small fifth wheel

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by jtimpel, Nov 11, 2002.

  1. jtimpel

    jtimpel New Member

    We are planning to buy a small fifth wheel in late winter or early spring. So many of the manufacturers are discontinueing the smallest fifth wheels; most have slideouts now which adds to the weight. We have narrowed our possibilities to Sportsmen and Forest River Flagstaff, leaning heavily toward the Flagstaff because it is the smallest and lightest. Can anyone give me ideas about quality and reliability?
    Thanks.
    Jean
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    small fifth wheel

    I don't know anything about those brands, but I decided on a Terry Lite 25' - lots of room and the best floor plan within my weight limitations. It has a small manual slideout which makes a significant improvement to the usability without major increase in weight. About 5300 lbs dry weight, 7200 GVW (Maximum weight). Theoretically, this is at the upper end of the range for a 1/2 ton pickup, but I wouldn't advise it unless one has airbag spring enhancement, engine AND transmission coolers, and a good engine/gear combination.

    Quality and reliability are of this unit is fine, within the obvious limiations likely to be found in any lightweight trailer. In order to make it lightweight, they take every opportunity to keep the weight down. Thin interior walls, flimsy and minimal cabinetry, and the use of plastic (for drawers, etc) are to be expected and are the cost of the lightness.
     
  3. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    small fifth wheel

    Check into the Sunnybrook, Keystone, Jaco products. Do you not want the slid? I would sure recommend one personally but, they are not for everyone and yes, it could give problems. There are several with slides that they say you can tow with a 1/2 ton but, I don't recommend the 1/2 ton for tow. Been there done that with the 28 ft Cougar (Keystone) th wheel
     
  4. jtimpel

    jtimpel New Member

    small fifth wheel

    Chelse, why do you not recommend towing with a 1/2 ton pickup? Our truck is a Toyota Tundra which we love. It is rated to tow 7200 pounds, so we thought if we hold to a trailer with a GVWR of 6000 or less, we would not have trouble. We do have the extra transmission cooler and axle ratio (?) of 3.93:1, I think it is. We don't want the slide mainly because of the weight.

    Jayco has taken themselves out of our market by dropping the smallest 5th wheel. I will check the other two.
    Jean
     
  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    small fifth wheel

    Jean, the Tundra should be able to tow the weight you are looking at but, I guess I just like overkill on the tow vehicle. The problems we get into is the total weights of both vehicles and all the gear. I also don't like the braking on the 1/2 tons. I have a bother-in-law that towed a Trail Lite 26ft 5th wheel to Alaska with a Tundra and had no problem. A total of 12000 miles. You might also want to ck into those. It was a great trailer. If you are careful with the loading and take your time traveling, you should be ok. I would suggest when you get your rv, hitch up, load everything in the rv and truck, full tanks and have it weighed. Good luck and let us know what you get.
    PS- Don't tell anyone but, I towed a 30ft airstream one trip 30 miles with a s10 blazer :disapprove: We wanted to go bad and didn't have anything else to tow with at the time.
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    small fifth wheel

    I bought my trailer because they said it could be towed by a 1/2 ton, and it could. It was about 5200 lbs empty, and I got it home ok, but you could tell the truck was right at its limit (even with air spring augmentation, engine and tranny cooler, and a free flow exhaust system. Since the truck also had over 200000 miles on it, I figured I better get a newer (and bigger) truck before heading out into the boonies. 3/4 ton was much happier with that weight trailer (probably 6500 loaded) and even then had a little trouble getting up grades at highway speeds.
     
  7. dbuck

    dbuck New Member

    small fifth wheel

    Keep in mind that manufacturers lie about the weight limitations of their rigs. I bought a 28' Keystone Cougar with a slide this past year and all the documentation says it can be pulled with a 1/2 ton, but at 7200 lbs it was at its limit immediately, and that didn't count filling the tanks and living essentials. I put a Banks power pack on the engine and AirLift bags on the rear suspension and that got us through the summer, but we love the rig so much that I gave up and upgraded to a new truck with a diesel engine and now its heaven cruising down the road. If you consider the Cougar you'll love it, but I don't you'd be happy pulling at the limit of your trucks capability. I learned my lesson.....Good Luck!
     
  8. dbuck

    dbuck New Member

    small fifth wheel

    Keep in mind that manufacturers lie about the weight limitations of their rigs. I bought a 28' Keystone Cougar with a slide this past year and all the documentation says it can be pulled with a 1/2 ton, but at 7200 lbs it was at its limit immediately, and that didn't count filling the tanks and living essentials. I put a Banks power pack on the engine and AirLift bags on the rear suspension and that got us through the summer, but we love the rig so much that I gave up and upgraded to a new truck with a diesel engine and now its heaven cruising down the road. If you consider the Cougar you'll love it, but I don't you'd be happy pulling at the limit of your trucks capability. I learned my lesson.....Good Luck!
     
  9. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    small fifth wheel

    Also towed the 2000 Cougar 278 with slide with a 92 chevy ext cab 350 engine and never had any problem but, you could tell it was at the limit. Like dbuck, we really liked the Cougar so we traded for a 1 ton chevy dually diesel and it never even knew the Cougar was back there. really was a pleasure to tow. Overkill, yes but, piece of mind was worth it.
     
  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    small fifth wheel

    FYI, I took my Terry into the dealer for warranty service, turns out that a 'small' leak in the roof was due to inadequate sealing at the factory and now the entire roof must be replaced. Annoying, but as long as Fleetwood is standing behind it, I can still recommend them. Stay tuned for the results.
     

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