Towing a Large 5th Wheel RV | Full Time RV Truck and Towing! | Changing Lanes!


– So today is the often asked about and highly anticipated
towing a fifth wheel video. – Yep, we’re headed over
to an empty parking lot, formerly Walmart, hopefully
we don’t get kicked out. – That’s right, fingers crossed. (uplifting light rock music) (country rock music) It’s moving day. – Yep, not your typical moving day. – Nope. – We’re moving about 200 yards. – Yeah. – To a new site. – Yep. We’re at the halfway point
of our stay in North Carolina and we have to move sites so we thought what better time than now to film a video all about towing. – Because when we were looking
at buying a fifth wheel I looked for towing videos. They’re really aren’t
any and I wanted them so maybe you do. – That’s right. – Since we have to hitch
up and move anyway, we found an empty parking lot that we will hopefully
not be kicked out of. – Yeah. – We didn’t exactly get permission. – Yeah. – We didn’t get permission
at all, we’re just gonna go. – It’s an empty Walmart parking lot and there are often other RVs and big rigs and stuff like that in there, so. – I think it’ll be fine but
we’re gonna go over there, set up some cones, show
you guys some backing up, some cornering, and stuff like that with a large, large fifth wheel. – He’s going to. – I’ll do that for you. – I’m gonna just stand by and watch. – So before we go outside and
do the whole towing thing, pack this rig up and go let’s talk a little bit about weight. In the towing equation weight
is the deciding factor; if you’re being safe,
if you’re overloaded. Full disclosure, I’m no
certified expert or anything but I know a lot about
this ’cause I’ve studied it so we could be safe and
I want to just make sure you understand some of the
basics around making sure you have the right truck for the right rig and the right job. – [Tara] Guard dog. – Hey, hush. Can’t you tell we’re filming? – [Tara] Guard dog. – [Chad] Haven’t you
figured this out by now? – [Tara] Quiet. Good job. – While I’m gonna go
over the basics of this, it’s up to you to
understand your own numbers and get the right information. Number one rule in picking out a truck is don’t believe the dealer. They will most likely
not outright lie to you but they won’t dig into the
facts like you will, hopefully or like I did. We had a Ram dealer that
said for sure that dually will tow that 20,000 pound fifth wheel. Once I dug into the numbers
it would absolutely not, and I’ll get to that part
as to why it wouldn’t when I start talking about this. So let’s dig into some of these numbers. So one of the first numbers
you’re gonna come across is called GVWR or gross
vehicle weight rating. Both the truck and the
rig have their own GVWRs. So the truck has its gross
vehicle weight rating and so does the rig. The gross vehicle weight
rating on the truck is very important when you’re talking about
towing a fifth wheel. If you’ll notice the way that
a fifth wheel is designed is it’s not connected
down here on the bumper but your pin usually comes
directly over your rear axle. I think that had something
to do with the name of why it’s called a fifth wheel. The truck is the fifth wheel
or somethin’ like that. Doesn’t matter, but the point
is in a typical fifth wheel you’re lookin’ at about an 80/20 or 75/25 weight distribution. So as an example, our rig
weighs about 20K total and that is our GVWR for the rig. Now 20 to 25% of that 20K is
gonna be sitting right here. So you’re talking about 4,000
pounds sitting in our bed. Most single rear wheel trucks do not have this kinda capacity. In fact, on our rig we’re
lookin’ at more like 25%. I think when we got weighed we
were lookin’ at about 4,500, 4,600 pounds was on our pin. That’s because we’ve got a
generator and extra batteries, an inverter and a bunch
of stuff sitting up here in the front bay. So the GVRW of the truck,
how do you know what that is? Well you can look at
the truck specs online, that’s a good place to start, but the final authority of
your GVRW is the door sticker. You wanna take a look at your door sticker and that is the end all
be all final authority of how much your truck is rated for cargo and that is including the truck itself and the engine and the
gas and everything in it, the everything, that’s the total amount
your truck should weight. 14,000 pounds is our truck’s GVWR. Our rig’s GVWR is 20K. There’s another number
that you’ll wanna know and that’s the GCWR or the
gross combined weight rating and that’s again a number
that comes from the truck and you won’t find that
on your door sticker, you’ll have to look at that up in your truck’s information online but the GCWR is everything. That is the rating that your truck is
designed to pull complete. The GCWR for our rig is 36K. And we’re gonna get into the truck’s specs when we go outside but
we’ve got an F350 dually and that’s what it’s rated at for gross combined weight rating. There’s another number, and I know this is a lot of numbers but you kinda gotta get
your head around this if you’re gonna understand
what’s goin’ on here and what you’re rated to pull. It’s called your tow rating. For us, that is 27.3K and that’s basically the maximum
trailer that you can pull. So you’ll notice a lot of times
these numbers don’t add up. A good example is if you look at the door
sticker inside your truck you’ll notice that you have
an axle rating for the front and an axle rating for the rear and if you add these two numbers up they’re greater than 14K. That’s just so you can
have some wiggle room. You don’t have to have your
14K perfectly balanced. 14K is still the max number for that. So let’s talk a little bit
about what you can tow. You wanna stay in this 14K. You’re gonna hear also another
number called cargo capacity or sometimes cargo carrying capacity and really all that is
is your truck’s GVWR minus the truck itself,
