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Old 03-06-2014, 11:57 PM   #1
anglerdad
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Hello

Hi everyone. My wife and I are in our early 50's, empty-nesters, and happy campers. I bought a new GMC 2500 HD diesel truck in 2011, and we plan to purchase our new Montana this spring. Currently, we're towing a travel camper. We've loved the Montana's from the moment we started camping, and are very excited to finally own our own. So, as you can imagine, I have lots of questions and plan to peruse your pages for lots of help. Such as, what is the best hitch set up for my truck? And, are slide out covers worth the investment? I look forward to reading many of your posts, and getting to know other Montana owners. We hail from Clarkston, MI.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:49 AM   #2
1retired06
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Welcome to the forum. You will get plenty of well-informed answers.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:47 AM   #3
K0LCB
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Welcome! This is one of the best places to learn the god, bad and ugly about our Montana's. Sometimes you have to take some comments with a grain of salt
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:01 AM   #4
DQDick
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Welcome to the forum. We won't all always agree on our advice, but you'll get the opinions of folks who've "been there and done that" which will help you decide what's best for you. The truck debate will be the first place folks will disagree, but the important thing is that the weight of the Monty you choose be within the weight limits established on the door panel of your truck. The type of hitch is also a question on which many disagree, but if your truck is a short bed you will want or need a slider depending on the year of Monty you buy. The toppers are an interesting question. We have them because we camp where it's hot both summer and winter and the shade they provide is important. Others have them to prevent branches, pine needles etc from getting on top of the slides and them having to sweep the slides before they close them. That one is really an individual decision.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:37 AM   #5
Art-n-Marge
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DQDick brings up the first precaution of concern. Your truck is "only" a 2011 2500 (not a dually, either). This means it's at the low ratings for loading and towing. Besides what's written on the pillar (axle ratings), you need to know a lot more numbers to ensure you maintain the weight ratings. If you aren't familiar with their interactions, please feel free to send me an email or PM and then I can provide them. There's quite a few (GVWR, GTWR, CGVWR, pin weight, axle ratings) then these all relate to one another and one can affect the other.

I've seen the weight ratings for these new Montanas and I cannot tow them with my current truck (but I didn't check the smaller floorplans). I miscalculated and ended up overweight on a couple of numbers even back in 2006 and should have bought the larger rated truck, but I was able to solve my problem with some amount of parts, labor and dollars. I am talking about the model I purchased, and there are lighter ones, even today.

Welcome to the forum and I like your enthusiasm. So what travel trailer did you have? It's fun to hear what folks upgrade from. I tease my brother-in-law when he finally went and bought his rig recently and after all asking all our advice to buy more than you can now and avoid this small step, he went with a 20' travel trailer with no slides. His wife is already disappointed that they do not have a slide and could have had more interior room. But since they (he) was a tenter, the trailer is like a mansion in comparison. Now we wait for him to get used to it and when we get the call that he might try and go bigger AGAIN.

Finally, keep in mind whatever option you add to a trailer adds to its tow weight and it's good as long as you don't exceed the trailer ratings and truck's tow ratings.

