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Old 11-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
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New to this and need some info truck size

Hi! Just bought our first RV trailer. It is a 30 ft from tip to tip. Am new at this so it is also a 27.5 ft fleetwood prowler lynx. When people ask do I say it is 30ft or 27.5 ft. Sorry really green.
Hubby and I are selling everything and going to rv full time.
We have the trailer but now need info on a truck to get. Do short boxes tow okay? have heard of back windows being broken out.
Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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Welcome!
1) Don't worry about the length. If you want others to be able to reference your trailer, use whatever the model number is
2) Yes, you can use a short bed. A "slider" or adjustable hitch is recommended
3) Don't believe the salesman about what a truck will pull. Go to the manufacturer's site and get the facts for what it is rated.
4) For truck sizing, pin weight and total loaded weight are what matters not length.
5) Anything you put in the truck, reduces its towing capacity.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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Its a big help when posting your trailer size for figiring the size of a tow vehicle, to use the manufactures model numbers and the trailers GVWR . Example is my 28' RK that is 32' long and has a 11200 GVWR. My manufacture has a 32' 5er but is 2100 lbs heavier so it makes a big difference giving the model number. Actual lenght is for bragging.

I tow with a Dodge and GM short bed crew cabs truck. They have a Wheelbase of 140" and 142" so their not a short wheelbase. Both require a sliding hitch so the back glass doesn't get busted out with my old square cornor 5er.
Some of the newer 5ers have a front cornor bevel/profile that makes a sliding hitch obsolete for some trucks.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:09 PM   #4
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I enjoyed your question about what number you use for the length of your trailer. My wife and I are also relatively new at trailering and had the same question when we first got our trailer. The importance of knowing the actual length of your trailer is when you are trying to find/reserve a camp site. It is also important to know the length of your tow vehicle as you want to get a camp site that is long enough to accommodate your entire rig.

As soon as we can sell our house, my wife and I are also going to try full time RVing! Congrats on the new trailer and happy travels!
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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Use the actual total length when renting a campsite. The numbers on the side of the trailer do not reflect total length for many brands/models. Our 5er is a 35TMS, total length- 39'9", which is enough to make backing into a 35' space difficult.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:07 AM   #6
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Hi, like other have said please provide the Brand Name and Model number of the 5er along with the gross towing weight. This will always help others in provide information to you on towing. Another thing to remember is the pin weight of your trailer. You use the gross trailer weight times either 15% or 20% for the pin weight. I always figure high when looking for a tow vehicle, so an 11,500 LBS gross weight trailer would have a 2,300 LB pin weight. Some might use 15% but I like to be safe in giving advice.
One site I always use is the Dodge Body Builders site for truck information, see attach web site below. Another is Trailer Life Towing guide, see attached web below.
http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/year.pdf
http://www.trailerlife.com/Towing-Guides/
Hope this helps?
Jim W.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #7
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Manufacturers' "trailer tow ratings" need to be taken with a grain of salt. The reason is that these are computed as the truck's gross combination weight rating (GCWR - the maximum allowable weight of the loaded truck plus whatever it's towing) minus the curb weight of the truck. The problem is that the manufacturer uses the curb weight of a base model truck with no options or accessories and only a 150 lb driver in this calculation. This means that the manufacturer's trailer tow rating is overstated as no one drives such a truck (for instance, you need a 5th wheel hitch, but that's not included in the curb weight used for the computation.) Each pound that you add to the truck in terms of options, accessories, driver weight > 150 lbs, passengers, cargo, etc. has to come off of the manufacturer's trailer tow rating.

Another problem is that the manufacturers' trailer tow rating ignores the truck's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR - the maximum allowable weight that can be carried on the vehicle's tires) UNTIL one gets to the fine print where there will be a statement to the effect that "None of the truck's other ratings (e.g., front GAWR, rear GAWR, GVWR) are to be exceeded when towing." In the case of single rear wheel (SRW) trucks towing a 5th wheel, the GVWR will normally be reached long before the manufacturer's trailer tow rating due to the 20% or so of the 5th wheel's weight carried by the truck as pin weight.

If one wishes to stay within all of the manufacturer's weight ratings, it's important to know the true laden curb weight (LCW) of the truck - that is, the weight of the truck with options, accessories, driver, passengers, cargo, hitch, etc. just the way it will be going down the road. If one already has the truck, the LCW can be determined by loading up the truck and weighing it. If not, owners of comparable trucks who have weighed them can assist in providing realistic LCWs.

With this information, the following formulas can be used:

Maximum allowable total weight of loaded 5th wheel = Truck's GCWR minus Truck's LCW

Maximum allowable pin weight of loaded 5th wheel = Truck's GVWR minus Truck's LCW

In shopping for 5th wheels, I'd recommend using the 5th wheel's GVWR as the total loaded weight and 20% of the 5th wheel's GVWR as the loaded pin weight in the calculations above.

