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Old 04-08-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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NEW to 5th Wheel looking for advice on a truck

All, I am a total ROOKIE so please be gentle. I have a Ram 2500 4x4 Crew Cab Diesel on hold as I am trying to figure out if it a big enough truck to purchase a fifth wheel later. I was on a Ram website and all kinds of info says that I should look at at 3500??? PLEASE HELP I am overwhelmed at this point. Is this truck I have on hold with a 17,500k tow capacity and 2500# payload good enough???

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Old 04-08-2015, 05:58 PM   #2
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The 17,500 number is what it will pull but with a 5r you need to know how much it will carry since a 5r puts at least 20% of it's weight directly over the rear axle of the truck. A travel trailer only puts 12% on the truck so you do not need as much cargo capacity to tow 17,000. A travel trailer of that weight would put about 2000# on the truck and a 5r of that weight would be 3500# or more. That is why most will tell you to get the 3500 if you want a 5r.

Also, be sure to check the weight sticker on the door sill to see exactly how much cargo weight that particular truck has. They all vary so you cannot go by the brochure. lots of folks have bought the wrong truck because the salesman said, "they all carry X amount". Check the sticker for yourself.

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Old 04-08-2015, 06:05 PM   #3
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You should decide on the trailer you want & then see if it will be enough truck. If the 2500 turns out to be border line get the 3500. By the time you load a trailer up it can make a big difference in weight.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:05 PM   #4
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A 3/4 ton truck really does not have the carrying capacity to haul the pin weight of the trailer, camping stuff (bikes, kayaks, firewood, tools), family and heavy 5th wheel hitch.

For a medium 5th wheel a Ram 3500 single rear wheel (SRW) is needed. For the bigger 37' plus 5th wheels a dual rear wheel (DRW) truck is needed.

Again the issue is not how much it can tow but how much weight it can carry.
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:03 PM   #5
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Depends on which 2500 Ram you have.
Some have a 6500 RAWR or a 6200 RAWR or a 6000 RAWR.
These trucks rear axles can weigh in the 3000 lb range which leaves 3500 lb payload on a 6500 RAWR vehicle.
Figure your particular trucks RAWR payloads but that means you will have to weigh the trucks axles separately.
My 2500 Dodge/Cummins has a 6000 RAWR with a scaled 2860 lbs unladin for a 3140 lb payload.
My 32' 5er with two slides has a 2200-2400 lb pin weight so I'm no where near max.
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CampingCajun View Post
You should decide on the trailer you want & then see if it will be enough truck. If the 2500 turns out to be border line get the 3500. By the time you load a trailer up it can make a big difference in weight.

X2. You can limit your RV options if you get too small a truck.

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Old 04-08-2015, 07:14 PM   #7
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IMO it is better to have too much than not enough.

I have a 5er with a gcwr of 11000. I had a 2010 cc 4wd ram 3500.

Traded the 2010 on a 2014 2wd 6.7 w/aisin tranny w/4:10....this truck has a gcwr of 37500#....I plan on getting a new 5er in a couple of years with a gcwr of 18000# to 21000#. Now I know I have plenty of truck for any 5er I have been looking at...

Can never have too much truck...IMO of course.
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:19 PM   #8
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Bigger is better in this case

Speaking from experience, You never know when an larger RV becomes desirable. The bigger PU will always pull a smaller tow, but the reverse situation is not desirable, and may not be safe. You will never have doubts with the larger PU.
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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My F250 diesel is a bastard truck, and I purchased a fifth wheel trailer that is at the maximum towing specs. of my truck.

My trailer weights 11K lbs. and the kingpin weight is just over 2K. It's about as big as I want to go.

And by the way, we're not suffering with a mid size 37' bunkhouse trailer with 4 slides. We just don't have the washer/dryer we had on our last travel trailer.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:18 PM   #10
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:37 PM   #11
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I have a F250 and doing well with my 15000lbs trailer.
Other then being to high a 4 x 4 ton SRW would be my choice for abig trailer.
But the Ram 3500 standard tires have been 17s.. I would op for the 20in with close to 8000 lbs capacity.
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:39 AM   #12
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With Ford, the price difference between the F250 and F350 is so small as to make the F350 an obvious choice for towing a fiver.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:57 AM   #13
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My advice....buy bigger than you think you need
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:11 AM   #14
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I was able to haul a 14,000 lbs fifth wheel with a nearly 2500 pin weight with my Silverado 2500HD. It was fine, but was clearly at the maximum.

Handling was fine, I had no issues with cornering, stablity, winds, etc., but I was thinking the tires were the limiting factor. Any more load and you could risk tire failure, not necessarily breaking the truck. Some of the chicken littles on this forum will cry that anything less than a dually will handle poorly and is dangerous! Not true. Danger is in being overloaded and having mechanical failure.

Pin weight is what you need to concentrate on. With a 5th wheel, it's easy to get alot of weight up front and thus on your pin - a washer dryer, clothes in the closet, etc. put more weight on the pin than stuff in the back over your axles.

If you don't want a dually truck, and some folks don't, they do make SRW in the 3500 format, so you can get more payload than a 3/4, but alittle less than a full 1 ton with duallys.

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