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View Full Version : new to 5th wheel towing any pointers or advice???



szewczyk_john
01-19-2011, 08:11 PM
We just agreed to purchase a 2011 road warrior 305. I'm selling the Jayco 262FK travel trailer which only weighed in at 6000 lbs. The new one will be twice that. I'm looking for pointers and/or advice on towing a 5th wheel as I have never done so. Also what first time purchases did you buy to go with the 5th wheel that I may not be thinking about?

aatauses
01-20-2011, 12:07 AM
I assume you have plenty of truck to take on the extra weight? That taken care of, I would suggest you find a parking lot and go play. You will find that they pull and track quite easily. The one area that surprised me was the tail swing that you always need to be aware when making any turn.
Since you had a trailer, you probably have the necessary electrical conversions (15, 30, 50) and if not should consider some type of surge protector, water regulator, and water filter.
These are only a few suggestions---others can add to my suggestions.
al

TXBobcat
01-20-2011, 12:18 AM
Same here as aatauses.. Give us information about your TV.

The fifth wheel does not turn as quickly when backing as your TT. Find a large parking lot like for a school or grocery store. Get you some small orange cones and put them around your truck and trailer. Pull out, turn around and pactice backing into the cones you sat out.

Find a rally in your area and talk to others that can take the time and show you. All the stuff you have for your TT you can probably use for he 5th wheel.

BC

szewczyk_john
01-20-2011, 05:38 AM
TV is a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega cab with the cummins. I will be adding the firestone air bags. I will be installing a manual slider 16k hitch. prodigy brake controller.

boatto5er
01-20-2011, 10:09 AM
Same here as aatauses.. Give us information about your TV.

The fifth wheel does not turn as quickly when backing as your TT. Find a large parking lot like for a school or grocery store. Get you some small orange cones and put them around your truck and trailer. Pull out, turn around and pactice backing into the cones you sat out.

Find a rally in your area and talk to others that can take the time and show you. All the stuff you have for your TT you can probably use for he 5th wheel.

BC

There's a rally scheduled in PA in early June. Also, there's a nearby (depending on what part of PA you live in) rally in NJ in May. As TXBobcat pointed out, these are great places to exchange ideas, learn tips, and get great advice. Check out the rally schedule on the Forum Portal page. Can't recommend this course of action enough!

jmgratz
01-20-2011, 10:20 AM
My biggest suggestion is going straight forward is easy. The 5er will track to the inside when turning so be aware of that. But most important when backing us a spotter (someone to stand behind you) and back SLOWLY. Good Luck.

boatto5er
01-20-2011, 10:24 AM
My biggest suggestion is going straight forward is easy. The 5er will track to the inside when turning so be aware of that. But most important when backing us a spotter (someone to stand behind you) and back SLOWLY. Good Luck.

Two way hand held radios work great to help us (driver-me and spotter-DW) communicate when backing up.

TedS
01-20-2011, 10:28 AM
Why are you adding air bags? To level the trailer when towing? They do no increase the load capacity of your truck.

tmcran
01-20-2011, 12:18 PM
You might look into the Maxbrake controller. It is truly a proportional system.Best system I have found. Besure to go deep in your turns.

caissiel
01-20-2011, 12:19 PM
I towed a similar weight trailer for 13 years and they drive well behind a 3/4 ton. Your spring plies will be just tight enough to give you a great ride.
When I tow the 5th I always think that the TV is the front wheels of the RV contrary to a TT that way backing up and going around corners is easier. Actualy your TV rear wheels are the steering wheels of the trailer. Shorter wheel base trucks are advantage for ease of manuvering but ther rear axle to cab distance is a lot closer when towing with the Ram Mega cab.

szewczyk_john
01-20-2011, 12:51 PM
Too many members have suggested air bags for me to ignore them all. I have used this ruck to pick up construction materials for my house and have never even seen this truck sag any. I plan on using the first tow home from Detroit to Pittsburgh as a test to see how the combo reacts. I have money put aside for the air bags just in case I think I want them installed. Thanks for all the great advice. Looking at the national rally so that we might meet some of you all.

GOTTOYS
01-20-2011, 03:12 PM
I tow a BC 3250 with a Ram 2500. I added airbags but I really doubt that I need them. I only add about 10 PSI to them when towing. The truck sits pretty level with only the minimum 5 PSI. I installed them myself before I bought the trailer as I too heard you needed them. I probably wouldn't get them again at least for this trailer. Set aside about $250.00 and order them online if you think you need them. Takes about an hour to install by yourself. Bolt into place with only 2 holes to drill for the fill valves. I wouldn't pay anyone to install them, it's too easy...Don

grizzlygiant
01-20-2011, 05:46 PM
Too many members have suggested air bags for me to ignore them all. I have used this ruck to pick up construction materials for my house and have never even seen this truck sag any. I plan on using the first tow home from Detroit to Pittsburgh as a test to see how the combo reacts. I have money put aside for the air bags just in case I think I want them installed. Thanks for all the great advice. Looking at the national rally so that we might meet some of you all.

Don't overlook TIMBRENS. They eliminate botteming-out when you hit a bump and they require no air.

Birchwood
01-20-2011, 06:42 PM
The 305 has quite a high pin weight of 2500 to 2800 lbs.That puts you at or over the GVWR of a 3/4 ton and as someone else said
air bags will not increase the weight rating of your tow vehicle.Air bags may be good for the short haul but cross country travel ??

Mike Aplin
01-21-2011, 09:41 AM
Congrats on your new purchase. Did you purchase it at the Pittsburgh show? Remember that the 305RW was designed for most if not all 3/4 ton trucks. The pin weight is going to be right around 2500lbs but also keep in mind that the garage is rated at 2,500lbs so when you load items in the garage you are going to take a percentage of the pin which will maintain you comfortable ride without the teeter totter effect. Welcome to the family!!:cool: Take care, Mike

convert
01-21-2011, 11:00 AM
RE: first time purchases. I to purchased a 2011 Big Horn last Sept. U might consider a air ride pin box, I chose a TrailAir, however I neglected to purchase the TriGlide. The Trail Air provides a smoother ride in the trailer and the Tri Glide reduces the chucking greatly. I added the Tri glide later at a greater cost from TrailAir. it would have been cheaper to order it with the trail air pin box. Just a suggestion because I had the experience with and w/o the Tri Glide. Also am a convert from a TT. Best of luck on your purchase.

BruteForce
01-21-2011, 07:43 PM
You'll be fine with your 3/4 ton. I have a 1ton Dually and my 395 drops my truck less than an inch and I have about 3500-4000 pounds of pin weight. I have air bags, but I only need them to smooth out the ride, not to level the rig. I originally had a Ram 2500 and was looking at the 305, but the wife wanted the 395, so I had to upgrade the tow truck. (because I'm 42' long and 27k pounds GCVWR)

Vtxkid
01-22-2011, 01:41 PM
When we bought our 3010, I didn't have air bags either. Two things changed my mind. First, even though the rig looked pretty level and I was happy with that, it turned out to be a problem at night with the headlights pointing a little higher the normal. Second, I realized that the ride was smoother after I installed the bags. So, I for one was glad I invested in them...