View Full Version : New to 5th Wheel Tow & Lifestyle

10-12-2015, 09:37 PM
Hello to all. We are just getting ready to purchase a 5th wheel between 31 to 35 feet. IN addition, we want to purchase a Ford F250 6.7 Diesel 4x4 for our tow vehicle.

Our plan is to become fulltimers and travel around our great country.

We currently live in NC and our first summer we plan on hanging around our coastal area.

My concern is driving the F250 with a camper up to 35' long with a trailer weight around 12,000.

Any tips and suggestions about driving this setup. The full gamut like drive speeds, other vehicles, hours or milage you drive in a day. Backroads vs interstate roads. I am sure there are other items you will add that I have not mentioned.

I look forward to your input, suggestions, stories and ideas.

We Thank You in advance...

10-13-2015, 09:46 AM
Welcome to the 5thwheelforums...

Since you don't have either of the units at this time, it is good to be asking questions. First, is the 12000lbs the advertised DRY weight or the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)? Big difference, as the DRY weight can be as much as 3-4000lbs less than the gross weight (gross weight = how much the unit is designed to weigh at max loading), and most of the mfgs build to minimum standards, not maximum. If you will be fulltimers, then you will have it loaded with all necessities for living, not just a week away from home--all this 'stuff' will weigh a lot more than you realize. Do you plan on a lot of camping without hookups--if so, you will need a generator to keep your batteries charged.
Second, if you are set on a Ford, get the F350 instead of the F250--almost identical units with more towing/load capacity, with little more in cost.
Third, if you are looking at 35' length, you will have to be thinking LITE/LITEWEIGHT and that will probably lower the durability for fulltiming. Fulltiming puts a lot more wear and tear on a fifth wheel, expecially if you move a lot rather than stay in one place. If looking at the shorter lengths, I don't think there are many mfgs that have one at that size that is appropriate for fulltiming. One option vital for fulltiming is a washer and dryer, either separate units or a combo, and that takes up room that would normally be a storage closet--so the 35-36-37-38' lengths will more likely be what you need.
Having said all the above, have seen many couples with smaller fivers/TTs, etc having a good time with less than all the above, so it really comes down to what you and your partner are willing to live with. My wife and I have been on several months-long trips and have realized that fulltiming would not be for us--hope that whatever you come up with for traveling is the correct choice first, rather than have to upgrade/upsize to meet your needs.
Driving habits, speeds, hours each day will come to you as you travel--only you can set your own comfort level.
Best of luck in your search.


10-13-2015, 10:37 AM
Agree with almost everything Joe has said. (great response Joe) The one issue I do not agree with is the washer/dryer. That combo takes up a lot of space that can be used for other things. While your own washer is definitely convenient, the space for other things is vital. We enjoy using the campground facilities as we can do 4-5 loads at one sitting and quite often meet others doing the same. Its a great venue for meeting others enjoying the same lifestyle and gaining useful insights.
Have fun....its a great way to live.

10-13-2015, 02:10 PM
Also agree with your take on the W/D situation, since everyone has different needs. In our case, we have sufficient room with the W/D and somewhat dislike laundromats that many times hit with too high per-load costs.
You are right, tho, the laundry room can be a meeting room, card room, etc.

10-13-2015, 11:45 PM
With the size 5W your looking at, and thinking full time, go with a one ton truck, a dually all the better. I won't get into the "Brand" debate here. On the W/D debate, we just went full time, the W/D has already paid for itself. (separate units)

09-28-2019, 05:01 PM
We also just purchased a 2017 Springdale FWRE fifth wheel which we asked for Anderson hitch and pull it with a long bed 2013 Ford F-350 srw 6.2L gas.
We think this is a good combination. Plan on towing rig to Alaska in spring of 2020. We are senior citizens (79 and 68 respectively) we hope we might find others who might be planning a similar trip from lower 48. Perhaps we could rendezvous and convoy.

09-29-2019, 06:54 AM
Richard, I believe your comment is the only one current, but might suggest a 45 galloon auxiliary tank that lays flat in the front of your bed? We have used ours now on its third truck and I consider it indispensable for travel. It installs in about one hour, two hours if it is your first install, and only has one moving part, a petcock valve. PM me if you're interested in more info. And you need to know that you can log onto http://www.keystoneforums.com with the same credentials you use here (same site owner) where you will find many, many more members, and much more info on your particular RV. This site is populated more with Mobile Suites owners, and there aren't many members here.