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41 ft 5th wheel


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Something most often not take into consideration is there is quite an overhang from the back of the rear trailer wheel to the back of the trailer.  In my case 10'.  In some cases, the back trailer wheel may touch the curbstone and the back of the trailer overhangs past that.

OK if its grass, gravel or a ditch.

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Admittedly, sometimes, it's just downright tight.

 

 

Edited by rdickinson
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32 minutes ago, rdickinson said:

Something most often not take into consideration is there is quite an overhang from the back of the rear trailer wheel to the back of the trailer.  In my case 10'.  In some cases, the back trailer wheel may touch the curbstone and the back of the trailer overhangs past that.

OK if its grass, gravel or a ditch.

r9tgBALl.jpg

5F1J0R1l.jpg

 

xE3cuOGl.jpg

uKj60MAl.jpg

Admittedly, sometimes, it's just downright tight.

 

 

Holy $%&^ that's a lot of toys!

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I'm 40ft 10inch without my ladder and other 41 feet with my ladder. I say I'm 40 foot and haven't been any place the would require the ladder to be removed. I was going to be in an older RV Park in Tucson where the extra inches would had my truck parked remote to RV. but had to cancel.

Clay 2016 DRV MS 38PS3/Dallas

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It all depends on where you plan to stay.  My trailer is 42’4”.  I have stuffed it in some tight spots in some state parks and other places that others said I wouldn’t fit.  If I know the spot is small, I always walk it first.  I’d rather say no up front than get myself into trouble later.  If I am at a park I have never been to before, I always tell them exactly how long I am.  Roger is correct in that the rear overhang of a 5th wheel can allow you to fit into smaller spots (as long as there is nothing blocking the back of the site).  When I am at a park, I always walk it and make note of sites I can fit in easily.  It makes the reservation process much easier the next time I go there.

I also have a slight advantage though.  I tow with an HDT that has the 5th wheel hitch behind the rear axle.  This changes my pivot point and makes getting the trailer into tight spots easier because the trailer starts moving in the direction I want faster than a standard pivot point over the rear axle like in a pick up.  My 5er backs more like a bumper pull than a 5er.  

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With the 5 wheel hitch behind the trucks rear wheel, you can literally kick the rear of the trailer left or rt by turning the steering wheel left or rt and very little movement of the trucks rear wheels. Not a good explanation, sorry.

Also, I'm solo and always walk the route first, always, always.  Looking for overhead obstructions, soft spots.  Also where do I want the trailer to wind up relative to power pedestal or....

Add to that, I use yellow reflective cats eye markers to mark the trailer back in route with blue ones to locate my trailer pivot point which is in the middle of my center wheel of the triple axle. The blue ones also locate where the front and back wheels should be so slides and be deployed without hitting something.  A wheel chock stops the train.

These cats eyes are a path visible from the drivers or passengers mirror while backing in. 

It's important to try to nail the backing in the first time.  I prefer not to have an audience...all with cameras to document failures, the HDT does not have a stealth mode, windows shake, cups rattle and women give premature birth.  Also the triple axle can tear soft ground up so after the excitement is over and my trailer lites are off, I get my rake and take care of ruts and tracks making everything pretty again.

I make sure the last 4 or 5 markers are in a straight line so there is a reference to put the trailer parallel to at night.  Without that, I have no idea where the back of the trailer is in the dark...it is totally black back there with no reference point.

For nite backing in, there are ditch lites under the truck and trailer.  8 under the  trailer and 6 under the truck.  Got the idea from local fire trucks.  They lite up the immediate area under and slightly off to the side.  Crucial with the truck 'cus when jackknifing the truck up and over a hump while going around a corner, the truck fairings and sides of the truck could get hung up on a rock or??  I don't need to light up the back 40, only the immediate area around the Rig.  No need to lite up behind the trailer, I can't see what is behind me anyway.  But I do walk the pad and route first.

The ONLY person I let back me up was Chad at his house this past January.  That was about the most challenging situation my rig has been in.  Icy, rocky, blind backing up around corners....lotsa fun....no damage, even better.

Even at night, I don't let anyone try to help.  They have no idea of how I handle things and most won't know my pivot points or the difference in backing up with an HDT or pickup and there is a difference.  So I thank them or tell them no help is required.

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These are the trailer underbody lites.  You can see the jackstand blocks at the front.  The lights were not on for long, they attract lots of bugs.

18 watt LEDS controlled by reverse gear, or a truck panel switch or a switch in the trailer electrical panel.

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on edit, no those ruts are not mine.  Mine would be a lot deeper.

 

 

Edited by rdickinson
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One thing that is important to remember is that where any RV can be parked is very dependant upon the skills of the person who is putting it there. This size of the available space is only one part of the issue as you must also consider the width of the streets, placement of obstacles like trees, signs, & rocks, the angle of the space compared to the access road, and even the roads into the park or campground. Most parks & campgrounds that list a size limit for RVs will not be measuring the RV nor do they really care what size is parked there, so long as the owner can get it into the spot without damaging anything and sufficiently to clear the access for other campers. I have seen very skilled drivers get a large RV into some places that were difficult to believe possible, and I have seen less skilled drivers do major damage to their RV and to park facilities when attempting to park in what looked to me like an easy space. Just because one person on the forum can get a big rig into a spot does not mean that you can, and just because another can't get their into it does not mean that you can't. I have even learned that on a really good day I can park in some tight places, but on a bad day I might have problems in even the most easily accessed site. Most instructions are based on an "average" driver, but I'm not sure that I have ever met him. 

