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Old 05-11-2009, 05:30 PM   #15
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re the bigger is better or "Yeah, sometimes overkill is the best kill." (which is a different issue than the legal threats and such)

The first item to note is that there isn't any inherent advantage to having a tow vehicle that can handle a much larger RV than you use. There are many reasons for having the right sized vehicle but 'right sized' can depend upon your preferences, use patterns, and auxiliary needs.

There has been a lot of improvement in suspensions in recent years but a bigger truck does not usually ride as smooth as a lighter one - this is especially the case when comparing standard pickups.

Larger physical size can have its drawbacks as well. Longer wheelbases are good for on the road stability but at a cost of turning radius in cramped campgrounds. Getting into and out of some trucks can be a challenge for some folks as well.

Then there is the matter of cost. Running a larger rig usually means lower fuel efficiency and higher capital and maintenance costs.

The fun part is that you can choose what suits you and your needs and the way you like to do things.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:23 PM   #16
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Off the topic of weights....

You might consider an "ultra-light" or "super-lite" fifth wheel. Many claim to be "half ton toweable" which is a bunch of bs, but it definitely puts them in the range of my 3/4 ton diesel.

I was towing a 34 foot super lite (9000-some lbs gvw) with my dodge 2500. My actual hitch weight was around 1800 lbs, well within my limits, and I was nowhere near my GCVWR. I was able to tow well with no problems and very little (if any) sway on the interstate.

Just a thought if you like the 3/4 ton class, there are plenty of fivers for that size truck.

Mine was a Jayco Eagle Super-lite. Beautiful camper. Forest river makes some products also with a super-lite class.

Good luck, let us know what you decide on!
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:29 AM   #17
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So I am working on taking the plunge and buying a fifth wheel, having sold my TT. My F150 is down the road and I have been truck shopping. Looking at 3-4 year old diesels, I find the price difference between a 2500 and 3500 is minimal. My instinct says to go for the bigger one, but what am I sacrificing in ride, mileage, maneuverability, etc? I am looking strictly at extended cab long bed 4X4's as we do enjoy four wheeling in the high country and I don't want to need a city block to turn around in. I am looking at trailers from 28'-30', with empty weight of 7580 and a gross of 15,000. Great site with lots of helpful folks! Lovin' it!

If you are asking about SRW 3/4 vs. 1 ton trucks, there is nothing different but the weight rating. They ride, drive, and get the same ecconomy! Of course I am talking about Fords.
Now if you are going to upgrade to a DRW there are differences.

Oh, wait, one the '00 thru at least '05 F250 only had a 2" block vs F350 have a 4" block on the rear axle. Makes the rear end sit a little higher. This is on the 4X4's.

You got rid of a 1/2 ton ford (f150), but now are looking at 2500/3500 what? chevy/dodge? Maybe they have some minor differences, don't know.

You mention you 4X4 in the high country, Me too!! and a Crew Cab long bed is llllooonnnggg! But a extended cab long bed is not that much shorter and you loose the back seat room, if you don't need it, ext cabs are cheaper.

For a 30' 5th, I don't know of too many that really have a GVWR of much more than 12k lbs, with that being said, you can easily get by with an 3/4 ton if thats what you find.

Good luck with your search and happy camping.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:19 AM   #18
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The original poster has a fundamental decision to make - does he want to tow an RV within applicable manufacturer ratings or not? If so, then I would suggest the following which was developed by iRV2.com member Ken Lenger as required reading - RV and Tow Vehicle Weights. Please note the link to an Excel spreadsheet at the bottom of this document that will make all the necessary calculations if appropriate data is loaded. If not, then what RV he buys and what he uses to tow it becomes a subjective decision.

IIRC, the RV under consideration was an Excel 5th wheel. These are full-time units which are not light. It would be interesting to know what the GVWR is on the Excel unit he's considering.

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Old 05-14-2009, 09:30 AM   #19
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As noted, Excels tend to be heavy and have high pin weights.

