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Old 03-21-2016, 06:19 PM   #1
17Oaks
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New Guy question

Beginning to look at possible 5th wheel set ups and I have a couple of questions to get me looking at various brands.

1) Trying to find the shortest possible 5th wheel and getting more mixed answers than a box of chocolates. Been told the shortest is 30 feet, but I saw one and they guy who owned it told me it was a '24????

2) While length and engineering is interest, the wife is more into quality, meaning no junk, no down market, she believes cheap don't come good and good don't come cheap...does not have to be Rolls Royce of the 5th wheel world but she does like nice.

The purpose behind this is that we have a Arctic Fox 1150 Truck Camper, its very nice and we love it, had it for 7 years. We also have 5 dogs and our newest tips the scales at nearly 90 lbs and I got to thinking maybe a bit more room for our dogs (and yes I would have no issue in buying a 5th for my dogs...our children). We had a 45' motorcoach before our truck camper and time I hooked up to my 30' box trailer to haul my Jeep I was 78' feet long and driving that monster was nothing but stress.

I know little if anything about 5th wheel brands, quality etc. Any help, suggestion would be appreciated, thank you...
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:34 PM   #2
wingnut60
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With your experience with AF, that would be the first place to look for a nice fiver--they are known for quality in the smaller units--I don't believe they build one over 32'?
Guess space is relative to what one is used to--I could never be in a 24'-30' fiver, but they are certainly larger than a truck camper.
Used Excels would also be a good brand to look at, maybe HitchHiker--both were known for good quality, but are now out of business.
With a TC, you have a 3/4 or 1 ton truck?
Joe
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:08 PM   #3
17Oaks
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
With your experience with AF, that would be the first place to look for a nice fiver--they are known for quality in the smaller units--I don't believe they build one over 32'?
Guess space is relative to what one is used to--I could never be in a 24'-30' fiver, but they are certainly larger than a truck camper.
Used Excels would also be a good brand to look at, maybe HitchHiker--both were known for good quality, but are now out of business.
With a TC, you have a 3/4 or 1 ton truck?
Joe
Thank you.

Someone mentioned a Jayco 23 which I looked at on their website and that would work, but I have no idea of the quality of Jayco?????? anyone?

I have a '15 F 350 CC, LB, King Ranch, Dually that is my company truck so I can handle just about anything I hook up to.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:26 PM   #4
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One thing to consider, if you are going to pull it with the '15 dually--a very short fiver will probably sit nose-high on your truck (be thankful you don't have a GM/Ram) and there should be some consideration to hitching up to the trailer before you buy it. A little nose-high won't hurt, but you could be looking at 3-4" or more. A longer fiver should ride more level.
If you find this a problem, only thing to do is to raise the trailer attitude by putting the axles under the springs or adding a riser between the frame and the spring mounts.
Just a thought....
Joe
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:08 AM   #5
17Oaks
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
One thing to consider, if you are going to pull it with the '15 dually--a very short fiver will probably sit nose-high on your truck (be thankful you don't have a GM/Ram) and there should be some consideration to hitching up to the trailer before you buy it. A little nose-high won't hurt, but you could be looking at 3-4" or more. A longer fiver should ride more level.
If you find this a problem, only thing to do is to raise the trailer attitude by putting the axles under the springs or adding a riser between the frame and the spring mounts.
Just a thought....
Joe
Joe, thanks, 'ppreciate your insight, learned something.

Let me add something: 'Spring over' conversions have been around a long time and I cannot recommend them under any circumstances. I have seen them under a few cars (hot rods) but they are mostly the domain of the trailer set. What they do is radically move the CoG upwards and move the fulcrum point from below the axle to above. The result is when under high speed such as on highways the trailer over reacts to inputs, especially those that results in trailer saw such as dodging pot hole or object in road or even just passing and changing lanes. It also increases the air flow under the trailer (causing more lift) and if you have ever driven I 10 starting at the Ca border towards LA you will find 18 wheelers laying on their sides and no shortage of various trailer.

Then of course there is the off road interaction. Many camping areas have dirt road access and I have seen a pull behind flip at speeds of <10 mph. It almost took the tow vehicle with it, but there was enough play that the tow rig was only sitting on 2 wheels and not far enough over to lay it down. With LUCK it was a short trailer (raised to be level) and we managed to get it back upright with minimum damage to all.

I told the guy if he would bring it over to my shop I would fab up a set of shackles to help him out (free) but like so many, he blamed the trailer

If you must raise your trailer then spring shackles are the way to go. This way you keep the springs under the axles.
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