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Old 05-22-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
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I am trying to get an "education" prior to buying my 1st 5er. The truck I select will be a 1 ton - haven't decided yet on SRw or DRW. I would prefer SRW due to a narrower profile when not towing but would defer to DRW for stability.
Expected pin weight of the proposed 33' 5er will be 2800#, trailer GVWR 14k#.
Since we prefer the mountains in our travels my concerns are primarily with downhill braking and control. I am looking at gently used 2006 model year trucks. I am inclined toward Dodge/Cummins auto trans with an exhaust brake, but would appreciate guidance/advice from owners of all 3 brands pertaining to my needs.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:17 PM   #2
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I am trying to get an "education" prior to buying my 1st 5er. The truck I select will be a 1 ton - haven't decided yet on SRw or DRW. I would prefer SRW due to a narrower profile when not towing but would defer to DRW for stability.
Expected pin weight of the proposed 33' 5er will be 2800#, trailer GVWR 14k#.
Since we prefer the mountains in our travels my concerns are primarily with downhill braking and control. I am looking at gently used 2006 model year trucks. I am inclined toward Dodge/Cummins auto trans with an exhaust brake, but would appreciate guidance/advice from owners of all 3 brands pertaining to my needs.
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:43 PM   #4
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Checking the adds on places like Ebay motors I am thinking you can actually get a pretty loaded brand new truck for the same price as that used 06. The only advantage a 06 would have to some people is the 5.9L Cummins instead of the 6.7L. On the other hand with the 6.7L you get the wonderful 6 speed automatic and the exhaust brake for no cost extra. Both of these items allow me to tow with cruise control on and not worry. Believe me with all the comments about the 6.7's systems causing problems I would be skeptical, but it really is a great package, and the recent flashes seem to have taken care of most of the problems. I am so glad that you are at least honest in your guess of pin weights. 20% of the trailers GVWR will get you in the ball park. From personal experience, towing with a marginal truck is not any fun. Towing my 35 foot Cedar Creek at 13,250 pounds ready to camp with a 3/4 D/A it was so far overloaded that it was actually scary to drive. You do have to realize that a SRW 1 ton will only have a GVWR of around 9900 pounds VS a duallies 11,500 pound GVWR. That is really a big difference despite what the numbers tell you. Also keep in mind that a dually is really no wider than the mirrors. Hope this helps you make an informed decision.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:28 PM   #5
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With a 5th wheel of that weight, I'd suggest getting a dually. By the time you add the weight of the hitch, tools, people and other cargo that is likely to be in the truck, a SRW 1 ton may be over it's rear axle rating. In addition a dually will be more stable.

I just switched from an 03 Ram SRW 3500 to an 06 Ram Dually. Both 6 speeds, with Jake brake.

In Dodge, trucks built prior to January of 07 the auto would be the 48RE, essentially a stronger version of the previous transmission. In 06 the transmission could be used with a Jacobs exhaust brake with warranty approval, however only being a 4 speed I think hurts their towing performance.

The manual for an 06 Dodge would be the G56. It shifts smoother than the NV5600 it replaced, but it uses a dual mass flywheel.

If you really want an auto for towing, it might be worth getting an 07 or newer, with the 6 speed 68RFE. It can be put into push button shift mode that really works well with the exhaust brake feature built into the variable turbo. The downside is that the emission stuff on the new motors seems to have hurt fuel efficiency.


I'd also suggest getting a high end brake controller. I started out with a timer based unit that I hated. After learning about various brake controllers, I went with a Brakesmart, which is amazingly smooth. The truck and trailer stop almost like the trailer isn't there.


