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Old 04-01-2016, 08:30 PM   #1
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Old Topic, 2500 or 3500

I know this has been hashed over numerous times. I am looking at a new 5th wheel with an advertised dry pin weight of 2,520 lbs. I know my current F250s GARW would so close to max or be exceeded at 6,080 lbs. when loaded. I am looking at the Ford & Dodge 2500/3500s and I am finding little difference between them. Ford's 3500 has an extra leaf spring, Dodge 2500 has coil springs & leaf springs on the 3500.

I see a lot of Dodge 2500s pulling large 5th wheels, how do the coil springs handle the tongue weight?
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:08 PM   #2
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If you're getting a new truck and going to pull a 5th with 2500 pin weight, just get a 3500 DRW 4x4 and be done with it. It won't be fun at the mall but on the highway with that 5er it will get the job done and the trip will be a breeze.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:24 AM   #3
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Guess I'll agree with Highway on this one... Thats quite a bit of "DRY" pin weight... If its anything like our 5th wheel, all the storage is up front. So all our heavy stuff, tool box, 50 amp cord, drinking water, etc goes up front which adds to the pin weight. Bigger is better in alot of cases...
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:42 AM   #4
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Just because you see lot's 2500 pulling large 5th wheels does not mean that is good. I see overloaded 2500's almost everytime I am on a freeway. Just cause they are pulling large 5th wheels does not mean they are setup properly. Many are at or over max weight. But a lot of guys do it because they "see it all the time, so it must be ok".
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:58 AM   #5
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3500 territory.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:06 AM   #6
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Just because you see lot's 2500 pulling large 5th wheels does not mean that is good. I see overloaded 2500's almost everytime I am on a freeway. Just cause they are pulling large 5th wheels does not mean they are setup properly. Many are at or over max weight. But a lot of guys do it because they "see it all the time, so it must be ok".
+1. RV manufacturers bad at encouraging this. Get the latest DRV brochure and look at the back page. Its an Elite Suites (the heavy one) behind a F-350 SRW. The photo is so badly faked that truck's rear suspension isn't even compressed. The fine print says its not the recommended truck, so why is it in the picture?

Truck camper manufacturers are even worse. Campers that are almost 4000 lbs dry are recommended for an F-250, and a huge three slide camper that was over 5000 lbs dry was shown on an F-350 SRW.

I can understand trying it with a truck you already own, but if you're buying new, the discussion should be 350/3500 SRW vs DRW, not 250/2500 vs 350/3500.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #7
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+1. RV manufacturers bad at encouraging this. Get the latest DRV brochure and look at the back page. Its an Elite Suites (the heavy one) behind a F-350 SRW. The photo is so badly faked that truck's rear suspension isn't even compressed. The fine print says its not the recommended truck, so why is it in the picture?

Truck camper manufacturers are even worse. Campers that are almost 4000 lbs dry are recommended for an F-250, and a huge three slide camper that was over 5000 lbs dry was shown on an F-350 SRW.

I can understand trying it with a truck you already own, but if you're buying new, the discussion should be 350/3500 SRW vs DRW, not 250/2500 vs 350/3500.
+1 for both!
I used a Chev 2500 to pull our new to us last summer 5th and it did it with no problem and hardly any sag. I had to get a new truck this winter and decided to get a Ram for the Cummins, then got reading this website and another about GVW and axle weights. My sticker says I have payload of 2000 lbs, and my 5th has a GVW of 10,000, so I will be very close. But, in weighing my truck, it weighs about 8800 lbs and my GVW is 9900 lbs, so I really only have 1100 lbs payload capacity, NOT 2000! Whereas a similar Ram 3500 would have more like 4000 payload capacity, or GVW of 12000 lbs for SRW. Or, if you don't need/want the diesel, that will give you about an extra 1000 lbs payload going with a gas engine. Wishing I would have bought a 3500, but kinda stuck with the 2500 to get some of my investment back, ha-ha.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:13 PM   #8
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+1. RV manufacturers bad at encouraging this. Get the latest DRV brochure and look at the back page. Its an Elite Suites (the heavy one) behind a F-350 SRW. The photo is so badly faked that truck's rear suspension isn't even compressed. The fine print says its not the recommended truck, so why is it in the picture?

