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Old 06-28-2020, 07:20 AM   #1
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Trying to educate myself about trucks.

Me and my better half were looking at class C for our retirement RV but she really likes the room in 5th wheels. Looking at an bunk house models between 33-36 ft. Weights around 10,000 lbs or higher. We have now a small tag being pulled with dodge 07 1500. I plan to buy another truck (new) 2500 or 3500. My question is what should I be looking for when it comes to transmission, engine , short bed/long bed , gas diesel. The nuts and bolts of an truck , I am not really knowledgeable on this subject (hope I am making this question clear). I am looking at all manufacturers.
Thanks
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:04 AM   #2
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Towing a 5th you need to be concerned with the trailers pin weight and the trucks payload capacity. Look up and down load the trucks manufacturers towing guide, read it and understand the terms.

Next, ignore the brochure trailer dry weight. Use the trailer GVWR or add the dry weight to the cargo capacity to get the maximum weight for the trailer. Use 20% of the trailer GVWR fro estimate the loaded trailer pin weight. Add to the pin weight the weight of a hitch, any cargo in the back of the truck and passengers beyond the driver.

For a 5er, I prefer a long bed truck to provide ample space for turns. With a short bed, I strongly recommend a slider hitch.

The short comings of a 33/4 ton, F250 or 2500 is the limited payload capacity. I would recommend going on up to a 1 ton, F350 or 3500, to get more payload capacity. This should work for trailer up to about 36' long. Over that length, you need to double check your weight ratings and maybe consider a 1 ton dual rear wheel.

DO NOT listen to the RV salesman, they are not your friend and just want to sell you the largest trailer they can. Many have never towed anything more than a bass boat loaded with a cooler of beer.

As for engine, I prefer a diesel for towing heavy. If you are going to a smaller 5er and short trips, a larger gas engine can work, but fuel economy will not be good. A 3.73 or a 4,10 axle will provide better towing than a 3.42 or a 3.55 axle. A diesel truck will run you $8000 plus over a gas truck, but resale of the diesel will bring most of that back later. The diesel will do better on fuel economy and much better in the hills and mountains. With the current diesel trucks, you will get an exhaust brake to aid in downhill runs and save the truck and trailer brakes.

Have fun looking.

Ken
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:28 AM   #3
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I would suggest for your needs and others may have different opinions than mine! A 3500 Ram truck with the 6.7L Cummins and the AISIN 6spd automatic transmission with the 3:73 gear ratio either in a 4X4 or 2X4 configuration. I would get the hitch bed puck system in the long bed configuration truck.

Most will tell you to buy a dually truck and not the signal rear wheel truck. But the newer 2019 and up Ram trucks in a signal wheel configuration can handle a 4.000 LBS+ payload and a max trailer weight of 25,000 LBS+. So, I would get the SRW configuration but that is my opinion.

Here is the link to the weight towing charts for a 2019 and newer truck for Ram. https://www.ramtrucks.com/content/da...AL_2-06-18.pdf
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:54 AM   #4
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Look into the cost of registering a one ton vs a 3/4 ton. More than likely a 3/4 ton will be able to handle the pin weight you'll be looking at but a 1 ton single wheel is about the same price to buy and can carry significantly more payload. I would buy a diesel .... the Ram is adequate but my preference would be GM or Ford with a 10 speed transmission. Because you are looking at lighter 5th wheels a gas engine would be sufficient.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 4x4ord View Post
Look into the cost of registering a one ton vs a 3/4 ton. More than likely a 3/4 ton will be able to handle the pin weight you'll be looking at but a 1 ton single wheel is about the same price to buy and can carry significantly more payload. I would buy a diesel .... the Ram is adequate but my preference would be GM or Ford with a 10 speed transmission. Because you are looking at lighter 5th wheels a gas engine would be sufficient.

Confused yet?
Itís like asking 4 different people to pick out a pair of pants. imho, buy the most capable truck in your budget. For me that would be the Cummins 4x4 dually long bed. Some count the added upfront cost of a diesel but discount the residual value of the truck a few years down the road. Not to mention the added useable lifespan of a Diesel engine.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:18 AM   #6
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Sorry 4x4ord
I didnít mean to add your post in quotes
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:56 PM   #7
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Since it's for retirement then it means hopefully you'll be out traveling way more than you are now. That means lots of driving in lots of different conditions.
FWIW the DW and I are retired and last summer did a 28 day 3200 mile trip through 5 states out west with grades of 0% to 10%.
Used to have a diesel and now a gasser. I missed the diesel on those steeper grades and when out in nowhere land needing fuel. Gassers suck gas faster than diesels suck diesel so looking for a fuel station is more concerning with a gasser.
If I were looking for a 33'-36' 5er with retirement traveling in mind I'd 100% go diesel 350-3500 1 ton, SRW for 2500lb-2800lb dry pin weight and DRW for 3000 lb+ dry pin weight.

