So tell me about fifth wheel hitches. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #15
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Thank you Mike! The links were very helpful. I can see where the pivoting head would be very useful and it will depends on the bed size to determine if we will need a slider. Am I understanding that correctly?

Alf that would be wonderful to find a newer complete set up....... but the banker (me) says no way. We still need money leftover to go camping!
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
This is today's exchange rate, US $$ to Canadian:

$25,000 US on Dec 11 (exchange 1.2317) = $30,792.49 Canadian

It wasn't that long enough (weeks?) it was the other way around.
Hi: Donna... If the base price of an Escape 5.0 is $26,900 Can.D. my calculator says it would cost $21,870 U.S.D. to buy one... but then I have been wrong before.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
p.s. we might have to scale back our camping excursions to the U.S. next summer!!!
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:55 PM   #17
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Name: Chris & Maureen
Trailer: 1994 20 ft Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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What came first, the truck or the egg? In our case, the egg came first. We borrowed a truck with a 5th wheel hitch when we drove up to Canada to buy our first Bigfoot 5th wheel. Then it was time to go shopping for a new truck, and we bought a 2007 Nissan Frontier long bed (6-feet). We love our 5th wheel and it's so comfortable, with plenty of room. Iím 6í3Ē and I, too, donít fit in the Scamp and barely fit in the Escape. If you can find a Bigfoot 5th wheel, youíll love it too, but they can be hard to find in decent shape since they stopped making them in 1994.

A hitch came with our 5th wheel, but we found out that it wouldnít work with our truck. So not just any hitch you get with the trailer will necessarily do the trick. We took the truck to the local hitch shop and it was less than $500 including installation for a standard 16,000 pound Robbins four-way hitch. A slider hitch would have cost $300 to $400 more. Our trailer did not need the axles flipped to ride level with our standard mount hitch in the truck.

Our truck has a 4.0 liter V6 engine with a towing package, so it tows like itís not even there. With the 8-foot wide Bigfoot, itís safer to add towing mirrors. Thatís one option that I wish Nissan had for our truck, is permanent extendable mirrors. That was only an option available on the Nissan Titan, but we didnít want a 5.8 liter V-8.

Iím not sure about the engine size of the Ranger you might be looking at. Our Bigfoot has a dry weight of approximately 3000 pounds, and the dual axle version is about 1000 pounds heavier. I donít know what the tongue weight would be, but Iíve never noticed the back of the bed of the truck lowering when itís been hitched.

Good luck!

Chris

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Old 12-12-2008, 12:03 PM   #18
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Thank you Chris!

I've been messaging with Deb & Chuck. They say their dual axle weighs in at 4884 empty. Eric and I are really perplexed at the weight difference between the one axle and the two axle. An axle, rims and two tires just do not weigh 1900 lbs. Do you have any insight into the weight difference?

I think we will have to put the egg before the cart. It's looking like we will have to fit the truck (and hitch) to either a one axle, probably a 4 liter Ranger, or a bigger truck if we find a dual axle.

I know it's going to be hard to find a BF in easy striking distance. Going to Canada isn't an option, it's just too far. We are not afraid of getting a fixer as long as the body and under carriage are in good shape. Heck any thing would be easier than the Boler! We rebuilt that from the ground up. We would likely have to flat bed it home as we do not know anyone that has a 5th wheel set up truck.
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Old 12-13-2008, 01:08 AM   #19
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Thank you Mike! The links were very helpful. I can see where the pivoting head would be very useful and it will depends on the bed size to determine if we will need a slider. Am I understanding that correctly?
YES, you are correct. Short bed trucks really benefit from a slider. Here again, you can get a manual or automatic.

Basically, when you arrive at a park, you slide the hitch to the rear position if it is a manual one. Then when you check out, you move the slider forward before you get on the highway.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:57 PM   #20
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My '98 Ranger has the 4.0, manual trans, tow package, long (7') bed and 4WD and is rated to tow 5,800 lbs -- If it had 2WD I think it would be rated for 6,000 lbs.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #21
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Name: Chris & Maureen
Trailer: 1994 20 ft Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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Quote:
I've been messaging with Deb & Chuck. They say their dual axle weighs in at 4884 empty. Eric and I are really perplexed at the weight difference between the one axle and the two axle. An axle, rims and two tires just do not weigh 1900 lbs. Do you have any insight into the weight difference?
Hi, Lizbeth. We have a PDF of the brochure for our trailer that I will PM you that shows the dry weight starting at 2800 pounds. We took our old 1984 Bigfoot 5th wheel to get it weighed once and that was pretty close to what our estimate was for the weight after deducting for water weight. Of course, it weighs much more than the dry weight once loaded. I think I got the idea that there was about a 1000 pound difference in weight for the dual axle based on the dry weights listed in the ads I used to see online when I was on the hunt for one, but I would go by what Deb & Chuck say on that score.

If you get a chance to go to the Northern Oregon Gathering in April, you will be able to see the difference between our single axle and Deb & Chuck's dual axle. The construction of the base is a couple steps thicker on the dual axle. On our single axle model, you step in at the floor level, whereas in the dual axle there are another couple steps up as you step inside. I think the dual axle itself is more substantial and sits up higher underneath. The way ours is built, we end up with that much more headroom because the fiberglass shell itself is the same.

