. Anyone who want to take all the conveniences they enjoy at home and have a large spacious trailer as they will be spending more of their time indoors at a campground will need the tow capacity that is possible with the setup for a 5th-wheel trailer.

The cost for the 5th-wheel is more than simply the cost for the trailer. It will also require a much more expensive truck with a diesel engine to pull it uphill and downhill as well. The truck to pull a 14,000 lb. 5th-wheel is going to cost at least $10,000 more than the truck needed to pull a 10,000 lb. travel trailer. And the potential gain in fuel economy with a diesel engine is completely lost when pulling a very heavy 5th-wheel trailer load and dealing with the added air drag with its higher profile.

From my own experiences towing TT, and horse trailers, and boats with 1/2 ton trucks I would opt for a 3/4 ton truck instead though still go with a gas engine and 4.10 gears. The 3/4 ton have a much stronger drivetrain and stronger frames and stronger suspensions and all of these contribute to more control.

I would be careful about the length of any trailer as the longer the trailer the fewer public campgrounds campsite spots where it will fit. Over 30' and the available campsites drops quickly and the spots that are available where a longer rig will fit may be already reserved or taken by someone who arrived earlier in the day or the week. Friends traveled around for years in a 28' 5th-wheel and sold it and bought a 35' one and regretted it the very first trip. After two years they sold it.
You win. 5th wheels are worthless and only for old lazy people.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:47 AM   #40
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Comparison

We have had both types; trailers from a pop up to a 32' and the 30' 5th wheel we have now.

We are also looking at a new camper and I am also undecided about which way to go so I'll give you my view the pros and cons. We are looking at the Sunset Trail 32RL in both the TT and 5th Wheel versions so the floor plans are almost identical - primary difference is in the bedroom.

trailer
Pros:
  • I GET THE BED OF MY TRUCK BACk (this is the biggest one in my view, could take our dirt bikes again)
  • generally less expensive that a comparable 5th wheel
  • lighter than comparable 5th wheel
  • not as tall as a 5th wheel (clearance under trees and wind resistance)
Cons
  • don't tow as well as a 5th wheel (but it is not like they are un-towable death traps like some would like you to believe, Ive never experience out of control sway but they do wiggle around more that the 5th wheel)
  • less storage space
  • WD hitches are more of a pain to hook up

5th Wheel
Pros (see trailer cons)
  • Tow very nicely (no sway issues) even DW drives it
  • much easier and quicker to hitch and unhitch - no help needed
  • generally have more storage space
  • tow shorter (no A frame and some of the trailer is over the truck bed)
Cons (almost inverse of trailer pros)
  • lose the bed of your truck for carrying anything other than small/short items
  • taller
  • heavier
  • cost more

I believe I would prefer the 5th wheel but if the price difference doesn't fit our budget, I'll go with the TT. I hope this helps you a little.

Mike
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:28 PM   #41
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I sold my pickup truck a few years ago because it was uncomfortable, huge and inefficient. Also not ideal for my family and daily 60 mile round trip to town. When we wanted to get a camper, I planned to pay cash and was not willing to double the cost by buying another pickup truck (much less a superduty!) just to own a 5er. Now if I already owned a HD truck for work or something, the story might be different, but to own one of these JUST to tow a 5th wheel makes no sence to me. And a 1500 won't do it well.
With the right setup, a TT is perfectly safe, has a lower center of gravity (less steps) and less wind reistance. It also feels like a more efficient floorplan for any given length.
It depends on how you'll use it too:
No question about the stability of a 5er, but that can't be your only real up-side. If it is, get a motorhome. Most of our camping is weekends within a hundred miles from home. Big interstate trips are maybe 5% of our trips, if that.
It also seems quicker and easier to hook up and go with a TT. Not to mention the 5th wheel hitch filling up the bed of the truck where lots of other stuff could be.

Point is, there are lots of variables and everyones situation is different.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:32 PM   #42
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My TT setup is doing all I want it to do and I enjoy it immensely. I have seen these arguments go back and forth several times. The simple truth of it all is do what makes you happy... within the limits of safety... and enjoy.
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