There is a 36' MS for sale in our area that the couple had purchased to live in while they were house hunting for 3 years. The pics look really good. She said that this unit is NOT for weekend camping, due to its being 12,800 lbs. dry weight.
Is what she said true? We will need to live in ours for a while but will be doing some traveling as well. Is this weight not a good choice for traveling around?
I'd agree that it's not really intended for weekend camping -- more like extended trips, extended stays or full-timing. I think of a "weekend camping unit" as a smaller one like our 27' footer. It was cheap to build and cheap to buy. It wouldn't last a year under heavy use, but when only used a for few weekends and a short vacation each year, it'll last for decades.
We'd have trouble parking a 36-foot 5er in any of our favorite spots for weekends, and since we don't spend much time inside on weekend trips, it would be a bit of a waste to invest in a high-dollar 5th wheel and a dually to haul it with.
That's not to say a Mobile Suites couldn't be used for weekends. It would be fine, just overkill. I'd trade even-up for one in a heartbeat. I'll likely trade for something like it in a few years when we plan to do longer trips or full-time, but for right now we simply don't NEED something of that size and quality.
If it is used and 2x4 vs new 4x4, the difference should be more that 12K. Value at resell will go down much faster for a 2x4. Chris
Right here! ^^^^ Price the 4x4 option on a new 3500. It's right at that $12K mark. Plus, used 4x2s are tough to unload across most of the country. Here in Wyoming, I doubt you could find a new one on a lot statewide. Nobody wants them here. If you're willing to buy a used 4x2, you should be able to find a real bargain, and what you've found doesn't sound like a bargain at all.
I've had a couple 4x2s. The first one was back in '68, and 4x4s weren't that popular then, plus it was a pricy option that often wasn't the most reliable. (I've got 150K+ miles on my 2000 F250 and have never touched the front end.) I also bought a used '88 Chevy 2500 4x2 years ago. I got it because it was so cheap. Both of those did the job. I got stuck a few times, and there were places I couldn't go because I didn't have 4x4, but I got by. You could too.
But I don't think I'd ever buy another pickup that wasn't 4x4. I use it and the low range pretty often, summer and winter -- wet, slippery roads, paths that sometimes become muddy, trails where I'm crawling over boulders and whatnot. I use it as my daily driver for work because it'll most always get me wherever I need to be, for towing, and for firewood hunting, etc. once we make camp.
I certainly wouldn't have it repaired at shop rates to turn around and sell it. If you don't think it would sell (post repairs) for what it would cost to repair it, sell it as a fixer-upper. I'm sure there are plenty of folks with young healthy bodies who would jump at the chance to take it off your hands for a grand, then spend a month or two doing the repairs before they put it back on the road.
OP, did you read this?
Grand Design shows a 13,800# dry and 18,000 GVWR.
Vehicle weight is pin weight plus axle weights. Your hitch should be rated in excess of the actual towed vehicle's weight.
Your 16,000# hitch should work if they have not loaded the trailer past 16,000#. A trip to the scales would be in order. We added around 1,500# to ours so if someone has been living in it, you probably need a larger hitch.
The scale will answer your question.
Where mdamerell states "if someone has been living in it, you probably need a larger hitch," what he should have said (and probably meant) is you'll need a larger hitch OR have them remove their personal items for the trip.
It's just one time but I have already said no.i don't need a bigger hitch.i probably would have no trouble since its only got 16k worth of axles but his wife probably has that much stuff packed into it.those light axles make me think its not as heavy as the mfg says.
I just feal bad not doing it
1. You don't need a bigger hitch. Probably 4K of that 18K is for water, storage bays, clothing, food, etc. If they'll unload it of personal items and drain the tanks, you should be WELL under 16K -- even well under 15K. They don't need to remove the furniture, just everything else.
2. 5ers carry weight on their axels AND on the pin. Two 8K axles are plenty for an 18K 5er. Of that 18K pounds, probably 3.5K is intended for the pin, leaving a little to spare for the axles.
3. The manufacturer is not saying the 5er weighs 18K pounds; it's saying that's the maximum that it CAN weigh all loaded up with batteries, water and personal items. They assume you're going to load it, and big full-time rigs have room for quite a bit -- probably around 4K pounds.
If you want to tow it for them, simply tell them they must remove all the personal items and drain all the tanks first, so that your hitch can handle it. And then make sure they do. And double check by weighting it before leaving town, if you have any doubt.
We found it took 3 days just to figure out the rhythm of the animals and tourists. Animals are out around 6 am. we were driving by 5 am. looking for bears and wolves. tourists arrive from town at lunch time. we were back at camp by then....
DING DING DING
We have a winner!
Most of my trips to Yellowstone, at least the most enjoyable ones, were in search of nature photos. We'd get up early and be on the road well before dawn, set up our gear at a specified spot, then shoot from pre-sunrise until 9-10. Then we'd head back to camp, have brunch, maybe take a nap, then head out in search of the spots where we wanted to take sunset and sunrise photos for the next day. An hour or two before sunset we'd be set up again, waiting for the just-right light. Head back to camp in the dark, take a nap, then start it all over again.
I spent an afternoon photographing a beaver. (We became friends!) Another one photographing a moose; I enjoyed a 3-hour lunch with my camera and a family of trumpeter swans. I also enjoy fly fishing and have spent many a day on some of the park's blue ribbon trout streams -- tying flies that "match the hatch" and pulling in literally hundreds of pounds of wild and beautiful trout.
To enjoy Yellowstone, really enjoy it, you must slow down and let it move around you. Rushing to see this or that? Heck, you may as well be in an amusement park.
