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Old 05-04-2012, 06:55 AM   #1
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Silverado GAS tow vehicle

We are looking at a trade for a truck fifth wheel combo.

The truck is rated to pull 12 700 lbs. The gross weight of the fifth wheel is 13 000 lbs. Most likely the fifth wheel will never be over 12 000 lbs.... so the truck will be maxed out but legal ( maybe)

truck is a 2009 Silverado 2500 2WD EXT cab 6 L gas engine 4 10 gear ratio

me is thinking of holding out for a bigger diesel truck....

what do you pros think??????
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
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truck is a 2009 Silverado 2500 2WD EXT cab 6 L gas engine 4 10 gear ratio

me is thinking of holding out for a bigger diesel truck....
Good thinking!!

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Old 05-04-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
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You may pull the trailer, but it will not be fun. You need more truck ...and preferrably a diesel.

We came across a fellow pulling a 15,000# 5er with an 8.1L gasser 3500 dually. It pulled it, but he got 5 to 6 mpg on the highway towing and 10 running solo. Said he was sorry he did not get the diesel and now there is little trade value in the gasser truck.

Ken
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:51 AM   #4
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While it was a Ford, I tried that.
Started with a v-10 SRW CC short bed. And the listed trailer advertised gross 14040. White knuckles all the way.
Bit the bullet as the v-10 was a 2010 and moved to the 6.7 DRW CC long bed. Tows much better and I am more relaxed. Better fuel mileage both towing and not. The only hesitation I had was I only travel 12 miles one way to work and it is my DD. I drive a little longer route to work and while she does not heat soak she does come up to temp before I get there.
Just will have to keep up on the maintenance.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
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Here's the formula to determine how much you can tow:

Your truck's GCWR minus the weight of the truck when ready to tow. Don't forget to add the pin weight to the truck's weight and delete it from the RV's weight.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
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today I turned the deal down and asked them to call me when they get a big honking diesel......

thanks for the feedback.....
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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The truck is rated to pull 12 700 lbs. The gross weight of the fifth wheel is 13 000 lbs. Most likely the fifth wheel will never be over 12 000 lbs.... so the truck will be maxed out but legal ( maybe)
The truck will be overloaded. The 12,700 pounds "tow rating" is a myth, because it assumes you will have nothing in the tow vehicle except a skinny driver. It is simply the GCWR of the tow vehicle minus the weight of an empty tow vehicle with no options. And it ignores the weight carrying capability of the tow vehicle, so it ignores hitch weight and the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

If you are like 99 percent of the rest of the RVing world, your 5er will be loaded to the GVWR by the middle of your third camping trip. Hopefully you won't overload the trailer, but you should use the GVWR of the trailer as your estimate of trailer weight.

I had a diesel pickup with a tow rating over 13,000 pounds. But I was overloaded with an 8,000 pound fifth wheel RV. I had plenty of power and torque to pull 13,000 pounds, but I didn't have enough truck to haul the people, pets, tools, cooler, jacks, 5er hitch, etc., plus the hitch weight of the wet and loaded 8,000-pound trailer.

So when looking at tow vehicles, ignore the tow rating. It's not a good indicator of how much trailer you can tow with a pickup with single rear wheels (SRW). For most duallys (DRW) it's a decent indicator if you subtract about 1,000 pounds from the tow rating.

For SRW pickups such as that Chebby 2500 (and for SUVs), you need to know how much hitch weight the pickup can haul without exceeding the GVWR of the pickup. One way is to use the max payload of the vehicle, then subtract several hundred pounds for people and stuff that will be in the tow vehicle. That's risky because most folks will underestimate the weight of the people and stuff they will haul. And like the tow rating, the payload rating is also overstated because it assumes no options and nothing in the pickup but a skinny driver. But it will give you a ballpark estimate.

Most newer fifth wheel trailers with GVWR of 13,000 will have 17% or 18% hitch weight. So divide available payload capacity by 0.18 and the answer will be the max weight of any 5er you can probably tow without being overloaded. For a 5er with a GVWR of 13,000 pounds, hitch weight will be about 2,350 pounds.

