Advice Needed on what size of 5th Wheel I can tow

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workingtorv

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Feb 7, 2006
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Hello,

We are considering purchasing a new 5th wheel and we are new to this being current motorhome owners.  We are considering a 34 foot Travel Supreme River Canyon, The trailer dry weight is approx. 11,000 lbs, hitch weight is 1800 lbs and we have a GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Duromax Deisel Extended Cab, Short Box, 3.73 rear end.  Is this trailer too much for the truck? 

Thanks
 

Bill_Frisbee

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There are lots of people hauling larger 5ers than the one you are contemplating with 3/4 ton pick-ups similar to yours. As others on this forum will likely mention, the issue with the newer diesels is not whether they can haul the weight but whether they can control the weight. It would appear to me that you should be fine on both counts. One thing you might want to check with the short bed is the type of hitch you install. I am not familiar with the brand of 5er you are thinking of buying but I would recommend that you carefully check out the turning radius and determine whether you need a "slider" hitch that will avoid contact between the RV and your truck cab in a tight turn (especially backing into a tight campsite). There are hitches that you can "slide" manually and hitches that slide automatically when you turn. I have the automatic variety (PullRite 16K Super Glide) and it works very well. There are other brands as well. Hope this is helpful. I expect others will add their opinions as well.

Bill
 
 

desertjim

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Feb 7, 2006
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workingtorv said:
Hello,

We are considering purchasing a new 5th wheel and we are new to this being current motorhome owners.? ?We are considering a 34 foot Travel Supreme River Canyon, The trailer dry weight is approx. 11,000 lbs, hitch weight is 1800 lbs and we have a GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Duromax Deisel Extended Cab, Short Box, 3.73 rear end.? Is this trailer too much for the truck??

Thanks

I pulled my Sea Breeze, comparable in weight and length, with my F-250 460CID, but the first thing I did was change out the 3:7x? rear-end to a 4:11. I don't think you'll ever be happy with the 3:73.? I'd say you'd be pretty well maxed out with the 3/4 Ton.? (BTW, the Travel Supreme is the only comparable rig I've seen that I liked better than ours.)

Brakes are also a very important consideration.? ?I upgraded to a F-350 Dually Diesel and just love how it tows.? It has the good rear-end too.

Of course a Business-Size tractor would be ideal ($mile).

Regards,

Jim
 

Carl L

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workingtorv said:
Hello,

We are considering purchasing a new 5th wheel and we are new to this being current motorhome owners.? ?We are considering a 34 foot Travel Supreme River Canyon, The trailer dry weight is approx. 11,000 lbs, hitch weight is 1800 lbs and we have a GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Duromax Deisel Extended Cab, Short Box, 3.73 rear end.? Is this trailer too much for the truck??

In Trailer Life's tables for 2006, the short wheel base, extended cab 2WD 6.6TD 2500 with 3.73 has a 5th wheel rating of 15,500 lbs..  Allowing 15% headroom for the mountain west and Pacific Coast, your trailer''s laden weight should be 13,175 or less.  For a quick estimate use the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating for the laden weight.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Your Duromax should do fine, but I would add an exhaust brake if the budget will allow it. Helps tremendously on the downhills.

Several years ago I towed a similar weight 5W all over the US with a 1999 Ford F250 Superduty (7.3L diesel automatic) and it did a marvelous job in all terrains.
 

workingtorv

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Thanks to all of your replies, we have asked several people and of course there are so many different opinions in which we appreciate all opinions and being a female this stuff in like coded lingo and my husband doesn't understand the "laden weight" thing either.  Although I am female who does allot of research before doing anything but it's all these GAWR, GCR, GVWR, etc....I have figured out that GVWR means the weight of the trailer, contents and anything you might tow with the trailer (I think?????

Cdn Steve we are from Eastern Ontario....

The biggest worry we have is that we are forking out all these dollars for a new trailer (in place of a newer motorhome which we already took the "Leave the Lot" depreciation and in a year's time needing a different truck to tow this new 5er....  We don't ever want to consider a dually as we use this truck for somewhat daily use and in the winter it is our snowmobile hauler and being a daily user I think the other gear wouldn't be feasable either.  Not bad thoughts for a female aye???? 

Well I am thinking the majority tell us that we have no weight issue and stability may be a concern but I told my husband who has actually gotten stopped for speeding in a motorhome with a car behind (by a somewhat surprised officer I might add) that he will have to keep the foot off the throttle to a somewhat reasonable speed.....He is agreeing right now...  I think we are heading in the "Travel Supreme" direction....  I will keep you posted...thanks 

In the meantime if you have anything to add feel free to let me know....
 

Carl L

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have figured out that GVWR means the weight of the trailer, contents and anything you might tow with the trailer (I think??

Well yeah, but the GVWR is a rating.    It is the maximum weight of trailer + accessories like awnings + payload that the trailer should be loaded to.  It is usually found on the trailer on a plate on the left side towards the front.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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but it's all these GAWR, GCR, GVWR, etc....I have figured out that GVWR means the weight of the trailer, contents and anything you might tow with the trailer

Sorry for all the techy terms, but this is unfortunately a technical topic. We have a Glossary on the website's main page (www.rvforum.net) that will help you understand these terms. Check it out. The terms and the arithmetic to use them is simple enough, but you do have to learn them to make an informed - and safe - decision.

The "R" at the end of each term means  "Rating", which as Carl says means the amount the engineers have determined it to be.  So for each item you have a permitted amount (the Rating) and an actual amount, i.e. what your particular one actually weighs. Thus there is a GVW and a GVWR.

The "G" at the begining of each term stands for "Gross", meaning total.  GAW refers to Axle Weight, the amount of weight resting on any one axle.  Each axle has its own GAW/GAWR.  GVW refers to Vehicle Weight, the weight of the entire vehicle. There are two vehicles involved, the trailer and the towing vehicle, so each has its own GVW and GVWR.  GCW refers to Gross Combined Weight, which is the combined weight of tow vehicle and anything/everything carried in it or towed by it.  The GCW/GCWR is for the towing vehicle and includes the GVW of both tow vehicle and trailer.
 

workingtorv

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Hi Gary,

Thanks for the term definitions, now it seems to be making sense to us.  I think we are going to proceed with the 5er and I will leave my closet full of clothes and shoes at home  ;D ;D.  The dealer has a trailer in his lot with the same weights and our friend has a truck the same as ours with the hitch so we are going to go and try it.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The dealer has a trailer in his lot with the same weights and our friend has a truck the same as ours with the hitch so we are going to go and try it.

Great idea!  Take it to a public scale and have it weighed - best way to find out what the numbers REALLY are.  Weight it in stages with the trailer hitched on: (1) truck front axle,  (2) truck with both axles on scale), (3) truck & trailer all on the scale. That will let you determine the weights at each axle using some simple arithmetic.  You can find easily accessible public scales at many truck stops, moving van companies, grain elevators, etc. It shouldn't cost more than $15 or so  if you don't ask for an official  weight certificate.
 
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