passengers, cargo, your hitch, your toolbox, everything
else you’ve got in there. When you go weigh your truck empty and you get that number, let’s just, I’m just gonna pick it out of the air here and just say it weighs 9K. 9K would make our cargo capacity
5K, 14 minus nine is five and that’s really pretty
close to where we are here. That means I’ve got
the cargo capacity here to take that 46,000 or so pounds
that’s sitting on the pin. So that’s the real crux of the issue and when you see online talk about oh your truck is underrated
for the fifth wheel yada, yada. fifth wheels are a different
beast than a trailer and it’s not all about
this tow rating number, it’s about the cargo capacity number. You wanna make sure that
everything inside here stays under that GVWR. Another number that I
touched on briefly here that I’m not gonna go really too far into but you do kinda wanna be
aware of are your axle ratings. So in your truck sticker you’re
gonna have an axle rating for each of your axles and typically you’re gonna have an axle rating on each of your axles for your rig. For ours, each of these are 7K. So we’ve got a total of 21K
capacity on these axles. Dealing with the 80/20
rule when we’re at 20K and say we’ve got 40, that
leaves us 16K on 21K of axles which is good. Got plenty of leeway there. Where you sometimes see issues is if you don’t have the 3rd axle and your GVRW for your
rig is at like 16 five and you’ve got about 12K
sitting on 14K of axles. It’s cutting a little bit closer and that’s where you
sometimes will see people with these compressed springs
and issues with their axles but triple axle rig usually
has plenty of leeway. Another term you’ll
hear is payload capacity and that’s the same as
your cargo capacity. Those are the same numbers. It’s how much payload you
can put in the vehicle. Now again we’re strictly
talking about fifth wheels here. You’ll have some similar numbers when you’re talking
about towing a trailer. The difference is your cargo capacity doesn’t have to be as high because generally more of your weight is sitting on your trailer axles and you’ve got some weight
here called tongue weight or hitch weight on your bumper. And I’m not gonna go into that, that’s a whole nother ball game. So let’s chat a little bit
about single rear wheel versus dual rear wheel. This is a highly contentious topic. If you go online and
bring up I’m pulling this with a single rear wheel or a dual, that is a difficult thing
to say, dual rear wheel, you’re gonna get arguments on both sides. Where I lie on this is I don’t think you
would ever, ever wanna tow a 20K fiver with a single
rear wheel vehicle. So do your own homework. You are the one ultimately
responsible for your rig and your own safety. So if you choose to tow this big 20K fiver on a single rear wheel
vehicle, hey ya know, do what you’re gonna do. Personally, we wouldn’t do it. – [Tara] No. – Dual rear wheels, it’s
a little bit more a pain as a daily driver, I’ll
completely admit that. It’s a 22 foot truck and
the thing’s super wide but when you’re towing with that thing it’s solid, it’s stable. A lot of people ask online hey, do you feel when semis
pass you, does it buffet, does it move? Not a bit. Those four wheels back
here feel nice and secure. – [Tara] I like safety. (chuckles) – And no matter how you slice it a dual rear wheel setup will
always have more capacity and always be safer period. It’s just, ya got four wheels
back there instead of two. So the last thing I wanna talk about as far as the towing capacity was the issue that
almost could have bit us when we were getting
ready to buy our truck. First of all, we’re not brand loyalists or crazy about Ford
versus Ram or whatever. Know the specs of the truck and that’s where the issue came in. We were test driving both Ram and Ford ’cause those were just
kinda the two we liked, and we were driving a Ram dually. Seemed pretty nice, we kinda liked it. We were still goin’ back and forth. The salesman was all like oh yeah, that’ll tow 20K fifth wheel no problem. So I dig into the specs
and the problem was the transmission, the axle ratio. This little guy right here that determines basically how
many rotations of the axle to rotations of the wheel. It ends up being a number
to one, like 3.55 to one, 4.10 to one. So you’ll hear things
like gear axle ratios of three five five or four 10. They’re talking about
that three dot five five or four dot one oh to one. If you’ve ever peddled a 10 speed bike you know that as you
drop your gear ratio down you peddle more and go a little slower but you’ve got more power. That’s the torque. That’s what determines your
towing capacity down here. When you’ve got a higher gear ratio you have a higher towing capacity. Conversely, you might get a
little bit less gas mileage but the bottom line is that truck did not have the axle ratio and did not have the transmission
to tow this big of a rig. When I told the sales guy
he was like, oh really? I don’t know if he knew
or not, he probably didn’t and there’s the problem. Don’t trust the salespeople
to do your homework and to be educated about
all of these things ’cause a lot of them aren’t. It’s a lot to take in. When we first started studying about this to be able to do this safely, it’s a bit. It’s a bit to take in
but do it, understand it, get a good feel for that
you know this, these numbers and that you’re safe. For us, these wheels and
all this math and stuff means we’re safe but this is not just some
weekend camper for us, this is our home and if either
one of these breaks down or has a problem because of
something we miscalculated our house is out of commission or we might not have a vehicle to drive. So it’s very important to understand these numbers to be safe. So you can’t really talk about towing without also talking about tires. I’m not gonna go big into tires. We do have a separate video. Spiderweb. We do have a separate
