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Old 05-07-2007, 12:09 PM   #1
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1989 25' Excella
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5er's-need advice

I know I know...it's for a friend.
Gentleman I know is retiring and is determined to buy a 5er and travel around the country.
He is specing out a new truck and asked me for advice as I have been towing for many years. However, I have never towed a 5er.
He is buying a new GM, diesel, and has asked what else he should specify?
Any advice appreciated for 5er towing.
Here is what I can think of;
Diesel
Allison
Tow pkg
Camper mirrors
Camper pkg ( is this a good idea for 5er? or just TC's?)
?
?
?

Thanx, Bill
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
I know I know...it's for a friend.
Gentleman I know is retiring and is determined to buy a 5er and travel around the country.
He is specing out a new truck and asked me for advice as I have been towing for many years. However, I have never towed a 5er.
He is buying a new GM, diesel, and has asked what else he should specify?
Any advice appreciated for 5er towing.
Here is what I can think of;
Diesel
Allison
Tow pkg
Camper mirrors
Camper pkg ( is this a good idea for 5er? or just TC's?)
?
?
?

Thanx, Bill
All those are good, the camper package if it includes optional heavier rear springs is good. The truck should have all the HD stuff already included, but if not, good choices would also be:
Lower ratio differentials (higher number is better).
Max cooling option
Duallie
Load Range E tires (I've seen GM 3500 series trucks with D's)
Limited slip differential
Second alternator. (sometimes an option)
Anybody else?
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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My D/A came w/3:73 rear end which I believe is the only option.

Is a dually mandatory for 5er?
I know w/TC is pretty much is...

Thanx, Bill
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
My D/A came w/3:73 rear end which I believe is the only option.

Is a dually mandatory for 5er?
I know w/TC is pretty much is...

Thanx, Bill
Duallie is not mandatory, but preferred.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:30 PM   #5
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Weight

The weight of the 5er should be taken seriously. We camped two weeks ago and the camp host had a 36/38 ft 5er. It was a Mobile Suite, made by Double Tree. He was towing it with a F250 diesel.

My wife and I had looked through one of these last summer, and it weighs in the 16k range. I got to talking to the couple and asked them how their trailer was to tow. The wife simply said "we can't go where there are mountains, hills, or speed bumps". The husband agreed and said that he needed to move up to at least a one ton.

Suggest that your friend go to the Trailer Life forum. They have a section just for 5ers, and he can start shopping. Pick a brand and search to see if they have their own forum.

________Tom
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:56 AM   #6
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Thanks All, I guess he should bring a full checkbook also!

Bill
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:25 AM   #7
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I have been specking-out a a 2007 Chevrolet/GMC pickup, and I have done a lot of research.

-Dual alternators are available as an option for $270

-Radiator grill cover for diesel engines in winter weather @ $55

-EZ-Lift tailgate package @ $95 (unless he is going to use a topper)

-camper mirrors @ $238

-high capacity air cleaner @ $25

-heavy duty suspension package @ $275

-trailer wiring provision for fifth wheel/goose neck @ $35.00

Tell your friend that unless he is extremely lucky, he will probably have to order the truck that he wants.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:29 AM   #8
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If he does this, he should make sure he gets the block heater, it's a very inexpensive option, IIRC, somethuing like $50.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:33 AM   #9
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Gosh, unless something has changed, the block heater also should come with it. I'm a Duramax owner since 2001. The truck has absolutely too much torque!
If I ever buy another truck it will be what I have now-with 4 wheel drive. No more two wheel drives. Get stuck on level ground. That said, the 3.73 is the only gear available. Dually for 5er is close to being mandatory-smart anyway. The larger trucks are available, but they have the same engine/drivetrain; just a different chassis/cab setup for heavier payloads.
My suggestion is to tell him not to ask so much for opinions, since too many people have too many opinions. Instead, research the trailer, and research available trucks and their packages. Then make the choice that is right for him.
Oh, by the way, I LOOOOOVE the Allison!
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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Hi All, my Buddy found a 5er he is interested in and is close to pulling the trigger on a Duramax/Allison.
But from his description it sounds like a 6 ½’ bed…is an 8’ bed required for a 5er?

