Suitable Fifthwheels for fulltiming....

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

jbm

New member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Posts
1
    Hi. I'm new here having just registered. Hope you folks will be able to answer some questions I have regarding fulltime RVing etc.

I'll preface by saying I'm 52 years old and planning on retiring in short order. I live in western Canada and my wife and I are planning on fulltime travelling through North America for about 7-8 months each year. ( I guess that technically isn't fulltiming!)

We have decided our best bet is a Fifthwheel.  We are planning on purchasing a Dodge Ram 3500 TD but we are just now beginning to research suitable Fifthwheels for our purposes. One limiting factor will be the overall lengh as I am also planning on towing a 19 ft Boston Whaler boat behind the Fifth.
So I am guessing our maximum pin to bumper length will be in the area of 30 feet.

I have been in enough motorhomes and trailers to be aware that sometimes quality and longevity is not what it should be. That being said, I realize you get what you pay for.

What we are after is a quality, well built, tough unit suitable for the rigors of fulltiming. We realize this comes at a price, and we are willing to pay that price for a quality Fifthwheel.

Which brings me back to the purpose of this post. I would appreciate the forums imput on what Fifthwheel manufacturers and models might fit our requirements. Thanks in advance for all replies!

PS:  I have looked at a Glendale Titanium and was impressed ( and the double bubble design lends itself well to our pin to bumper limitation)

PS: I am assuming Tetons are the top of the heap quality wise


Best regards; jbm
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Others will chime in with great ideas, but one thing I'd like to offer is that "high end," doesn't equate to mechanical quality. Meaning some high end 5ths have oak cabinets, floors, etc. Added weight is one way to look at that aspect. Weight is always a consideration, although the 5th doesn't have as many mechanical "parts" as a motorhome lets say. If I understand you will be towing 2 vehicles?? Might be a little tricky??
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
We have decided our best bet is a Fifthwheel.  We are planning on purchasing a Dodge Ram 3500 TD but we are just now beginning to research suitable Fifthwheels for our purposes. One limiting factor will be the overall lengh as I am also planning on towing a 19 ft Boston Whaler boat behind the Fifth. .

I hope you are not planning to tow that rig in the western USA.  Most states out here, if not all, outlaw double tows by anyone except specially permitted commericial license holders and even then not by anything except truck tractors.  A number of Middle Western states allow double tows one of which is a 5er -- but that is about all.

As far as which trailer you tow, do you know the tow rating of your truck?
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
I've seen several triple tows in the West...may or not be legal. However I'm told you "can't" back them up ??? An option is to get a boat that you can carry adjacent to the 5th...ie:, on top or back.....FYI
 

2006F350

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Posts
393
Location
Memphis TN
Another thing to consider in the scheme when choosing a 5W. Some Mfg state specifically that you cannot add a hitch to the back of the 5W - Keystone Everest being one of them. I wouldn't hesitate full-timing in my Everest, but towing something behind is a definate No-No.

Larry
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
I've seen several triple tows in the West...may or not be legal.

They are definitely illegal in California for any trailer being towed by a passenger* vehicle, and in any case are illegal for any driver except a holder of a commercial Class A license with a double trailer endorsement. 

What is the worst that could happen?  A ticket and being forced to unhitch the boat by the roadside to be towed to a tower's yard in the next town.

[*including pickups]
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
In the event of an accident, the insurance company will probably deny coverage due the violation of the law.
 

davidsimmonds

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2005
Posts
58
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
In Western Canada, only Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta allow towing another unit behind the trailer. I know that Ontario and BC disallow it for sure.

All of the legalities are off topic, so I think it's best to get back the to original question. I am not the expert to ask, so I'll leave that to others. I pull a 33' Wildcat with a GVWR of 13,500 with a Dodge 2500 TD fullsize without any problems. The trailer is not even close to the GVWR though and I am below the GCWR of the truck. My feeling is that with a 3500 you would be ok pulling most 30' units, unless they are very heavy and some definitely are. Pulling in western North America is more difficult than in the east due to the mountains and such. Eventually I plan on picking up a 2-ton hauler, like some of the nice GM units (are there any Dodge units?)

The experts can chime in now......
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
.
All of the legalities are off topic, so I think it's best to get back the to original question.

Not really.  His proposal to use a 5er to tow a boat is a fundamental question.  Boat towing is best done with a motorhome.  Legal everywhere.  Since he does not have either a truck or a trailer yet, all options are open to him.

In any case, if he decides the issue of legality is not significant to him for his future uses, then the issue boils down to tow capacity and trailer weights.  Depending on options a Dodge 3500 with a 5.9 TD will pull between 14,000 and 16,000 lbs.  That tow weight must be greater than the gross vehicle weight of the chosen trailer and the scaled weight of the 19' Whaler and its trailer.  A Whaler is by no means a tin skiff.  A 19' 190 Montauk weighs in at 1900 lbs dry.  The engine can run about 400 lbs.  To that 2300 lbs one would need to add fuel, gear and a boat trailer which for a 19 footer could weight about 1000 lbs itself.

Even with a turbo diesel he should a allow a bit of safety factor --  say 10%.  He says he lives in western Canada  and after all they have mountiain country there.    So if he buys a Dodge with a tow rating of, say, 15,000 lbs, he can pull a tow of 13,500 lbs.  4300 lbs of that tow are already taken up with a boat and trailer so the biggest 5er he should tow is one with a GVWR of 9200 lbs.    That is not a big 5er.  Especially if he would buy a top quality 5er for full time use.  Full timer units are not light.
 
Top Bottom