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Old 08-18-2011, 02:03 AM   #1
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As I've said earlier, I'm new to the 5th wheel world (hopefully buying Cruiser on Saturday) so wondering what's the differences in towing as compared to a travel trailer. I have been told the one issue that is most different is backing that involves turning. Any "tricks" to this as well as other things I should be aware of? Thanks in advance, Roy

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Old 08-18-2011, 02:10 AM   #2
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The 5th wheel will be slower to respond to turning both backing and making corners compared to a TT. With our Sidewinder hitch I have the best of both worlds. If you have been towing a TT you will get the hang of the 5th wheel in no time.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:11 AM   #3
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Roy, a 5th wheel follows behind and handles so much better then "most" trailers, it's not even funny.
As far as backing, if you know how to back a trailer---it's basically the same thing/same way.
Just take it easy until you feel comfortable, and have fun.




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Old 08-18-2011, 02:23 AM   #4
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I second the above comments. In my experience the longer the hitch the easier the backing and so with a 5th wheel there is no length and as Hunter says "slow in responding". The biggest problem backing my Cruiser is my DW. She tells me to start turning and by that time it's too late. I need to get her thinking farther ahead to anticipate the turn.
You'll love pulling a 5er as much as I do, for the most part I hardly even know it's there!
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:05 AM   #5
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Roy,
come camp with the "Mason - Dixon Bunch" rally in Endless Caverns, VA, October14, 15, 16, 2011. many iof us arrive thursday....leave monday.
go to "rally with crossroads" thread.....MASON-DIXON BUNCH rally for details.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:07 AM   #6
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Roy, just made the switch from bumper pull (10 yr.) to fifthwheel---still can't see anything behind me when backing, pretty much the same as the the other.As far as towing,I know it's back there everytime I take off, everytime I stop.I do get some truck movement, particulary on rough roadsdifferent than with the trailer but it's still there. It's a more up and down movement as compared to the little bit of side to side movement with the bumperpull. Not trying toscare you or anything I just didn't want you to go into it think no big deal it's a peice of cake, after all youhave something behind you thatweighs more than the TV.



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Old 08-18-2011, 06:16 AM   #7
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When towing you will have to make wider turns then with a TT. The wheels of a TT will generally follow the TV wheels where a 5ers wheels will cut inside the TV wheels.



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Old 08-18-2011, 06:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief-e9
.....is backing that involves turning.
Wouldn't it be nice if it did not involve turning.



What you want to do is worry about something you can't control. Picture yourself needing to back up in a crowded campground with a counter-clockwise, blind situation with all the other campers turning their lounge chairs to get a better view of the spectacle. Make sure your spotter is completely out of view (directly behind your rig), and you want to make sure it's really hot out there, and you're tired from a long drive.



P.S. Most of the observers WANT you to mess up, because they messed up too, and it will make them feel better - about themselves.



Enjoy your rig and your journey.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korbe & Diana
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief-e9
.....is backing that involves turning.
Wouldn't it be nice if it did not involve turning.

What you want to do is worry about something you can't control. Picture yourself needing to back up in a crowded campground with a counter-clockwise, blind situation with all the other campers turning their lounge chairs to get a better view of the spectacle. Make sure your spotter is completely out of view (directly behind your rig), and you want to make sure it's really hot out there, and you're tired from a long drive.

P.S. Most of the observers WANT you to mess up, because they messed up too, and it will make them feel better - about themselves.

Enjoy your rig and your journey.


Ditto what Korbe & Diana said! The main difference I've noticed, no more swaying RV, when the big trucks pass by.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:57 AM   #10
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go find a store parking lot when they are closed or abandoned parking lot and do some practicing. get some buckets or other visual clues and practice backing in, etc. if you have to back into your driveway, come in from the opposite side, cross the lane and then angle the truck/trailer, that will give you a head start on the turn. when backing, put your hand on the middle top of the steering wheel with the wheels straight ahead. it iseasier tomake balanced correctionsthis way if you have to back up.



don't forget (well maybe different with 5th wheel TT -vs- gooseneck horsetrailers, that you can actually turn sharp enough to run the trailer into the cab of the truck.



When you hook up your hitch, always get into the habit of breaking your concentration and then go double check yourself. you don't want to get into a routine and forget something out of complacency. Even with our current bumper pull, or the little yard trailer I haul stuff on, I do something to change my focus. Walk to the front of the truck, anything to force yourself to be taking a fresh look. Atleast that is my opinion. When I was younger I worked around dangerous machinery and I developed little habits like that, and I still have all my fingers and hands andnever had a serious injury.







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Old 08-18-2011, 12:03 PM   #11
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DW and I use two ways too..., just my halfcent ....
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:14 AM   #12
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A good spotter and two way radios make things a lot eaiser. Even at that take it slow and easy, my better half has to tell me every once in a while "slow down it's not a race". And sometimes it is still better to see for your self just so you can visulize what you need to do, get out and look.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:43 AM   #13
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Because thekingpin pivot point is slightly in front of rear axle, the 5vr is going to take longer to start to turn when you are backing up, than a TT, but once it starts to turn it reacts like a TT. One important thing to remember that an old transport driver told me and that is notto do too much steering or you'll get yourself into a embarrassing position.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:47 PM   #14
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I just switched to a 5'er last season. For me, the backing up wasn't the difficult part. I watch where the wheels travel, with the wife out back spotting to make sureI don't hit anything. We use our cell phones to communicate. I put mine on speakerphone and set it on the console.
The big difference for me was making turns going forward. I suggest going way beyond what you would do towing a trailer, and then maybe you will give yourself enough clearance for the turn. Keep an eye in the mirror to see where those wheels are tracking.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #15
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Thanks to all. It's almost 0600 and we'll be on the road to Ocala, Fl area within the hour. Hopefully, will be there by late afternoon. I'll post updates on the purchase, towing, etc. as it happens. Sure there will be more questions. I really appreciate you folks on this forum. You are most helpful and I hope to soon be able to advise, also.

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Old 08-19-2011, 09:13 PM   #16
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Have a fun and safe trip.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:50 PM   #17
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Congrats, good luck, safe travels!!
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:21 AM   #18
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heres a simple solution: get a pull thru site!!!!!

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