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Old 07-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
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What can I tow.... I don't understand all this!

Hi,

I am looking to purchase a new 2010 Montana 3000RK, it's unloaded weight is 10,950 lbs and supposedly fully loaded is suppose to be 14,220 lbs. The hitch weight is 2,220 lbs. The 5th wheel has a mor ryde hitch installed and a mor ryde suspension as well (just thought I should mention this, have NO clue why).

I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad 4x4 Diesel (cummins turbo), the door says 8,800 lbs GVWR. It has a 3.54 axle and had the heavier spring and leaf put on it when I ordered it in 2001.

My door jam says:

GAWR Front Axle 5,200 lbs
GAWR Back Axle 6,084 lbs
Total Front & back axle = 11,284 lbs which is at odds with 8,800 GVWR lbs?

If I'm doing this correctly, the curb weight according to my book says:
Front 3379
Back 2062 + 2220 = 4282 (6,084 total)

Tires says 3,415 load @ 80 PSI X 2 = 6,830 lbs.

If I purchase this unit do I have enough truck to haul and handle it safely without putting undo stress or damaging my truck and being good on my truck limits? The salesman says I do (but you know salesmen). My dad says I need air shocks on the rear end? My brother says I'm going to be overloaded and fined by the DOT and no amount of air anything will help.

I have a regular 15K 5th wheel hitch, so know this should be ok.

This is all very confusing to (just a girl). Does any of the hitch weight get put on the front axle or is it all on the rear one? What do you guru's out there say?

Thank you very much from someone who's head is really spinning with all this!!!
Jackie
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springnfall View Post
Hi,

I am looking to purchase a new 2010 Montana 3000RK, it's unloaded weight is 10,950 lbs and supposedly fully loaded is suppose to be 14,220 lbs. The hitch weight is 2,220 lbs.
First, don't pay any attention to the unloaded weight since it's pretty much a ficticious number.

The unloaded weight doesn't include manufacturer-installed or dealer-installed options. That means that the minute it rolls off the assembly line, the "real life" dry weight is going to be more than the published weight...and if the dealer added options, it'll weigh even more. By the same token, the hitch weight of 2,220# is also the dry hitch weight and will be more once you load up your fifth wheel with supplies, including fresh water and propane.

The only important number is the fifth wheel's GVWR (14,220#). And if you load up your fifth wheel to this weight, you can assume that the hitch weight will be around 20% of this number.

Quote:
I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad 4x4, the door says 8,800 lbs GVWR. It has a 3.54 axle and had the heavier spring and leaf put on it when I ordered it in 2001.

My door jam says:

GAWR Front Axle 5,200 lbs
GAWR Back Axle 6,084 lbs

If I'm doing this correctly, the curb weight according to my book says:
Front 3379
Back 2062 + 2220 = 4282 (6,084 total)
You need to find one more number, the GCWR. This might be in your Owner's Manual, or you can call a Dodge dealer with the VIN number to get the information.

Once you've found the GCWR of your truck, load it up like it would be for a trip with a full tank of fuel, you and any passengers that will normally ride with you, and all the gear that you will carry in the cab and the bed of the truck, including the fifth wheel hitch. Now take the whole shebang down to the local scales and get it weighed.

Once you have the "real life" weight of your truck (I can guarantee you it will be more than the Curb Weight), subtract that weight from the truck's GCWR...this will the the MAXIMUM amount of loaded fifth wheel you should be towing.

Now subtract the "real life" weight of your truck from the truck's GVWR...this is the MAXIMUM amount of hitch weight it should be carrying in the bed.

Quote:
If I purchase this unit do I have enough truck to haul and handle it safely without putting undo stress or damaging my truck and being good on my truck limits? The salesman says I do (but you know salesmen). My dad says I need air shocks on the rear end? My brother says I'm going to be overloaded and fined by the DOT and no amount of air anything will help.
The weak point for a 3/4-ton truck is the payload; i.e., how much weight it can handle in the bed...you're likely to run up against that limit before you come close to the truck's GCWR. Adding air shocks, or anything else, will help with the ride, but won't change any of the numbers.

Quote:
This is all very confusing to (just a girl). Does any of the hitch weight get put on the front axle or is it all on the rear one?
Don't think you can't understand this just because you're a "girl!" You do not have to be a specific gender to understand all the weight issues involved in picking the correct fifth wheel for a particular truck, or vice versa...this is not a gender issue!

