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Old 01-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #1
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Towing a Large/Heavy 5th Wheel Toy Hauler w/ 2500 SRW?

Hey guys,

I hate the idea of having to drive around a huge dually long bed crew cab truck just to tow a large 5th wheel toy hauler once in a blue moon. I see so many people pulling them with SRW trucks, but I'm worried I might be making the wrong decision. How many of you have been towing your big heavy 5th wheel toy haulers with SRW's? Any problems so far? We're looking at the Cyclone & Road Warrior lines from Heartland...the biggest ones they make with the king beds and 12-14' garages. Thanks for your help,

Chris
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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Some folks will tell you that you can tow any trailer you want with a diesel engine truck. Others will tell you no you need a 1 ton dually or larger truck to tow one with.
What I am telling you is to follow the GCVW and GAW of your truck and the maximum tire loading allowed for your truck. These are the weights you should not exceed for safety reasons and to maximize the longevity of your truck. These weights are established by the design team to insure that the truck will drive and handle correctly with the added loading that is allowed by the GCVW of each manufactures design truck.
Just because some people pull a 18 to 20K trailer with a ton diesel does not make it correct. This may not be what you want to see or read but you asked for an opinion.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Is there a reliable source that has all these ratings listed somewhere?

Chris
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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Here's a site that has a pretty good towing guide listing:

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

Covers pretty much all makes and models for the years listed if you aren't getting a new truck. If you are getting new, any of the make's websites should have the current years tow ratings on their site.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:46 AM   #5
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Thanks Don...

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Old 01-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Previous TH was a 40 foot Titanium towed by an F350 crew cab SRW diesel. Relatively light for it's size, and really not a problem for the truck.
NEW TH is a KZ Stoneridge Sportster 43foot long, 108"wide and actual weight of 16,000 pounds loaded for the road (including the harley in the back). Pin weight is 2,600 pounds. New Tow vehicle is a 2012 Ram 3500 DRW crew cab Max tow diesel that does a very good job towing this trailer. Having towed with both a SRW and a dually, I would NOT tow a large TH with SRW ever again. The dually is a PITA for parking, drive thru's, etc, but it is very good for hauling, stopping and stability on the road. Towing safely and comfortably is more than just the numbers. BTW I'm at 24,500 pounds total against a GCWR of 28,300 and I believe it is that margin that leads to the secure and relaxed towing experience.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Check to see what the newest Ram 3500 SRW will tow. I saw a lot of improvments to frame, brakes and more power. The tow ratings were really increased. If Ram uses the right tires on their SRW that might be a consideration.

My only experience (other than bumper pull) has been with a dually pulling a 37 foot 5er. All I can say is I am very happy with how stable my dually is with this trailer.

Forgot to mention - I bought the trailer 1st. At the RV Park I was in everyone that saw the trailer strongly advised using a dually.

I ended up with a F-450 that turns sharper than the F-350 so it is a little easier to maneuver but even at that still a cool PITA to park.

I did not know they made toy haulers with 14' garages...wow. I thought 10' was it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:48 AM   #8
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Toy haulers load the truck like a horse trailer and I would not tow it with less then 4k lbs capacity. SRW capacity is limited with tire capacity. 18in wheels can only carry 3700 lbs each at best.
I pull a 39ft regular 5th wheel no problem but I am loaded on the tires.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:21 AM   #9
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I'll point out that, even if you're not exceeding the manufacturer's GCWR, you'll almost assuredly be over the GVWR and possibly the rear axle GAWR pulling that rig with a 3/4 ton or possibly even a SRW 1 ton truck. If that doesn't matter to you, have at it. If it does, there are any number of sizing calculators in the sticky thread at the top of this forum that will size a truck for the job such that the manufacturer's ratings aren't exceeded. It's your money and your choice.

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:50 AM   #10
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If you want to keep it simple... as a general rule the HD diesel trucks (2500/3500SRW and 3500DRW) have similar if not identical frames, brakes, and drivetrains so it mostly comes down to rear axle capacity. If you are safely within that in most cases you will be OK, even if you are slightly above GVWR. As a result you can gnash around the numbers all you like but the real-world limiting factor often comes down to the capacity of the rear tires and I think you'll find that the fully-loaded pin weight of any of the large triple-axle toy haulers exceeds this number, and that is one limitation you should definitely not play with. If you want to stay with a SRW truck there are several options in mid-size toy haulers (roughly indicated by two vs. three axles, but always look at the specs of course) that are pretty nice. But if you have your heart set on a behemoth then you are probably going to need a duallie.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webslave View Post
Here's a site that has a pretty good towing guide listing:

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine
The big defect in that guide (and all other so-called towing guides) is that they use only the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) to compute the tow ratings, and ignore the GVWR. In other words, the tow rating tells you how much weight you can pull, but ignores the hitch weight you can haul. Those towing guides are good for DRW trucks, but if you rely on it for an SRW truck you're probably going to be overloaded when you cross the CAT scale with a wet and loaded trailer.

