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Picking up our first Grand Design RV fifth wheel on May 12th (Reflection 303RLS)

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  • Picking up our first Grand Design RV fifth wheel on May 12th (Reflection 303RLS)

    Hello to all, we just did our PDI this past Thursday on our brand new 2022 Reflection 303RLS fifth wheel. We are still waiting for our new Ford F250 to be delivered (told sometime July/August), so we will have to have someone tow our fifth wheel on May 12 to a storage location. I am a wee bit nervous as I have never towed a fifth wheel. Have towed “bumper pulls” only for past 30 years, so new to the fifth wheel thing. Wasn’t able to include hitching up to tow vehicle from dealer since we currently don’t have a truck with fifth wheel hitch. Hoping when we finally get our new truck, I’ll be able to hitch up smoothly (watched tons of You Tube videos), and that truck & trailer are level & I have the correct clearance between fifth wheel & truck rails. Call it beginner’s jitters......I’m sure I’m not the first to feel that! I’m sure we will find this forum as a useful tool going forward. Happy trails to all!
    2022 Reflection 303RLS
    2022 Ford F250 King Ranch CC, Godzilla 7.3 V8 (whenever delivered!)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tonemeister View Post
    Hello to all, we just did our PDI this past Thursday on our brand new 2022 Reflection 303RLS fifth wheel. We are still waiting for our new Ford F250 to be delivered (told sometime July/August), so we will have to have someone tow our fifth wheel on May 12 to a storage location. I am a wee bit nervous as I have never towed a fifth wheel. Have towed “bumper pulls” only for past 30 years, so new to the fifth wheel thing. Wasn’t able to include hitching up to tow vehicle from dealer since we currently don’t have a truck with fifth wheel hitch. Hoping when we finally get our new truck, I’ll be able to hitch up smoothly (watched tons of You Tube videos), and that truck & trailer are level & I have the correct clearance between fifth wheel & truck rails. Call it beginner’s jitters......I’m sure I’m not the first to feel that! I’m sure we will find this forum as a useful tool going forward. Happy trails to all!
    Completely understand. I was very proud of myself that I didn't hit anything during the first 15 mile tow from the dealer to the campground with my 315RLTS.

    Please check out the Welcome Letter to New Members so you can get the most from your time here. https://gdrvowners.com/forum/main-fo...to-new-members

    Howard
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

    Comment


    • #3
      We took delivery of our 337RLS in July 2020 and our truck didnt get built until December 2020. I was in a similar situation as you. I had extensive experience towing travel trailers but never a 5th wheel. The dealer delivered ours and once we did the driveway shakedown for a couple of weeks (water connected and living in it) I had to ask a friend to come put it into the barn for storage.

      The biggest thing for me was establishing a sequence for the process of hitching up. I also limit distractions during the process, I dont want to stop in the middle and forget something. If you go through the process slowly and methodically a few times it gets easier every time. Be mindful always of your tailgate, its easy to forget and replacements are definitely not cheap.
      Read through your hitch instructions so you know the operation and if you have a helper make sure youre both using the same terms for adjustments. I will say that quite often the trailer will need a minor height adjustment to get it to land on the hitch properly (hitch height doesnt always bring it back exactly where you need it)
      I also had to get used to the different swing on a 5th wheel while backing. Other had warned me of the difference between a 5er and a TT and I scoffed at them, turns out they were right. The steering inputs while backing the 2 are entirely different in the reaction time and affect. It does require some practice.

      Enjoy.
      2021 Reflection 337RLS, 2021 Silverado 3500HD 6.6 gas. Nellie the wonder boxer

      Comment


      • #4
        Tonemeister Going from towing all kinds of bumper pull units to a 5er is a bit of a learning curve (this is from experience). I've towed 8' utility trailers to 24' utility trailers, a 23' car hauler, and a 23' BP TT. First 5er was 34' (about 10" longer than the 303). Dealer hooked it to the truck, showed me what handle to pull to disconnect and locked the doors to the facility.

        MY FIRST EXPERIENCE: I made it out of the parking lot onto the Interstate feeder road, down to the street we needed to take and then one wrong turn later ended up in the middle of a residential area. All this in the DARK. I will admit lots of white knuckle moments (due to the first tow). All in all not as bad of an experience as I would have thought, until we got home. Couple of attempts to get it backed into the drive, then the unhook (100% dealer error in my opinion). I almost took a sledge to open the jaws on the hitch. Could not get it open in the dark both of us required. She was in the truck going from fwd to rev while i was yanking the handle to get it open. Fast forward 12 hrs, a little grease in a few spots and hitching / unhitching got better but still not where it should have been. Fast forward 1 year and finally reading the manual, the head needed grease in several places that it never had.

