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Old 10-20-2015, 12:09 AM   #1
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What tow vehicle for a heavy fifth wheel.

We've decided to upgrade from our TT to a fifth wheel, and tho' we don't yet know what the exact weight will be, we do know that we'll have to upgrade our truck from our current 1/2 ton to a diesel (probably 1 ton). Where do I start researching which truck to buy? GMC, Dodge, Ford? Are there consumer ratings on the heavy duty trucks? We currently have a GMC, and I go nuts riding in this truck.....the suspension system is SO rough. I have a hard time imagining that all trucks are that bad. It's been a great reliable truck, but it is just a very uncomfortable ride. Is this to be expected? At any rate, we will shop for all the brands, but if we could get some consumer rating by experts it would help guide us. Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:14 AM   #2
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Research your tow vehicle ; great idea.

But , don't buy before you know the exact weight of 5er your going to get.

Friends who were towing with a 3 year old F-350, traded up to a fiver just 2 feet longer, and because of all the options , marble, hardwood and 6 point levelers to name a few. Had to go and trade up to an F-450 to handle the load.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:42 AM   #3
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Pick the trailer and all the trimmings, then you can pick a truck.

Ride is a distant second place finisher in this game, IMO.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:15 AM   #4
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Is the tow vehicle a daily driver or grocery getter as well?
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
We've decided to upgrade from our TT to a fifth wheel, and tho' we don't yet know what the exact weight will be, we do know that we'll have to upgrade our truck from our current 1/2 ton to a diesel (probably 1 ton). Where do I start researching which truck to buy? GMC, Dodge, Ford? Are there consumer ratings on the heavy duty trucks? We currently have a GMC, and I go nuts riding in this truck.....the suspension system is SO rough. I have a hard time imagining that all trucks are that bad. It's been a great reliable truck, but it is just a very uncomfortable ride. Is this to be expected? At any rate, we will shop for all the brands, but if we could get some consumer rating by experts it would help guide us. Thanks!
Todays modern line of GM trucks are far better than those even 2 yrs. ago, IMO, are you looking for brand new one? you didn't say what year GMC you have now & what all it is 4x4 etc...Let the best brand wars begin.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:58 AM   #6
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If you currently have a 1/2 ton truck and go nuts because of the ride??? That sounds like an old truck as all newer 1/2 ton trucks drive like a big luxury car. Especially the Ram and Chevy 1500. The F-150 is not far behind.

Now for the 1 ton diesel dually trucks. These are incredible towing machines (towzilla like). My newish dually trucks drives nice with the 5th wheel attached and rough without the 5th unless I let air out of the tires. For towing you want close to max air pressure.

Chevy vs Ram vs Ford...Flip a coin or in this case 3 coins. Once you start looking at trucks and test driving you will see what I mean. All three are very nice.

I am not sure Consumer Reports gets enough of a sample to accurately rate the trucks.

To entertain yourself watch Fast Lane Trucks on youtube.

If you look at used trucks look to buy a 2011 or newer as all 3 trucks were improved that model year.

I have experience with two trucks. A 2011 Ram Cab Chassis 3500 with a hauler bed and a 2012 F-450 with a pick-up bed. Both trucks can be driven towing a 40' goose neck horse trailer or a 37' 5th wheel hundreds of miles (500) in a day without any driver fatigue.

Ford is about to add the aluminum alloy body to all their trucks. Currently it is just the new F-150.

I would advise looking at and driving all three and pick the one you like. You can not go wrong with any of them.

