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Old 07-25-2011, 08:23 PM   #1
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New to fifth wheels - buying help

I own a 2011 2500 duramax HD GMC specs say 2959lbs payload & 15,600 lbs fifth wheel. My husband just sold our Class A DP and are new to Fifth Wheels. We like two Open Range units

345RLS dry 8960lbs hitch 2160 lbs

385RLS dry 10,560lbs hitch 1940 lbs

Can we tow these with my truck (stock parts only)? I don't want to hurt my truck and just get confused on what would actually overload us. Help ! Are should we just go with an 8200lbs Travel Trailer?
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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never mind the dry weights unless you plan to never add anything to the RV in the way of personal supplies. What are the GVWR weights of the trailers...probably around 15,000#. For a trailer of this size, when loaded it will have a pin weight of around 3000# or 20% of the GVWR.

Now the problem with a 3/4 ton truck is the trucks GVWR and rear axle GAWR.

The number provided by GM above are based on an base model truck...no cargo, no passengers, no options and no accessories...not even a 5er hitch....200# fro that.

You need to get the truck weighed in travel mode, full fuel passengers and cargo.

On the drivers door jamb is a sticker with the GVWR. The owners manual will have a listing for the GCWR for your specific cab, engine and axle ratio.

GVWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer pin weight.

GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

So be careful of the pin weight. And never-never-never believe the RV or truck sales person.

You will see lots of folks pulling trailers that are way over the trucks limits...so it is your call. But do weigh the truck and work out the numbers and see if you are in your own comfort zone. Don't load up with too much trailer just because some says I do it and do just fine.

Check this site for info and a nice spread sheet:
RV and Tow Vehicle Weights

Ken
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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345RLS GVWR is 12560lbs

And

385RLS GVWR is 13,940

The truck numbers I gave are for Denali pkg accessories & 4x4 but I do understand I need to add weight for passengers/fuel and stuff in truck/5th.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:40 PM   #4
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Now no one pulls a newer gen trailer at its full GVWR as many have a 4k-5k CCC. As mentioned neither will the trailer be pulled at its dry weight after loading.

The '11 2500 DMAX/A 10000 lb GVWR with up to a 24500 lb GCWR has a tow rating from 15600 up to 17800 lbs depending on which truck you have.
According to GMs weight calculator payloads for a loaded 2500 LTZ range from 2500 to 3500 lbs again depending on your trucks configuration. If your truck has a 2959 lb paylod subtract 200 lbs for a hitch and another 100 lbs for gear over the trucks rear axles. That leaves approx 2600 lbs for a "wet" pin weight.

The 385 RLS has a 13900 GVWR and a 1940 lb dry weight. After loading the 5ers pin weight is gonna' be approx 2200-2400 lbs wet so the truck will be fine for this trailer.

The 345 RLS has a 12560 GVWR so it will be well under your GM trucks carry and pull ratings.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:39 AM   #5
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Thank you for the help!
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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Two points:

- The weak point for 3/4 ton trucks is the ability to carry the pin weight (normally 20% of the total weight) and remain within specs.

- The bottom line for tow capacity is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow. This can be found in your GM brochure...in the fine print.

Also, I disagree with the earlier poster regarding 5th wheels not running at or near GVWR. The RVers I know use them at or above GVWR.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Blackdenali View Post
I own a 2011 2500 duramax HD GMC specs say 2959lbs payload & 15,600 lbs fifth wheel. My husband just sold our Class A DP and are new to Fifth Wheels. We like two Open Range units

345RLS dry 8960lbs hitch 2160 lbs

385RLS dry 10,560lbs hitch 1940 lbs

Can we tow these with my truck (stock parts only)? I don't want to hurt my truck and just get confused on what would actually overload us. Help ! Are should we just go with an 8200lbs Travel Trailer?

In my opinion your at the top end of what should be on the rear axle BUT it will have no problems with the load your talking about. I would add set of ride right firstone airbags , you will only need roughtly 20~30 psi in them the rear spring on these truck can hold a house once the truck drops on to the helper spring. Power wise no problem you have one of the BEST motors and trans combos in the industry I own a 2006 Duramax and its my third one I have owned. I have a mild towing program from Kennedy Deisel .com its only rated at like 40~or 50 hp but it pull hard in the hills and never down shifts due to lack of power. I have a 10,850 lb skid steer and a 3500 Lb trailer trailer it sits on that I tow to NH into the mountains to my camp. The combine scaled weight of the combo (truck trailer, skidsteer and gear) is 23,450Lb that I pull with my 2500 hd power is not the issue , slowing down is. I would rather have duel rear wheels just to keep it planted better but it will do this every day of its life if needed. My truck now has 131,250 mile on it and its had the ECM power program in it since it had 6000 miles , everything else stock.

