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Old 08-15-2020, 01:02 PM   #1
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Truck size Dually or no?

Would appreciate any expert advice on size truck necessary for a '99 Sunnybrook 5th wheel, model 30RK-F. The GVWR says 10,700, but that does'nt tell me much, I am very green to RV'ing.


The Sunnybrook was inheirited and I plan to spend the next 3-4 months fixing it up before I even attempt to take it some where. Before I can take it any where, I have to buy a truck. All I have is a 1/2 ton Avalanche and I know that can't handle it.


So, I have the RV and the 5th wheel apparatus itself (it was taken off my Dad's old truck), but have no truck that can handle it. I've heard a lot of folks say, you need a dually or you will regret it. Problem is...I don't want to be "a dually guy" and really can't afford two trucks - one for every day driving and the other just to pull my RV maybe 2-3 times a year.


So, how crucial is a dually for the RV I have?
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vett82ce View Post
Would appreciate any expert advice on size truck necessary for a '99 Sunnybrook 5th wheel, model 30RK-F. The GVWR says 10,700, but that does'nt tell me much, I am very green to RV'ing.


The Sunnybrook was inheirited and I plan to spend the next 3-4 months fixing it up before I even attempt to take it some where. Before I can take it any where, I have to buy a truck. All I have is a 1/2 ton Avalanche and I know that can't handle it.


So, I have the RV and the 5th wheel apparatus itself (it was taken off my Dad's old truck), but have no truck that can handle it. I've heard a lot of folks say, you need a dually or you will regret it. Problem is...I don't want to be "a dually guy" and really can't afford two trucks - one for every day driving and the other just to pull my RV maybe 2-3 times a year.


So, how crucial is a dually for the RV I have?
You dont need a dually for that load or most others. Also check payloads between a dually and single tire and the dually is usually less payload due to the added weight of two wheels and tires.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:10 PM   #3
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You dont need a dually for that load or most others. Also check payloads between a dually and single tire and the dually is usually less payload due to the added weight of two wheels and tires.

What size should be sufficient? 3/4, 1 ton?
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
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Get a 1 ton SRW you should be fine. New 3500 class trucks are usually good for a fifth wheel up to around 14,000 GVWR. The old wives tale about duallies having lower payload is just that. Duallies will have more stability, but you dont need it for that fiver.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:38 PM   #5
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Get a 1 ton SRW you should be fine. New 3500 class trucks are usually good for a fifth wheel up to around 14,000 GVWR. The old wives tale about duallies having lower payload is just that. Duallies will have more stability, but you dont need it for that fiver.

Thanks for that!
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Old 08-15-2020, 03:03 PM   #6
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Owned a 2001 Sunnybrook 30ft, couple years back. They are awesome 5th wheels. Made to last. Not like the new crap they put out to sell now a days. I have a 98, Dodge dually. Pulled it like it's not even there. Handled great in traffic. A 3500 single wheel should work perfect for you. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-15-2020, 03:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by vett82ce View Post
Would appreciate any expert advice on size truck necessary for a '99 Sunnybrook 5th wheel, model 30RK-F. The GVWR says 10,700, but that does'nt tell me much, I am very green to RV'ing.


The Sunnybrook was inheirited and I plan to spend the next 3-4 months fixing it up before I even attempt to take it some where. Before I can take it any where, I have to buy a truck. All I have is a 1/2 ton Avalanche and I know that can't handle it.


So, I have the RV and the 5th wheel apparatus itself (it was taken off my Dad's old truck), but have no truck that can handle it. I've heard a lot of folks say, you need a dually or you will regret it. Problem is...I don't want to be "a dually guy" and really can't afford two trucks - one for every day driving and the other just to pull my RV maybe 2-3 times a year.


