rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: tow vehicle  (Read 1006 times)

2+1 for the road

  • ---
  • Posts: 16
tow vehicle
« on: October 12, 2019, 05:34:18 PM »
We are looking at a 38' 5th wheel. We have a Chev 2500 dura max diesel 4WD. According to spec it has enough tow capacity for the 5th wheel which weights 12,600. Hubby wants a 3500 dully, he says to prevent sway issues with pulling. Just looking for opinions about towing.


  • ---
  • Posts: 150
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 05:52:38 PM »
As many others on this forum have stated in other posts regarding tow vehicles, although your truck may have the tow capacity, it may not have the payload for the hitch, pin weight of the fifth wheel and all the other load like passengers, generators, and camping gear. We nearly fell into that trap by intending to buy an F250 until we realised it would not have the payload. Look very carefully at the yellow sticker on the driver's door shut for the maximum payload of your particular vehicle. Never never ever trust what any sales person says, they aren't the ones who will be driving the set up.  We are so so glad we took the advice of the experienced people here and went to the F350 SRW.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 06:29:18 PM by TonyL »

Arch Hoagland

  • ---
  • Posts: 3381
  • Clovis CA
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 06:24:19 PM »
It will definitely help with stability plus added safety in emergency maneuvers.   
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

2+1 for the road

  • ---
  • Posts: 16
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2019, 06:47:28 PM »
Thanks for replies. I kinda knew he was right because he has driven OTR tractors for a living. I was just thinking maybe this was just an" I want a bigger truck idea". But, I do want to be safe while we travel.

Roy M

  • ---
  • Posts: 978
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2019, 06:54:16 PM »
That is the empty weight, it will be 14,000 + once loaded with water, propane, food, bedding etc etc. You both will be much happier and safer with a 3500/F-350.


  • ---
  • Posts: 1436
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2019, 06:58:51 PM »
As a former owner of an alike truck, there is no way your truck can handle it well.  Go for Qatar 3500, preferably a dually.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.


  • ---
  • Posts: 227
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2019, 09:11:29 PM »
No way would I want to pull that trailer with your 3/4 ton. I would want at least a 1 ton srw. However, I believe in "overkill" when it comes to safety and piece of mind, so I would want a dually.
2017 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually
 2019 Keystone Alpine 3700FL 42'
Visalia, CA area
Truck Driver 40 Years +


  • ---
  • Posts: 3831
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2019, 08:40:46 AM »
Overkill is in the eye of thw beholder.  Stupidity is in thr eye of others.
A "38 foot fifth wheel"  really?  14,000 pounds translates to 3,000 pounds on the rear end.  That would likely mean the rear tires could be overloaded by a lot.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 70584
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 09:33:57 AM »
As others have intimated, you need both tow (pulling) capacity and payload (carrying) capacity. A 5W places at least 20% of its gross weight on the hitch, so your truck needs to be able to carry 2500-3000 lbs as well as pulling 12,600-14,000 lbs.    Note the high end of the ranges - it is very likely the 12,600 you quoted is the empty weight rather than the loaded weight.   Few 38 ft trailer load out under 14,000 and 15,000+ is more likely.

I personally consider a 1-ton dually to be the minimum for that size of trailer.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


  • ---
  • Posts: 5
Re: tow vehicle
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2019, 11:14:27 AM »
Tow ratings vs "real world"

Mfr tow ratings on most any vehicle are quite "optimistic."
Cut the listed rating in half & I feel much safer on the road for what I am towing with, whether it's a small SUV or
a 3/4 or one ton pickup.

     The larger pickups {(3/4) & 1 ton} also have higher capacity braking systems just in case
you need to stop or slow quickly.