Anyway, good luck.
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:57 AM   #6
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I had a 2000 Dodge 2500 with exhaust brake, DTT upgraded Automatic tranny, and 4:10 rearend. My 5er loaded the truck to about 400# over the truck GVWR, and 200# under the GCWR. The 5er weighes 10,400# and the pin weight was 18% of the truck weight. It pulled the trailer quite well for about 65,000 miles and when I got the exhaust brake at about 20,000 miles, braking was improved. Still I would have preferred a more powerful truck with a higher GVWR. If I get another truck I will go for the higher GVWR and CGWR. If you are interested in a Dodge with a cummins engine try turbodieselregister.com for owner's comments.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:12 AM   #7
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Use the very accurate towing weight calculator to properly and safely match a tow vehicle and trailer. You will notice it includes a 20% safety option for towing, which most full-timers elect for safe towing ease, driving comfort, and longivity of tow vehicle. Notice too, that it only uses the trailer GVW in the calculations, never the UVW or dry weight.
Since RV manufacturers only list the UVW or dry weight, and dry pin weight; you may calculate what the GVW pin weight will be by first calculating the dry pin percentage of trailer dry weight. Multiply the trailers GVW X that percentage to calculate the fully-loaded pin weight.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:06 PM   #8
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I just bought a new 08 Silverado dually because no Chev SRW can take my 2600 pound pin weight without going over it's GVWR. A SRW Chev D/A will go 7500 pounds. Do the math.
If it is a 2500HD with a 9200 lb GVWR that only leaves 1700 pounds of legal payload.
A SRW 3500 with a 9900 lb GVWR might have a legal payload 700 pounds more, still not enough for 2600 lb of pin weight because we also have more important cargo to add to the truck..... I am talking about the driver and passengers.
My 3500 dually weighs 7900 pounds with me and the hitch. It has a 11400 GVWR so all I have left for payload is 3500 pounds, minus the 2600 pounds of pin weight and all I have to play with is 900 pounds. Add my aux tank full with 50 gal. of diesel, and a few tools and my dually will be overloaded if one of my fat aunts needs a ride.
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:17 AM   #9
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Glad you stopped here first to ask your questions. Yes, the brand new trucks are nice. However, there are problems with all three of them. Mainly fuel economy is in the toilet, but on top of that the new emission stuff that is installed is giving owners lots of headaches. Many people are removing the dpf(diesel particulate filter) and the egr and the problems are largely going away. However, do you want to spend thousands on a new truck and then turn around and spend thousands more to fix the mess caused by the EPA? Knowing what I now know, I would buy a 06 or early 07 truck. Brand is your choice and do without all the emission problems.
Almost forgot the most important thing. Yes, get a dually. With that large of a fiver you will not regret the decision. I originally was pulling with a 3/4 ton and hated every trip. Bought a dually and it is so much different towing. One can never have too much truck.
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:21 AM   #10
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When towing a 5th wheel, two factors in a truck's ratings are important - how much can it pull (GCWR minus laden curb weight), and how much can it carry (GVWR minus laden curb weight). The manufacturer's trailer tow ratings overstate the first since their trailer tow rating is computed as GCWR minus the laden curb weight of a stripped (no options) base truck with only a 150 lb driver. Until you get to the fine print (none of the truck's other ratings shall be exceeded), the manufacturer's trailer tow rating completely ignores the question of how much the truck can carry. That's why there are a lot of SRW trucks out there pulling heavy 5th wheels that are way over the truck's GVWR due to the high pin weight of a 5th wheel relative to the hitch weight of a TT.

The 20% of GVWR calculation of pin weight of a loaded 5th wheel is a decent approximation. When the 5th wheel is loaded, it tends to become heavier on the pin (as a percentage of total weight) as the basement storage is generally well forward of the axles.

As a rule of thumb, heavy 5th wheels with their substantial pin weights require duallies when the "how much can the truck carry" factor is included in the equation.

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Old 07-09-2008, 06:00 AM   #11
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The new emission standards are not giving every
owner headaches. Actually the fumes from older diesels give more people head aches and that is why my wife and I love our new 08 Silverado Dmax.
No sickening exhaust fumes and DPF technology has been used for years. Diesel equipement used in warehouses have had this technology for years in North America and Europeans have been keeping their air quality better with DPFs for many years.
Yes, these systems will get better and more trouble free but even now most of us on the GM diesel forums love our new clean diesels and are leaving them stock.I am very pleased with my economy and I don't mind taking a small hit to own a truck that keeps my wife smiling.
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