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Old 09-21-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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5th Wheel Towing

I've always towed a travel trailer, latest 36' Sunset Rrail Reserve ST32RL. When turning corners I have to turn really wide to keep from clipping any obstacles that might be in the inside of the turn.

With that said does a 5th wheel track the TV better, staying in line with it?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
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No, in reality a fifth wheel of similar size will cut inside the tow vehicle even worse.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #3
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A travel trailer will generally follow the tow vehicle. A fifth wheel likes to take a short-cut. Just watch tractor-trailers on the road. They are essentially fifth wheels, and they always take wide turns. As a matter of fact, they usually have a sign on the rear mentioning this fact.

One other difference in fifth wheel towing is the backing up. The TT reacts right away to a correction of the steering wheel in the TV, the fifth wheel has a delayed reaction. By the time it reacts, most drivers have already over-corrected.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Loneoak View Post
A travel trailer will generally follow the tow vehicle. A fifth wheel likes to take a short-cut. Just watch tractor-trailers on the road. They are essentially fifth wheels, and they always take wide turns. As a matter of fact, they usually have a sign on the rear mentioning this fact.

One other difference in fifth wheel towing is the backing up. The TT reacts right away to a correction of the steering wheel in the TV, the fifth wheel has a delayed reaction. By the time it reacts, most drivers have already over-corrected.
X2...

"essentially". Tractor Trailers ARE 5th wheels.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Just like you had to learn to pull a trailer from a bumper hitch, you can also learn to pull with a fifth wheel. The real difference has more to do with the dynamics between the pivot points (hitch or fifth wheel) and the distance to the front axle. Hence, you have a 36' TT track different than a 36' fifth wheel depending on that distance between hitch and axle. Personally, I like the 5s because you have better maneuverability since your overall length in proportion to the TV and TT (or 5er)pivot point is better.....my opinion.
The biggest gain, my opinion again, is that you also can get a higher GVW with a fifth wheel since you are directly over the axle.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Loneoak View Post
A travel trailer will generally follow the tow vehicle. A fifth wheel likes to take a short-cut. Just watch tractor-trailers on the road. They are essentially fifth wheels, and they always take wide turns. As a matter of fact, they usually have a sign on the rear mentioning this fact.

One other difference in fifth wheel towing is the backing up. The TT reacts right away to a correction of the steering wheel in the TV, the fifth wheel has a delayed reaction. By the time it reacts, most drivers have already over-corrected.
X3. someone once taught me to start my turn once my tv rear wheels enter the intersection and then cut hard back into the turn. This works for tighter turns but understand it puts you into the incoming traffic lane. Cutting out wider in the turns helps a lot.

Backing up is an entirely different animal. I'm still getting the hang of it and provided great entertainment for everyone this weekend putting it on site. I have learned you often do better pulling forward to straighten out as it takes so long to correct a turn while backing up.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:05 PM   #7
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Sign on my 5th wheel Left side "Passing Side" Right side "Suicide"!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:19 PM   #8
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Sign on my 5th wheel Left side "Passing Side" Right side "Suicide"!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL!
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bturner View Post
I've always towed a travel trailer, latest 36' Sunset Rrail Reserve ST32RL. When turning corners I have to turn really wide to keep from clipping any obstacles that might be in the inside of the turn.

With that said does a 5th wheel track the TV better, staying in line with it?

Thanks for any input.
It's called tracking. even your rear tires of your truck don't follow the front tires. The tighter the turn the more the offset. A good rule of thumb at an intersection is to drive into the intersection until the tires on the trailer get to where the radius of the corner starts. watch your mirrors and remember to always be aware of what the trailer is doing.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:51 AM   #10
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. Personally, I like the 5s because you have better maneuverability since your overall length in proportion to the TV and TT (or 5er)pivot point is better.....my opinion.
I disagree. I can back in a bumper pull trailer Far easier than a 5th wheel.
The pivot point you refer to is so much further back on a bumper pull, the response to the front wheel change of direction is so much more pronounced.

Even though I don't need it, my 5th wheel hitch is a slider. Moving it back 12 or so inches towards the rear, makes backing up again, much more responsive.

Where I used to store my 5th wheel, I had a very small area to back into at an angle and extending the slider back, made parking ten times easier.

It always better to give yourself more room then necessary in turns and tighten, if needed, then to underestimate and have to back up and allow for more space, not to mention the potential for damage.

To the points above, whatever you have, you need to adjust your driving style according to that size trailer and it's differences when pulling.
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