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Old 02-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #1
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Need help deciding

Hi,

Need help deciding which size of truck we should get to pull a 5th Wheel. We're looking at 34' or longer.

We have seen a GMC Sierra HD 2500 and a Dodge Ram Laramie. Would also consider any other brand that makes a diesel.

Another puzzler is that the Dodge trucks all say they have the same Maximum towing capabilites of 22,750 lbs. If that's the case...why pay more for the larger truck?

Thanks for any help
Barbara
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
Another puzzler is that the Dodge trucks all say they have the same Maximum towing capabilites of 22,750 lbs. If that's the case...why pay more for the larger truck?
I don't know where you're getting your information, but it's incorrect. Manufacturer's maximum towing capacity (a fictitious number, by the way, as I'll explain) is calculated as the truck's gross combination weight rating (GCWR) minus the truck's curb weight. The GCWRs of Dodge trucks will vary depending on axle ratio (3.42, 3.73 or 4.10 are all available on the 6-speed automatic-equipped trucks), manual versus automatic transmission, wheelbase, 2500 versus 3500, SRW versus DRW, etc. Curb weights also vary dramatically between truck models, 2WD versus 4WD, etc.

The 22,750 lbs towing capacity you speak of is only applicable to the MaxTow package, and the MaxTow package is only available on a 3500 dual rear wheel (DRW, or dually) truck and includes the Cummins HO diesel, 68RFE automatic transmission and 4.10 axle ratio. In addition, it includes supplemental transmission and rear axle cooling and other key differences.

The official source for Dodge Ram truck technical information is Dodge Bodybuilder's Guide. This is a huge interactive PDF file that will give you the detailed information once you select the year, model, cab and bed configuration, 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive, etc. for the particular truck you're interested in.

In addition, Dodge (and, for that matter, all the other big 3 truck manufacturers) specifies that none of the truck's other ratings are to be exceeded when towing. This includes the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the gross axle weight ratings for the front and rear axle (GAWRs). These will vary significantly between the 2500 and 3500 trucks, SRW versus DRW, 2WD versus 4WD, cab and bed configuration, etc. as you'll see in the Dodge Bodybuilder's Guide.

As I mentioned earlier, the manufacturer's trailer tow rating is a fictitious number for the following reasons:

1. It is based on a base truck with no options, no accessories and only a 150 lb driver. The actual curb weight will be significantly higher on a real world truck with driver, passengers, pets, cargo, 5th wheel hitch and other accessories (such as an in-bed toolbox, auxiliary fuel tank, etc.). Every additional pound of curb weight is a pound that comes off of the trailer tow rating.

2. The manufacturer's trailer tow rating ignores the GVWR and GAWR ratings. On single rear wheel trucks towing 5th wheels, it's commonplace to exceed the GVWR long before the GCWR or manufacturer's trailer tow rating is even remotely approached.

There are a number of tools in the Sticky message at the top of this Towing and Tow Vehicles forum to assist you in sizing a truck and 5th wheel or conventional-hitch RV trailer. Above all, don't go by any smoke and mirrors you'll get from a truck or RV salesman to the effect that, "Sure, you can tow anything I have on the lot with your truck" or "Yes' ma'am, this truck can tow ANY RV." Unfortunately, they're not engineers, they're just trying to move an RV or truck off the lot.

Good luck in your search and please post back with any more specific questions you might have.


Rusty
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Over the years I have towed and hauled heavy loads with 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton trucks. I can tell you without a doubt that a 1 ton dually with an OEM tow package will give you greater stability, stronger, more controlled breaking and overall on road safety than any 3/4 ton for heavy load towing. No one can tell you which brand to buy. My best advise is to research recall notices for the big three and talk to owners of each brand and what issues they have had. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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If you go with a Diesel Dually you will be set to haul just about anything except those Triple Axle 40 foot plus monsters. A dually will give you the stability and pin weight capacity for just about anything. Once you get used to the dually they're no harder to drive and park than anything else. Just takes getting used too. On our second one and wouldn't tow with anything less, but also not interested in getting into the MDT range either.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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A Ford/GM/Ram 2500 truck will be limited to around 2500-2700 lbs for a wet pin weight depending on truck configuration. 2500 trucks have a small 6000-6200 RAWR. The heavier the truck (4x4/crew cab/etc) the less axle weight it can safely carry.

