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Old 09-13-2017, 05:04 PM   #1
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New to pulling a 5th wheel

I've got a 2016 Chevy 2500HD Duramax with the factory Curt Q20 fifthwheel. I just got on Monday a 2017 Jayco Eagle HT 26.5BHS.

I'm not really worried about weights as I've done the calculations and all looks good as long as I don't throw everything I own in the trailer. What I was wondering about was where to put everything that I do want to haul. Also what might be some of the problems when towing.

I was going to pretty evenly distribute all the "stuff" through out the trailer. I need to keep my pin weight below 2000lbs, both because of the truck's limits and the hitch limits.

My biggest concern is actually towing it. I've seen videos where there is to much weight behind the wheels on a bumper pull type trailer where it starts wagging the dog. Is this much of a concern with a fifth wheel? Would there ever be a time where the trailer would jack knife with out me turning the steering wheel? In other words will the trailer ever try to pass me while going down the freeway?

Like I say I'm really new to pulling trailers and the more I know about possible problems, and how to get out of them, the better. I'm not driving in the mountains. I'm out on the bald prairie with only the odd 7% grade for less then a 1/2 mile.

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Old 09-13-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
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Only way you will know is load your rig and go to cat scale weigh trailer axles and rear tv wheels hitched and unhitched.Then you can make weight adjustments if needed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:23 PM   #3
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I've read post from people that are concerned that manufactures will have pin weights as low as 15% of the trailer weight. These posts will have video of out of control bumper pulls.

I've never seen a video of an out of control 5th.

It would be interesting to know where the recommendation for weight came from?
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:39 PM   #4
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you will have no problem towing with that set up i pulled a montana 3400 with a 2500 never had a problem in fact you will have to keep checking to see it it is there
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:47 PM   #5
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5th wheels are about the most stable rigs on the road.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:58 PM   #6
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Curt Q20.....
20,000# tow rating with a 5000# vertical load rating.
You do NOT have to limit weight based on using that hitch

2017 Jayco...
GVWR 9950# so WET Pin at 20% would be ~2000#
(amount of weight carried by pin on a FULLY LOAD trailer)

2016 Chevy 2500HD.........payload ??
What is the info on Tire Load Data Sticker (yellow sticker on door jamb) about cargo carry capacity??
What is RAWR (6200#??) and how much weight is on Rear Axle with 5vr hitched up??

10K GVWR trailer...not going to be an issue with that 2500HD.
As for loading trailer......basement compartment is where majority of stuff will go (outside items, tools, camp chairs etc)
Inside trailer.....where it is most convenient and makes sense.

We FTd for 7yrs and EVERYTHING we owned went with us.
We found LESS is MORE. Didn't need all that STUFF.
I could open ANY compartment, cabinet, drawer etc and SEE everything that was in it w/o having to dig thru/rearrange things just to get something

Just didn't need all that extra stuff....and IF found that we had to have we could go buy it. Didn't have to have much

Not sure where that 2000# 'limit' came about.....

Best wishes.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:03 AM   #7
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Welcome to iRV2 .

I had 4 ; 5th wheel trailers and two tow vehicles , before switching to my current Class A.
Because my first tow vehicle was a 93 Dodge Dakota , I loaded light on the pin 15% of trailer weight , that worked fine for the first three 5ers, and when I upgraded the tow vehicle ( 2000 Ram 4X4 ) with the third 5er.
THEN I got a brand new 5th wheel , with rear kitchen and followed the same loading 15% on the pin ; BIG mistake , the trailer would porpoise , banging the pin on the hitch and in one case on a bad bump while cornering at speed , moved the back of the truck sideways , after consulting the trailer manufacturer , raised the pin weight to 20% and never had a problem for the rest of the time that I had the combination.

You say you need to keep the pin weight to 2,000 lbs , because of truck and HITCH limits?
I can't believe that there's a 5th wheel hitch on the market that would limit you to 2,000 lbs on the pin, I'd re-read the paper work on that hitch .

EDIT : Unless there's a bunch of Q-20 models out there , the hitch is rated for trailers up to 20,000 lbs and 5,000 lbs vertical load ( pin weight ) So no problems with the hitch . Do you have issues with the trucks payload capacity on the rear axle?
RE-EDIT: I see Old Biscuit , posted this same info while I was typing , sorry for the duplication.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:24 AM   #8
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Congratulations on your new trailer and if you are new to the forum, welcome. A half hour into your first tow you will say to yourself "piece of cake". Pay attention to the details like air pressure, hitching up securely and setting your brake controller. I wouldn't load a bunch of weight on the rear bunks when towing and instead would try to keep it forward.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:23 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I really didn't think I'll have any weight issues with this trailer but... I got the 2000# limit on the pin based on the 10000# GVWR then weighing the truck with me in it at 8200lbs. Basically it's 1800#s for all passengers and trailer pin weight. Or am I calculating this all wrong?