And there is a real difference between any 3/4 ton and a 1 ton dually. The difference is the dually has the axles, springs and tires to carry much higher pin weights. At some point you are forced out of a SRW into a DRW due to weight if you want to stay within ratings.

When we had the 5er, I was over my truck limits on a GCWR but was under on GVWR and pin weight. It is a decision each person has to make once they evaluate the numbers.

While there is a large group of folks that go with the premise that an F250 and an F350 (SRW) are the same except for the 2" blocks, they are overlooking the rating tag stamped on the door sticker.

There is the question of some sharp lawyer going after you if in a accident for knowingly operating a vehicle above it's rated limits.

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Old 05-14-2009, 02:54 PM   #20
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And there is a real difference between any 3/4 ton and a 1 ton dually. The difference is the dually has the axles, springs and tires to carry much higher pin weights. At some point you are forced out of a SRW into a DRW due to weight if you want to stay within ratings.


Ken

There is no argument about SRW vs DRW. But he wants to buy a truck to 4x4 in, thats not a DRW.

So back to are there any real differences between a SRW 3/4 and 1 ton, NO!
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:09 PM   #21
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The answer is simple, buy a motorhome!
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:32 PM   #22
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So back to are there any real differences between a SRW 3/4 and 1 ton, NO!
I beg to differ. Axle capacity, frame rail size and capacity, brake capacity, steering gear capacity, engine/transmission availability, among several more differences can/will be very different between a 3/4 and 1 ton SRW. You don't gain a quarter ton by just changing labels.

So the question goes back to what does the poster mean by "real" differences, because I see lots of "real" differences some of which may not "matter" to the poster's intended use.
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:50 PM   #23
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I beg to differ. Axle capacity, frame rail size and capacity, brake capacity, steering gear capacity, engine/transmission availability, among several more differences can/will be very different between a 3/4 and 1 ton SRW. You don't gain a quarter ton by just changing labels.

.......
Not in Ford's trucks, at least in the 2001+ early years that I was comparison shopping - Almost Everything was identical.
The 2 vs. 4" blocks as previosly mentioned AND the rating label on the drivers inside door were different. And an extra spring on the rear leafs too i think. That aint a whole lot.

and a lot of this conversation i believe is important for someone who is 4-wheeling and looking at trucks. It is a valuable conversation.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:35 AM   #24
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You don't gain a quarter ton by just changing labels.

With Ford this is the case, that is '99 on up. As I mentioned before I do not know about dodge, nor will I ever!!!!
I am getting educated about the Chevy, that will be my next truck! Although, the new fords are a good looking truck, I want the chevy comfort that I enjoy in our tahoes.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:39 AM   #25
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The answer is simple, buy a motorhome!

You know, this is exactly what I am thinking, instead of towing the jeep wrangler behind the 5th, just tow behind a class A!!!! I just need to wait until my 5th needs to be replaced, as I am not going to try to sell in this down market.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:52 AM   #26
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If you sell and then buy in a down market, the $$$ difference will be a wash. Now ideally you need to buy in the down market and then wait and sell in an up market...Never seems to work that wya though.

Ken
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:22 AM   #27
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On the 3rd generation Dodge trucks drw and srw are the same axle, same brakes, same suspension same frame. How adding two more wheels increases gross vehicle weight ratings beats me. But reading the specs the drw has a higher gross weight rating. In my opinion what's relevant in a situation like this is what can the tow vehicle safely stop? Since all the individual components are the same, how do you really make a determination. It would almost seem that tow ratings are at the whim of the manufacurer. I wish there were some standard by which we all could see what makes the difference in a larger GVWR. Like thicker axle tubes, larger diameter rear axle, larger rear bearings, larger brake calipers and rotors, and heavier suspension components in a drw vs a srw. Its just not that logical.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:15 PM   #28
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In my case, the duals @ 55 psi will carry more than the axle rating. If I had singles @ max pressure they will be @ max axle rating. Two more tires on the road will give more traction for braking.
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