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Old 12-19-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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truck and trailer

I know this subject has probably been covered many times and I may be asking this in the wrong forum but I have been googling and looking at specs for weeks. I have no truck or trailer at this time but am selling my motorhome and want to get the right combination of truck and trailer. I went to several rv shows in the past two years and have narrowed it down to someplace between a GMC 1500 with a travel trailer with a couple slides for living space but could go up to a fifth wheel with a duramax diesel. I have been a dodge owner for the last 30 plus years and since I paid for a gas tank, rear end, transmission and a engine on the two vehicles I currently own, I and going to buy a Chevrolet Silverado or a GMC Sierra. I cannot find a good travel trailer in my price range that will do 4 seasons and I think a fifth wheel will be too big for me. I will retire in the next 4 years and will not go full time but want to go from florida to alaska and everything in between on different trips for a few years of traveling.
I want to keep the cost down but do not want anything older than 2008 on the truck or trailer. I am trying to stay with a medium quality trailer but do not like the lite weights with the styrofoam floors, prefer some aluminum and sturdy well constructed floors.

My question is: Is there any good combinations with a gas truck that you can recommend with a travel trailer no longer than 30 feet or a diesel with a 26-35 foot fifth wheel and diesel truck?

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Old 12-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
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you are off on the right foot. first and foremost, pick the trailer that works best for you. Then using the GVWR and hitch weight (20% for a 5er and 10% (i think)) for a travel trailer) to determine what truck to get. Dont go by the adverrtised weight of the truck. read thru the many threads on this site to get a better feel of what the truck you are looking at will really wiegh. The weights in the brochures and manufacturers sites are for a bare bones truck with a 150# driver. NOTHING ELSE.

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Old 12-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Here is a good place to start looking...

Northwood Manufacturing: Arctic Fox

Altho, if you aren't in the west or northwest US, you won't find many to look at.

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Old 12-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #4
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I'm in the process of doing the same thing although my needs are a little different then yours.
I'm a vendor selling various motorcycle products through out the country. I can travel from 12K-20K miles a year. For the last five years we have been doing this with a 39' DP pulling a 20' enclosed trailer. The expensis have been so extreme that I finally decided this fall to trade it in. I have ordered a VRV toy hauler made by Livin Light. These are extremly well made trailers and I have looked at many. All aluminum everywhere, floor, ceiling, all framing, including the cabinets. The only thing thats not aluiminim are the interior walls and there Azdale. No wood of any kind in the trailer. Floor dirty? Hose it out. I've ordered a 26' front bedroom toy hauler with just about every option plus there doing a few things custom for me. Empty wieght should come in at about 5300 pounds, GVW is 10,000.
A few years ago I purchased a used 2008 Chevy 2500 crew cab with a 6.0 gas motor. I've been real please with this truck and even though I know it would be nice to have a diesel this truck has pulled our very heavy steel enclosed trailer with ease. My only fault with the truck is the poor fuel mileage I get when I'm not towing, 12 MPG around town, maybe 15 MPG on the highway, and about 12 MPG towing.
I know you said your thinking of a 1500, I would encourage you to go with a 2500. Better suspension, much better brakes, and a better towing capacity. My truck is rated for 10,300 towing capacity. To be honest with you even though my truck has done well towing the trailer we have now I didn't want to get anywhere close to that having a gas motor such as the 6.0. I'm figuring I'll be in the 7500-8000 pound range once I load the new trailer and IMHOP that's pretty much it for this size gas motor if you plan on traveling much. That's why I was very concerned on the weight and construction of a trailer and the only one I could find was from Livin Light
LivinLite All Aluminum Ultra Light Campers, Ultralight Campers, Lightweight Campers, Ultra-Lightweight Campers Check out their website, just keep in mind that everything they make is not on it. They'll also do just about anything you would want and it seems their coming out with new models every other week. They also grew by about 500% last year alone. If they decide to go public, I'm buying their stock!
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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Downsizing and wanting to be mobile with a gas powered truck. What is your budget? I would recommend a used 2011 Ford Eco Boost truck and a used Dutchmen Denali trailer with the 4 season package. If you have a larger budget I would recommend the same package but new.

Test drive the Ford Eco Boost F-150 - it will bring a smile to your face. The same for the Ram 1500 Hemi or the Chevy 1500 with the 6.2 engine.

I like the Dutchmen Denali because the 4 season package seems to be a good one. The F-150 will give good mpg's when unhooked.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ksmith View Post
My question is: Is there any good combinations with a gas truck that you can recommend with a travel trailer no longer than 30 feet or a diesel with a 26-35 foot fifth wheel and diesel truck?
A 30' TT can be 33' or 34' outside length or as little as 25' inside length. That's a big difference, so I'll assume you mean a TT with 28 to 30 in the model number. For example, Artic Fox 30U TT is 32'4" tip to tail outside, with a bit less than 30' inside length. It has a GVWR of 10,400 pounds and a 15% hitch weight for a max of 1,560 hitch weight.
Northwood Manufacturing: Arctic Fox Floorplan

So assuming that's what you mean by a 30' TT, let's see which Chevy/GMC it takes to tow it without being overloaded.

The pickup needs enough GVWR to haul the 1,560 hitch weight while also hauling people, pets, hitch, tools, and anything else you might have in the truck. And it needs enough GCWR to tow a 10,400 pound trailer without exceeding the GCWR of the pickup. So forget about a half ton - ain't gonna happen without being overloaded.

A wet and loaded 2500 gasser will weigh about 7,500 before you tie onto the trailer. A WD hitch will weigh at least 100 pounds. So it needs GVWR over 7,500+1,560+100 = 9,160. Add 500 pounds for the diesel version = 9,660.

Late-model Chevy/GMC 2500 CrewCab with gas engine and 4.10 axle has a GVWR of 9,500 pounds, so the payload capacity is barely enough for the hitch weight of the 30U TT.

Same truck has a GCWR of 20,500. 7,500 truck plus 10,400 trailer plus 100 hitch = 18,000 pounds, so the 20,500 GCWR is adequate for your needs.

But just adequate. And it will drink lots and lots of gasoline.

Better, with a lot more wiggle room for weights, would be the same truck but with a diesel engine and 3.73 axle ratio. 10,000 pounds GVWR is equivalent to the 9,500 of the gasser, because the diesel engine weighs about 500 pounds more than the gasser. But the GCWR of the diesel is 24,500, giving you a lot more wiggle room for dragging a 10,400 pound TT up a the grade of a steep mountain pass.
2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Pick Up Truck | Capabilities | Chevrolet

But you're not through spending money to match trailer to tow vehicle.

First, you must replace the factory receiver with one that can handle at least 1,560 pounds of hitch weight. Here's one for a 2010 GMC 2500 shorty:
Draw-Tite Class IV, 2 inch Receiver Hitch 41944

And the biggest mistake most first-time TT buyers make is in trying to get by with a cheap weight-distributing hitch. Don't make that mistake. If you want your TT to tow as good as a 5er, then decide up front to buy only the best TT hitch on the market = the $2,350 ProPride 3P.
Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P

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 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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