video on tire safety, we’ll like that up here, but one thing I wanted
to mention specifically in regards to towing is when
you’ve got more than one axle and if you’ve got a fifth wheel you’ve probably got at
least two, we have three. When you’re pulling a
sharp turn in this thing you’re gonna be dragging
at least two of your axles. It’s just physics ya know? Some of ’em have to drag. So that’s another argument for going slow. It’s easier on your
tires in every situation but especially when turning. So let’s chat just a little bit about what we’ve got going
on here with our hitch and our pin box. The hitch is the piece
that goes in the truck and the pin box is the
thing that goes on the rig. We upgraded our stock pin box which is Lippert Components Flex Air. It’s pretty cool because it’s
got some built-in features that help ease the ride as far as the rig and truck interaction. Got a nice big airbag here with a shock and also the rubber that came on, that was just like the
one on our stock unit. It’s got a lot of features in there to kind of help it buffering the shock between the rig and the truck
and the truck and the rig and you can see it when
we’re going down the road. It’s doin’ some work back there. We really like it quite a bit. For our hitch we have
the Reese 27.5K or 28K, I forget what it’s called. It’s rated at 27,500 pounds. We got the Ford branded accessory when we were first starting out and we really didn’t
know much about hitches. The reviews on it seemed to be good so we had Ford put that in
after they did our bed liner and it’s been a great hitch. The key things I would look for now that I’ve been doing this a while, we would still use this hitch. Curt also makes great hitches, so does, there’s a bunch out there. The things I would look for in a hitch are fully articulating. You want it to be able to pivot like this so as your rig changes
you don’t want it stiff. I also like the fact that this
one has a nice big single jaw that comes across it versus
the two jaws like this. That was one of the things
that kinda stood out to me, I like that. Also, part of our tow
package with our Ford was the puck system. It’s already set up from the
factory with the four pucks in the bed to basically mount very easily any puck-compatible system. Our truck also does
have, like we mentioned, the full eight foot bed so there
was no need for any sliders or anything like that. When we get out and do our towing we’re gonna show you a little bit about how to check the turning clearance. You wanna be able to
have your truck and rig, you want your truck to be
able to turn at 90 degrees so you can make proper turns and not worry about the cab of the truck hitting this guy right here. The things we had to check
for when we first hitched up for the very first time,
one was bed clearance. You wanna make sure the bottom of this clears the bed by at least six inches. You also wanna make sure if
you’ve got a toolbox like we do that it clears that as well. You also wanna make sure that
your rig is sitting level and the truck is sitting level. You don’t wanna have the truck
being bogged down like this, you don’t want it jacked up too high and have your rig like this
and have the tail down. The whole setup should be level. Two places you can adjust that. One and the simplest is on the hitch. Most hitches can be adjusted up and down. I think ours has three or
four different placements, so you adjust the hitch up and down. You can also if you need
to adjust this up and down. So in talking about towing, let’s just discuss a
little bit about connecting and hitching up. Obviously, the first thing is getting that pin into that hitch and connecting that up and
making sure it’s locked in. That’s number one. The other two things you have to connect are the trailer connection, which is your seven pin
connector that supplies power to your running lights,
powers your blinkers, your break lights, your reverse,
and all that good stuff. Also very importantly powers your brakes and we’ll talk a little bit about that when we start doing our
towing piece of this. The third and final thing is the emergency cutaway brake system. So on the other side over here we’ve got this cable that
runs to a connector over there and basically its sole purpose is if that thing ever gets pulled out it supplies a full 12 volts
DC straight from your battery to your brakes to put
the brakes on maximum. If this things breaks away you don’t want it just
runnin’ away willy nilly down the interstate you want it to stop. I mentioned also a little
bit about the eight foot bed. If you have a six foot bed you might need what’s
called a slider hitch. I’m not gonna go into all the
different kinds of hitches, I’m just giving you a
general overview here but you’ll notice when we go
to do our turn radius test this thing is right up against it. I mean, this part here
almost touches the cab. If I go to 92 or so degrees it’ll hit. If you don’t have the full eight foot bed you can see where that would be a problem. What the slider hitch does is as the truck turns with the
trailer it also slides back. So it gives you this motion here to give you that extra clearance you need. It’s a special kind of hitch that you do need for shorter beds. You might also see something
about Anderson hitches. Those are very controversial
in the fifth wheel world. I’m not gonna go into ’em. I personally wouldn’t trust
it for something this large. Some people do, that’s fine,
works great for ya, great. It’s not something we would wanna do. So when we talk about
preparedness for a trip or towing one thing you should also be prepared for is the unexpected. Now these are some items that
we hope to never ever use that I keep right here
underneath our bench seats that I have just in case. Number one, this guy right here. Obviously it’s a fire extinguisher. Got one here, got one in
