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Old 08-17-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
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Question How Big is Too Big ?

I am looking for opinions (I hear folks on this forum may have one or two ) on the best size for a trailer or 5th wheel. Let me set the question a little. We currently have a Trailmanor (hard sided pop-up) that is 27' long (towed by a Ridgeline). This works fine for weekend trips and we have been able to go just about anywhere we needed to as it is small and easy to maneuver into tight spots. We have started our retiement planning and plan to spend a lot more time traveling and camping in a trailer, so we plan to purchase both a new tow vehicle and a new trailer (or possibly a 5th wheel) that is more suited to spending more time in and not as cramped as the Trailmanor. There are only 2 of us, but we always have a couple of large dogs with us (German Shepherds), so we need something with reasonable floor space. We don't camp in large KOA type RV campgrounds grounds, and prefer to stick to less developed places like state or county parks and the like, so I think that size will become an issue for us if we don't pay attention and do a little research before hand (hence this request).
I would like opinions for people with current rigs of about 27' and bigger on whether or not the size of their rig ever prevented them from being able to use a desired campground - in other words, was you rig just too big to be able to camp someplace you would have liked to. If you could reply and tell me the length of your trailer or 5th wheel and whether or not that size prevented you from camping somewhere, that will give me an idea if I have to be concerned too much about staying as small as possible in selecting our trailer. Once I have decided on the trailer, then I will pick a suitable tow vehicle, but first I'd like to figure out if I go too big to have more space, will I regret it when I can't get to many of the places I'd like to go.
I hope my question makes sense, and thanks in advance for your responses. I really appreciate the time people take to help rookies like me learn before we make a mistake or two.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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I have pulled my TT's and 5th wheels, our last was a 31 foot 5th with one slide, side kitchen. The fifth wheel trailer gives you a lot more living space in the same towing total length because your bedroom is over the truck box. Effectively you gain 5 to 7 feet, in other words a 27 foot 5th would be the equivalent length to a 22 ft TT. we had no problems finding spots to park our 31, but getting in some times requires a little maneuvering. You will find that a 5th is far superior to back up and pull than any regular TT. Staying in the 27 to 30 foot range with multiple slides would give you a tremendous amount of room. If you chose a 5th with slides on both sides [this gives you the most space] you have to consider that some campsites are narrow and your slides will hit the trees. The other thing to consider is that some 5th are very high in front and can hit low hanging branches. We never had this happen but were always careful. There are many manufacturers and types of slide mechanisms make sure you do your research on them and if they have had slide problems. Finally I consider pulling a 5th far safer for towing and way easier to unhook. For what its worth.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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" There are only 2 of us, but we always have a couple of large dogs with us (German Shepherds), so we need something with reasonable floor space."

Bigger is not better, unless you're really going long term someplace (second home on wheels sot of thing). Post #2 really nailed it. I have a 37' MH and tow a Jeep. End game is I'm living in real comfort ... (first owner hand more money than brains and this thing really is 'tricked out' - no disrespect intended, that's what he wanted until his wife 6 months later said 'I'm not happy with this rig.' Or something close.

Best 5th wheel I ever had was a 24'er. Bunk over was a king sized bed, and another 'separate' (tight) bedroom in the rear for guests. Was getting ready for a trip and major storm passes through (Christmas Eve if you can believe - just short of 48 hours) and a huge area lost power for hours. Neighborhoods in an up-roar!

Neighbor down the street had a 24' tow and we just 'activated' our units. Both had small gas generators for power. Power up, kids in, TV (vcr) on and movies rolling.

In the house? Pull tables together, folks get card tables and Colman lanterns and candles. And fire up the big fire place (this was a custom, and it was BIG! Couple of folks drag over their Webbers and we fired off three.

Most had Turk's, et. al. already done we just warmed all that/extras up in the web's.

Whole evening was straight out of the 15'th Century. Wine (too much), food (far too much), etc.

Sleeping bags for the kids were retrieved and they did a huge camp-over. Rest of us went to bed (ya-ya, our homes). Next morning (Christmas Day) power still out so we collected everyone and did pancakes, bacon and eggs for close to 40 people before we ran out of 'supplies.' ('Errm, bring your own plates.) Amazing what you can cook in a tiny kitchen if you put your mind to it. Bill on my right doing the eggs/bacon on three burners, me flippin' cakes (God Bless Krusties!!) on the Colman Stove.

Not only did they 'Bring their own plates/forks/etc., but tons of other goodies. Plate fulls and back in my front door to the extended table. Ladies did a major wash up, kiddlites still watching VCR's and Bill and I took extended naps.

Power back on later that morning. A good thing as Bill and I only had three gallons of Petrol between us and we were 'sniffing out.'
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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Hi TMac99, welcome to the forum. Can't really advise you other that to say get the biggest that you think will work for your situation.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:30 PM   #5
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Have had TT and 5th wheels for over 20 years now working construction TT were great in beginning but 5th wheels are easier to get around pulling there right on the height thing and pull outs at camp sites just whatever your comfortable with length and as far as slideouts. Also 30 ft would be close to a 22 to 24 ft TT when hooked up like he said the BR would be over bed of your tk.We had a F450 4 door long bed and a 40 ft Newmar MountainAire 5th wheel with gooseneck attachment, which put me at 55 ft from bumper to bumper we couldnt pull her jeep which is legal but you cant go over 65 ft some states shorter some are little longer varys from state to state.So with the wife wanting her jeep with us and me not wanting to unhook the beast after so long and tired of hooking and unhooking for transportation we decided enoughs enough we traded rig and 5th wheel in for 37.5 DP we can pull jeep now also. lifes good happy wife also. Same idea as Fredaevans living in real comfort. Funny thing is get better fuel mileage then the rig and 5th wheel what the hell was wrong with me.....Just a liitle something with our experiences for you to look at. In the end its what makes you happy anyways ,dont get to big, ive been driving semi for years so didnt bother me ,but spaces were tight very tight, trees will be a big problem in some parks also we do the same state and county parks more natural setting when traveling anywhere we just need the openess and quite time with two Businesses and crews to deal with quiteness and relaxation is main thing on the schedule you know : ) Wish you the best in whatever you decide----------
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Only you can decide how big to get for your circumstances, go look at as many trailers as you can and try and visualize how what you will be traveling with will fit and how much space you will need to be comfy in. 2 years ago we bought a 2010 4 slide 5er to retire with, this is our 6th rig in 35+ years and we keep moving up in size. Can't ever remember not going any place wanted.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:48 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Larry;1281383]Only you can decide how big to get for your circumstances, go look at as many trailers as you can and try and visualize how what you will be traveling with will fit and how much space you will need to be comfy in. 2 years ago we bought a 2010 4 slide 5er to retire with, this is our 6th rig in 35+ years and we keep moving up in size. Can't ever remember not going any place wanted.
Larry


Good point only you know what will fit your needs
Thats what we do what we need at different times
in life. Thats what i was trying to get at- feel it out
visualize, good point-- Larry .: )
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Very good points in the last two posts. The only thing that take a real adjustment is where are you going to "Put your stuff." What you can put in your house/garage isn't going into the unit. Takes some 'adjustment' to put it mildly. :>)
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