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Old 03-22-2013, 10:37 AM   #1
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Lifted trucks and 5th-wheels

New to RV-ing and would like to know if anyone out there has a lifted 3/4 truck that pulls a 5th wheel? Have a 2012 lifted (5") Ram 2500 Mega Cab and would like to see if I can pull a 5th wheel without too many problems. Namely a toy hauler? Any suggestions?
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2. I'll move this thread to trailer towing and tow vehicles to give it more exposure. Cliff
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeater90 View Post
New to RV-ing and would like to know if anyone out there has a lifted 3/4 truck that pulls a 5th wheel? Have a 2012 lifted (5") Ram 2500 Mega Cab and would like to see if I can pull a 5th wheel without too many problems. Namely a toy hauler? Any suggestions?
First, don't believe a word the RV salesman says about whether you can tow it. Trailer (fifth-wheel) should be as level as possible when towed. Lift kit may cause a problem with that. Are you diesel or gas? What's your axle ratio? Do you have transmission cooler? The only way to know what you can tow is to do the weights. Truck's GVWR, Truck's rear axle weight rating, Truck's GCWR. Don't go by trailer dry weight; you'll put a lot of "stuff" in it; especially with a toy hauler. Don't forget that, in addition to towing "it", you also have to be able to safely stop it. Theres a lot of good info on this site. Do a search.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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Thanks dlovitt, sorry I did not post all of the ratings for my truck. It is the 6.7 cummins and I believe the 3.77 but will check. I think the 37" tires will also reduce the rating as well, at least that is some of the information I have been reading.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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That truck is set up for looks and not for towing. Toy Haulers are usually to big and heavy for 3/4 trucks. The pin weights are usually what will get you.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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Without even getting into the weights or gearing (yet), you need 6" minimum clearance between the truck's bed rails and the bottom of the 5th wheel's overhang when you're hitched up and towing - 8" to 9" if you're going off-road into rough terrain.

Although your truck is going to squat some with the pin weight of the 5th wheel, measure the height of your bed rails from the ground and add the required clearance. Now, go look at the 5th wheels that interest you - they should be pretty close to level sitting on the dealers' lots - and measure from the ground to the bottom of the overhang. I think your challenge will become pretty obvious.

Compounding this challenge is, if you manage to get the toy hauler high enough to tow level with adequate clearance, the loading ramp may be too short, may not be set up to hinge low enough to reach the ground, or may have an excessive breakover angle between the ramp and floor if you're towing on-road motorcycles.

My truck, ordered specifically for towing, is just about the opposite of yours. It's a 4x2 which is significantly lower than a 4x4, a 3500 dually with 4.10 gears, etc. and I had to make some adjustments to our 5th wheel from the previous truck to get adequate clearance. With our 5th wheel, there's no way it would clear your truck.

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Old 03-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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Best advice is to loose the lift and big tires and go back to stock. You can always raise the trailer with suspension mods, but that is lifting the center of gravity which will not help stability.

Ken
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:19 PM   #8
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Another disadvantage of lifting the trailer is that most toy haulers are already pretty tall. My KZ Stoneridge Sportster is 13' 3" to the top of the air-conditioners. If you raise the trailer, you'll have the handling issues already mentioned, and your heart will be in your throat every time you drive under an overpass. Also many campgrounds don't do a great job of trimming tree limbs to accommodate taller units.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:02 PM   #9
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Sure you can pull a toy hauler or a trailer of any kind however as some have mentioned the 37's and the lift create big issues. Check out our toy hauler forum, and other RV websites toy hauler forums, as many toy hauler owners use lifted trucks.

Looking at Dodge Body Builders Guide show a Mega Cab 6.7 with a 3.73 with stock 17" tires has around 11500 lbs up to 12500 lbs tow rating depending on the trucks configuration.

4.10 gears runs in the 14k lb tow rating.

Dodge shows around 9000 lbs with the 3.42 ratio.

Your 37" tall tires gears the truck at 60 mph like 3.08 gear ratio. Doing engine rpm numbers shows your around 2000 rpm in 3rd gear and 4th (OD) at around 1400 rpm at 60 mph. Both numbers are very low for towing duties.

Now as far as what size trailer can I pull .......... . I would say stick to something in the 10k-12k range. Just my opinion however do more research on other RV websites.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
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Thanks, everyone for the helpful information. Have been out looking and it is pretty obvious that the fifth wheel route might not be the best.... The side rails of the bed are at 64" and that pretty much rules out any fifth wheel in the weight range that I can tow. Looks like smaller, maybe 30-34' tongue pull might be way to go.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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I just went out and measured my truck (see signature) - 54". Even then, it's 13'2" to the top of the front A/C with the 5th wheel hitched up.

Rusty
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
That truck is set up for looks and not for towing. Toy Haulers are usually to big and heavy for 3/4 trucks. The pin weights are usually what will get you.
I have two sets of friends pulling 13,500 lb. (fully loaded for travel) 5th-wheels with 3/4 ton trucks with no problems at all. Engines and drivetrain are identical with 3/4 and 1-ton trucks so why should there be a difference? With a 17,000 lb. trailer load one does need DRW and these only are provided with the 1-ton models.

Take a look at how the king pin in the bed of a pickup mounts to the 5th-wheel trailer and the clearance needed at the sides of the beds (already higher on newer trucks). No doubt with modifications it can be done and though you are likely to go through U-joints like crazy the rest of the truck may be OK.

Good idea to get an in-bed auxilary tank while you are at it as the worst possible rig for fuel economy that I can imagine is a lifted truck with oversized tires pulling a 5th wheel trailer. But you cannot care about performance or you would not have lifted the truck and put the big tires on it in the first place.

The peak power band of the truck's engine was compromised with the larger diameter tires and this is also going to affect both fuel economy and towing performance with a heavy trailer. Should consider either changing the gears or going back to the stock tire size.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #13
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I have two sets of friends pulling 13,500 lb. (fully loaded for travel) 5th-wheels with 3/4 ton trucks with no problems at all. Engines and drivetrain are identical with 3/4 and 1-ton trucks so why should there be a difference?
The 3/4 ton truck has a lower GVWR and lower rear axle GAWR. That's an objective fact, and the subjective experience of those towing over their truck's ratings doesn't change the facts nor the sticker in the driver's door jamb.

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Old 03-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #14
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Your truck is not really suited for towing much over 5-6000lbs loaded with the 37's. Stock tires are 32+ in dia. You have 37's on now. That drops your rear gear ratio to 3.23. 3.42 is the lowest that Ram offers and that gives you a tow rating around 9000lbs. You'll be lugging big time starting off and running in 4th maybe 5th gear. You will be hurting going up hills/mtns and your mpg will suck big time, as you probably already noticed. I would ditch the 37's and go 35's as that will at least get you back to 3.42's and a 9000lb+ tow rating.
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