Good luck
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:08 AM   #7
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Gosh I can't imagine any "recent" 1/2 ton truck riding bad.... I do understand going from a car to a truck... I have a 2 week old Chevy 2500 crew cab 4x4 LTZ,,, diesel,, geez it is Sweet... Getting ready to trade the mh for a tt or 5th.. But,, sure it doesn't ride like my Grand Cherokee...(which I traded in) I'm old, and yes I care,,, BUT,,,, it will pull anything we are looking at getting... SO,,, its a trade off... Yes the newer trucks ride Much better than older ones,,, but they are still Trucks....
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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If you don't like a 1/2 ton ride then you'll hate a 1 ton ride. Maybe a motorhome would be better.
As far as the truck/5th wheel goes. Most definitely pick the 5th wheel 1st. Also look at the sticker weight on the 5th wheel, add 1500lbs to it then figure 20% of that for your pin. You can also use the 5th's GVWR but that can be deceiving as some 5th wheels have huge CCC numbers.
My 5th wheel has a GVWR of 11,500lbs, but only weighs dry 7185lbs, giving it a 4315lb payload. If I went by the GVWR and figured 20% then my pin should be 2300lbs. Well over my trucks payload. But in reality my 5th weighs 9000lbs loaded and my pin is actually 1800lbs.
All the newer trucks are real nice. You need to go drive them all before making judgments. I would be more concerned about the quality and longevity of the new 5th wheel long before I'd be concerned about what truck to get. The new trailer has a far greater chance of being a POS before the truck will ever give you trouble.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:40 PM   #9
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Decide on the camper first. Then shop for a truck to tow it based on the GVW rating of the camper and figure about 20% of the GVW of the camper as the pin weight. Once you figure out how much truck you need, go drive the different trucks that are rated to pull your camper and decide which you like best. You should probably drive each of them several times. They are all good, none of them are perfect. They all come with warrantees too.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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Get one of these buy what you want.

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Old 10-20-2015, 11:28 PM   #11
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Get one of these and tow what you want....plus a RAM (jk, nice truck Cummins!)
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:05 AM   #12
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I plead insanity! :-)

Before I get more responses, I should tell you that I was wrong about our truck. My husband was in bed when I posted my question, and I 'thought' I knew the truck we had. I was wrong. He's the truck guy.....I'm the researcher. Sound familiar? Anyway, what we currently have is a 2010 3/4 ton GMC heavy duty 2500 crew cab 4x4. Granted, the roads across this country need a LOT of work, but still......we were both being jostled around a lot while traveling. We were pulling a 30' TT. I've heard it's easier towing a Fifth Wheel, but still.....I can't imagine the truck riding any smoother over bumpy roads.

Lots of good points from you all! We would definitely not buy a vehicle until we're sure which RV we're going to get. But we want to at least narrow it down to which brand of truck we want ASAP because it will need to be ordered. My husband worked for General Motors and still gets the employee discount, which isn't nearly as great as it used to be. But it's something. So it makes sense for us to buy GM. But in light of the rough ride he's willing to look at other brands as well.

Wild Card.....to answer your question.....we'll mostly use the truck when we're towing the RV, but of course that means it's our only vehicle to use when we're traveling. At home we would use our more economical to drive car.

tuffr2……just wondering…..do you think the ride is better with a 1-ton or 1-ton dually? We plan to get a diesel for sure, but we’re undecided about the dually. My husband doesn’t really want the dually because it’s wider and harder to maneuver around when we’re sight-seeing.

Cumminsfan and Don T……thanks for the towing info. We’ve always been a bit confused by all of that, but I know how important it is. I think the thing we want to do is make sure we have don’t cut it too close with the weight thing……and get plenty of tow vehicle for the rig we buy.

Thanks, everyone! I’m sorry again about confusing the issue by giving you the wrong information.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:03 AM   #13
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If you want a truck that will handle the trailer then read the tow specs for each truck make. Pick one that you want that will handle the trailer. Its your decision.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:20 AM   #14
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To answer your question about the differences between a dually and a single rear wheel truck, aduly will always provide more stability due to the wider footprint on the road. Diesel is the way to go if you want better miles per gallon while towing. New diesels will require diesel exhaust fluid to be filled at the 5,000 to 10000 mile mark or even sooner if towing a heavy trailer. A fifth wheeler trailer will always provide a more stable towing platform as it positions of the weight of the pin (hitch) above or even slightly forward of the rear axle.

I would HIGHLY recommend that you look at trucks from all manufacturers due to the constant increase in technology as well as towing and hauling payload capabilities. Ram and Ford trucks have conquered the space for the last several years while General Motors has decided to stick with their existing chassis and engine platform from 5 years ago. This means that you will get more truck for your money and more capability for your money if you buy a current Ford or Ram truck. I only mention this because the employee discounts that any of the big three manufacturers offer don't account for much at the end of the sale. When you take into consideration dealer holdback pricing as well as dealer and manufacturer incentives you can often walk away paying less than you would have if you use your employee discount. Because GMC and Chevy trucks currently cost equal or in some cases more than Ford and Ram trucks you are essentially buying a less capable truck for the same amount of money. If you are seriously considering a GMC or Chevrolet truck I would recommend holding off until the next generation of the Duramax engine is released in two to three years.
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