Some 5ers have a lot more hitch weight than others, so using 18% hitch weight is a rough estimate. But if your trailer has 21% hitch weight (or more), then I hope you left some wiggle room in your calculations. To be absolutely sure your calculations will result in a tow vehicle with enough available payload capacity to handle the hitch weight of any 5er, assume 24% hitch weight. Or for a 5er with GVWR of 13,000 pounds, max hitch weight will be about 3,120 pounds
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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Good information Smokey.

One other thing that I have discovered is that usually the tow rating is based on travel trailer towing so the specs for fifth wheel towing are much higher.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monacoach View Post
Good information Smokey.

so the specs for fifth wheel towing are much higher.
And why are the tow ratings for a 5er higher than fro a travel trailer? A 5er will place more of a limit on the truck due to the higher pin weigh as compared to a TT. This is especially true on SRW trucks that reach the GVWR or rear axle GVWR long before they reach the GCWR.

Ken
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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I would think the answer to that question would be because the fifth wheel transfers weight to the front of the tow vehicle where as the travel trailer puts all its weight on the rear axle of tow vehicle. Would not change the gcvwr I suppose. You guys are reassuring me that I made the right choice not getting the gasser 2500.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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One other thing that I have discovered is that usually the tow rating is based on travel trailer towing so the specs for fifth wheel towing are much higher.
If the tow rating for a TT is less than for a 5er, it's usually because of the limits of the receiver hitch. For example, 2012 F-250 diesel has a "tow rating" of 14,000 pounds for a TT, but 15,200 pounds or more for a 5er. The reason is the factory receiver is limited to 14,000 pounds with a weight-distributing hitch. But if you install a 5er hitch with 16K or more trailer weight limit, you are no longer limited by the weight capacity of the receiver hitch.

As a general rule, you can tow a heavier TT than 5er with an SRW pickup. Because hitch weight is the limiter, not tow rating or GCWR, or even receiver rating. With an SRW pickup, you cannot tow any trailer that weighs 14,000 pounds, because you cannot handle the hitch weight of that much trailer without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Sticking with the example of the 2012 F-250 diesel Crewcab 4x4, GVWR is 23,500 and GVWR is 10,000 pounds. The wet and loaded tow vehicle will weigh at least 8,000 pounds, leaving less than 2000 pounds for max hitch weight. 2000 pounds hitch weight is a TT with more GVWR than the 14,000 pounds max trailer weight rating of the factory receiver.

But 2000 pounds max hitch weight of a 5er with 18% hitch weight is a max trailer weight of 11,111 pounds. So that F-250 can tow a 2800 pounds heavier TT than 5er without being overloaded.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:55 PM   #12
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I would think the answer to that question would be because the fifth wheel transfers weight to the front of the tow vehicle where as the travel trailer puts all its weight on the rear axle of tow vehicle. Would not change the gcvwr I suppose. You guys are reassuring me that I made the right choice not getting the gasser 2500.
Very little if any weight is added to the front of a pickup with a GN or 5th wheel hitch.

My DRW long bed truck has the GN ball set up 3" forward of the trucks rear axles. Even with my 21k big trailer the truck only gains 80 lbs on the front axle at the full 21k load.

My short bed Dodge with the pin set up zero over the rear axle (sliding hitch) shows no change in the trucks front axle weight loaded or empty.

IMO you'll like the diesel for any trailer over 9-10k over the smallblock gas engines we have today.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:52 PM   #13
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Ok I stand corrected on the weight transfer to the front axle. The fifth wheel sitting over the rear axle or just in front does not affect the front axle where as a travel trailer definitely affects the front and that is why torsion bars are needed. I think i have it right now.... on a unrelated note,, I watched a you tube video today of a travel trailer being pulled along a highway in very high winds, it flipped over and the tow vehicle was a big dual wheel truck...... I will definitely feel safer with a fifth wheel.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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today I turned the deal down and asked them to call me when they get a big honking diesel......

thanks for the feedback.....
You won't be sorry you elected to go diesel. I tried pulling a 13,000# Montana with a 2010 2500HD 6.0 L gasser - way overmatched and got 5-6 mpg. After 6 months I broke down and now pull with a 2011 3500HD dually Duramax/Allison - pulls like there's nothing back there. I run in drive with the cruise set and rarely drop out of 6th gear. Plus around 11 mpg if you don't push it and stay in the 60 - 65 mph range.
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