the basement in the rig, and we also of course have the
ones that came with the rig on the inside. I like to have extras just in case. These kinda go together here. We’ve got some foldable triangles that we can put out on the
road and these are LED flares so you don’t have to worry
about actually ya know sparking up a fire if
you’re in a dry season on the side of the road. You can put these out at night and these out during the day or both if you happen to break down and you wanna put these
out behind your vehicle to warn other drivers. First aid kit ’cause just in case. Ya know, it’s got a miscellaneous
bunch a stuff in here. I don’t know what I would
need, I’m not a doctor but at least we would have
a bunch of first aid stuff if we ever needed it. This guy right here. If you’ve ever tried to
break automotive glass it’s not easy. This will do it quite easily. Tap, and it’s shattered. This is a nice little seatbelt cutter. I keep this in the center
console again just in case. I hope I never need any of this stuff but it’s there if we need it. A little side note here,
you’ll notice the exhaust for our truck comes out to the side. We’ve seen some issue online where people with these diesel trucks that have super hot exhaust that aren’t really designed
with this kinda towing in mind have the exhaust going
straight out the back. You wanna be really careful with that. That hot exhaust coming out
the back hitting your rig can cause a fire. So if you’re going to
be buying a fifth wheel and you’re not sure about your truck, make sure your exhaust bends to the side and not to the back. – Before we get to the
towing portion of this video we thought we would go over
some specs about our truck. – Yeah, we’ve gotten a lot of requests. People wanna know what
kind of truck we tow with, what’s the engine, what are
the specs, what’s the axle. So we wanna go over
all that stuff with you so the info’s out there, I don’t know what else to say about that. – That’s brilliant. (chuckles) So articulate today. – We have a 2017 6.7 liter
turbo diesel Ford F350 which is freakin’ awesome. – Turbo. – Very fast, turbo. It’s very powerful, has
a lot of cool features that are specifically designed for towing. We’ll go over some of
those inside the truck. We have the 3.55 to one gear ratio axle. – I don’t know anything about gear ratios. – And we’ll also go over a
couple of the 3rd party items that we’ve added to the
truck and the suspension. What do you say we go inside the truck and go over some of this stuff? – Let’s do it. – Okay so what do you say we go over some of this truck stuff? – [Tara] I say okay! – First off, let’s just
get this out of the way. This is a Ford truck. If you like Rams, if you
like Chevy or whatever cool, I don’t care. – [Tara] We don’t care. – We’re not these brand
loyalist crazy nuts where ours is the best and yours sucks. So, and that goes for our rig too. We love our Grand Design
but if you’ve got a Keystone or whatever and you love it, cool. – [Tara] Yeah. – Just get out there, get
out there in what you can. We like our Grand
Design, we like our Ford. We did test drive some Rams in this. So we were open, we just ended up liking
this best in the end. – [Tara] This was just the
one that was best for us. – Right. So the first step is start it ’cause it’s fricken’ hot in here. – [Tara] Oh my gosh. (engine turns on) – So the trim that we have is the Lariat and I think that includes like leather and things like that, which we like. – [Tara] Leather. – So, so let’s go over
some of the features that we find are awesome with this truck. Number one are the mirrors and you’re gonna want these
for, or something like it for any type of towing vehicle. You wanna get the mirrors out far. – [Tara] Yeah, ’cause guess what? You can’t see behind you. – Right, so you gotta get mirrors that will extend out beyond
the sides of your rig so you can see down the sides. This cool little mirror extender. Push this button here, mirrors
go out and they come back in. We also have the ability to
fold them in automatically. – [Tara] Hey! – A little squeaky. Another great feature of this
vehicle is the engine brake. If you’re familiar with diesel engines they don’t have any natural back pressure so like if you’re goin’ down a hill and downshifting in a normal vehicle that’s not gonna slow you
down in a diesel vehicle. Part of what this vehicle
has combined with the turbo is the ability to take that exhaust and route it back in and
provide some back pressure. So this vehicle has a
couple different modes and it’s all controlled
through a button right here. So you’ll notice it’s got just on mode where it just supplies
regular back pressure for just normal downhill and
it’s also got an auto mode which is really cool
because what it will do is you just tap the brake and
it’ll try to hold your speed. It also works in conjunction
with the cruise control so if you’re going uphill then downhill then uphill and downhill it’ll
pretty much take care of it unless you’re like at a
six or 7% grade or more. So it’s pretty cool. Another feature of this
vehicle that should be standard on anything you’re towing anything of a substantial size
with is a brake controller. So this has it built in
and it’s right down here. So this is what we use
when we do our pull check, if you saw that video. We squeeze this to get the brake engaged and then we can adjust
the gain of the brakes and so what that does is it adjusts how much voltage is supplied
to your trailer brakes in conjunction with your foot brake. And we’re not gonna go into
how to get that adjusted, that’s a whole nother topic. You can find lots of those online but you essentially want it so
that when you press the brake it also slows the trailer down but you don’t want them
fighting each other. You don’t want the brakes
too strong pulling the truck and you don’t want the brakes too weak where it’s pushing the truck. This is not a video about how to adjust the
