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Old 11-01-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
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looking for advice

Looking to purchase a 5th wheel camper and would like some recommendations.

Will be used once a month or so plus a couple of full weeks. Probably 6 weeks a year of total camp time.

Me, wife and 9 yr old son.

Will tow it in the SE. Probably GA SC FL TN AL KY NC.

Towing with 2001 Chevy 1500HD with 6.0 crew cab 4x4.

Would like a 2nd bedroom for my son.

$30k ish budget.

30 ft ish.

Outside kitchen or grill would be a plus.

Currently looking at a Rockwood with bunks and 1/2 bath in rear with queen in front. Can get it new within my budget. My biggest concern with it is the 8000 lb dry weight.

Any suggestions or input greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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Look at the puma by palamino. They are a great first 5th wheel. Light weight and have big black, gray, and fresh water tanks. I have a 259 rbss and love it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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Before the weight police arrive lets set up what your '01 1500 HD really is.

It should have a 8600 GVWR with 6084 RAWR 4L80e tranny 4.10 gears with 16" wheels and E tires 6.0 engine with a 3100 lb payload rating depending on cab configuration with approx a 10k-11k lb tow rating.

Its the old 8600 GVWR 2500 from previous years.

These trucks have approx 2500-2600 lbs of payload capacity depending on actual scaled front and rear axle weights so it could be more or it could be less.
The 6.0, as all high hp smallblocks from that era, is a strong performer but when you hook up 10k they really start to struggle. I would look at 5ers under 9k GVWR and especially pin weights under 2000-2200 lbs dry as a max. You can always go smaller from there if your not comfortable towing at max loads.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. This is the info for the one Ive been considering;

GENERAL INFORMATIONManufacturerRockwoodModel Year2013ModelSignature Ultra Lite 8281WSMSRPRequest a Quote WEIGHTSGross Vehicle Wt Rating (GVWR)9,350 lbs. (4,241 kg)Unloaded Vehicle Wt (UVW)7,981 lbs. (3,620 kg)Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC)1,369 lbs. (621 kg)Hitch Weight1,600 lbs. (726 kg)MEASUREMENTSLength Feet31Overall Length31 ft. 2 in. (9.5 m)Exterior Height12 ft. 2 in. (3.7 m)Exterior Width96 in. (2.4 m)Wheel/Tire Size15 in.

I think I will be OK with this one. Second opinions are always welcome though.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:20 AM   #5
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Be very careful with the trailer and the pin weight, the trucks GVWR and the rear axle GAWR and tire ratings. You will reach the GVWR limit before you reach the GCWR limit on the truck.

You cannot go by Chevy's "tow ratings" as they are based on a base model truck, no cargo, no accessories, no hitch and only a 150 driver in the truck. For every pound you add over this fictitious base model, you decrease the towing and cargo capability by the same amount.

Load up the truck with the family, full fuel and head to the scales and get the axle and total weights fro the truck. Add 150# for the 5er hitch and then set down with the numbers.

GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight

GVWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer pin or hitch weight.

DO NOT use the trailer brochure weights. These are based on a trailer with no options. Any item listed as an option is not included...such as awning, A/C, microwave, batteries, TV, etc. Then you have to add your supplies and clothes. A trailer can easily go 500 to 1000# over the brochure weight.

Typically a 5er will have a pin weight of about 20% of the trailer GVWR.

You can pull a larger bumper pull than a 5er because the hitch weight will typically run 10 to 15% of the trailer GVWR when loaded. A hitch like the Reese Dual Cam Straightline will work well for a bumper pull.

Main thing is to forget anything the RV sales person says and do the math yourself and see if you are within the trucks limits.

With a 30' trailer and your 6.0L gas engine, the truck will be thirsty. Plan on no more than about 8 mpg while towing.

It looks like with the trailer you are considering, you are already going to be over when you load up the truck and trailer..

