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Class A Pusher RV vs Large 5th wheel?


dylanfdc

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I currently have an awesome Jayco Seneca diesel RV i am selling to change out to a 42' toy hauler 5th wheel that will weigh about 18k lbs loaded at the most.

I have never towed a 5th wheel but do know i don't like towing a trailer behind a truck because of the sway and the wind blowing us around. My jayco, when towing, i notice nothing and don't get thrown around at all by the wind. I love the idea of unhooking my truck and driving around while leaving camp! But am very concerned that the truck towing 5th wheel combination will be a little stressful and uncomfortable due to the wind blowing us around and the swaying while we tow. My wife really hates that! I am hoping i can find someone with experience with both set ups and see what their thoughts are.

Will we get a lot of sway and wind blowing with towing a 5th wheel with a single axle F350? Would it stop with a dually F350? Or it won't matter, we will get that swaying effect no matter what because the 5th wheel just ways so much more than the truck itself? should i stick with my Jayco and trailer towing?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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We mostly do dry camping with our polaris RZR. I really appreciate the larger living space, water tanks, fuel tanks, grey tanks, black tanks on a 5er. Plus we can take a truck and drive around town if we want or need to. Plus i go to the dunes a lot in the winter and my RV got stuck a few times. It is someone with a truck from a 5er that pulls me out.

I have many pros and cons between both and love our rv set up with trailer. just thinking we might enjoy the 5er a little more overall. But if it is not comfortable to pull and sways a lot that is a big no for us and we would just stick with our stable super c RV. I wish i was able to borrow a truck and big toy hauler and see how it drove, but they just don't let you do that. lol.

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Hay Dylanfdc... i had a 38' Bounder DP and switched to a 45' toyhauler and had the same fears! I had no worries with the mh when i towed my 16' enclosed trailer loaded with our 2 motorcycles. The rig handled well in heavy winds. Now with the new 5th on our first trip i was coming home with a tail wind of 30 gusting to 50 mph. I started to worry because i knew there was turn ahead that would put the wind direct sideways. There was more trailer in the left mirror than the right but because i have enough truck with my Freightliner MDT i felt quite comfortable. I just had to keep an eye on the terrain because if there a grove of trees coming up i prepaired for the wind to stop or just reduce. I believe that if you have enough truck and pay attention you will have no problems. There are other threads here on the importance of loading the trailer (especially the large toyhaulers) for safety and stability. There are also a lot of more experienced 5er haulers here that can give great advice. Good luck and safe travels!

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The following comments are just my opinion based on mistakes made over the years. First, DRW is better than SRW, you will likely exceed the RAWR on a SRW truck with an 18K rig. Pin on an 18K rig will and should likely exceed 3K. A 42' rig is likely a tri-axle rig and in my opinion would be much safer behind a DRW class 4 to 6 truck such as the FL M2 106 Orca has in the above post rather than a class 3 truck. We have had an M2 106 and currently an M2 112 and have towed rigs from 16K up to our current 27K rig and wind has never moved us around like it did back when we had travel trailers and pick ups. My class 3 one ton dually weighed about 8500, my M2 112 weighes 15K, a big difference. My opinion is that the solution to the problem is to be sure you have a big enough truck. The other safety issue you must address is stopping the rig in dangerous situations, panic stops,down hill grades etc. One of the reasons we went to the M2 106 is our 16K rig pushed our 8500# dually into intersections in panic stops a couple times. Air brakes on the M2 made that much less likely to happen. Be safe, buy enough truck, Best Wishes, Jay

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The M2 112 with the DD13 engine is 500 hp and 1850 ft-lb of torque! As much as some of the class 8 trucks. You also can have 23K rated rear axle. When singled most class 8s wind up with a 20K rear axle. The M 2s can be had as 4 door crew cabs. The huge disadvantage of M2s is their very significant cost when bought new. A nice used converted class 8 can be had for a lot less money, thus their popularity, Best wishes, Jay

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I don't think you are going to find any issues with wind blowing you around as long as you outfit your rig appropriately. You are looking at one long and heavy fiver. Check out the ratings carefully as you may be asking too much of even a one ton dually. It's not the towing weight that kills you it's the pin weight. Wind just doesn't push around a fiver very much so I don't think your wife has a worry.