gain on your trailer brakes. I will put a couple of links
in the comments below though to some resources that I find useful. Another feature that we find very useful is the ultimate tow camera package. This thing has seven cameras on it. There’s one on the bumper,
one on each mirror, one up above the bed of the
truck, one on the tailgate. One, two, three, four, five. I don’t know where the seven cameras are? (laughing) And they all work in conjunction to give you this cool bird’s eye view. So this is the view from the front bumper and this is the bird’s eye view. You can see very clearly
that we’re not on the grass, like we’re not supposed to be here. (laughing) So you can see Lucille back
here, you can see the edges. So this is really cool when
you’re trying to park this beast in a Walmart or something or
ya know just as a daily driver. It’s really nice to be able to see this. Now I can touch this button here and I can get some alternate views. There’s the front view in full screen and here’s my rear view split. So you won’t see this
until you’re in reverse but you can see I’ve
got my split screen here with my top-down view
and my bumper view there. I can switch over and see
just the bumper view by itself with some warning signals
here on the top-down view. I can go in here and see
this nice little split view from the sides. You can also see inside
the bed of the truck. This is really cool sometimes when trying to line this thing up. Mostly I just turn around
and look with my eyeballs but this is still kinda cool. And then there’s the trailer camera looking down both sides of the rig there. It’s kinda neat having
all those cameras now. Do we use them all like when
backing up and hitching? Not really. I pretty much just turn around
and look out the back window but I have used that and it’s kinda neat to be able to line things up. It’s really cool having that top-down bird’s
eye view for parking. So some things that we’ve added that did not come with the
truck that we find very useful. One of them the jury’s
still out on whether or not we think it helps. It’s the load lifter 7500 XL airbags. – I don’t really know that they help. (laughing) I still feel like we have a rough ride. – Yeah, the ride in here is a bit rough, especially on some of those
roads in the northeast, they just beat the hell outta ya. – [Tara] And you mean Indiana? – Indiana was horrible. The first thing we got that I think helps mostly
in slower situations and not towing is the sulastic shackles and we’ll show you those. Those basically help cushion the span between the leaf springs and the frame, give it a little bit of
extra shock absorption. We also added the Airlift 7500 XL airbags with remote control and that’s
that little guy right here. Pops right off. I can adjust the pressure up and down. We keep it at five PSI when
not towing and bump it up. You can hear it come on there. Bump it up to 45 when we’re towing. The nice thing about
having this remote control is we can play around with
the different pressures and kinda see. I found 45 PSI seems to have
the best balance and ride. Additionally, we have a
Furrion observation camera and our rig and a lot of newer
fifth wheels and trailers come prewired and have a
mount built in ready to go for the Furrion observation camera. One catch on wiring that up
is typically those are wired directly into a hot circuit
that will drain your battery if you leave your camera
on and plugged in. We wired ours into the running lights so that when I turn the
lights to the on mode it supplies DC power through
the trailer connection to the running lights and
to the observation camera. You wanna make sure you
get the observation camera and not just the backup camera. The observation camera let’s
you see while you’re driving and honestly that’s
where we use it the most. When I’m wanting to change
lanes, I’m passing somebody, or somebody’s passing
me or I need to get over I check my mirrors but I also
check the observation camera to make sure that the
car is indeed behind us and it does have some markers on there to show you safe distances. A really good item to have
in this litigious society in which we live is a dash cam. (musical chimes) This thing with a 64 gigabyte card will record about five hours in a loop, and it records both inside and outside and with the addition of this
GPS mount it gets GPS data so that inscribed on your
video is your location and your speed. A very, very important item to have and I don’t consider this
an option for us at least is a TPMS, tire pressure
monitoring system. – We just put together a video on our TPMS and tire safety so you can check that out by clicking the link right here. We’re not gonna go into a lot of detail about how to program and
stuff like that with the TPMS. – A key item when setting
up camp, backing up, anything to do with communicating outside with your significant other working on the rig are
these guys right here. (beeps) – These guys right here. – Boom. – What’s your vector Victor? (beep) (chuckles) – So these things here are great. People use cellphones
or whatever, that’s fine but what if you don’t
have cellphone coverage? Get a good radio and
you’ll just find it’s nice to be able to pick this up
and say light check. (beep) – Check. (beep) (laughing) So we’re gonna hitch up and we’re gonna head over to Walmart or formerly known as Walmart. – The parking lot formerly
known as Walmart parking lot. – That’s right. (car engine and clicking) – So we’re all hitched up headed over to the abandoned parking lot. – That’s right, if you
are interested in seeing the whole hitching up
process check out our video complete camp breakdown and setup, which we will link it up right up there. – It’s really long but a lot of info. We have time codes so you
can skip through if you want. – That’s right, very long. So after what, 10 months