On an SRW pickup, hitch weight, limited by the GVWR of the tow vehicle, is usually your limiter. For example, on my '99.5 F-250 diesel the GCWR was 20,000 pounds, but I was overloaded over the GVWR of the pickup when grossing less than 16,000 pounds. My "tow rating" was 13,000 pounds, but my 5er that grossed less than 8,000 pounds overloaded the F-250's GVWR.

The GVWR is included on the Federal Certification Label on the driver's door frame. The Federal Certification Label is the one that includes VIN, month/year of assembly, tire size and PSI, front and rear gross axle weight limits (GAWR) and several codes for paint, axle, etc.

If you want an estimate of how much trailer your tow vehicle can tow without being overloaded, here's how to determine that:

1. Load the truck with everything that will be in it when towing: people, pets, tools, jacks, options such as bed rug or bed liner, and the 5er hitch.

2. Go to a truckstop that has a CAT scale. Fill up with fuel and weigh the wet and loaded truck.

3. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR of the truck. The answer is the max hitch weight you can probably have without being overloaded.

4. For a big toy hauler, estimate 20% wet and loaded hitch weight (also called pin weight). Divide the max hitch weight by 0.20 and the answer is the max GVWR of any 5er trailer you should consider towing with that truck.

The Heartland 40' toy haulers you mentioned all have GVWR of 18,000 pounds. So assume a wet and loaded hitch weight of about 3,600 pounds. If your 2500 tow vehicle has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds, then to tow that wet and loaded toy hauler without being overloaded, the pickup would have to weigh less than 6,400 pounds when wet and loaded for the road. Ain't gonna happen.

On an SRW diesel CrewCab 4x4, you'll probably have less than 3,000 pounds max hitch weight capacity. And you'll have to load the truck really light to have that much hitch weight capacity. 3,000 pounds hitch weight is a max trailer weight of 15,000 pounds. But your wet and loaded SRW truck will probably have closer to 2,000 pounds max hitch weight. That's a tow hauler with a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds.

So no, you cannot safely tow a toy hauler that has a GVWR of 18,000 pounds or more with a 2500 SRW pickup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2
I did not know they made toy haulers with 14' garages...wow. I thought 10' was it.
Most of the 40' Heartland toy haulers have a 12' garage. But a couple have 14' garages, and a coupla others have 17.5' garages. Here's one of the 17.5' garages:
< Heartland Toy Haulers | Heartland RVs
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #12
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First, no, you sure can't safely tow a toy hauler that has a GVWR of 18,000 pounds or more with a SRW pickup. But that said... with respect to GVWR in general things are a little grayer. There is a whopping 900 lb. difference in manufacturer's GVWR between a Dodge 2500 and 3500SRW based solely on a set of helper springs in the rear, as that is the only difference between the two vehicles. One does have to be cautious in making such comparisons but the fact remains that there is simply no logical basis for saying that (in the above case for example) the 2500 can't be made to safely match the 3500SRW because same equipment = same carrying capacity. That really leaves only the sticker argument and if that holds anything for you then fine, but in terms of real-world capacity the story isn't so black-and-white.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:34 AM   #13
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if you hate the idea of driving a big dually truck, maybe you should be looking at a smaller trailer. there; i said what many others may have wanted to but didn't. pulling the biggest 5er TH made with a lighter duty truck just isn't safe. a lot of lighter duty trucks can pull a bigger, heavier trailer but controlling it and stopping it is a big part of towing. apparently safety isn't high on your list.

that said, let me know when and where you are on the road so i can avoid that area. i value my family's safety too much.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:39 AM   #14
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Yep, big trailers need big trucks - that's why they make duallies, MDTs, etc. Of course, if one just wants to be assured that it's OK to tow big trailers with little trucks, we have lots of enablers who will fill that role.

Rusty
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