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Old 01-21-2011, 01:00 AM   #15
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Joe Diesel, you'll do fine, Like others have said just take your time. You might consider going to a big parking lot and see how the fiver responds to your turning in reverse, plus you would have lines already drawn there for you to see how straight you can back it up.

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:33 AM   #16
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Big parking lots with all those stripes....

does wonders for giving you confidence in your skill.

Wide mirrors cannot be over stated as to their importance. You "must be able" to see down the sides of the trailer as you back up.

1998 Dodge Dually 4x4 CTD
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:20 AM   #17
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I have towed a tt, 36 foot, 5er, 39 foot (and Goose Neck), and now a Class A 40 ft. As you do know they all behave differently when being towed. You are correct that the TT reacts quickly, and as stated the 5er reacts quickly once the pivot point is reached. The class A has a lot of tail swing that when backing needs to be accounted for. Consider the tail swing of a Class A to that of the bed of the truck. In both instances of the TT and 5er you have to consider the swing of the truck. With the TT the tail fo the truck does not have to travel as far as the tail of a truck backing a 5er, because of the pivot point. However, with the TT the front nose of the truck swings wider for turns. The TT is limited to about 45 degrees, whereas the 5er can, in most cases with the proper equiment, turn in a 90 degree radius.

I love my Class A for driving, towing the car, and backing (without the car of course). If it were between a TT and a 5er, I would opt for the 5er, I think it is a lot more forgiving when backing than a TT, but that is my personal opinion.

Is there any way that you can find someone why has a 5'er and give it a shot in a large parking lot before you buy? I think you will be surprised at the handling of a 5er. Just remember that practice does make perfect.

AND - go slow, very slow in backing.

Just some things to consider, in my opinion.

Good luck.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Joe Diesel View Post
I wonder if some members with experience would give me some pointers. My situation is that I have a 28" Arctic Fox travel trailer that is parked along the side of my house. It is literally three inches away from the full length of the roof line. I do a pretty ok job parking it with a little help from my son and a radio. As long as I cut in from the street from the "driver's" side, I can stick my head out of the open window and manage pretty well. As a matter of fact, I just backed it in all by myself, for the first time, with no problems. Now let me paint a mental picture for you all. I have a 25' set back from the face of my house to the side walk. According to code, I must park behind the front face of my residence. Add to that 4' of side walk and 10' of county right of way for a total of 39' of straight line access from the street. I am "considering" jumping ship and going to the "other side", namely a 32' fifth wheel. I have never backed a fiver before and I know that there is a bit of a learning curve. I'm ok with that because I have chosen a smaller end fiver that meets my needs as I see it. My specific question is, "does a fifth wheel back up in a true straight line if the TV and trailer are lined up?" Or can I back a fiver along the side of my house, keeping the front end at distance away from front side of the house then just cut it in to close the gap? (This is the method I use now for the travel trailer because it is almost impossible to back perfectly straight along the side of my house. Any thoughts?? Joe.
Hi Joe,
I think you will be just fine with a fifth wheel. Yes they do back up straight and true. You will find that the 5er's will not be as "squirrely" as a TT meaning there will be more of a lag time in turns. I have been in some very tight spots with our 5er which have surprised anyone watching and to me it responds more predictable then a TT. I'm very confident that you will be happy with a 5er on it's towing abilities and also it's backing abilities. Another tip is if you have 4 wheel drive use it when backing as this keeps your TV from bouncing or hopping. I recently upgraded the clutch in my TV and found increased hop while backing. This was due to a high performance lining on the clutch which did not respond well when backing, so the moral of the story is that trailers of any type are heavy and as you are increasing in size you will notice extra weight as well, just use 4wd when backing and it will be even easier on you and the trailer. Go for it, you won't regret it. Cheers to the campfires and clear starry nights.

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Old 01-21-2011, 05:30 PM   #19
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I've had travel trailers, one 36 foot 5th wheel and four motorhomes but the greatest learning experience in parking was on my 46 foot sail boat. I learned if I tried to watch both sides while putting the boat in a slip with only inches to spare I would most often hit both sides of the dock. So knowing the boat (RV in this case) fits in the space I would only watch one side and carefully maintain a close distance on that side understanding the other side would clear without having to monitor the other side. This "system" worked well with the boat and with my RV's but when going in to a new space I do get out and walk around looking for anything that might reach out and grab me such as trees, sprinklers, posts, etc. This works for me but may not for you - as to a fiberglass roof I'll not buy an RV unless it has a fiberglass roof.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:42 PM   #20
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I second the post about using 4 wheel drive. I just about always use 4 Low. Can generally get into any spot at an idle. Saves wear and tear on everything. For the shot period of time you're in 4 low won't hurt anything, just not suppose to travel on dry roads in 4 wheel drive. Been doing it ever since our first TT in 1991, didn't really need to use it on the first 2 Pop-ups, usually pushed them in by hand. Good luck
2011 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LT Ext Cab 4x4 Duramax/Allison, 2016 Redwood 39MB, Disc Brakes, Mor/ryde IS, GY 17.5" H tires, 5.5K Onan, Dual ACs, auto level, auto sat dish, stacked washer/dryer, residential fridge, King sleep number. Michelle & Ann
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
It will track straight if your tow vehicle is straight. However, since the pivot point is in the truck bed instead of behind you by a couple feet (as it would be with a TT), the slightest adjustment with your truck will make a big movement with the 5-r.


UMmmmm - I think you have that backwards - the 5er reaction is SLOWER than a TT, because the TT hitch is farther back (longer lever=greater degree of movement!), and a SMALL change in the tow vehicle direction causes a much GREATER and FASTER swing to the hitch point. In any event, I'd far rather back our 5er in a tight spot than I would a TT of the same length...

John Day....|'88 Winnebago Super Chief 27ft. Class A
Eastern .....|'88 KIT model 240 24 ft. 5er
Oregon ......|'02 Dodge/Cummins 2500 Quad Cab
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