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Old 05-07-2012, 09:28 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by glarnold;1167984...,
and the TT cuts tighter on the turns, and must be watched closely...


I think you'll find that is backwards. The 5th wheel cuts the corner because of where it is attached to the TV. Anything attached to the bumper will follow the TV.

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #30
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We routinely tow our TT with our Dodge Quad Cab / Hemi; BEFORE we ever towed anything, I upgrade the truck with Dodge 3/4 ton rated springs and suspension pieces; not being able to change the braking system itself, I replaced all of the rotors and calipers with new. install "best" grade brake pads. All of this sounds expensive, but doing this myself, it was all done for under $1000.

The next thing we did was, once we had decided on a TT, we bought the BEST available weight distribution hitch we could find, along with sway controls. Being full time now for almost three years, we have had to make two panic stops at highway speeds and the "unit" stopped straight as an arrow !!!! It also pulls with no bounce or sway........even in the winds coming across Texas last year.

I would think a 5'er would pull somewhat better, bu since I don't have any experience with them, I won't comment. I have driven tractor trailers though, so the concept is not foreign to me.

The bottom line is this....WHATEVER, you decide to pull, spend your FIRST money on quality safety equipment; WHEN you need it the first time (and that time will come) you will be very glad you have it............a panic stop with a GCVW of 13K pounds is not a fun thing; it is actually frightening, but KNOWING you can do it is ......

BTW: we tow a 34' TT with our Dodge Quad Cab; we would like a new diesel dually...........but those things are "out there" with pricing

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Old 05-29-2012, 03:22 PM   #31
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Actually, what I am trying to say, is that with the fiver, you can go beyond the center of the lane, and turn a very tight corner. Tractor trailers do it all the time. With a TT, you can not turn nearly as sharp. Thus, the center of the TT will be over much more of the corner you're trying to go around. At least, that's been my experience. It's also possible that the longer wheelbase of the TT tow vehicle had that effect.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:23 PM   #32
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I have towed both with a 3/4 ton and with a 1 ton dually. I'm with others here saying have a bigger tow vehicle. The dually clearly is a way more capable hauler. 2 things apply. The 4 tires in the rear are way more stable having twice the rubber on the road and it's also a little heavier and that helps too.
That said, a travel trailer tracks ( follows the TV perfectly) better then a 5er but no matter what kind of hitch or gismos to help (control bars or weight distributing hitch) because of where a travel trailer is hitched, you will get some sway and they will porpoise if the bumps in the road are equal distance apart.
The 5er tracks to the inside of the turn where a tt does not but a 5er has better road manners. It never sways and it's not bothered by wind or passing traffic. As to backing, I prefer a travel trailer backing because they turn so fast, again, because of where they are connected. An equall lengh 5er requres the tv almost at right angles to make the 5er turn so, it needs more room to back into a space. On a travel trailer once you get the trailer moving where you want to go, only small corrections are needed. 5ers need much larger corrections backing.
Most of time towing I'm towing not backing, so, I vote for a 5er because they are so much more stable on the road, in any conditions then a comperable length tt. A heavy 5er in the back of my dually is easy to drive. Its just long and heavy. A travel trailer is all that with more unwanted road movement and I dislike porpoising. When I had troubles with a tt, I always reached for the trailer brakes. Applying the trailer brakes almost always cures whatever is happening back there. I never hit the brakes on the 5er.
I find, after having both, I will never go back to a tag along.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:17 PM   #33
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I've just searched google trying to find stats on accidents for tt vs 5ers. Darn if I can find facts. Lots of opinions - mostly that 5ers are safer but no proof. I think I'll ask my insurance agent when I get home. Personally, I've pulled both and I find 5ers easier to pull and much earier to back.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:23 PM   #34
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:02 PM   #35
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5er... Smoother and more stable
My opinion
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:26 PM   #36
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My 5er tows much better than the TT I had.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #37
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Had a bumper pull horse trailer that about beat us to death, went to a gooseneck horse trailer, swore I'd never go back to a bumper pull. Years later, bought a 25' bumper pull toyhauler, about beat us to death. Traded for a 5th wheel with an air ride pin box that pulls and rides like a dream, I'll NEVER go back to a tag-a-long, I swear.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #38
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As Paul said, I also think backing up a tt is easier but since I moved up to a fifth wheel and a crew cab dually, towing is so much easier. Absolutely no sway and no bucking.
I was worn out pulling my tt after 4 hrs but I've towed the fifth wheel for 8 and felt fine.