Most, if not all, of the hitch weight will be put on the rear axle...you may even find that the front axle will lose a bit of weight, but it shouldn't be much.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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Well all the "men" in my life are sure cornfuzzling me!!! Thanks Linda! The only way I'd be able to weigh the camper and truck together is if I buy it, but wanted to research all this out so I'd know if I should or not purchase it. I most certianly don't want to have to buy a new truck!

Why don't they make these Montana's with the new helium technology like they do the big country's so they are lighter weight?
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:51 PM   #4
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One thing you'll find out is that, except for lite-weight or small units, fifth wheel trailers (aka 5ers) will quickly overload a 3/4 ton pickup.

Your GVWR as you stated is 8800 #'s. Just going by what my 1999 F250 weighed, your truck will weigh around 6500 - 7000 #'s with hitch, occupants and fuel. Forget about the curb weight. Take it to a truck stop and weigh it. That is the ONLY way to get a true reading. But back to my guesstimation. That leaves you with an allowable 1800 #'s pin weight. The hitch weight you listed (2,220) is also for an unloaded unit. For shopping purposes, 20-25% of the trailers weight will be on the pin. It is better if you use the trailers GVWR when shopping. So your actual pin weight will be in the area of 3000 #'s. Way over weight.

Looking at the 2001 Towing Guide (http://www.trailerlife.com/images/do...owingguide.pdf) and assuming you have a 4 speed automatic transmission, your truck is rated for a 9700 # trailer. At 14,220 #'s, again way over weight.

Quick formulas after you get your truck weighed.

Truck Weight + loaded pin weight <= 8800 #

Truck weight + Trailer GVWR <= 9700 #

There is probably some formula to calculate the trailer weight to axle weight ratings, but I do not know them. If my total pin+truck is < the GVWR, you will also be within the axle ratings too.

Maybe not what you wanted to hear, but it is what it is.

Now I will be declared a member of the weight police.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:29 PM   #5
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K-Star,

You need to correct the second formula.
The GCWR on the truck should be some where between 15,000 and 20,000 #, not the 9700 you quote.

Springnfall, that trailer will put me over my GCWR with my F350 dually. You really need to get a weight on the truck so that you have a starting point. The truck will weigh more than the brochure curb weight.

The 3.54 axle will hurt your GCWR and you may need to get the axle changed to a 4.10 ratio to get more GCWR.

With the GVWR or 8800#, your 4x4 truck will probably weight 7000 to 7500# which will leave you an allowable pin weight weight of 1300 to 1800# at the most.

To estimate the pin weight of a 5er, figure you will be pretty close to 20% of the trailer GVWR or 20% of 14,220# or a bit over 2800# which is more than the truck is rated.

Adding the two axle limits will be more than the the trucks GVWR...this is normal. You can load an axle up to the limit, but don;t overload the truck chassis.

Once you get a truck weight and the GVWR from the truck and the GCWR from the owners manual,

GVWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer pin weight
GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

In short, I think you will have too much trailer for the truck.

Ken
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:37 PM   #6
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Thank you!!! If I hadn't been concerned I would have never posed the question. I would rather be legal and not hurting my TV than over weight and un-safe on the roadways!

I wanted to make sure I was making a very informed decision (pushy salesman aside) and I am NOT ready to buy a new TV, this one's not broke in yet, only has 54,000 miles on it!

Thanks for all your help and answers and helping to un-complicate this a lil more!
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #7
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Here's a couple of Dodge websites with helpful info.

Dodge Towing Guide

Dodge Weight Calculator

Unfortunately, according to the Dodge info, the trailer is too heavy for your vehicle.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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Thanks! I'll book mark these too!
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Ken

You are correct. The towing guide does not show the GCWR but rather the max tow limit of a specific vehicle. The max weight trailer for the TV described, along with my transmission assumption, is 9700 #'s.

Typically:

Truck Weight + Trailer GVWR <= Truck's GCWR (of which I do not know, but I will take a SWAG to be around 18K #'s).
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:04 AM   #10
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Will your truck pull it? Yes.
Will it have the stopping capability? No, not like a truck that has the capacity needed. That is the big safety issue. There are lots and lots of Montana's being pulled by 3/4 ton trucks, and they are holding up well. However, one can never exempt an accident from happening, and then the lawyers get involved.

Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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My truck is registered in SC where our tag fee is based on total weight if we use it for towing. Listed right on my vehicle registration is my GCWR (23,000#).

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