        Truthfully, pick a nice calm day, start earlier in the day and you will be just fine. Locate a large parking lot where you can "PLAY" with turning, backing, and even hitching and unhitching. Thus far the hitching and unhitching has been the most complicated part of getting used to the 5er (even towing a GN hitching and unhitching is the hard part). The trailer responds differently especially when backing b/c the pivot point is not amplified like a bumper pull.
        Joseph
        Tow
        Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
        Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
        South of Houston Texas

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
          Tonemeister Going from towing all kinds of bumper pull units to a 5er is a bit of a learning curve (this is from experience). I've towed 8' utility trailers to 24' utility trailers, a 23' car hauler, and a 23' BP TT. First 5er was 34' (about 10" longer than the 303). Dealer hooked it to the truck, showed me what handle to pull to disconnect and locked the doors to the facility.

          MY FIRST EXPERIENCE: I made it out of the parking lot onto the Interstate feeder road, down to the street we needed to take and then one wrong turn later ended up in the middle of a residential area. All this in the DARK. I will admit lots of white knuckle moments (due to the first tow). All in all not as bad of an experience as I would have thought, until we got home. Couple of attempts to get it backed into the drive, then the unhook (100% dealer error in my opinion). I almost took a sledge to open the jaws on the hitch. Could not get it open in the dark both of us required. She was in the truck going from fwd to rev while i was yanking the handle to get it open. Fast forward 12 hrs, a little grease in a few spots and hitching / unhitching got better but still not where it should have been. Fast forward 1 year and finally reading the manual, the head needed grease in several places that it never had.

          Truthfully, pick a nice calm day, start earlier in the day and you will be just fine. Locate a large parking lot where you can "PLAY" with turning, backing, and even hitching and unhitching. Thus far the hitching and unhitching has been the most complicated part of getting used to the 5er (even towing a GN hitching and unhitching is the hard part). The trailer responds differently especially when backing b/c the pivot point is not amplified like a bumper pull.
          I had a similar experience, since this was my first fifth wheel. The Reese hitch was installed with no grease. I did not know it needed grease and the RV tech at the dealer said nothing about that. It was a major problem to hitch up the first couple trips until I learned to use white lithium grease. Now it works fine. I grease the head twice a year.

          Charles

          P.S. I also have a checklist on my iPhone that is similar to Chad's from changinglanesrv.com. I use it every time I hitch up.
          2021 Solitude 310 GK-R. 2020 F-250LB, 7.3L, 4.30, Reese 27K

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          • #6
            Crespro No more grease on the top plate or bottom of the pin box. I went to this https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...l?cm_vc=-10005 and on the rails for the auto slider (they say to use WD40). Rails on the slider since not chrome or stainless rust bad otherwise.
            Joseph
            Tow
            Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
            Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
            South of Houston Texas

            Comment


            • #7
              Welcome and congrats on the new rig! We also just got a new 303rls.

              Originally posted by Tonemeister View Post
              Call it beginner’s jitters......I’m sure I’m not the first to feel that!
              My first experience towing a 5th wheel was yesterday evening bringing our rig home. I'm not too proud to admit those beginner's jitters were REAL. That said, I took it slow and went the pace I felt comfortable with. My pace was a bit slow for traffic at times but I wasn't worried about that. I settled in after a little bit and think I did pretty well. The most important tip I was given and followed was being mindful of taking wide turns. Right turns are more tight/difficult than left turns. The trailer follows a lot differently than a bumper pull and I felt that for sure. Towing mirrors are a godsend at being able to view traffic next to you but also the sides/wheels of your rig to watch for clearance. You'll do great, just take your time. Good luck!
              David and Deana
              2022 GMC Sierra 3500 AT4, CC, SRW, 6.6L L8T Gas, MYD 6-Speed
              2022 Reflection 303RLS w/ Gen-Y Executive Hitch

              Comment


              • #8
                Tonemeister Welcome to the family and the forum!
                Jerry and Kelly Powell, with Halo, Nash, Reid, Cleo, and the new baby kitty Rosie..
                Pilot (Zebulon), NC
                2020 Solitude 390RK-R

                Comment


                • #9
                  We had the same drama as you are experiencing. We had ordered a F350 but gave up due to the time line went with a Ram 3500. We love our 303 RLS!
                  Make sure your drivers license has the proper endorsement as the weight of the rig is over 4600 kgs. Strange how dealers are a little quiet on the requirements 🙁

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