A world of difference.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:08 AM   #39
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There are many good reasons why all those 80,000lb. 18 wheelers on the road have the trailer weight situated directly over the drive axles and not hanging 3' behind them. Seems like it only makes sense to emulate the same geometry with our own "big rigs"
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:10 AM   #40
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I would say a fiver is hands down better. TT's seemed more stressfull to me as you always keep a free hand to bumrush the brake control.
Since I've changed to a fifth wheel, I've only swayed one time as I was going a bit too fast while changing lanes (anyone towing through Balt/Washington area will understand as there is a lot of idiots on the road there...)
I think all the weight is distributed better but I have heard others complain about towability of fifth wheels with rear kitchens or other strange layouts. When I bought mine, I tried to keep the science of weight/layout in mind so I got one with kitchen and living room slides directly over the axle of the unit.
TT's can be much easier to back in but wheel base plays a big part.. Backing in a 32' TT can highly vary between a Chevy ext.cab shortbed and a Ford crew cab long bed.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #41
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There are too many assumptions in all of the above about RV towing combinations. Some clarity is needed. First would be that pickup trucks are the best tow vehicles. Or, that all trailers are the same (design) despite the hitch type (5'er or conventional).

You want the best towing combination? That's easy:

It would be a TV with fully independent suspension, 4-whl disc and the suite of accident-avoidance electronics. Turbodiesel engine. Multi-speed transmission. European, as for those truly high speed roads.

The TT would be lightweight, genuinely aerodynamic, low ground clearance and low center-of-gravity (good floorplan weight balance) with fully independent suspension and disc brakes. An Airstream (example of this sort) can negotiate a closed course slalom behind the above TV faster than can a pickup truck solo.

A VPP hitch, and state-of-the-art brake controller rounds it out.

The worst towing combination features a trailer with high COG, high ground clearance, high weight, poor floorplan weight balance, big sail area, leaf springs, drum brakes and square, non-aerodynamic exterior. (Unfortunately, about 90% of the new RV market).

Couple it to the TV with the highest rollover rate, worst braking performance, etc, etc (pickup truck) with the generic friction-bar WDH hitches (poorly set up = 90% of them out there) and

it's no wonder people think a 5'er is a stable configuration.

So, if we're stuck with pickup trucks pulling buggy-spring suspended square boxes

then the assumptions in all the above have some merit.

But consider this: a pickup pulling an Airstream (or TXIceman's sweet Avion) is the vehicle of the combination that needs a VPP hitch (virtual projection pivot; Hensley or ProPride [Pullrite for another twist]) more than does the trailer.

Set up a quality TT with a VPP hitch -- even with a pickup truck, like mine -- and one can run rings around any 5'er. Do maneuvers that would put that type in the ditch instantly.

The type that can handle lane-change emergency maneuvers and ignore crosswinds (natural or by traffic) is the one that tows better.

(5'ers need to shut it down for crosswinds as low as 25-mph sustained; I've towed in sustained 40-mph and never fought the wheel).

Break down by type, then design, in making these broad statements of which is better.

And I understand the OP's take on things (as a fellow truck driver): would you rather have a 45' flatbed loaded with an extra-low, easily-secured load on new superslab on a mild Nebraska morning behind a new, well-equipped tractor . . . or a 57' with overweight, oversized behind a 1.2m mile craptractor in high winds on a damp, high-crown, broken-asphalt road with mixed regional/commuter traffic in western PA driving into the sun?

The differences I have stated in the above type of RV trailers is much greater than this. There's assumed confidence and earned confidence. Both situations can be "handled", but that isn't the point of the question posed by the thread. There is more to it than the Drive Axle load, so the question needs re-stating to make more sense.

Numbers are the usual gateway to meaningful comparisons. Check assumptions, categories, etc, first, though.

The man who goes through all aspects of road performance first in the process of selecting an RV combo won't in the end be disappointed. If that means his on/off road tire'd 4WD pulling a big 5'er has to wait out all kinds of weather at the Flying J, then he's accepted it at the beginning.

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Old 06-24-2012, 09:51 PM   #42
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because of where a travel trailer is hitched, you will get some sway and they will porpoise if the bumps in the road are equal distance apart.
With the Hensley hitch it is literally impossible to have any sway in the trailer.

There are many good reasons why all those 80,000lb. 18 wheelers on the road have the trailer weight situated directly over the drive axles and not hanging 3' behind them. Seems like it only makes sense to emulate the same geometry with our own "big rigs"
The 18 wheel car haulers have there fifth wheel hanging behind the tractor with no issue. ( not anywhere near being over the axle )

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