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Old 10-18-2021, 10:08 PM   #1
MuscadineMontana
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New to the 5th wheel game!

Hello all!

We are fairly seasoned TT campers who pulled a 32’ bumper pull all over the southeast and finally made the jump to the 2022 41’ Front living monster. Incredibly excited to take my family of girls on more trips this year, including Fort Wilderness next summer! Rain days won’t be as bad in this rig 😂 Happy to be here!
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:27 PM   #2
twindman
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Congrats!!

Pulling this will be much more of a challenge with corners and backing. Go to an empty parking lot and practice! It took me about 1 1/2 years before I stopped running over the curb on some corners! LOL
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:50 AM   #3
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Jason,

Welcome to the forum! Enjoy your new rig.
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Old 10-19-2021, 04:01 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums just about any thing you want to know can be found here.
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Old 10-19-2021, 06:52 AM   #5
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Awesome thanks! Yeah I was always wondering what the big deal with the pull through sites was.. now we know ��
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Old 10-19-2021, 07:19 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum and Montana family. May you have many years of great memories.
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Old 10-19-2021, 09:42 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum! Since you will be a good deal longer now you will also need to consider the tail swing when turning out of close areas like gas stations.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twindman View Post
Congrats!!

Pulling this will be much more of a challenge with corners and backing. Go to an empty parking lot and practice! It took me about 1 1/2 years before I stopped running over the curb on some corners! LOL
Swing wide, and then swing wide some more! It does take some getting used to. We went from a 32' to a 42' unit as well...
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:10 AM   #9
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Welcome aboard, and congratulations on the new rig. Looks great.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:14 AM   #10
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DQDick reminded me about something last year. I have pulled a 34 ft rig for 8 years and now a 38 ft for 7 years. But I was trying to get to a fuel pump in a crowed station last summer. I wound my way around the other cars, etc and swung kind of wide to get the truck near the pump on the end of a double island. I got close but not close enough, so I got our to see if I could pull up a little more. That was close - the middle of the rig would have run right into the side of the island pipe that protects the pump! That is the problem with not sticking to truck stops!
I had to back up and totally go around and find another opening.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:31 PM   #11
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Congrats on your new Montana. And I have to agree with the above comments, learning to handle a fifth wheel after nothing but life-long experiences with travel trailers and utility bumper pull trailers was a real learning curve.

Everyone said how much easier a fifth wheel was over a travel trailer. I did not, and still do not share that sentiment. With a dually truck, there were a LOT of obstacles to overcome. It took time, patients, and practice to becomes comfortable towing a 31.5 foot fifth wheel behind a long-bed dually truck with a total length right at 60 feet.

But after 3 years, it's old-hat now. Is it better? Is it easier? ... over a travel trailer? My answer is "No." Considering I had a really, really good match between my travel trailer, weight distribution hitch system, and towing with a 3500 dually long bed, when I switched to the fifth wheel, (which by the way, the total length is only about a foot different now), I cannot tell if there is an improvement with the fifth wheel or not. I really do not think so. When towing both, they are both so smooth, I often forget I'm hauling 41 feet behind me, especially with an integrated brake controller, ..... until I go to actually make a turn at an intersection. Then I'm reminded what I'm lugging behind.

Backing was a real challenge until I took the time to go out to a huge parking lot, with cones and boards, and markers, I practiced backing, keeping track of the movements of the truck and trailer, position of the wheels, and where the final stopping point was. Once I was able to reproduce the movements over and over, the cones, boards, and markers disappeared and I was able to reproduce. I haven't had any real issues since. Sometimes I miss judge and have to attempt a back in twice, and when campsites are on a sharp curve, they become real challenges. But with each new experience, it's getting better and better...... NOT easier ... just better.

One thing not talked about very often is the amount of space between the bed rails and the bottom of the fifth wheel over-hang. It doesn't take very much of an angle difference for trailer to make contact with the bed rails.

On a travel trailer, this is NEVER a problem as the trailer coupler can pivot much more free on a ball hitch (side to side), where as a fifth wheel hitch, it doesn't take much of a side-to-side pivot and you've just put a ding in your camper.

Hitching up is equal in my opinion. I had no issues with Equal-i-zer weight distribution bars and with a back up camera on my truck tail gate, hitching was quick and easy. With the fifth wheel, hitching is actually more of a challenge because I cannot see the hitch from my rear truck widow. That back seat makes it impossible to see. I use the mirror on the trailer a lot and have markers indicating the middle of everything. When they line up in a straight line in my mirror, I know I'm dead on for a hitch-up.

You learn little tricks like this, and you do have to think outside the box. But once you get some of these minor irritations figured out, it's not bad at all. Again ... I say, not "better" only different.

Good luck with your new experiences.... be patient. A year from now, you'll be a real pro towing that fifth wheel.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:35 PM   #12
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Jason,

The bid difference I noted between a fifth wheel and bumper pull is the height. You are now much taller. Not a bid deal on the main roads with bridges that are marked well but something to look for when pulling into filling stations and trees on side roads.

Everything else is generally easier. Your new 41 ft rig is actually pretty close to a 32 ft bumper pull in terms of length behind your truck.
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