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Old 08-07-2015, 10:47 AM   #1
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Why a TT on a big truck?

I am going through the pictures thread (great thread), and I see many with 3/4 ton trucks, some with diesel. I am curious why you opted for a TT rather than a 5th wheel? You can get quite a few 5vrs in 30' range which I guess is similar to a 28' TT? I'm just wondering. 5 years from retirement and the wife and I are looking at everything from a small TT to a 36' DP Class A (talk about waffling!). We have no tow vehicle or RV at this time so it will be a fresh purchase. Just want to try and get the best for us on the first try (yeah right). So research, research and more research.

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Old 08-07-2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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Cost. My 35' TT new was $35k out the door with some extras (double-pane windows & awning toppers). Double-ish that for a new 5er.

2013 Rockwood 8523 TT - 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD Diesel - Buster & FlipperDoodle (cats). - Full-timer from NorCal.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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Yup, what GVJepper said. TT's with the same amenities are generally quite a bit less expensive. If your primary purpose is some weekend trips and a long vacation mixed in, and you're not traveling extensively in it, a TT is significantly cheaper for a reasonable level of comfort and luxury.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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For my application a 5th wheel wouldn't work out well. My truck is a '14 Chevy 2500HD with a 6.5" lift and 35's making the bed rails sit at about 65" unladen. If I were to go with a 5th wheel I felt I'd have to lift it to clear my rails. The height was more easily compensated for with a drop shank. That said it took me a little while and a few miles to drive, but I found the perfect toy hauler TT for my needs.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:09 AM   #5
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We went the TT route because we needed the pickup bed to haul out motorcycles. It's much easier to explore on 2 wheels than in an F350 Dually!
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:15 AM   #6
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I can't stand 5th wheel floor plans with stairs inside. Totally inefficient use of already small space. For the square feet of interior space, you pay double or more with a 5er in many cases.

Also, they are 3-5 feet taller doing down the road. I have a hard enough time avoiding trees as is.
Many 5th wheels are too heavy on the pin for most 3/4 tons. Despite what you see on the road. Most 5ers require at least a single wheel 1 ton or dually. There are a few 3/4 tons that can do it, but not when it's a crew cab with some nice options and a medium to large 5er.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:29 PM   #7
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I had a little 1/2 ton when I got the TT... Bought TT because it (was supposed to) fit the 1/2 ton truck I had and cost. Once I realized that the lil' halfer sucked at pulling even this light TT, I bought the 3/4 ton... Going down the road is effortless now, and I love it.

I actually am looking to go up to a 5er now... I am running into the cost issue again though, thinking of reconsidering and looking at a bigger TT bunkhouse.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:41 PM   #8
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Many people do not want the use of the beds of their trucks obstructed by the fifth wheel hitch. I have a shell on my truck with tool boxes on the side and there is NO WAY I will ever not have a shell like that on a truck again.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:16 PM   #9
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Went with a TT because I have full length storage box in truck for tool and to sleep on when I camp without TT. Have a shell on truck to take along canoe. Can not do these things with 5th wheel.
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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I've never really understood guys who go out and buy a 37ft TT and pull with an f-150. It will pull it but I've always liked a 3/4ton or better yet a dually for pulling/carrying anything going any distance. For comfort reasons, I like the way it looks, room for error etc... A lot of folks are scared of a real truck and have no other use for it other than their camper. These folks tend to buy half tons. I have family members who do this.

We pull a 31ftTT with a dually. I also carry a golf cart in the bed which weights close to 1,000lbs my tongue weight is just over 1,000lbs. The heavier truck eliminates all of the "weight this and that" and worrying about being 1lb over your payload.

TT's are also significantly cheaper and you can get most of what a fifth wheel offers in them. The lower end fifth wheels and TTs are one in the same. MY PERSONAL opinion is that TT's are far more versatile than 5ers. No they do not tow as well but if you have one of those big trucks it makes no real difference. With my driving experience I can a handle the wind buffeting me for a few hours better than someone who doesn't have a lot of driving under there belt. It's a small price to pay for a damn near perfect set up.

I upgraded my receiver and hitch head to one that does not require Weight distribution. Without weight distribution my truck sits level and doesn't come close to engaging my top over load springs. I use a single friction sway bar just because.

You can't do that with just enough truck for the trailer typical( F-150 pulling giant TT.)

The last thing is the TT allows me to have the best of all worlds. The golf cart in the bed. And when I un hook I have a car to get around. Unless you have a toyhauler 5er that's not happening, and unless you have a DP motorhome you need to do some serious math to carry a golf cart and a car.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:46 PM   #11
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For all the reasons above, and... My main reasons are cost and the need for my covered truck bed. I fly large model gliders and some of my wing panels are over 6'. I may carry as many as 6 of them to a competition... along with all the support equipment... and take my TT along so I can stay close... sometimes adjacent to the flying fields. 5er won't work for us. We're upgrading soon, because our family is experiencing growth in the form of grand kids... We've decided we need a bit more room and a couple of bunks... I got the truck first, because the F-150 I had was barely adequate for the TT I have now. That big truck makes a world of difference out on the road. I am getting 12 - 14 mpg towing as opposed to 7 -9 with the 1/2 ton.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:31 PM   #12
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I got a deal I couldn't pass up. A 6 year old, well taken care of , and plenty of additional upgrades on a 27' Salem toy hauler for less than 25% of retail and I have towed it with both a 1/2 ton I used to have, and my 3/4 ton Dodge diesel. The 1st truck was paid for and it hurt to trade it for new payments, but the TT has 950# to 1200# tongue weight depending on the toy in the back or empty. More tongue weight empty because toy is behind the axles. Total trailer weight is 9,400# and it was too much for the 1/2 ton truck. Love towing with the diesel vs. the gas 1/2 ton. Heavy tails do wag the dog (truck). I am convinced that too many people are towing with too little truck or too much trailer. You will regret that combo, but not regret having too much truck for your trailer. A coworker today remarked how I parked my big ol diesel in a spot he thought his Camry might be tight in, when we went to lunch.
Bob and sometimes - Nina - a Staffordshire Terrier/a SPOILED pit and her kitty Spaz
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:50 AM   #13
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Six years ago I was in the same boat. Looking for 'a rig'. From trailers to Diesel Pusher.

TT's offer the most bang for the buck but are not built as well as a 5th wheel. A 5th wheel will feel more solid and have more storage.

Large TT' s I think stop at 34'. 5th wheels typically stop at 40'.

IMHO - a small 1/2 ton truck is limited in how large a trailer it can 'comfortably' tow. It is much more comfortable towing with a diesel truck. Fyi - torque does the work. The diesel engine produces about twice as much torque as a gasoline engine.

If I were doing a lot of travel I would consider a smaller (26') TT with a 3/4 ton diesel. Easy to tow, easy to handle, easy to drive, comforable ride, easy to carry other stuff.

If I were going to be a snowbird (which I am) I would pick a 5th wheel because it sits for 5 or 6 months in Florida.

Good luck
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:59 AM   #14
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We were just like you a coupla years back. Started out affordable since we did not know if the camping bug would stick, then upgraded this year. Bumper pulls have more headroom in bedroom areas, more affordable, no steps, seem to have fewer tire problems (just my observation). And did I say... cost less. Usually take less of TV. My TV will handle any TT I can think of but only a few small fifth wheels. I did not want to mess up my PU bed either.

TTs don't pull as smoothly, I am told. Some RV parks are for fivers and motor homes only. High ceilings in living area of 5ers is very appealing.

Good Luck with your search.... lots of good advice posted already.

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