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Old 09-04-2010, 08:40 AM   #1
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Help on 1st 5th Wheel

Right now we are in a pop-up and looking to upgrade to our 1st 5th wheel. Tow vehicle : 02' Chevy 1500 z71 (5.3l), more than likely looking into the 25> size. Only going to be the two of us most of the time. Wifes needs : storage is a must ( she drools when she sees a big wardrobe storage in pics online ) Any ideas on good ones either in the past or new ones? Thanks in advance

David
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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Lets start off with the real basics. A fifth wheel will have a pin weight of approx 20% of it's actual scaled weight. So that can mean that the weight on the truck directly over the rear axle can be anywhere from 2000 to well over 3000 pounds. So in the real world most 3/4 ton type trucks especially diesels and those heavily optioned will not have much more than 17-1800 pounds of actual payload. Meaning you will likely exceed the trucks GVWR and possibly the GCWR with all but the smaller fivers. If you really want to do this right the first time and not have to buy and buy again, go trailer shopping. Decide what and how much fiver you want then go truck shopping for the correct vehicle. Don't be afraid to get way more truck as you will more than likely upgrade to a larger fiver before the truck is replaced again.
There are lots of fifth wheels on the market. Most of the bad builders are no longer in business. It all really depends on how much money you want to spend. 50K, 75K or 100K? Please come back and give us more information on your wants/needs and you will surely get more suggestions.
BTW welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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, davsal. You've come to the right place for answers. Our members are very knowledgeable & will give you great advice.

You will be hard pressed to find a 5th wheel to meet your 1/2 ton truck's towing capacities. It's not impossible, but you will be very limited in what's available to you. If you're really set on keeping the 1/2 ton, you would do better with a TT (travel trailer). However, if you're willing to go 3/4 ton, more options will open up for you.

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:54 PM   #4
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Trail Lite makes a fifth wheel for 1/2 trucks. We had a Trail Lite TT when we first started RVing in 2002. I never had any problems with it, but I am tall and the shower was too small for me.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:53 AM   #5
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There are a limited number of mfgs that still make small 5th wheels that I would attempt to tow with a 1/2T PU. One well built unit is the Nash 21-5R. I also owned an early Trail Lite and was very unhappy with the construction and from what I have seen at recent RV shows, they are still the same.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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The Travel Bug, by Americana RV, just might be what you are looking for: Americana RV New
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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As noted above, a 1/2 ton truck is severely limited in GVWR and payload capacity. The pin weight is limited. Practically, you may be able to pull as much as a 24' 5er, depending on how much you load in the truck. You can pull more travel trailer than 5th wheel due to the pin weight on a 5er.

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:41 PM   #8
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Another factor is wind resistance. With a fifth wheel trailer you are pulling a large wall down the highway, so to speak. The salesmen never mention this when selling either tow vehicle or 5er. I, like most, use a diesel 1 ton truck for towing, we all can tell when we have a head-wind or cross-wind just by the sound of the engine. This is multiplied with a smaller, gas engine.
Thus the importance of properly matching your truck to a prospective trailer.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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davsal:
I tow a fiver with a half ton, but fully loaded I am 300 lbs. under my max!
My truck is a 2000 GMC 1500 w/5.3.
We have traveled every where and into Canada. Yes I slow down to 45 mph on the big hills, but I maintain 58-62 on all other highways. Can I go faster - YES - I have taken it up to 85 mph to see how it handles, it just stays where it is suppose to be.
Check the ads for a Komfort 23'FS, it's mine.
Good Luck & Drive Safe!
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:35 PM   #10
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Yes, you can tow a small 5er with a 1/2 ton truck, but watch the weights. Be especially careful of the so called "1/2 ton towable" trailers. They use the max tow rating on the truck and then the minimal weight of the trailer. This leaves no room to add cargo or passengers to the truck or any cargo to the trailer. So it will work if you travel alone, are not too heavy and travel with a change of underwear, a 5th of scotch and a toothbrush.

Ken
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:00 PM   #11
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we went thru the same thing 4 years ago - my advise determine that a 5th wheel is what you want - we looked a class a and c coaches, rented a couple etc. we found we wanted a car to drive around when we ended up some place so the 5th wheel was a perfect choice - next - write down and i mean write down what you want - in a trailer ---- my wife and are over 6 feet so head height was very important - who wants to bend over to get into bed, change clothes etc, next - the bed ---- we wanted a way both of could get out of bed withput climbing over each other - again this was a must --- next we need a space for our two dog boxes ( i am a hunter and wanted to make sure the dog boxes went inside and we could get in ( so we ended up with rear entry ) after that they are 2 basic designbs - kitchen on left or right - and number of slides --- we ended up with a 07 Holiday Rambler Alumascape Suite - got a good deal - higher end than an entry models but good for us. OH yea dont forget the kitchen seating! try gettign in and out of nooks vs a table with chairs -- again we went with table and chairs =

Last the truck - 3/4 ton min - period dont even try 1/2 ton and if your looking at a new truck the ONLY way to go is diesel -- period - Ford has 3/4 short beds now under 37k --- and that will pull 32- 35 footer no problem -- good luck
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:19 PM   #12
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Sundance makes some nice small 5th's with front wardrobe, heres a cool one
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