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Old 08-21-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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Fifthwheel pulling tips

Well it's only been a month since we got the 350 but for fun we are looking at bunkhouse fifth wheels. The end of season deals around my area are hard to believe, seems like nobody want stock on their lots this winter. We told the sales guy we really didn't plan on buying this year and he says I bet I can change that. On the spot he offered us 5k more for our trailer than I paid for it. Nuts.. He says take anything you want for the weekend just pick one. I said I didn't have a hitch he says they will put one in no charge. So for fun We are testing a 380bh5 which comes in at 13000lbs and 43" this coming weekend.

Any tips for a first time fifthwheel pull?
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:39 PM   #2
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Well it's only been a month since we got the 350 but for fun we are looking at bunkhouse fifth wheels. The end of season deals around my area are hard to believe, seems like nobody want stock on their lots this winter. We told the sales guy we really didn't plan on buying this year and he says I bet I can change that. On the spot he offered us 5k more for our trailer than I paid for it. Nuts.. He says take anything you want for the weekend just pick one. I said I didn't have a hitch he says they will put one in no charge. So for fun We are testing a 380bh5 which comes in at 13000lbs and 43" this coming weekend.

Any tips for a first time fifthwheel pull?
Uh...Yeah...Have fun!
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:51 PM   #3
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Big difference than a tow behind, I wouldn't go back. Enjoy your new purchase, eer I mean your test 5er.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Wow talk about sweetening the pot! Have fun. You will be surprized how it tows.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:15 PM   #5
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Uh oh, here we go. Just go ahead and say good bye to the tt now. Let's see towing tips I have learned in my vast 1 month experience of owning a fiver. Pay attention to your new height in relation to underpasses, over head wires and branches. You need to pull farther into the intersection before starting a turn. Mine is 39' long and it seems like pulling till my rear axle enters the intersection and then cutting my turn seems to work best (watch a few semis turn, you will get the idea). Towing forward is a lot easier and more stable.... watch your speed it is easy to go too fast. Backing up is a little different. The concepts are the same but the reaction is different. The trailer takes longer to start turning but once it starts to respond it turns quicker. Using the S turn to get the back of the fiver started in the correct direction before going backwArds is very helpful. It is harder to straighten back out when backing in a tighter turn, pulling forward will be your friend here. I was terrified to tow this thing but it came easier than I thought it would. My first big challenge will be my tight back in spot next weekend. Enjoy your Maiden voyage and go ahead and note the things you want fixed before taking possession of your soon to be new fiver.


Ps is that a Sierra? If so, come check out the Forest river forums and the other FROGs in the pond there!
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:21 PM   #6
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S truck?
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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S truck?
Stupid auto correct. Changed to S turn.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
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Well it's only been a month since we got the 350 but for fun we are looking at bunkhouse fifth wheels. The end of season deals around my area are hard to believe, seems like nobody want stock on their lots this winter. We told the sales guy we really didn't plan on buying this year and he says I bet I can change that. On the spot he offered us 5k more for our trailer than I paid for it. Nuts.. He says take anything you want for the weekend just pick one. I said I didn't have a hitch he says they will put one in no charge. So for fun We are testing a 380bh5 which comes in at 13000lbs and 43" this coming weekend.

Any tips for a first time fifthwheel pull?
After pulling your BP with your previous truck and then the 350 when you hit the road with the 5th wheel your BP is toast. I hope you left it at the dealer because you will not want to tow it again.

On the serious side all the info you are getting is good. Be very aware of low bridges, you are a lot taller. Watch the big rigs, if they can do it so can you. Spend a little time getting used to the turning, it will turn way inside of your BP. When backing don't look at the trailer, look at the trailer tires and point them where you want to go. It will fell awkward but put your steering hand at the very bottom of the wheel. Move it in the direction you want the trailer to go. If you want the trailer to go to the right move your hand to the right. It will take getting used to but it's the easiest way I found to do it until you get a few miles on it.

I don't know how you and your ground guide work but you have to have one to back it, at least for a while. And the $25 FRS walkie talkies work great. 40+ ft is a long way to holler. Try for a pull thru slot for the trial run.

And most of all relax and have fun. I'm sure we will hear about it next week, probably all week
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:30 AM   #9
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our backing routine includes the bluetooth thru the truck for my cell phone and the wife with hers out back ...
I tell her to keep talking so I know we still have a connection and if I don't hear her, I stop...
If I stop, then she has to stop talking so I can tell HER something (that's the hardest part!)

re height... on the interstates EVERYTHING is 13'6 or above unless CLEARLY marked... when we got our first 5er, the rule was we both read the height sings out loud so we would at least notice them...
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:46 AM   #10
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I never really considered the height issue as we often take the route less traveled. I would hate to get caught at a low bridge, talk about a nightmare. Thanks for the tip about pulling further in to the intersection. We are pulling to a local resort which has nice wide roads and pull though sites.

As nice as this thing might be after thinking about it for a few hours last night the urgency of the dealer to sell at nearly any cost has me back on my heels a bit. We have a new addition to our family coming next month I'm travelling to Colombia and Turkey in the next 6 weeks so there will be maybe 1 other chance to use it this season. My wife thinks I'm nuts, she is not happy about the height, length or overall size she things I'm just showing off. Lets see how two days in it changes her opinion.
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