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Old 08-18-2015, 07:47 AM   #1
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Thinking of a Fifth Wheel

I have always had TT's and currently own a 31 footer, and with my Reese dual cam hitch it handles very well. My wife passed away recently but I would still like to do some traveling that her and I had planned. I'm beginning to think that a fifth wheel would be easier for me to handle alone. Hitching and unhitching a TT can be a work out for a 70 year old guy and I'm thinking a fifth wheel would be easier with hydraulic jacks and all. I'd appreciate some insight from you fifth wheel owners. Thanks

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Old 08-18-2015, 09:20 AM   #2
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As the son of 83 year old parents (sharing a house with them since they were 66);


My suggestion is to look into a motor home with a dingy.


Hitching and unhitching a compact sedan or crossover is even easier than a 5th wheel.


And when you get where you are going to stay for a bit, you won't be doing city traffic or parking lots in a 3/4 or 1 ton rated truck.


Just throwing out other possibilities.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:42 AM   #3
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You might want to check out using a backup camera. I do my hookups alone on the TT with a camera and it made it real easy. For me the camera is better than hand signals looking through a mirror. I hang a thin piece of cloth about 1/2" wide over the receiver and when the ball touches the cloth I know I only have about 2" to go and I'm spot on.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:42 AM   #4
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I just saw a new little Jayco Redhawk MH in a store parking lot yesterday. Had to get online and check it out when I got home. Are they big enough to pull a small car? I'm 66 and travel alone with my fifth wheel and do ok. I looked into TT's before I purchased my Eagle but figured out I didn't want to (probably couldn't) deal with those hitches by myself.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #5
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Sorry about your wife, but it's good that you're still planning to travel. I find that the 5th is far easier than a TT for just about everything, especially hooking and unhooking. Although I don't have it, the automatic leveling is supposed to have a "memory" when unhitching so hitching backup again is a one button operation and there's no weight bars, snap-up brackets to hook up. You can even get one of those notched tailgates and not have to worry about lowering the tailgate. Heck, with all the doo-dads the new 5th's have, you would only need to bend down to hook-up the drain hose, and all of it can be easily done by one person.

I can easily see the hitch and kingpin, so hooking up is very simple to do. I simply lower the tailgate, drive under, the hitch latches automatically, hook-up the electrical line and safety break-away cable, then hit the retract button and raise the tailgate. I have to also manually raise the landing pads since I don't have auto-levelers, but the entire operation is simple and with electric stabilizer jacks the operation is so easy on the body!
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:19 PM   #6
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If you are looking for hydraulic leveling you will need to look at another brand other than Jayco. Plenty of complaints about the Electric leveling that Jayco puts on their fifth wheels.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:14 AM   #7
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I went to Quadra Mfg (Bigfoot) in White Pigeon Michigan and had a 6pt system put on our Pinnacle love it. Hopefully Jayco will work some of the bugs out of their system.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:44 AM   #8
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I've had both and with the backup camera I find hooking up to the TT a little easier than the FW but the FW might be easier overall once you factor in the TT's need for a WD hitch and it all being low to the ground. One thing to keep in mind with the FW is the hitch is crazy heavy and you'll need help or a winch setup to get it out of the truck if you need full access to the bed.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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Im very nearly 68 and switched to a FW from a TT about 4 years ago. It is easier to hook up then a trailer and it certainly is miles ahead in the towing department. I don't have automatic levelers, so I can't comment on that. Both the trailer and the fifth wheel took me about 20 minutes to set up or break down. Is it quicker?, no. Is it easier?, yes. I've heard the arguments for a MH as we age. I personally don't buy it. If I have to drag a car around then why not a fifth wheel. If Im not capable or competent enough to pull a fifth wheel, I seriously doubt if I should be behind the wheel of a motorhome dragging a cheese box behind me. The turning radius is very definitely different but after watching the mirrors a time or two around fuel pumps, you quickly adjust. We made the move to FW and won't go back to a trailer. When I get to the point that I can't handle a FW, I guess I'll be looking up Grey Hound!!
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drk98 View Post
I've had both and with the backup camera I find hooking up to the TT a little easier than the FW but the FW might be easier overall once you factor in the TT's need for a WD hitch and it all being low to the ground. One thing to keep in mind with the FW is the hitch is crazy heavy and you'll need help or a winch setup to get it out of the truck if you need full access to the bed.
When my full time Dad needs to take his out, he just hooks it to the FW and then un pins the hitch, lifts the jacks and drives out from under it. Re levels FW and locks the hitch to the pin. Then putting it back in is reverse procedure.

Just a thought.
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