of towing the fifth wheel you seem to be pretty good. – [Chad] I’m pretty
comfortable with it now. It was not always so easy. – [Tara] Well you’d never
towed a fifth wheel before. – [Chad] Yeah. I’m never gonna say it’s easy but I’m much more comfortable with it now. But yeah, we had never
towed anything like this. (light rock music) – This is the parking lot formerly known as the Walmart parking lot. (chuckles) – [Chad] Right, we got lots of room here. We’re gonna set up some cones. We’re gonna go through a
couple different maneuvers. We’ll go over those with ya in a minute. – Yeah, and I’m gonna be on
the handy dandy walkie talkie so that I know what’s goin’
on and what he’s doing and how I can help him in any way. – So let’s talk a little
bit about a successful trip from point A to point B. – It requires a lot of planning. – Yeah. – For us. – Yeah, we like to plan. We’re not willy nilly hookup and go and figure it out on the way kinda people. We like to know exactly where we’re going, exactly how we’re gonna get there. – If you watched our
breakdown and setup video you know we have a lot of
checklists that we use. – Yeah, I mean look at this thing. We’re towin’ this ginormous
thing and when we get there I wanna know what it looks
like, how we’re gonna enter, ya know I wanna know all
the stuff about our things. So some of the tools that we use, and it’s part of our checklist
also the night before, is our trip planning. One of our favorite tools
for planning our stays and our where we’re gonna
go is RV Trip Wizard. Really great tool, it
is subscription based but we do recommend that. Some of the things we look
for when we’re planning it out is gas stops. RV Trip Wizard also will tell you where you’re gonna run out of gas, where you need to get gas in your trip. – And where you’re gonna eat. – Yes, plan where you’re gonna eat. And we go so far as to
use Google street view and Google Earth to take a
look at the part we’re going to and figure out okay, how does it look? Does it look tight, are we
gonna be able to get in? I’ll even go down to street view and go into the park if I
can, look at the entrance. And that also kinda helps you because when you get there
you’ve already seen it. – We’ve actually not
reserved certain sites because we looked at them on Google Earth. We also, the day of use our GPS app on our
phone called CoPilot. – Yep, this thing let’s
you put in your dimensions and weight of your rig, specifically the height
is the most scary part and it will route you accordingly. It’s based on trucker
data so routes truckers, this thing’s about as
tall at 13 feet six inches as a commercial truck so we wanna make sure we
don’t hit any low bridges. – Yeah, and I also have an app on my phone that’s called Rest Stops. It’s not that great of an app. It sometimes frustrates
me but when it does work, ya know you can see the rest
stops that are closest to you and ya know all that good stuff. ‘Cause rest stops are important
as well as fuel stops. – Yep. – Something that is always
in the back of my mind and I’m kind of paranoid about it is the weather. We have a little portable weather radio that we keep in the truck so if we are expecting some
bad weather we can use that which just kinda helps give me a little bit more piece of mind. – Additionally, know a little bit about the overall weather systems because you don’t wanna tow
this thing in high wind. I would say that around
20 mile per hour winds is our cutoff. We haven’t had to drive in high winds but this thing is really stable. People ask us a lot about when trucks pass
us on the interstate, does that wind buffet or knock you? No, not a bit. – No. – Not with this big dually. So if you watched our tire safety video you know that we inspect our tires and the linkages and all
the stuff under there before our trip. We also, during our
trip, check everything. I mean, you’re pulled over,
you’re at a rest area, walk around, look at your
tires, feel your tires, look at your shackles. Just kinda make sure
everything looks good. Check your treads. Why not, you’re stopped. You don’t know what you might’ve run over in the last 100 miles. – You don’t know what you don’t know. And he’ll also take a
look inside the garage and check on Lucille and make sure that all those
things are nice and snug. – Yeah definitely. If you’ve got a toy hauler and you’ve got a big motorcycle
in the back like we do, any time we stop I will
just pop the door open, hop in there, check the straps, make sure everything is
secure again ’cause why not? Additionally, while you’re traveling don’t get in a hurry at
any part of your journey. Setting up, breaking down, the travel. Take your time and if
you’re getting in a hurry that’s when mistakes are made. – Don’t have the need for speed. – That’s right. No top gun. (chuckling) Also, we never travel over
65 miles per hour ever. That’s our top end even
when the speed limit’s 70 or sometimes 75. Additionally, if the speed limit
is say 60 we usually go 55. If it’s 65 we go 60. We’re always going a little bit slower than the average traffic because we’re pullin’
30,000 pounds down the road and our stopping distance is
not the same as anybody else. – Yeah, and so what, it takes
a little longer to get there. At least we’re being safe. – Yep, and honestly going 70, 75 versus 65 it does not gain you that much. – Not that much. – Also, when you get near your area, when you get off the interstate and you’re on surface
streets go extra slow. I mean, if you’re gonna hit something or something’s gonna happen,
going slow has two benefits. A, if that something does
happen it’s gonna be less damage because you’re going slower and B, you’ve got more time to react. – Once you get to the RV park or whatever destination
where you’re going, we always get out and we take a look at where we are supposed
to park this thing. – Yeah, ya know I see some
