Thoughts of DRW, axle ratio, 5er hitch and all else will come down the road soon!
Just be ready when I come calling about those things. Thank-you[/QUOTE]
OK, at around 13,000lbs you are at the break point of DRW/SW. The DRW is a tiny bit more and is insurance for when you decide the 27 is a bit small. We do 4 months on the Kenai where I have a washroom with shower, toilet and laundry, a dedicated workshop with tools, and scads of fishing gear, and the 40' 4 slide 5th still gets small.
Lots of stock trucks with a 3.42 so they can show good mileage. I have a 3.7s for 15,000lbs and it works well with the Ram 68RFE stock tranny, but, it stuggles a bit starting on a stiff hill from a dead stop. The 3.73 would be better with the Ram Aisin tranny, as it uses lower ratios to start and is matched at or above the rated torque and is a medium-duty tranny. The 4.10 is the heavy towing choice, especailly with the Aisin, if you later go to the heavy trailers like the Mobile Suites. There is around a 10% difference in each step that would show up in your empty mileage, but would a bit reverse in towing mileage. From AK to Dawson Creek, speeds will be maybe 60 to more like 45 in certain sections. Beyond Dawson Creek, the roads are better.
Th hitch I prefer is the B&W Companion. You get a Gooseneck hitch and a 5th wheel hitch, and no rails in the bed. The hitch breaks down to several parts so even I can install or remove it. The newer version I believe goes to 20+ 000 pounds.
Stop by if you want more info. We are on the Sterling at Mile 78.3 from sort of mid May into August.