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Old 08-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
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Short bed or Long bed for 5th wheel?

I'm a newbie to this site and this is my first post. At the current time we have a pop up and love it. Down the road in the next year or two, I would like to get a 5th wheel. I first need a truck to pull it. I imagine myself getting anywhere from a 30-35 foot 5th wheel

My question: I would like to get a short bed truck, but do I have to have a long bed to tow a 5th wheel? I know I want to get a diesel engine. Just looking for now at a dodge 2500 mega cab 4x4 (no dually).
To pull a 35' trailer, will I need to jump to a 3500 1ton.
In conclusion
What are your recommendations,
long bed/short bed
3/4 ton or 1 ton
Axel ratio 3.73 or 4.10
your recommended truck to pull a 35 footer

thanks
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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1 ton, minimum. Best will be dually. Axle will be what it is, most are going to lower ratios--3.73/3.55. Dually will have 4.3/4.1. Short beds will need a slider hitch for most fivers. If you stay nearer 30' than 35' the SWRs will work.
Joe
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
1 ton, minimum. Best will be dually. Axle will be what it is, most are going to lower ratios--3.73/3.55. Dually will have 4.3/4.1. Short beds will need a slider hitch for most fivers. If you stay nearer 30' than 35' the SWRs will work.
Joe

"SWR" ?
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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Single Rear Wheels, compared to a dually (DWR)
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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To pull & stop a 35 footer: 1t dually. If you really want that Dodge 2500, stick to 30-32 footers.

We pulled a 31 ft Cougar with a Chevy 2500HD crew cab 4x4 short bed. We didn't have a slider hitch & never had an issue. Even with a 90-degree turn, the nose missed the truck's rear window....by mere inches, mind you, but it missed it. Of course, this might not be the case with other 5-r's & short bed trucks - which is why most folks go with a slider hitch.

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Old 08-13-2010, 06:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalCamper View Post
I'm a newbie to this site and this is my first post. At the current time we have a pop up and love it. Down the road in the next year or two, I would like to get a 5th wheel. I first need a truck to pull it. I imagine myself getting anywhere from a 30-35 foot 5th wheel

My question: I would like to get a short bed truck, but do I have to have a long bed to tow a 5th wheel? I know I want to get a diesel engine. Just looking for now at a dodge 2500 mega cab 4x4 (no dually).
To pull a 35' trailer, will I need to jump to a 3500 1ton.
In conclusion
What are your recommendations,
long bed/short bed
3/4 ton or 1 ton
Axel ratio 3.73 or 4.10
your recommended truck to pull a 35 footer

thanks
long bed/short bed: long box as you never have to worry about the turning radius... also on some units you have a larger fuel tank... also room for a 4x8 sheet of plywood when not towing

3/4 ton or 1 ton: for the difference in price get the 1 ton. Some 35ers are quite heavy & it also would allow you to upgrade to a larger/heavier unit in the future

Axel ratio 3.73 or 4.10: I have a 4:10 as it provides additional tow capacity

I would also consider a dually for the ride stability & the additional carrying weight.

Eh!
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalCamper View Post
Just looking for now at a dodge 2500 mega cab 4x4 (no dually).
If you're looking at new trucks and want to tow large, heavy 5th wheels, I'd suggest the 2011 3500 dually crew cab long bed, 68RFE automatic and 4.10 axle ratio. This will get you 11,500 lbs GVWR and 24,500 lbs GCWR in a 4x2 configuration - haven't checked the 4x4 ratings.

Be prepared to order it - there are very few trucks truly rigged for towing heavy 5th wheels sitting on dealer lots.

Rusty
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalCamper View Post
I'm a newbie to this site and this is my first post. At the current time we have a pop up and love it. Down the road in the next year or two, I would like to get a 5th wheel. I first need a truck to pull it. I imagine myself getting anywhere from a 30-35 foot 5th wheel

My question: I would like to get a short bed truck, but do I have to have a long bed to tow a 5th wheel? I know I want to get a diesel engine. Just looking for now at a dodge 2500 mega cab 4x4 (no dually).
To pull a 35' trailer, will I need to jump to a 3500 1ton. For this large fiver you will really want a dually.
In conclusion
What are your recommendations A long bed will give you more storage space and not require a slider hitch
3/4 ton or 1 ton Again for this size range of fiver you will really want a dually
Axel ratio 3.73 or 4.10 3.73 will pull fins, hgowever with the larger heavier fivers I find my 4.10 does better in the mountains
your recommended truck to pull a 35 footer

thanks
I would suggest you first pick your "ideal" fiver and with the trailers GVWR information in hand go truck shopping. Otherwise, pick the largest truck you can find and match the trailer to it's limitations.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:24 AM   #9
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We pull our 5th with a short bed dually. I went with a 5th Airbourne Sidewinder. This pinbox takes the worry out of sliding the hitch. Like everyone says go to a one ton truck. We started with a 3/4 ton and had to move up. Towing with the dually is much more stable.

Just my 2 cents

Good Luck
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #10
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If you are looking at a Mega Cab you have no choice from Dodge but short box. I pulled a 5th wheel with my 3500 mega cab for three years. Starting 8-11-10 I am pulling it with a long bed mega cab (same truck) thanks to http://www.longbedmytruck.com The sliding hitches were not a good option for me because I use a B&W Companion hitch and pull a gooseneck for firewood.

My wife still loves the room in the Mega Cab and now does not have to watch the cab corners anymore. We have hit our cab once. :( Some trailers have space to allow tighter turns with a short box. On our way home from Utah it was wonderful to not have the worries of hitting the cab!!!! I am super happy with my Long Bed Mega Cab
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:18 PM   #11
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I really dont want a dually because 99% of the time its not going to be towing a trailer. Maybe if I just stick to a SRW with a 1 ton truck, I will be fine towing 5th's up to 32'....which is ok.

Years down the road, I imagine myself being retired and driving across the country and spending a month on the road (or more). Maybe then it would make sense to buy the dually and a bigger trailer if needed. I can get by with a 30-32 footer now. Even though I have 4 kids, they're getting older and not wanting to go on these trips as much anymore.

thanks for all the replies
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:00 PM   #12
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Generally, I agree with previous posters. There are plenty of heavy fivers in the 30-35 ft range that need a 3500 SRW or a 3500 DRW tow vehicle. And if a long bed will work for you, then skip the short bed.

But I like my tow vehicle to fit in the garage, so SRW short bed it is. That is all I've used for towing fivers since '89, let see that is 21 yrs. The first 14 yrs were without the benefit of a slider hitch or notched fiver cap. Never had a problem. As long as you don't get the Dodge short, short bed you shouldn't have a problem either with all the newer solutions.

There are also some fivers in the 30-35 ft range that will work with a diesel 2500HD SWR, especially today's models. It just takes lots of research.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:39 PM   #13
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I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet but there are quite a few RV manufacturers that are designing the front end caps of their units to accommodate short bed pickup turning. Bighorn is one of them there are others. But in saying that it's hard not to be overloaded with SRW and a 35 ft 5th wheel.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #14
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I have a long bed Ram with 4:10 rear end, and wish it was a 3:73. That is plenty of gear for most situations, and you can always pull down a gear for those few times (such as a 10% grade). Also you should know that the ONLY difference between a 3/4 ton & a 1 ton in the Ram is a single helper spring on each side. Also you should go and drive both a long & short bed to feel the difference as the longer wheel base rides a lot smoother. Good luck
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