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Old 08-12-2016, 01:58 AM   #1
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THOR #2204
5th wheel trailer vs wind on the fwy

We are looking at selling our 2015 Thor Hurricane 34E MH and changing
back to a truck/trailer or 5th wheel. About 29 feet with 3 slides.

How does yours handle in the wind?
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:29 AM   #2
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That was the reason we got our old 5th wheel. With the pivot point on top of the rear axles there is no sway at all. Passing trucks wouldn't bother it at all. Very nice to drive. Liked it so much we kept it for 10 years.

The downside with any pull-behind is that you're stuck in the truck for hours on end..not nearly as comfortable as a motorhome.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:45 AM   #3
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As far as campers, the 5th wheel is it. Its night and day with just about no sway and much easier to park. Wow not to often you hear of some one wanting to go from MH back to trailer/5th wheel. Just the comfort for your friends, family and even the pets to move around freely is worth the extras owning a MH. I like to say I will never go back....
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
That was the reason we got our old 5th wheel. With the pivot point on top of the rear axles there is no sway at all. Passing trucks wouldn't bother it at all. Very nice to drive. Liked it so much we kept it for 10 years.

The downside with any pull-behind is that you're stuck in the truck for hours on end..not nearly as comfortable as a motorhome.
Have you noticed car haulers have switched from 5th wheel to conventional trailer design in order to improve hauling efficiency -- most carry 9 cars now.

On the highway they seem very stable, suggesting that with proper design a conventional trailer behind a large truck can also be stable. Granted, 5th wheels do allow for greater trailer size and weight, although downside is multi-level floor. Many also sit very high making it hard to get in and out. My parents can no longer camp with my sister because her 5th is too high to be safe for them.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments. We no longer travel with a dog. She preferred
riding in the back seat of my 1 ton diesel truck vs riding in the MH.

Yes my wife will have to give up the convenience of the bathroom being
right there.

We are just finishing up a 5 week trip through WY, MT, ID, WA, BC,
Alberta and now down in UT.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:14 AM   #6
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Started with a tent trailer then moved to a 5th wheel. Much better handling and driving with a 5th wheel. Wife usually drove pulling the 5th wheel. Now we have a mh (ace 30.2) and its small and easy to drive. Will never go back to any kind of trailer.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Have you noticed car haulers have switched from 5th wheel to conventional trailer design in order to improve hauling efficiency -- most carry 9 cars now.

On the highway they seem very stable, suggesting that with proper design a conventional trailer behind a large truck can also be stable. Granted, 5th wheels do allow for greater trailer size and weight, although downside is multi-level floor. Many also sit very high making it hard to get in and out. My parents can no longer camp with my sister because her 5th is too high to be safe for them.
WOW.... I would like to see one of these trailers you are talking about. Here in Texas I have never seen a car hauler made to haul more than one car hooked to a bumper. But have seen a lot of goose neck trailers that might haul around 5 cars. I just googled it and couldn't find any kind of trailer capable of hauling 9 cars that was not a 5th wheel set up.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:30 PM   #8
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This is not an advertisement, but rather a testimonial. prior to selling our 31 foot Airstream a few months ago, we have been pulling travel trailers for 23 years. The Airstream was a significant size upgrade from our 21 foot Bigfoot. On the advice of many users on Airforums, we bought a ProPride hitch for the Airstream.

Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P

The improvement regarding sway was amazing. I'm not going to try to explain how it works. If anyone is interested enough, they can read the material on the link. Unfortunately I've never towed a 5th wheel so I cannot compare. However I was amazed. We used to drive on I-80 through Wyoming quite often. It is notoriously windy. We used to have to slow down with the smaller Bigfoot and a Equal-I-Zer. With the Airstream and Propride were went through there full speed and never felt the wind or passing semi's.

I'm sure some of the Improvement was the difference in trailer aerodynamics, but I contribute 90% of it to the hitch.

The point of all this is:
If one prefers the the tow behind's advantages they can be tamed. To me the biggest advantage is full use of the trucks bed for storage and the ability to mount a canopy, not to mention lower profile.

Ken
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang94@hot.rr.com View Post
WOW.... I would like to see one of these trailers you are talking about. Here in Texas I have never seen a car hauler made to haul more than one car hooked to a bumper. But have seen a lot of goose neck trailers that might haul around 5 cars. I just googled it and couldn't find any kind of trailer capable of hauling 9 cars that was not a 5th wheel set up.
What the commercial car haulers have is a 5th wheel mounted on a "stinger steer" setup at the rear of the truck frame, it is mounted very low to the ground so would look like a bumper hitch unless you looked very closely at it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
What the commercial car haulers have is a 5th wheel mounted on a "stinger steer" setup at the rear of the truck frame, it is mounted very low to the ground so would look like a bumper hitch unless you looked very closely at it.
This is what I found as the definition of "stinger steer"

"Stinger-steered" in relation to a combination of vehicles means that the coupling device on the power unit is located back of the tread of the tires of the last axle. [2001 c.574 ß2]

If that's the case, would it not handle the same as a rear mounted trailer hitch?

Ken
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mustang94@hot.rr.com View Post
WOW.... I would like to see one of these trailers you are talking about. Here in Texas I have never seen a car hauler made to haul more than one car hooked to a bumper. But have seen a lot of goose neck trailers that might haul around 5 cars. I just googled it and couldn't find any kind of trailer capable of hauling 9 cars that was not a 5th wheel set up.
Just got back from 4,000-mile road trip from Florida to Maine and that's pretty much the new standard I see on the road.

