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Old 10-04-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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I am a new member on this forum, had heard that this is a great place for info and a lot of great people...so let the first question be a good one...

Looking at getting a 5th wheel and I believe I am in the area of overloading the truck but maybe not. These are the specs on the camper

Legends 37QB4S-H5
Total Dry Weight (UVW) 11600
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs) 2080
GVWR 14990
Fresh Water Tank Capacity (gal 63
Grey Water Tank Capacity 82
Black Water Tank Capacity (gal 41
LP Capacity (lbs) 60
Cargo Carrying Capacity 3390
Overall Length 39' 3"
Height 12' 10"
Width 8' 1"
Tires 235/85 R16 (G)

My signature has the truck info and I will add air bags when I get the camper.

I believe the drive train is the same for a 2500 and 3500 except overload springs and the air bags will correct that. What I don't know is the breaks, is the 2500 the same as the 3500?

So people, let me have the good, bad and ugly. I know some are moving this much with a 2500 like this and I would love to hear what your thoughts are.

The camper will be used mainly as a weekender, with one long trip during the year. We do travel light, so I won't be hitting the max with the camper. I would say a safe number would be 12700 as total camper weight. I am truly torn on this and need some info/advice before I spend the bucks. TIA for the help, and don't be gentle, tell me your thoughts.
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
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I am a new member on this forum, had heard that this is a great place for info and a lot of great people...so let the first question be a good one...

Looking at getting a 5th wheel and I believe I am in the area of overloading the truck but maybe not. These are the specs on the camper

Legends 37QB4S-H5
Total Dry Weight (UVW) 11600
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs) 2080
GVWR 14990
Fresh Water Tank Capacity (gal 63
Grey Water Tank Capacity 82
Black Water Tank Capacity (gal 41
LP Capacity (lbs) 60
Cargo Carrying Capacity 3390
Overall Length 39' 3"
Height 12' 10"
Width 8' 1"
Tires 235/85 R16 (G)

My signature has the truck info and I will add air bags when I get the camper.

I believe the drive train is the same for a 2500 and 3500 except overload springs and the air bags will correct that. What I don't know is the breaks, is the 2500 the same as the 3500?

So people, let me have the good, bad and ugly. I know some are moving this much with a 2500 like this and I would love to hear what your thoughts are.

The camper will be used mainly as a weekender, with one long trip during the year. We do travel light, so I won't be hitting the max with the camper. I would say a safe number would be 12700 as total camper weight. I am truly torn on this and need some info/advice before I spend the bucks. TIA for the help, and don't be gentle, tell me your thoughts.
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:17 PM   #3
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With a 2500 or 3500 SRW the rear axle will likely be the first thing you overload (or the gross vehicle weight rating- the sum of what the pickup's axles can weigh).

The hitch weight will likely be around 20% of the weight of the trailer. Add to that the weight of the hitch assembly, and the people and gear in the pickup and I think you will find yourself way overloaded...

It would be helpful to know what your truck weighs now (full of fuel, camping gear, and passengers) and what the gross vehicle weight rating is, so you know how much you have left for the hitch, and pin weight.

I believe the only difference between 2500 and 3500 is the overload springs, and the number on the door jamb. Air bags could serve the purpose of the overload springs, but won't change the lower gross vehicle weight rating on the door.

I guess the bottom line is that you will be quite a bit over your truck's rated capacity. I know people do that all the time, but personally I'd tow that with a dually that's within it's ratings. I think it would be more stable, safer and more pleasant to drive.


Anyway, welcome to the forums. I'm kind of in the same situation myself, thinking about getting a bigger trailer, so I'm thinking about a dually.
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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Yep, you are most likely overloaded on GVWR before you load up the trailer. On this type 5er, your loaded pin weight will be close to 20% of the trailer GVWR or 3000#.

This really puts you firmly into dual rear wheel range.

Welcome to iRV2.com. Sorry we are raining on your parade.

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Old 10-04-2007, 07:41 PM   #5
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To put it very simply - it seems that's an awfully big trailer to pull with a 3/4 ton truck. In addition to the weight I would be concerned with transmission capability, excessive brake wear, and enough engine power to pull it, especially on upgrades.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:44 AM   #6
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Welcome to a great group. Pat yourself on the back for asking such an important question. Most folks either just believe the sales people, or they have the "my truck will do anything" syndrone. RVing should be fun and not a "white knuckle driving event" struggling to tow with the wrong vehicle/trailer setup. Remember air bags do NOTHING to change the GVWR of the truck or the weight rating of the rear axle. They just change the loaded ride height.

The published dry weights of trailers are often way off because they seldom include the options added to that particular trailer. Insist that a trailer be put on some scales to verify the true weight before you purchase it.

SOME MINOR POINTS:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Your 3.73 gears are not optimal for heavy trailers. <LI>Auxillary transmission coolers always make sense with today's expensive transmissions. <LI>If you have a six foot bed, verify the fiver to truck's back window distance will work -or will you need a slider hitch? Eight foot beds seldom have that problem. <LI>Long wheelbase trucks pull long trailers better than shorter wheelbase trucks (although turning raduis suffers).[/list]
Also even if you manage to just be within the truck's weight ratings (which is unlikely without a one ton or larger DWR) it will be hard on the truck's life expectancy to be at, or close to, the weight limits. Trucks are expensive. Shortening their life is something to be avoided.

