RV owners are installing RV central vacuum systems

With storage space in our RVs at a premium and we cant afford to lug around large appliances that only get used periodically. The bulky upright vacuum may be fine at home where you have plentiful utility closets and thousands of square feet of carpet but they arent so practical when you live in a 350 square foot motorhome or travel trailer and are on the move. This is why more and more RV owners are installing RV central vacuum systems and ditching the uprights and anemic handheld vacs. It doesnt matter whether your RV is a new motor coach or an older fifth wheel, theres an easy to install central vacuum system for you.

There are 3 major brands of RV central vacuum systems available. All 3 offer remote operation so the vacuum unit can be installed in a separate location such as an underneath storage compartment of a motor coach. In this case the vacuum is started by inserting the hose into the remote inlet valve located in the RV’s living space.

For those who want a simpler installation or dont have the space available below, InterVac is the only manufacturer who also offers flush mount and surface mount options. With these units the hose is plugged into the front of the vacuum unit and turned on with a switch. InterVac is also the only brand whose vacuum is manufactured in the U.S.A.

Health Benefits of RV Central Vacuum Systems

For those with allergies or breathing disorders, eliminating the pollen and dust with hepa filtration is vital. Hepa (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filters use multiple layers of finely woven fabric to capture 99.7% of all particles at the .3 micron size. To put that in perspective, the average human hair is between 50 and 150 microns. Another advantage of the bag filter is that less dirt and debris gets returned to the air when emptying the vacuum because of the sealed bag.

Besides making the routine chore of cleaning your road home easier, adding a RV central vacuum system can increase the resale value of your RV.

Brand Amps Hepa
Filter
Mounting
options
MSRP
W/attachments
Eureka 10 Amps Yes Remote
Only $299 Dirt Devil 11 Amps No Remote
Only $389 InterVac 12 Amps Yes Flush
Surface
Remote $279

RV central vacuum system in motorhome

RV central vacuum system inside

InterVac Flush-Mount RV Vacuum System

Electrical power is another important consideration when planning a central vacuum installation. While they can be run off of a 1500 Watt or larger inverter, this should only be done for brief periods because of the large current being drawn from the batteries.

If you are hard wiring the vacuum, its necessary to ensure there is breaker between the unit and the power supply. Also, with the remote start units you will need to run wire for the low voltage (usually 24V DC) supply between the vacuum and the remote inlet valve.

All of the RV central vacuum systems now use stretch hoses for easier storage compared to the traditional crush-proof central vacuum hoses. The hose stretches to a length of 30 for the Eureka, 35 for the Dirt Devil, and 40 on the InterVac. By retracting to a length of 8 feet, these hoses remain manageable and much easier to stow.

Whether youre a full timer or part timer, you can save space, add value, and make cleaning easier by installing a central vacuum system in your motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer.

The Reason Many Do Not Want to Dump Human Waste RV Holding Tanks

by Guest Author: David M. Bresnahan

Hollister, Calif. — Many people who would otherwise love to own a Fifth Wheel, Travel Trailer, or Motorhome are missing out on that opportunity because of the need to dump human waste from the RV holding tanks.

Others who do go camping say there are so many spills generated by the previous RV site tenant that the odor is ruining their experience. With over 10 million RVs in use, the number of spills are increasing every day. The hazards to the environment, and particularly to ground water, are increasing.

“It doesn’t have to be that way,” says Doug Swarts of Phase Four Industries. “There is a simple solution, but most RVers do not know about it because it is so new.”

Manufacturers do not normally supply hoses and fittings with a new RV, so the RV owner must purchase them separately. The standard hoses and fittings are hard to use, and spills are common when dumping human waste.

Swarts invented the Waste Master (http://www.WasteMaster.net), which eliminates all the problems faced by RVers when they dump waste.

“We want the RVing public, as well as anyone who is considering using an RV, to know that they do not have to fear the task of dumping waste,” said Swarts. “We want the public to know there is a better way.”

The popular movie “RV” depicts the challenges Robin Williams faces as he brings his family on vacation in a rented RV. Although exaggerated for the movie, Williams ends up covered from head to toe in human waste in a scene where he empties the holding tanks. RVers refer to this as Happy Hour stories.

“It doesn’t have to be that way,” says Swarts. “As an RV owner I knew there had to be a better way to take care of this unpleasant task. I created the Waste Master ™ system, and now there is a way to easily empty the holding tanks, in a totally sanitary and environmentally friendly manner.”