Bottom line is you can do it dont let anyone say differnt Ford , Dodge or GM diesel trucks any one of the big three heavy spec deisel trucks will pull what your looking at getting. A duel wheel one ton would be more stable but they dont pull any harder or stop much better. Pulling loads the 2500 hd has been rated higher for years due to it being a lighter platform. Depending on the year GM says 23000lbs combine on both models If I recall correctly , really the only big differance is how much load can you put on the rear axel verticly. get your truck on a scale and see how much you can add to the both front and rear axels for weight. roughly 90% of the pin box weight goes to the rear axel and 10% to the front dpending on the exact placement of the 5th wheel coupling in the bed.


EDIT: if you notice I have owned a 31' holiday rambler since 2003 , its unladen weight is 7950 dry no gear. pull easy and no issue with running 75 mph up hill.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
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All of these folks that are so light weight need to weigh their rigs after a fer years. Stuff is load on and never leaves. It is amazing what some things weigh...especially 5# her, 10# there.

ken
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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All of these folks that are so light weight need to weigh their rigs after a fer years. Stuff is load on and never leaves. It is amazing what some things weigh...especially 5# her, 10# there.

ken

SO true , by the time you get it outfitted like your kitchen at home your at max GVW ! mostlike the cause of most trailer with axel issues and tire problems.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #10
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SO true , by the time you get it outfitted like your kitchen at home your at max GVW ! mostlike the cause of most trailer with axel issues and tire problems.
We RV with a guy that gave me a good suggestion. Every year, he totally unloads his RV...everything comes out. Stuff that has not been used, stays out. So far, I've been just unloading the basement every year since that's where my stuff seems to breed. I have managed to get rid of some excess baggage.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Blackdenali View Post
I own a 2011 2500 duramax HD GMC specs say 2959lbs payload & 15,600 lbs fifth wheel. My husband just sold our Class A DP and are new to Fifth Wheels. We like two Open Range units

345RLS dry 8960lbs hitch 2160 lbs

385RLS dry 10,560lbs hitch 1940 lbs

Can we tow these with my truck (stock parts only)? I don't want to hurt my truck and just get confused on what would actually overload us. Help ! Are should we just go with an 8200lbs Travel Trailer?
I pull a 13,600 GVWR FW with my stock '06, and we just returned from an effortless 2,700 mi trip to Sturgis, SD. The Companion hitch puts the pin about 2" ahead of the rear axle, and the truck drives beautifully. I had a 8500 lb TT before this and it about beat us to death! To get the TV to sit level, the WD hitch had to be pulled up tight, which made the ride horrible, and I was constantly fighting the trailer tail wag. IMO it's better to have all the weight on the axle and not hanging 3' behind it.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:22 PM   #12
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Menoble, what is the pin weight of the trailer and the allowable carrying capacity of your truck when all is loaded?

Ken
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:35 PM   #13
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Menoble, what is the pin weight of the trailer and the allowable carrying capacity of your truck when all is loaded?

Ken
2,450 lbs passengers & cargo, and 12,000lbs. trailer weight. The FW weighs 10,422 dry. Adding one 850lb. H-D, 250lbs. of water, and 500lbs. of cargo puts me at 12,022lbs. The bike sits aft of the axles, so I don't calculate this into the hitch weight, therefore 20% of 11,175lbs = 2,235lbs of cargo, which leaves me with 215lbs for passengers. That's enough for me and the dog, I just don't have the nerve to tell my DW she makes the rig overweight when she comes along.
I know that 5% of the time I'm at the ragged edge of the TV's rated capacities, but it handles the extra load easily. The other 95% of the time the truck is my daily commuter, work truck, grocery-getter, and Saturday night cruiser, so I'm content with the setup.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:15 AM   #14
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We all have to remember that the rated numbers on our tow rigs were put there by lawyers not engineers. There is obviously a "safety factor" in these numbers of perhaps up to 15 - 20%. This explains why so many people state that they are able to "push the limits" and still tow with ease.

Towing in the prairies where it is fairly flat is pretty easy on your tow rig, put that same combination in the Rocky's and you have a totally different situation.

As well, here in Canada, if you enter British Columbia with a rig that is over loaded you are going to get a large fine and then be asked to leave the province as the police simply will not allow you to travel over loaded in the mountains.
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