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Author Topic: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?  (Read 2631 times)

JustKeepMoving

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Hello all, we are new here. Previously, we owned a 16 ft Starcraft TT and a 31 ft Class C Thor Freedom Elite for weekending.

My husband had just (in 2017) bought a new 2017 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi (Lonestar edition) with tow package and an axle ratio of 3.9. We had planned on having this truck for several years until he retired from the Air Force and then upgrade to a diesel 3500 with perhaps an Arctic Fox 5th wheel with fantastic storage capacity to full time in. Well in comes Murphy, and my husband had a mini stroke (no deficits) in December with 21 years toward his retirement. He had a cardiac cath procedure to close a hole in his heart last week and is doing well. Now he has a high chance of being medically retired some time this year. So now we are trying to figure out what to do and still want to full time, but now already have a smaller truck than we planned at this point. The truck is already paid off.

We are unsure of full-timing in a TT with 2 teenage daughters, nor do we really like TT in general except for perhaps the Minnie Plus. We really like Grand Design and finally got the change to check out their 5th wheels today and were told that only the Reflection 28BH https://www.granddesignrv.com/showroom/2018/fifth-wheel/reflection/floorplans/28bh (which we really liked) is small enough for our 1500, but we would need to install air bags (quoted $800) to give the truck more leeway on towing capacity for safety.  We do not plan to be dry camping much at all since we will be new to full-timing, so we won't have the need to travel with full tanks.

Ram towing capacity: 10,300, with Air bags: around 13,000.

Reflection 28BH:  Storage capacity 2,100.
UVW: 8895 lbs
GVWR: 10995 lbs

We also looked at a Grand Design TT that was the same layout as the 5th wheel. The 2800BH with a hitch weight of 575 and total capacity GVWR 7,500.

The Winnebago Minnie Plus has a capacity of 8,800. https://winnebagoind.com/products/travel-trailer/2017/minnie-plus/specifications

We know to buy the bigger truck before you buy the 5th wheel, but now in our situation we already have this one and are trying to figure out how to use what we have and then in maybe 5 years we will upgrade. We really don't want to have to go and already trade the 1500 in for another truck, but if we have to then we will consider it. My husband's father and mother 'n law part time in an Arctic Fox 5th wheel and GMC diesel 3500, so we will be getting their advice too.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 06:02:06 PM by JustKeepMoving »

Alpena Jeff

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 04:58:14 PM »
You are about to get some eye opening advice from the experts.
I'll get the popcorn going.
Jeff & Judy
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JustKeepMoving

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 05:04:47 PM »
That is fine, that is why I am here. I am assuming the answers will be no way in hell.  ;)

Alpena Jeff

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 05:15:18 PM »
I've worn these folks out in the last year. They might by sleeping.
Jeff & Judy
2016 Newmar Ventana 3427
2018 GMC Canyon All Terrain toad
Blue Ox Aventa LX - RVi3 - EEZRV
Retired to "the lake" in north Michigan

Boonieman

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 05:25:35 PM »
 I am no expert at all, but on fifth wheels the pin weight is what is important. The payload capacity is going to get you way before your towing capacity on your current tow vehicle. I did a quick look at yours on line and payload capacity for your truck is a hair under 1600 pounds. It will be overloaded as soon as you hook up it. Sorry for the news, Iíve been through this myself and had to get rid of a year old truck for a bigger one. Ouch!
2016 Chevrolet Dually/Duramax
2011 Fuzion 322
2016 Harley Trike
3 cherished dogs, Moo, Molly, Mia the one eyed pup 😊
Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

JustKeepMoving

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 05:28:08 PM »
Thanks for the comment. I looked and the hitch weight for the Grand Design and it is 1545. So then the air bags are irrelevant; that is what we needed to know.