The Waste Master is stored in a bay door on the side of an RV. It is designed to prevent spills and be completely sanitary. It is also very simple to use, without the need to wear protective gloves.

“The nozzle and RV sewer hose are pre-connected, pre-stored and ready to go. Open the bay door, simply extend the industrial grade sewer hose with special nozzle that is already attached. It is a lot like extending a gas nozzle from a gas pump. There’s no stooping and fumbling to plug it into the approved ground inlet. Now, just open the lever and push two buttons. It’s so clean, you could even do it without protective gloves. When you’re done, all you do is close the lever, and retract it back into its enclosure. No mess. No dripping. No disconnecting the hose. And best of all it’s totally sanitary,” explained Swarts.

About Phase Four Industries: Phase Four Industries is located in Hollister, California. The company offers a number of products for use on camper trailers, motor homes, and all recreational vehicles to make it simple, safe, and clean to dump waste from holding tanks.

Contact: Doug Swarts 877-787-8833 doug@phasefourindustries.com

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Note from Steven & Fran: We offer web space for guest author articles because we believe there is always room for another viewpoint and because we surely don’t know everything there is to know about RVs and the RVing lifestyle. in that spirit we invite you to submit your own articles. We’re happy to give you credit and provide a link to your website.

You may also want to read: RV Holding Tank Basics and RV Holding Tank Chemicals Basics

RV Power Cable Hatch Upgrade

By: Steven Fletcher
When we first got out new fifth wheel the 30 amp power cord came out of the sidewall through a small round utility hatch. I worried the plug would jiggle back into the storage space behind and I would not be able to reach through the small hole to retrieve it. That didn’t happen but what did happen was just as bad.

RV power cord utility hatch

When storing the cord the day before it somehow got looped over itself so the next day when I tried to hook up again the cord would only come out about six feet. I pushed, pulled and jiggled but couldn’t get the loop undone.

To get the cord untangled I had to remove the screws and pull the plastic port away from the wall. The actual hole was just large enough that I could reach in and untangle the cord.

After getting the cord loose and pulling it out I looked through the hole at the space behind the wall. It was actually quite large. And the wall area was large enough that I could install a larger utility hatch in place of that little round port.

Large RV power cord utility hatch

Now cutting a large hole in the side of the RV was just a little intimidating… if I screwed it up it would be pretty ugly… but after measuring several times I was confident I could do it.

I traced the outside of the new hatch to make the cut and taped the wall around the outside of the line to protect it from being scratched by the jig saw.

Using a fine-tooth blade in the jigsaw I used the existing hole to start the cut and cut just on the outside of the line. In less that a minute I had the new hole cut. No problem and the new hatch fit perfectly. I let out a big sigh of relief.

Before I installed the new hatch I lined the opening with some duct tape to hopefully keep any water from causing de-lamination if my new hatch leaked.

Some RV putty tape and self-tapping screws with square-drive heads were all I needed to finish the installation.

Old round power cord hatch   New power cable  hatch

The new, larger utility hatch sure makes it easy to store and retrieve the power cord and I can even store my 30 amp extension cord in the big storage space that was unusable before.

AGM, Absorbed Glass Mat Battery – Pros & Cons

An AGM – Absorbed Glass Mat battery is a type of battery that can be used as a starter battery or a deep cycle, but is not as good at either of these uses as ones designed for a specific purpose. It is a middle choice that gives you some of both sides of battery use.

A starter battery delivers a sudden, quick burst of energy such as is needed to start a motor. These batteries have a high CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) rating. They lose their charge level fast and should be recharged as soon as possible. Typically these live a life of being at or near 100% charge, losing down to the 70% level (while cranking the engine) and then being quickly charged back up. They accept a charge fast. These batteries will run something such as a trolling motor, but not for as long as a deep cycle battery. You can use them as House Batteries in an RV, but they will discharge fast and wear out fast.

A deep cycle battery is made for long slow discharges, such as when running a trolling motor or as house batteries in an RV. They are often called Marine Batteries. They live a life of going from 100% charge slowly down to about 10%, then being slowly charged back up. It can take 24 hours to fully charge a deep cycle battery. In an emergency it can be used to crank the motor, but this will drain it fast.

The AGM battery falls in the middle. It works okay as a starting battry, but recharges slower than a high CCA starter battery. It can work some as a house battery, but only works well down to about the 50% level, but it charges faster than a deep cycle. It is a sealed, no maintenance battery. It is about twice the cost of other batteries, but will also last longer.

All the electrolyte (acid) is contained in the glass mats. They cannot spill even if broken. since there is no liquid to freeze and expand which makes the nearly immune to freezing damage.