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Keep in mind, also, your tow vehicle or towed size.  They have to fit on the site, too.  Motorhome owners typically tow a short vehicle whereas 5th wheel owners need a much longer truck. 

There have been times that we creatively angled the small Jeep onto the parking pad in order to fit the whole combination. A longer truck would not have worked.

We full-timed 8 years in each - a 33' 5th wheel and a 40' motorhome.  We disliked the big truck.  The motorhome & Jeep combo was our favorite and gave us more opportunities for 'fun' on the backroads.  Everyone is different so it's what 'you' would be comfortable with.

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I posted this in your other thread, but I'll share it here too.

As you get over 40' you certainly are more likely to run into issues in smaller parks which can include state or national campgrounds that were built years ago, but it's not a huge issue.  You just have to do your homework first. We are just under 42' on the 5th wheel and towing with an HDT. So far we haven't a problem, and we've even been to a few state parks. Most times I do my research and see what kind of sites they offer, what length and width and then use google satelite or street view if possible to help me more.. You'll find most private RV parks are able to accomodate you, especially anything built in the last 10-15 years. A lot of times, I just say I'm 40ft as I find that is usually a typcial size restriction in smaller parks and really what's a couple feet, especially if you have the room to overhang the rear of the 5th wheel. Remember in a 5th wheel, in a back in site, you can overhang the site a lot easier than a 40ft+ Class A motorhome if nothing is blocking you.  

We were in a private park before the eclipse that was on the smaller side and started in a nice big area with lots of room for our truck and trailer. However, our spot was reserved for the following week and we decided to stay longer. I had the advantage of being able to walk the park to check out the sites, but I found a spot they had listed as around 34-35' max. They didn't think I was going to fit, but I had no issues getting my 42' 5th wheel in there and with the layout of the spot, I still had room to park my truck sideways in front of the trailer. I was overhanging the rear of the spot by a good bit, but it worked out great and they were impressed I actually fit in there. It ended up being a great spot. 

We spent Thanksgiving this year down in New Orleans an Bayou Segnette State park. All of their sites are paved 50' back in sites. I'm 65'  total so I knew getting the truck/trailer together in one wasn't going to happen, but I used google street view to look at each site and picked out one with no trees behind the rv pad area and it actually had 2 parking sports right next to it. I ended up not even needing to hang the 5th wheel over the back of the rv pad and still had room for our car tucked under the front of the 5th wheel and the truck took up the 2 parking spaces that were right next to our site. It just took a little preplanning to find the right site. If we hadn't had that parking avaible, I possibly still could have squeezed the truck in had I put the 5th wheel further back, but it would have been much tighter. 

In other parks, I've found that they have plenty of overflow parking so I just park my 5th wheel in the main spot and leave my HDT in an overflow area. That's actually what I'm doing at the campground I'm at right now. 

You'll get the hang of it as you travel more. 

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46 minutes ago, townehvac@gmail.com said:

Hey thank you . Do I understand you that getting off road is more lets say assessable  with a motorhome vs a truck and 40 ft 5th wheel?

I want to bring a motorcycle with me where I go. Do you still think a trailer and a motorhome might be the way to go?

Thanks.

Howard

I thought about the motorhome and trailer and that introudced a couple more problems that swayed me from that direction. One big issue for me was the only thing you have to drive is the motorcycle vs the motorhome. At least with a truck, you still have the option of going somewhere without moving your house. Now the way to do the motorhome with a bike and still have a car was to find a toy hauler Class A. There aren't a ton of them out there, but they do exist and then you can still bring a bike and a car which is kind of the best of both worlds. You lose some living space though in the Class A though.

I also think in some cases, that might limit your back in sites with the trailer behind you depending on how they are laid out. Of course you could always do pull through sites, but those aren't always available. 

BTW, I carry a motorcycle on the back of my HDT although we carry a few more in the toy hauler too. 

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Edited by BlueLghtning
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4 hours ago, townehvac@gmail.com said:

Do you still think a trailer and a motorhome might be the way to go?

As much as I prefer a class A for fulltime, I really don't think it a good plan for most people to choose based on the parking ease. The majority of owners will learn to park and gain skill in doing so once they are doing a lot of it. I did know one RVer who never got comfortable parking his fifth wheel and eventually went back to a class A for that reason, but only 1. If you plan for it you could put a motorcycle on a lift behind a diesel class A and still tow a vehicle behind it. 

I happen to think that a motorhome is less difficult to park but I have very little experience with a fifth wheel hitch of any type so it probably isn't fair to get that information from me. I suspect that you can find places where either configuration would be less difficult than the other. 

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Depending on the size of your cycle we've seen some tow a truck behind the motorhome with a cycle in it.

On gravel roads I think a motorhome or a 5th wheel could travel good gravel roads equally.  We did many with our motorhome but naturally, no boulder hopping.  That we saved for the Jeep!

We only had to do it a couple times but if you're unsure of the gravel road then with a motorhome you could unhook the Jeep easily and scout it out first.

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