Oldgator73

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 05:29:37 PM »
That is fine, that is why I am here. I am assuming the answers will be no way in hell.  ;)

You'll hear there's a way in hell but not here on earth.
Retired Air Force
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier

JustKeepMoving

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 05:32:05 PM »
Looks like our options are to either get a bigger truck or go with something like the Minnie Plus or Grand Design TT.  Much to think about.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 06:05:58 PM by JustKeepMoving »

Smith

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 05:54:41 PM »
I pull my 2017 Reflection 28BH with a 2010 Ford F350. There is no way I would try to pull it with a half-ton truck. I havenít weighed it loaded but intend to. Not sure where Grand Design gets that low hitch weight. Twenty percent of the weight goes on the hitch. That figures out to 2200 pounds at gross weight. I can definitely feel the trailer behind me.
2017 Grand Design Reflection 28BH

JustKeepMoving

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 06:17:24 PM »
Thank you, Smith, for the input. We will definely learn more about hitch weights.

spencerpj

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 06:32:11 PM »
We will definely learn more about hitch weights.

You are at the right place for guidance. Best not to rely on any salesman, they have a known reputation of not being informed or not caring.  Some (most) will tell you whatever they need to for a sale.

kdbgoat

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 06:46:07 PM »
I'm a big fan of Ram 1500s, and really enjoyed the ones I've owned. Air bags don't not increase towing or payload capacities, they just help handle loads better. Two things a tow vehicle must do is tow the weight and carry the weight.. As stated before, the fiver empty will overload your 1500. Know how to tell if a salesman is lying? His lips are moving. They will state the unloaded weight, tell you not to worry about the GVWR of the fiver or trailer. No one goes camping with an empty trailer. You must also subtract the weight of the passengers (you're got four), and the weight of the hitch, plus whatever else is added in/on the truck since it left the factory. You will need a bigger truck for a fiver regardless of what any salesman tells you. There should be a national law holding salesmen liable when they knowingly let a customer leave the lot with more trailer than what their truck can handle.

Ok, I'm getting hungry. Got any popcorn left Jeff?
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

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UTTransplant

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 06:49:38 PM »
All but two of the RV sales folks I have ever worked with were either totally stupid or deliberately lied about payload. They will always tell you that your tow vehicle will pull whatever you are interested in. That being said, tow rating has no bearing on a fifth wheel. Your bed payload capacity is what matters, and you donít have enough in a 1/2 ton truck. The number of 5era that can be towed with even a 3/4 ton is small; most need a 1 ton.

Your choice of a big truck and a 5th wheel, current truck and a small-ish trailer suitable for four, or start looking at motorhomes, especially those with bunk beds. Best of luck, and thank your husband for his service.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
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grashley

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 06:51:38 PM »
Just the Facts!

First, welcome to the Forum!  Thanks for asking.

Thank you for your service and prayers for the health issues.

Towing Capacity is 10,300 lbs; 13,000 lbs. with air bags.  These numbers are notoriously optimistic.  The fine print says deduct for the weight of all options.  They only allow 2 passengers @ 150 lbs, and NO CARGO in their calculations.

Do air bags change the truck GVWR and Payload?  I seriously doubt it!!

The loaded, ready to travel FW will weigh 11,000 lbs or more.  That is a PIN WT of 2200 lbs.  You are already well above the truck payload.  Now add the weight of all passengers and cargo in the truck.  (Payload does not include any passengers).  This is an absolute non starter, especially for full timing!

The truck you need will have a yellow placard on the driver door latch pillar that states the max load it can carry.  That number MUST BE LARGER  than the total of Pin Wt ( 20% of GVWR), 200# for a FW hitch, wt of all passengers, cargo and anything else carried in the truck.

Since you plan to full time with 2 teens, you need all the space you can get!  That camper, if purchased, will be traded for a bigger one within 6 months!!

Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
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henkelphoto

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 06:52:57 PM »
Hi, just to play pile on, I'll make a comment about the Ram 1500. Although the stats say a tad under 1600 for payload, I'll give you my truck's payload. I have a regular cab 2x4 Tradesman (means that is doesn't have a bunch of options). My payload is listed as 1595-it's probably one of the lightest 1500s Ram makes (meaning the highest payload). So, there you go, if your truck is a extra cab or double cab, it will lower the payload, if you have 4x4 it will lower the payload, and your Lonestar edition will lower your payload. And of course, that's not including you, your husband or your two kids.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 06:54:42 PM by henkelphoto »
Dodge Ram 1500
Keystone Hideout 177lhs

Boonieman

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2018, 07:04:00 PM »
  I might also suggest if you stick with the idea of a fifth wheel to check out the floor plans of some toy haulers. Ours, and many others, have bunks in the back that raise up to ceiling level when not being used, giving you a lot of nice space back there when you are grilling out, or just sit inside with the back ramp down enjoying the view. Many newer ones have an option that uses the ramp as a deck. Pretty sweet setup.
2016 Chevrolet Dually/Duramax
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3 cherished dogs, Moo, Molly, Mia the one eyed pup 😊
Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

steveblonde

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2018, 11:34:39 PM »
Sorry to burst bubbles but Air Bags DO NOT CHANGE PAYLOAD AT ALL. payload on that truck if you look at the drivers side door decal is about 1300 lbs and you should not be pulling ANY 5er with it period. The truck wasnt and isnt designed for a 5er
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
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Alpena Jeff

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2018, 07:03:53 AM »

Ok, I'm getting hungry. Got any popcorn left Jeff?
Mr. Goat.
The corn is long gone however....
Once company awakes, I'll make another batch. Goes great with western omelettes and Zing Zang if you know what I mean!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
To the OP....I told you these guys (universal term for both genders) are good. Safety for your family and ours is top priority.
Welcome to the Forum. Keep the questions coming!
Jeff
Jeff & Judy
2016 Newmar Ventana 3427
2018 GMC Canyon All Terrain toad
Blue Ox Aventa LX - RVi3 - EEZRV
Retired to "the lake" in north Michigan

Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2018, 07:43:24 AM »
Sorry about your hubby and wishing you the best.  Been active duty for 27 years AF and 3 to go and only good thing I can say is it takes Big AF months to do MEB and he is over 20 so retirement is a give me. 

Personally would not tow over 8.5K with a 1/2 ton, TT or 5r.  Your second choice is better.  End of the day, its your call and but be smart about it.  Using suspension upgrades dont necessary increase weight capacity of tow vechicle. 

Bought a 29RES HT 5r on a Sunday to tow with my '15 F150 3.5. (all numbers worked).  Monday my girlfriend bought me a '17 F250 6.7.  Reran numbers, called my camper sales lady because we didnt pick up new camper and upgraded to 344MKS Cougar. 

Bottom line is there are true HT towable 5rs.  Trailer magazine just did article on GD might wanna check out.

Be VERY selective of who you listen to on this site.  Some believe if you are over your weight, your dog will die, get HIV, oceans will evaporate and aliens will steal your camper. 

Dave
IYAAYAS

steveblonde

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2018, 12:19:20 PM »
Sorry about your hubby and wishing you the best.  Been active duty for 27 years AF and 3 to go and only good thing I can say is it takes Big AF months to do MEB and he is over 20 so retirement is a give me. 

Personally would not tow over 8.5K with a 1/2 ton, TT or 5r.  Your second choice is better.  End of the day, its your call and but be smart about it.  Using suspension upgrades dont necessary increase weight capacity of tow vechicle. 

Bought a 29RES HT 5r on a Sunday to tow with my '15 F150 3.5. (all numbers worked).  Monday my girlfriend bought me a '17 F250 6.7.  Reran numbers, called my camper sales lady because we didnt pick up new camper and upgraded to 344MKS Cougar. 

Bottom line is there are true HT towable 5rs.  Trailer magazine just did article on GD might wanna check out.

Be VERY selective of who you listen to on this site.  Some believe if you are over your weight, your dog will die, get HIV, oceans will evaporate and aliens will steal your camper. 

