Need advice on where to start

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lvshrs

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Hi!  I am starting to do some research about Travel Trailers and well need some advice as to where to start ???

Some background

We (my husband and I) are putting our house up for sale the first of the year and want to move to Abilene,Tx about 5-6 hours away. We wanting to buy property and build a home, so we figured that one option would be to get a travel trailer to stay in while we look for property then live on the property while we build our home. The trailer would then become our vacation/guest house once we get the house built.

The questions!

I have a 1984 Chevy Dually 1 ton that I use to pull my horse trailer. I do not have a 5th wheel hitch will I need one or do they have travel trailers with gooseneck hitch? What brands are best if I need a 5th wheel?

We have never had a travel trailer.We are planning on visiting a couple of dealers this weekend. Is there anything in particular we need to know that we probably wouldn't think to ask about when goinig to a dealer?


I am sure I will have more questions later but for now this will help us get started on deciding if a travel trailer is a good option for us. Thanks!

Stephanie in Texas
 

Tom

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Hi Stephanie and welcome.

A gooseneck hitch is essentially another form of fifthwheel hitch and either one might be on a fifthwheel travel trailer, although I've only seen them on larger horse trailers. A fifthwheel hitch (and a goosneck hitch) sits in the bed of a pickup truck. What is conventionally called a travel trailer has an A-shaped frame with a coupler that attaches to a regular tow ball, which is what it appears you use to tow the horse trailer. To see the difference between the two types of trailer, click the Library button above, select Newcomers need to know and click RV Types.
 

joelmyer

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First of all, take your time, leave your checkbook at home when you go to the dealers!  See what you like and then ask here.

I researched for years!  I wound up with a Sunnybrook 2750 that I pull with a Dodge One Ton.  Many people are happy with their Fleetwoods.

I don't know of any 5th Wheels that use a gooseneck hitch.  You might be better off with a trailer than switching back and forth between the gooseneck hitch and 5th Wheel hitch.

There are pros and cons.  For me, the ease of hitching/unhitching and not messing with sway control bars was the swinger.  A travel trailer properly set up can be as stable as a 5th wheel.  I would think about one of the two hitches that provide sway control without the bars.  I think they are Pullrite and Hensely.

Things to look at when shopping - off the top of my head.  Weight of course - I wanted to stay under 10,000 gross.  Something in the 26 31 foot range.  The 34 foot triple sliders will overload any pickup.  My humble opinion.

Look at workmanship - the backs of drawers and inside cabinets - that's an indicator of things you can't see.

Look at storage and tank sizes, especially if you will be camping at state & national parks. Grey water tank is most critical.  We have 37 gallons and that lasts us 3-4 days in the conservative mode.  Our first trip at a state park we filled it up in a day & a half.

Look at several brands/dealers before you make a decision.
 

Tom

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Thanks for correction Joel - brain wasn't engaged when I typed that. I went back and corrected my prior message.
 

lvshrs

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Thanks Gentlemen! I appreciate your information. I am looking forward to looking at the different RVs this weekend. I will defintely leave the checkbook at home! I figure RV salesmen are about the same as car salesmen in levels above slime....not too far if at all!  ;D

Stephanie
 

caltex

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My neighbor has his fifth wheel outfitted with a gooseneck hitch and it seems to work fine. A lot of farmers/ranchers here in Texas use the gooseneck for their horse/cattle trailers and don't want to mess with removing a fifth wheel hitch everytime they switch from business to pleasure.  It's no more difficult to hook up than the horse trailer, but slightly more difficult than the standart fifth wheel hitch.

The potential negative for the gooseneck is that it might put more stress on the fifth wheel frame, since the additional distance from the trailer frame to the hitch point gives additional leverage over the standard firth wheel hitch. The salesman will probably tell you that's the reason most people don't use them.

As to the ease of traveling with the fifth wheel verses the pull trailer, you can just consider your experience with the two types of horse trailers.

 

Tom

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Robert

Any chance you could snap a photo of the trailer with the gooseneck sometime? (I assume it's James' trailer?)

Thanks.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the photo. What's the other end (where it attaches to the trailer) look like? I'm trying to picture how the conversion from A-frame to goose neck was done.
 

Tom

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caltex said:
The gooseneck adapter just bolts on where the fifth wheel hitch was connected.

I misunderstood. I thought it was a regular A-frame adapted to a gooseneck, not a 5th wheel adapted to a gooseneck..
 

Smoky

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Re Fleetwoods, I drove a 30 foot Fleetwood Wilderness trailer for several years and both it and the company that stood behind it were good enough to end me up fulltiming, though we have since upgraded to a diesel pusher.  The 1993 Wilderness carried us transcontinental in 2003 from Maryland to Oregon and return and is still ticking, now a beloved member of my son's household.
 

caltex

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Tom

OK, here are some pictures so you can see how the goose neck adapter is attached to the fifth wheel.  The first picture shows the complete adapter, welded onto the 5th wheel hitch pin box. You can see the upturned front edge of the normal 5th wheel pin box. Note the chains which are required for this hitch, but not for the standard 5th wheel hitch.  This unit is locally made, the guy makes about 15 per week.

The next photo just shows the hole the ball goes in.  The last photo shows why you want to use this hitch.  That is the bed of the pickup showing what you have attached to the pickup.  Quite a difference compared to the standard 5th wheel hitch.  The ball is flipped upside down in this photo to give a clean bed with no intrusion.  It is rotated upright for towing and is just like the ball you would have on your trailer hitch.

The last picture just shows the entire hitch pin.

That's probably more than you wanted to know about this.
 

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lvshrs

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Thanks Guys for the info! And caltex that was something I was wanting to figure out! I really didn't want to have to change out the hitch everytime I changed trailers. ;D That is probably the way I will go as we are not planning on going full time probably just weekends.
 
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