people come into sites and they just pull right in
and they wanna back right in, they gotta do it five times. Ya know, again, it goes
back to go slow, park it, get out, look around. GOAL, G-O-A-L get out and look. That term stuck with me from
a class we took at Lazy Days and quite honestly it’s brilliant because if you’re backing in, even if you’re in the middle of backing in and you’re thinking okay,
I want a better picture of what’s going on here in my head, as the driver I will park
it, put the brake on, and get out, walk around, and look and get a feel for the area. – And he will. He will get out several
times if he needs to and that’s fine, I’ve come to expect it. I didn’t quite expect it in the beginning. – Another tip when you’re setting up, when you’re trying to get
parked, if it’s not goin’ well, if you just can’t quite
wiggle that thing in there. – It doesn’t feel right. – Yeah it doesn’t feel right,
don’t be afraid to start over. Pull out, drive around the
loop or whatever it is, or just pull out and pull forward. We’ve done that several times. – Yeah, no big deal. – Where I’m not quite
gettin’ that angle right, I’m like ya know what? I’m just gonna pull up and just try again. – So we’re gonna do some maneuvers now. – Yep, we’re gonna set up some cones and we’re gonna do some things. – Hopefully we don’t get asked to leave. – Yeah. One of the things we’re
gonna show you first is checking your turning clearance. – What’s your clearance, Clarence? (chuckles) – So we’re gonna go over
making a right-hand turn. Of course, there’s gonna be cones but it’ll give you a feel for
how wide you’ve gotta turn in this big guy here. We’re also gonna film what it’s like pulling
into a pull-through site, which is super easy. – Easiest ones to get into. – Not much different than making a turn other than you’re trying
to get that left side lined up perfectly when
you make that turn. And we’re also going to
do two back-in scenarios, one most common which is an angle back-in and then we’re gonna do a 90 degree, which are not fun. – No. – Because you’ll see,
you’ve gotta get out wide. – Yeah, you might have to
run over giant tree stumps. – Yeah or medians like
your brother’s driveway. – Yeah, there’s a couple of
times we’ve had that scenario so it’s good for us to show you. – Yeah, so let’s go do this. So this first thing we’re gonna show you is kind of two tips in one. One, we’re gonna show you how to do a turning clearance check but in the process I’m
gonna do a maneuver, I don’t know I call it the wiggle. You basically forward back,
forward back, forward back, forward back so– – Did you just make that name up? – I did. I did just make that up. (automobile engine) – Keep it down, we’re filming. – Where you essentially wiggle the truck back and forth like
this so that the pin box kinda stays in the place
and you can turn the truck. What you’re really doin’ there is if you think about a fifth wheel, the way the mount is, the
truck is the turning point. It’s like the front
wheels for the trailer. So turning the entire truck is like turning the front
wheels on a vehicle. That’s the direction the rig will go. Watch, you’ll see what I’m talking about. – All right, let’s do it. – Let’s do it. (light rock music) You’ll see, hopefully with
the other camera down here, that I’m gonna try to
keep the line of the rig right where it is and
turn the truck that way. (musical chimes) It’s just a sequence. A little bit forward, let’s turn the wheel
the opposite direction, move it back. A little bit back. And you’ll notice that
the rig is barely moving. This is a good way to tow
and get a sharper angle when you don’t have a lot of space. You just have to be
careful with the tire drag. Which is another reason to go slow. (light rock music) 90 degrees. (light rock music) – How’d ya like that? – So as you can see the rig barely moved and I got the truck all
the way over to 90 degrees. So as part of this you can now see, and we’ll get some closeup
shots, I can get the 90 degrees and I’m not hitting the rig
on the bed of the truck. I’ve got clearance over the toolbox which wasn’t the case
with our first toolbox. – Yeah. – Also a shoutout to Lazy Days. During our delivery process and our PDI they came out and helped us do this and showed us how to do this to make sure that we were
good to go down the road. They weren’t gonna let
us just hitch up and go. So thank you Lazy Days. – [Tara] That was really cool. – Yeah, another thing that
this maneuver is good for is if you’ve really gotta
back into a tight, tight area. The big problem is when
you’re turning a rig like this you’re pivoting on the axles. That has a couple of problems. One is you’re gonna
always have trailer drag. With two or three axles there’s
always gonna be some tires that are dragging across and
some that are just rolling. So another reason to go very slow is to take care of your tires. Also, you’re gonna have
a lot more trailer swing and your truck and rig is
gonna swing out a lot more. So just because you can turn
it at a 90 degree sharp angle doesn’t mean it’s easy. – You made it look easy. – Okay so now we’re gonna
do an angle back-in. I would try to get over
close to it but not too close ’cause I wanna be able to cut it in. If you can let me know when my back tires just
go past the last cones. I am going to get my rear wheels well past where I want it to turn because you have to turn these
things and cut very early. I think the wheels are past right? – [Tara] Yeah, you just
past it, you were good. (light rock music) – [Tara] Really nice. (light rock music) – Okay I’m gonna back up a little bit. I’m gonna make this right-hand turn. – [Tara] Okay. (musical chimes) All right, so this is how
I make a right-hand turn. I would come out wide. You sometimes have to straddle the line and let everybody know in
that turn lane or left lane that you’re going to be