Instead of a 5th wheel above tractor's rear axles, these new trailers attach (i.e. - pivot point) behind the tractor just as if you pulled a bumper-pull trailer. That was my point to Jamie. I agree 5th wheels have some real towing advantages, but also think that a bumper pull can be very stable also, provided one has the right truck/trailer combination. Personally, if I could get the size I wanted/needed, I'd prefer a standard trailer over a 5th wheel because I like the floor to be at one elevation, and lower to ground if possible. New pickups are exceeding 20,000-pound tow capacity with conventional trailer, so the need for a 5th wheel is somewhat diminished.

Here is a picture from the side of one with even more cars. Practically all I've seen had 3 cars on tractor (one over tandems and two up high) plus 6 on trailer (3 low and 3 above).
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Just got back from 4,000-mile road trip from Florida to Maine and that's pretty much the new standard I see on the road.

Instead of a 5th wheel above tractor's rear axles, these new trailers attach (i.e. - pivot point) behind the tractor just as if you pulled a bumper-pull trailer. That was my point to Jamie. I agree 5th wheels have some real towing advantages, but also think that a bumper pull can be very stable also, provided one has the right truck/trailer combination. Personally, if I could get the size I wanted/needed, I'd prefer a standard trailer over a 5th wheel because I like the floor to be at one elevation, and lower to ground if possible. New pickups are exceeding 20,000-pound tow capacity with conventional trailer, so the need for a 5th wheel is somewhat diminished.

Here is a picture from the side of one with even more cars. Practically all I've seen had 3 cars on tractor (one over tandems and two up high) plus 6 on trailer (3 low and 3 above).
Thanks for posting the photo. Now I see what's going on. Also I believe you answered the question I asked in the previous post.

Ken
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:59 PM   #13
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Well that one is hauling Mini's: plenty of room for extra cars with them! LOL

I would imagine in that instance $$ rules so if you can get more cars on a single hauler that would reduce the price to haul a single car. Economics trumps stability--besides if you look at the distance between the hitch and the rear axles of the tractor: The lever arm is so short that it probably behaves the same as a 5th wheel.

Vehicle sway when pulling a trailer is directly related to the lever arm between the hitch and the rear axle--a longer arm and you get more sway.

In our 5th wheel I liked the fact that the bedroom was "up the stairs". It provides a perceptual separation between the rest of the camper to family and visitors (kind of like having all the bedrooms upstairs in a Colonial house).
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post

......cut........

Vehicle sway when pulling a trailer is directly related to the lever arm between the hitch and the rear axle--a longer arm and you get more sway.

.....cut.....
I agree that's an important factor, but there are other variables that also affect stability. Trailer weight (actually mass) distribution being a very important one.

Many conventional trailers get by with 10% on hitch, while 5th wheels can easily go to 25% or higher. In my opinion this gets back to trailer design versus truck capability.

If you look at trailer I posted picture of above, it appears the center of gravity is far enough forward to result in a fairly high percent of weight on hitch. I think that makes a huge difference in high-speed stability.

I have a friend who installed a bike carrier and 4 bikes on a trailer's rear bumper (approximately 100-pounds total) and that was enough to make the small trailer become unstable at higher speeds. Before that it had not been an issue.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:43 AM   #15
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WOW.... a lot of info here... I have pulled boats with little to no problems, I have towed up to a 38 foot travel trailer or bumper pull and a 42 foot 5th wheel, now a 38 foot MH, from best to worst as far as handling with and side winds. 5th wheel has to be the easiest, 30 foot 10K pound boat, Motor Home and then a 38 foot bumper pull being the worst and scariest. This is all just my personal experience. The 5th wheel a lot of times I forgot it was back there on long hauls and the bumper pull I always held onto the steering wheel with 2 hands.
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Saran View Post
We are looking at selling our 2015 Thor Hurricane 34E MH and changing
back to a truck/trailer or 5th wheel. About 29 feet with 3 slides.

How does yours handle in the wind?
We sold our house and everything else back in 2013 and bought our first RV, which was a used Montana 3400RL fiver, and began traveling full time. Traded it in for a new Montana 3725RL and continued full time until last year. Through 26 states and almost 40,000 miles of towing in all conditions with an F350 6.7 SRW diesel it was a breeze.

We recently began searching for a class C or A because we bought another home and our needs changed. I found that the limited number of shorter Class A models we test drove did not handle nearly as good as my 5th wheel combination, which I was not going to settle for. Then we test drove the 37GT and were blown away by how it handled. I am guessing in extreme wind conditions (40+ cross winds) it maybe won't be as good as my fiver but in moderate conditions it has been.

IMHO based on observations watching others with travel trailers they would be my last choice. For ease of handling going down the road a proper truck/fiver combination is probably the best there is.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:08 PM   #17
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Understand leaving a class A for a 5er. Been there. As an old guy the only way we would consider a change is if steps become a problem. Class C ~ would never again be considered. A 1 ton pickup from any of the big 3 and a 5er is the best way I have found.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Phil Saran View Post
We are looking at selling our 2015 Thor Hurricane 34E MH and changing
back to a truck/trailer or 5th wheel. About 29 feet with 3 slides.

How does yours handle in the wind?
Phil, are you still considering the switch? I now have some miles under my belt with our Challenger GT. Still correcting handling issues but no matter how much I spend it will never handle as good in windy conditions as my 1-ton SRW pulling my 39' fiver.

We just made a car trip from SW Florida to Illinois for a week of pre-holidays with the kids/grandkids. Coming through Mounteagle the winds were kicking up past 40mph and gusts even more. These conditions continued for hours. Right away in the afternoon you quit seeing any TT heading south, not long after that there were not many MH's. It seemed like there continued to be 5th wheels though.

I think I am more disappointed in how my Challenger handles because of my experience with 5th wheels. A MH fits our needs now though so I am not changing.
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