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Old 07-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
Boubou's Avatar
Forest River Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 31
How many of US towing 5th wheel with 1/2 ton truck?

there 's a lot of talk on forums about towing 5th wheel With half-ton trucks but it's all over the place. I'm sure I'm Not the only one looking for answers so I thought I'd Start a thread so that we could compare our experiences with such combos.
How many of us towing 5W with 1/2 Ton?
Which TT and TT?
Positive or negative experience with combo unit?
Future plans?
No need to Re-ash the talk about 3/4 and 1 ton requirement.... Looking for the other side of the coin.

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
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Depends on whether you want to be certan you never exceed any of the tow vehicle's (TV) weight limits.

On a half-ton pickup, the most likely weight limit you'll exceed with even a small 5er is the GVWR of the truck.

Load your truck with everything that will be in it when towing, including the 5er hitch, Mama and the kiddos, Rover and the puddy tat, toolbox, other stuff, full tank of gas. Weigh the wet and loaded tow vehicle on a CAT scale. Subtract the gross weight of the wet and loaded TV from the GVWR of the TV. The answer is your max hitcch weight without being overloaded.

Divide that max hitch by 0.18 to get the maximum GVWR of the 5er. Don't kid yourself. Use the GVWR of the 5er. If the GVWR of the 5er is more than your calculated max GVWR you can tow, then don't buy that trailer.

Do the math and you won't find very many 5ers with a GVWR low enough that you can tow them without being overloaded.

Example: I had an F-250 diesel TV and a 25' 5er with one slide and 7,900 pounds GVWR. That small 5er usually overloaded that F-250. So it would have overloaded an F-150 even more.

Caveat: If you special-order your half-ton, you can order a heavy-duty payload pkg that may let you tow a small 5er without exceeding the GVWR of the TV. For example. 2012 Ford F-150 with EcoBoost engine, 3.73 limited slip axle ratio includes the HD payload and max tow pkgs, and has a GVWR of 8,200 pounds. You should be able to tow a trailer that weighs up to around 10,000 pounds without being overloaded.

But that's a very special F-150. Mine is more typical. My 5,000-pound TT puts me just over the GVWR of my TV when wet and loaded on the road.

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Traveling
Posts: 264
We had a 27' 7,000 lb travel trailer (not a fifth wheel) and pulled it with an '04 Toyota Tundra with a 4.7 liter engine (I think it was 4.7 -- not the new 5.7 they have these days). It was okay on the flats, but going over Tioga Pass on the back side of Yosemite my hubby Mark had the pedal to the floor and we were doing a whopping 28 mph the whole way.

That's when we decided to upgrade to a diesel truck!

Personally, it's not worth the aggravation of feeling the truck struggle and strain and seeing Mark's knuckles turn white to put a too-big trailer on a too-small truck... Rather than being marginal with the specs, I'd recommend making sure the truck can easily handle the trailer and is well within the specs...

The mountains are too beautiful to ruin the views with a scary tow!!!
Emily & Mark Fagan, traveling full-time since 2007
2007 Hitchhiker II LS & 2007 Dodge RAM 3500 4x4
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