Any Problems with 5th Wheel Length???

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GaryB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Posts
223
Location
Evansville, IN
Hi - I've never RV'd before, or even driven a full-size pickup truck :eek:  We're thinking of getting a 5th wheel in a year or so.  We have a 3-year old boy, and maybe will have one more child.  So the idea of bunk beds seems very desirable (espec. since we don't all go to bed/awake at the same time).  We like a NuWa model that's listed as 35'5" long.  For those of you who have driven both longer and shorter 5th wheels, here's my questions:

1) Will a 35'5" model be much more difficult to maneuver/back up than, say, a 31' model?  I know I'll need to go thru a 'learning curve'.  But after that, will the difference be minor or significant?

2) Will the 35'5" model restrict us significantly relative to the type of parks we can camp in?  I read on RV.net that it can be hard to find spaces for longer models in State/National Parks.  If it's only a matter of having a few less sites to choose from, then that may be OK.  But if it's a matter of being difficult to camp AT ALL in State/National Parks, then maybe I'll change my mind and choose a shorter model (although I'll probably be unable to get a bunk bed model I like in the shorter length).

Thanks for the advice!!!
Gary
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Will the 35'5" model restrict us significantly relative to the type of parks we can camp in?  I read on RV.net that it can be hard to find spaces for longer models in State/National Parks.  If it's only a matter of having a few less sites to choose from, then that may be OK.  But if it's a matter of being difficult to camp AT ALL in State/National Parks, then maybe I'll change my mind and choose a shorter model (although I'll probably be unable to get a bunk bed model I like in the shorter length
).

Yes it will restrict your choices especially in US Forest service CGs and California parks to my personal knowledge.   

Bunk beds are an issue?   Shoot, there are bunk beds in 24 foot trailers.   I remember seeing some in 19ers but that memory is fuzzy.

However, your main issue wont be length, it will be weight.   Without the exact model, it is hard to tell the exact numbers but the NuWa lines do not have a 35 footer with less than a 15,000 gross vehicle weight rating.  That is going to take a pretty big truck to tow it.  For western towing you are talking about no less than an F450/550 chassis or a medium duty Peterbuilt or Volvo truck.    Do you have one such or is that in your planning?
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,560
Location
Colorado
Size will restrict you at some national and state parks. We just spent a night at Natural Bridges in Utah and they had a 24-foot COMBINED length at their campground. Having said that, we did fit with our 28-foot motorhome but you couldn't have got anything much bigger in any of the sites. Grand Canyon is another one where size will limit you, Mather Campground (the main NPS campground at South Rim) has a 30-foot limit. Bigger than that and you go to nearby Trailer Village (concessionaire operated) which has full hookups and costs 3 times as much. Many of the federal campgrounds that have size restrictions have set those limits based more on tight turnarounds, big trees, etc, than on actual campsite size. And in these days of bigger and bigger RVs, if a campground has a small number of largish sites, those sites will probably be filled first. So a lot depends on the kind of camping you want to do, do you want to stay in the park or just visit the park. You can find private campgrounds that hold any size RV close by almost every national park where you can stay at night and drive the tow vehicle into the parks during the day. We've tried to stay below 30-feet because we visit a lot of federal and state parks....although I did see Mike looking at a 32-foot motorhome on the internet last night.
 
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