Dave
IYAAYAS



I have never seen a 1/2 towable 5er they say you can but its not simple and they are playing with words - typical 5er has a pin of about 1300lbs a typical 1/2 has a cargo cap of 1300 lbs so it doable right? WRONG WRONG And  WRONG
1st nobody tows empty
2nd you forgot to add the hitch and passengers 200 for the hitch and ??? For the passengers - guess what your already over by at least 400 lbs now add 1000lbs worth of gear to the trailer now add 600lbs of water shall i keep going ?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 07:23:45 PM by jackiemac »
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"
From Canada Eh

JustKeepMoving

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2018, 12:25:42 PM »
Thank you for all of the responses and information on the air bags. It is always nice to verify when you think someone is blowing smoke.

grashley

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2018, 06:05:15 PM »
There MAY BE A VERY FEW half ton towable FW, but very few and very few trucks capable of towing them.  Advertisements lie!  The actual Payload of YOUR truck - not some chart showing the payload of a naked base trim truck - must be larger than REAL pin wt AS LOADED TO CAMP, not dry pin wt., PLUS the weight of the FW hitch (200) PLUS the weight of all passengers and cargo.

A 9,000# GVWR  FW with a family of 4 -->  1800 Pin wt + 200# hitch + 500# passengers + 100# misc cargo = 2600# MINIMUM payload.  Ford's High Payload package will exceed that payload, but only in a reg cab model.  No room for the kids,
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
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Tom

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2018, 07:12:57 PM »
Hi Dave and welcome to The RV Forum.

Quote
Been active duty for 27 years AF and 3 to go ...

My personal thanks for your service to our country and for the protection of our citizens.

Quote
Some believe if you are over your weight, your dog will die, get HIV, oceans will evaporate and aliens will steal your camper.

I assume that was some kind of humor, although not the friendliest of first posts. I agree that some folks are over-conservative, but that's better advice than one of the alternatives. Hopefully, you'll find a way to fit in with our diverse community, even if you don't agree with everyone's comments or advice.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

RVRAC

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2018, 09:51:06 PM »
Bigger truck or a TT. Sorry as it is not what we want to hear.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2018, 06:49:20 AM »
Another reason why I seldom frequent this site.  People are pushy VERY pushy on opinions and only their opinions matter.  Oh ya, administrators changed my name from "Trump Supporter" to "Presidential Supporter".  Guess it offended someone. 

Alpena Jeff

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2018, 07:25:02 AM »
Presidential supporter.
We all have choices. If this site isn't what you are looking for, there are other options.
Best of luck whatever you decide.
Jeff
Jeff & Judy
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kdbgoat

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2018, 07:51:39 AM »
I'm wondering if "Presidential Supporter" isn't another name for a member/past member that just wants to bad mouth the site and people on the site.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

2012 Redwood 36RL
2016 Leprechaun 319DS

steveblonde

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2018, 08:20:55 AM »
I'm wondering if "Presidential Supporter" isn't another name for a member/past member that just wants to bad mouth the site and people on the site.

I wondered the same thing
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"
From Canada Eh

John Canfield

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2018, 08:53:32 AM »
....Be VERY selective of who you listen to on this site. ..
That is sage advice for life in general regardless of the information delivery method - face to face, radio, TV, Internet, Wastebook, etc.  There are some super-sharp folks on the forum and some less 'experienced'. After hanging around for a couple of months you will easily be able to distinguish the wheat from the chaff.

Thanks for your career service! I was USAF 1968-72: Lackland AFB, Shepard AFB, Kindly AB (Bermuda), Bergstrom AFB (Austin), Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam. AFSC 362x4. Sewed on my 4th stripe at 36 months. That seems like a million years ago. Member of VFW Post 7105.
--John
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Pugapooh

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Re: Small Grand Design 5th Wheel with Ram 1500 V8 Hemi w/air bags?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2018, 11:44:18 AM »
Another reason why I seldom frequent this site.  People are pushy VERY pushy on opinions and only their opinions matter.  Oh ya, administrators changed my name from "Trump Supporter" to "Presidential Supporter".  Guess it offended someone.

How's that popcorn coming along? 
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
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