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GraySwain

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Posted: 09/17/19 05:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The wife and I are about to purchase our first camper. Most likely a 5th wheel. A friend mentioned, since we will be towing in the mountains some, to stay small for weight and maneuverability. Considering the steep grades is a 3/4 ton necessary even for something as light as light as +/-7200lbs? Any and all opinions on towing in the mountains would be appreciated. Not opposed to a 3/4 if we have to but almost certainly not going the diesel route. Thanks

steelhunter

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Posted: 09/17/19 06:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GraySwain wrote:

The wife and I are about to purchase our first camper. Most likely a 5th wheel. A friend mentioned, since we will be towing in the mountains some, to stay small for weight and maneuverability. Considering the steep grades is a 3/4 ton necessary even for something as light as light as +/-7200lbs? Any and all opinions on towing in the mountains would be appreciated. Not opposed to a 3/4 if we have to but almost certainly not going the diesel route. Thanks


For a 7200lb trailer a 3/4 is an imperative under any circumstances.

wing_zealot

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Posted: 09/17/19 06:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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.

* This post was edited 09/17/19 06:22am by wing_zealot *

JIMNLIN

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Posted: 09/17/19 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some 1/2 ton trucks will not have any problems towing a 7200 wet weight trailer in the mountains.
In fact some 1/2 ton trucks will have superior engine performance/power in the mountains or high wind flatlands over most 3/4 ton gas trucks.
Example is Fords F150HDPP at 8200-7850 gvwr and 4800 rawr with a 3.5 ecoboost engine rated at 375hp/470 torque.

Now if your 7200 lb trailer is a dry weight then a 3/4 ton gas or diesel make better cents/sense.
That 7200 lb dry weight can have a 10k gvwr. These size trailers can have 2000 lb plus pin weight. Now add another 200 lbs for a hitch and another 100-300 lbs in the bed = maybe 2500 lbs on the rear axle. Not a good match for a 1/2 ton truck.

A 3/4 ton truck with those big 6000-6500 rawr can safely carry/stop 3000+ lb rear axle loads. Actual numbers depends on truck selections and actual scaled axle weights.


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Lynnmor

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Posted: 09/17/19 06:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 1/2 ton is LESS truck no matter what all those numbers say. For a 5th wheel, I would want MORE truck.





sgfrye

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Posted: 09/17/19 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

keep it simple...... 3/4 ton, chevy, ford, dodge. pick the one you like the best. gasser is fine. and cheaper to maintain.

Terryallan

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Posted: 09/17/19 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remember. what ever you get. learn to gear down. Going up the mountain is easy. Coming down is the hard part. A TV must be able to hold the trailer back with out having to ride the brakes.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

steelhunter wrote:

GraySwain wrote:

The wife and I are about to purchase our first camper. Most likely a 5th wheel. A friend mentioned, since we will be towing in the mountains some, to stay small for weight and maneuverability. Considering the steep grades is a 3/4 ton necessary even for something as light as light as +/-7200lbs? Any and all opinions on towing in the mountains would be appreciated. Not opposed to a 3/4 if we have to but almost certainly not going the diesel route. Thanks


For a 7200lb trailer a 3/4 is an imperative under any circumstances.


Lol, riiiight...
But on a more serious note since the OP has no towing experience.
HD pickup will handle the load better.well equipped 1/2 ton will pull that weight fine.
7200lb ready to roll 5ver, be careful. That’s like a 5500-6000 lb dry unit. Not a ton of those for sale.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

gmckenzie

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the payload of any truck you are looking at. At 7200 GVW (if you are looking at the trailer dry weight, don't), a 5th wheel pin weight could be 1500 lbs. For a lot of 1/2 tons, that will exceed their payload. Remember to add the weight of the 5th wheel hitch as well as people.

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.


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goducks10

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Posted: 09/17/19 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 7200 lb 5th wheel would be fine behind a 1/2 ton IMO. 5th wheels handle much better than travel trailers. Power wise most all 1/2 tons have the power to pull that easily. Payload will be the harder part. You'll need to look on the trucks door jamb for a sticker that shows the Cargo Carry Capacity. The brochure weights are not the same as the actual door sticker weight.

Right now I think the best option is a Ford F150 with the 3.5 Eco motor and the Max Tow package. Fords seem to have higher CCC than Ram and Chevy.

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