Nearly all AGM batteries are “recombinant” which means the Oxygen and Hydrogen recombine inside the battery. The recombining is typically 99+% efficient, so almost no water is lost.

The charging voltages are the same as for any standard battery – no need for any special charging systems.

The internal resistance is extremely low so there is almost no heating of the battery even under heavy charge and discharge currents. Most AGM batteries have no charge or discharge current limits.

Deep Cycle Battery Care and Maintenance DVD by Mark Polk that is guaranteed to save you money and headaches. Take care of your deep cycle batteries and they will take care of you.

RV Pre-Purchase Checklist

by Guest Author: Frank Fairview

Buying a used RV isn’t as simple as it may seem. It can be especially difficult are you are going to be living in the motorhome or 5th wheel for any amount of time. It could be likened to buying a car and a house at the same time, except this house has wheel and goes 65 miles per hour, and this car has a stove and shower.

For this reason, it is crucial to have some great checklists to go over to ensure you find any problems there might be. Sellers usually won’t tell you each and every issue they know of. Some sellers will try to hide known problems. As the saying goes: “Buyer Beware”.

Using your checklist to look over used vehicles at the Used RV Dealer is equally important. The dealer makes his commission no matter how long the RV runs for you, so it’s really up to you to make sure you get a good rig!

So let’s save you time, money, and frustration and give you some of the key things to look over when viewing a used RV, Camper, Motorhome, Class A B or C, or 5th Wheel for the first time:

Oil Analysis – As with any vehicle, oil is the lifeblood of the engine. Checking the oil is a great start to ensure the integrity of the engine. If the oil smells burnt, is unusual in color or consistency, is too low or too high, you may have a problem on your hands.

Rust – Rust is the natural breakdown of iron or a metal with iron in it. Rust is much worse in parts of the country with snow and salt on the roads. Purchasing RV’s from the south can help with rust problems, but they will usually cost a bit more. Do a complete rust check. If there is structural rust on the frame, AVOID THE RV AT ALL COSTS. You are buying an RV at the end of its life.

Service Records – Theses will show whether the previous owners did regular maintenance, on the rig. It will also show you how many previous owners there have been. And, if they don’t have any paperwork- why not?

NOTE: If the VIN number on the service records or receipts does not match the vehicle you are purchasing then obviously that paperwork is meaningless.

Financing your RV – Many companies offer better financing for certain preferred builders and even certain models, especially those that have the lowest depreciation. The purchase of any used rv for business should not be done without a thorough evaluation of the finance options that are attached to it. Some banks won’t finance a commercial vehicle until it has passed a DOT inspection, some offer lower rates for “occasional use”, and some charge a higher percentage rate if you plan to “live aboard”.

RV Insurance – this can be a real “dream breaker”. How will you tell your family that you you got a great deal on the rv for them and fixed it up real nice, but…well nobody will insure it cause it’s too old, or the brakes are after market, or there was a recall on it. Rv converters, how would you like to finish your rv repairs with $30,000 in renovations only to learn it’s uninsurable with normal companies due to “gross vehicle weight issues”.

In my opinion, learning enough about RV’s to make an educated buying decision is just good common sense. What you learn before you get the RV will certainly carry over into what you’ll need to know to keep your new rig in tip-top shape while you are on the road later.

To learn the specifics of inspecting a used RV, Motorhome, 5th Wheel, Camper, or Class A B or C, check out our extensive resources including ebooks on the subject at Don’t Get Screwed: The Ultimate Used RV Buyer’s Guide.

Frank Fairview watched his parents become RV Fulltimers and decided to write what he found about this hidden lifestyle. His blog, The RV Fulltimer Blog: The ultimate resource for Campers, RV’s, Trailers, and More, has tons of useful information for people about to become fulltimers, or people who have been fulltiming for years. Article Source

Brake-Friendly Driving Technique Demonstrated by Workhorse Tech Team

This article provided by the Workhorse Chassis Technical Team

On a trip to California the Workhorse Chassis Technical Team made notes on driving technique when descending a mountain pass in Death Valley.

Background:

The motor home was built on a Workhorse W22 gas chassis, fully laden to 22,000 lb. GVWR. The driver, let’s call him Mike, is an experienced driver with a valid Commercial Driver’s License and is also a professional automotive technician. We asked Mike to drive the vehicle in a fashion that would conserve the brakes, but also be reasonable in using the engine and transmission for braking (i.e. drive it like you own it!).