Many people prefer dual axles, but we purposely looked for the single axle model for the lighter weight and increased headroom. We were also quite comfortable with a single axle because we had enjoyed our 17 foot Bigfoot for years without any worries. Chris has also been very careful to buy new tires so we know they are in good shape. Depending on what truck you end up with and how much weight you can tow, you can't go wrong with either the single or the dual axle. Deb & Chuck's trailer is really nice, and they have plenty of headroom.

Hopefully you'll find exactly what you want so you can join our little group of Bigfoot 5th wheel owners.

Maureen
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:02 PM   #22
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Mike, thank you for your help...I have a better picture of how the hitches work now.

Pete, thank for the Ranger info.

Maureen, thank you for your help with everything. I will email you for the PDF.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:42 PM   #23
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Ressurecting this old thread...
can someone explain how the various heights work?
The pick up beds all seem to have different levels as do the pins on the trailers.

Is there some form of adjustment with parts like a regular receiver hitch?
(e.g. 2" drop receiver)
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:10 AM   #24
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Hi: Roy... On our setup there are two main adjustment areas. #1 The pin box on the trailer( ours is set at the bottom holes) so the stinger is all the way up inside the box. #2 The hitch itself has several sets of holes to raise or lower the receiver plate(ours is set in the bottom holes) so the hitch plate is up as high as it can go. We have the Husky 16K EZ roller double pivot head hitch Visit My Website so it sits on the rollers and can be rolled back 8" for added clearance on tight turns...this we don't need...but we have it. Here's a couple of pic's of the hookup.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:11 AM   #25
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Ahhhh, yes this thread! Roy, my answer to your question is below....

It was in research for The Truck, hitch and Bigfoot 5th, that we now own. I never thought I would get to say that!

We ended up with a short bed truck and bought a used Superglide hitch.
http://www.pullrite.com/superglide_flash.htm

It's an automatic slider. We spent several weeks discussing the merits of different hitches and the costs involved. We bought a short bed truck, we go places where tight turns are needed, I didn't want to have to manually slide a hitch if I was doing the towing by myself, and we needed to be able to easily remove the hitch to use the truck bed for hauling. So we wanted the Superglide with the SuperRail mounts. They were in the OHMYGAWD price I mentioned in my first post. So we looked around for a couple weeks and found a used one two hours away and drove down to San Diego area to purchase it. The mounts that came with it did not work for our brand truck so we had to get ones that fit our truck to the tune of several hundred dollars.

Superglides use a plate on the trailer to connect the kingpin to the hitch so the whole hitch head turns and slides in the hitch rails. We custom installed our plate so it could be removed in the event that we needed our trailer moved by someone else. The plate it a theft deterrent, it will tear up a regular hitch!

So now we hook up and never have to worry about bashing the truck. Which can be a problem, we saw body damage on several of the trucks we looked at while shopping for ours!

Roy, our trailer has no adjust at the hitch box. The Superglide hitches are not height adjustable. One can buy mounting pins that the hitch sits on in a couple different lengths but basically the trailer needs to fit the truck.

One reason we ended up buying our fixer trailer is that it was already lifted to be towed by a 4x4 truck, which is what we have.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:38 PM   #26
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Quote:
Thank you Chris!

I've been messaging with Deb & Chuck. They say their dual axle weighs in at 4884 empty. Eric and I are really perplexed at the weight difference between the one axle and the two axle. An axle, rims and two tires just do not weigh 1900 lbs. Do you have any insight into the weight difference?

I think we will have to put the egg before the cart. It's looking like we will have to fit the truck (and hitch) to either a one axle, probably a 4 liter Ranger, or a bigger truck if we find a dual axle.

I know it's going to be hard to find a BF in easy striking distance. Going to Canada isn't an option, it's just too far. We are not afraid of getting a fixer as long as the body and under carriage are in good shape. Heck any thing would be easier than the Boler! We rebuilt that from the ground up. We would likely have to flat bed it home as we do not know anyone that has a 5th wheel set up truck.
Lizbeth,
That should be 3,884 dry weight- not 4,884.
Deb
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:19 PM   #27
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Deb,
You messaged me a couple of years ago and said the weight of your trailer was 4,884 empty. So I was going by that. I don't find that hard to believe because our single axle weighed in at 4,600 packed lightly for a weekend trip. The weight of our trailer confuses us, dry it would weigh more than is posted on the sticker for GVW. We didn't even have any cast iron cookware with us!
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #28
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Deb,
You messaged me a couple of years ago and said the weight of your trailer was 4,884 empty. So I was going by that. I don't find that hard to believe because our single axle weighed in at 4,600 packed lightly for a weekend trip. The weight of our trailer confuses us, dry it would weigh more than is posted on the sticker for GVW. We didn't even have any cast iron cookware with us!

Lizbeth,
Wow! So your 5th wheel is a single axle? I see you found a good price on a hitch. The way the Bigfoot factory people explained dry weight to us at a Bigfoot rally was that dry weight is the bare bottom weight without a drop of water or propane in it. Happy trailering!
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