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Old 10-26-2021, 05:58 PM   #1
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MH vs TT Maneuvering at Fuel Stops

I have another thread in the TT section discussing my stress levels when stopping for gas. With my RAM 2500 pulling a 34' Grand Design it's just a real challenge getting in and out.

Questions:

1. Do you think the geometry of a longer vehicle pulling a shorter vehicle (MH towing a small SUV for example) lessens the maneuvering challenges (especially the tail swing issue) as opposed to a shorter vehicle pulling a longer one?

2. Anyone switched from a TT to a MH primarily to simplify maneuvering and parking? Are you glad you did?

3. If you went with a diesel MH, any issues with finding diesel or waiting in line with the semis at places like Pilot, Love's, or Flying J?
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:09 PM   #2
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Many motor homes by themselves have tail swing issues. my class C has about 12' or so sticking out past the rear axle. i tow an 18' boat more often than I tow my F150 SC pickup. The towing is the same , but gas stations are more an issue to me when towing the PU than when towing the boat. I can back up with the boat hooked up, if I ever have to , but can't back up with the truck attached. Some people say the can and do, but I'm not one of them.

I had a travel trailer back in the early 90's for a few years and have had a number of class C's as well as a truck camper since then. Maneuvering and parking issues were never reasons for me to move on from the trailer.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:11 PM   #3
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Went from 18 foot to 31 foot trailer. Then from 31 to 35 foot trailer. Then 35 foot trailer to 41.5 foot fifth wheel, all with the same length of truck.... Chevy Silverado, 3500 dually long beds, crew cabs, that ranked in at over 22 feet.

Combined truck, the total length went from 53 feet (yes the same length as a semi truck trailer), to 57, to 59 feet total length. My current fifth wheel combination is by far the longest ... 1 foot shy of 60 feet.

In all my years of towing trailers that got longer and longer, I've not had any major set-backs at fuel stations. I DO NOT use truck stops for my diesel. I only use car gas stations that sell "Auto Diesel" ... except in Michigan where you use #2 Diesel. (Little weird there, but I finally figured it out).

Granted, there are some fuel stations that get passed by, especially when they are in town, or a congested area. That's why I always start searching for the next diesel service station when the tank is 1/2 full. It gives me time to pass by undesirable "gas stations."

Only once in 25 years did I have to unhitch so I could turn the truck to a better position to get out of my jam. That was with the 35 foot Outback when I "though" the drive way went all the way around the building and it didn't. Now.... that was an "interesting" experience. But I think in 25 years of towing something, that's not bad.

I've never experienced driving a motor home. But I understand from different forums that backing up a toad attached to the motor home is a skill for only the most experienced.

Pick your stations carefully, and be prepared to keep on going down the road to the next one, and you'll do fine with either rig.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:33 PM   #4
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I do not think one is better or worse than another, however they are slightly different skill sets. Even my current combo is difference since unlike traditional 5th wheels that mount over the axle, mine is behind the rear axle.

I have had diesel picks up for well over a decade and never had problem finding fuel. In those I have only used truck stops a few times, out of need. Typically they are much higher priced than other options.

Now that I have an HDT I only fill it at commercial pumps since I have dual tanks and do not want to spend hours getting fuel. I do have a fleet card which gets the price to similar or occasionally less than traditional stations.

There are no problems waiting in line at truck stops. Other than the frustration of often being stuck for a while because the truck in front only pulled up enough to clear the pump, but sits inside for an hour....... For me a 1/2 tank is when I start looking for fuel. This means I can easily bypass the busy places, or times.

However I do still have to get in and out of stations to put gas in my toy hauler tanks. I am about 70' long and if you pick the right stations it is no problem.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post
I have another thread in the TT section discussing my stress levels when stopping for gas. With my RAM 2500 pulling a 34' Grand Design it's just a real challenge getting in and out.

Questions:

1. Do you think the geometry of a longer vehicle pulling a shorter vehicle (MH towing a small SUV for example) lessens the maneuvering challenges (especially the tail swing issue) as opposed to a shorter vehicle pulling a longer one?

2. Anyone switched from a TT to a MH primarily to simplify maneuvering and parking? Are you glad you did?

3. If you went with a diesel MH, any issues with finding diesel or waiting in line with the semis at places like Pilot, Love's, or Flying J?
I think towing with a DP is easier than towing a TT or boat with a pickup. Itís a long ways back to the trailer tires which is where the tail swing starts.

I got into a tight station yesterday with my 40í and a toad. Narrow fuel island. I had to get the back of the coach all the way out before starting my swing. The toad followed right behind with just a little swing towards the left. I did end up taking the left front coac tire down over a short curb.

I couldnít have made it with a pickup and a 34 ft fiver. Youíd had to get the entire thing past the safety posts before turning.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:38 PM   #6
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Oh, and worst case, I can unhook the toad and drive it out of the way. Can’t do that with a trailer. But yo can back it.
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:09 PM   #7
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Oh, and worst case, I can unhook the toad and drive it out of the way. Canít do that with a trailer. But yo can back it.
A big plus!!
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DutchmenSpor View Post
......
Pick your stations carefully, and be prepared to keep on going down the road to the next one, and you'll do fine with either rig.
That about sums it up.

From the title, I thought this was about a test of will. A MH will always win over a cute little Dodge Ram.

For that matter so will my civic. He who has the most clear coat flaking off wins. I will yield to a '70 3/4 ton IH with a rail road tie for a front bumper.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:08 AM   #9
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I have never owned a travel trailer or 5th wheel, however I do own a crew cab F250, and occasionally pull utility trailers ranging from a small 5x10 up to a 30 ft flat deck goose neck. The key thing that comes to mind here is that my strategy entering and departing from fuel pumps is different with my 28 ft class A with TOAD than when pulling a large trailer.


With the trailer I am more concerned approaching the pump that the trailer will be lined up and not sticking out one way or the other, with the motorhome the TOAD being shorter is much more likely to be lined up behind the coach as long as the coach is parallel to the pump.



With the motorhome departing the pump, I will generally turn toward the pump and let the tail swing swing out into the aisle as soon as the rear axle of the coach clears the pump island, as I don't have to worry much about the TOAD tracking inside the radius turn of the coach, since the tail swing will pull the nose of the TOAD away from the pump island initially. With a utility trailer the pivot point tends to be further back, and there is less rear overhang and tail swing to be concerned about, therefore I am much more likely to turn into the aisle and away from the pump when departing pulling a trailer.
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Old 10-28-2021, 08:04 AM   #10
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Having had both, I know that my motorhome is way easier to manuver than a truck and trailer. It's easier anywhere, not just at the gas station. The larger diesel coaches have larger angle wheel cuts so can be more manuverable than a smaller gas one. Plus many stations have diesel islands away from the gas pumps.
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Old 10-28-2021, 08:13 AM   #11
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We had a 3/4 ton diesel pickup towing a 30’ trailer. We almost always used the truck lanes for maneuverability reasons. Before we had the diesel PU we had a gas truck, and that was a real pain. We now have a diesel motorhome, 40’ long towing a Grand Cherokee, 55-60’ total length. Truck lanes are the only way to go. It is rare we get held up at a truck lane, but it occasionally happened. With the bigger fuel tank on the diesel, both the PU and the MH, we didn’t have to fill as often so it wasn’t an issue. We use the limited weight time to use the restroom, refresh our drinks, etc. If you love your 5er, look at a new truck instead of a motorhome.
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