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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > what truck do I need

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NC Hauler

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Posted: 04/05/12 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryDel wrote:

My wife and I had a small motor home for many years. Now we want to go with a small fifth wheel. We think we have found the one we want. Next we need to buy a truck, but we are not sure what size.
The fifth wheel is a 2012 Puma by Palomino. Model is 253-FBS. The hitch weight is 1,026 lbs. The dry weight is 6,910 lbs. The GVWR is 11,186 lbs. We want to buy a 2012 GM truck (we want to stick with GM). We are looking at a Silverado 1500 2WD extended cab with a vortex 5.3 V8 engine. We were told by both salesmen (RV dealer and Chevy dealer)that this would be adequate. what do others think?



You need to use the GVW of the 5er (11,186), not the "dry weight" (6,910)...no one tows "dry" or "empty"....I don't know that you would ever load it to it's full GVW, but you don't know that either, I would go with, "better safe than sorry", and go with a 2500HD....with that truck, you won't have to wonder about it...If you tow in the mountains and load the 5er up and tow it with a 1/2 ton, whether it be Dodge, Ford or Chevy/GM....you will probably wished you had stepped up to the 2500/250 3/4 ton truck.....been there, done that, got the T-shirt and learned the hard way....don't make my mistake, save yourself some money and get the 3/4 ton now....just speaking from experience...


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five'er

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Posted: 04/05/12 11:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I beleive that a 2500/3500 is not always needed for a fifth wheel I'd have to suggest that seeing as you are in the position to buy a new one I'd go with bigger based on the fact that it wont hurt much and you wont likely regret it. Experience suggests that you will regret going smaller especially when you decide you want that newer fifth wheel in three years with all those cool options you never thought you wanted or needed or maybe knew about.. Has anyone EVER regretted getting something MORE capable than what they needed? I've never heard of having too fast of a computer.. too powerful of a vaccuume.. too much payload.. I did think once I had too big of a trailer but looking back I was wrong..

fla-gypsy

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Posted: 04/05/12 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2500 gas would be the best fit IMO and will still be close on Payload. Hitch weight could go to 2200+ depending on cargo and configuration of the trailer.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

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laknox

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Posted: 04/05/12 12:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a general comment... Who really knows what constitutes any particular company's "dry weight" and "cargo capacity", since there seems to be no industry standard on how these are calculated. Is the "dry wt." frame, suspension and shell, or does it include the entire interior (cabinets, sinks, toilet, bed, mattress, flooring, sofa, dinette, chairs, ceiling fans, reefer, A/C, furnace, etc., etc.)? I know I have a hard time believing that my Komfort has a 4K CCC and I don't know that I could get to my 11.3k GVW, even with full tanks, based on how I have it loaded. Even with all 3 tanks and WH full, that's only about 1,200 lbs. out of the total CCC, and I seriously can't see how I can get another 2,800 lbs in there. (Frankly, I've never weighed my rig, and know I should but have never taken the time to do so.) Again, this is another issue where there should be an industry-wide standard so we have something to go on. It also goes with my long-standing pet peeve that mfrs. won't publish tank and plumbing diagrams so we can see where the weight is actually carried.

Lyle


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Posted: 04/05/12 01:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

laknox wrote:

Just a general comment... Who really knows what constitutes any particular company's "dry weight" and "cargo capacity", since there seems to be no industry standard on how these are calculated. Is the "dry wt." frame, suspension and shell, or does it include the entire interior (cabinets, sinks, toilet, bed, mattress, flooring, sofa, dinette, chairs, ceiling fans, reefer, A/C, furnace, etc., etc.)? I know I have a hard time believing that my Komfort has a 4K CCC and I don't know that I could get to my 11.3k GVW, even with full tanks, based on how I have it loaded. Even with all 3 tanks and WH full, that's only about 1,200 lbs. out of the total CCC, and I seriously can't see how I can get another 2,800 lbs in there. (Frankly, I've never weighed my rig, and know I should but have never taken the time to do so.) Again, this is another issue where there should be an industry-wide standard so we have something to go on. It also goes with my long-standing pet peeve that mfrs. won't publish tank and plumbing diagrams so we can see where the weight is actually carried.

Lyle
My dry weight actual was within 120 lbs of the stamped dry weight on the sticker. I literally disconnected the trailer and left it on the CAT scale to get a weight on our way home from the Dealer. I don't know how they do it, but ours was a realistic number anway.

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Posted: 04/05/12 01:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buy the right truck the first time so you dont have to take a big hit when you fine you need more truck which you can never have to much of, in your case I would go with at least a 2500HD if not a 3500HD single rear wheel truck either will have the 6.0 but if you get the diesel you would be ready for your next trailer, we had to learn the hard way after three trucks we now have a good match and it is so much nicer to tow a trailer with the right tryck , good luck and safe travels


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jalichty

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Posted: 04/05/12 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do believe that getting the 5.3 would be asking to much of that engine. When we bought our first FW, we have the old 350, before the Vortec thing, and it was just barely sufficient to tow our 21.5' Jayco Eagle 215 SD. We had the 3/4 ton and have never even looked at a 1/2 ton to tow our FW and boat. I think you would be disappointed if you go with a 1/2 ton.


John A. Lichty

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Posted: 04/05/12 02:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm with those who say a 2500 will be a better choice. In fact I usually say to skip the 2500, and go for the 3500, since it is almost the exact same truck for very little extra money. But in this case that isn't needed and it can cost you extra every year on registration/weight fees. But I cannot recommend buying a 1500 with the intent of pulling a fiver.

Everyone underestimates how much truck they need when they have never owned a fiver. What I suggest you do is spend a few weekends looking at fivers and trucks. And I do NOT mean at the dealership. I mean at the campgrounds that you will be using. Just drive through and look at the fivers and the trucks pulling them. If you see anything close to what you are considering, stop and chat up the owner about their experience. Would they buy that small truck again?


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sirdrakejr

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Posted: 04/05/12 03:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After using all three sizes of truck as tow vehicles, my suggestion is for the 2500HD at a minimum. Choice of engine is your but the CARRYING capacity is what you need to watch. Good luck and happy RVing.
Frank


2011 Palomino Maverick 1000SLLB on a 2004 Dodge Quadcab CTD Ram3500 SRW long bed equipped with Timbren springs, Stable Load bump stops, Rickson 19.5" wheels/"G" range tires and a Helwig "Big Wig" rear anti sway bar.


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Posted: 04/05/12 05:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2500HD with 6.0 gas engine and 4.10 gears would be my minimum choice in a GM truck.


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