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redalertsc 12-22-2011 08:08 AM

New Buyer Help-Light Luxury (i Know!)
Good morning and this is my first post. I need help deciding on what this experienced forum can offer in the way of recommendations for the best quality, even full-time, 5th wheel on market that is also built the lightest. My dilemma is a refuse to purchase a dually as I still work full-time and just not there yet where i want that bulk for daily driving. But, i want a unit that will last, has all amenities, high ratings, quality and price is no concern. I will be pulling with a 2012 Ford F350 SRW Diesel short wheel base. I love the new Redwood's but afraid I would be over loaded unless I got the smallest version the 31SL at 34'. Any thoughts a greatly appreciated. Thanks.

DriVer 12-22-2011 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by redalertsc (Post 1039636)
I will be pulling with a 2012 Ford F350 SRW Diesel short wheel base. I love the new Redwood's but afraid I would be over loaded unless I got the smallest version the 31SL at 34'. Any thoughts a greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Are you also considering using a 5th wheel slider hitch like one built by Pullrite?

We have a a large community of 5th wheel owners here and I expect that you will be receiving recommendations soon.

I was a 5th wheel owner for some time. One of our best friends pulls a Newmar Mountain Aire fiver with a gas powered SRW, Chevy truck, Allison tranny, SC and 6ft bed. This is a BIG rig and it sits on twin dually axles and it uses hydraulic brakes I believe. He's just getting by. When he pulls the rig he can feel that squat and wobble on the SRW axle and he has suffered a blow out on the rear axle but they made out OK on that. The trouble was that the tires were too old and they failed.

In my experience when I tried pulling a 37 foot Alfa Ideal fiver, by rear end was like a Weeble! You know Weebles wobble type thing .... :D BUT I knew right away that I could not pull that rig with an SRW. My truck was a 97 Ford, PSD, 4x4, SC, LB, SRW.

If you are going to go money no object on a light weight fiver and driven by an SRW you should be able to come up with something. Keep an eye on the VIN# tag and weights.

We are entering the show season so you should be able to see dozens of rigs over the next 3 months that will wet your whistle.

Good luck my friend.

Cat320 12-22-2011 09:38 AM

Like DriVer, we pulled a 5th wheel for a number of years prior to getting a MH. I think you will have a very hard time finding a rig that is a "luxury model" and still be light. The two terms do not go together, you want luxury, you get heavy. That's how they make them luxury models...lots of stuff and very well built, and that equals weight. Plus, forget the SRW and in come cases forget the 350/3500 duallies, luxury 5th wheels are too heavy. Some require 450/4500 or more trucks. If you have not already purchased the truck, I"d get a dually. My dually was a daily driver, you get used to where you can and can't go.

Paw John 12-22-2011 09:43 AM


I had a 2001 F250 CC 2wd with the 7.3 diesel short wheel base and pulled my 2004 36TK3 Mobile Suite. I added 5000lbs. air bags to the rear axle and the truck handled the load. I took my time while traveling and had no problem pulling and stopping. I now own a 2002 F350 4x4 CC with 7.3 engine 8' bed with the same 36' camper. I find the Mobile Suite is a great brand of RV and I purchase this one Used in 2008. The reason I changed out my truck is due to the future of fulltiming and needing the 4x4 option. Better to have 4x4 than to wish you had it when you need it. I plan to put 5000lbs. air bags on this truck also and an exhaust brake in the next few years. I did not travel in any mountains yet so I can't say that the F250 set up had sufficient braking. I don't want to miss lead no one. I didn't get my truck and trailer weight yet. I did weight my F350 truck only ( one passinger and fueled up ) was : 7880lbs. total, steer axle 4520 & drive axle 3360. Hope this helps.

RustyJC 12-22-2011 09:51 AM

Are you wanting to stay within the truck manufacturer's GVWR and rear axle GAWR ratings?

As far as DRV Suites 5th wheels are concerned (a true all season luxury full timer 5th wheel), any of the Mobile Suites and Elite Suites (even the smallest 32' models) will be a real challenge to stay within ratings of a SRW truck. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't pull one without a 350/3500 dually as a minimum (see my signature below). If you get up in the 43' model range, you're going to need a 550/5500 series truck or a MDT to pull it.


John H... 12-22-2011 10:06 AM

Can't suggest anything, but welcome to the forum. You will get enough advice here.

Donr827 12-22-2011 11:14 AM

I have a 08 F350 SRW Ford. I need to keep the pin weight of the trailer to around 2,600 pounds to stay within the axle and weight capacity of the rear axle of the truck. The tow ratings on the newer trucks are higher so you might be able to handle a larger pin weight.

mhs4771 12-22-2011 03:30 PM

Double check the fine print in all those weight charts, don't know about Ford or Dodge, but GM throws in a little note about Max Pin Weight that is much low than the listed Cargo Cap. For a new GM 3500HD SRW max pin is listed as 3000 Lbs and 3500 Lbs for the DRW, much less than the 6000 plus cap.

RustyJC 12-22-2011 04:08 PM

Also understand that "trailer tow capacity" and "cargo/pin weight capacity" are based on the manufacturer's curb weight (MCW). Unfortunately, the MCW is for a base model truck (no options or accessories) with only a 150 lb driver. Any driver's weight over 150 lbs, passengers' weight, accessories (5th wheel hitch, toolbox, etc.) as well as factory options above the base truck, cargo, etc. must be deducted from the manufacturer's stated trailer tow capacity and cargo/pin weight capacity.


Gibbs 12-22-2011 06:05 PM

Hoosier 5ver, buy the shortest floor plan you can. A few luxury 5 vers skip the bed slide. Not having a bed slide can save you 500 lb. on your pin weight. You should try for a equal number of slides on both sides. This is to keep your side to side weight similar. Units with 3 slides on the driver side and one on the other typically are over weight on the drivers side.
The longer a unit is behind the rear axle, the more sensitive it will be to cross winds.
Finally watch those CCC load capacities. If you don't have plenty to spare than your tires and axles are probably overloaded. Gibbs

1stCougar 12-22-2011 07:16 PM

We have A Cougar 326MKS it has three slides
on driver side with the kitchen on that side
I worked in truck loading for many years
would alway load drivers side a little heavy.
because the crown for the road alway went
down to the shoulder of the road.

Cat320 12-22-2011 07:55 PM are getting some good advice here, and some bad advice. The weak link to hauling 5th wheels with SRW trucks is their lack of ability to carry the pin weight. Sure, their "tow capacity" will tell you they can "pull" it, but the pin weight will put them way over their GVWR. Also, the ONLY thing air bags can do is level the truck, they cannot increase its weight carrying ability. As RustyJC noted, a big Mobilsuites will require an MDT or similar.

redalertsc 12-22-2011 08:05 PM

Thank you for advice
Now I know why i joined this group, all the experiece and plenty of advice. Thank you all very much and I know I really need to look at pin weights. I also see that I may have to deviate a little from luxury level to stay within SRW F350 safety and add "air suspension", as well as an exhaulst brake if not equipt when i get.

So, should I search out for soemthing with apin weight around 2200-2500 lbs, and no heavier than around 12000 GVWR??? so look for a trailer around 10k, then that allow me 2k for "stuff"?

thanks everyone again and merry xmas, happy holidays!

Ray,IN 12-22-2011 10:46 PM

Last summer we were in Seiverville, TN when the "Suites" rally was at River Plantation RV Park. I noticed many of the Mobile Suites (short model) were being towed with a SRW 1T pickup. Mobile Suites is a true "full-time living" 5er.

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