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I have to get in the pickup bed to hook and unhook both a gooseneck and a fifth wheel. My last truck was a flatbed and hooking up was a breeze. Then I got this truck in November and quickly found that hooking up any trailer in the bed is now a pain in the ass.

Kinda makes me want a flatbed again. I thought there would be things about the pickup box that I would like but now I don't know if it's worth it.
The only way your post makes sense to me is if you are vertically challenged and can't reach the hitch. If that is the case, it really has nothing to do with the truck or hitch;)
My BIL has that situation and carries a step stool.........

2007 2500HD Classic 4x4 LBZ
 

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I am 6'2" and I used to have a 2500HD 2wd and I couldn't reach the goose latch either so I had to lay on the tailgate to get hooked up including chains. That part makes sense to have a 5 er hitch.
 

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I am 6'2" and I used to have a 2500HD 2wd and I couldn't reach the goose latch either so I had to lay on the tailgate to get hooked up including chains. That part makes sense to have a 5 er hitch.
That might explain the gooseneck (we don't use the safety chains on the farm and our goosenecks have an easily reachable D-handle to lock/unlock about 18" high), but not being able to reach a fifth wheel latch mechanism still perplexes me....;)

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Well you pretty well nailed it for me. I'm 5'9". Hell as high as the back end of these trucks are nowadays, I can barely reach over the side of the bed, much less reach the hitch. Plus I have to hook the breakaway cable to something, which means down on the bed floor.

Mystery solved.

Edit: I can actually reach the 5th wheel latch handle, I just can't reach far enough to install the safety pin which is near the center of the bed.
 

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Well you pretty well nailed it for me. I'm 5'9". Hell as high as the back end of these trucks are nowadays, I can barely reach over the side of the bed, much less reach the hitch. Plus I have to hook the breakaway cable to something, which means down on the bed floor.

Mystery solved.

Edit: I can actually reach the 5th wheel latch handle, I just can't reach far enough to install the safety pin which is near the center of the bed.
Gotcha! I agree, the newer trucks are much higher with deeper beds. Why they went that route for a truck designed for hauling I will never understand. A lot of folks are trying to figure out how to level their trailers with the higher trucks. Not fun!
I do agree the best answer just might be a flat utility bed for pickups used mainly for towing.

2007 2500HD Classic 4x4 LBZ
 

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The easiest I have found are the flatbeds with under bed tool boxes that double as steps. You can step right up on the bed to latch your gooseneck hitch.

We never hook up chains or break away cables on the farm either. I did have an aluminum gooseneck trailer blow over on me one time going down the highway around 50 mph. It came unhooked from the ball when it blew on to its side. With no chains hooked up, it rolled down an embankment that was probably 100’. The state trooper that worked the wreck even told me it was a good thing I didn’t have chains hooked up or I would have been at the bottom of the embankment with the trailer.


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X2 on what folks are saying about Lippert. They do 'package deals' on selling OEM parts to all the big RV manufacturers, everything from the roof membrane to the axles. I had a Jayco trailer with Lippert axles that were so bent they ate a full set of tires every 1500 miles. The width and perch welds were all %100 unique to that Lippert part number, no Dexter or Rockwell axle on the planet would fit without fab work. Because Lippert built the frame, they designed it so that only Lippert axles would work.

I'm kind of surprised the pin box isn't the same sort of issue, where only Lippert pin boxes fit the pattern.

I agree if you are at all concerned about warranty, then I wouldn't make any change at all to the pin box until the warranty is up. That is what Jayco did with my trailer, they blamed me for damaging the axles by either overloading the trailer or hitting something. I gave them a scale sheet that showed I was underweight but they still denied the warranty. That was the day I decided all RV products from the Thor corporation are permanently barred from my fleet :)

I hauled a couple different 5ers over the years with the B&W hitch and always loved it. Very easy to setup, easy if you want to get a new trailer.... all good!
 

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I thought everything rv is Thor now. Jayco, Keystone, Grand Design, KZ, Dutchman, Airstream, Heartland, and many others, they're all owned by Thor. They're all built about the same. No quality control, just see how many they can get out the door each day then let the dealers deal with everything that's broken, missing, or doesn't fit or otherwise function properly. And yes, Lippert has a strangle hold on the component supply. They're probably owned by Thor too!
 

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Grand Design is actually Winnebago. The 3 guys that started the company all came from Thor. The head of GD was actually the guy that brought Keystone to the top of the pile before he left.

Thor is deny deny deny on warranty claims. Our Dutchmen was so poorly built it should be considered a crime. Dexter axle blew up on first trip (Dexter did me right) and cost me my trip. Between Dutchmen (Keystone answers the phone) and the dealer, I would not let them build a bird feeder or service it. 1.5 year old camper had 1.5" of roof sag where the AC was located. 2 years old and traded it in for the GD.
 
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Ahh, you're right on GD, I stand corrected. But Thor does own most of the Elkhart/Goshen Indiana mfg plex. For anyone that's never been there, it's quite a sight to just drive around and see it all. And the RV Hall of Fame and Museum is pretty well done too.
 

