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Old 11-02-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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Am I the only one? Nervous 5th wheel passenger!

Ok, I admit it, I'm a nervous nellie 5th wheel passenger. We're new to this whole retirement thing (it's great actually) and now the mobile lifestyle with a new truck and 5th wheel. I love the RV park life and all that comes with it. What I DON'T like and I sure wish I could get used to it is the "going down the road" part. I'm a nervous passenger. I don't like the jostling, the bumping, the wham bam up and down part (that my husband says is perfectly normal). I look at paved roads much differently now. I see every whoop-dee-do, every rough patch, every overpass, or roadwork project as a possible....well, I don't know what, but I know my hands are sweatier then they've ever been. I'm a good driver (of my own SUV), so no problem there, and once we're parked I'm a happy camper. Will I get used to this? Is there counseling for me? Is there any talk-therapy out there that can help? We've dreamed of being on the road, I just didn't think I'd get this jittery! Help. And mostly, I'm sure I'm driving my husband crazy. I need tranquilizers!
PS - I'm sure I'm not the only one to experience this -- point me in the right direction and I'll go there willingly.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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A professional driving course for Rv's, especially 5th wheels would do you a world of good. Your increased confidence will bury your fears.
Camping Rig: 2006 Outback 27 RSDS--
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #3
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How long have you been F/Ting
I actually think you'll get used to it. I know my wife feels the same way you do.
Longer we go the better she seems to me. We've been on the road a year the 11/20th.
Some times I have felt the same and I'M driving, lol.
Went down a road with Cameo over hill and sign says dead end and it was correct I could see it. So we backed up a mile or more before we could turn around.
Just take deep breaths and think of the next camp ground your going to..
F/T 11/20/2012
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:20 PM   #4
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OMG... I know exactly how you feel down to my big toe! I literally give myself migranes and clinch the arm rest for at least 300 miles! I do take a mild "relaxer"..but it's effect is minor compared to my FEAR! Of all the dips, cracks, and especially that alert wake-up strip on the side of the road..OH, also the DEER. I find reasons to stop, like the dog needs exercise, then start dreading again. I love our 5th wheel, and we are so happy once we get to our stop, but sometimes it feels like eternity. I hope too, that the "world is coming to an end" feeling will leave before we stop our travel. Good luck and happy traveling!!
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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wow. getting there is 1/2 the fun. it shouldn't stress ya'll out to the point that you fear the driving part. maybe investing in an air hitch or air kingpin system will help smooth things out to make the ride more comfortable. I put the TrailAir on my 5er and the ride is much smoother now. But there are still woop-de-doo's where, when we hit them, we both yell out WEEEEEEEEEE.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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This was over 30 years ago,

observe who is "relaxed" in the back seat. It was our first fifth, 32 feet, 8,000 pounds.
Over the years we "graduated" to bigger things.

Almost 70 feet and 47,000 pounds (for the pair). She's actually more "relaxed" now.

Having a lunch while pulling, that's "multitasking".
At the Rallies she "relaxes" other ladies by letting them drive the semi, IN THE LEFT SEAT!

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:09 AM   #8
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Big Baron, I answered your PM, check it out.
Although she drives the big rig more than I do.

I do my part when necessary.

She also "takes charge" of our RVing. Last winter she went ahead to Florida, I had to stay in New Hampshire to finish a truck conversion.

I drove in February to Florida in our van. She didn't like the "working attire" I arrived in.

So she "took care "of it!

By the way, I was curious what the van weighed.

So I went on the truck scales, 6,500 pounds. Chrysler makes good products and you can drive them without any springs for 1,600 miles

One other thing, "for you Ladies". When we travel and we approach the campground where we are going to stay or overnight, I like to arrange it so that she drives the rig in. I'll even roll the window down and stick my head out. I like to see the "intimidated look" on the guys' faces as to who is driving that 70 foot rig.

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:38 AM   #9
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I read the 'Towing and Tow Vehicles' threads alot to learn everything I can to tow safely. I have noticed in this thread, ALL the ladies towing 'comfortable', are in larger rigs. In the other threads, I see veteran towers PREACHING about using a truck big enough to do the job. An under sprung truck will bounce more than one with adequate springs for these big 5th wheel campers. I have a travel trailer I towed with a 1500 truck. It towed it, but wasn't enough truck. I had lots of bounce till I moved up to a 2500 series truck. MOST 5th wheel campers need a 3500 series and would tow even better with a DUAL rear wheel 3500 series truck. If you have a REALLY heavy 5th wheel, a 4500, 5500, or MDT (medium duty truck) may be needed.

