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Old 01-25-2011, 09:12 AM   #1
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Newbie Help (again)

Hello Oh Wise and Knowledgeable Ones.

I am a newbie, sorta. We've been towing a TT up and down the east coast for the last 5 years with my Chevy Express 1500 Conversion Van. 3 years ago, we bought a 36' 5er (2009 Silverback 35L4QB that I LOVE) that has been acting as our summer home. We're thinking about maybe buying a truck to start pulling it on vacation.

Reading through this forum, I am realizing that there are a BUNCH of things that I don't know about pulling a 5th Wheel. So I have to learn all the important things about pulling a 5er so that I can buy the right truck.

Help! Does anyone have a good resource (like a "Towing 5th Wheels for Dummies," book or some such) that they'd recommend? I know the basics (according to the factory my 5er's GVWR is 15500, the hitch weight is 1825 and it's 34.58' long and 8' wide). But I don't know ANYTHING about pickup trucks. I'm thinking I'm going to need a diesel dually. I've got 3 kids, so crew cab is gonna be a must. I'd like to buy a used truck, 'cause it'll ONLY be used for pulling this trailer and the once or twice a year I need to haul something. But I know nothing of tire ratings, hitches, bed sizes, axle ratings, etc., etc., etc.

I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy and can learn pretty quickly, I just need the right people to point me to the right resources.



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Old 01-25-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are on the right tract. You will need 350/3500 Min. Personally I would go bigger as your 5er will max out the 1T. You don't want to drive something that will demand your constant attention.


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Old 01-25-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2. You hitch weight will be well over the 1825# once loaded. Actually it will be closer to 20% of the GVWR or over 3000#. You are solid into 1 ton dually range.

You will see a fair number of 3/4 ton trucks pulling that size trailer, but they are over the trucks ratings and probably don't care.

A Dually or DRW will handle the trailer much better and be more comfortable.

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Old 01-25-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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I agree, Diesel Dually would be your best bet. As mentioned, many will say you can tow with less, but then you get into the safety factor. Towing a 5er is really easier than a TT, just takes a little time as there are some differences. You'll need to swing a little wider on righ hand turns to keep the 5er from hitting the curb. With the right hitch they're easier and quicker to connect and disconnect. There are lots of towing treads on this and other forums. Good Luck
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:08 AM   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forum first.

I have attached a link to the Dodge Builder's .com web site. This provides some of the information that I think you asked for and need.
This is for the MY 2008. The site list max trailer weight, GCVW and such.
I have also attached the technical specifications for the same year truck.

One of the question you asked is tire rating. Most 3/4 and 1 ton trucks have E rated tires for load carrying ability. You do not want to use P rated tires or C/D rated tires, on the use truck if you where to buy one. Some times people who never tow or load their trucks will tend to get by on less costly tires.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:27 AM   #6
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Whether the truck is going to be a daily driver or just used for towing it will need to be able of safely handling the load. You will probably be best served by a 1T with Dual rear wheels and a diesel engine. If you are able to find a used truck that was once used for towing, it should be equipped to handle the load. That said, older diesel engines do not have the torque or HP of the newer ones that are turbocharged. There are also years where both Ford and GM had issues with their engines. Just as a point of discussion, a brand new 2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD 4wd DRW SLE package with DMax and Allison tranny + some nice extras is around 55,000. This truck should tow your 5th wheel like it is not even there - for more reviews google "rumble in the rockies" where the latest from Ford and Chevy were put to the test on I70 near the Eisenhower Tunnel.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thanks folks, lots of great advice and resources here! I'll keep y'all up to date as I look for a truck!
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:18 PM   #8
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Tow Vehicle/Trailer Calculations Demonstrator
might be quite useful for properly and safely matching a prospective tow vehicle to your present 5er.

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