I won't get into brands as it's really a personal taste subject. It boils down to what you like in comfort and looks. Ford, Ram and GM all make fantastic diesel trucks, so any of them will be nice for towing 5th wheel.
I would break it down though with Ram having the nicest interiors, Ford the most power and GM maybe having the nicest ride.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:59 PM   #8
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The best approach is to nail down the fifthwheel that you are going to buy. There can be huge difference in weights from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model even from the same manufacturer.



The pin weight of the 5th wheel will be the first number to address. Make sure the truck you buy has more than enough payload capacity to handle the pin weight of the loaded 5th wheel, the weight of the hitch, all cargo you plan to carry in the truck and people in the truck. This is not as simple as it may seem. Each and every truck has a payload rating. It is printed on a sticker inside the driver's door. It is commonly called the "yellow" sticker. The payload capacity of each truck varies based on a number of factors. As a rule of thumb, the more options that a truck has, the lower the payload capacity it will have.



A truck with a longer wheelbase will ride better and generally be able to tow heavier weights. This means a long bed, which can give you more maneuverability when making turns with the RV.



Generally a dual rear wheel (DRW or dually) will be more stable than a single rear wheel (SRW).



A diesel engine will be best for moving heavy loads time and time again. When towing heavy loads, diesels get better fuel mileage when compared to their gas engine counterparts. Diesels are best for towing thru mountains and as an added perk, you can refuel where semi trucks refuel. This can make maneuvering in a gas station parking lot a bunch easier than with a gas engine truck.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:45 PM   #9
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IMHO 250/2500 series trucks are good to tow travel trailers.
350/3500 Single Rear Wheel (SRW) are good for both travel trailers and 5th wheels to about 15,000 lbs.

A 350/3500 series truck can carry approx. 1,500lbs more than a 250/2500 series truck.

250/2500 series trucks usually have an Occupant/Cargo capacity of 2,000 to 2,800lbs.

350/3500 series trucks usually have an Occupant/Cargo capacity of 2,800 to 3,800lbs.

If you are going to budget $60,000 that will cover most gasoline powered 350/3500 series trucks. I am figuring a MSRP of $67,000 selling at a discount to $58,000. But budget 60k.

Now Ford, Chevy, Ram all improved their gasoline powered trucks for 2020. Ford will have the new Godzilla 7.3 with a 10 speed. Ram will have a 6.4 Hemi with an 8 speed. GM will have a 6.6 with a 6 speed.
7.3, 6.4, and 6.6 is litres.

Now diesel trucks will initially cost $10,000 more than gasoline powered. Are they worth it...yes. Ford, Ram and GM have crazy powerful diesel engines. With the diesel engine Ford and GM have a 10 speed transmission and I think Ram has an 8 speed. Figure the diesel engine are putting out 900 to 1000 ft. lbs. of torque.
The downside of diesel is the complex emission system.

The GM truck is the only truck that has IFS. Independent Front Suspension.

Before Coronavirus I test drove all the trucks and liked them all. I liked the GM and Ford as a tie followed close by the Ram.

If I had to pick a truck for you I would pick the Ford F-350 SRW with 5th wheel prep package with the 7.3 Godzilla which is the gas engine which comes with the 10 speed transmission.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:42 AM   #10
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The GM truck is the only truck that has IFS. Independent Front Suspension.
I'm not certain about brand new, but our 2012 F350 has an IFS because it's not 4WD. The 4WD version has a live front axle, but the 2 wheel drive does not.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:45 PM   #11
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By a one ton truck. 33 to 36 ft 5th wheel will have 2000 + lbs of hitch weight. Now add a 200+ lb hitch and you are over weight on a 3/4 ton truck. Now with a one ton you have to decide if you need a dually or not. Ford's F350 srw will have a 4000 lb load capacity. My F350 dually has 5600 lbs of load capacity. You will need to know your 5th wheels pin weight. My 375 RKS Sierra listed 1900 lbs pin weight but once I scaled it the pin weight was 2500 lbs. Now after adding more stuff it is at 2790lbs. Buy the diesel. They have 2 times the torque at 1/2 the rpms then the gas engine. It makes for a easy tow. I can set my cruise control at 70 mph and it never slows down. The exhaust brakes make coming down a mountain easy. Buy more truck then you need. My truck is rated to pull 31300 lbs. My 13290 lb 5th wheel is a easy tow for that truck
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:54 PM   #12
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You can buy a brand new Class C and even some Class As for what just the new truck will cost you. Add the cost of the new fifth wheel and you are deep into quality Class A territory.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:59 PM   #13
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Add the cost of the new fifth wheel and you are deep into quality Class A territory.
Then you have the cost of a vehicle to tow plus towing brackets or dolly and an auxiliary brake system. Not exact direct comparison of truck plus trailer vs a motorhome.

Additional advantage of the truck and trailer is if you have a driveline issue, on the motorhome, your home goes to the shop. With a truck and trailer, the trailer is towed to a campsite, the truck to a shop and you get a cheap rental car.

Ken
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:16 AM   #14
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You can buy a brand new Class C and even some Class As for what just the new truck will cost you. Add the cost of the new fifth wheel and you are deep into quality Class A territory.
Just my opinion, of course, but buying new is a sucker bet. Also, you just canít get the space inside a Class C to match a 5er floor plan.
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