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Old 11-05-2016, 12:18 PM   #1
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Towability of AS vs Fifth Wheel

We are currently in a 35ft fifth wheel, towing with a Ram 3500 dually 4X4. I fully understand that the physics are in favor of the fifth wheel in terms of towing. We also use an Andersen hitch, which eliminates all the chucking normally associated with fifth wheels.

We are strongly considering a 30 ft International Serenity, but I don't want to lose the towing ease of our current rig. You literally don't even feel it behind you.

Do I have to use a Hensley or Pro Pride to get the same smooth ride?
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Old 11-05-2016, 12:59 PM   #2
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We moved from a 35' fifth wheel to a 30 FC and also tow with a 3500 DRW 4X4. The fifth wheel was easy to tow and the Airstream is as well. The big difference in height (12' 10" as opposed to 9' 10") makes for less wind resistance and that is especially noticeable in a crosswind. We use a Blue Ox Swaypro hitch and have not had any yaw (sway) problems. There are quite a few good hitches available and Hensley and Pro Pride are highly recommended by many of the forum members.
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Old 11-05-2016, 01:08 PM   #3
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What year is your Ram? If old enough you MAY be able find a PullRite hitch which is basically an upside down 5th wheel. It physically puts the pivot point under your TV rear axle which is virtually what the Hensley/ProPride hitches do (they're known as pivot point projection or PPP hitches). Folks here also suggest that the shape and other dynamics of Airstream make it the most stable towing trailer out of the box. My 2013 Chevy 2500 is one year too young for the PullRite or I would have gone with it. I went with the ProPride as my next best option. Never an ounce of worry. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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Our Ram is a 2012, one of the very last ones made that doesn't use DEF, so we intend to hold onto it for a very long time!

I'll look into that hitch. Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCMEDIC View Post
Our Ram is a 2012, one of the very last ones made that doesn't use DEF, so we intend to hold onto it for a very long time!

I'll look into that hitch. Thanks!
Pulling an Airstream of any size will be a smooth ride with that RAM 3500. In my opinion those expensive hitches would be an expensive overkill. An out of the box equalizer ( or similar) will give you the sway control you need & that RAM will do the rest.
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Old 11-05-2016, 05:35 PM   #6
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Not exactly sure what your concern is. If you currently tow a 5th wheeler, towing a 30' Airstream will be easy as pie. No special attachments needed.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:34 PM   #7
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I guess that I just don't want to go "backward" in terms of driveability. I've never towed an AS or any other TT with this truck, so I have no frame of reference.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:48 PM   #8
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I guess that I just don't want to go "backward" in terms of driveability. I've never towed an AS or any other TT with this truck, so I have no frame of reference.
Trailer towing often gets a bad rap & it's usually because of tow vehicles not the trailer. You are way above the norm & you'll be delightfully surprised at ease of operation. After pulling a big fiver this is a piece of cake in every respect.
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:08 PM   #9
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Well, you have nothing to worry about. Enjoy your AS.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:34 AM   #10
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Towability of AS vs Fifth Wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCMEDIC View Post
I guess that I just don't want to go "backward" in terms of driveability. I've never towed an AS or any other TT with this truck, so I have no frame of reference.
A conventional box TT is miles away in road performance from an AS. It's a long list of deficiencies, but suffice it to say that it would also be difficult to design a worse trailed vehicle.

A 5er is a pig to tow. Terrible in any crosswind with next to no suspension travel and very high center of gravity. It's only advantage is the hitch. It replicates and worsens the conventional TT bad design. Like the conventional, it may be fine for short trips or to park it at a vacation spot.

To travel extensively, an aero all aluminum TT had no peer and hasn't for seventy years.

A Pro Pride hitch replicates the same advantage of a 5er or GN hitch. Not cheap, but not nearly as expensive as some 5er hitches. The trailer will track better with this hitch type than in any combination you've ever driven. The TT is "locked" to the TV.

An AS can run along in winds where the 5ers, conventionals and big trucks pulling vans need to pull over.

The weak link is now the truck. An AS will stay upright through what will turn the truck over.

Unless you're carrying sufficient weight in the bed of the pickup to produce significant ground pressure on the rear tires, I believe you'll find an SRW easier to live with than DRW, and especially solo on wet surfaces.

As you'll want to use a certified scale to set the hitch and determine TV tire pressures, it'll be easy to see the disadvantage of a DRW if the loading is light.

Enjoy.


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Old 11-06-2016, 10:37 AM   #11
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I have never pulled a 5er but have been pulling a 27 (28 full length) for a number of years at Interstate highway speeds, AND, carrying 2, 17ft. kayaks on my truck. With diagonal headwinds at 30+ mph the only thing that I was concerned with was the mpg. At 70mph I could see the fuel gauge going "south". We use an Equalizer hitch an love it. Sometimes I have to look in the mirror to see if the trailer is still there. We also have a cap on our truck for extra storage, which could help you make-up for less storage than you have in your 5er. Weigh your pluses and negatives on paper. The visual may be helpful to determine what is best for you. Good luck, and safe journeys.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:00 PM   #12
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Towing with '06 Ram Dually 4x4, tt is 07Classic 29'. Previously pulled a 35' trip slide fw. Using equalizer e2 hitch. Tows beautifully, mpg improved to over 12, much easier to park and maneuver. Truck also has air bags and jake brake, Cummins. If you don't mind the difference in living space, you'll love your a.s.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:10 PM   #13
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If all is set up good U will not know the trailer is behind U with a 350. I have been towing a 34' AS sence 1990. I started with a 89 34' and now a 2000 34' Towing with a 1997 F-250 7.3 with 348,000 miles and no problems. Been from Chicago to the Panama canal, New foundland, Alaska twice, BaJa twice no perob. So there U have it. 20 year old truck with same engine and no reson to trade up. Does a wonderful job.

Reading the fourm for sometime I can not beleave how anel some guys R about a TV.
Talk to maney of us that have been towing for 40+ years.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
A conventional box TT is miles away in road performance from an AS. It's a long list of deficiencies, but suffice it to say that it would also be difficult to design a worse trailed vehicle.

A 5er is a pig to tow. Terrible in any crosswind with next to no suspension travel and very high center of gravity. It's only advantage is the hitch. It replicates and worsens the conventional TT bad design. Like the conventional, it may be fine for short trips or to park it at a vacation spot.

To travel extensively, an aero all aluminum TT had no peer and hasn't for seventy years.

A Pro Pride hitch replicates the same advantage of a 5er or GN hitch. Not cheap, but not nearly as expensive as some 5er hitches. The trailer will track better with this hitch type than in any combination you've ever driven. The TT is "locked" to the TV.

An AS can run along in winds where the 5ers, conventionals and big trucks pulling vans need to pull over.

The weak link is now the truck. An AS will stay upright through what will turn the truck over.

Unless you're carrying sufficient weight in the bed of the pickup to produce significant ground pressure on the rear tires, I believe you'll find an SRW easier to live with than DRW, and especially solo on wet surfaces.

As you'll want to use a certified scale to set the hitch and determine TV tire pressures, it'll be easy to see the disadvantage of a DRW if the loading is light.

Enjoy.


1990 35' Silver Streak
2004 555 Cummins
Excellent comments especially about weight in the bed of the pickup. Even with my SRW 3500 additional weight in the truck improves the towing experience.
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