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Old 10-29-2020, 02:57 PM   #1
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Towing 31ft vs 36ft

Hi All,
I currently have a camper that measures 31ft from bumper to hitch. We are looking to purchase a newer one and the ones we are looking at range from 33-36ft bumper to hitch. I never had any issues towing, backing up or getting in and out of places in my current 31ft camper, but it is the only camper I have towed.

For those of you with more experience, I was hoping to get your opinion on the difference between 31ft and 33-36ft. Does the added 2-5ft make a big difference?

Thanks for the help. I don't want to make the purchase and then regret it when I start taking it out.
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Old 10-29-2020, 04:35 PM   #2
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I have owned three trailers over the past 15 years or so. The first a 23 foot and then a 30 foot bumper tow and now the 40 foot fifth wheel TH. I honestly think they all present challenges but years of towing and learning the tricks of the trade makes it easier. Oh and the 40 foot fiver tows more like a 35 bumper tow because of the 5 feet or so that are inside the truck bed.

I probably had the most challenges with the 30 foot bumper tow in terms of maneuvering but I think if I owned it today it would be easier. The 30 footer was also the most susceptible to cross drafts and wind—by far. Anytime I passed a semi I would tighten my grip on the wheel and be ready to get sucked in—never had an accident but I sure felt it.

I would double check tongue weight and compare to your tow vehicle specs. You will certainly be more susceptible to wind and of course it will be tricker to maneuver in and out of gas stations and driveways.

My gut is you will be fine. Just by the fact you are a member of this forum and making these considerations tells me you are thorough band likely cautious. After a few trips you will be used to it just take your time when getting fuel and making other stops along the way. I doubt the few extra feet will feel all that different while towing on the highway.

Good luck.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dsol View Post
I have owned three trailers over the past 15 years or so. The first a 23 foot and then a 30 foot bumper tow and now the 40 foot fifth wheel TH. I honestly think they all present challenges but years of towing and learning the tricks of the trade makes it easier. Oh and the 40 foot fiver tows more like a 35 bumper tow because of the 5 feet or so that are inside the truck bed.

I probably had the most challenges with the 30 foot bumper tow in terms of maneuvering but I think if I owned it today it would be easier. The 30 footer was also the most susceptible to cross drafts and wind—by far. Anytime I passed a semi I would tighten my grip on the wheel and be ready to get sucked in—never had an accident but I sure felt it.

I would double check tongue weight and compare to your tow vehicle specs. You will certainly be more susceptible to wind and of course it will be tricker to maneuver in and out of gas stations and driveways.

My gut is you will be fine. Just by the fact you are a member of this forum and making these considerations tells me you are thorough band likely cautious. After a few trips you will be used to it just take your time when getting fuel and making other stops along the way. I doubt the few extra feet will feel all that different while towing on the highway.

Good luck.
Thanks for the input. My current tow vehicle is an '88 E-250 7.3 IDI. However, I have decided it is time to retire it and will be going with an Excursion. Either the v10 or diesel. I know they are rated at 11K. A 5th wheel would be nice, but I need the seating capacity of the SUV. Along with the new to me tow vehicle I would be purchasing a new weight distribution and anti-sway setup. My old setup worked great for my 30' camper, but upgrading when I can is always a good idea.

I am going to look at a bunkhouse this Saturday. Spec sheet says it is 37' long and has a dry weight of about 7400. Actual tow weight would probably be closer to 8500-9000.
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
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I went from a 27 to a 37 (current). My TV is a 2016 Nissan XD with the cummins. Like DSOL mentioned, every RV has it's issues and challenges. Turning WIDER is one of them with the extended distance since the wheels are further back than the one you currently own. one thing I would care to mention is that my vehicle has oversized braking and tow mode to control the transmission shifting. Being able to handle the payload is one thing but being able to stop it is another. Also, my vehicle has built in anti-sway mechanisms that I am really grateful for.

When you are considering a new TV, good to have the extra goodies...

Good luck with your new purchase and let us know which way you go.

Frank
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:55 PM   #5
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I went from a 27 to a 37 (current). My TV is a 2016 Nissan XD with the cummins. Like DSOL mentioned, every RV has it's issues and challenges. Turning WIDER is one of them with the extended distance since the wheels are further back than the one you currently own. one thing I would care to mention is that my vehicle has oversized braking and tow mode to control the transmission shifting. Being able to handle the payload is one thing but being able to stop it is another. Also, my vehicle has built in anti-sway mechanisms that I am really grateful for.