So, how crucial is a dually for the RV I have?
A 5th wheel camping type trailer will, on average, put down approx. 20% of their weight on the truck, and is known as pin weight. It can be higher than 20%, but usually not lower than 19-20%. Always use "worst case scenario" as a basis for your calculations. By that I mean....the MOST that the trailer should ever weigh....which is the GVWR. In your case, 10,700 lbs. So if we look at 10,700 lb and multiply that time 20%, you end up with 2140 lbs of pin weight. Let's say the pin weight is a little higher....say 22% of the trailer weight. Again, use the worst case scenario that the trailer can weigh...10,700 lbs and do the math. Now you have 2354 lbs of pin weight on the truck. Now look at the 5ver hitch and figure somewhere around 175-200 lbs for the hitch weight. Now you are at 2554 lbs being put on the truck. Add up the weight of a passenger or passengers, plus anything and everything else that goes in/on the truck. An example might be...wife and two kids, truckbed toolbox with tools, firewood, extra fuel, bicycles, etc. Only you know the answer to how much extra weight will be on/in the truck besides the pin weight and the hitch. When you are done adding everything up, that total will tell you that you need a truck with at least that much payload capacity. As others have stated, a 1 Ton Single Rear Wheel truck, even a modern diesel one, should have at least 3300 to maybe 3500 lbs of available payload for all the stuff and trailer and hitch.....and of course all of that will depend on how the truck is equipped. Fancier trucks with a lot of "stuff" on them, will have less payload than a truck with very little options on it. All the extras take away from some of the payload when the truck was built. Hopefully that gives you a pretty good explanation of how it all works and will allow you to find a truck that will safely tow the trailer AND stay within all of the weight capacities and ratings for the truck.....GVWR, GVCWR, FAWR, RAWR, Payload rating and tire load capacity.
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Old 08-15-2020, 04:28 PM   #8
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Specs for current GMC models show:
3/4-Ton Payload ~3500, 5th wheel tow rating ~18K
1-T SRW Payload ~4000, 5th wheel tow rating ~21K
1-T DRW Payload ~6000, 5th wheel tow rating ~30K+

Based on the earlier calculations, a 3/4-Ton would have a sufficient tow rating and ~1000lbs of available payload capacity remaining after the trailer is hitched up.
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Old 08-15-2020, 05:39 PM   #9
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You dont need a dually for that load or most others. Also check payloads between a dually and single tire and the dually is usually less payload due to the added weight of two wheels and tires.
DRW pickups have ~50% more payload capacity than SRW pickups.
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Old 08-15-2020, 06:13 PM   #10
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You dont need a dually for that load or most others. Also check payloads between a dually and single tire and the dually is usually less payload due to the added weight of two wheels and tires.
Where are you getting your information because it is wrong. A dually will always have more payload capacity than a SRW truck. Comparing a 1 ton SRW and a 1 ton DRW, the SRW will have a slightly higher towing capacity due to the lower weight of the truck.

For the 30 ft trailer, a 3/4 ton will probably work. See if the truck has the payload capacity to carry the pin weight, plus cargo, plus hitch, plus passengers. Newer trucks will have a yellow sticker inside the drivers door jamb with the payload capacity of the truck.

Estimate your trailer pin weight as 20% of the trailer GVWR.

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Old 08-15-2020, 07:10 PM   #11
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Thanks all. Some great advice.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:19 PM   #12
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A 3/4 ton truck for a 10700 gvwr GN/5th wheel trailer is all you'll ever need. I tow a 11400 lb 5th wheel trailer with a '03 2500 Dodge/Cummins.
My trailers hitch weight and other necessary junk adds around 2500-2600 lbs on the trucks rear axle which scales around 5440 lbs +/- 100 depending on how we load the trailer.

you don't need a one ton anything to safely pull that size trailer. A bigger newer gen gas engine like the 6.6 from GM....6.4 hemi from Ram.....7.3 from Ford...or a diesel 250/2500 will serve you fine.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:54 PM   #13
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A 3/4 ton truck for a 10700 gvwr GN/5th wheel trailer is all you'll ever need. I tow a 11400 lb 5th wheel trailer with a '03 2500 Dodge/Cummins.
My trailers hitch weight and other necessary junk adds around 2500-2600 lbs on the trucks rear axle which scales around 5440 lbs +/- 100 depending on how we load the trailer.

you don't need a one ton anything to safely pull that size trailer. A bigger newer gen gas engine like the 6.6 from GM....6.4 hemi from Ram.....7.3 from Ford...or a diesel 250/2500 will serve you fine.

Youíre correct, but thereís not much price difference between a diesel 250/2500 and a 350/3500 SRW. I would buy a 1 ton SRW if available but a 3/4 ton can definitely tow that 5th wheel
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Old 08-15-2020, 09:47 PM   #14
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Where are you getting your information because it is wrong. A dually will always have more payload capacity than a SRW truck. Comparing a 1 ton SRW and a 1 ton DRW, the SRW will have a slightly higher towing capacity due to the lower weight of the truck.
Ken
The DRW will have the same or more conventional towing capacity as a similarly equipped SRW and considerably more 5th wheel towing capacity.
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