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Old 08-10-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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Truckers ready to see what we've missed

My Wife and I are about a year away from semi-retiring from trucking. No pun intended. We've seen the concrete slab. The inner city. The gotta be there, running through horrible weather.
After 25 years of nothing but asphalt and the false promise of "see the country" we are looking forward to the lazy, slow life of full timers. Seeing the country at our own pace. Not driving through snow, high winds, smoke from forest fires, or the occasional tornado.
Here are a few questions.
1. We want a fifth wheel.......where do we find reviews from customers?
2. We own a 2011 Chevy 2500HD Duramax. What are your experiences towing with this rig?
3. Are there ways to supplement income? We are in our early 50's, rally don't want to touch retirement just yet.

We really appreciate any and all information we can get from those experienced.
Thank so much

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Old 08-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your retirement.

I can help you with one question. I pulled a 15,000 lb fifth wheel with a 2004 2500HD with a Duramax and Allison. I pulled well over 100,000 miles in four years and I could not have been more satisfied.

I pulled through the Rockies, up and down California, all across the south and throughout the Midwest. It always had plenty of power, ran cool and the MPG was good.

I never once felt like I needed dual wheels or any more truck at all. It was the best truck I ever owned. I think your 2011 will be perfect.

Have a great time!


Home is where you go when there's no place else to go!
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #3
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Hi Terry, welcome to the forum.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:57 PM   #4
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Always seasonal driving jobs around/in National Parks in the summer. Pays less, but you get to live in the park, see the seasons change, and live fairly cheaply. Makes the money last longer. Check coolworks.com
Happy Trails
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:46 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on retirement...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:01 AM   #7
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The US Interstate system, you can go coast to coast and not see a single thing!
You'll read plenty of arguments on here about the limits of your truck and what size 5W you can pull, listen to them all, don't listen to the dealer trying to sell you the biggest thing on his lot. JMO, if you plan on long hops and short stays, go smaller and lighter. If you plan on short hops and long stays, the more cubic feet of living space the better.
My 35' grosses out around 12,000 lbs. and the '06 Duramax pulls it with ease even though I know I'm heavy. The HD has plenty of chassis and grunt, but my next truck will be a dually simply because I'm on the ragged edge of tire capacity and I like the redundancy of duals.
Someone else can help with the supplemental income, I still have a few years to go (I hope) before I have to worry about that.
Welcome to the forum and congrats on the retirement.
2007 K-Z 35 Toyhauler, 2006 Chev 2500HD Duramax, 2005 H-D Road King Classic, 2007 Mini-Schnauzer "Scooter"
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Terryble2 View Post
2. We own a 2011 Chevy 2500HD Duramax. What are your experiences towing with this rig?
I have a 2011 Duramax and a 5th wheel. The truck does an excellent job of pulling the trailer - plenty of power and I love the exhaust brake. The issue you will have with the 2500 is the same one I have - payload capacity. My trailer, loaded for the road, weighs in at 11,500 lbs and the pin weight puts me 200 lbs over the truck's GVWR - close enough that I'm OK with it, but I wouldn't want a heavier trailer.

Since you plan on full-timing, I'm guessing you will want a large 5th wheel, probably in the 15,000 lb range. With pin weights at 20% of your trailer weight, you are looking at 3,000 lbs sitting in the bed of your truck. If you check your payload capacity (at the top of the tire sticker in the driver door frame) you will see it is probably somewhere in the range of 1,800 to 2,000 lbs. The combination of pin weight, the weight of your hitch, your better half and whatever else you carry in your truck will put you more than 1,200 pounds over your truck's rated payload capacity.

That said, the truck will carry the load. There are a lot of 3/4 ton trucks out there pulling trailers well over the rated limit of the truck and they get the job done - see DKO's post above. You'll see any number of posts on RV forums stating as long as you don't exceed the limits of your tires or axles you are fine. Whether or not you are comfortable with those numbers is something you will have to decide.

Numbers is hard...
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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Hi Terry! Welcome to IRV2! Sure glad to have you join us! I don't know anything about the Chevy, always been a Ford F250 guy. You're on the right track to go with a 5th wheel. Much more storage and stable as a rock on the road. We have pulled a 5er the last 10 years before going to the Class A a few months ago. Good luck & God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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