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Old 07-25-2021, 11:18 AM   #1
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Truck ???

New guy here. Retiring around Christmas, hopefully start traveling when school goes out in June. We're trying to get all the info we can now. This will be our first RV. We'll be buying a new truck, and fifth wheel hopefully. Just a question or two, I've hopefully got this towing, and payload capacity figured out. I'm buying a 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW. The truck, according to Chevys charts, as a Crew Cab, short bed, diesel, single rear wheel is able to tow 21,030 lbs. ,and payload is 4,300 lbs. The fifth wheel is a Montana 350BH , and it's rated to be 12,995 lbs. with 3,005 carrying capacity for a total of 16,000 lbs. Should I be fine?
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:43 AM   #2
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The truck numbers are from Chevy Chart
What you need to pay attention to is the ACTUAL numbers for the tRUCK you purchase

A 2021 3500 SRW will be OK for a 16,000 GVWR 5th wheel
16K wet pin will be roughly 3500#
That may put you right at the trucks RAWR (which carries the pin weight of 5th wheel)---depends on what the trucks RAWR is and unloaded weight is.

I safely tow a 14K GVWR 5th wheel with my 2007 3500 SRW with a 3000# WET pin and 6200# RAWR


Look at the Fed Cert Sticker (white sticker) on trucks you think abut buying...lists GVWR/Axle Ratings for THAT truck
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:56 AM   #3
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A 5th wheel with a GVWR of 16,000lbs I used to recommend a dually truck. Make sure that the particular truck you buy has the same numbers as on the chart. Oftem times those chart numbers are marketing numbers and not actual. Also make sure the chart is not talking about a 3500 Work Truck with an 8' bed.

Ford builds F-350 SRW trucks with a payload of over 4,000lbs but they all have the 8' bed.

I personally think a 5th wheel with a GVWR of 16,000lbs needs a dually.

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Old 07-25-2021, 12:17 PM   #4
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Congrats on the coming retirement and the associated travels that will come with it.
In addition to understanding the actual capacities of the particular truck youíre considering, as others have said, Iíd strongly suggest considering a DRW 3500 for the 16k trailer even if the numbers on the SRW are adequate.

If the primary purpose of the truck is to pull the 5er, Iíd suggest optimizing the towing performance and safety and let the compromises (parking/drive through limitations, etc) come for when the truck isnít used for its primary purpose of towing.

I towed a 15.5k trailer with an overloaded SRW (250 actually) for nearly 3 years before buying an F350 dually. Aside from the adequate capacities, the stability, handling and increased sopping ability that comes with the dually is night/day different. In short, the contact with the road surface with the dually is increased by 50%. This means a lot in high crosswinds, which was the primary reason for my upgrade to the DRW.

The other safety factor that comes with the DRW that isnít mentioned much is when one has a blowout on the truckís drive axle vs the same on a SRW truck.

Just some added things that ďthe numbersĒ do not specifically address.

Safe travels and enjoy the retirement.
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Old 07-25-2021, 02:10 PM   #5
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Also why a short bed truck if towing a 5th wheel. I used a F-450 to tow my 5th wheel and was glad it had an 8' bed when backing up where I needed to turn sharp.
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Old 07-25-2021, 02:24 PM   #6
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You can knock out much trailer sway in wind or road surfaces by putting crossmembers on the spring shackles . Moryde sells them . Also Comfort ride sells a shock kit that puts the shocks at an outboard angle which does much to prevent sway and porpoising much better ride . I have a 15k loaded 5th wheel . Pulled it thousands of miles with a SBtruck . Bought a LB in 2020 less hassle smoother ride . With the newer trucks , stiffer frames better suspension 16 would be my max though INHMO.
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Old 07-25-2021, 04:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RazrRebel View Post
New guy here. Retiring around Christmas, hopefully start traveling when school goes out in June. We're trying to get all the info we can now. This will be our first RV. We'll be buying a new truck, and fifth wheel hopefully. Just a question or two, I've hopefully got this towing, and payload capacity figured out. I'm buying a 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW. The truck, according to Chevys charts, as a Crew Cab, short bed, diesel, single rear wheel is able to tow 21,030 lbs. ,and payload is 4,300 lbs. The fifth wheel is a Montana 350BH , and it's rated to be 12,995 lbs. with 3,005 carrying capacity for a total of 16,000 lbs. Should I be fine?
The fully loaded pin weight of your RV is one unknown. My fiver has a light pin weight of about 15% of the loaded weight of my RV. At a more typical 20% pin weight you might have a 3200 lb pin weight.

Another unknown is your empty rear axle weight. My short box Ford has rear axle weight of about 3500 lbs with driver, full tank of fuel and hitch installed. The Ford rear axle rating is 7230 lbs which means it can handle a pin weight of about 3700 lbs. Likely the SRW GM your looking at getting will be very similar.
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Old 07-25-2021, 05:55 PM   #8
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I just retired and bought a truck and trailer, too! I got a 2015 Chevy 2500 6.0 gasser. I used to own a Tundra and this seemed like a tank compared to that. Payload is 2,800. So we went looking for 12,000 lbs GVWR 5ers and found a perfect one for our truck that weighs 11,000 lbs fully loaded with a pin weight of 2,200 (per the CAT scales). Nice combo. Tows fine.