As for the crowds, here's a little-known secret. (Don't tell anyone.) There are no crowds in Yellowstone if you do your sightseeing from 6-10 a.m and 6-10 p.m. From 10 a.m - 6 p.m. go back to camp. Make love to your special other. Or just make lunch. Take a nap. Phase II of the daily Yellowstone experience is only hours away.
We had around 8" of the stuff yesterday (9/11) on the prairies of NE Wyoming. None stuck to the roads, and it was mostly all gone this afternoon. That's the earliest snowfall I can recall, and I've lived here 43 years.
What kknowlton said.
However, the Bighorns west of Buffalo are very pretty, and as mountain roads go, Hwy 16 is a piece of cake. My wife doesn't like mountain driving (or riding), but as long as we stay on Hwy 16 over the Bighorns she doesn't mind them a bit. We go there often. Now some of the Jeep trails... that's another story. ;)
Actually, if you don't mind the roads in Yellowstone, and you don't mind the mountains between Dubois and Jackson Hole, you shouldn't mind 16 from Buffalo to Ten Sleep either. It's easier than many of Yellowstone's roads, and I'd encourage you to try it. The highway is wide and well maintained (4-season) all the way across, and you'll only have a handful of curves that you can't safely take at 45 mph or better. Traffic is always fairly light, and there's plenty of places to pull off and enjoy a picnic or camp for the night.
There's a 5 or 10-mile climb coming out of Buffalo, then it's all gentle curves and easy hills across the mountain until you enter Shell Canyon on the other side. That's another 5 or 10-mile descent to the bottom with two 20 mph (iirc) hairpin curves towards the top of it (just after crossing Shell Creek).
As with all mountain driving, use a lower gear when descending rather than depending on your brakes, which can overheat if you "ride" them. If they overheat, you suddenly lose all braking. That's not fun.
90 to 25 to 80 to 15 seems a better choice
I think this ^^ would be the best, with a slight alteration. You're going to have a few spots without cell coverage no matter which way you go, but I'd suggest I-90 to I-25 to Hwy 287 to I-80 to I-15.
That said, with that route there will be a pretty good stretch from Casper to Rawlins that's quite remote. If you're very concerned about that, do this one:
I-90 to Hwy 59 (Gillette) to I-25 to I-80 to I-15. Hwy 59 is a busy road with more traffic than I-90 or I-25 over most of it. Cell coverage isn't bad either.
I don't think I've ever spent more than an hour there. HOWEVER, there are many, many other interesting attractions in the Black Hills. I probably wouldn't recommend any of them OVER the Faces, but several are at least as enjoyable. A few in no particular order:
Crazy Horse Monument
Custer State Park (Wildlife Loop)
Bear Country USA
Devils Tower Nat'l Monument
Badlands Nat'l Monument
Google Black Hills attractions to find others that might interest you. If you've never been there, a couple hours isn't enough time, imho. Take 2-3 days without the dog and enjoy.
That's a nice looking truck, and I think you'll be happy with it. I like my 7.3 psd, especially in the Rockies, but the V10 is a good towing engine if you don't drive a whole lot of miles. You were smart to go with a 1-ton.
I'd NOT tow that with my 2000 F250 PSD 4x4. The earlier 3/4 ton pickups didn't have much payload capacity, and you'd be over it with any of them of that age. The 4x2 probably will carry a bit more than a 4x4, but you'd still be well over the GVWR. A 1-ton diesel should work; dually of that age would be even better.
I prefer long beds. You never have to worry about hitting the cab, plus there's more room for carrying other stuff in the back. I've got a tool box. Some build a genny box behind the cab. I also have room for coolers, firewood, etc.
Many respondents to this post are (apparently) basing the load capacities of the various sizes of pickups on NEWER models, not what the OP may purchase, as he wants a used pickup. My (2000) F250 PSD has a GVWR of 8800 pounds, and I'm right at its capacity with my light weight 26-foot 5th wheel. Some of the new half-tons can probably carry as much weight as mine, if you go by the numbers. So if the OP is buying a 10-year-old pickup, he'd be best to disregard any thoughts of buying a 3/4-ton truck.
OP, even if you buy new, go for at least a one-ton, and if you can manage a dually (garage space, etc.), that'll likely be your best vehicle for towing a 5th wheel, plus you'll be able to purchase almost any 5er you might like with a dually and not be limited to the lighter weight ones. I bought mine in 2000 thinking it could tow any camper I might want. We'd have been in a bigger camper years ago if I'd have initially purchased a dually -- or even a 1-ton srw.
One other thing, OP. I noticed you were asking about "towing capacity". In case you haven't caught on by now, it's "hauling capacity" that you need to be more concerned about when towing a 5th wheel. Most 3/4-ton and 1-ton diesels will "tow" all you'll likely want, but much of that weight must go onto the truck itself. That's where 3/4-ton pickups often fall short.
There are two or three short tunnels in the Black Hills, but you won't be driving your motorhome through them -- too narrow, too low, and too short to be a concern (in a car). The one west of Cody is the only one I can think of in the area. It's roomy enough and well lit. The only other one I can recall is on I-70 west of Denver -- the Eisenhower Tunnel.
My wife is from Medford, OR, so we've been back and forth (from Gillette) many times and in about as many ways. There are no reasonable routes from Gillette to Oregon, as the mountains are in the way! ;) We usually go south and take I-80 from Rawlins, but as Redmond is further north that wouldn't be good.
There have been a few times we've gone through Yellowstone/Jackson, and those times we've taken Hwy 20 between Idaho Falls and Mountain Home. It's a good road with little traffic, and if you've never been that way, the Craters of the Moon area is kind of interesting. We also stayed on Hwy 20 between Ontario and Bend. Again, good road without much traffic, iirc. I've never been on Hwy 26 between Redmond and Ontario.
Have a nice trip. It's bound to be scenic no matter how you make it.