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Old 03-30-2015, 04:28 PM   #1
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New 5er

I have camped in everything from a pup tent to a Class A Motorhome. But, I have avoided 5th wheels because to me they looked like 18 wheeler rigs. Over and over, I have been told that they are easier to tow than a travel trailer and finally, I bought a Jayco 345BHS. Am picking it up from the Dealer on Saturday. So far, all I know from experience is it was a lot more expensive than a travel trailer. For example, you can get a hitch ball from Walmart for a few dollars, but I had to take out a second mortgage to buy a gliding 5th wheel hitch.

So, I have some stupid questions. First, do you drive with the tailgate up or down? Why do people buy the stupid looking tailgates with the dip in the middle? Is there a way to lock the expensive hitch to the truck so people can't steal it? Do you lift the 5th wheel up and down on the hitch with those little scissor jacks on the corner? I found information about how long and wide the rig is. I also found a dozen different ways of weighing it none of which are related to the weight limitations I can find for my 2007 Silverado 2500. But, I can't find any place that tells me how tall it is. Do I have to worry about clearance of bridges and tunnels? Do you pull into Truck Weighing Stations? Do you shut the propane tank valves to travel or can you leave the refrigerator running on propane? With the large Travel Trailers I have had in the past, I had to have a trailer brake controller in the truck. But, not with the 5th wheel. Does it not have brakes?

I originally thought the salesman was going to tell me all that stuff, but I am beginning to think he doesn't know any more about it than I do. Any pointers would be appreciated. I have too much invested in this rig to do something stupid and damage it.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:30 PM   #2
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Wow that's a lot of questions.
I will answer the ones I know but I am new to RVing but not to towing.
-When you hitch tailgate down after you hitch tailgate up!
-The "Stupid" looking tailgates are so you don't have to drop and lift the tailgate and you cant damage the tailgate by forgetting and it keeps anything from falling out.
-I don't know if there is a way to lock it into the truck but I will likely be using a cable to hold mine from disappearing along with the geny.
-The scissor jacks should be just for stability they have a landing gear to hold up the front end.
-The brochure should have the specs on height.
-YES I would worry about all bridges and tunnels that are lower than standard height.
-Yes you still require a trailer brake controller
-The CAT scales seem to be the choice for weighing your rig.
-As for the propane I would think it would be the same as your travel trailers.

Hope these answer some of your questions but here's a suggestion if you search out some key words in the search section you will find lots of past treads on many of your questions.

Happy Trails
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:23 PM   #3
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You do not pull into truck weigh stations-commercial use only. If your worried get a truck gps and set it for your overall length and height
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:26 PM   #4
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You can buy hitch pin locks for 5th wheel hitches that are pretty much identical to the hitch pin locks you use for your tounge hitch receiver. I bought mine thru etrailer.com. About $18.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:40 PM   #5
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If you have a short bed truck be careful even with the hitch slid back until you confirm the nose will clear the truck, not sure if you have the 88 degree nose cone or not.


Your fridge may or may not stay lit going down the road, I always ran mine with no issues. Technically it may actually be illegal in some states. If you have a generator that's an option too.


Good luck and enjoy...
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:55 PM   #6
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Beelbill

You are going to love this 5er. Have had a trailer then a class c for the last 6 years. Just bought a 31.5RLTS . You tube has a lot of "how to hitch your fifth wheel". I have tight parking and was worried about backing up. No problem, have to turn harder to get it to start turning but then all is well. Have towed with fridge on no problems. First time you hit the freeway you'll have a big smile on your face. Trailer has brakes, Works just like your traile if you had electric brakes.
Happy days ahead...
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:58 PM   #7
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Why do people buy the stupid looking tailgates with the dip in the middle?
Often because it looks better than the stupid dent they put in their original tailgate when they forgot to lower the tailgate.

Do you lift the 5th wheel up and down on the hitch with those little scissor jacks on the corner?
Fifth wheels almost have landing legs (which are usually electrically powered) for this purpose.

Do I have to worry about clearance of bridges and tunnels?
Absolutely. On major highways there will seldom be a problem, but on smaller roads bad things can happen. My fifth wheel is 12' 7" tall and I occasionally encounter a bridge lower than that. Gotta keep your eyes open.

I originally thought the salesman was going to tell me all that stuff, but I am beginning to think he doesn't know any more about it than I do.
Many of them know much less than the average RV'er when it comes to using an RV. Their purpose is to sell you an RV, a entirely different skill set.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:53 PM   #8
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My tailgate was always in the way. Rather that purchase one of those 5th wheel tailgates I employed a Southern Redneck strategy (a treated 2X6 cut to size).
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:56 PM   #9
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Just to add to your second mortgage, you might want to consider a set of airbags for that 2500. I did, and it makes a huge difference when I pull my 5er on my 2500.

I chose the auto glide hitch because I do have a short bed, and with that, I can go a full 90 degrees without having to think about pulling the slide lever to slide the pivot point back
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmooney View Post
Just to add to your second mortgage, you might want to consider a set of airbags for that 2500. I did, and it makes a huge difference when I pull my 5er on my 2500.

I chose the auto glide hitch because I do have a short bed, and with that, I can go a full 90 degrees without having to think about pulling the slide lever to slide the pivot point back
Jmooney, which auto glide hitch do you use? How much trouble is it to remove from the truck
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