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Author Topic: COMPLETE NOVICES  (Read 626 times)


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« on: July 21, 2017, 05:04:33 PM »
We're retiring - finally - and are pursuing a path of RVing for our years ahead; hopefully utilizing a 5W TH (we ride a HD). All we have so far is a 2017 Chev 2500HD (V8 gas) - and the HD we've had for sometime. Currently living in Tucson AZ - we'll be heading back to our home state of CO. We'll be searching for the right 5W TH (size wise) - and are already bewildered by the multitude of choices and pricing. Have been warned by everyone in the know - DO NOT ever buy new and beware of ALL RV DEALERS. So - finding exactly what we need for the best price appears to be daunting; but we're in no hurry. We've got friends that have and are RVing - but we have not ourselves...ever. Disappointingly - we're being told that we should have a 3500HD/dually  - and the 2500HD is barely able - if at all - to accommodate a 5W TH of the size we need (30-35). Wonderful! :-\ We may have to abandon our plans of RVing altogether. Marvelous! :'(


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  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 10:56:40 PM »
A 3/4 ton truck will haul an awful lot of travel trailers. Expand your sight from just 5Ws. Look for a big toy hauler trailer, one of the ones with more storage than most. They do exist.

And welcome to the forum.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2018 Tiffin 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad


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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 07:33:49 AM »
Toy haulers are very nose heavy so you will be somewhat limited in the size of a 5th wheel toy hauler
Ie my voltage is 38 ft with a pin of 2800 lbs which is more than a 2500 can handle, you could look a t toy hauler bumper pulls also as an option or a smaller 5er toy hauler
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2014 F150 Ecoboost Reg cab (company truck) daily driver
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded  5167lbs cargo/weight capacity
Selling truck parts for 15 yrs plus
" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
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Gary RV_Wizard

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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 09:37:43 AM »
You have probably been given good advice re the size of truck needed to do what you want, but the first task is to get the payload (cargo capacity) and GCWR or tow rating for your specific truck.  The Payload/cargo number will be ion the driver door post, usually a yellow sticker. We can probably figureout the max tow rating & GCWR from the details of the 2500HD configuration, i.e. cab type and bed length. Check yours vs the Chevrolet Towing Guide at

A 5th wheel puts at least 20% of its gross weight on the truck bed, nearly all of it on the rear axle. That means a typical 15,000 lb (loaded) large toyhauler) places 3000 lbs or more onto the truck, plus the truck has to carry its passengers, gear, the 5W hitch, etc.  Upwards of 3800 lbs is not at all unusual.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 09:42:09 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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  • Western KY for now.
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 07:19:42 PM »
Welcome to the Forum.  This is a great source of unbiased personal opinions, and they are worth exactly what you pay for them!

You have received some great advise.  Buy used.  Never believe ANY salesman  Here is why:


The problem with a 2500 HD is a lower Payload and GVWR than the similar 3500 HD, by about 1500# each.  Too late to help you there!  Do not panic, there is still hope!

As Gary said, start with looking for the Yellow label on the truck driver door latch post.  It states the max weight of all passengers and cargo shall not exceed XXXX.  This is specific to THAT truck as it left the factory.  It is exactly what it says.

Assuming the yellow label payload is 2500#, I will use this starting point.  Subtract from this the weight of all passengers, pets, snacks, maps, tools, firewood and other cargo to be carried in the truck.  I will guess 700# and move all those tools and cargo into the TH.  Subtract 200# for a FW hitch.  This is 900# and leaves 1600# for a FW pin weight.  With a 20% pin wt, the biggest GVWR  FW the truck can handle is 8,000#, which is a small but doable FW.
     8000# FW X 20% = 1600# pin wt + 200# FW hitch + 700# people, pets and cargo = 2500# max payload.

Using these same numbers,  2500# Payload - 700# people, pets and cargo - 80# WD hitch for TT = 1720# max TT TH hitch wt.  With even 12.5% hitch wt, this leaves a 13,700# GVWR  TT TH within the weight limits.  That is a nice size TH.

The big difference is that a FW places 20% of its' weight into the truck bed, eating up lots of precious payload.  A TT only places 10% - 12% of its' weight on the bumper.

THERE IS HOPE!!  Adjust your focus on a small FW TH or a mid size TT TH.  Your truck should be able to handle either one, but check your numbers carefully!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
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It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.


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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 09:32:30 AM »
The truck debate will go on ad infinum and I do agree that having too much truck is better than not enough however...

Dragging a 30'-35' toyhauler with a 2500HD is quite doable if you keep in mind what you are doing, we did it for years with an F250 and a 35' Wanderer weighing in at 13,500 pounds.  Are you putting additional stress on your drive line, tires and rear end?? Yes indeed but for someone just starting out this may be your only choice.  If you go the route of the 2500HD just keep these things in mind and remember that windy days are best spent with an adult beverage parked.  Although I now tow with a Freightliner and would NEVER put a fiver on a pickup again I started out just like you are planning to do.

Let me address the toyhauler though.  I agree with the first one being used but I also caution you to research the payload capacities of the toyhauler realistically before you plunk down and cash.  A lot of them out there really don't have a lot of extra cushion once you provision out and ad water and may not have the 900-1,000 pounds left over that you are going to need for the bike.  An over loaded fiver toyhauler is way more dangerous than that extra kingpin weight in your bed.  By the way, a properly installed fifth wheel hitch should be just forward of the drive axle and will put additional weight on the steer axle, this is why fivers tend to handle better than travel trailers of the same weight and length.  Don't get carried away on slides, they ad weight and sooner or later the slide mechanism will give you grief, learn how they work and be prepared to fix them yourself or pay someone else to do it.  If I had a choice I'd suggest a beginner do without slides on the first one but that's not realistic these days.  I guess what I'm trying to get across is to go simple with a toyhauler to start, you WILL upgrade in a few years but learning the ropes on something that has less systems will ease your pain in the beginning.

2008 Victory Lane
1998 Freightliner FL50
Cody, WY when it's not covered in ice.