Hi, Im am going to convert a 16' long flatbed ball-hitch trailer into a fifth wheel however i have but one worry I have 1985 GMC sierra Classic 1500 (1/2 ton) with a 305 engine thats modified with an edelbrock carb and edelbrock performer intake manifold, It has a brand new completely rebuilt transmission and new joints in the drivelines its a 4X4 with lockout hubs and has 2hi 4hi and 4lo and a 6 ft bed
I intend to build this trailer with a v shaped goose neck for the short bed and slide the front or both axles on the trailer forward so that the trailer carries most of the weight. I want to be able to put a car up there and pull just fine but that will not be that often I will mostly haul smaller loads like straw bales and lumber and such I intend to add a helper leaf in the rear springs also
so now the question, will my pickup handle it?
I live in michigan so its pretty flat here im not going to be going more than 20 or 30 miles away from that house if that
that way i figure if i load it right and im not hard on stuff ( Im not anyway) i should be fine right
Are you already pulling this trailer with this truck? are you going to carry the same loads. If so it will do fine and actually better because you are shifting the weight to a more stable position. If you will look at tow ratings on trucks will be able to carry a heavy fifth wheel vs a tong pull.
The only worry would be if you get something on the trailer with to much weight up front and cause the pin weight to go way over what the truck can handle. Why are you wanting to do this on that short of a trailer?
2006 Duramax 4X4
2007 295 Cherokey by Forest River
Why a fifth wheel/goose-neck arrangement? A typical fiver has around 20% of its total weight on the pin. If you build this unit to have less than 15% you may have stability problems.
I don't know the payload of your 1/2 ton, but it won't be very much.
I think a conventional bumper pull would be a better idea.
But that's just my 2¢ worth.
Sold the fiver and looking for a DP, but not in any hurry right now.
Actually, from my research, a goosneck or fifth wheel does not have a minimum tongue weight requirement.
With a bumper pull, you NEED 10% minimum.
With a goosneck or fifth wheel, you GET 20-25% as a general rule because of the way the trailer is designed.
It's all about leverage. Because the pivot is right over the axle, the truck has all the leverage and the trailer has none, so the trailer stays in line.
If you're building the trailer, build it as a gooseneck, NOT a fifth wheel. All you need for a gooseneck hitch is a heavy plate bolted across the top of the frame rails and a 2-5/16" ball sticking up through the center of the bed.
Whether the truck will handle it or not, good question. Your 305 with minor performance mods will have about half the HP and torque of a pickup made in the last 10 years. It won't set the road on fire, but for short slow speed hauls where you don't really care if it takes a few extra minutes to get there, it'll probably be fine.
I am of the opinion that speed and distance are also a factor in how much you can tow with a truck. If you're using the truck like a farm tractor for short hauls where you don't need to hit highway speeds, there's no reason you can't max it out, and people routinely grossly overload for this purpose. I would expect the truck to handle about 7000lbs of trailer and cargo structurally without much problem, though you won't set the world on fire as far as speed.
If you're going to do it, I'd say do it right and go a little longer than the 16'. Your trailer will weigh over 2K solo, as a car hauler you'd be about 7K loaded with a car. A conservative 15% pin weight is about 1050 lbs on the truck, and 5950 on the axles. You'll have about 250# of weight in truck from the hitch as well. I suggest at 4-wheel brakes on the trailer, but you could probably get by with 3500# axles for what you're looking to do. I wouldn't move the axles forward, coming form a bumper pull they're already forward of where they sit on a gooseneck. If anything, you want to move them back a bit. If you end up hauling a longer car, too much weight over the aft end will cause instability - even in a gooseneck.
You'll need to check your wheels and tires to make sure they'll take the weight also. As mentioned, it'll work but a little slow. You'd be better to drop a 350 in the truck instead of the 305 if you have one laying around. Good luck!
Silver 2008 Dodge CTD 2500 4X4 QC
Still got the 5th Wheel Camper
Cute farm girl next to me
Dogs in the back seat
Back in the land of cattle, horses, and trucks!