On edit: and about those slideout covers, I don't have them on this rig, but have had them on others and while they are not bulletproof and may stretch and fray over time, their advantage outweighs the disadvantages in my experience. It's just that I had just retired and couldn't afford to get FOUR of them for the Monty. They remain on my wish list even after 8 years.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:30 AM   #6
anglerdad
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Thank you everyone for the warm welcome. From what I can determine, my truck is rated for 14,000 lbs maximum trailer weight, and 20,500 lbs GCWR. Currently, we own a Puma 27RLSS, and its obviously a lightweight compared to the Montana 5th wheel. I hardly even know its back there when I'm towing. The Montana we're interested in is the 2014 Montana High Country 305RL, with a shipping weight of 10095 lbs, hitch weight of 2175lbs, and a carrying capacity of 2405 lbs. The new High Country is made with that HE technology which they claim is lighter. We're heading up to an RV show next Saturday to look at it, along with others. Please feel free to offer any suggestions or insight.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:00 AM   #7
Art-n-Marge
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You'll find that the documented shipping weight and pin weights are only projections of weight and are very unreliable in the real world. Use the GVWR as the weight for towing (and guess that you are withing that in real gross weight), then multiply the GVWR of the trailer by .18 and .25 (18% to 25%) which is the typical pin weight for a residential fifth wheel. You'll hear from others that fifth wheels use 15% for pin weight, but this typically applies to utility trailers that don't have large overhangs.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
bigskyjimmy
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as far as the slide out Toppers go it is a personal preference I myself would not be without them as I live in the NW and we have tons of pine needles, snow, etc... they are noisy at times in high winds but when I see my Friend on the roof sweeping stuff off his slide after every trip I am reminded why I got them
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:40 AM   #9
anglerdad
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Good to know! Thanks Art-N-Marg and Bigskyjimmy. We also live in the north, and I think it would be a wise investment. I've read that the newer fifth wheels are shaped better in the front, and that there are hitches and pin boxes that would eliminate the need for a slider. The whole 5th wheel hookup is new to me, so I will have more learning to do before making a decision. I'd like to go in to the dealer with some knowledge, so I don't just buy what they sell me.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #10
bigskyjimmy
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you are right anglerdad The newer 5th wheels are shaped better and you do not "need" a slider if you have a short bed,my best friend has f350 quad cab shorty and has No problems turning his New 39 ft 5er at severe angles without hitting the back window
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:35 AM   #11
h2ojocky
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Welcome to the family! Lots of great info here, and very nice people. DQ Dick hit the nail on the head. Remember there are no stupid questions. I joined this forum before I bought my truck and trailer and learned huge amounts BEFORE making a huge investment. It has been said that it is better to learn from OTHERS mistakes. As said, lots of great advice, and some comes down to personal preference.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:46 AM   #12
MDL
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Welcome to the forum! On the slide topper front, you can do a search on the forum and will find over 16 pages of postings. I asked the same question you're asking and eventually decided the "benefits outweigh the drawbacks" as others have said. We pick up our Monty on Monday, and start camping on Thursday in a semi high wind area. I think other than the noise from wind rattling it, it will be worth it.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:41 PM   #13
gmseller
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Welcome to the forum and you will love the montana high country. We have the 343RL , all the High country models are made to be hauled with a 3/4 ton truck. I dont have a slider hitch in my truck and can angle it 90 degrees and mine is a short bed. You will be fine> Good luck and enjoy
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:20 PM   #14
seahunter
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Welcome Pastor Mike (and Mrs. Pastor Mike)!

You've come to the right place, with great folks.

Like Art mentioned, it's all about weight limits. The limiting factor with the F-250 you'll need to watch out for is the PAYLOAD - the amount placed in the bed (tongue weight) - AFTER passengers, fuel, and all the stuff. And you can't go by the brochures. I have an F-350 dually, and doing the calculations I am just within tow limits, even with the dually.

I'm going to take the opposite stand on the toppers, but I live in a temperate climate in the Pacific Northwest. My dealer, who has been around a while, convinced me it was an unnecessary wear item that would need replacing eventually. I was ordering our unit with every possible option just about, so he had nothing to gain by talking me out of them. Again, that is for my area, and if the seals are working as they're SUPPOSED to, you would be okay I would think.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:11 AM   #15
Neil.M
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Welcome to the forum. Great folks here and much knowledge to soak up so stay active. We have the HC 318RE and it weighs in within my 3/4 ton's limits, even when packed for a winter's stay in AZ.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:32 PM   #16
sambam
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Welcome to the forum. I considered the toppers at first, but decided they weren't really necessary for me. If you do a search, there is pro and con. I'm one of those guys Jimmy speaks of when it comes to sweeping the roofs of the slides off before closing......but, my slides are buttoned up tight before the snow flies. As others have said, there are a lot of smart guys on this site. No matter the topic, someone here will have an answer. Best of luck with your new High Country.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:38 AM   #17
anglerdad
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Thanks everyone. I'm already getting lots of help and encouragement on here!
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