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5er likes and dislikes

Discuss fifth wheel style trailers here.

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5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby lifelongcampers on Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:12 pm

We are always looking into better styles and designs of RV's. We currently have a TT but are again considering a fifth wheel. The biggest scare for me is the height. The best plus to me would be the extra stability they have when towing. Those who have them now, what are your opinions regarding the pluses and negatives of traveling with a fifth wheel?
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby dakotakid on Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:51 pm

I'm also interested in moving up to a 5er also. I need to watch my weight. I have a 2500 Dodge with a Hemi with 3.73. If I stay under 8000lbs I should be ok. What do you all think would be a good one?
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby skipnchar on Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:58 pm

You might take a look at some of the Rockwood Signature series. We SERIOUSLY considered one when we got the 8314 but DW really liked the flat floor plan so we went with the TT instead. Check them out here
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby lifelongcampers on Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:37 pm

skipnchar wrote:You might take a look at some of the Rockwood Signature series. We SERIOUSLY considered one when we got the 8314 but DW really liked the flat floor plan so we went with the TT instead. Check them out here
http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?page=lightweight&nav=rec


I hear ya Skip. However my wife read some posts on rv.net about Forest River and some customer service issues. I can't even get her to walk in one at the RV shows....... seriously. When a woman's mind is made up, look out. I wasn't really interested in specific brands anyway (everyone has an opinion on those), the question was more on the pluses or minuses of the fifth wheel over the TT. I agree with your wife that the flat floor plans are very nice though. As a bonus it keeps the overall height lower too.

dakotakid: I've found them all to be pretty similar in quality at similar price ranges. They all use the same group of appliances, furnaces and water heaters anyway. My thoughts are to find a floor plan that works for you and a great dealer that will work with you if you have problems.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby chrisnan23 on Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:02 am

Well we started with a classC and moved to the 5th Wheel. Never looked back. The 5vr does have the step up to the bedroom but I think that helps to seperate the "house" (we full time so it is our house). It tows so very well. There are model, such as our Cross Roads Crusier, that have a lower profile, ours is 11' 6" high. I really don't have any dislies although we have redone almost the entire interior to suit our tastes.I think it is critical that you get a dealer you trust and can work with and you check the builder reputation for service.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby dakotakid on Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:09 am

I went to a dealer and looked at the Pilgrim line and they look well built and lite weight.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Hannibal on Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:36 am

The only way I'd go back to a TT is if it's an Airstream. They're out of our price range so entry level 5th wheels will be our choice. The stability and smoother ride of a 5th wheel can't be beat.
Dakota kid, Our Hemi powered 2500HD does a fine job of towing our 10k lb (11,400GVWR) 5th wheel around the southeast. If we towed in the mountains much, I'd want less trailer or another Cummins powered Ram. We see 4200rpm on the steeper uphills with plenty of power. I like the sound of a V8 at 4200rpm and it doesn't hurt the engine to run it in it's powerband but I wouldn't want to hear it constantly. A lighter more aerodynamic 5th wheel of 8k~~lbs would probably be a suitable match for the Hemi powered 2500HD cross country if you don't mind hearing it run 2600~rpm on the flats to mild rolling hills and 4200rpm on the steeper ones. Wind resistance will be the most drag most of the time so aerodynamics will be the biggest concern for fuel mileage and performance with a mid-sized 5th wheel to be towed with the Hemi. Our high profile flat faces 5th wheel gives us 8.5~mpg average towing 65mph around the southeast. Mileage drops pretty quick in the hills of Alabama to as low as 7.2mph. The Rockies would likely see less than 6mpg with low power at high altitudes at a hp loss of 3% for every 1k ft of elevation with our rig. The Hemi powered Ram makes a fine tow vehicle within it's ratings or slightly above if mountains aren't in your plans...
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby dakotakid on Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:41 pm

Im looking at the Pilgrim cirrus and the crossroads cruiser. I dont mind the high rpms with the hemi. With my 25ft travel trailer i get 5mpg with a strong head wind and 7.5 normal road and weather. Is there anybody that has likes or dislikes with either of these 5ers? Both are close to the same price $25,000. I have only towed to the Kansas and Texas nascar races.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Frank Henn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:53 pm

We went from a tt to a Fifth wheel last fall, we have enjoyed the change. On our short list was the Pilgrim, Sandpiper and the Crossroads Cruiser. We chose the Cruiser because of the less weight and pin weight. All so The height, this is a lower profile unit than some of them. We really like and enjoy our floor Works well for us. have to be careful because there is about ten times more storage in this unit. All have their own web sites. Check them out.. Frank and Janet
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Cobra909 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:44 pm