The GM and Ford one ton SRW have a much higher (7000 lbs) rear axle wight capacity and may safely carry 3000-3200 lbs of wet pin weight. Heavier trucks carry less weight. The SRW Dodge was left at the starting gate with a weak 6200 RAWR/tires/wheels/springs package from the '90s era. Poor marketing strategy on Dodges part.

Any of the one ton DRW trucks with their 9000 to 9375 RAWR can safely carry up to 6500 lbs depending on the trucks configuration.

I would stay with the manufactures tow rating numbers determined by each trucks configuration.

Ford and GM both have a excellent website for determining tow rating and payload numbers. The GM web has a weight calculator that will figure in every option for a particular truck. http://http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/dmdindex.htm
and
http://https://www.fleet.ford.com/tr...bodybuild.html
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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They'll all "pull" fine, but you'll need a dually to handle the pin weight of a heavy 5th wheel.

Also, your actual tow capacity for a 5th wheel is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow (add pin weight and everything in the truck).
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
Need help deciding which size of truck we should get to pull a 5th Wheel. We're looking at 34' or longer.
The best seller inthat size recently has been the Keystone Montana. The model 3400RL has a GVWR of 15,640. (Always use the GVWR of the RV to determine the weight you will probably be dragging). At the typical 18 percent pin weight, you'll have about 2,815 pounds of hitch weight.

So you need a tow vehicle with enough available unused payload to handle almost 3,000 pounds of hitch weight and enough GCWR to tow a 16,000 pound trailer.

Quote:
We have seen a GMC Sierra HD 2500 and a Dodge Ram Laramie. Would also consider any other brand that makes a diesel.

Regardless of brand, none of the three-quarter ton pickups with single rear wheels will be enough truck for that trailer. So start thinking "one ton dually".
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:56 PM   #8
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After a few hours break for honey do stuff, I came back to edit my post. But IRV2 had already completed the time allowed for ordinary members to edit their posts, so I'll have to start a new post.

Quote:
So you need a tow vehicle with enough available unused payload to handle almost 3,000 pounds of hitch weight and enough GCWR to tow a 16,000 pound trailer.
That sounds simple, but it requires some knowledge to get it right. For the truck I'll assume the most popular - CrewCab 4x4 diesel.

Here's the trailer:
http://www.keystone-montana.com/index.php?page=floorplans&coast=&model=3400RL

The required dually tow vehicle will weigh about 9,000 to 10,000 pounds when wet and ready for the road. That includes everything that will be in the truck when wet and loaded for the road - people, tools, extra fluids and parts, maybe a pet or two, and options such as bedliner.And of course you're not going anywhere without a 5er hitch installed. Call it 10,000 to be sure. Add almost 3,000 pounds pin weight and you need a tow vehicle with a GVWR of almost 13,000 pounds.

For a 16,000 pound fifth wheel towed by a 10,000 pound pickup, that's a total GCWR of 26,000 pounds.

Enter the 2012 Ford F-350 diesel with dual real wheels (DRW). It has a GVWR of 13,000 pounds, so it meets that test. It has a GCWR of 30,000 pounds, so it more than meets that test.

Back up a notch to the F-350 with single rear wheels (SRW) you really would rather have, and what are the numbers?

GVWR = 11,500. Nope, not enough. The SRW will be about 500 pounds lighter than the DRW, but that still leaves a 1,000 pound shortfall in payload capacity.

GCWR = 23,500. Nope, we need over 25,000.

So that SRW pickup is too light in the britches to tow your trailer. And that's the heaviest-duty Ford SRW available in 2012. And the heaviest-duty SRW pickups of the other brands are probably not any stronger.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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Like Smokey and Rusty noted above. You need to be looking a 1 ton duallies and still watch which tow packages they have.

Ken
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