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Old 04-07-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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Can you help the new guy?

The wife (30) and I (31) are looking at getting our first 5er(rv for that matter) and I would like to hear from the been there done that crowd.

Easiest way is prob to just tell yall what we r thinking we want and go from there.

Im thinkin 34-38 OAL hitch wt around 2K and empty wt of 10.5 or 11K max and we really like the ones with the extra 1/2 bath with access from outside and inside. On the fence about a bunkhouse or the reg open floorplan. It will be used for the weekend getaway and trips throught the yr not full time. It will be us and our kid plus either the grandparents or friends and their kid. just for ex the open range 399SRL or 391RES to give u an idea. most of the big horn or big country floorplans are good also.

as with everyone we dont want to buy one and then not like it or want to sell it 3-4 yrs down the road bc its too small or what ever. as far as price id like to find one for aobut $30ish and prob $45,000 MAX. Thats buy it price not MSRP i have seen some great deals of $20K off and such.

like i said im new and any info or brands that i can look at will be great. pin boxes and hitches too. I was thinkin the B&W companion and a 5th airborn sidewinder bc of my shortbed.

i posted up on another rv forum and got some great help and advice. I hope that i can get the same here, from looking around there seems to be a lot going on over here.

ps im also TEX on cumminsforum.......
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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Welcome TEX! There are a few things to remember about selecting a fifth wheel RV. First, NEVER use the UVW or dry weight when matching a 5er and tow vehicle, always use the GVW unless you plan to only tow it when it is empty of all your personal possessions. The GVW/pin weight, can be calculated from published weights of a particular model by first finding the ratio of dry weight to pin weight. This http://www.klenger.net/misc/HH_towing-weights.xls
towing weight calculator, will help with safely and accurately matching a trailer and tow vehicle. I doubt you will find a 3/4T pickup that will safely tow the size 5er you are considering. A 1T dually would be a better choice.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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thanks for the input. the truck i have is the truck i have so........
were looking at the http://www.openrangerv.com/floorplans.aspx

392BHS with empty hitch of 1780 and GVWR of 13780
399SRL hitch 1990 and GVWR 13990

those are just some examples, we looked at them at the Austin rv show and really liked them. like i said im new to the rv world. i understand fully about the weights and axles and so on. i may ahve to look at a smaller trailer and thats ok but i have to start some where.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:20 AM   #4
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Tex, heres a lineup that may not be in price bracket but there are some good used ones on market that could be a steel with this economy.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:17 PM   #5
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Back in Jan. at our RV show I viewed the Open Range 392. Its a new company, I believe this is it's 2 model year. The first thing I look at is how the cabinets are made. They appeared nicer than the pictures in the brochures. The colors and the style are different from most RV's. I thought for the length of their 5er's the hitch weights were fairly light. The 392 because it will sleep a bunch is geared towards you and has a nice 85 gal. fresh water supply. With the larger amount of campers that may be tagging along, you have to picture where everyone will chill-out if the weather outside is bad, or in the evening if your all inside. With the double bunks that sure would take care of bedding, but going with the 399SRL would give ya an out in case you are confined indoors with more setting room. Being a new company I have not heard anything as far as worksmanship. They must have come a long way because there brochure for last years models (09') was about 3 floorplans.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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OK, First off you do not say if your truck is a 2500 or a 3500? So i will assume the worst case that you have a 2500 (3/4 ton). Please be very careful with this truck. This is from a BTDT guy. Once you load everything and everybody up in that 3/4 ton truck will find that you are way short of carrying capacity. If you really want to find out how short. load it up like you would normally go camping and make a trip to the local scales. Subtract the scaled weight from the trucks GVWR as found on the drivers door post. That is the net cargo carrying capacity you actually have left over before you exceed the manufacturers wright rating. When shopping for a fiver, you first need to add about 200 pounds for the hitch, then using the intended fivers GVWR as a starting point and 20% of GVWR as pin weight. You will get pretty close using than and barring some actual scaled weight numbers. You mentioned just shy of 14000 pounds, so I feel pretty confident in saying that the pin weight will be really close to 3000 pounds on that fiver. Added to your trucks existing as scaled ready to go weight, you will be really hard pressed to be under 10000 pounds on the truck. Far more than the trucks rating of what? 9000 pounds.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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thanks......and i cant believe o forgot to put that me truck is a 2500 sorry......the wt thing is really something to watch and i know thats why im watching the numbers close. its funny how from brand to brand or even diff floorplans have such different hitch weights.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEX-CTD View Post
its funny how from brand to brand or even diff floorplans have such different hitch weights.
If you're using dry hitch weights, you're going to be severely disappointed with real world weights. You will be better off using a minimum of 20% of the 5th wheel's GVWR as the 5th wheel's loaded pin (hitch) weight.

That's the problem with any single rear wheel (SRW) truck - it will run out of GVWR well before it reaches the GCWR or "trailer tow rating" (a marketing fluff number).

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Old 04-10-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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what i have learned is to take the dry hitch wt and add 4 or 500 lbs and use the GVWR not dry wt of the trailer. some ex given have added 800lbs and i cant really see that. but hey im new and here to learn thanks again for the input and help everyone.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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what i have learned is to take the dry hitch wt and add 4 or 500 lbs.
You can run the numbers however you wish, but the 20% of GVWR as actual pin weight is widely accepted by those of us who have owned and weighed multiple 5th wheels and trucks as being pretty darned close to reality.

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Old 04-11-2009, 07:50 PM   #11
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My last 5er had a GVWR of 14,400# and we were pretty close to 2900# when loaded to around 13,500#, so we were actually a bit over the 20% guideline (36.5' trailer). With your 3/4 ton truck you need to limit your search to trailers of around 32' long.

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Old 04-11-2009, 08:56 PM   #12
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My last 5er had a GVWR of 14,400# and we were pretty close to 2900# when loaded to around 13,500#, so we were actually a bit over the 20% guideline (36.5' trailer). With your 3/4 ton truck you need to limit your search to trailers of around 32' long.

Ken
what was you starting hitch weight? empty....

i dont want it to sound like im looking for the longest trailer. but i have found that they vary depending on the model. if it has 2 or 3 slides behind the axles that helps. i have seen some 36-37 ft with 1750 empty hitch weight.

generaly yes you are right the less than 34' would be the ones with a good hitch wt for a 3/4 ton. but there are some that will work fine when loaded. like a said some.

just an example:
Open range 392BHS
GVWR 13780
empty 10780
Hitch 1780
38'9"

also i may have to start looking at the mid profile 5ers to get the numbers right. the sundance seem to be good. the r values are not as good
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:55 PM   #13
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Generally, basement and main closet storage on 5th wheels is ahead of the axles. This accounts for the pin weight being ~20% of GVWR as the 5th wheel is loaded by the owner. Pin weight of an empty trailer is a pretty useless number for shopping purposes, but it's your money, your truck and your choice. You asked for help, and experienced people are offering it.

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Old 04-12-2009, 09:55 PM   #14
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I never weighed it empty as that weight was useless. Never planned to use it empty so I planned to hit some where near 20% of 14,400# and it was actually a bit over when loaded. It had a front closet across the width of the trailer and a wardrobe just forward of the axles. Clothes weigh a lot, them the front basment area will hold a lot.

You really need to consider you are really going to hit pretty close to 20% of the trailer GVWR and look at trailers that are within your trucks limits for GVWR.

Ken
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