We purchased our 30SK last year and have enjoyed every minute of it. Did I need a 1ton dualie to tow it...Heck no. Made our maiden voyage of 130 mi one way pulling her with the '05 F150 SC 5.4L, but knew that I was maxing the truck out. Oh, don't forget, the biggest hills we have on the Gulf Coast are the Interstate overpasses, but I was pulling her fine at 65 mph in OD with no shifting going on.
Anyway, back to the Cruiser, a lot of bang for the buck. Cabinets are assembled with pocket hole screws instead of staples, extra insulation, alot of storage, roof wraps over the walls about 3" instead of right at the roof/wall junction. Almost everyone on the Crossroads forum has nothing but good to say about the factory support...no comment as luckily, we have had 0 problems.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby lifelongcampers on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:54 pm

Thanks to all who responded. I'll check the Cross Roads Crusier models. No negatives for the fifth wheel. Hummm.....
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Cobra909 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:14 pm

Sorry, forgot that part of your question. The biggest negative for some people would be if you prefer a SB truck instead of a LB. Some insist that you must use a sliding hitch with a Short bed. With our first 5er, I had a SB F150 and could still get the truck 90* to the trailer...just depends on the truck/5er combo. Maybe more wind resistance with a 5er over a TT. Some with bad knees or other disabilities like the level floor plan of a TT; although, IMHO you still have to use the outside steps. Most people I know, most posts I've read and IMHO, a 5er just pulls/handles better than a TT. Usually have more storage in a 5er.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Fire Instructor on Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:32 am

Before we ordered the Rockwood 2607, we looked at a number of floorplans and models, including a number of 5ers. We even went "on-the-road" on Thanksgiving weekend, doing a 3-day, 5-state loop looking at trailers in dealerships in NY, NJ, DE, MD, and PA so we certainly were (or became) educated consumers... Here's a few of "negatives"on why we decided NOT to go with a 5'er.

DW has bad knees. Most 5'ers are higher off the ground 2-3 steps vs 1-2 steps, PLUS, to access the upper room in a 5'er is usually another 2 steps. She found these interior steps to generally be too narrow a tread, and most didn't have a sufficient handrail - at least there is usually a decent handrail on the outside steps... The 5'er floorplan that she liked the most had 3 steps to get inside, then another 2 to get to the upper level (where the bathroom is). If you are outside (with bad knees) and you "gotta go", then 5 steps are a real obsticle.

The second negative was nowhere to carry our kayaks. With the standard TT we carry two kayaks on-top of the TV roof. We could have moved them to the roof of the camper, but then there's the convenience (and safety) of getting them up and down, not to mention the cost of a special rack for the rubber roof, PLUS the potential for damaging that roof every time you accessed them.

The final negative was that we didn't want to give-up any of the TV bed storage. That's where our generator, fuel can, drink cooler, firewood, blue-tote, awning mat, and other needed accessories go, and where anything that we buy along the way (it's difficult staying out of the antique shops) gets stowed for the trip home.

I'm not saying that a 5'er is a bad choice, just that once we looked at them, we realized that it wasn't the right choice for us!
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Fire Chief on Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:41 am

Boy what a time be looking for a new rig. Around here because of the price of fuel you can find some really good deals on used and new rigs.

We went to a fiver several years ago. Most 5's do sit higher in the front because of the standup room in the bedroom. I would never go back to a TT after pulling the fiver. Pulls easier, turns easier, and is much easier to hook-up and disconnect from. My wife backs the truck under the rig most of the time when we get ready to hook her back up.

I would suggest taking your time when you decide to buy. Look around and get a floor plan which works for you. We currently have a 32ft Alpenlite rear kitchen. Some people don't care for a rear kitchen rig, yet like us some people like them because of the extra counter space. Good luck and enjoy.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Curmudgeon on Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:48 am

I guess I'll play the devil's advocate on this issue. I own 27' and 32' TTs and a 28' FW. If you have an adequate tow vehicle, it has been my experience that a TT is at least as stable as a FW. I hear people talking about how a FW tows better and is more stable. In all of my towing I have never found that to be true, and I have never needed an anti-sway bar for a TT. I have always towed with a 3/4 or 1-ton truck, and that may be one of the reasons. If you're towing a TT and are experiencing instability or sway, that is not inherent to the design of a TT. I think it is more a function of loading, weight distribution, and TV capability (or lack of). Personally, I find towing a TT more comfortable because I don't feel the dead weight of the trailer loading my rear suspension on bumps or rough road.