We were traveling in a south-westerly direction into Death Valley National Park from the Nevada side on SR-374, with a planned stop at Stovepipe Wells Village in the park. This is quite a steep descent with almost 10 miles of 7 percent grade and 4 miles of 5 percent grade, with a total drop of around 4,000 foot over 12 miles of driving. The speed limit on some road sections inside the National Park on this road is 45 mph, so Mike shifted down to second gear as soon as we hit the down-grade. The motor home was a 2005 model with the 5 speed Allison transmission and equipped with the ‘Grade-Brake’ feature, but Mike elected not to use the Grade Brake, instead preferring to manually shift down using the column shift.

Workhorse chassis logoMike would allow the vehicle to run against engine compression with the engine speed varying between 4,000 rpm to 5,200 rpm, depending on the grade. Each time we hit 5,200 rpm the transmission would force a shift to 3rd in order to protect the engine. Each time this happened Mike applied the brake for a few seconds to scrub off speed and this allowed the transmission to downshift to 2nd gear again, allowing maximum engine braking in the safe speed range. Drivers should not be concerned about the high rpms in this situation because, as noted, the transmission will automatically adjust when needed to protect the engine. Also, if Mike had elected to use the Grade Brake feature, the down- and up-shifting would have happened automatically once he touched the brake pedal.

Overall, Mike applied the brake only seven times during the 14-mile descent and this includes the final stop at the T-junction with the North Highway! Most of the applications were of short duration, with less than 5 seconds of brake pedal application required to control the vehicle speed.

Only once did Mike use the brake pedal for longer on a twisty section to ensure we remained at a safe speed. The total time of brake application was only around 45 seconds. This was quite an enlightening illustration of how driving technique learned on heavy trucks can allow for safe navigation of the most demanding descents with no danger of overheating and damaging the brakes on your motor home.

You may also want to read: Mountain driving: Let your engine do the Braking

RV Sewer Hose Storage

The photos and basic instructon on how to make an Under RV Sewer Hose Storage tube from plastic fence post and rain gutters, below was offered by an RVbasics Yahoo Group member.

A Basic Parts list for the under RV sewer hose storage tube.

  • 1 – 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 (or 5 x 5) plastic fence post, 8′ long (that’s the square tube.
  • 2 – end caps for fence post/tube
  • 1 – length of plastic gutter – They come in 10′ lengths. You’ll have to cut it.
  • 1 – short piece of 1″ or 1/2″ pvc pipe the width of the gutter. Ask your local plumber if he has any scraps around.
  • 2 – end caps for same
  • Screws for handle
  • Short bungee cord
  • Whatever you need to attach square storage tube to under the RV. We attached it to the front-to-back frame work using 6″ lengths of 1/4 inch threaded rod and the appropriate washers and nuts. A piece of flat bar stock holds the bottom of the square tube.

We drilled holes every so often in the gutter and some at one end of the fence post to facilitate any draining.

Put the end caps on the pvc pipe (the handle) and screw through gutter into cap on each side.

Drill 2 holes near the top of the square tube and 2 holes in one cap. Thread a small bungie cord through the cap and insert into holes on square tube.

You can fit 2 lengths of rain gutter (a regular piece under the one that holds the sewer pipe) in the square tubing. Since the rain gutters make great hose supports you may want to buy two lengths of gutter.

Under RV sewer hose storage tube

Under RV sewer hose storage tube in open position

Troubleshooting Your RV’s 12-volt DC Problems

By guest Author: Mark Polk

If you’ve been RVing for any amount of time you are already aware that a good portion of the devices and accessories in your RV operate off of 12-volt DC power. 12-volt DC or Direct Current is electricity supplied by the RV batteries. DC electricity flows in one direction, from negative to positive. 12-VDC electricity is stored in the RV batteries and supplies power for components, devices and appliances that operate off of 12-volts.

These 12-volt devices include overhead lights, the water pump, vent fans, furnace fan, range hood fan, LP gas leak detectors, stereos, 12-volt TVs and the refrigerator when it’s operating in the LP gas mode. When you go camping you rely on these 12-volt items to operate properly, especially if you’re dry camping without hook-ups. So what do you do when one of these 12-volt items quit working?

For the sake of an example let’s say that we are dry camping and our 12-volt water pump quits working.

