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Old 09-17-2017, 04:40 PM   #1
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From TT to 5th wheel

Hey guys, close to pulling the trigger on a new light weight 5th wheel. I'm coming from a 5500lb TT and going to a 8000-8500lb 5er. Any advice or comments would be helpful. My vehicle is a Ram 2500 gas with 2300lb payload. Hitch weight on the 2 I'm looking at range from 1200-1300 lbs. One of my 1st questions, does towing a 8000lb TT have the same effect on truck as a 8000lb 5er? I know the 5er is easier to maneuver etc. thanks guys
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:44 PM   #2
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Following .... as I'm in 6500/37' TT and will go to lite 5r next year!!
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:18 PM   #3
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The fiver will most likely tow better. Even with the best hitch setup, a TT has a lot of leverage on the tow vehicle causing a lot of pushing and pulling sideways. Although a driver gets accustomed to it, there is still driver fatigue. Fivers don't have this issue due to the hitch being over the axle rather than behind it. BUT because the hitch point is higher than the truck's center of gravity, fivers can suffer from chucking. Depends on the road and many other variables. Many rigs are fine, some aren't.

Bottom line, an 8k lb fiver will be less stressful to the truck and the driver than an 8k lb TT. Also don't assume the fiver is easier to manuver. It cuts inside the truck rear tires on turns, you have to swing later and wider or you will wipe out the side of the fiver. And it is slower to respond to steering changes when backing up, you need to pull further forward before backing and you need more room for the truck to swing. But all this you will learn.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:27 PM   #4
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Good stuff Dayle1, thanks
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:28 PM   #5
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Starting and stopping same. More weight means more distance to stop. Once going the 5er definitely wins in the towing without sway category.

"Easier to maneuver" depends. Agree with dayle 1 above. The swing for the truck along with the way the trailer cuts corners is a learning curve for sure. We made the switch before the camping season last year and after 2 seasons, still learning to adjust. I had the TT down to a science, but the 5er is just different.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:00 PM   #6
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What about set up time? Pretty much about the same? Is a 5er more "sturdy" when all jacks are down?
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayle1 View Post
The fiver will most likely tow better. Even with the best hitch setup, a TT has a lot of leverage on the tow vehicle causing a lot of pushing and pulling sideways. Although a driver gets accustomed to it, there is still driver fatigue. Fivers don't have this issue due to the hitch being over the axle rather than behind it. BUT because the hitch point is higher than the truck's center of gravity, fivers can suffer from chucking. Depends on the road and many other variables. Many rigs are fine, some aren't.

Bottom line, an 8k lb fiver will be less stressful to the truck and the driver than an 8k lb TT. Also don't assume the fiver is easier to manuver. It cuts inside the truck rear tires on turns, you have to swing later and wider or you will wipe out the side of the fiver. And it is slower to respond to steering changes when backing up, you need to pull further forward before backing and you need more room for the truck to swing. But all this you will learn.
It moved from a TT to a fiver two months ago. The above is spot on. Still drives me crazy backing this thing. ;-)
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:55 AM   #8
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It moved from a TT to a fiver two months ago. The above is spot on. Still drives me crazy backing this thing. ;-)
Ditto. I just learned to stop, get out, and look for myself. But when I do get that break-point right, backing up is easier - but so far, getting it right has been a bit of a unicorn.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:13 PM   #9
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My biggest problem backing up my 5th is keeping it straight. It looks mostly straight in the mirrors but then I get out and look and it's a bit crooked. Not that it matters that much other than my OCD kicking in and I want to fix it. It's also way harder to backup if your tired. After a long trip take ten to fifteen minutes to just relax. That is if you can stop on the side of the road or in a spot in the camp ground safely.

One last thing. If you mess it up and just can't get it to go where you want it. Pull out and around again and take 10 to calm down. Nobody, who tows trailers, cares if you need to second run at it. We all have to learn sometime.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:15 PM   #10
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What about set up time? Pretty much about the same? Is a 5er more "sturdy" when all jacks are down?
Set up time is much faster for us. We have 6 point auto-level so leveling is a breeze. Chalk wheels, drop front landing gear, unplug the 7-way/breakaway cord, pull truck out and press auto level. Rest is the same as a TT.

6 point is more "sturdy" than the scissors in the corners.

