10 Common Mistakes That every First Time Fifth Wheel Owner Makes
So, you just bought yourself your first fifth wheel and can’t wait to hit the road. Take a break from the daily hustle and go for a road trip. What you don’t know is that this journey may turn out quite differently than you anticipated.
Most first trips go wrong in so many ways usually because many people lack the basic knowledge that accompanies owning an RV. They end up committing some embarrassing rookie mistakes that could have been avoided in the first place. We have compiled a list of 10 common mistakes every first-time fifth wheel owner makes and hopefully we can help you avoid them.
1. Driving your RV before you know how to
Driving a recreational vehicle is very different from your normal kind of driving. For starters, the RV is significantly bigger in size. Then there is the fact that you will not be able to see behind using your rear mirror. Therefore you need to do some practice runs before your actual trip. You can go to a camp near you and practice some basics like parking.
2. Underestimating the size of your rig
It’s not uncommon for a new rig owner to run it through a low flying banner or smash into a flyover. Negotiating sharp corners and parking your RV will also be a challenge. Make sure you understand how big your fifth wheel is. You can always use a spotter when parking to avoid these accidents.
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3. Driving off when not fully disconnected.
Classic rookie mistake. You thought you had unplugged everything only to realize you forgot to lower the tailgate or that the power cable is still connected to your truck. When you look at the damage caused you can’t help but curse under your breath. At least now you know to always ensure that everything is disconnected.
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4. Traveling without a reservation
As a novice rig owner, you will definitely know areas that you can park without a reservation. However, as a beginner, you can’t afford to travel without a reservation. Some park areas can get very populated with people booking their spots up to a year in advance.
5. Unexpectedly running out of fuel
The addition of a fifth wheel to your truck automatically translates to more fuel consumption. Now, imagine running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. As a new rig owner, you still don’t know the rate at which your truck consumes fuel. Hence to avoid frustrations, ensure that you check the gauge regularly.
6. Failing to do a system check-up
Before beginning any journey, conduct a routine check-up to ensure all your systems are functional. Test your engine, air conditioner, refrigerator, brakes, and similar systems. Trust me you do not want your brakes failing while on your trip. And can you even imagine going camping for a month with a faulty refrigerator?
7. Forgetting basic tools and equipment
The toolbox is an important part of your vehicle. Sometimes the RV may develop an issue in the remotest of places. Places where repair services are scarce or unavailable. It is at times like these that your toolbox comes in handy. Carrying a well-packed toolbox may be the one thing that saves you.
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8. Not knowing to operate the RV
Inside your rig, you will find several things you are not familiar with. You will need to familiarize yourself with the concept of plugging in and dumping out. Even the simplest things like turning off the outdoor shower may prove challenging when you are a first-time fifth-wheel owner. As a rule of thumb always read through the operator’s manual and practice the more complex issues like leveling and dumping.
9. Not using a checklist
When you think about it, having a checklist will help you avoid most of the mistakes above. A checklist can be a list of all the steps to take before starting your journey or a list of all items to carry with you. With every trip, comes a new lesson thus make sure you add new things to the checklist. Always cross your checklist before and after every trip to make sure you are in adherence to it.
10. Running out of food on your trip
As a beginner, it may be hard to correctly estimate the amount of food supply you need on your trip. To avoid this kind of frustrations, it is recommended that you a park an extra day or two worth of food. Sure, buying food on the road is an option but it may turn out to be more expensive.
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What is the best 5th wheel to buy?
Looking for a fifth wheel for your outdoor adventures? A stable, comfortable, spacious, reasonably priced, and a well-equipped fifth-wheel is what you need. We have considered all the options in the market and we can confidently say that the Redwood RV Redwood 5th is the best.
This the fifth wheel offers sleeping space for 4-6 people, has a 36-41 feet footprint, and features 18 different floorplans. The production company of Redwood RV Redwood 5th wheel has made many developments on this particular wheel more than any other wheel on the market.
Some of the unique features the wheel contains are the dual pane windows, an HDTV in the bedroom, solid constructions, and soundbar which make it the best wheel in the market. Check out the amazing exclusive features which the Redwood RV Redwood 5th wheel comes with;
- 35,000 BTU furnace
- Cabinets made of precious solid maple hardwoods
- Mini blinds which come with either curtain toppers or birch valance
- Domed skylight in shower
- 18 different floor plans readily available for you
- A carefree awning with LED powered by electricity
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What kind of truck do you need to pull a fifth wheel?
To hit the highway to your outdoor adventure destination you need a good truck to pull your fifth wheel. Do just go for a truck that will later frustrate you in terms of service delivery. Take a moment with us to get an idea of what you need to know about trucks for your 5th wheel. The most
important things to consider before getting that truck are;
- Payload capacity
- Bed length
- Fuel type – gas or diesel
- Fifth wheel packages
- Dually or single rear truck
The payload capacity of the truck depends on the weight of your fifth-wheel. For the fifth wheel of between 7,500 to 10,000 pounds, you need a ton truck, 10,000 – 16,000 pounds you need a ton truck, and for a wheel of 16,000 plus you need a full-ton truck.
In terms of a bed length of your truck made for towing, you need a long bed truck for best traction, convenience, and best turning clearance. Moreover, long bed trucks are the most cost-effective.
Both gas and diesel engines have their own advantages and it depends on your personal preferences. The gas engine tracks have less fuel cost, less upfront cost, and the maintenance cost for the engines are considered low.
On the other hand, diesel engines can save you money due to their fuel economy engines, offers greater torque for towing, and more importantly, diesel engines tend to last longer.
The single wheel truck has greater fuel efficiency, low maintenance cost since you only need to replace 4 wheels instead of six, effective for both towing and daily driving comfort, and it is easier to navigate into a tight packing space as compared to dually trucks.
Comparatively, dually trucks are more stable, offer a higher weight capacity for towing, and offers a readily available backup in case your rear tire blows up.
From experience, if you want the best truck, a 1-ton dually with a bed length of 8 feet and a diesel engine truck is the best option for you.
Can you tow more with a fifth wheel?
The extent to which you can tow depends on the towing capabilities and weight specification of your truck.
On the sticker which in most cases is on the driver’s side door of the truck, you find details that will enable you to estimate how much you can tow. The sticker contains the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your truck (the maximum your truck can weigh when loaded).
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How much do 5th wheels weigh?
A good number of fifth wheels weigh 2000 lbs or less. However, the bighorn fifth wheels weigh up to 16,000 lbs with the hitch weight
being about 2,040 lbs.
Is a 5th wheel easier to tow?
The answer to whether it is easier to tow a fifth wheel is yes. Depending on the above-discussed features of your truck in consideration of the weight of the fifth wheel, it is easier to tow any fifth wheel. A 1-ton dually with a bed length of 8 feet and diesel engine truck will make your towing easier.
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