The Mastech MY68 is a fully featured auto-range digital multimeter, it is well knows for its high resolution and accuracy at low currents, you can use it to measure a few micro amps both AC and DC with less than 1.2% and 1.5% accuracy. It also has many nice features such as data hold, auto power -off, tilt back stand, test leads holder and etc. Accessories: * 9V battery (installed) * User Manual * Test leads (attached)

I am convinced that just about anybody is capable of troubleshooting a 12-VDC problem, and in many cases repairing the problem without it ruining your camping trip. For starters you will need a couple of simple tools to assist you in troubleshooting your RV’s 12-volt electrical system.

  1. An inexpensive 12-volt test light.
  2. A multi-meter that can test for DC power.

Both of these are available at local auto parts stores. You should also keep some electrical tape, various size wire nuts, 12-volt light bulbs and 12-volt fuses on hand. Check the amperage of the fuses used in the power distribution box and keep an assortment. If you’re aware of any inline fuses used on any of the 12-volt devices keep these on hand too.

Now, try to determine the last time the water pump actually worked. Did you leave the RV for a period of time with the pump on? Is there water in the fresh water holding tank? Were you working on or around something else that could have affected the operation of the water pump? Try to think of all possible scenarios. Something might jar your memory resulting in a quick fix to the problem.

If not, the first step is to verify that the coach battery or batteries are charged enough to supply power to these 12-volt items. There are a couple of ways to perform a quick test on the coach batteries. You can use the monitor panel to check the condition of the coach batteries. To get an accurate reading make sure the RV is not plugged into electricity and turn on a couple of overhead lights to place a small load on the battery. Check the reading at the monitor panel. (If you check the reading at the monitor panel when the RV is plugged in to electricity it will give you fully charged reading) A more accurate method is to test the battery with a multi-meter. Set the meter to read 12-VDC and place the negative test probe on the negative battery terminal and the positive test probe on the positive battery terminal. A fully charged battery will read in the range of 12.6 to 12.7 volts. If it reads less than 12-volts it is below a 50% state of charge and will need to be charged.

If the battery is fully charged, the next step is to make sure that any battery disconnect switch for the coach battery is turned on. If the battery disconnect switch is on, verify that other 12-volt devices in the RV are operating properly. If there is 12-volt power to the interior of the RV you need to check the fuse for the water pump in the power distribution center. Determine which fuse is for the water pump (fuses are normally labeled) and find a suitable ground for the 12-volt test light. Test both sides of the fuse for 12-volt power. If the test light only lights on one side of the fuse replace it with the proper size fuse and try the water pump again. If there was power at both sides of the fuse check for 12-volts at the water pump switch. If there is voltage, and the switch is operating properly check the water pump wiring for an inline fuse.

Find a good ground for the 12-volt test light and probe the wire on both sides of the fuse. If there is only power on one side of the fuse replace it with the proper size fuse and test the pump again. If there is power on both sides of the fuse check the water pump wiring connections at the wire nuts. It’s possible for connections to come loose due to excessive vibration. Correct any loose connections and try the pump again. If the pump still doesn’t work feel the motor to see if it is hot to the touch. If the motor is hot, a thermal breaker may have been triggered. Allow the pump time to cool off and see if it re-sets itself.

If you complete all of these tests and there is 12-volt DC power coming to the water pump motor, and it still doesn’t come on, chances are the water pump is bad and it will need to be replaced.

Troubleshooting a 12-volt electrical problem in your RV is not that difficult. Follow the logical path of the device you are troubleshooting and see if you can determine where the problem is. It might be possible for you to save your well deserved vacation, some money and a trip to the RV dealership too.

Note: If you don’t feel comfortable performing your own maintenance or troubleshooting the 12-volt electrical system, take your RV to a reputable repair center to have it checked out and repaired

About the Author:
Polk has a degree in Industrial Management Technology and his 30 plus years of experience in maintenance includes working as an RV technician, a wheeled vehicle and power generation mechanic, an automotive maintenance technician, Battalion and Brigade level Maintenance Officer, an RV sales manager and also in the RV financing department as the Finance & Insurance manager. Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of rveducation101.com/

You may also want to read: RV Electrical System BasicsRV Solar Electrical Panels

Using a 50 to 30 Amp RV Power Adapter

Have you ever been in an RV park site where the 30-amp outlet was broken or the circuit breaker was weak and kept tripping? If it happens again and the RV power pedestal has a 50-amp outlet you can use it instead of the 30-amp outlet. All you need is the right adapter.

There are different types of adapters but the most common power adapter is often called a dog bone because of how it looks. Below is an explanation of why this works.

An RV power pedestal 30 amp outlet has a single 120 leg and breaker rated at 30 amps at 120 volts along with a neutral leg and ground.

