Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-09-2015, 07:43 PM   #1
New Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: MD
Posts: 8
Learning to tow a fifth wheel- Training wheels?

I have never driven a fifth wheel before and neither has my DH. Our sole experience with a tow was a pop-up many years ago. Now, we are in the market for a 30 ft fifth wheel and I am hesitant to use the highway for my driver training. Are there any training courses out there for new drivers who want to learn how to do it right before they get out on the road? We live in Maryland and we would gladly pay for instruction.
pearlbalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
Full Time Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: DFW, TexUS
Posts: 1,032
Actually pretty hard to drive a 5'er

but towing one becomes easy quickly...

Once you get the hooking and unhooking down on the right sized tow vehicle,
really only two things to consider...
1) Height at 13'2 or so for many of them...
2) turning radius, in that you just need to drive on the 'outside' of the curve to give your 5'er a chance to cut the corner a bit...
on right angle turns, drive to where the tow vehicle has JUST enough room to make the turn and the 5'er will follow !

I know, simplified, but true - good luck
and in a few times, you'll say - that wasn't so bad !


My wife had to take over driving one time when we were on the interstate and I was just too tired to drive any longer...
being on the interstate- just point it, right ?!?
TWO miles after we swapped the interstate was shut down and she had to maneuver through TIGHT two lanes for about 10 miles !!!! She did fine !
johnboytoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2015, 11:02 PM   #3
Full Time Camper
 
WildWildWest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 844
You can take a course if you want. Where I am you are required to get a G1 license (heavy trailer) and take a road test with it in tow for trailers over 10,000 lbs. It's basically a Class 1 without air brakes and 13-speed. I decided to just get the Class1 learner which qualifies for the G1 endorsement required here. It was easy for me as I had towed travel trailers for years before buying a fifth wheel. In your state just do some license inquiry about professional driving courses and you should find something that works if you want to go that route. In reality the big thing is to practice driving it before going on a long trip and get used to how to back up - it maneuvers different than a bumper hitch. And get used to the greater off track on the corners. It cuts more inside your tow vehicle track.
__________________
Scott
2013 CrossRoads Cruiser Patriot CF345RF
2011 Ford F350 Lariat FX4 CC 6.7L Turbo Diesel (Heavily Modified)
Saskatoon, SK
WildWildWest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 08:57 AM   #4
Seasonal Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 376
You did not mention what you were going to tow the 5th wheel with.

With a 30 foot trailer you are in the 3500 series of tow vehicles.

Many will insist that you are also in dully territory. That will have to be a decision you make as there are many that go with a 3500 single wheel.

But regardless what you tow with go to the scales before any major towing and check the pin weight percentage.

If you have your pin weight percentage in the 25% range there should not be any handling problems.

Also set up the trailer hitch so the trailer is as close to level as possible.

Last do not go cheap on the brake controller. If it is a new tow vehicle it will most likely have an integrated controller which is good.

If it does not have an integrated controller I would recommend the Prodigy P3.
rcflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 01:00 PM   #5
Site Team
 
mark5w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: PA
Posts: 4,642
At night, when the mall lots are empty is the time to practice backing and turning. Once you get a little confidence there, you will be ready for a trip to your campground. You learn by repetition and building experience. Having confidence in yourself is very important.
__________________
Mark & Susan
Lehighton, Pennsylvania

'13 Cruiser Patriot 335SS - '13 Ford F150 SCREW - PullRite Superslide - Roadmaster Active Suspension
Member - "Northeast Crossroad Rally" & "Mason-Dixon Bunch"
mark5w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 01:37 PM   #6
Full Time Camper
 
fhenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ms
Posts: 2,735
the other good place are stadium parking lots, other than game day they sit idol much of the time
__________________
Frank and Janet Henn
2017 380MBH pushing a 2007 Dodge
CDT with a six speed Automatic
Traveling with Hoover and Rainbow the wonder dogs and now with Sunshine the rescue Schnauzer.
fhenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 03:03 PM   #7
Family Vacation Member
 
lmpres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: nh
Posts: 164
Many of the 2500 and 250 series pull many of the 30's with no problem.....
__________________
2015 Cruiser 322RL
2017 Ford F-350 Lariat Diesel Dually
lmpres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 05:10 PM   #8
Full Time Camper
 
Loneoak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Winchester, ON
Posts: 1,177
We tow our 34' fifth wheel with an F250 and there is power to spare!

I have several of advice for backing up a fifth wheel.

1. There is a delay between the time you make a correction on your steering and when the trailer actually reacts. By the time it reacts, you have usually over-corrected. Start "following it in" ahead of time.

2. When you learn how to do it, use reference points, so that you are not "re-inventing" the wheel each time. Pace out how far past the driveway or whatever you are backing into you need to be before you start backing, and you will know for each time. For us, the rear of the trailer should be about 20 feet past the edge of the driveway. Then we start turning the wheel right away and she goes in. We start about 3 feet from the edge of the road and go in at a 90 degree angle. There are lots of people who will tell you to start at the other side of the road, but quite often you don't have that much space to work with.

3. Many people will tell you that you always should back in on your non-blind side. You should get comfortable doing it on your blind side as well, because sometimes you have no choice. Every time we go home, we back in on our blind side due to our location (no choice). We use walkie-talkies to communicate.
__________________

2012 Cruiser Sahara 330SS
2015 F250 Super Duty diesel
Loneoak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2015, 07:39 PM   #9
Full Time Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Normal
Posts: 629
I just upgraded this weekend to a 35-foot 5th wheel from a 31-foot travel trailer so my learning curve was pretty short. However, as others have said, go find a nice big empty parking lot to get the feel for things, just watch out for lamp-posts. After picking up the rig from the hitch service, I practiced a bit as the 5th wheel does respond a bit differently than the travel trailer when backing. Good luck...
__________________


2015 Rushmore Springfield



2017 F350 Dually 4x4 6.7 Bronze Fire
gossamar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 07:00 AM   #10
Weekend Camper
 
ttroup's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark5w View Post
At night, when the mall lots are empty is the time to practice backing and turning. Once you get a little confidence there, you will be ready for a trip to your campground. You learn by repetition and building experience. Having confidence in yourself is very important.

This is a great idea and tip! Good luck!
__________________
Taylor Troup
CrossRoads Employee
Recreational Lifestyle Specialist
ttroup is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fifth wheel, training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Crossroads RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.