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Author Topic: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.  (Read 738 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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Tforbes

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2019, 12:21:33 PM »
This is such a big purchase, that we want to make the right decision. We are new to owning a 5th wheel.  This is the info I have for the North Point 5th wheel we like.  The dry hitch weight is 2874lbs.  The info I found on the driver's side door of our truck is as follows:  GAWR Front - 5940lb, GAWR Rear - 6100lb, GVWR - 9900lb. I do not see a payload amount.  Does this help at all with whether our truck will pull this 5th wheel safely or not?  Thanks again!

Back2PA

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2019, 01:01:00 PM »
This is such a big purchase, that we want to make the right decision. We are new to owning a 5th wheel.  This is the info I have for the North Point 5th wheel we like.  The dry hitch weight is 2874lbs.  The info I found on the driver's side door of our truck is as follows:  GAWR Front - 5940lb, GAWR Rear - 6100lb, GVWR - 9900lb. I do not see a payload amount.  Does this help at all with whether our truck will pull this 5th wheel safely or not?  Thanks again!

There's a different sticker you need to find, should be next to that one. Should have a max cargo number
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Lynx0849

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2019, 04:54:49 PM »
There's a different sticker you need to find, should be next to that one. Should have a max cargo number

Should have a yellow border.

kdbgoat

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2019, 06:35:29 PM »
The dry hitch weight is next to useless. Get the GVWR for the North Pointe. Figure at least 20% of that is pin weight.
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grashley

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2019, 07:36:09 PM »
As said, there is another weight placard with a yellow border, located on the driver door LATCH PILLAR which will have the payload data.  Also need the FW  GVWR.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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Tforbes

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2019, 10:23:14 PM »
There is no other sticker. Itís a 2012 Ford 250 6.7 turbo diesel 4x4 crew cab. Was really hoping it was big enough to pull the bigger 5th wheel, but may be pushing it. Dry weight of camper is 13250 and gross it is 16500 with 87 gal fresh, 85 gal grey and 50 gal black tanks.
Thanks!

xrated

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2019, 01:03:55 AM »
There is no other sticker. Itís a 2012 Ford 250 6.7 turbo diesel 4x4 crew cab. Was really hoping it was big enough to pull the bigger 5th wheel, but may be pushing it. Dry weight of camper is 13250 and gross it is 16500 with 87 gal fresh, 85 gal grey and 50 gal black tanks.
Thanks!

I had, as my previous truck, a 2011 F250 Diesel, 4x4, Crewcab, XLT.  The payload on that truck was 2148 lbs.....and it was an XLT, not a Lariat or King Ranch, which would have even LESS payload capacity as they will have more equipment on them.  I would guess your payload capacity to be in the 2000 - 2200 lb capacity....which isn't near enough to tow the EMPTY weight of that 5ver, much less the loaded or GVWR of that trailer.  Even empty, the trailer is going to be around 2650 lbs, which will be 400 - 600 lbs OVER your payload capacity of the truck.  Add in a 5ver hitch (175lb to 200 lb) and now you could be over by almost 800 lbs.  Now add in everything else that you would normally take along in the truck...passenger(s), extra fuel, firewood, toolbox in the bed, etc, etc. and you can see where you are going to be way overloaded.....and remember, I'm talking about the EMPTY trailer weight, not the 16,500 lb of loaded trailer weight.  And remember, the only time that trailer is going to be anywhere close to the empty weight, is the day you bring it home from the dealer.  From that day forward, there will be more weight than the empty weight.  So the bottom line is that you have way too much trailer for the truck with that combination.  You need a bigger truck or a considerably smaller trailer to stay within the payload capacities of the tow vehicle.
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grashley

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2019, 07:47:50 PM »
My truck is a '13 F350 6.7L turbodiesel, 4X4 SuperCab Lariat.  There is NO WAY I would tow that FW.  Way too heavy.  My FW is 15,000 lb GVWR, and I am right at my load capacity after adding a 40# Andersen Ultimate hitch and 400# of passengers and cargo (self, wife, GDD and car seat).  My Payload is 3543#.

Your payload will be very close to what xrated reported from his truck, or around 2150#

xrated is exactly correct in his evaluation.  I will not repeat it.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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Andersen Ultimate hitch
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Tforbes

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2019, 12:43:30 PM »
I did a VIN check on our truck which I was surprised, but several websites pulled up the information.  The standard payload is 3190 and max is 3290.  The maximum towing is 15200, so we will be looking for a bit smaller camper.
Thanks so much!

kdbgoat

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2019, 01:17:13 PM »
Man, the weight of the diesel engine and other options sure do eat up the available payload. We have a 2015 F-250  XL, plain Jane truck with the 6.2 gasser here at work. The yellow sticker says 3975# of payload.
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Tforbes

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2019, 04:46:39 PM »
I thought a super duty diesel would have more pulling power.  Should have gone with even a bigger truck.  So disappointed I am not able to get the camper I really wanted, but we just got our truck about a year ago which was an upgrade from a Dodge Ram 1500.  Still looking at trading in our trailer for a 5th wheel.  Maybe in 10 years when we are closer to retirement, we'll get the perfect set-up.  Now we just go camping for about 1 1/2 weeks, 4 times a year.

steveblonde

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2019, 05:18:23 PM »
Its not  pulling power thats the issue but payload
Ie a chev 2500 ltz will pull the same as a 3500 chev ltz

But

The 3500 will have 1000 lbs more payload which is the stuff you can carry hitch weight cargo ladies purses etc
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martin2340

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Re: Length of 5er vs length of trailer.
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2019, 03:20:16 PM »
TForbes
In one post you state a 250 super duty and in another a 350 Super duty. Big difference which one is it?
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