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-   -   How big is TOO big? (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f45/how-big-is-too-big-265760.html)

iam3md 10-05-2015 09:51 AM

How big is TOO big?
 
My wife and I are about to begin a new career as catastrophic insurance adjusters and will possibly be on the road for 6-8 mos at a time. She wants a new 44ft toy hauler and I am leaning toward a smaller used 5th wheel until we see if staying in a rv is at all what we want.

I have pulled bumper trailers all my life, but know nothing about 5th wheel adventures.

Any input would be appreciated.

Scott

JohnT 10-05-2015 09:58 AM

:welcome:

Scott, you might want to look at the tools of the trade before you consider what type a rig you'll need. Carrying tall ladders could be difficult if towing a 5th wheeler. Or requiring tool boxes in the bed of the truck. A motor home towing a work truck / van equiped with the tools maybe a consideration.

Good Luck on the new career.

JFNM 10-05-2015 10:06 AM

:welcome:

Howdy and welcome Scott!

Sadly, there is no "right" answer to this question or even a calculator to figure it out. It is entirely based on one's opinion, how the unit is used, and where it is used. About the best you can do is buy something that seems to match your comfort "needs" and type of use (where will you be parking) and then make an adjustment after you know exactly what you want/need. This is why first timers buying a brand new rig is always interesting to me.

I think most will agree, the bigger the rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and find places to park.

NC Hauler 10-05-2015 11:19 AM

My wife and I are preparing to "mostly" full time starting around August of next year... just traded our 39' 9" HR 5er in for a 44' TH.. We don't own any "toys", but now have much more room for storage. If you go long and heavy, make sure you have the right truck to tow it with. For what you're talking about, it would be, at the least, one of the newer 3500/350 1 ton diesel dually's, (2013+). Only one engine to maintain instead of two ,(if have a MoHo).

Do the research and buy for your needs...As stated above, the bigger the rig, the harder it is to maneuver around and it'll limit some places where you may want to stay..

Dasmoeturhead 10-05-2015 02:43 PM

It can be nerve racking pulling a large 5er through a campground with lots of trees next to the skinny little interior roads with sharp turns, and large rocks at every corner just waiting to take the rear end of you 5er off. Not to mention 13'-3" of vertical height. I love the 43 footer we have, but it's a handful. Some will say it's super easy, or they never have a problem. Good for them. I say BS to that.

iam3md 10-06-2015 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnT (Post 2771909)
:welcome:

Scott, you might want to look at the tools of the trade before you consider what type a rig you'll need. Carrying tall ladders could be difficult if towing a 5th wheeler. Or requiring tool boxes in the bed of the truck. A motor home towing a work truck / van equiped with the tools maybe a consideration.

Good Luck on the new career.

Yes, tools of the trade are items on our checklist. The ladder is really the only item that cannot be stowed away easily. Thanks for the input!

iam3md 10-06-2015 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JFNM (Post 2771920)
:welcome:

Howdy and welcome Scott!

Sadly, there is no "right" answer to this question or even a calculator to figure it out. It is entirely based on one's opinion, how the unit is used, and where it is used. About the best you can do is buy something that seems to match your comfort "needs" and type of use (where will you be parking) and then make an adjustment after you know exactly what you want/need. This is why first timers buying a brand new rig is always interesting to me.

I think most will agree, the bigger the rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and find places to park.

My wife is demanding the biggest (at this point Heartland Cyclone 4200 Dodge Ram 3500). I am not sold on the idea because I will be doing the pulling. Although, everything is bigger in Texas; what about when we get to Rhode Island...lol Also, new or used? Thanks for your advice!

iam3md 10-06-2015 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NC Hauler (Post 2771996)
My wife and I are preparing to "mostly" full time starting around August of next year... just traded our 39' 9" HR 5er in for a 44' TH.. We don't own any "toys", but now have much more room for storage. If you go long and heavy, make sure you have the right truck to tow it with. For what you're talking about, it would be, at the least, one of the newer 3500/350 1 ton diesel dually's, (2013+). Only one engine to maintain instead of two ,(if have a MoHo).

Do the research and buy for your needs...As stated above, the bigger the rig, the harder it is to maneuver around and it'll limit some places where you may want to stay..

Fortunately, we have time for research as we are a year away from making the jump. She has her heart set on a Heartland Cyclone 4200, Dodge Ram 3500 Dully. UGH... Have you pulled your 44 yet? Any advice? Does the 39 pull easier than the 44?