So, I ask the ladies with the fears - "what truck are you riding in, and what size and weight trailer (actual scale weight obtained at CAT scales at truck stops) is being towed?" There are MORE people out there that have less truck than what they need for the trailer they have. Everyone hates to hear that they need to buy another tow vehicle for their camper, but isn't your safty, others safty, and your comfort level while traveling worth it? Find the 'Towing and Tow Vehicle' threads and do some reading to what pertains to your situation, and similar questions there.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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This is our 2nd trip (both were 500 mile round trippers +/-). As I said, it's me, it's not the driver. And I don't plan on driving anytime soon, need to be a little more seasoned. I agree the "getting there" should be more relaxing. I do nothing (read, crosswords, etc.) like I used to do on "car" rides. Now I'm just fixated on the road and the (freakin') pavement. We will look into the air hitch/kingpin system (I know nothing about hitches). I do appreciate your thoughts and advice. Can't imagine driving a "big rig" but kudos to the women in the drivers seats who do. I just need more confidence. Also, will check out the RV driving school - apparently there is an instructor here in ABQ. Again, anymore thoughts are listened to --
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:50 AM   #11
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What type of T (tow) V (vehicle) do you have? Is it a 2500 3/4 ton truck or a 3500 I ton truck or is it larger? Is the 3500 or larger truck a D (dually) R (rear) W (wheel) or S (single) R (rear) W (wheel)? This all matters when towing a trailer. Have you scaled (weighted) the truck and trailer combination on a certified scale to know the actual weights that you are towing? The items in the trailer may have to be reposition to improve ride quality of trailer in relationship with the TV.

The weight of the trailer will affect the ride in the TV also the slop in the hitch between the king pin and the jaws of the hitch will affect the ride in the TV.

I have spent nearly $2000 on my truck to improve the service life and ride quality of my TV. Some of the items install will do nothing for ride quality others were installed such as air bags with an on board air compressor to level out the rear of the truck. I also installed a Tri-Glide Air ride Pin box to improve the ride in the TV. This has help and has eliminated almost 95% of the jounce and bounce that occurs between the 5th wheel and truck when towing on the road ways. I still will get some chucking that can occur do to the slop between the king pin and jaws in the hitch. But to my DW this is acceptable. She now reads or use the I-pad as we go done the road and is very comfortable to the point she is thinking of maybe driving the TV.

Good luck and enjoy.

Jim W.
Jim & Jill
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:34 PM   #12
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If you're getting all that bouncing around that you say, well most would hate traveling too. Your truck and 5'er should ride smooth. Some don't, some do. The ones that do need either better balancing with more pin weight, better truck or upgrade suspension parts. More than likely investing in one of the better replacement king pins will help greatly.
Sounds like you're experiencing what's know as chucking or porposing. By swapping out the 5th wheel's king pin for one of the air ride king pins should smooth out the ride.
We had a TT that we towed for 2-1/2 years. Nothing but a herky jerky ride. I tried all sorts of hitches and could never get rid of it. Since then we've moved on to a 5th wheel. It was a little jerky when we got it so I figured I would need to invest in something to help smooth out the ride. I replaced the shocks on the truck with high quality Bilstein 5100's. Also replaced the factory king pin with a MorRyde. It has rubber cushions that allow front to back movement of the 5th wheel without affecting the truck. Both those changes have greatly improved our towing experience. You could take it a step further and get one of the top line air ride king pins. They have an airbag in them that helps cushion the up and down jerks from hitting bumps in the road. They also help with front to back. They also make an airbag assisted 5th wheel hitch for the truck.
So lots of different changes can be made to improve the ride.

If your just the nervous nelly type when traveling then those probably won't settle the nerves a lot. But at least your nervousness won't be compounded by an unnecessarily jerky ride.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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Your husband needs to go out and get some accurate weights first. Then you both need to sit down and do some brutally honest calculations Are you within all of your weight ratings? Or are you over. Most people make the big mistake of assuming that they are within the trucks limits, without ever knowing for sure. Once you have determined you are within the GVWR/GCWR numbers of the truck and your trailer is not overloaded, then you can start by adding an air ride pin box, maybe change the trailers suspension to a Mor-ride if you still experience a harsh ride. Anything can be fixed, but.... Lastly, if you decide that this is still not good for you, maybe you need to consider moving to a different type of RV. Maybe a Motor Home? Something you could also drive.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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It has to be your set-up. I have a dually and the 5er has a mor-ryde pin box. I think it is the pin box. I woukd say my set-up goes down the road great. Maybe a tag axle motorhome might be better. I towed my rig 998 miles from Florida to Ohio non-stop (except for fuel and food) with very little to no driver fatigue.

I would invest in a mor-ryde pin box. That should help a lot.

Good luck
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5th wheel, anxious, nervous passenger, sweaty palms

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