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Author Topic: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.  (Read 243 times)

Tforbes

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Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« on: March 14, 2019, 07:50:10 PM »
My husband and I have a trailer with total length of 37feet.  We are considering a 5Th wheel with a total length of 41 feet.  Have been told it's a lot easier to tow a 5er. Is pulling a 41 foot 5er about the same as pulling a 37 foot trailer since several feet of the 5er is hooked up in the truck?  Canít decide if 41 feet will be too long for us?  Donít want too long of a camper that we don't want to travel all over.

SeilerBird

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 07:53:38 PM »
In my opinion there just isn't such a thing as an RV that is too long. You spend 95% of the time living in an RV and 5% of the time driving it. So the living space is massively more important in my book. Remember the old saying that when you and the significant other have an argument the RV becomes ten feet shorter...
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Memtb

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 09:53:40 PM »
  As a rough rule of thumb, you can add 6 to 7 feet to the 5th wheel for an overall length equivalent to that of your tow behind. Example: Towing a 37 foot 5er overall would approximately equal, the overall length with a 30 (actual living quarters....not counting tongue) foot tow behind.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 09:57:00 PM by Memtb »
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rbrdriver

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 10:47:15 PM »
We are assuming of course you have a large enough truck to pull said fifth wheel, right?  :o
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xrated

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 06:03:26 AM »
I haven't had a chance to do my measurement yet, but I just recently traded in my 34 1/2' tow behind Toy Hauler for a big 5th wheel Toy Hauler.  My tow behind and my Dually with an 8' bed put me at almost 58' from the front bumper of my truck to the rear end of the T.H.  The new Toy Hauler is 42' 4"....might as well say 42 1/2' long.  I looks like I'm going to end up with approx. 60' total on this one.....so gain 10 feet of trailer and only gain about 2' overall length.
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Gizmo

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 06:36:23 AM »
It is true the overall length of the two are different, so a 40' 5th wheel may equivocate to roughly a 35' travel trailer.  When you hear a 5th wheel is easier to tow than a travel trailer it is not so much the length differential, rather the difference in the geometry and mechanical differences of the hitches.  Where the difference in lenth comes to play is getting into a site.  So for example in your case where you have a 37' trailer, you can indeed go to a longer 5th wheel to occupy the same size sites you now do.  In trying decide what size unit to get there are many factors to consider and one should not assume that bigger is always better.  It is important to consider factors such as will you be travelling frequently from place to place, if so a smaller unit may be a better fit.  On the other hand will you be primarily stationary, in which case a bigger unit if so desired would be fine.  You also need to look at what are your preferences for campsites ie. National Parks, State Parks or Boondocking where in many cases over 35' you are likely not going to be able to get a space.  Or are you going to be staying predominately at RV parks where many have larger spaces.  But even in commercial RV parks, larger sites may be limited and or the streets leading into the site may be so tight and narrow, making it difficult to get into the site.  IMHO a good approach is to look at the smallest unit you can feel comfortable in, then make the necessary adjustments from there.  Having said this if you are happy with your current space and if you cannot see yourself in a smaller unit, you can indeed go to a 40' or so 5er.
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Frank B

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 09:59:19 AM »
A fifth is generally more stable when pulling, but as Gizmo mentions, the geometry is different.


The hitch pivot point on a 5th is directly over the rear axle of the truck. Pivot point on a ball hitch is several feet back. I found the major difference was when backing up. A tow behind reacts more quickly to steering input from the truck, and I find a tow behind easier to get into a tight spot.


A tow behind tends to follow the same track as the truck when turning a corner, where a 5th will always cut inside. It is easier to put the wheels of a 5th over a curb in a turn than it is a tow behind. However, I have been known to do both. 😁
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Tforbes

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 01:47:56 PM »
Thanks for all the responses! Love reading them!
We have a Ford 350 super duty diesel. The 5er is 13275 dry weight and 16500 Gross. We always travel with empty tanks so should be good....?
Thanks again.

IBTripping

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 06:23:29 PM »
Thanks for all the responses! Love reading them!
We have a Ford 350 super duty diesel. The 5er is 13275 dry weight and 16500 Gross. We always travel with empty tanks so should be good....?
Thanks again.

Not if one of the tanks is the truck fuel tank.  ::)
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grashley

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 06:44:15 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!

Thanks for asking.  Glad you added truck info.

We only use gross wt here because only transporters tow empty campers  ;D  Your actual weight when ready to camp will be much closer to the GVWR than the dry wt.  A 16,500 GVWR will have a pin wt around 3300#.

If you have a SRW truck, you will be real close to capacity.  My F350 diesel Lariat super cab has a payload of 3543# (from the yellow placard on drivers door latch post).  If I add a 200# hitch and 400# passengers, I am at 3900#, and a bit overweight.
If you have a dually, you have an additional 1000# or so of payload, so you are fine.
If you use only 1500# or Ĺ of the cargo capacity of the FW, this drops your weight to 15,000# and 3,000# pin wt.  This brings your weight to 3600# and you should be fine.
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