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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Advice on towing a 5th wheel

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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep in mind...a 1/2 ton truck in the upper payload ranges is well within capability for towing a 30ft travel trailer. (1/2 ton payloads vary wildly so you need to be toward the upper end of options).

For a 30ft+ 5th wheel, you really want to be up to at least a 3/4 ton.

The reason is travel trailers ideally have 12-15% of the trailer weight on the hitch. 5th Wheels ideally have 20-25% on the pin...That means lower payload trucks run out of payload quicker with a 5th wheel even if they have enough engine to pull it.

Since you are buying the truck anyway get a 3/4 or 1ton single rear wheel after checking the GVWR of the 5ers you are looking at (take 20-25% of the GVWR as an estimate of pin weight). Even with a travel trailer moving up to a 3/4 ton is a nice option and really doesn't cost much more compared to a 1/2 ton optioned out for max towing capability.


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Sarah8

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you! This is really helping. I wondered about the pin weight "wet". Really hoping to get by with a 3/4. It says hitch weight is 1338 with a GVWR of 10195. So I should expect a pin weight of like 2,240??? That's a big difference. It's supposed to be one of the lighter 5th wheels with no slides in the bedroom.

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Posted: 11/18/20 04:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A late model 3/4 ton will handle that size FW with ease. Many FWs that size are advertised as 1/2 ton towable, but that is a bit of a stretch of the truth, in most cases.

On that trailer I'd guess the wet pin to be on the short side of 2K.

Jerry





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Posted: 11/18/20 06:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

A late model 3/4 ton will handle that size FW with ease. Many FWs that size are advertised as 1/2 ton towable, but that is a bit of a stretch of the truth, in most cases.

On that trailer I'd guess the wet pin to be on the short side of 2K.

Jerry

It all depends on the 3/4 tons payload. A diesel 3/4 ton doesn’t usually have enough payload for a 5er, gas gets you about 900# more pay load.
If looking at a 5er skip 3/4 ton and get at least a one ton SRW. The trucks are the same size the one ton is just more capable of carrying the pin weight.


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MFL

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Posted: 11/18/20 07:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rhagfo wrote:

MFL wrote:

A late model 3/4 ton will handle that size FW with ease. Many FWs that size are advertised as 1/2 ton towable, but that is a bit of a stretch of the truth, in most cases.

On that trailer I'd guess the wet pin to be on the short side of 2K.

Jerry

It all depends on the 3/4 tons payload. A diesel 3/4 ton doesn’t usually have enough payload for a 5er, gas gets you about 900# more pay load.
If looking at a 5er skip 3/4 ton and get at least a one ton SRW. The trucks are the same size the one ton is just more capable of carrying the pin weight.


Come on now Russ, we both know that a diesel 3/4 ton may SHOW less payload due to a class 2 GVWR, and have more wt on the FRONT axle, but the actual wt on the REAR AXLE is nearly the same gas or diesel.

You don't need a diesel engine to tow a FW with a GVWR of 10K, or 12K for that matter.

My F250 gas could carry and tow your FW, but was ordered with HD service suspension (350 suspension). I do admit, your truck would tow your trailer better than my truck.[emoticon]

Jerry

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Posted: 11/18/20 07:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sarah8 wrote:

Thank you! This is really helping. I wondered about the pin weight "wet". Really hoping to get by with a 3/4. It says hitch weight is 1338 with a GVWR of 10195. So I should expect a pin weight of like 2,240??? That's a big difference. It's supposed to be one of the lighter 5th wheels with no slides in the bedroom.


That advertised hitch weight of 1338 is the DRY pin weight based on the DRY published weight of 5th wheel

Yes...wet pin could be 2240 (22% of GVWR)

Any recent 250/2500 truck will handle & carry that weight OK


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cummins2014

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Posted: 11/18/20 08:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Sarah8 wrote:

Thank you! This is really helping. I wondered about the pin weight "wet". Really hoping to get by with a 3/4. It says hitch weight is 1338 with a GVWR of 10195. So I should expect a pin weight of like 2,240??? That's a big difference. It's supposed to be one of the lighter 5th wheels with no slides in the bedroom.


That advertised hitch weight of 1338 is the DRY pin weight based on the DRY published weight of 5th wheel

Yes...wet pin could be 2240 (22% of GVWR)

Any recent 250/2500 truck will handle & carry that weight OK


Why all the advice on 250/2500, knowing full well the 1 ton is the better choice in many ways [emoticon]

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Posted: 11/18/20 09:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

You might want to check on the length. I saw where they don't count what is over the truck in the total length. Only the length of the "box" it self. So a listed 33' 5er is minus the upstairs, or bed if it has a bed up stairs.

Just like on a Travel Trailer. The tongue is not counted in the published length. Only the Box itself.

This is where a tape measure comes in real handy.


Misinformed. My 5er is 37 ft from the pin to the rear of the fiver the 5th wheel hitch for the pin is 2inches in front of the trucks rear axle.


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Posted: 11/19/20 05:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stickdog wrote:

Terryallan wrote:

You might want to check on the length. I saw where they don't count what is over the truck in the total length. Only the length of the "box" it self. So a listed 33' 5er is minus the upstairs, or bed if it has a bed up stairs.

Just like on a Travel Trailer. The tongue is not counted in the published length. Only the Box itself.

This is where a tape measure comes in real handy.


Misinformed. My 5er is 37 ft from the pin to the rear of the fiver the 5th wheel hitch for the pin is 2inches in front of the trucks rear axle.



Not necessarily.

My fiver is a "3600" model.
Main box length: 36'
Pin length: 40.
Total trailer length: 41'10".

I used to have a "25" TT.
Box length: 25'
Total length hitch to bumper: 29'10".

It depends on how the numbers are presented and by who.

valhalla360

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Posted: 11/19/20 05:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cummins2014 wrote:

Why all the advice on 250/2500, knowing full well the 1 ton is the better choice in many ways [emoticon]


If the OP is buying BRAND NEW, I would suggest a 1 ton Single Rear Wheel.

But if buying a used truck, there are simply more 3/4 ton trucks out there and most will handle small to medium size 5th wheels just fine.

Not to go too far off into the weeds, but other than a couple of the newest trucks, for the longest time, the only difference between a 3/4 and 1 ton SRW was the leaf springs, so if you bought a 3/4 ton and it squatted too much for comfort, it was relatively cheap and easy to swap out the springs and functionally you had the 1 ton SRW. (some of the newer models actually do have more differences in the rear suspension/axle)

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