Thanks for your advice!

iam3md 10-06-2015 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasmoeturhead (Post 2772215)
It can be nerve racking pulling a large 5er through a campground with lots of trees next to the skinny little interior roads with sharp turns, and large rocks at every corner just waiting to take the rear end of you 5er off. Not to mention 13'-3" of vertical height. I love the 43 footer we have, but it's a handful. Some will say it's super easy, or they never have a problem. Good for them. I say BS to that.

De you regret the 43? Any issues on road bridges at that height? If we were going for pleasure, then mapping out places to stay that would handle a 44 would be no issue. But, since we will be going where and when a storm hits, limits the where to stay planning.

Thanks for your input!

Cumminsfan 10-06-2015 08:28 AM

JMO but that 4200 with the side patio may be a hindrance. You're are subject to RV parks at that length in the town that you're are drawn to for work. Not all Parks are going to have the room for that fold out side patio. Same for the rear patio.
I would want a view some where. If you can't put the rear or side patios down then the only windows are the ones on the dinette side. It could get quite dark during the winter months.
That size and style of TH needs some big room to be functional IMO, plus a DRW diesel truck.

Luckiest Dreamer 10-06-2015 08:31 AM

It sounds to me that your plans are finding campgrounds made for living as apposed to heading for the National or State parks. Many of them were located in groves of trees and built for the shorter trailers that vacationers would tend to have. With a place they can light up a fire and roast their hot dogs. Getting a RV into those spots can be difficult if it is over 30 ft. However if you tend to use the RV as a home instead of a tent then your needs are different. As an old truck driver, I can tell you it is easier the back a long trailer than it is a short one as the short trailer will respond to your turning of the wheel quicker. What your DW wants is the KEY. An unhappy wife, an unhappy Life! AND when she is unhappy, ya want as big a space that you can get!

Gordon Dewald 10-06-2015 08:39 AM

If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

You will find that you will become accustomed to the larger size. IMO once you get past 35' the extra length may be bothersome but not super critical. You will soon learn to judge the surroundings. The height of the 5ers will not vary a lot based on length.

No matter what you buy operating a truck and 5er is not a mindless game. Look, observe and learn. Always go into tight spots slowly. Stop often, get out and take a look. You will be surprized at what you will be able to do.

If it will not fit go somewhere else where you will fit.

Having a place that fits your needs will go a long way for comfort. Good enough is a rationalization that many times results in an upgrade.

1bigmess 10-06-2015 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iam3md (Post 2773118)
My wife is demanding the biggest (at this point Heartland Cyclone 4200 Dodge Ram 3500).

Many campgrounds have length limits. The longer the rig, the fewer places you can park it. Kiss national forests pretty much goodbye, along with national parks. You'll have to camp at private parks and drive to the park every day. I went small because it can go to more of the places I want to go.

tuffr2 10-06-2015 01:37 PM

With a dually truck the towing will be easy and the rig will go down the road very nicely. A TH with the flexible garage area will be handy. I would put file drawers in that area as well as a desk or two. You really can not do that in a 34 or 35 foot 5th wheel.

Go look at as many different rigs as you can including a TH motorhome.

Good luck

Dasmoeturhead 10-06-2015 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iam3md (Post 2773129)
De you regret the 43? Any issues on road bridges at that height? If we were going for pleasure, then mapping out places to stay that would handle a 44 would be no issue. But, since we will be going where and when a storm hits, limits the where to stay planning.

Thanks for your input!

No regrets, but as said before, state, and Nat parks parks are pretty much out. I have found a few tunnels and bridges we can't go on or through, and at 43 ft the weight with the truck can also be an issue, and not just for weight requirements. We came into a town in upstate NY, that had a 5 ton limit. I ignored it, and later found out why they had a limit. I tried to make a right turn, and I just barely made it. That wasn't fun. I love towing this thing though. We live the living space, but next time (if there is) I think I will stay around 34-35 ft. I think the 43 ft length makes it tow very straight down the highway.

pasdad1 10-06-2015 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iam3md (Post 2771905)
My wife and I are about to begin a new career as catastrophic insurance adjusters and will possibly be on the road for 6-8 mos at a time.


Seems that if you going to towns that have hurricane /flooding/wildfire etc damage the electric utility grid could still be in a state of disrepair. I say better to have a large class A motorhome with a built-in generator. Preferably diesel. That way you are completely self sufficient- and able to move at a moments notice. Pull a smaller pickup truck or SUV (maybe a 4x4 jeep) behind the motorhome - this becomes your "getting around town" work vehicle.