An RV power pedestal 50 amp outlet has two 120 volt legs that supply current to the RV plus a neutral and ground. Each power leg can supply 120 volts to neutral or the two can supply 240 volts from Leg 1 to Leg 2. The outlet is protected by a double breaker rated at 50 amps on each leg. What that means is there are TWO 50 amp breakers, usually physically connected together, supplying the RV with current. (If you flip the breaker off, both are flipped at the same time)

50 to 30 amp RV electrical cord adaptor

In an RV wired for 30 amp service all outlets and appliances are connected to the single 30 amp leg. In an RV wired for 50 amp service some outlets and appliances are connected to one leg while other outlets and appliances are connected to the other leg. Manufacturers try to anticipate the power requirements and balance which outlets and appliances are connected to which leg. For example, all the kitchen outlets and appliances might be connected to leg one and the rest would be connected to leg two. RVs with two air conditioners would have one connected to each 120 volt leg.

When you plug your dog bone adapter into the 50 amp outlet the adapter taps only one of the two 110 volt legs and transfers the power to your power cord as though it was plugged into a 30-amp outlet. Yes you technically have up to 50 amps available at the adapter but the 30 amp circuit breakers in your RV’s power panel will only allow you to draw 30 amps. As far as your RV is concerned nothing is different.

You may also want to read: RV Electrical System Basics

Fifth Wheel RV Sliding Hitch… do you need one? – RV Basics

The following question was originally posted on the RVbasics Discussion List.

I am new to 5th Wheel hauling. My question is, I have a 2006 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab Truck with a 6ft 6in box and would like to know if I need a sliding fifth wheel hitch for the 5th wheel I have ordered. My concern is, with a standard fifth wheel hitch I cannot turn to 90 Degrees without hitting the corner of the Truck Cab.

Below is a compilation of the responses:

Answer: It depends on your pin box setup.  If the pin box is under the body of the 5th wheel trailer your turning is limited.  With a short bed pickup truck the bed is 6 feet 6 inches long.  Roughly half of that is 3 feet 3 inches.  The fifth wheel trailer is either 8 or 8.5 feet wide. Half of the trailer width is 4 feet or more.  Doing the math says no way to do 90 degree turns.

image of fifth wheel shwoing problem with shortbed truck

A thirteen inch pin box extension adapter puts the pin out from under some 5th wheels.  It won’t allow 90 degree turns but will give you more room for turns.  Probably about 80 degrees.

Conventional 5th wheel pin box Extended 5th Wheel Pin Box

Answer: I think the 90 degree turn worry is overrated.  You don’t see many jack knife turns.   I have a Reese manual slider which I bought for a good price before I got my rig put together.  These manual sliders are much cheaper and for most people would suffice for the few times you might need it.

Mostly the slider will make you more comfortable by keeping the trailer farther away from the truck.  When you get into the campground (at the office)  you pull the slider.  After you come out of the office, you hold the brake controller and pull the truck forward.  Leave it in that position until leaving the campground.  If it was easy to get into your site then reset the slide to the front position.

Watch out for other clearance restrictions.  If your trailer is level when on the hitch your clearance is usually less than a foot.  Many 5th wheels have front damage because they hit the tool box mounted in the bed.  If you want a box get one that does not mount on the rails.  Another clearance problem is with box rails.

Answer: SuperGlide is the only way to go with a short bed pickup. We have a 34 foot rig and started with a manual slide hitch. After one trip I sold that one and bought the SuperGlide. Very much worth the $2200! Look at the video on  their web site.

Answer: I have a slider that, so far, I haven’t needed. But if I do get into a situation where I’ll need the slider I’m set. My truck is a 2002 Dodge 1500 Quad Cab with the short box, and I pull a 1991 Fleetwood Wilderness 26 5N with it.

Answer: Okay, I know there may be good reasons for buying a short bed truck but the best way to avoid all the problems associated with a short bed truck is not to buy one. Consider the need for one carefully. Also, before using a pin box extension consider that it will create a lot of leverage on the frame that that it may not have been engineered to handle. Check with the manufacturer or a qualified RV tech before you buy.

Watch this video of an RVer with a short-bed truck who takes a turn just a little too tight.

If you look close it appears the trailer crunched the top of the truck cab which stressed and broke the rear window.

It could have been worse since there doesn’t appear to be any serious damage to the fifth wheel.

You may also want to read: A basic Checklist for Hitching and Unhitching an RV Fifth Wheel Trailer and Dropping a RV Fifth Wheel… It almost happened to me!