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Old 06-17-2016, 04:54 PM   #1
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Question Trailer towing vs. Fifth wheel towing

We have had 4 fifth wheels over the last 25 years, each one bigger than the last (kind of like buying boats I guess). Current one is a CR 32BL with bunks for the grandkids and is close to 35' long. We're thinking about downsizing to 24-26 feet in a towed trailer and heading out to see more of the country, hopefully with a more civilized ride.

The question is we don't know what to expect towing a straight trailer having never handled one. We've towed small boats and pop ups just with a bumper mounted ball and only once did we experience radical bouncing on a concrete road with expansion strips (that was the boat that was way too aft heavy).

As every fifth wheel owner knows, the "chucking" or "push/pull" can be exasperating when driving distances on an expansion joint road. Headaches, sore necks, and bad tempers can take any pleasure out of a trip even with a aftermarket kingpin that handles minor road issues.

We know the need for a weight distributing hitch and there are a myriad to choose from. Does "chucking" or "push/pull" exist on straight trailers? Does bounce occur on bad roads?

One person I talked to said airbags on his pickup made all the difference in the ride. Recommended?

I will probably tow with a 2011 Tahoe with a trailer package (rated 8200#) to enhance comfort. The older I get it (still don't know how "old" happened) "roughing it" fades in the distance.

Thanks for any info,
Jack
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:15 PM   #2
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I've had both large & small of each & I'll take the 5er over the TT any day. The 5er tows better, has more room, more storage, backs easier, & in my opinion the wind doesn't affect it as much. On the other hand ours is too large for most state parks, well for most older parks of any kind, but in our case it's home & couldn't imagine doing what we do in a 25' TT. Our 5er has the Trail Air Tri Glide hitch & except for occasional bridges or railroad tracks it's fairly smooth, if I were to put air bags on the truck would improve the ride even more.
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:22 PM   #3
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Hensley Arrow with move the pivot point to the rear axle instead of the rear of the truck. I had one on my 36ft tt for 4yrs,no sway and backs in lIke a fifthwheel. Only draw Back is $$$
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:38 PM   #4
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Hensley Arrow with move the pivot point to the rear axle instead of the rear of the truck. I had one on my 36ft tt for 4yrs,no sway and backs in lIke a fifthwheel. Only draw Back is $$$
I fully agree on the Hensley Arrow or the Pro-pride. They are both expensive, but if you want to be comfortable towing on the road, then in my opinion, well worth the money for comfort and peace of mind.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:42 PM   #5
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I have a 28 ft Cruiser 5th wheel that does not exibit chucking or push and pull as described.

I have 25% pin weight.

Two things that I believe can cause chucking and the push pull described. One is low pin weight percentage and a brake controller that has not been setup correctly.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:02 PM   #6
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I fully agree on the Hensley Arrow or the Pro-pride. They are both expensive, but if you want to be comfortable towing on the road, then in my opinion, well worth the money for comfort and peace of mind.
I don't have experience with either of these, but anything less in a TT setup will definitely (IMHO) be worse than towing a fiver. Again, my opinion, but push/pull will be worse because the TT will be acting against the truck thru the pivot point far behind the truck's rear axle. Same for up and down motion over bumps, etc. If you think you have driver stress with a fiver, it will be worse with a TT.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:38 PM   #7
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I won't pull a tt without a Hensley, now no how.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:54 PM   #8
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One of my concerns about what you're proposing is the Tahoe's short wheelbase. Its 116" wheelbase is very short for any size TT.
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