The large basement storage of a class A diesel will accommodate a ladder easily.

tgdameron 10-06-2015 05:07 PM

You might consider a Renegade with a garage as they give you the hauling capacity you need. They can tow from 20K to 40K depending on what you are hauling and carrying over 7K of stuff in the coach itself. They can be configured to meet your needs. Collapsible ladders up to 17' are available and easily fit in the storage bins.

Kevinc2011 10-06-2015 07:45 PM

Toy haulers with gas tanks onboard with a gas generator would be very useful if you are camped in areas with damages to work as insurance adjusters. Length concerns are moot, just make sure you have enough truck in front of it!

Mr_D 10-06-2015 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JFNM (Post 2771920)
:welcome:
I think most will agree, the bigger the rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and find places to park.

I don't find that our 45' MH with liftable tag is any harder to drive or park than our previous 40' single rear axle unit was. It is more stable on the road too.

Gordon Dewald 10-07-2015 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr_D (Post 2773983)
I don't find that our 45' MH with liftable tag is any harder to drive or park than our previous 40' single rear axle unit was. It is more stable on the road too.

Agree.

It appears there are a lot of posters who are quoting the party line. Or expressing the doubt that bigger is tougher to drive.

Most do not realize that once the front end is past the rest just follows. The coach/5er does not change width or length magically while you are driving.

True you have to be aware there is extra length when turning, however a short C with a long overhang may have as many issues with turning because of swing.

You have to be aware of the unit you are driving and it's characteristics. None of it is impossible or mysterious. Not many experienced drivers will swing into a spot without getting out, looking, planning their moves and having someone assist them when maneuvering. Driving and parking any RV does not have much room for egos.

iam3md 10-07-2015 01:53 PM

I understand completely...decisions, decisions...thanks

iam3md 10-07-2015 01:56 PM

Well, since this is not going to be for pleasure, I think state and natl parks are off our radar anyway. With catastrophic storms, we may be staying in walmart parking lots. Thanks again.

Gordon Dewald 10-07-2015 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iam3md (Post 2774861)
Well, since this is not going to be for pleasure, I think state and natl parks are off our radar anyway. With catastrophic storms, we may be staying in walmart parking lots. Thanks again.

Surprisingly I have had more issues with the custom parking curbs installed in many of the Walmart parking lots to delineate the ends of the parking aisles than pulling into campgrounds.

iam3md 10-07-2015 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cumminsfan (Post 2773161)
JMO but that 4200 with the side patio may be a hindrance. You're are subject to RV parks at that length in the town that you're are drawn to for work. Not all Parks are going to have the room for that fold out side patio. Same for the rear patio.
I would want a view some where. If you can't put the rear or side patios down then the only windows are the ones on the dinette side. It could get quite dark during the winter months.
That size and style of TH needs some big room to be functional IMO, plus a DRW diesel truck.


I completely understand and have thought about the side deck. Thanks.

iam3md 10-07-2015 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald (Post 2774866)
Surprisingly I have had more issues with the parking curbs installed in many of the Walmart parking lots to diliniate the parking aisles than pulling into campgrounds.

UGH, i didn't even think about those...

Gordon Dewald 10-07-2015 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iam3md (Post 2774870)
UGH, i didn't even think about those...

I have been able to get into them with both the truck and 5er as well as the coach and stacker. Just go slow and use the entire width from curb side to curb side.

Dump the tag and with 60 degree wheel cut the task is easily accomplished but I go slow.

336muffin 10-07-2015 02:06 PM

Large fresh,grey,black tanks. Good generater which is quiet. Could be dry camping for first week or so. Auto gen start would be nice as well.

Gordon Dewald 10-07-2015 02:11 PM

Speaking of Walmart parking lots or any parking lots for that matter. Courtesy says no jacks or put down jack blocks to save marring the asphalt surface.

I have experimented with parking over a drain. If you get close to centering over a drain you can get the coach very close to level. I turn on the leveling system and watch the lights. Enough jockeying back and forth should be able to get the green light most of the time. Still have not figured out how much to allow for the suspension to lower so the level remains green. Working on it.

caissiel 10-07-2015 09:04 PM

I stay at Walmart when traveling south and back home. I found the using the Parky RV App on my Phone allows me to see the satellite view of the parking lot and see where the RVs and trucks are. It always helps me to find new ones on new routes. Also sometimes the truck delivery route will possibly be easier to get in the lot.
My 200 watt of solar panels also gives me peace of mind while parked with no power.
I never put down any legs or open slides no more then 6 inches. It's a privilege to be able to stay overnight and shop and never abuse the welcome.


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