My biggest concern is more about the trailer getting away from me. But it sounds like this won't be a problem as long as I don't do anything really stupid at speed, like turning sharp while going fast. I pulled the trailer home on Monday and that was about 300 miles. After I got out of the city I barely knew it was there until I looked in the review. Only thing I didn't like was not being able to see behind me. Not that it really matters much but I don't like being surprised passed. On single lane highways to may people think they can pass a long truck/trailer in time but in reality they can't and it goes way wrong.

Any way here are some numbers to chew on:
GVRW 10,000#
GRAW 6,200#
GFAW 5,200#
GCWR 25,100#

GVWR 9950

Scale Weights. These are converted to lbs from KG since I'm in Canada. I'm rounding to the nearest 10 lbs.
Truck only
Front 4760
Rear 3480
Total 8260

With Trailer
Front 4894
Rear 5160
trailer 6100

This is the "Dry" weight as I picked it up from the dealer. It was winterized. But going by this it looks like I'm already over the 10,000# GVWR on the truck. Not by much but this is only my wife and I with the dry trailer. Once we get everything in the trailer and add two teenage kids and dog we are going to be way over. Again am I adding thing up wrong?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:31 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum!

You are looking at this correctly. Cudo's for utilizing the scale right from the start. You have "preciuos cargo" to keep safe while traveling.

Your truck "legally" will be overweight when loaded up. Your trucks "capabilities" are limited by the gross axle weights and tire load capacities. Legalities and capabilities are two different things and you need to decide if you want to risk the legality.

I was in the same boat as you (just to a greater extent)... My trailer loaded weighs ~15,000 lbs. The only weight rating I wasn't over on was the tires.

My 2500 morphed into a 3500 dually.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:32 AM   #11
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I've got the exact same setup. Same truck. Same trailer. Only difference may be my truck is an LT. So payload is a hair higher at 2360. Loaded for a week long trip with water, fuel, and pax, I was just over my truck's GWVR. 10100lbs on the nose.

As to handling. Zero issue. I wouldn't hesitate to have a few hundred pounds additional. As for loading, I carry fresh water for ballast and keep heavy stuff up front. Rides much better with more weight on the pin. Reduced what little chucking I had to near zero by keeping weight up front. These trailers don't have a big basement so it's tough to get that wieght up front.

Enjoy the new trailer. We really like ours. Big enough to be comfortable, and small enough to go where we like.

2016 Duramax 2500HD
2017 Jayco 26.6BHS
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:41 AM   #12
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Glad to hear it and nice setup. I've got the crew cab short box 4x4 LTZ Z71 in Hot Red. I think the all of that adds a lot of weight. When we where looking at trailers the Eagle HT's are said to be half ton towable. Once I dragged it across the scale I was shocked at how untowable by a half ton it really is.

I traded my parents old trailer in for this one. The old trailer is a Sportsman 3551 and it weighs in at just over 10000# by itself. You knew you where pulling something when it was hooked up. Both trailers though don't make a lot of impact on the springs. This 26.5BHS compresses the back end a couple of inches which makes the truck pretty level. My biggest worry is if I over load the GVWR and something does happen all of the blame will be on me as I'm over weight.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DJNCJ View Post
Welcome to the forum!

You are looking at this correctly. Cudo's for utilizing the scale right from the start. You have "preciuos cargo" to keep safe while traveling.
Dad was a truck driver his whole life. He knew more then I ever will about pulling a trailer. He always said that he knew exactly how much he was hauling as he used the scales. It kinda rubbed off on me as I even put my passenger cars on the scale when going tent camping just to know how badly I over packed!

Unfortunately Dad passed away this past December. He had just purchased the truck I'm now driving. A 2016 Chevy 2500HD Duramax Crew Cab short box LTZ Z71 4x4. Incredible truck to drive on it's own. Even better when you weigh it down and tow something.

But like I say. I don't have anyone to ask these kind of questions any more. I know for him, he wouldn't hesitate to go a few hundred pounds over. But he also had 60 years of experience pulling everything from pop up trailers behind a 75 Olds Delta 88 to moving over sized loads on single lane highways. If they made it, he towed it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:00 AM   #14
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We've pulled three different 5th wheels over the years many tens of thousands of miles in wind, rain, snow, ice, and in all kind of traffic. With that truck and trailer you'll hardly know it's back there, particularly as it appears you're going to be mindful of how you're loading. I think the main thing you are wondering about is stability-and unless I miss my guess you'll be pleasantly surprised at how stable a fifth wheel set-up can be. Unless something is terribly wrong with something you shouldn't see a fifth wheel behave like a TT. Enjoy it!
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