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Old 01-18-2014, 05:36 PM   #1
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Hi from SW CO - How much 5th Wheel Can I Tow?

Looking to purchase a fifth wheel after having a pop up for 6 years. My wife and I are thinking about taking a big break and travel around the country 6 months out of the year. After reading this forum for several months, I decided to get some help with how heavy of a fifth wheel we will be able to purchase as don't want to be overweight. Without this forum , I would have assumed that our truck could tow a light weight fifth wheel but with more reading, I just get confused. Our vehicle is as follows:

2010 Ram 2500 Laramie, Crew Cab, 4WD, 6.25 Ft Bed, 6-Spd Automatic 68RFE
Transmission, 6.7L I6 Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine With 3.73 Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight = 12,600 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) = 9,600 lbs
Payload = 2,330 lbs
Curb Weight = 7,274 lbs
Curb Weight Front/Rear = 4,493 lbs / 2,780 lbs
GAWR Front/Rear = 5,500 lbs / 6,500 lbs
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) = 20,000 lbs

This is a single rear wheel pickup and has the trailer brake and engine brake.

Any help on how heavy of a fifth wheel we could buy and tow safely will be appreciated. Located in Southwest Colorado, we have mountains and want to be able to travel without being nervous. thanks.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:47 PM   #2
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Hello Bob and welcome to the forum! I have moved your thread here to the 5th Wheel Owner's section so hopefully you will get more responses to your post. Good luck with the search!
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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Hi and

Someone will br by to answer your question
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #4
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Where are those curb weights from? Did you weight it already? If not, that's what you need to do.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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I would recommend a few possible approaches.

1. Look at 5th wheels that are advertised as 1/2 ton towable. Your 3/4 ton will safely and easily tow these 5th wheels up and down the mountains. I would look at Jayco and KZ.

2. Look at small higher quality used units made by NuWa and Excel. I would not want to tow anything longer than 32'

If you are looking for a max weight number for easy towing I would stay within 70% of the max. Obviously 60% of max would be easier yet.

I have a 15k pound 5th wheel and a 7k pound travel trailer. We will travel and see the country in the travel trailer. We will snowbird in the 5th wheel. When I was looking for a smaller trailer I looked at small 5th wheels and trailers. I ended up with a travel trailer so I can use the bed of the truck to carry stuff.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:16 PM   #6
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First off, the payload and trailer towing capacity are inflated numbers based on a base model truck, no cargo, no accessories, no options, no hitch and no passengers other than a 150# driver.

You need to load the truck up with normal cargo, passengers and a full tank of fuel and get it weighed.

On the drivers door jamb you will find the GVWR and the axle GAWR for the front and rear axle. In the owners manual you will find a GCWR for your specific cab, engine and axle ratio.

GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

GVWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer pin weight.

A typical 5er will have a pin weight of about 20% of the trailers GVWR when loaded.

So assuming you have a trailer weighing 12,600#, the pin weight will be about 2560#.

The factory curb weight of the truck is supposedly 7274#....remember this is a basic vehicle. add the pin weight of 2560# to the trucks weight and your GVW is 9834#.

The GVWR is listed at 9600#. So when you add passengers, cargo, hitch you are starting out 234# over the GVWR of the truck.

As you see, the only way to know where you are is to weigh the actual truck with the passengers, etc.

A 3/4 ton truck will exceed GVWR before you reach GCWR.

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Old 01-18-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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Good luck with your search.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:21 PM   #8
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I pretty much have the same set up as you but I drive a Chevy. I pull a 35' , it all scales out good but it's close. The truck handles the trailer fine, it could handle more if needed.
I didn't settle for a "lite" or small trailer.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:13 AM   #9
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

Sorry I can't help with your questions. Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for your inputs. For clarification, I have not weighed the truck, the information at the beginning of this thread was from an email from Dodge as I gave them my VIN number. I will weigh the truck. In the meantime, Tuffr2 mentioned to stay 70% of the max. Is that 70% of the max. trailer weight that Dodge gave which is 12,600. 12,600 x .70= 8,820. Then would that mean that I should look at light weight fifth wheels below 8,820 lbs. Would that be the weight of the trailer before cargo? My wife and I attended the RV show in LA in October and saw many fifth wheels that said a 1/2 ton could tow. One was a Prime Time Crusader 295 RST that had a weight of 8,903 lbs. We also saw a Keystone Outback 286 FRL that weighed 8,440 lbs. Both weights were on the yellow sticker on the door of the fifth wheels. According to TXiceman, the GVWR will probably be exceeded as I am assuming that normal cargo on the trailer would be 2,500 lbs. (or would it be less?), 8,900 + 2,500= 11,400 x .20=2,280. On the Crusader brochure, it said the hitch weight is 1,278 lbs. Which number do I use? Anyway, there are a lot of questions in this post and I thank you in advance for any advice.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:37 PM   #11
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You always want to figure the weight of the trailer at it's GVWR, which is the max rating for total weight of the trailer. Then from that, you can do your own calculations to get pin weight and others.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:40 PM   #12
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A good educational website for determining what you can tow:

It was developed by a toy hauler owner. Don't believe what any salesperson tells you! Do the research, figure the math.

Look at GVWR of the 5vers, never dry weight.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:58 PM   #13
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I went a little overkill when I upgraded my TV. I went from a 250 to a 350 DRW. I will look funny pulling a little 22 foot low profile fifth wheel, but the truck was a steal that I couldn't pass up.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:40 AM   #14
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Read the towing specs for your truck. There is a difference between trailer weight and 5th wheel trailer weight. The truck dealer or manufacturer should be able to provide you with a copy.
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