An easy first step is to load just the truck as if going camping (gear, fuel, people, stuff), go to a local scale and weigh it. Add the weight of a fiver hitch to that. Find your truck's weight ratings (individual axles, and total weight). Do the math to see how much pin weight can be added to the truck. Almost all the pin weight will go onto the rear axle since the pin is usually three inches or less forward of the rear axle center.

Then you find a trailer to fit your existing truck....or if you must have that trailer, find a truck to fit it.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:00 AM   #7
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This is a been there,done that answer. My last truck was a 2500HD Duramax/Allison. Net weight ready to camp minus the trailer was 7500 pounds. That left me with 1800 pounds of cargo carrying capacity before I exceeded the manufacturers GVWR. Scaled fully loaded with trailer in tow was 10,500 pounds. Clearly over the limits. And I knew it every mile of the way. I always felt that the trailer was pushing the truck around corners, and never was comfortable, even though I added new tires, air bags, etc. Switched to a dually pulling the same load and it is like night and day difference. Those that will tell you that it is OK to pull heavy don't have a clue what the difference is. Please do us and your pocketbook a favor and don't do it.
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:08 PM   #8
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Welcome to irv2.com! I calculated some figures using the information you posted. The actual pin weight percentage of the dry weights you posted is 18%. Assuming you load the trailer to its GVW evenly, the pin weight will be 2,698#-18% of the GVW. Using your "assumed" loading figure of 12,700#, the pin weight will be 2,286#.
I placed myself in the same position experienced by 450Donn. I used to have a 1996 Dodge CTD, BR2500HD. We traded for a new Grand Junction with a GVW of 15,500#. The truck would pull the 5er OK, but it felt as if the trailer was pushing the truck when cornering, big-time downhill, and side-winds. I traded it for a 2002 Chev D/A, K3500. Now towing is once-again pleasurable and relaxed. You may wish to use this fifth wheel weight calculator to confirm my calculations and reasoning.
Sure, GM says their 2500 D/A pickups have a maximum carrying capacity of up to 3,000#-but that is for a 2WD, std cab, no options, 150# driver, 1/4 tank fuel; nothing else! You must add your families weight total, hitch, and anything else you put in the truck.

Sorry for the bad news, but I applaud you for doing your homework before spending your money.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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What mods to the truck can be done to up the Max Trailer weight (F250) and GCWR. A dual rear tire GCWR rating only increases it by 500 lbs in my owners manual!

My max GAWR for the rear axel is 6100 lbs but it appears my max king pin weight after me, momma and the hitch is only about 1800 lbs.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:44 PM   #10
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Not sure about Dodge - and their web site is not much help - but I know that with Chevy, the difference between the 2500 and 3500 SRW's payload is only 500lbs - but with the DRW the 3500 boasts a 1700 lb difference. Since the drivetrains are the same between the two - the GCWR is the same so the only differences between the 2500 and 3500SRW is springs - or at least their rating. The DRW has a different axle and springs for it's higher rating.

As for what you can do with your truck - I would suggest a smaller TT with a lighter pin wt. I would also loose those oversized tires - they are reducing your effective torque. There is no way to increase the legal rating of your truck - overload and air bags are simply band-aids to make the truck ride level.

I do applaud you for seeking advice before buying something - and even more for not listening to the salesman.

BTW Chevy rates the DuraMax at 22,000lbs GCWR and in a 2500 and 3500SRW it can handle a average of a 14,000 lb fifth wheel - the 3500DRW can handle a 16,000 lb fifth wheel
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:21 PM   #11
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I have looked at the GVWR of 5ers at shows and I would be surprised if you can find a 5er over 30' long that will be near your truck's ratings. One issue not mentioned is your truck's ability to stop going down hill. I recommend you add an exhaust brake, I did to my old truck and it greatly helped control down hill speeds without using the brakes. I am currently planning the upgrades of my new truck to include an exhaust brake.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:25 PM   #12
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We bought our truck first so we would not be tempted to buy a rig above our tow capacity. It was a tool to: 1. control cost, and 2. to control :I want that" syndrome. It would be much safer if you went with a smaller rig more in line with the capacity of your current truck.

We still like the floorplan of our rig and we have never had any towing problems up or down mountains. The truck in a lower gear holds the trailer back, no mods necessary. We also have the 3.73 gear ratio. We were trying for the better gas mileage here. We get a consistent 10 MPG on flatland with small hills. Mountains are a different matter.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:06 PM   #13
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Bill and Nancy,

Your truck should do better than that. We had a 13,000# 5er and pulled it with our F350 DRW, 2002, 7.3L truck with a 4.10 axle. We consistently got 10 to 11 MPG running 65 to 70 MPH in rolling hills. We got an all time high of 11.9 MPG once when the weather was right at 30 dF.

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