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It has been said but go DRW for sure. I have not felt pushed by wind with my 40 foot 5ver. But I also do not travel on inclement weather or high wind warnings. If you come up against big enough wind you will have problems with anything towing that big sheet behind you.

 

Just happened, http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/11/us/dash-cam-wind-slam-tractor-trailer-police-car/

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  • 1 month later...

I've been there, done that, the opposite way. We had a 40' 5er -18k GVW, towed it with my 02 Chevy Duramax, CC, LB, dually. It was, to me, a perfect setup, drove and towed very smoothly. Prior to the dually I had a 3/4t Dodge CTD, tried to tow the 5er, and the Dodge was severely overloaded and under-powered, the 5er pushed the Dodge all over the lane and was unpleasant to drive.

Now travel in our MH-see sig, and driving is not any more comfortable than our 5er/dually rig., and less mileage. Wind bothers the MH just as much or more than it did the 5er/dually.

IMO, the main reason to choose a 5er vs MH is length of stay in one place. A MH is designed more for traveling than parking for months, even though some full-timing  MH owners do so regularly.

A MH has a built-in genset, most trailers do not; toy haulers often have a gas tank for refueling ATV's, etc, which can be used to refuel a portable genset.

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Quote
Quote

 

We have a chevy dually pulling a 16k fifth wheel which seems well matched and haven't had any wind concerns. I do keep an eye on the weather and avoid any travel if the head/cross winds are 20 mph or higher. If it's a tail wind, I take advantage of the better fuel mileage and go on down the road. When going long distance, I will allow a couple of extra travel days to sit out foul weather days, it's a benefit of retirement.

Another option if you are in a time crunch is to run during early AM or late PM as the wind usually is less then, mid day is typically the highest wind period.

Greg

 

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Ray you are similar to me in that we had a 37 ft fiver pulled by a 2005 GMC duramax 1 ton dually 4x4 . It drove ok but rode a little rough and was a little shy on power. Plus I hated using a crewcab longbox for a run around vehicle which rode even rougher not towing. So we switched to a 40ft DP with a 370 HP Cummins and tow a pickup with a RZR on the back. It is very smooth and quiet and has more power than the duramax ever did. The 1/2 ton makes for a much nicer run around vehicle.

as far as wind goes the MH on a Spartan chassis seems to handle the wind better than the truck and fiver did.

in addition the MH is a lot more maneuverable than the truck and fiver were.

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Another interesting tidbit about the wind. We travel with a few other couples and circle the wagons frequently as we boondock a lot. One of the first considerations when we get to our destination is where does the wind come from and then I position the MH to block the wind. The reason for this is I am the only MH  the rest have fifth wheels. When I dump the air the MH drops close to the ground and the wind sheltering effect is great. The fifth wheels cannot block the wind as well so I get that privilege.

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Each situation is unique to each situation.  Jimalberta said he had a 2005 CC LB DRW with a Duramax pulling a 37' 5er and was underpowered.  I have something like that but stepping up to a 5er that dry weight is 18K and WAY beyond my trucks capacity of 16.5K towing.  So moved up to a MDT but the pickup has a Duramax at 500HP/1000F# of torque.  Lots of power, just not enough weight or brakes.  A great TV for the 12.7K# 5er we had before but not enough truck for the current 5er.  The current TV is 300HP/860F# of torque but MUCH more truck and brakes to tow the 18K 5er.  

So, the point is, do what you are doing, your homework and then make the decision that best meets your particular situation.  But most of all, be SAFE.  The others of us on the road are counting on you to be safe for your sake and ours.

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On 2/19/2017 at 4:17 PM, dylanfdc said:

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Since nobody has yet done so, let me say welcome to the Escapee forums! We are always happy to have new folks join us and more people with fresh questions and ideas make for a better forum. Since the fifth wheel is one of the two types of RV that I have never traveled with, I'll not attempt to answer your questions and you have already heard for some very good sources. :)

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