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APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since this is your first RV, I assume 7200 pounds is a dry weight estimate of some RVs you have found. There are many half tons that can pull that weight, but you need to look at all the truck specificatinos not just tow rating.

For a bumper pull, you will be closer to 8k loaded with 1000-1110 pounds of TW. If that is a 5th wheel, then I estimate that is closer to 1600 pounds of pin weight plus a 250 pound hitch in the bed. There are not many half tons that can support 1850 pounds of pin weight plus other gear in bed and people in cab. There are some more that can support 1100 pounds of tongue weight plus bed full of gear and cab, but that is borderline.

Since you mention mountains, then a forced induction engine will perform better than naturally aspirated. Fuel type matters less than torque per $ you want to spend. Are you willing to have the engine turn at 4000-5000rpm at times? If not, get forced induction.


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TurnThePage

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 7200 lb part is no big deal. The 5th wheel part is. You should expect at least 20% of the total 5th wheel weight to be resting in the bed of the truck. That uses up truck payload. Most half ton trucks just don't have the payload to handle it. Remember that passengers and other stuff in the truck also count against your payload.

Any new pickup rated for that weight will have the power to drag it over the mountains.


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time2roll

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is that 7200 dry or GVWR for the 5th wheel trailer? I have been pulling my 7880 GVWR 5th wheel over every mountain I can find for the last 15 years with my old F150. No issues, none. Properly equipped I see no issue with a 150/1500 truck. Most on the lot are NOT properly equipped. You must look very closely at options and the door sticker to know you are getting the right equipment. The dealer/salesman does not care. Watch your payload rating. Many people are more comfortable in a larger truck and that is OK too. Since you are spending money it is not a huge leap to go 3/4 or 1T-SRW.


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IdaD

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd get a SRW 3/4 or 1 ton. More truck for similar money, and they will tow a lot nicer than a half ton. Only downside is a rougher ride and, if gas, poorer fuel economy. It also gives you the option of getting a larger trailer in the future without having to change tow vehicles too, which would save you money and hassle.


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GraySwain

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Posted: 09/17/19 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok to specify a bit better. Yes, 6800-7500 would be dry weight. Looking in the 26-30tt range. Also, I have plenty of towing experience. And I’m aware of payload and towing capacity. However, I have no experience towing in any environment with major hills/mountains. I’m aware of using the gears on descent instead of constantly riding the brakes. Thanks for all the responses.

ppine

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Posted: 09/17/19 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3/4 ton truck or more.
It can be gas, but why not buy a diesel and be on the winning team?

time2roll

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Posted: 09/17/19 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Towing in the mountains in and to itself is not a big deal as long as you do not make a race out of it. Allow extra time and enjoy the ride.

Hammerboy

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Posted: 09/17/19 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gmckenzie wrote:



Also, be wary of jumping to a 3/4 ton diesel. Payload on some of them is barely 2000 lbs (the same as my half ton). And while I do think a 3/4 ton diesel will tow better than my half ton, if both within limits, I'd not want to move to a 3/4 ton and be disappointed in the payload. Gas 3/4 ton typically have 500 or so more payload than a diesel comparably equipped.

New trucks, like the 2020 GMC HD, have thrown this out the window.


While that may be generally true it's not always the case. Some diesels have a higher GVWR than their gas counterparts. Mine for example has #500 more than my buddies newer '14 (same generation). The '20 GM's I believe have even more to where the gas and diesel are almost the same payload (don't quote me on this ;-) Also I will run out of GVWR long before my axle ratings run out wear as the 1/2 gasser may be the opposite and run out of axle rating before reaching its GVWR especially with a fifth wheel adding all the weight to the rear axle only.

Dan


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happy2rv

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Posted: 09/17/19 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There may be a combination of 1/2 ton truck and 5th wheel trailer that remains within the truck's weight ratings, but both the truck and 5th wheel will be the exceptions, not the rule.

If you already have a 1/2 ton and don't want to upgrade, you will have to work within its numbers. Personally I would lean toward a travel trailer instead of a 5th wheel in that case. As already indicated, much more of the overall weight of a 5th wheel rests on the truck than the weight of a travel trailer.

If you don't already have the truck, I'd recommend selecting a truck that works for most RVs in the class you're looking for. This provides the opportunity for future upgrades.

Whatever you decide, I agree with others who already posted that you should study the weight ratings involved and understand them. It's great to get advice and people's personal experiences, but without knowing the parameters involved you can't evaluate the usefulness of responses. To be clear, all 1/2 ton pickups aren't created equally. Neither are 3/4 or 1 tos. Many, most?, 5th wheeler's don't fall within the weight ratings of many, most?, 3/4 ton trucks.

You will see people post here that they tow 70000 lbs with their Tacoma or Colarodo and you will see others say an F350 is overloaded with a feather pillow in the bed. The only way to determine your truck's capacity and ability to tow a given trailer is to run through the numbers. You may decide towing at or even above the maximum capacity of a vehicle is ok, others have. I won't comment on the merits of that decision, but I do suggest you make an informed decision.


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1986 27' Allegro
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2004 Suzuki Aerio
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steelhunter

North Dakota

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Posted: 09/17/19 11:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wing_zealot wrote:

The best thing for you to do is to read up on towing and tow vehicles so you can understand all the variables that go into this question. Start here Clicky

For instance "For a 7200lb trailer a 3/4 is an imperative under any circumstances." My 1/2 ton will handle a fully loaded 8500 lbs fifth wheel without a problem, and still have room for 625 lbs of passengers and gear; all within all its manufacturer's ratings. Lots 1/2 tons could not. So "Imperative under any circumstances" is flat out wrong. Its all in the details, hence, the need to read the clicky.


I was mistaken. My apologies....

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