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Old 03-01-2014, 06:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 12
Start of education

OK, I do not currently own any RV but we are starting our research. I have owned TTs and a popup in the past but that was a long time ago.

My questions, today, will involve fifth wheels - and the TV, but I have not ruled out TTs - just using this as a starting point. I've been browsing the forums and trying to absorb even a little knowledge, but I am still extremely green when it comes to towing/capacities/best practices, etc.

As an example, we looked at some RVs at a recent show and noted some specs - but obviously not all of them - so I will use one that we rather liked and work from there.

A Rockwood Ultra-Lite with the following manufacturer noted specs:

Dry Hitch Weight
1,324 lbs. (601 kg)
Unloaded Vehicle Weight
7,944 lbs. (3,603 kg)
Cargo Carrying Capacity
1,406 lbs. (638 kg)
Exterior Length
31' 11" (9.7 m)
Exterior Height
12' 5" (3.8 m)
Exterior Width
96" (2.4 m)
Fresh Water Capacity
43 gal. (163 L)
Gray Water Capacity
38 gal. (144 L)
Black Water Capacity
38 gal. (144 L)

First am I to assume that (for analysis sake) adding the cargo capacity to the unloaded vehicle weight will give me the GVWR or is that the GCWR?

Also, if this were our choice and we don't currently own a TV, would looking at used 3/4 ton diesels (3-4 years old) SRW, be an OK starting point? I realize that this presents many unknowns and I'm not proposing an actual buy scenario. I'm wondering, basically, if a 5er this size, under relatively normal conditions, could be easily handled by a 3/4 ton SRW diesel...with the understanding that the TV would need certain capabilities also.

Maybe a little convoluted approach but I'm just trying to get some baselines since I really don't own either as of yet and, sadly, do not have an unlimited budget.

Also not in a hurry and want to know as much as I can about the water before I step into the pool.

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Old 03-01-2014, 08:53 AM   #2
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Location: Oswego IL
Posts: 1,011
This may help or not it might confuse you more, hope not?

Ok must manufactures under report the hitch/kingpin weight for towing trying to sell their product to most users that either have a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck. My feelings and my opinion is the only true way of knowing what the hitch load is. Is to weight the trailer as you would camp or tow with all toys and required camping gear in it. I know this is not possible for most people since they need to buy and then load up the trailer. So for general weights I would take the unloaded trailer weight and the cargo carrying capacity weight and add them together, than taking 20% of that combined weight for your hitch pin weight. This is what the truck will support when it is towing the trailer.

Now I would also look at a 1 ton Single Rear Wheel truck as this will provide you with more flexibility for towing a 5er. In most cases the only difference is an additional leaf spring added to the suspension for increase load carrying ability. I would also make sure that it is a diesel engine truck and has at least 3:73 gearing or maybe 4:10ís which will provide the highest load carrying ability. This only applies to 3 to 4 year old trucks since the new designed truck has changed this for now. Such as Ram they only offer one gear ratio for the 3/4 t and 1 t SRW diesel trucks; 3:42 which in a 1 ton model can tow over a 17,000 LB trailer.

Jim W.

Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mikemc53 View Post
A Rockwood Ultra-Lite with the following manufacturer noted specs:

Dry Hitch Weight = 1,324 lbs. (601 kg)
Unloaded Vehicle Weight = 7,944 lbs. (3,603 kg)
Cargo Carrying Capacity =1,406 lbs. (638 kg)

First am I to assume that (for analysis sake) adding the cargo capacity to the unloaded vehicle weight will give me the GVWR or is that the GCWR?
GVWR = about 9,268 or close to that. Trailers don't have GCWR.

Dry hitch weight is a useless number, so as Jim suggested, use 20% of the gross weight of the trailer.

Also, if this were our choice and we don't currently own a TV, would looking at used 3/4 ton diesels (3-4 years old) SRW, be an OK starting point?
No. Assuming you don't want to exceed any weight limits, then you'll be limited to hauling almost nothing in the tow vehicle (TV) without exceeding the GVWR of the TV.

So go for an F-350 SRW or a GM or Ram 3500 SRW to tow a 9,000 pound 5er without exceeding the GVWR of the TV.

Example: 2005 thru 2010 F-250 has GVWR of 10,000 pounds.

20% of the GVWR of the 5er is an estimated pin weight (weight on the kingpin, also called hitch weight) of 1,966 pounds.

10,000 GVWR minus 1,966 pin weight = 8,034 pounds left for the max weight of your wet and loaded TV. But if your TV is a CrewCab diesel 4x4, then it's going to weigh more than 8,034 with nothing in it but a skinny driver and skinny passenger. OVERLOADED! So ignore the three-quarter ton TVs unless you can settle for a 4x2 with a gasoline engine.

Go for a minimum of an F-350 SRW, or 3500 SRW from GM or Ram. GVWR of the F-350 = 11,500 pounds, and wet and loaded weight of the TV increases only a few pounds. So instead of 8,034 pounds max weight of the TV, you have 9,500. Now you have breathing room. Normally loaded CrewCab diesel 4x4 will gross up to 9,000 pounds including tools, jacks, pets, etc., leaving you with about 500 pounds to play with for hauling additional tools, jacks, fuel in an auxiliary fuel tank, etc.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:25 AM   #4
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Posts: 201
Without actually weighing a tv you are only guessing at best. My F250, swd, diesel, 4x4 crewcab with me, dw, dog, fueled up and ready to go down the road weights 8090 on the CAT scale. My buddies identicial truck in F350 eights 8320 on the same scale.
2013 F250 Super Crew, 4x4, powerstrke
2013 Sundance 3310 CL, Platinum
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Remember a F-350 has an extra set of heavy duty leaf springs. That would account for some of the difference. Also if you are skinny and he is heavy there you go. 300 lbs. Diff.
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