Rusty
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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Rusty; I think you are providing some incorrect information to the poster when you say, and I quote" Manufacturers' "trailer tow ratings" need to be taken with a grain of salt. The reason is that these are computed as the truck's gross combination weight rating (GCWR - the maximum allowable weight of the loaded truck plus whatever it's towing) minus the curb weight of the truck. The problem is that the manufacturer uses the curb weight of a base model truck with no options or accessories and only a 150 lb driver in this calculation. "
Per the Dodge Body Builders guide they provide different weights for each style of truck. Such as the standard cab, 4:10 gear ratio, 4X4, DRW, long bed is 22,300 LB trailer max towing weight and a GCW of 30,000 lbs and the Mega Cab, 4:10 gear ratio, 4X4, DRW was 17,900 LBS max Trailer towing with a GCW of 26,000 LBS. To me the MEGA cab is not the base model truck of the RAM line.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:01 PM   #9
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I stand by my statement. Dodge provides a trailer tow rating for a given model, wheelbase (long or short bed), drivetrain (HEMI or Cummins, 4x2 or 4x4, G56 or 68RFE trans, etc.), trim level (ST, SLT, Bighorn/Lone Star, Laramie, etc.), but the trailer tow rating applies to the base model of THAT PARTICULAR TRUCK. If I add the optional sunroof, rear entertainment unit, spray in bedliner and other stuff, the weight of those options is NOT taken into consideration in the trailer tow rating shown for that particular model. Further, the weight of the 5th wheel hitch is NOT included either, nor is the in-bed toolbox, TransferFlow in-bed fuel tank (and the weight of the fuel it carries) and the other accessories someone might add. The manufacturer's trailer tow rating has to be adjusted for these options and accessories, just as I said, as well as for the additional passengers and cargo.

Quoting straight from the Dodge Bodybuilders Guide:

Quote:
Maximum trailer weight = GCWR - Curb weight - 150 lbs (allowance for driver)
.
.
.
Additionally, the GAWRs and GVWRs should never be exceeded.
This is entirely consistent with what I stated.


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Old 11-18-2011, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebnme View Post
We have the trailer but now need info on a truck to get.
As usual, Rusty did a good job of explaining this stuff. I'll add a bit of detail:

I can't find the Fleetwood website that gives the specs of the various models of RV trailers. Did Fleetwood stop making trailers?

Here's a 2006 Prowler Lynx that is 30' long but is called a 27 footer. Probably close to your trailer. GVWR is 9,000 pounds.
2006 Prowler , 5th Wheels RV For Sale By Owner in Hattiesburg, Mississippi | RVT.com - 99422

So you need a truck that can tow a 9,000 pound 5er without busting any of the manufacturer's weight limits.

Using Ford as an example, The older F-150s won't hack it. You need at least an F-250 if you buy a 2005-2010 Ford pickup. If you get a 2011-up F-150, they have 4 different engines. The stock V6 and the 5.0L V8 won't be enough. The turbocharged EcoBoost or the gas-hog 6.2L V8 will barely be enough unless you find one (or order one) with the factory option Max Trailer Towing Pkg.

For a 9,000-pound trailer, I'd want a minimum of a 2011-up F-250 diesel. GVWR is 10,000 pounds, and the heaviest wet and loaded 4X4 CrewCab will weigh about 8,500 pounds, making the 9,000 pound trailer's hitch weight right up against the GVWR of the tow vehicle. With no wiggle room. In fact when on the road you may need to be sure the holding tanks are empty or nearly empty to keep from exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

[The F-250 in its heaviest form (CrewCab 4x4 diesel) uses up too much of the GVWR for the heavy crewcab body, 4x4 drivetrain, and diesel engine. So they're not suitable for towing 5ers with heavy hitch weights. Same for the other brands too, so if you want a Dodge or GMC diesel, look for a 3500 chassis.]

Better would be the 2011-up F-350 SRW. Plenty of GVWR so you need not worry about hitch weight. You can travel with the trailer grossing the full 9,000 pounds with no worry.

Quote:
Do short boxes tow okay? have heard of back windows being broken out.
Short boxes tow fifth wheel trailers about as good as long boxes. But trailer to cab contact is likely if you don't have a good slider hitch. You probably cannot turn sharp enough to have trailer to cab contact as long as you are going forward. But put that puppy in reverse and you can have a crunch before you can say "what happened!" Plus if you go up or down a crooked narrow trail, and then discover there's no place to turn around, you've had it unless you have a slider hitch. If you can jacknife the trailer a full 90, you can jacknife the trailer, then disconnect and drive around to the other side of the hitch and connect up again. Then drive out and be on your way. But a shorty without a slider hitch cannot jacknife a full 90 without a big crunch.


There are two basic kinds of slider hitches. Manual and automagic. The manual sliders work okay, but only if you remember to slide the hitch before you back up!

If I were going to tow a fifth wheel trailer with a shorty pickup, I'd want a Pulliam PullRite SuperGlide hitch. Fully automatic, so you can't forget and have a crunch. Not cheap, but you're worth it.
PullRite has a SAFER, STRONGER, BETTER designed hitch for you
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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Hey Smokey,

It's good to see you on this forum; I have always appreciated your expertise in the towing section of The Diesel Stop and I'm sure it will be welcome here as well.

Mike
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #12
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Get a long bed, the longer wheel base gives you more control and the regular hitch will cost much less than a slider.
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