But, if I had to do it over again, I would have bought a diesel, dually long bed (probably an F-450). I don't have a job now but my truck is my daily driver to Home Depot and Lowes. A dually long bed would be fine for doing truck things other than towing. And what a great future proof truck. It would tow my current 5er great vs fine and pretty much any trailer we might want in the future. I can't find any downsides for us, being retired and all, in owning a giant tow machine.

Something to think about from someone who has been there, not done that.
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RazrRebel View Post
New guy here. Retiring around Christmas, hopefully start traveling when school goes out in June. We're trying to get all the info we can now. This will be our first RV. We'll be buying a new truck, and fifth wheel hopefully. Just a question or two, I've hopefully got this towing, and payload capacity figured out. I'm buying a 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW. The truck, according to Chevys charts, as a Crew Cab, short bed, diesel, single rear wheel is able to tow 21,030 lbs. ,and payload is 4,300 lbs. The fifth wheel is a Montana 350BH , and it's rated to be 12,995 lbs. with 3,005 carrying capacity for a total of 16,000 lbs. Should I be fine?
Figure 22% of the gross trailer weight for your pin weight, that is conservatives . My 5th is 17,000lbs and I used to have a single wheel 3500 crew cab 4x4 Duramax . I can tell you with out question a duel wheel truck is much better feeling on twisty roads. The same trailer at the same weight I was constantly correcting for the back end of the truck getting pulled around by the trailer. Can it be done Yes, You must carry almost nothing in the basement , No water and you will be just under the max rear axle rating. The way I was loaded I was 800 lbs over the rear axle rating. I swapped the tire to 19.5" wheels and load range H commercial truck tires and added air bags to the rear. Bottom line at 15,000 lb trailer is all I would suggest this truck do on a regular occurrence . Yes that is well below the GM rating but your rear axle is where the weight becomes a problem with RV 5th wheels. Goose neck cargo trailers you can move the load a round to avoid overloading the rear axle, RV you cant.

If you have a payload rating of 4200 lbs + on the new 3500 then your no leaving much margin for safety but it will do it . Keep in mind you need sliding hitch, I suggest the demco auto slide , it worked well for me. The hitch is 200lbs assuming you go with a puck mount. 300lbs if you go ISR rails. Don't forget passenger and driver load. the trailer pin weight is around 3500lbs.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:23 PM   #10
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Figure 22% of the gross trailer weight for your pin weight, that is conservatives . My 5th is 17,000lbs and I used to have a single wheel 3500 crew cab 4x4 Duramax . I can tell you with out question a duel wheel truck is much better feeling on twisty roads. The same trailer at the same weight I was constantly correcting for the back end of the truck getting pulled around by the trailer. Can it be done Yes, You must carry almost nothing in the basement , No water and you will be just under the max rear axle rating. The way I was loaded I was 800 lbs over the rear axle rating. I swapped the tire to 19.5" wheels and load range H commercial truck tires and added air bags to the rear. Bottom line at 15,000 lb trailer is all I would suggest this truck do on a regular occurrence . Yes that is well below the GM rating but your rear axle is where the weight becomes a problem with RV 5th wheels. Goose neck cargo trailers you can move the load a round to avoid overloading the rear axle, RV you cant.

If you have a payload rating of 4200 lbs + on the new 3500 then your no leaving much margin for safety but it will do it . Keep in mind you need sliding hitch, I suggest the demco auto slide , it worked well for me. The hitch is 200lbs assuming you go with a puck mount. 300lbs if you go ISR rails. Don't forget passenger and driver load. the trailer pin weight is around 3500lbs.

Iím kind of surprised the Chevy SRW is not more capable. What year truck was your SRW?
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:09 AM   #11
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The truck is a 2016 , it has a 11500 lb GVW rating and the rear axle rating is 7050 lbs. The big issue is GM uses 265/70/18 tires. The tires are the limiting factor for the rear axle rating, Ford uses larger tires so they can carry a few pounds more. Most owners have never scaled there rig ready to camp and never realize they are so close to max load. Like other have point out cross winds and single wheel trucks require you to be 100% paying attention to where your going.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:11 AM   #12
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The truck is a 2016 , it has a 11500 lb GVW rating and the rear axle rating is 7050 lbs. The big issue is GM uses 265/70/18 tires. The tires are the limiting factor for the rear axle rating, Ford uses larger tires so they can carry a few pounds more. Most owners have never scaled there rig ready to camp and never realize they are so close to max load. Like other have point out cross winds and single wheel trucks require you to be 100% paying attention to where your going.

Iíve had 20Ē low profile tires on my SRW trucks since 2011; maybe that makes a difference. Anyway, even though I donít doubt that a dually would tow even nicer, Iíve always felt towing my fiver to be a very relaxing experience.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:45 AM   #13
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I knew I was clos to the limit, just wanted to check with more experienced people than me. I'll look into the suspension upgrades also. I really need to keep it with a SRW for everyday use too. We may not go that big on the RV, but right now that floor plan is the one. If we could find a similar, shorter floor plan it would work too. Thanks again!
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:15 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I knew I was clos to the limit, just wanted to check with more experienced people than me. I'll look into the suspension upgrades also. I really need to keep it with a SRW for everyday use too. We may not go that big on the RV, but right now that floor plan is the one. If we could find a similar, shorter floor plan it would work too. Thanks again!
I drive a srw 3500 ram as a company vehicle and my truck is an f350 drw. I dont honestly drive either any different than the other.
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