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Old 06-05-2015, 03:59 PM   #1
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Is truck big enough?

Friends are looking to upsize their fifth wheel. I've always benefited from advice here, but must admit I know very little about what they are up against.

They currently have a 30 foot fifth wheel, weighs about 8,000 pounds dry. They are looking at a 2016 Big Horn 3160EL. It comes in a bit heavier at about 12,000 dry.

They have a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD four door 4x4 standard 6 foot box (so shorter of the two options) with a 6.0 Vortec V8 gas engine.

The truck does quite well with their current fifth wheel. Looks as though they could overdo the gross weight limits if they load a new Big Horn with cargo up to its limit .... but with due diligence they think they can keep the load down.

So ... you fifth wheel aficionados .... is their truck big enough for the rig they've already fallen in love with? They often tackle highways in the west, so mountain passes, etc.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:17 PM   #2
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JMHO: Not enough truck. Even without the rest of the info ; trucks GCWR, available payload on the rear axle ; gear ratio etc.

Pin weight of the new dry 5er alone will be in the 3,000lbs range , and without knowing their current weights, I'll bet they don't have the rear axle or tire capacity for that.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:28 PM   #3
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ditto
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:30 PM   #4
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IMO if you have to ask if it's enough truck, then it isn't!
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:08 PM   #5
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That FW will go 13-14,000lbs loaded. Doubt that gas engine is rated that high, even if the pin weight is not too much.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphie View Post
That FW will go 13-14,000lbs loaded. Doubt that gas engine is rated that high, even if the pin weight is not too much.
The pickup:
has 4.10 rear axle, rated at 14,200 pounds maximum 5th wheel weight. Maximum pin weight of 3,379 pounds.

The FW:
is 12,015 pounds dry, cargo carrying capacity of 3,485 pounds, so maximum of 15,500 pounds (so 1,300 pounds over pickup maximum with FW loaded to the gills). Dry pin weight is 2,095 pounds.

Maybe these figures will help with my original question ...

Again, appreciate your help.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:02 PM   #7
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WAY, way to close for comfort, and very easy to exceed limits.
The max , pin and trailer numbers are for that truck , empty, with only 150 lb. driver.
I'll bet if this fellow rolled across the scales with the truck ( no trailer ) loaded for travel , there would be no where near 3,379 lbs. available for pin weight on the rear end. Probably closer to 2,400.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:10 PM   #8
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I had a 3/4 ton GMC YukonXL with 4.10 gears and when I put a 12K tagalong behind it, I could not make the sand hills at McBee SC without it dropping way down and pulling a 3K RPM in order to pull those tiny Hills. The camper was a 2008 Colorado 30RL-BS unit, and I had to trade for a Diesel at that point. It cost me $1200.00 to replace the AC compressor and fan clutch from that trip!

Reconsider trying to pull that much with a GM product, the guide says that it may pull it. Mine would not! That step up requires a more robust cooling system, and more capability than a gas pickup can muster.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA View Post
The pickup:
has 4.10 rear axle, rated at 14,200 pounds maximum 5th wheel weight. Maximum pin weight of 3,379 pounds.

The FW:
is 12,015 pounds dry, cargo carrying capacity of 3,485 pounds, so maximum of 15,500 pounds (so 1,300 pounds over pickup maximum with FW loaded to the gills). Dry pin weight is 2,095 pounds.

Maybe these figures will help with my original question ...

Again, appreciate your help.
The towing numbers you have are meaningless when you look at the fine print provided by GM. Some where they will say that you can tow that weight if you do not exceed the other specifications namely GVWR and GAWR. GAWR is mainly for the rear axle as a 5er generally does not change the weight on the front end much. In your case it might if you are using a moveable hitch.

A few more details would be of benefit.

Load the truck up with full fuel, DW, kids, pets, and head over to a scale. Get a weight of the front axle, rear axle and total weight.

Add 150 lbs to the rear axle for the 5 wheel.

On the door there are some numbers that are the ones to be used.

GVWR - take the GVWR and subtract weight of the truck (+ 150lb) on the scale. The number left is the max weight you should have for a pin weight.

The dry pin weight is meaningless as it generally is without options or any water or propane. If you take the GVW of the trailer and multiply it by .2 you will get a more realistic weight for the pin. The weight will be closer to 3000 lbs.

Our 5er had an optional slide that really increased the pin weight. Ours is a triaxle toyhauler so when the bikes are loaded we are quite light on the pin at 15%. And it did not take long to add enough stuff to max us out on the GVW of the trailer.

No matter what you say the DW will find ways to fill all of the closets, cupboards and storage places with stuff you will use for camping or outings. You have the room so why not take it.

Do the same thing for the GAWR (rear). Take the GAWR and subtract the weight of the truck on the scale (+ 150 lb). The number left is the maximum you should have for a pin weight. 3000 is a good place to start.

If you know the numbers free.fifthwheel1st.com has a good worksheet to check out your situation.

There are those who will tell you that they have hauled a big trailer with a small truck for years without any issues. Likely true but . . . . do you want to bet the lives of your family, yourself and everyone around you?
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:39 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Kevinc2011;2589865]

Reconsider trying to pull that much with a GM product

You do know GM makes diesels and DRW trucks that go toe to toe with everything Ram and Ford makes right? His gas truck may be marginal but that doesn't mean all GM trucks are incapable of pulling a heavy trailer.

Any of the big 3 make fine trucks these days and GM consistently has for the past 12 or so years.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:50 AM   #11
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Pulling usually isn't the problem, stopping is! Don't exceed the GCWR of the truck when hitched to the full trailer. A problem area in larger truck - trailer combinations frequently ends up being the load on the truck rear axle. Obviously it is not recommended to exceed this GAWR either. I would not be comfortable operating any rig that exceeds mfg ratings. We have seen many folks put lots of money into resolving problems of exceeded rating areas up to buying a new truck! No one wants to be in that position.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:06 AM   #12
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Gordon is spot on with his advise, he is giving you sound advise that is not theoretical but actual real world advise.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:49 AM   #13
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Typical fear mongering replies. Bottom line, the engine is the problem for that lashup. Not enough torque and power for towing a heavy trailer.Otherwise, the truck would be fine.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:23 AM   #14
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If you have to ask the answer is usually no.
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