When you are considering a new TV, good to have the extra goodies...

Good luck with your new purchase and let us know which way you go.

Frank
Will do. We are taking our time to find what we want. Plan is to have it ready to go by springtime.

Speaking of anti-sway etc......I would be interested to hear opinions on what WD and anti-sway setups people recommend for a heavy/long setup.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:09 PM   #6
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A good friend of mine pulls a 2016 36 ft toy hauler Full loaded with generator with his excursion 6.0 Once he figured out the hitch weight and put g rated tires On witch got rid of sway He is very happy with it I’m sure his weight is quite substantial compared to what you’re looking at on the trailer keep positive do what you’re comfortable with All our best from Florida
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:00 AM   #7
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Like Frank above, I tow a 37' TT with no issues with a Titan XD diesel. Highly recommend the Blue Ox SwayPro hitch. My TT is like it is part of the truck, no sway issues at all. Picking the right bars is important on this hitch.
Biggest issue as you get longer is fuel stops, gets harder to find a gas station you can maneuver around in. Stops need to be planned.
I pulled a '99 33' Gulfstream Yellowstone FKBS with a 2001 V10 Excursion. No issues except for fuel mileage. The 45 gallon tank made it a little more bearable.
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Old 11-01-2020, 03:30 AM   #8
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Agree on challenges of fuel stops. Taking routes for the second time after you have figured out the best stops is much easier!

I also remind myself if I ever got it a horrible bind it wouldn’t be the end of the world to disconnect the trailer and fuel up and reconnect. Might add 10 minutes but could save a lot of damage!
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. I went ahead and passed on the 36’ one. Ended up getting a 30’ bunkhouse. Brought it home yesterday.
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:32 PM   #10
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If you were driving a half ton, I would say you were at the limits @31', but an Excursion, especially diesel, should have no issues with that length. The Excursion is basically an F250 without a bed, and as long as it is a 7.3 Powerstroke, plenty of long miles left in it. Good luck but make darn sure you go over the Excursion with a fine tooth comb to make sure the front end is secure, those hubs and ball joints from that era can wear quickly, been there, done that. If it happens to be a 6.0, don't get one unless it has been bullet proofed.
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsol View Post
I have owned three trailers over the past 15 years or so. The first a 23 foot and then a 30 foot bumper tow and now the 40 foot fifth wheel TH. I honestly think they all present challenges but years of towing and learning the tricks of the trade makes it easier. Oh and the 40 foot fiver tows more like a 35 bumper tow because of the 5 feet or so that are inside the truck bed.

I probably had the most challenges with the 30 foot bumper tow in terms of maneuvering but I think if I owned it today it would be easier. The 30 footer was also the most susceptible to cross drafts and wind—by far. Anytime I passed a semi I would tighten my grip on the wheel and be ready to get sucked in—never had an accident but I sure felt it.

I would double check tongue weight and compare to your tow vehicle specs. You will certainly be more susceptible to wind and of course it will be tricker to maneuver in and out of gas stations and driveways.

My gut is you will be fine. Just by the fact you are a member of this forum and making these considerations tells me you are thorough band likely cautious. After a few trips you will be used to it just take your time when getting fuel and making other stops along the way. I doubt the few extra feet will feel all that different while towing on the highway.

Good luck.
When I was towing a trailer I had an Equalizer stability system and my Silverado had the anti-sway system which would automatically tap individual brakes to counter act any sway. The truck and camper were rock solid going down the road when large trucks passed. Wind was not a problem.
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by acdii View Post
If you were driving a half ton, I would say you were at the limits @31', but an Excursion, especially diesel, should have no issues with that length. The Excursion is basically an F250 without a bed, and as long as it is a 7.3 Powerstroke, plenty of long miles left in it. Good luck but make darn sure you go over the Excursion with a fine tooth comb to make sure the front end is secure, those hubs and ball joints from that era can wear quickly, been there, done that. If it happens to be a 6.0, don't get one unless it has been bullet proofed.
Thanks for the input on the Excursion. Those guidelines are pretty much what I am following, except I am looking at lower mileage v10's also. I know mileage will be worse, but it comes out to close to an wash overall with the difference in vehicle price and fuel price. There is also the few added items to pay attention to with the diesel in our area. I drove a diesel for years, so the added stuff doesn't bother me much, but my my wife will also be driving it.
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