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Old 04-04-2013, 12:19 AM   #1
leemedic
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Saying Hello


Just want to drop a line. We just picked up our new 2013 Montana. We traded in our Keystone Sprinter TT and decided we needed more room so here we are.

We live in SW Florida and do most of our camping in the fall and winter months down here. Both of us are still fully employed (got to pay for this thing some how.)

I have been a member of the www.keystonerv.org for a while. A lot of good information over there as well.

Looking forward to our first camping trip in 10 days, although it will only be for a weekend.

Just from the little towing I have done with this huge 5th wheel, I see I will need some practice. I can take a TT and park it on a dime, but have found this big rig a bit more challenging. We like camping in the Florida State parks, but the roads are narrow, so we might have to rethink our camping locations.

Well anyway I just wanted to say Hello.

Happy Camping!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:00 AM   #2
NCFischers
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Welcome to the forum. Go out one Sunday morning and find a large parking lot and practice, practice, practice.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:29 AM   #3
bethandkevin
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Welcome. Very nice upgrade. As for backing, they are a different animal than a TT, but you'll get the hang of it. Take some cones or lawn chairs with you to practice with. Stripes in a parking lot are fine, but campgrounds don't have em.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:58 AM   #4
mail2us
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Hey Darnell,

Best to ya on your new Montana and safe travels. Those narrow state park roads in FL tend to be wide enough. It's the overhead that can sometimes be tricky. Good Luck.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:17 AM   #5
HOOK
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Welcome! "Just do it !" We all crossed that bridge. Soon you will be "right at home"! Come to the Mid Atlantic Rally, good towing experience and you will see first hand, "The MOC" in operation. We have great rallys.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:13 AM   #6
DQDick
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Frankly I think that our Monty is easier to maneuver than our 18' TT was, it just takes some getting used to. As previously mentioned the height issue is something new you'll have to watch. Our rigs are tall and the budget to trim trees is rapidly being removed from many states and federal park budgets. Welcome to the forum. As things come up you'll find many here ready and willing to help and always someone who's "been there and done that". You have a lot of camping experience to share also, so please jump in often.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:24 AM   #7
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In backing a TT compared to a 5th Wheel, which I have towed each, you need to anticipate your turn. As the TT is quicker to respond in backing the 5th wheel is not. You have to pull a little further forward when backing into a spot. Same with straighting out, you have to correct before you get to the turning point or you will over shoot it. This is due to the hitch point being over the axel, instead of on the bumper.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:14 AM   #8
leemedic
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In reference to backing I found these suggestions to learning how to back a 5th. I went out today, followed it to the letter and found myself backing the trailer in the wrong direction. What are your thoughts on these instructions. Tip 5 seems to be backwards.


Tip 4: Get out and survey the parking area (with your spotter) for obstructions. Determine where you want the trailer to end up and pick a reference point, which will act as the "edge of the parking area".

Tip 5: Start with the truck and trailer traveling straight. You want the side you are turning into to be about 4' off the curb or edge of the road. When the tow vehicles rear axle is at the far edge of the parking space, cut your truck wheel hard away from the curb. When the truck is about a 45-degree angle to the curb (or as close as you can get given the space you have to use) straighten the wheel back to the neutral position. As soon as the truck has begun going straight, cut the wheel hard in the opposite direction until the truck is again parallel to the curb. STOP. Your trailer is now at a good angle to start backing up.

Tip 6: Jack the trailer until it get to about 15-20 degree angle of the space you are going to park it then start chasing it.

Tip 7: If your running out of space to get the truck & trailer running straight, don't be afraid to pull forward to help straighten it out.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #9
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As another one who graduated from a TT to a 5th Wheel, the best advice is what others have said.....practice. With the 5th, you have to turn earlier, and correct earlier than a TT. You will get the feel of what to do when and there is not an instruction manual that will help until you go and do it yourself. Jim's parking lot suggestion is an excellent one. Education is gained from mistakes, so go ahead and make some mistakes and learn!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #10
NCFischers
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When backing with the trailer, grab the bottom of the steering wheel. If you want the rear of the trailer to go left, turn the wheel left. I've always found that you get better results when you make slight corrections to the steering rather than severe ones.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
leemedic
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Thanks for all the advise.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
HOOK
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Any one who can fly a chopper can manage a 5er.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:01 PM   #13
leemedic
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Hook, that might be true, but we don't have as many obstacles up there! LOL
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by BethandKevin

Welcome. Very nice upgrade. As for backing, they are a different animal than a TT, but you'll get the hang of it. Take some cones or lawn chairs with you to practice with. Stripes in a parking lot are fine, but campgrounds don't have em.
Chairs get expensive.. cones work well as to pieces of 2x4 laid out in the general arc of travel. I had an old trucker help me learn.. but, I taught my son do do it with a long piece of rope in an arc to get him in the right place. Nothing to knock over or damage..
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:19 PM   #15
snfexpress
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You'll get it no time. I had never pulled anything longer than a utility trailer when we bought our first 5er in January of '06. Now, I can put it just abut anywhere!
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #16
Carole
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Congratulations on that new FW. We bought a Mountaineer 358 Rlt in August and we love the floor plan. I think the living room and kitchen is the same as the 3582. We went south in ours for 2 months and loved all the room and countertop area. We ended up putting our sofa in the rear and the recliners by the dining table. Slide goes in just fine. We like that arrangement for watching TV. I know you will enjoy yours as much as we do ours. Safe travels, maybe we will see you at the fall rally.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:24 AM   #17
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We went straight from a pop up to 39 feet, so if I can do it, you can too. We also spend a lot of time in FL state parks, and yes, some are better than others. About the only one I do not go to anymore because of space to turn and back in is Tamoka SP in Ormond Beach. Just need to eyeball sites for length, overhead clearance and room for slides. What used to be our favorite sites no longer work!
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:01 PM   #18
cdaniels
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As far as stat parks we try to go in without the RV and eye up campsites and mark ones we can fit into even if we first stay close by in private cg big rig accessible.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #19
jjackflash
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by leemedic

In reference to backing I found these suggestions to learning how to back a 5th. I went out today, followed it to the letter and found myself backing the trailer in the wrong direction. What are your thoughts on these instructions. Tip 5 seems to be backwards.


Tip 4: Get out and survey the parking area (with your spotter) for obstructions. Determine where you want the trailer to end up and pick a reference point, which will act as the "edge of the parking area".

Tip 5: Start with the truck and trailer traveling straight. You want the side you are turning into to be about 4' off the curb or edge of the road. When the tow vehicles rear axle is at the far edge of the parking space, cut your truck wheel hard away from the curb. When the truck is about a 45-degree angle to the curb (or as close as you can get given the space you have to use) straighten the wheel back to the neutral position. As soon as the truck has begun going straight, cut the wheel hard in the opposite direction until the truck is again parallel to the curb. STOP. Your trailer is now at a good angle to start backing up.

Tip 6: Jack the trailer until it get to about 15-20 degree angle of the space you are going to park it then start chasing it.

Tip 7: If your running out of space to get the truck & trailer running straight, don't be afraid to pull forward to help straighten it out.
I can tell those tips came from a truck driver from the two words he used. Jack and Chase!
Those tips are right on,I drove a 18 wheeler for over 20 years and used that same procedure. Follow that and you can't go wrong!
Jack
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