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Old 01-13-2016, 06:00 AM   #1
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Question 5th wheel and new truck

Hello all! We have been trying to decide between a motor home and a fifth wheel & new truck! We have decided to go the fifth wheel route!

Please share your opinions on upper end 5 th wheel trailers and truck to pull it! I would like to stay away from a dually truck, but I am open to all brands positives and negatives .

The trailer size will probably be in the 35-38 ft range.

We are semi retired and will be traveling about a month at a time, several times a year.

Thanks for all your input!

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Old 01-13-2016, 07:17 AM   #2
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Most will say dually. I upgraded to one last year and won't go back

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Old 01-13-2016, 07:43 AM   #3
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High end units that are used for full time tend to be heavier, so a dually is almost mandatory.
2018 Heartland Landmark Oshkosh
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:56 AM   #4
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I will second the dually opinion, you need the stability to pull a longer 5th wheel. Not sure how "upper end" you want to go. The Continental 5th wheels by Forks RV are upper end, used Travel Supremes. Drv's are a quality unit. If you are new to the rv'ing world, buy a quality used unit. It's hard to know what floorplan is liveable to you until you spend time in it. It would be a shame to spend big bucks on a new unit and end up hating the floor plan. You can always buy a new one the next year. Rent a few rv's to get yourself familiar, we rented 2 class c's and a class a before we bought our first 5th wheel.
Jan & Thomas
2012 Drv Mobile Suite
2012 Ford F350 Super Duty
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:12 AM   #5
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I would suggest that you take a look at Forest River Cedar Creek or a Cardinal model. Forest River will be introducing two new 5er's this year, but they will be more towards the higher end of the price range. One is the Cedar Creek Champagne model 38EL which will be over 40 Ft in length and the other will be the RiverStone also over 40'.

We have a 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL which is 37' long being pulled by a 2008 Ram Mega Cab 6.7L Cummins engine and a 6 speed 68RFE transmission. I have towed this combination out west this year with no issues in stopping and or pulling. We did cross the continental divide on I70 and through the Eisenhower tunnel, this was pulled in 5th gear.

I would look at a 3500SRW Ram with the 6.7L Cummins and the 6 speed AISIN transmission which could have a max tow rating of 17,350 LBS and a GCWR 25,300. This will easily pull a Cedar Creek 34RL/34RE model which is 37' long.
Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:04 AM   #6
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I have had nothing but 5th wheels for the last 20 years until we traded this year for our Motorhome. I have pulled with every type of truck from a 1/2 ton dodge to 3/4 and 1 ton single rear wheels and my last two truck were 1ton 4x4 Dullies. My last 5th wheel was a 43 foot Cardinal with the front living room. I will tell from my 20 years of towing these 5th wheels if I ever went back I would not have anything less than a 1 ton dullie. I know there are some great single rear wheel 1 tons out there but you the problem is the pin weight of the 5th wheel. Most larger ones will be right at or over the rear axel weights of the truck with single rear wheels. Why not go big to start with and not have to worry. Driving the new duallaies is no harder that the singles once you get use to the size. I might even go to a Mid size truck like a Freightlinet if I was going with anything over 40 feet. Just my two cents worth from someone that has been there and done that.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:34 PM   #7
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X2 Well said.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:47 PM   #8
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Upper end and not dually - those are incompatible requirements. The sheer vertical load on the pin requires that you spread it across 4 instead of two. Although a single wheel truck *will* pull it, it's almost certainly over capacity in most circumstances and there may be liability implications of driving it as such.

I've never owned dually in my life, but making the same choice that you did - larger 5th wheel, I immediately bought the dually. I bought a Dodge. Ford had a higher RPM range, actually I like the motor better, but the Dodge is much more proven engine design has fewer moving parts. I think they're up to 850-900 ft/lbs of torque these days.

If you buy a short bed truck, you will likely need a sliding hitch or you're very likely to damage your truck/RV in any condition where a sharp turn is required.

Also note - despite what your RV dealer will almost certainly tell you, many states require a non-commercial Class-A license, which can be a mild pain to get, depending on how organized your state is.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:02 PM   #9
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Look at the gross weight sticker on the coaches. Approximately 25% of that will be on the rear axle of your truck. For example, a 16,000 pound gross weight means that 4,000 pounds will be added to the rear axle. The weight of the hitch will also be added there. If the rear axle rating of the truck is 8000 pounds, and a trip over the scales says that there are 5000 pounds there already, you aren't going to be able to handle that 16,000 pound coach.

I'd suggest that you take a quick look at the GW of some of the coaches you are interested in and work with the highest GW one. You may well not buy that particular coach, or even that brand, but if the heaviest coach you are looking at is 20,000 pounds, and you buy a truck that can handle it, your truck will be able to handle the 16,000 pound GW coach across the street.

Don't believe a sales person about the capability of the truck. The truck's dealer can pull up the VIN and find out what the actual numbers are for the axles and gross combined weight. A trip over the scales will tell you what the actual weights are on the axles now (remember to weigh with a full fuel tank) and you should be able to figure out whether or not a single rear wheel truck will be able to handle the weight.
David, kb0zke
Mercury Mountaineer towing mpg 181(both sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 40'
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:13 PM   #10
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Trucks don't pull trailers determined by trailer length.
A 35-'38' 5th wheel trailers can weigh from 12000 lbs on up to 20000 lbs all depending on floorplan/brand/number of slide outs vs no slide outs/etc.

If the trailer has a 4000 lb plus "wet" hitch weight a one ton DRW diesel would be required.

For 5th wheel trailers with up to 3500-3800 lbs actual wet weight pin numbers a new gen one ton SRW diesel will work depending on the trucks configuration .
'03 Dodge 2500 Cummins HO 3.73 NV5600 Jacobs
'98 3500 DRW 454 4x4 4.10 crew cab
'97 Park Avanue RK 28' 2 slides
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:34 PM   #11
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I too have towed a lot of trailer of different types including, boat, cargo, flatbed, tongue and fiver. I had to buy a dully for this last trailer and found out what I have been missing. What a difference it makes with my other trailers. The boat and flat bed only run around 8 to 10 K, but now it is much more stable. I will never go back!
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:03 AM   #12
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I got rid of a perfectly good 3500 SRW short box when I bought my new trailer. With 4260lbs of pin weight I was over loading the rear tires and rims. The new dually handles it much better in crosswinds etc and being a long box rides much smoother. I would have never gotten the dually if I did not need it as they are a PITA driving around town
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
Also note - despite what your RV dealer will almost certainly tell you, many states require a non-commercial Class-A license, which can be a mild pain to get, depending on how organized your state is.
True statement. In CA if the GVWR exceeds 15000 lbs you are required to have the Class-A Non Commercial license and it is a PITA. I failed in my first attempt just in the pre-test vehicle inspection. Never got behind the wheel! The actual driving test was common sense for those who have driven a fifth wheel. Also, you are not allowed to drive your rig to the inspection station without a licensed Class A driver riding shotgun. That was a major problem for those of us who do not know anybody with a Class A.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:24 AM   #14
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My advice is to look at 5th wheels 1st. Don't worry about the truck until you decide on what 5th wheel you want. Too many people either already have a truck or go buy one then look at trailers. After they get the 2 foot itch they are stuck with an underperforming truck.
You may or may not need a DRW truck. We really don't know what level of 5th you're looking at. You certainly don't need a DRW to tow a 35-38' Keystone Cougar 5th wheel but you absolutely would if that 35-38' 5th wheel was a DVR or Redwood level.

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