I will concede that height can be a problem for some people, and that hooking up is much easier with a FW.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby skipnchar on Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:35 pm

I've towed a 5th wheel only a couple of times (not my own) and it towed just fine with no handling problems at all. We regularly travel with the owner and his wife in convoy, however and any time I'm being blown around any, so are they. I can't really say that I've ever had any instability with my set up and it now has 35,000 towing miles on it in just about any kind of weather and terrain you can imagine. I really don't think that stability is an issue as long as the tow vehicle is adequate and properly set up. I think there are a lot of OTHER reasons a person might prefer a 5th wheel, like taller ceiling height, extra load carrying capacity, more storage etc. Handling just isn't one of them that convinced me. Good luck / skip
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby fla-gypsy on Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:20 pm

I agree with Skip on this. When a TT is properly set up stability is not an issue
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Limey on Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:35 pm

I have had both a TT and a 5er. Loved them both. If the TT is setup properly, with a WD hitch and good anti sway then it tows with just as much stability as a 5er. Personally, however, I prefer the 5er. I double tow and would not be comfortable doing so with a TT. It also gives me an overall shorter setup which is an advantage. I have more storage than I did with the TT and I get better fuel consumption than I did with the 'brick' front of the TT. I still carry my genny, firewood and other stuff in the truck bed. If you stow it right it is not a problem. I also prefer the 5er for its ease in hitching and unhitching - I hated hithing the TT with the dual cam. JMHO!
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby lifelongcampers on Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:15 pm

This is good stuff. Thanks to all who responded. Sounds like the biggest plus is the storage space and the minus is the number of steps & the height of the unit. Although I've never towed a fifth wheel, I do have to agree with skip and the other posters about stability and using the best TV. I've towed with a vehicle that was too small for the job. A Jeep Cherokee with a 21' TT. I had white knuckles all the time. Then later a half ton pickup with the same hitch, the same TT and traveling the same roads. That set up was smooth as glass. Right now we have a 25' TT and a 3/4 ton pickup and that combo is great too. I'm sure something smaller would pull it just fine but for the safety of my family, I'll take the 3/4 ton pickup every time. I feel it's got nothing to do with the brand of vehicle either, it's simply a matter of the best wheel base (& weight of TV) to do the best job.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby markbet on Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:39 pm

Hi all, new here, although I do recognize a member, chrisnan33, Hey Chris!!

I went from a tent to a small 5ver, 25' with one small slide, then a year later, I traded and went with a 29.5' with triple slides. Can honestly say, I could have saved much $$$$ if I had went with the bigger camper to begin with..........love this fifthwheel!
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Frank Henn on Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:52 pm

Mark Chris is in the Cruiser Sport room with a six pack waiting for you. :D
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby markbet on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:00 pm

Frank Henn wrote:Mark Chris is in the Cruiser Sport room with a six pack waiting for you. :D



Hey Frank, that figures, Chris was always getting into my beer when I was not around in the sport room! :lol:
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby chrisnan23 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:47 am

Hi Mark good to hear from you.
Dislikes... I don't know about anyone else but backing up in either unit, 5th wheel or TT is a real pain compared to the class C but having the truck free is awsome. :D
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Benny on Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:53 am

We went from a tent, to PUP, to HTT, and now a 5th wheel. We love the new trailer. Lots of advantages with this new trailer over the HTT. Lots more room, including more storage than we can fill up right now although over time I'm sure that will change. The negatives for us have already been mentioned, high profile (have to watch those low tree limbs in the campground) and hard to carry kayaks.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby CanadianRVers on Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:39 pm

I pull a Kingston 33SK with a chevy short box & I can put her just about a full 90 degrees with no prob.

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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby cwit on Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:02 pm

One of the nice features I like towing a 5er is you can have a 30ft 5er and only 24 ft behind the truck. I have towed both with no problems but I love my 5er they just feel like they have more room, and for a packrat like me way more storage. Oh and for you people with half ton trucks like mine my camper is designed for a half ton truck,just ask your dealer for half tonners. Crossroads cruiser and zinger, the cougar are a few and there are a lot more. :D :mrgreen:
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby cwit on Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:12 pm

I to went from a 25 foot caravan tt to a 29ft3in Zinger made by crossroads love my Zinger5th wheel it tows so mutch easier. I will never go back to a tt again, just to many benefits to put in writing. A bunch have been named already. My one dislike would have to be leveling,side to side is a pain. :roll: If anyone has sujestions please help.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby antiqfreq on Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:03 pm

I, too, recognize a few names here. Just found this site today and it seems really informative!