Truck camper manufacturers are even worse. Campers that are almost 4000 lbs dry are recommended for an F-250, and a huge three slide camper that was over 5000 lbs dry was shown on an F-350 SRW.

I can understand trying it with a truck you already own, but if you're buying new, the discussion should be 350/3500 SRW vs DRW, not 250/2500 vs 350/3500.

IMHO, this same line of reasoning should be applied to the drive train gearing as well. Do a few rpm/mph calculations that will place the engine rpm at or a little above max torque when at cruising speed. There are always lower gears, but what has always been important to me is to get the cruising rpm where the engine will be most efficient. That is where it will be running most of the time.

Unless you want a dully, It could be worth while to research the actual difference between the 250 and 350 of your choice. In a previous discussion like this a poster determined that with the vehicle in question the only difference was rear overload springs. These could be added at any time if that is the case. On my W250 Dodge Cummins the only difference was springs and brakes. I already had the PU and a 4300 lb camper so I simply upgraded those items.

Just my 2c.

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Old 04-02-2016, 12:25 PM   #9
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I figured out which 5th wheel I wanted then matched the truck to it. Ended up with an F350. Went gas instead of diesel just because it is also a daily driver to and from work. Love my setup. A little rough empty but we'll worth it when pulling.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:27 PM   #10
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Or, if you don't need/want the diesel, that will give you about an extra 1000 lbs payload going with a gas engine. Wishing I would have bought a 3500, but kinda stuck with the 2500 to get some of my investment back, ha-ha.
That's the case for 250/2500 trucks because they're limited to 10k GVWR for legal reasons, not necessarily mechanical ones. The rear GAWR is the same for both the gas and diesel models, so they can physically handle the roughly same pin weight.

For a 350/3500 SRW, there's little difference in rated payload between a diesel and gas truck because the engine is mostly on the front axle.

For DRW trucks, the 14k GVWR legal limit can reduce the max payload on diesel versions.
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Old 04-02-2016, 03:03 PM   #11
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Thanks to all who have posted.

I see the 3/4 tons pulling 5th wheels all the time, most of the time I have to believe they are exceeding the weight limits of their trucks. After reading and asking questions on iRV2 I know my current truck will not be enough truck to handle the 5th wheel we want (still undecided). I want to stay with the SRW and have been leaning towards a 3500 long bed truck.

What confuses me are the weight ratings between the Ford 2500 & 3500, they are virtually the same for the Super Cab, so why buy the 3500 that will cost me more at purchase & higher weight fees every year I register it? If I go with the Ford I would get the Super Cab, that is why I keep beating my head on the difference between the two.

There is a difference with the 2500 Ford Crew Cab and the 3500 Crew Cab, not sure why, but it makes sense to go with the 3500.
The local Ford sales people don't know what I know about the towing capacities of their trucks and I know very little (obvious).

Looking at the RAM's specs I see a difference across the board based on axle ratio and GVWR, and I would go with the 3500 Crew Cab.

Again, I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 04-02-2016, 03:08 PM   #12
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The F250 and F350 are basically the exact same except the F350 has larger overloads. The 5th wheel tow capacity is the same. I just made sure to keep the 5th wheel weight below 12000 lbs and I am not overloaded and have plenty of truck.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:38 PM   #13
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9750 is the rating on rear axle 3500. You can go over that on a dually too. I did with our Teton. We need 25% pin weight to tow correct.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:46 PM   #14
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A typical F-250 has a GVWR of 10,000lbs. while a F-350 has a GVWR of 11,500lbs. These trucks currently weigh approx 7,700 lbs.

So for a F-250 that already weighs 7,700lbs only leaves 2,300lbs of carrying capacity.

A F-350 will probably weigh 150lbs more but with a GVWR of 11,500 will leave 3,650 lbs of carrying capacity.

The only 5th wheels that a F-250 should carry are the really small ones to stay within the GVWR.

Most 3/4 ton trucks towing 5th wheels are towing over the GVWR of their truck.
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