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Old 09-17-2021, 09:23 PM   #1
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Figuring how far inside a 5er tracks

There's a place we camp at regularly through the summer. There's a tight turn to get on the main road. My old 5er was 34' and I could make it with maybe 2 feet to the inside to spare. Now that we're shopping for a new 5er I have no idea what my max length will be to still be able to make this turn. Any suggestions on what to do?
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Old 09-18-2021, 05:19 AM   #2
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The length to the axles is what you need to be aware of. 5er axle placements also affect tail swing. Take a chain saw if it's your land.
There is probably a formula for the tracking but I'm not that smart.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:03 AM   #3
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5er to 5er comparison eh? If you had 2' left, I'd guesstimate that a 2' longer 5th wheel should easily get by. I seriously doubt even a 4' longer trailer would add 2' to that turn. If you tend to go on narrow forest service type roads like we do, I doubt you'd want a 40' beast anyway.

Replacing the tow vehicle with a different cab/bed configuration could make a major difference though.
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:31 PM   #4
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5er to 5er comparison eh? If you had 2' left, I'd guesstimate that a 2' longer 5th wheel should easily get by. I seriously doubt even a 4' longer trailer would add 2' to that turn. If you tend to go on narrow forest service type roads like we do, I doubt you'd want a 40' beast anyway.

Replacing the tow vehicle with a different cab/bed configuration could make a major difference though.
A major hang up is not knowing my hitch to axle distance on my old one so I could compare it to the one we look to buy. Not sure I ever even measured that and even if I did there's an outside chance I wouldn't be smart enough to use the measurements anyhow haha. Another thing is since I could always make it easily I wasn't really pushing that turn....could I have went in deeper and gave myself another foot? I would say yes...at least a foot. There's also brush that grows along that fence I could clear out and give myself another foot or more. Now you're looking at 4-5' before I would have to start worrying.
I just don't know for sure but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Wasn't sure if someone knew a rough estimate of how much further say a 40' trailer would track vs a 34'.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:05 PM   #5
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They don’t move the axles back much . Measure the distance from the king pin to center of axles , then do the same on what you are looking to buy. If they are about the same then you will have quite a bit more of tail pivot . Just go out as far as you can and get a family member to watch the back of the trailer for swing . Preferably with a walkie talkie.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:50 PM   #6
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Figuring how far inside a 5er tracks
Having pulled long GN flatdeck trailers for a living and towed RV and agriculture doubles off and on for 30 years it depends on what you do with the steering wheel. And what you do with the steering wheel depends on how sharp the corner is.
Example making a right hand turn on corner that has a deep ditch and the corner is very square and narrow streets.
I pull straight forward and at the last second crank the truck hard to the right so the trucks left front wheel/fender just clears a obstacle. This causes the back of the truck to swing out pulling the trailer farther out from the ditch. Start your turn too early and the trailers wheels cut across more.
And I've had too make a two point turn getting the back of the truck farther away from the ditch.
Bumper pull trailers make it easier for those type turns.
Practice at a wide corner and see where your trailer tracks using different steering input.

Picture diagrams would be easier to see than verbal instructions.
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Old 09-18-2021, 07:50 PM   #7
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They don’t move the axles back much . Measure the distance from the king pin to center of axles , then do the same on what you are looking to buy. If they are about the same then you will have quite a bit more of tail pivot . Just go out as far as you can and get a family member to watch the back of the trailer for swing . Preferably with a walkie talkie.
The old camper was totalled in a flood so no longer have it to measure....wish I did because that would go a long way in figuring this out. We've been looking at some toy haulers and my eyes tell me those axles are further back. Next time I'm out I can take measurements of that corner and recreate it with cones in a parking lot but that would be after I've bought something so at that point I'll just know if I can camp there or not. It's where we spend 90% of our time during the summer so I really need to be able to make that corner. Just not alot of 34' toy haulers that have an enclosed garage and any of the options we want....none that I've seen. That's one of the reasons I've been entertaining the swivelwheel but the potential stress that could put on the frame worries me. I saw a guy several years ago that carried a generator onna rack behind his and it bent his frame down....that's always stuck with me. Not a fan of hooking anything up to the rear of a camper.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:05 PM   #8
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I did have someone give me the length from the pin to the axle hanger on my old 5er so that should help.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:20 PM   #9
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Have you considered turning the opposite direction and finding some place convenient down the road to reverse your direction?
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:48 PM   #10
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Have you considered turning the opposite direction and finding some place convenient down the road to reverse your direction?
It's a private drive that leads to my Pap's camp. One way in and one way out. Single gravel lane. With the 34' I could make both turns fairly easy with a couple feet to spare. I just don't know at what point length wise I have to worry about it. No one else down there has a 5er. There's some larger travel trailers but they track alot different. Trying to back out of there once I'm in there are the things nightmares are made of. Turn 1 also drops off from the main road.

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Old 09-20-2021, 07:43 PM   #11
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It's a private drive that leads to my Pap's camp. One way in and one way out. Single gravel lane. With the 34' I could make both turns fairly easy with a couple feet to spare. I just don't know at what point length wise I have to worry about it. No one else down there has a 5er. There's some larger travel trailers but they track alot different. Trying to back out of there once I'm in there are the things nightmares are made of. Turn 1 also drops off from the main road.

If you had room to spare with a 34' er I'd venture to say most any 36'er would make it as well. There are tricks you can learn manoeuvring that would surprise many. Just pushing forward to a corner then backing up then repeating and you can gain a foot or two of curb clearance. Hard to verbally explain, easy to show and practice.
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:41 AM   #12
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Ok....I've decided how I'm going to go about figuring this out. The most redneck way possible haha. I'm going to use some 8' 2x4's and mount them to my hitch and see how far back from the hitch I can go before it causes problems. I'll use some bicycle wheels on the other end so I can make a 96" wide axle. It's the best way I've come up with to know for sure what I can get away with. I'll then measure pin to axle on whatever campers we look at to make sure we stay in that safety range.
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