YMMV
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:12 AM   #11
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I moved from a 30ft TT to a 42 ft fifth wheel a year ago.

Regarding driving, the fifth wheel is way more stable on the highway. For me, part of that may be attributable to DRW on the tow vehicle. I agree with Dayle's points above.

Set up on the fifth wheel is easier too. Aside from auto level, hitching/unhitching is easier. No messing with the bars on the weight distribution hitch, and no chains.

I also like when I am hitching, I can see the hitch both in the camera and through the window. I hear the hitch click as I back into it, so I know I am locked in.

One year into the move from TT to fifth wheel and loving it!
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:00 AM   #12
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Had two TT's prior to our 28' 5er. It's on the short side and that works great for getting into the forest service CG's we like. I've thought about going bigger and even going back to a TT. After helping my son do some WD adjusting on his TT I decided no way again.
5th wheels are for us anyway easier to work with. Almost all out gear is stored in the front basements. Our two bikes are on the rear of the 5er. It's soooo nice to be able to walk around between the truck and trailer without climbing over a TT tongue.
Hitching up is a breeze. I can see the 5th hitch from the drivers seat and back into the hitch in one shot. No sway is a plus too. Hardest part is backing in. After 5 seasons I still mess up on occasion. Oh well, haha. Pull forward and try again.
Other plusses is more interior height, cabinets and ab overall bigger feeling.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:23 PM   #13
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5th wheel is better on the open road for sure. Little slower with maneuvers inside the RV park but doable with extra time and patience. Some tips that will help with hooking up and aligning the 5th wheel would be: 3rd brake light backup camera for hitching up; backup camera on 5th wheel or walkie talkies with a 2nd person; always find a pull through.
As far as mpg goes, when we had the 37ft 9200lb TT we averaged 10.5, same truck and moved to 41ft 15000lb 5th wheel 9mpg. Upgraded truck to a 2015 dually and average 10.5
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by KHBama View Post
Hey guys, close to pulling the trigger on a new light weight 5th wheel. I'm coming from a 5500lb TT and going to a 8000-8500lb 5er. Any advice or comments would be helpful. My vehicle is a Ram 2500 gas with 2300lb payload. Hitch weight on the 2 I'm looking at range from 1200-1300 lbs. One of my 1st questions, does towing a 8000lb TT have the same effect on truck as a 8000lb 5er? I know the 5er is easier to maneuver etc. thanks guys
You may or may not have enough truck to tow the 5ver that you are looking at. You really haven't given enough info here. You say that the trailer/5ver you are looking at is in the 8000-8500 lb range.....is that the empty weight of the trailer or the GVWR? If it's the empty weight of the trailer, ignore it and find out the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). Most likely at least a couple thousand more pounds. Let's face it, no one goes camping with an empty trailer. And as far as the 1200-1300 lb pin weight, that too is probably based on an empty trailer weight. You NEED to know the GVWR of the trailer and base your towing capability on that number. Here's an example......

GVWR of 10,000 lbs
Pin weight will be at least 2000 lbs, based on a 20% of the GVWR of the trailer. Some 5vers will go between 20% and up to approx. 25% of the GVWR.....so the other end of the pin weight number might be 2500 lbs.......and those numbers are before you add the weight of the 5ver hitch in the truck bed....typically between 150-175 lbs.

And of course, all of that weight is before you add any and ALL cargo that goes with you in or on the truck.....tools, camping supplies that don't go in the trailer, firewood, extra stuff, passengers, dog, anything and everything. So if you start adding up the weights, at least 2000 lbs of pin weight, a couple hundred pounds of hitch, you are very, very close to the payload capacity of your truck.....before adding anything else as mentioned above.

I'm not trying to scare you away, I'm just tossing out the facts of what you may realistically have as far as weight on the truck when you are loaded up and ready to head out to the favorite camping spot. And of course, it is never a good idea to exceed any of the truck's weight capacities....payload, GVWR, GAWR (both front and rear), GCWR, etc. So what I would suggest, as stated above, find the GVWR of the trailer and calculate from it for all of your weight numbers. You may be in the same boat that I was in and not have enough truck for that size 5ver. One thing is for sure, if you do the numbers correctly BEFORE you buy the trailer, you will know if you are OK weight wise and turn it into a white knuckle towing experience later on after the purchase.
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