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 > Whoever said 5er's were easier

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DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 10/08/18 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd sure like to know what you are smokin'!

Because I'm just plain exhausted! Seems everything is a difficult learning curve on the new 5er opposed to over 30-40-50 years of bumper pull travel experience and first hand ownership for about about 20 years now!

First was the challenge of where to put everything I carried in the pick-up truck shell side door tool boxes and bed of the truck. In-out-in-out of the different outside cubby holes. Finally got that settled, somewhat. I'm still try to get things settled, after 2 weeks! Eliminated a lot of stuff that was specific for the previous TT, but still a lot of stuff!

How about hitching up? Well, you know that break-away cable. Dag-gum that's a wretched thing to hook up to somewhere. Dealer told me most people hook them up into one of the front corner bed eyelet catches. But my cable is not long enough to reach. So, I end up crawling over the tail gate (open of course) and crawling around on the bed on my stomach to string that cable over the 5er hitch so I can hook it to a hole. I have a D style spring loaded catch on the end, same as I used for my TT. TT, just snapped it over the holes on the receiver hitch and done. Yuck. I feel like a fat worm crawling under there.

And that danged artificial knee is no help when attempting to crawl around.

OK, so my wife and I are still having difficulty actually backing up the truck and aligning it just right to hitch. So, I painted a couple lines on the 5er hitch and the hitch pen box so she can line them up. She's always driven to hitch, and I've always guided her. It worked absolutely great! She hit it perfect first try after that.

But today, I got a Taneou style cover -4 fold- over the bed of the truck, and with it folded up -3 folds-, from the truck driver seat, you can't see the hitch in the bed of the truck any more! Now, this is going to be fun.

And those fat fenders. No matter what I do, I'm just a bit too short to reach anything standing on the ground inside the bed. Someone on these forums suggested getting a plastic bucket and using it for a step stool. I did and it works great! When I can reach it in the back of the truck!

Now, the blue tote? I haven't figured out a good spot to put it yet. I tried in front of the hitch and I tried behind. In front works better since I end up having to crawl into the back to attach that cable, but that also means making sure the tote (and now firewood) is loaded before actually hitching, like I could with the TT.

I'm hoping the bed cover will make things a bit easier, not having to remove everything once home, can simply close the cover and leave it in the bed, like I use to do with shell.

Crawling or climbing over the bed sides of the truck, from my bucket, is a site to behold and an experience that will not soon be forgotten. Dragging that numb knee over a cliff is, well ... exhilarating! -oh sheesh no!- It's a wonder I haven't broken my neck yet falling over. Never had that problem on the truck with the TT.

I suppose there are a few good things that have happened over the last week, much improvement... and that is the fact I've not knocked my head on the hitch box any more! And I figured out how the flood light attaches to my awning arm. And I figured out how to keep my on-board water pump from pulsating. And I've finally figured out how to use the auto levelers, to get the hitch box just the right height for hitching and unhitching now. And finally came up with a creative way to keep the cabinet doors from popping open when traveling, and getting in the way of the slides when opening them. Yikes... that actually happened twice already! And oh... that 50 amp power cord! Sheesh is that thing heavy! I finally figured out to roll it up in a laundry basket, instead of trying to roll it up in my arm like an extension cord. So, that animal is now manageable. And the last two attempts at backing into 1-the last campsite and 2-my own driveway, I hit it just right, first time! Backing IS getting easier.

I do think, about the ONLY thing that was immediately easier than my previous TT is the fact I can climb up the attached ladder and sweep of the slides from leaves and sticks falling from trees. Now, that is REALLY nice and a lot easier than getting my 7 foot ladder from the bed of the truck and trying to stabilize it on some pretty uneven terrain sometimes and reach over the ends of the slides to sweep them off. Definitely, having a ladder attached has saved a LOT of work and anxiety! It feels safer, it's easier, and that artificial knee has great lifting power, so getting up and down that ladder is no problem. But wow, is it different to crawl on!

However, that also raises one more thing that is extremely difficult with this 5er! And that's the fact the awning is so gosh danged high it doesn't even feel like it's there. To reach the awning arms to tip them down, requires a ladder to reach them and then to get high enough to turn the knob to hold them in place. And if the campsite ground is any bit unlevel, or the camper is on asphalt and the ground you stand is not, and it raises the awning arms another 4 or 5 inches taller, it's impossible to reach them! Thanks goodness they are electric. I really don't think I could handle a manual awning.

Easier? Um.... NO! Not yet anyway.

I've been doing nothing but going to work every day and coming home and attempting to figure out something on this new camper, or figure out how to address issues with the truck to make it easier! Then, camping the last 2 extended week-ends, and fiddling even more ...

Hey! I"M POOPED! When does it get easier?


DutchmenSport

2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 10/08/18 07:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sell it n go back.


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dave17352

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Posted: 10/08/18 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting post. You make some good points. But I still like my 5th wheel[emoticon]


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Lwiddis

Cambria, CA

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Posted: 10/08/18 07:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“And that danged artificial knee is no help...”

There’s your mistake! Shouldn’t have had it replaced. Just limp around like I do! lol (Except when on a bicycle)


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 10/08/18 07:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dave17352 wrote:

Interesting post. You make some good points. But I still like my 5th wheel[emoticon]


Oh, don't get me wrong ... we love this new camper! No intention of every taking it back at all. It's ours now! Just laughing a bit and being a bit and making fun, because it seems everyone on these forums repeated the same message for years and years now, that 5ers are easier than TT's.

One things for certain? I never bonked my head on the hitch of my TT! [emoticon]

Just wondering how long till I feel it's familiar territory and it's all second nature to me.... Seems like it will never happen.

donn0128

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Posted: 10/08/18 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dp you need to relearn some things? Yea. Fiver hands down tow, back and live easier. You do need to learn and understand towing and backing. A fiver will turn inside your truck, a fiver if your not paying attention will jackknife faster. Once you see it start to turn, you need to start following it back. Not doing that will get you in a bind every time.


Don,Lorri,and Charlie Bear 2016
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Bird Freak

Calhoun, Ga.

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Posted: 10/08/18 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How about hitching up? Well, you know that break-away cable. Dag-gum that's a wretched thing to hook up to somewhere.



My truck has a tie down ring just inside the rear bed post. I just snap my brake cable to it. No climbing in bed.


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Veebyes

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Posted: 10/08/18 08:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A folding foot stool works wonders for reaching inside the bed for the breakaway or anything else. I can't see my 5th wheel either, just like the semi drivers. I use my mirrors to cue where I am for hitching up. Also have visual cues for right pin height. You learn as you go.


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MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 10/08/18 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Problem is...you waited too long to get a FW. Twenty years ago, the switch would have been a piece of cake. You know what they say about old dogs/tricks. [emoticon]

Jerry





Halmfamily

Munford, AL

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Posted: 10/08/18 08:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be very careful stepping up onto anything reaching into the bed of your truck. I blew out my ankle last June while stepping off my dullie after releasing the king pin. Spent next eight weeks in a boot and was a sucky vacation on crutches. I now use a step that goes over the tire, much safer and a lower step height.

Enjoy the new fiver


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