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Old 03-31-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
LeeMedic
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How do they determine the Length of a 5th Wheel?

OK, so this weekend we purchased a Montana 3582RL and love it. We have a 14 foot high carport that is 40 feet long to store it in. According to the dealer this Montana 5er is 38.34 feet long.

So we get it home, back it into it's new home and my gosh nearly 2 feet of it is sticking out the front. Overall the thing is over 41 feet!

So, where do them measure to come up with the Length of a 5th Wheel?
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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Oh, I dunno…somewhere's around the front until near's the back. I think it's random.

In some cases, it might be an interior measurement (front wall to back wall). Or the length of frame they use. Front cap and rear bumper add to it.

No matter what, measure it yourself to be sure. This includes height and width. And, of course, weight.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Mine is sold as 39 feet. It is 40. 3 inches, the 39 is without the front cap. My theory is they want to keep you in state parks which is mostly 40 foot max
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
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I was thinking there was some logic behind claiming it's some length, be it some taxation or such. However, reality trumps claims and as soon as someone goes out with a measuring tape, manufacturer claims go out the window. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some park with a 40' limit where if you showed up and were over limit, they'd kick you out.

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Mine is sold as 39 feet. It is 40. 3 inches, the 39 is without the front cap. My theory is they want to keep you in state parks which is mostly 40 foot max
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f6bits View Post
However, reality trumps claims and as soon as someone goes out with a measuring tape, manufacturer claims go out the window.
I am pretty certain that applies to tongue weights and pin weights, too!

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Old 04-01-2013, 07:28 AM   #6
hankaye
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LeeMedic, Howdy;

Why not get your tape measure out and see where the
38.34' mark is when measured from the rear bumper...
Just a guess on my part. Or see what the length is measuring
from the the center point of the kingpin to the rear of the
trailer, excluding the bumper. I'm inclined to favor the later
method myself.

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Old 04-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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It "used to be" that RV's were measured by total length. For fifth wheels, that meant from the center of the pin to the rear of the bumper. Back then, it was a "bonus" because the pin was usually under the front of the RV. Now, the pin is normally much further forward, and in many fifth wheels, is actually in front of the cap (to accommodate shorter bed pickups). Conventional trailers were measured from the center of the ball receiver to the back of the rear bumper.

As such, "back then" if you had a 35' fifth wheel, you actually had close to 37-38' of usable living space where as in a 35' travel trailer, you actually had 31-32' of usable living space.

Then along came "marketing" and now, who knows what you're going to get? The manufacturers claim what they want (for whatever meets their purpose) and the dealers sell with.... Well, we all know what dealer's say.....

So, any more, as far as I know, there no longer is any "standard." The best way to know how long, how wide, how tall and how heavy your RV is, means that you have to get a "buddy" and a tape measure and do it yourself..... Then find a reliable scale and do that as well.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
hankaye
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JRTJH, Howdy;

I dunno, the TT I had befor this FW, was listed as a 26 ***. It was a 1995
Sandpiper by Cobra. The 'Box', camper section measured 26', but the overall
length was 30' to the center of the "ball". The tongue was 4' to allow space
for the propane bottles and battery.
Just my experience...

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Old 04-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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What every length is...it is never over 38 feet for any state park....otherwise it's 2 or 3 feet longer.....as you usually get a little bigger site than you might otherwise....
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:57 PM   #10
JRTJH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
JRTJH, Howdy;

I dunno, the TT I had befor this FW, was listed as a 26 ***. It was a 1995
Sandpiper by Cobra. The 'Box', camper section measured 26', but the overall
length was 30' to the center of the "ball". The tongue was 4' to allow space
for the propane bottles and battery.
Just my experience...

hankaye

Hankaye,

By "used to be" I meant back in the 70's and 80's. Our 1972 Jayco Jayraven 20 was 20' long and had a 17' box, then the 1993 HR 34CBFK was really 35'10" from ball receiver to rear bumper. Using that measurement and assuming a 3 or 4' tongue, nothing would match the designation of "34". So, who knows how long an RV really is unless you do it yourself ???
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