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Old 04-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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Ordered the 5th Wheel - Now the Truck

Well, we took the plunge and ordered our first 5th wheel last Saturday. We are now deep into getting the right diesel powered truck.
The numbers we have from the brochure for the 5ver are:

Unloaded Vehicle Wt. (W/O Water) 12,180
Hitch Weight (W/O Water) 2,650
Weight on Axle 9,530
Combined Axle Weight Rating 12,000
Payload Capacity 2,420
Maximum GVWR 15,000

We have visited Ken Lengerís site and have downloaded his spreadsheet - great information - and we think we have a pretty good grasp of the issues: the figures in brochures (trucks and 5th wheels) are to be taken with a grain of salt and when it comes to the truck, err on the side of, better too big than too small. We will definitley be weighing our rig, but since we don't have either the truck or 5ver yet, we don't want to make a mistake on the truck to buy.

We have probably decided against a ĺ ton but would welcome any one's thoughts about a ĺ ton based on the numbers above.

We are researching F350, Dodge Ram 3500, Chevy & GMC 3500 - all with 2WD - SRW. We are looking at 2011 but might look at 2009 and 2010 too. We are having trouble finding GCWR, curb weight and payload numbers for various trucks.

Does anyone know of a good website that has reliable numbers for all the trucks?

Also, does it sound like we are in the correct range? A recent year, one ton 2WD SRW?

Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated.

-- Dan & Deb --

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Old 04-12-2011, 09:13 PM   #2
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Here is Dodge's bodybuilder's guide. You can pick the year and configuration of your candidate trucks, then look in the towing section for the ratings.

With a 15,000 lb GVWR 5th wheel, you may be putting 3,000 lbs or more on the truck as hitch weight when you get the trailer loaded. The 3500 is a good choice, but you may be in dually territory to get the GVWR you need.

At any rate, you can get the numbers at the link I posted for both the SRW and DRW trucks and plug them into Ken's spreadsheet. The numbers will tell the tale.


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Old 04-13-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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At minimum you will need/want a 1 ton dually. A fiver with 15K GVWR can have a pin weight north of 3000 pounds, very possible as much as 4000 pounds. So any less you will only buying yourself a bad full of stress. While hitching that large of a fiver behind a 3/4 ton or 1 ton SRW for that matter is technically feasible, trying to tow down the road can have your tires/wheels/axle over loaded. At minimum your springs will be stressed to the max. Which will effect your trucks handling. MAking for a miserable travel experience.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:12 AM   #4
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I agree with the other two poster above and you defiantly need a 1 ton pick-up truck. I would also say with that size of camper and pin weight you will need a dually 1 ton to be have the stability that you will feel safe in towing with. A SRW will work but you will have the ability to go to a larger 5er down the road with out buying another truck, if you go to a larger 5er in the future.
My only other suggestion is to get a decent brake controller such as a Brakesmart brake controller.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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With as much weight on the pin as you'll have, I agree with the others in saying you should look for a 1t dually. It's just my opinion, but if you have a blow out on a SRW truck, you've got only 1 other tire carrying that weight. With a dually, if 1 tire blows, at least you have 3 others. In this bad case scenario, 3 is better than 1.

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #6
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One ton dually for sure...you'll need all that cargo capacity for the pin weight. Also, there is no such thing as "combined axle weight rating."
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cat320 View Post
Also, there is no such thing as "combined axle weight rating."
I believe they're reffering to two 6k lb axles, for a combined weight of 12k. Add in the 25% pin weight, ie 3k, and viola, you have the 15k gwr.

I agree that a properly equipped 1t srw might handle it, but a drw will be more comfortable.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:05 PM   #8
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I also concur with the rest of the crowd - a 1T DRW truck - Dodge, Ford, or GM. Take a look at this Chevy vs. Ford in Heavy-Duty Rumble in the Rockies - PickupTrucks.com News as well as some of the other expert and consumer reviews on the site. Overall I think all three trucks will do the job for you - it will come down to things like ride quality and interior likes/dislikes and perhaps pricing. I think a lot of people would agree that the ideal truck would be a combination of the best features of all three - the Cummins engine, Allison transmission, GM ride, Ford interior etc.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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I can't remember the website, but there is one displaying all the HD pickups W/ ratings for towing and hauling. On a lighter note, you might want a First Look: 2012 Cadillac DRW Platinum Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck - April Fools! - PickupTrucks.com News
if you wish to travel in style.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. A single rear wheel 1 ton might get by, if you watch your weights. Some folks will tell you to go strictly by the trucks GAWR on the rear. I disagree as you also need to stay under GVWR.

I would go ahead and plan on a 1 ton dually. Ford and GM both require DEF (diesel exhaust fluid or urea) to control emissions. Another tank to keep filled. Dodge uses and exhaust regeneration.

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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Thanks for your responses + Exhaust Brake?

Wow! A dually is not what I wanted to hear, but then again, itís exactly what I wanted to hear - knowledgeable opinions and advice from experienced people who have already been down this path! And everyone seems to be in agreement - a 1 ton dually. That's what we will start looking at. We plan to check out the Dodge dealers this weekend.

Another question: is an exhaust brake an important thing to have? Iíve read up on the theory and it sound like a good idea. Dodge, Chevy and GM say an exhaust brake is standard in the 2011 models, but Iíve found no mention of one in the Ford info.
What are every onesí opinions on exhaust brakes?

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:56 PM   #12
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Heres a clicky for GMs web site that has a weight calculator for every conceivable truck configuration and a specs page and a trailer tow capacity page. All truck webs should have this set up. http://http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/dmdindex.htm

Ford has a http://https://www.fleet.ford.com/tr.../techspec.html web for the F250/F350 and F450 truck specs and weights.
Hope the clickies work as usually my internet supplier won't let me use the forums URL posting link.

Both the Ford and GM '11 models F350/3500 SRW trucks have much better axle and payload capacities/GVWR/GCWR/tow ratings than the Dodge 3500 SRW truck. However the Dodge 3500 DRW weight numbers have been upgraded for '11 and surpasses the Ford and GM.

If you choose a one ton SRW I would get the newer '11 models as they have much improved weight numbers and capability. Any of the one ton DRW trucks will work if you need a DRW.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:26 AM   #13
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see the article I posted earlier - they ran a GM and a Ford up and down the area west of the eisenhower tunnel in CO. They commented on the exhaust brakes on both rigs and how one rig reached the bottom with the brakes nearly on fire while the other only required limited use of the brakes to maintain 50 MPH downhill.

My truck has then new tow haul II (like the Allison) that downshifts when you tap the brakes when tow mode is turned on. I have read on other forums where they felt that this was better than the exhaust brake.

Yes, Ford and GM elected to use a Urea based exhaust emission control additive. You need to fill the tank every 5k miles or so - most people top it off with every oil change. The Cummins in the new Rams do not use this system - and still meet the emissions standards.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:01 AM   #14
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Don't know how accurrate the info is, but I found this site:

Truck Ratings for RV Towing

Would a Volvo truck be overkill? It wasn't on the list.

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