Ken
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:46 AM   #6
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The biggest expense I have had after the cost of our 5vr was replacing the first truck I bought to pull it with a truck that was big enough to do the job. Salesman told me "Sure your 2500HD 6.0 gasser will handle it" @ 13k traveling weight, I was overloaded and under powered got about 5.5 mpg. Now pulling with a 3500HD DRW Duramax and don't even know its back there. Also 11.8 mpg if I keep the speed down under 65
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:02 AM   #7
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Hello,
I have a 2006 1500hd, 6.0, 4.10, I have the 8281ss. The pin weight is slighly less han the ws. I live in upstate NY. I do not have any trouble pulling this fiver. If I was to travel cross country, I would prefer a diesel. I am within my weight ratings, fully loaded and ready to camp. Average 8.5 to 9.5 the same mileage with my previous camper.It is a nice 5h wheel for the money. B y the way, check out RV Direct, got ours for 26,000.
Ron H.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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My chevy's owners manual had specific rating for my specific model (crew cab 4wd, shortbox) not generic tow rating for a base model. My trailer was weighed before it left the factory and had a sticker applied that read 5742 lbs. I have no problem pulling a 33' trailer with a half-ton.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane3fan View Post
Thanks for the replies. This is the info for the one Ive been considering;

GENERAL INFORMATIONManufacturerRockwoodModel Year2013ModelSignature Ultra Lite 8281WSMSRPRequest a Quote WEIGHTSGross Vehicle Wt Rating (GVWR)9,350 lbs. (4,241 kg)Unloaded Vehicle Wt (UVW)7,981 lbs. (3,620 kg)Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC)1,369 lbs. (621 kg)Hitch Weight1,600 lbs. (726 kg)MEASUREMENTSLength Feet31Overall Length31 ft. 2 in. (9.5 m)Exterior Height12 ft. 2 in. (3.7 m)Exterior Width96 in. (2.4 m)Wheel/Tire Size15 in.

I think I will be OK with this one. Second opinions are always welcome though.
Agree, but keep in mind your going to be in the upper GCW for your 6.0 smallblock gasser. You won't run with the 8.1 big blocks or the diesel crowd so just relax and enjoy the trip.
The big plus for the 1500HD with those 6084 RAWR is you have another 400- 500 lbs of axle/tire load capacity above the 2500 HD diesel models so the truck won't have any issues carrying dry pin weights up to 2700-2800 lbs. Looks like a good match.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMMFAM View Post
My chevy's owners manual had specific rating for my specific model (crew cab 4wd, shortbox) not generic tow rating for a base model.
By "base model", Ken was saying with no options or accessories. For instance, if you ordered the sunroof, upgraded sound system with subwoofer, rear entertainment unit, etc., etc., the weight of those accessories was not included in the curb weight or ratings. Neither was the weight of the 5th wheel hitch, the toolbox in the bed, the auxiliary fuel tank and its contents and all the other stuff that gets added by a typical owner. All of these weights have to be added to the manufacturer's curb weight as well as the additional passengers, pets, cargo, etc. beyond the 150 lb driver and then subtracted from the trailer tow ratings, payload ratings, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMMFAM View Post
My trailer was weighed before it left the factory and had a sticker applied that read 5742 lbs.
And you haven't loaded anything in it since it left the factory, right? No clothing, canned goods, cargo in the storage bays, etc.?

Rusty
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
By "base model", Ken was saying with no options or accessories.
I see, thanks.

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And you haven't loaded anything in it since it left the factory, right? No clothing, canned goods, cargo in the storage bays, etc.?
I was just saying that I had some pretty specific numbers to start with and not a brochure weight.

I was not trying to admonish anyone by my post and I have benefited greatly from posts on this forum by such people as TXiceman.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #12
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I tried to pull a 12K tagalong with a Yukon XL 3/4 ton with the 4.10 axles. It was not a pretty sight, with many white knuckle moments while I tried to regain or keep control of the camper combo. That is the reason for my first DRW diesel. I would not personally recommend pulling anything over 8800 lbs with a SRW truck.. I don't say it can't be done. I will NOT do it again!
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:42 AM   #13
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I purchased a fifth wheel this past weekend. It is at my home now. It is a 2010 KZ Durango 295BH 1500. I havent pulled it with my truck yet, mainly because I dont have a hitch or brake controller yet.

Any suggestions on brake controller and hitch?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #14
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Get a truck that will do the job.
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