What to know about fifth wheel tow vehicles

Here are some basics when it comes to matching up the correct trucks with the right fifth wheel trailers… 4x4 or 4x2 If you plan on going off road, boon docking or camping on beaches, a 4x4 might just be the ticket. But if all you are going to do is stay on highways, park in RV parks and the occasional gravel/dirt campground, a 4x2 is the way to go. If honesty gained points I’m sure a few 4x4 owners would step forward and admit they have never switched into 4-Lo yet.

Trailer brakes Simply put, the bigger the better. You will hear many people say that the truck has to be able to stop both itself and the trailer, but that justisn’t so. The trailer brakes are designed to stop the trailer. If you have an option to buy larger brakes or disk brakes on the trailer, by all means do it.

Truck Wheelbase The longer wheel base you can have on the truck, the smoother the ride you will get. The drawbacks are maneuvering around town and their turning radius. You need to decide if the amount of towing you do warrants the longer truck over the inconveniences of everyday driving around town. If you decide on the longer wheel base truck, your back will thank you the first 3000 mile trip you take.

Matching a truck to your “driving style” Properly matching up a truck to a trailer is more than just looking up weight capacities in a brochure. Will you feel comfortable driving up a 5 mile long 7% grade pulling that 13,000 lb trailer with the 6 liter engine screaming just to go 25 mph, then worrying about the trailer pushing the truck down the hill on the other side because it just doesn’t “feel right”? Or would you feel more comfy pulling the same trailer with a more powerful engine? Half the trip is in the driving, no sense in making it a “white knuckle” experience.

Trucks are expensive Buying one today only to find out you really should have bought a more capable truck only adds frustration and who needs more of that? Take time evaluating what is important to you now as well as what may be important LATER, which could be as soon as next year. It’s tough trading in a one year old truck… I know! A few more dollars a month in payments or fuel costs may be easily offset by a more pleasurable towing experience on your vacation.

Well, there you have it, now you have some basic knowledge at your disposal to go out and look at trucks and trailers without some salesperson taking advantage of you.

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