using that lane, it’s yours. Don’t be afraid to make people angry who don’t tow trailers
’cause they just don’t know. So I can see now that I am coming up, my front wheels are just past and my back wheels are just
past, actually about now and I am only now going to start turning. (light rock music) And you’ll see that
inside track will follow and I’ll over correct
all the way into the turn and then boom, easy as that. (dog whimpers) And now we’re going to do a
standard pull-through site, which are amazing because they’re basically just
a left-hand turn typically. Just gonna pull up here and
just make a wide turn in. Always go as far as
you can without hitting whatever is gonna be in front. (light rock music) So now we are going to
do a 90 degree back-in, which is generally the most difficult. It’s gonna require the highest
angle truck to trailer. You ready? – [Tara] Ready. – All right, so we’re gonna go past this. I’m gonna have to cut
the trailer really hard to get it in here. Let me know when I’m just
past the outside cones. – [Tara] Just past. – Thank you. So now I’m gonna have to kinda
do that walkover maneuver that I did before except I’m gonna have to
really severely cut it. And this is where bed
clearance and truck clearance makes a big difference. Just kind of getting hard angle one way then I’ll have to get the
hard angle the other way. So I’ve got a good angle
now to be turning in there. Always check this side, make sure you’re not
gonna run into anything. Now the trailer is getting
close to being on the angle. So I’m gonna start wiggling
this thing back to the right. (country rock music) – [Tara] Doing great babe. Come back, right there. (country rock music) Perfect, you go straight back. – And obviously you can see the catch with a right-angle turn like this is that the front of the rig and the truck has to come really wide and
that is just unavoidable. – [Tara] Perfect. – That’s it, we’re in the 90 degree spot. Special thanks to our
supplemental camera operators. – Yes. – Aka my dad and my mom. – He’s a pro. – That’s right. – When your mom says
you’re a pro, you’re a pro. It’s how it works. – That’s exactly right. (laughing) So that’s it in a nutshell. – Hopefully this didn’t blow
up to a really huge video but it’s got a lot of good info in it. We hope you liked it. When we were researching
fifth wheels and how to tow I couldn’t find anything that
actually showed real towing. So we hope you liked that part. – Right, and hopefully it
was helpful and helpful. (laughs) And hopefully it was helpful for you. – So just a quick summary
of kind of what we feel are some important points in
towing this gigantic monster. Number one, go slow. – Yeah. – Both when you’re setting
up, when you’re hitching, when you’re backing in
especially, go slow. Get out and look. – Take your time. – Yeah, don’t be in a hurry. When you get in a hurry at
any part of the whole process it breeds problems. – Walkie talkies are a really good idea so that you can have your
partner in the back spotting and helping guide you. – Planning your route the
night before is a huge help. You know what you’re getting into. You know what to look
for when you get there. You’ve already put your
eyeballs on the virtual target. – Virtual target. – Well you know, on Google it’s virtual so you know when you
get to the real target you’re prepared for it. It’s, I think that comes
from military training. You train visually to everything that way when you see it in
real life you’re ready for it. – It’s good to have as much
knowledge ahead of time as possible. – Absolutely. So along with the planning of
course checklists always help. If you’ve ever seen our camp
breakdown and setup video you know we’re big on checklists. – Yeah. – You make sure you’re
not gonna miss anything if you have a checklist. If you use it all the time, don’t skip it, it will save you for sure. – Right, and I think most importantly, maybe most importantly is
have the right tow vehicle. – This is true. I mean, we’re not gonna get
into the tow vehicle argument. Hey, if you wanna see some fireworks go post about a truck and
say is this enough truck or the right truck? You’ll get a lot of responses. – Oh yeah. – Good and bad. – Yeah. – We wanna do what’s best
for us and for our safety. – Right, so this is how we do it. We wanted to share it all with you because we get that question every day. – And it was a big question we had. We didn’t know. This is our first RV ever. It’s definitely our first 44 foot ginormous monstrosity of a rig ever. – Yeah. – And it does take some practice
to get used to pulling it. There’s no substitute for practice. So we were lucky that we got
our delivery at Lazy Days and they had a delivery lot there and they’re like drive around
here and back in, back out, pull out, do what you need to do. Find a place to do that and
get comfortable maneuvering ’cause it’s different than a trailer and even if you’re familiar
with a fifth wheel, a giant fifth wheel is
a whole nother story. – Yeah. – So we hope you like this video. Please subscribe, click the little bell. Please check out our website. – Yeah, do that because we
often do special blog posts and things that you won’t
find on our YouTube channel or our social media. – You can also subscribe
there and get notifications when we put new content on our website. – Right, follow us on
Facebook and Instagram too. – Right, that’s where we like
to interact with you guys, hear what you’re doin’,
where you’re going, what you’re up to. We love to hear from you
and see pictures of your rig and your dogs and kids and stuff. – Yeah. And if your kids are
dogs, that’s cool too. – So if you have any
questions about this video or any other videos we put out feel free to leave ’em in
the comments and that’s it. I think we’re gonna get on the
motorcycle and take a ride. – We’re outta here people, see ya.

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