Friday, March 2, 2007

5th Wheels and slides

Yesterday it was brought to my attention that I had neglected 5th Wheels as a RVing choice.

I haven't entirely ruled out 5th Wheels its just that small 5th Wheels are hard to find and quality ones that are affordable, even harder to find.

The advantage of a Fifth Wheel is they are less susceptible to jack-knifing and sway as a trailer because the hitch is in the truck bed and for this reason also, they are not as long going down the road.
They are generally easier to back up.
They are more expensive than a Trailer but more popular because they generally have more room.
Most should be pulled with Medium Duty Trucks (MDTs) or Heavy Duty Trucks (HDTs).

Because I want to stay with a 1/2 ton truck and I wanted something smaller I decided against the Fifth Wheel unless its a 19ft Scamp 5th wheel, which can be pulled with a 1/2 ton truck

There are some very good hitches for TTs that all but eliminate sway and jack knifing problems, Reese dual cam and Hensley among them.

There is some good information on the pros and cons of each type of RV, Class A, Class C, Fifth wheels and TTs here

Ok now about slides

I have stated I don't want a slide

The disadvantages are:
1. Safety. To make a slide you need to cut a big old hole in the RV. I think this has a impact on the integrity of the coach or camper.
2. Mechanical part(s)that can be a problem. I have heard of campers who had their slide stuck open and had to drive that way to get it fixed!
3. Some older campgrounds may not be able to accommodate the additional space to have your slide out
4. More weight to your axles, chassis, and tow vehicle. You may also give up some basement storage room.

Now just to be "fair and balanced" the pros of a slide

1. The obvious, more interior space
2. More interior space

Some of the newer rigs have 3 or 4 slides!

However a word of *CAUTION* here. Before you buy, make sure that you know the brand and if the chassis can safely accommodate multiple slides.

Also have the RV salesman or owner operate the slide for you.
Pay attention to where the slide is located
Will it be hard to access storage, light switches etc when slide is in or out?

Slides are very popular now so everyone jumps on the bandwagon. So be sure that if you want a slide, its where a slide should be to be comfortable, livable and that the size and chassis of your coach or camper can safely handle one

RV Wanna-be
Maddie the Wonderdog

"See the USA in your Chevrolet!"

"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms "
--Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution 1776. Papers 1:353


Anonymous said...

Joanie, most of your listed disadvantages of slides are somewhat outmoded by the realities of passing time. Mechanical considerations mostly are no longer a problem; slides are completely mainstream now. Even Airstream has some. In mine, anyway, I can see no lost basement storage. The bed slide is well above the basement; we refer to tht area as "upstairs". The LR slide is even with the bottom of that part of the rig; no loss there.
The weight part is still unavoidable, but in the grand scheme of things, isn't all that much. It's the lightest space you can buy!
I wouldn't say MOST should be pulled by an MDT or HDT. Let's settle for "some", and fer sure any over 15K lbs or so. By the time you add the pin weight to the other weight carried in the truck, you are almost certainly over the 3/4 or 1-ton truck's GVWR. It's easily possible to be over on axle ratings, without being over on GVWR, too.


apackof2 said...

Thanks....for a different opinion on the subject of slides

I agree they are defintely mainstream. However so are tattos but I still don't want one!

So the upshot is to slide or not to slide?

It really does come down to personal preference on this one.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm designing my tattoo...


apackof2 said...

PLEASE don't tell where your planning to it!