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I wrote Thor off. Buddy has a Jayco bought about the same time. He had a few similar issues. Front cap leaking from Day 1 is also not a good way to start ownership. Took me months to figure out the front cap thing as the self leveling sealer does a wonderful job of hiding that one pin hole. Buddy actually thought his wardrobe was sweating and causing the floor to be wet.
 

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Is Grand Design really worth the extra money compared to a Hemisphere or Chaparral?


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Is Grand Design really worth the extra money compared to a Hemisphere or Chaparral?


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I don't think GD is that expensive. I got my Solitude 3950BH for just under $60k. It is a big-ass trailer.

I know a lot of folks (GD owners especially) praise the supposed quality of these things but I haven't been particularly impressed. I guess I haven't really been disappointed either, though, since my expectations were about rock-bottom based on my experience with my Keystone ultralight TT. It's pretty much all the same kind of junk thatched together with wood staples, sheet metal screws, silicone, and lap sealant. AC and DC wiring are a complete rat's nest, slide-out hardware is installed poorly and can/will fail at any time, appliances (like ACs) are not mounted/wired robustly, and all the rest. Generally thoughtless nonsense like roof vent fan switches mounted at the vent themselves in a bathroom with a ~9-foot ceiling (rear bathroom). Even the fridge was installed improperly; the upper vent was blocked by this huge and unnecessary sheet metal baffle that blocked the airflow and caused the refrigeration cycle and ventilation fans to run 24/7, resulting in one of them burning out, which caused the freezer to thaw and the fridge to warm up.

None of the foregoing is really that big of a deal for people who are electrically and mechanically competent and willing, but I laugh whenever people suggest that GD offers a uniquely "plug and play" experience. Anyone who is afraid to get their hands dirty and do their own repairs should just avoid TTs and FWs entirely and plan on staying in hotels.

Edit: I think my personal favorite thoughtless install "feature" in my trailer (apart from the roof vent fan switch that anyone shorter than 6'10" would need a ladder to reach) was the bathroom faucets. It came with those cool faucets that have a horizontal-facing channel so you can see the water flowing toward you when you turn them on; these are popular in restaurants and look very nice. Well the issue of course is that horizontal flow. Anyone who's ever hooked up an RV to city water knows that you generally wind up with some air in the lines between the depressurization/repressurization and the result is that you get explosive bursts of water (due to air compression) when you first turn on the faucets. Well, when the water flows horizontally toward you, what happens is you get a shotgun blast of water directly into your midsection/groin and/or the floor or opposite wall depending on how you stand. Almost shit myself laughing at the pure thoughtlessness of it all when it happened. Of course I ordered replacement faucets for both bathrooms immediately; problem solved. But again, the idea that GD is carefully crafting these things and sprinkling their proprietary pixie dust on every trailer, is a load of crap.
 

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On the GD forum you will find all kinds of issues. Unfortunately its all man made and quality is in the eye of the guy on the end of the screw gun. From what I have seen on the forum in the past couple of months since getting my GD, GD seems to go out of the way in customer service. If you are willing to call and work with them, they will either send you parts, ensure the dealer fixes it, or in the extreme case like wall issues get it back to the service center where they will pull the entire side wall and replace it. A lot of work is being done under the warranty. GD is working through a few supply issues right now along with a few other things. The GD has staff that monitor and respond to the website. Design and fabrication teams are made aware of issues so hopefully they get corrected.

I had a 2014 Keystone and build quality was great, 2019 traded for Dutchmen (owned by Keystone) and it was complete garbage. Axle failure, crack in side wall, sag in roof at air conditioner, fit and finish Ray Charles could have done better for baggage doors and switches.
 
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Is Grand Design really worth the extra money compared to a Hemisphere or Chaparral?


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I will admit that the GD traIlers we have looked at seem a little better overall as far as fitment. I do like the Reflections line as they have more selection of shorter trailers that are cheaper and lighter than the Solitude line. The Solitude line has a few more high end features, but they are much more expensive and HEAVY.
But as has been said, no particular brand of RV is noticeably higher quality all around than any other brand.
We have seen some $120k RVs that I really couldn't see much difference in from a $45k RV.
We were in the market for a new RV pre-covid, and now we will wait a year or so to resume our search. But I'm fairly sure we will be hunting a lightly used model;)

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I wish this was an option for a shortbed. I'll be stuck with a slider that's gigantic. These seems like the perfect setup.


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There are offset gn conversions out there to accommodate short beds
 

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Another vote for the Reese Goosebox. If you look into it, there is no advantage at all with the conventional 5 th wheel. Lippert does indeed approve them, no hitch in the bed when done, Id argue its less likely to dump the trailer on your bed rails, (which I have seen happen twice). Its lighter, possibly a bit harder to hitch, but only slightly.
Also another vote for GD. Im not sure they are the best built, but they do stand behind the product. Did for us at least, threw out the red carpet, put us in a motel while they fixed a slide leak. They went all thru the unit looking for other problems. This was after the warranty expired.
 
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