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Old 01-05-2006, 01:13 PM   #1
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With all the talk about maximum towing capacity that goes on in this forum I have a question I've been wondering about that I thought you experts would know.
I think it's Chevy that lists different towing capacities for trailers & 5th wheels. Doesn't seem like other mfr's do that. Why? Not just why does Chevy to it when the others don't but why are the numbers different on trailers than on 5th wheels? Without getting too "techno" on me, fella's. ok?
Sign me, "Curious in OH".
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Old 01-05-2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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With all the talk about maximum towing capacity that goes on in this forum I have a question I've been wondering about that I thought you experts would know.
I think it's Chevy that lists different towing capacities for trailers & 5th wheels. Doesn't seem like other mfr's do that. Why? Not just why does Chevy to it when the others don't but why are the numbers different on trailers than on 5th wheels? Without getting too "techno" on me, fella's. ok?
Sign me, "Curious in OH".
L-
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:04 PM   #3
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My guess would be to sell more trucks.
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Old 01-05-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
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I think the reason is that when towing a 5er approx. 20% of the weight is on the tow vehicle, which gives it much more stability, traction-for both going and stopping, and this arrangement is the same as OTR semi-tractor/trailer units.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:10 PM   #5
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With a TT the tounge wt is about 10 to 15% of the total wt. while the pin wt of a 5er is in the 20 to 25% range. The towing capacity of a truck is determined by taking the CGWR (usually determined by the drivetrain) and subtracting the curb wt of a typical truck plus a 150lb driver from it. In the fine print there are usually things about not exceeding the GVWR or the GAWR. Who reads the fine print GM simply adjusted the tow ratings for towing 5th wheels to account for the higher pin wt. so as not to exceed the axle rating.

When it comes to all this weight stuff things get complicated. Too many mfgs are fudging numbers to stay one step ahead of the competition. RV mfgs try to make the rig look as light as possible while truck mfgs try to make thier rigs look they can tow the world. Couple these two facts together and you have a high potential for trouble.
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Old 01-06-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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If I am not mistaken, they normally list a higher rating for 5th wheels. My initial guess is that 5th wheels are more stable to tow.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:01 PM   #7
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Take a look at the towing guide that came with this months Trailer Life Mag. It has ratings for all trucks pulling both TT and 5er's. And yes, the 5er is much more stable than a TT. I know the Hensley Arrow allows the TT to pull very nicely, but people who use that setup is a very small number compaired to what's out there.

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Old 01-09-2006, 08:47 PM   #8
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Yes, being more stable is great, but just because it is more stable does not give it more towing capacity - GVWR and GAWRs are there for a reason.
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:06 PM   #9
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I sent a message direct to Chevrolet on their website. Let's see what the other "experts" have to say. They should know, right?
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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As some have said, yes it does mean that in most cses you can tow a bigger 5vr than a TT. And as most have tried to explain, to no avail. The reason is GCWR is set for each truck no matter what you are pulling and then there is GVWR, which takes into account the truck, the payload, the passengers, and the other crap we through in there. Now you put all of htis crap together and you really have a big mess. Most trucks are OVER weight when take all of this into consideration and actually have the TT or 5VR weighed. All said and done if you follow the mfg states then you are safer and within what they know is safe for there truck.
Pick out the TT or 5VR and then go and buy a truck that states it can handle what yo want to tow. Whatever you do, don't trust the RV dealer becuase they will tell yo that you can tow a 155vr with a 1/2 ton pickup. Also don't fully trust the sticker they install inside the TT/5VR because it only tells you what the empty before any options weight is.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:39 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think it's Chevy that lists different towing capacities for trailers & 5th wheels. Doesn't seem like other mfr's do that. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Take a look at the towing guide that came with this months Trailer Life Mag. It has ratings for all trucks pulling both TT and 5er's. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Both Chevy and Ford show towing capability broken down by "conventional" and "fifth wheel." Dodge is the only one that doesn't break down their towing capability this way...they have just one number. At least this is true in both the Dodge truck brochure and the Trailer Life Towing Guide.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:39 AM   #12
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The real answer is most factory reciever hitches included with tow packages have a 10K or 12K rating. This is the limiting factor for tariler vs fifth wheel applications
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Old 01-18-2006, 04:25 PM   #13
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I was just sitting back and waiting for someone to come up with the answer. themisfitking has the right answer you can get a fifth wheel hitch that is rated at 25 thousand lbs. but like he said most reciever have 10K or 12K lbs. rating. The two numbers will not show unless the truck can tow a trailer of 10K to 12K lbs or more. This would mean a GCWR of 17K or more.

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Old 01-18-2006, 10:05 PM   #14
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And you can also put that hitch in a 1/2T PU too.
You can also get larger reciever hitches.
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