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Discussion Starter #1
Just received a new Keystone Challenger 29ft 5th wheel and have a new 2500HD LS ext cab 4x4 diesel on order. Have never driven a diesel other than a test drive and have never pulled a 5th wheel. Whats the odds on me getting from PA to Florida 1200 miles all in one piece? My only trailering experience is I have pulled a 15ft Coleman tent camper 25,000 mile.
 

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I would spend a little time getting used to the trailer locally before I jumped on I-95 and headed down thru DC. It ain't rocket science, but a little bit of "comfort level" with pulling, stopping, backing, getting into fuel stops, turning, and the way the whole package acts will be a help, plus you might be a bit more patient and less likely to rush into trouble than you would be if you had a destination.


One more thing to consider- there's a break-in period for your truck, including a process for the first few hundred miles of towing. Can't 'member details right now, but you probably want to get through that. Also, a few hundred miles of shake-down will reveal any build problems on the 5er while you are still close to the dealer who sold it to you. (yes, they have build prob's sometimes).


If you don't get enough advice here, go to www.rv.net's forum... you will get more advice than you could ever hope for
.
 

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Did you order the long or short bed? I have an 04 ext cab long bed 2500hd that I pull a 30 foot Wilderness with, before this I had a 93 6.2 shortbed and pulled the same, wow what a difference, If you have a short bed on order a slider hitch is a must..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have ordered the long bed. Hope truck gets here soon so I can get hitch installed.
 

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Personally, I would take the long way down I-81 to avoid the DC area entirely. You can cross the mountain a little lower, just south of Harrisonburg on I-64, and get back on 95 near Richmond for the rest of the trip. You'll have plenty of power, but the cooling fan will scare the crap outta you when it kicks in the first time! That's how I hauled from Newburgh New York to Key Largo Last year. Lottsa places for fuel and nice campgrounds if you don't wanna make it a power drive!


Be sure to use the big rig pumps at the truck stops, much easier to get in and out of with big easy turns. It would be a bad time to learn how to do a K turn with a 30 foot trailer behind you, Trust My Voice of Experience on this one! Just don't expect to be able to click the big nozzle on and walk away, the big pipe will fit - but the flow will overwhelm the neck. Watch the way you pull in too, follow a truck or you'll be staring at a pump with no display on the wrong side of the truck!


Carry a spare fuel filter, just in case. Nothing will put you on the shoulder quicker than a bad load of fuel. Learn how to change it at home first.


If anything, you'll have more trouble with the trailer than the truck. Do the ususal RV things, check lug nut tightness early and often...tie EVERYTHING down...did you get the towing morrors with the truck?...and don't forget the trailer is back there! Road gets pretty flat south of Georgia and the Dmax will pull you along like the truck is empty. Backing a 5th wheel is way different than a bumper pulled trailer, play with it in a big parking lot first.


Other than that, have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Living in NW PA weather permiting we will probably go down RT79 and RT19 thru WV and pickup RT77. Else RT80 to RT70 to RT81. Thanks for tips. There is a short cut RT522 from RT70 to RT81 but may not be a good idea in winter. Were going to take 3 days to get to Tampa so we won't be rushed.


Yep got the power towing mirrors.
 

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Just A Qwick Note, Find Out How Tall Your Fifth Wheel Is, You May Need To Know THat Coming Up To A Low Bridge Or..............
 

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sweibel said:
Did you order the long or short bed? I have an 04 ext cab long bed 2500hd that I pull a 30 foot Wilderness with, before this I had a 93 6.2 shortbed and pulled the same, wow what a difference, If you have a short bed on order a slider hitch is a must..

I Have A 32 ft. Gulf Stream Shot Bed No Slider Needed??
 

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ekrott,


These guys answered well....I would only add this.


1. Make sure your mirrors are adjusted to see everything.


2. Walk around the whole rig when hooked up several times to see where all 4 corners are. Know your total length.


3. Brake the engine in before you take off on long trip.


4. Use tow haul mode always when towing.


5. Make sure electric brakes work good....adjust them in a big parking lot and practice stopping.


Enjoy the ride...The new Gm trucks have excellent brakes and excellent power.
 

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ekrott, when you get your new truck, check the rear differential fluid level (some are 2 quarts low of the 4 quart capacity.)


It is recommended to change the differential oil after 500 miles of towing. I would recommend this before the big trip, after some shorter break in and training trips.


Good luck, stay safe.


Jim
 
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