I know there are some different hitches available, but doesn’t the short bed present some clearance/turning issue?

Keep in mind, this is his first TT…

Oh yeah, this particular truck is a ¾ ton. I know ultimately it is the pin weight that determines ¾ or 1 ton. But for those of you that have been there before would you say 1 ton is the way to with a 5er?

Thanx, Bill
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:41 AM   #11
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I'd want a 4:11 rear. All 5ers are like towing a billboard down the road, and so fuel mileage at 70mph will be absolutely horrible. He better figure on running 55-60mph with it. And at that, the 4.11 won't be spooling the engine too high. He'll want the additional torque as any sizable 5er is going to weigh a ton. Or 7 or 8 more like it

Make sure its got a transmission cooler, and it'd be nice to have it outfitted with actual gauges so he could see what the temperatures are. Get an exhaust gas temperature gauge and a transmission temperature gauge. A real oil temp gauge would be nice too if it doesn't already have one. No idiot lights.

Dad has a Holiday Rambler fifth wheel. It's really nice, but it's a hoss. He's got a '99 Ram with the diesel and it's not enough truck. The newer ones have about 135 more hp than the '99s had.

The longer the wheelbase the better, and definitely get a 1 ton dually.

Have fun!
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:52 AM   #12
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Short bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
But from his description it sounds like a 6 ½’ bed…is an 8’ bed required for a 5er?

I know there are some different hitches available, but doesn’t the short bed present some clearance/turning issue?

Keep in mind, this is his first TT…

Oh yeah, this particular truck is a ¾ ton. I know ultimately it is the pin weight that determines ¾ or 1 ton. But for those of you that have been there before would you say 1 ton is the way to with a 5er?

Thanx, Bill
Bill, the short bed will work but it depends on the trailer cap configuration. A friend tows a 31' 5er with a 3/4 ton short bed. He has a slider hitch, but says he's never had to use it because the trailer's cap isn't that long.

The truck size is the same discussion we have with our Airstreams. Most will agree that bigger is better in a discussion between the 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton vehicles. I think the same applies with a 5er and choosing between a 3/4 and 1 ton. If he gets the 1 ton now he can tow most 5ers, and that enables him to go to a longer/heavier 5er in the future without having to upgrade his TV at the same time. If this is his first purchase, there's a good chance that he may upgrade when he's had the chance to learn what he likes and doesn't like.

_______Tom
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:58 PM   #13
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Just a bit of advice from one who towed a 5er all around the country. We had a Titanium 37 ft unit. They have a different design as they have a cabover style with very good aerodynamics. We have a 6 ft bed 2002 Ford Superduty with diesel and had a reese 18K sliding hitch. This is used only when backing if you jacknife more than about 70 degrees. I only used it once when we got stuck in a narrow turnaround but for most normal backing it isn't needed. You always want to have your "Mon back" guiding you so you don't dork your cab. I actually backed it up to touching the cab once! Lucky I stopped in time. No damage. Our trailer weighed about 12,500 loaded and we got 12mpg towing. Only bad thing was the 25 gal tank and not being able to stop in most gas stations as we were too big to go into their islands. A truck stop every 250 miles was the routine. You want an aux tank to increase your capacity to at least 40-50 gal so you have enough margin. Would I do it again? Yes!!! but with a dually as a minimum for any trailer that is over 10,000 loaded as they are more stable. 2wd is also a consideration as with that type of weight in your bed, (about 1700 lbs tongue weight) if you get stuck in 2wd, you most likely will get stuck in 4wd anyway.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:06 PM   #14
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One note, it isn't the cap configuration of the 5er that is the consideration. It's the width of the trailer (8 ft) This is what causes the problem as the hitch pin on a short bed truck is about 38 inches from the cab so when you jacknife 90 degrees you will hit the cab at about 80 degrees. The sliding hitch moves the hitch place about 15 inches back to avoid this but puts the place behind the axle which effective increases your load. It can't be towed with the hitch racked back. this is only for manouvering at low speed.
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