We just bought a fiver on 2/1/08. It is a mid-profile (11'10") --haven't tested that yet though--
and we love it.

We previously had a 21 ft hybrid and now a 31 foot fiver. BIG difference and we are loving it.

No kids with us - just pets - and our floor plan fits us just fine.
We do a lot of state park camping but try to get out and dry camp 4-5 times a year also.
Florida has some great state parks and still plenty places to dry camp!

Good luck with your decision.

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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Limey on Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:11 pm

antiqfreq wrote:I, too, recognize a few names here. Just found this site today and it seems really informative!


Welcome to the forum, Jo. Glad you like it here. Please tell your friends about us! :)
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby leadm55 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:33 am

We have a 32ft Spinnaker (made by Forrest River) 5th wheel and we use the lynx levelers. Alot easier than carrying all the wood to level in. So far we haven't had any problems leveling in.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Mike in Calgary on Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:34 pm

dakotakid wrote:I went to a dealer and looked at the Pilgrim line and they look well built and lite weight.


I have a Pilgrim Lite 27LBH travel trailer and its been a great unit so far. We bought it in June '06 as an '07 model. I was at the dealer today (They had a big sale on just about everything) and they had a 272PBH-5 in the showroom. What a beautiful unit and at $29900 it was a really good price, for around here anyways. Unfortunately for me, its too much trailer for my little 1500 Silverado to handle since it's over 9000# GVW. I would buy another Pilgrim without any hesitation.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby dakotakid on Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:33 pm

For those of you that have a 5ver. Do you have a problem keeping suff in the bed? I was told stuff gets sucked out of the bed. I dont have a problem with my T T. I haul the generator, fire wood and pit, some times gas cans, lawn chairs and other crap. I'm looking at the Croosroads cruiser 27rl. $ 26,500 plus hitch and set up.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Cobra909 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:56 pm

dakotakid wrote:For those of you that have a 5ver. Do you have a problem keeping suff in the bed? I was told stuff gets sucked out of the bed. I dont have a problem with my T T. I haul the generator, fire wood and pit, some times gas cans, lawn chairs and other crap. I'm looking at the Croosroads cruiser 27rl. $ 26,500 plus hitch and set up.


Seems like some do and some don't. Maybe it depends on the TV/5er combination? I've pulled a 5er since the mid 90's and have never lost anything out of the bed. If I have something fairly light that may blow around, I secure it...just like I do to items in the bed when I'm not pulling the 5er. I think a little common sense goes a long way here. But, I've never even found the lid on an ice chest pulled/blown open, course all mine have latches.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Limey on Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:55 pm

I've had more stuff blow around in the bed since I switched from a TT to a 5 er, but as soon as I installed the V-Gate, which is louvered, there is no issue at all.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Frank Henn on Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:47 am

We have not had any problem with loosing any thing out of the bed. How ever All I carry back there is a cooler, firewood, king pin stabilzer. The chairs and other light stuff I put in the basement of the Cruiser
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:39 am

If you carry around EMPTY gas cans it could be a problem but if they have any gas in them they stay put pretty well. I seen traveling companions loose very light stuff from their truck while following them but I think that would also be a danger with any open bed pick up with or without a 5th wheel or trailer.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby cwit on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:59 am

If I carry something in the box it is held either to the front or back by cross suports. :)
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:14 am

The only problem with a fifth wheel, is the bedroom slideout, I whached my head last night, forgetting it was there.
There's a method to the madness, disturb the method and the madness begins.
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby Limey on Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:21 pm

Big Rig Guy wrote:The only problem with a fifth wheel, is the bedroom slideout, I whached my head last night, forgetting it was there.


Not a problem if you don't have a bedroom slideout! :mrgreen:
Martyn (aka Limey)

2004.5 Dodge Ram 2500 QC CTD 4x4 SLT; 2007 Coachmen Chaparral 267RLS;
Reese 15K Slider; Prodigy; JT Stabilizers; Rotochoks; 2 Honda EU2000i's
2006 Glastron MX175
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Re: 5er likes and dislikes

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:22 pm

Limey wrote:Not a problem if you don't have a bedroom slideout! :mrgreen:


Ditto here. :)

I've not had a huge deal with stuff blowing out of the PU bed except for a bag of garbage once that either one of my kids threw out for us (unlikely), or accidentally took flight while on the road.

I carry spare diesel cans while on long trips, but they're always locked with a cable, so empty or not the aren't going anywhere. The rest of what I carry in there is too heavy to be effected by the wind.
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