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Author Topic: Creating my Fifth wheel rig -- yer thoughts?  (Read 508 times)


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Creating my Fifth wheel rig -- yer thoughts?
« on: May 28, 2017, 10:39:00 PM »
After our dinky trailers, my Bride and I have decided to go 5th wheel.  Nothing too huge, 28-33 feet??  No idea yet of brand, gross weight, etc, but prolly used. I'm sure not wealthy like you guys seem to be.

I've begun my rig with a 2005 Ford F350 6.0L diesel full size bed, 112,000 miles. hefty tires.

Now,  I sure I can't pick up a used RV without a receiver mounted in the bed.
I've got no problem going with a used unit, if I find one, and have it installed. (Example, I'm looking at a used 16k Husky at $250; or a Valley glider 16K for $350.)

But what weight rating should I look into? I'm sure I can get too small, but can I get too big a hitch unit? Will any big receiver pull a 28 footer, if that's the way we go?

Thanks for your insight.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Creating my Fifth wheel rig -- yer thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 07:40:18 AM »
The hitch rating must equal or exceed the trailer GVWR, so those 16k hitches can haul any 5W up to 16k lbs. Ideally you would not want to be at max capacity on the hitch, though.

Few 28 footers are going to be anywhere near 16k (they run 10k-13k), but at 33 ft you could well be there. A bigger hitch still works and allows for a larger trailer, either now or future.

The Payload rating of that F350 may be the limiting factor for the trailer size anyway. Figure 20% of the trailer GVWR as the pin weight, plus the weight of the hitch itself and any passengers and gear in the truck. You need to learn the Payload and Towing capacity numbers for your truck - they determine your trailer size budget.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Creating my Fifth wheel rig -- yer thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 08:19:52 AM »
By hefty tires are you telling us the truck is lifted?


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Re: Creating my Fifth wheel rig -- yer thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 04:49:54 PM »
First, I would suggest a bigger hitch.  The 16K seem to be less sturdy than 20K, with fewer features.  If it is a FW hitch, it can not be too big.

I would also suggest looking at the Andersen Ultimate hitch.  It is a bit harder to find used, but is MUCH lighter than the classic style hitch.

Please say a bit more about the truck.  SRW or dually?  Has the 6.0L diesel been upgraded to prevent the normal problems with the engine?  What is the Load Rating on your tires?  What is the GVWR, found on the tire spec label?

This should be sufficient truck for your proposed FW.   To make sure, get the truck weighed with a full tank of fuel.  Is there a gravel pit, metal recycler,  trash transfer station or grain elevator nearby?  You can likely get it weighed for free or very cheap there.  Certified weights not required.

From the GVWR, subtract the weight of the truck.  This is your remaining payload.  EVERYTHING added to the truck counts against this number.  Restated, the weight of everything else added to the truck must be less than this payload.  This includes added passengers, tools, firewood, FW hitch wt (about 200#) and FW pin wt (20% - 25% of the FW  GVWR).

Please keep asking questions!

P.S. I'm not wealthy, I just have big dreams!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.