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Thread: Advice from the 5th wheel folks

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    Advice from the 5th wheel folks

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    To the point... I am considering purchasing a used 5th wheel. I cannot stand campgrounds, (I'm old and like privacy...), and am wondering if anyone could offer advice as to going off road with one. Nothing crazy, but enough to get away from everyone for a bit and just relax. I've looked at the Jumping Jack trailers at Sportsmans Warehouse, and they are nice, but I would like a completely self contained unit that the 5th wheel offers over the travel trailer. Does such a wish exist? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!

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    Scamp makes a 5th wheel that might fit well. Obviously anything with a 5th wheel is going to be less capable offroad than a trailer specifically set up to offroad. Weight and ground clearance will also be really important, but I guess that depends on how serious you are offroading. If you are just driving graded fire roads and boondocking, a 5th wheel with good clearance, not too heavy, and enough articulation at the hitch should be great.

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    The main thing you have to have is clearance between your truck bed rails and the trailer. It sucks when those meet. Usually the truck loses, but no one wins. I would recommend a bumper pull if you always are going to camp off-road

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    5th wheel with a goose neck adapter and a flat bed...
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    Quote Originally Posted by slopoke View Post
    The main thing you have to have is clearance between your truck bed rails and the trailer. It sucks when those meet. Usually the truck loses, but no one wins. I would recommend a bumper pull if you always are going to camp off-road
    I didn't consider the trailer hitting the bed rails. I looked up some pics and those dings look nasty. Maybe the gooseneck recommendation would handle that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyTango View Post
    I didn't consider the trailer hitting the bed rails. I looked up some pics and those dings look nasty. Maybe the gooseneck recommendation would handle that.
    I have the gooseneck adapter on my fifth wheel and it is worse for that. It's better for keeping the bed of your truck clean, but the trailer moves more. Think of like instead of pivoting on a big plate (the fifth wheel) now it pivots on the small ball

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    Much depends on how 'extreme' the roads will be. We take our regular TT out to lots of nice boondocking areas.. with a 2wd Frontier towing it.. Never a problem getting away from people, fully self contained.. However we also scout out the places in our Jeep before hand.. One thing to really watch out for is beating up your trailer suspension. It's hard to notice how much abuse you're putting on the trailer suspension. A trailer/fiver built for off road would presumably be more durable in that regard.

    You're going to have trade offs, the hard part is determining what they are and then figuring out which matter the most.. I would plan on spending a lot of time researching.
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    IMO I would stay away from putting a goose neck adapter on a 5th wheel trailer unless you're changing out the whole pin box. Most aren't built that strong to begin with and putting a goose neck adapter on adds a lot more leverage on everything for something that wasn't designed to have that.
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    Advice from the 5th wheel folks

    It's dips & crowns that get you. Get a trailer that has leaf springs & flip the axles to get more ground clearance.

    Also, watch out for Warriors,early models had leaky roofs.
    I'm in, Let's go!

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    Just wanted to take a minute and thank you all for your input here. I knew that if I get a wild idea that I should vet it out here and the feedback has been very informative. Lots to take into consideration. I'm not looking for really extreme or complex terrain, but would like to be able to handle some roads that maybe a car wouldn't handle, without damaging the trailer or my truck. I'm completely green in this arena so your real life valuable experience is appreciated. Thanks again!

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    A lot of people who want to get away go with a slide-in truck camper. You can get some pretty fancy models fully self contained with heavy insulation/genny/etc and then tow a jeep or some some sort of small off road vehicle to use when you get there. Perhaps a bit off topic, but figured I'd toss that configuration in there.
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    I added a second sub-frame under mine for a 5" lift. It still tows just the same. I lifted it all the way around, (cut of the spring hangers, very carefully so I could reused them) to free up the axles.
    I welded up a long piece of tube, which was the same size as the original sub-frame. Just not the full length of the side of the fifth-wheel.

    I plated both sides, from the top of the original sub-frame to the bottom of the second sub-frame, like fish-tailing. I did this in two spots in the front and two spots in the back so it wouldn't flex or bend for reinforcement.
    Welded the hangers back up under the new sub-frame. And it fits under my F350 that has a 6-8" lift and 38" tires. I took it on a Elk hunt for base camp this year and pulled it up gnarly stuff in 4low.

    It took me and a friend a full day, hauling ass to do the job, but it is straight forward and easy to do once you get going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black's R&R View Post
    5th wheel with a goose neck adapter and a flat bed...

    Just my opinion, but i would never use a 5th to goose adapter. I've witnessed them separate the pin from the pin box on the 5th wheel hitch, and cause the trailer to detach from the truck first hand while following one on the expressway. I have also seen 2 other accidents caused by hitch failure. If you use an adapter like this on a new trailer, it will void the warranty immediately. Your insurance company may not honor a claim and may drop you leaving you to cover any other property loss or bills due for medical services.

    If you do want to utilize the goosepin in your truck, purchase a goose pin box from either Pop-Up or Reese. They are about 900 bucks give or take a 100. and will not void LCI or any other RV frame manufacturers warranties. They work very well, but do induce a slight bit more purposing while towing than a conventional 5th wheel pin hitch.



    As for offroading a 5th wheel. I have taken mine (shown below) 4 miles into Johnson Valley, off the highway, and 1 mile west of the main road to Hammertown, to our campsite for KOH, Like stated before, be careful, go slow, and watch the bed rail to trailer clearance, as well as the twist you are imparting on the hitch and pin box, and do your damnedest to avoid lifting a tire, and be sure the ground you will be traversing will carry the load your bringing over it.




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