Can I (safely) Tow This Fifth Wheel With My 2500HD D/A?

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rickd

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Sep 17, 2006
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Victoria, B.C. Canada
Hi,

I'm in the process of looking for my very first fifth wheel and am considering a 2003 General Coach Citation 28.5RKS. My tow vehicle is a new 2007 Chev Silverado Classic 2500HD 6.6L Duramax/Allison Trans 2WD CC/SB 3.73/w locking differential.

According to my own calculations, based on absolutely no experience, I figure I should be o.k. But, I would sure appreciate some expert analysis and validation of my calcs before I go any further than just looking at this 5'er. Here is what I think are the relevant weights:

Chev Silverado 2500HD Duramax:
GVWR 9200 lbs.
GCWR 22000 lbs.
Curb Wt. 5594 lbs.
GCVWR 15600 lbs.

Citation 28.5RKS
GVWR 11500 lbs.
Dry. Wt. 9505 lbs.
Pin. Wt. 1685 lbs.

One of the questions I am not sure about is what % to use when calculating the actual pin weight of the 5'er.  As you know, it makes a huge difference in the calcs depending on the range from 14% to 20% - I'm just not sure what I should be using.  My guess is about 18% as that is what I get when I do the following calculation:

Dry Pin Weight/Dry Weight = Pin Weight Percent(e.g. 1685/9505) = 18%

I'm allowing for 850lbs. of cargo in the truck and cab including the sliding hitch.

I would really appreciate it if someone who has a similar setup, or who knows how these things work, could please advise me on whether I can safely tow this 5'er or whether I should be looking at something a little 'lighter' in weight to tow.

Thanks in advance for any help and Merry Christmas!!

Rick

p.s. I checked my driveway this morning and Santa 'did not' bring me a fifth wheel for xmas! :(
 

Karl

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Hi Rick,
p.s. I checked my driveway this morning and Santa 'did not' bring me a fifth wheel for xmas!
Fifth wheel rigs are over the tow limit as per reindeer union rules; they're usually shipped Fedex and come in 20-25 smaller packages. Some assembly required. ;D
Seriously, we have a couple of weighty weight experts here and I'm sure they'll be able to help you out once they've finished their post-Christmas naps :)
 

Shayne

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John from Detroit and Gary (RV Roamer) will disect the figures and lay in on the line.  You can bet  when they are done You'll know what's right and what's not.  Trust them cuz they do know what they are talking about. I would certainly call them experts.
 

Carl L

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I'm in the process of looking for my very first fifth wheel and am considering a 2003 General Coach Citation 28.5RKS. My tow vehicle is a new 2007 Chev Silverado Classic 2500HD D/A 2WD CC/SB 3.73/w locking differential.

You left out one spec -- what engine does it run, the 6.6 TD, or the 6.0 or 8.1L V8s?  You will be close so we need that number.
 

rickd

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Victoria, B.C. Canada
Carl Lundquist said:
You left out one spec -- what engine does it run, the 6.6 TD, or the 6.0 or 8.1L V8s?   You will be close so we need that number.
Sorry about that - my truck has the Duramax 6.6L diesel engine. 

rick
 

2006F350

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Basied on your info, doing some quick rounding, defintely possibly yes. Truck with a Duramax Diesel, Curb weight abount 6000Lbs, leaving you 3200Lbs payload (trailer pin 1700Lbs) - OK. Combined 22000, and truck 9200 trailer 11500 trailer puts you just over 20,000 Lbs. Will be close, but if it was me, I would look for something a bit lighter.

Larry
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I would guess estimate your trailer pin weight, when loaded, will be in the vicinity of2200 lbs.  Fifth wheels tend to load payload weight forward, though your rear kitchen model will do that less so than others.  The galley is one place where a lot of heavy stuff goes, e.g. pots & pans, canned goods, beverages in the fridge, etc. That will actually counterbalance weight in the big forward storage bay, but anything in that forward bay rests heavily on the pin, being close to it and far from the trailer axle. With 2200 lbs on the hitch and your 850# of other load, your truck will weigh in around 8650# (5600 + 2200 + 850), which leaves you just on the sunny side of the 9200# GVWR. Much of that weight will be on the rear axle, though, so check your rear axle GAWR (max weight rating) to be sure it can handle it. You will probably be right at its limit, but that is common for fifth wheels and we seldom hear of rear axle problems with the diesel pick-ups.

Otherwise you look fine. The GCWR of 22,000# still leaves a comfortable margin after subtracting the [estimated]  8650# actual truck weight [22,000 - 8650 = 13,350#].  If the trailer were loaded to its 11,500# GVWR you still have an 1850# margin. Back in 1999 I towed a similar weight and size rig all over the West with a F250 diesel and it performed well and that was with a considerably less capable transmission than your 2007 Silverado has. I do recommend an exhaust brake, though. It will come in very handy on long downgrades, whether east or west.  The trailer brakes are rarely as good as they ought to be and the truck inevitably ends up handling the lion's share of the braking, so any help you can get is a worthwhile investment.
 

Carl L

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rickd said:
Sorry about that - my truck has the Duramax 6.6L diesel engine. 

rick

Well according to the trailer Life 2006 tables you have a tow rating of some 15,400 lbs.  Discounting that 20% for western towing you get 12,320 lbs..  You want to pull a trailer with a  GVWR of 11,500 lbs.  You are just fine by those numbers anywhere in North America.    If you do tow in the west, you might want to check out the issue of engine braking.

There is one remaining issue, loading of the rear axle of your truck.  Gary has covered that in his message.

Enjoy your new toy.  ;D


 

rickd

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Victoria, B.C. Canada
Hi,

Thanks to each of you for your advice and information re my question about towing a 28.5' Citation 5'er with my Chevy Silverado.  Thanks to your answers, and subsequent internet research, I now have a much better understanding of vehicle/trailer towing rates and specs.

I've also decided to take a look at a slightly smaller and lighter 5th wheel made by Citation - the 26RKS.  It is about 700lbs. lighter than the 28.5RKS, but it has all the same features and options.  The 26RKS seems like it would be a very good fit for my truck.

So, thanks again and I'll be sure to post a few pics of the 5'er I eventually decide to get.

rick
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Good question, janpaul.  It looks to be the manufacturer's max tow rating, but I've never seen the GCVWR acronym before. It wasn't relevant since we had GCWR, curb weight and GVWR to work with, so I just ignored it.
 

rickd

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Location
Victoria, B.C. Canada
janpaul said:
What is the GCVWR rating you list at 15,600?
Hi,

The figure of 15,600lbs. is the Maximum Gross Trailer Weight number I got from the GM Silverado brochure.  I'm not sure myself where I picked up the GCVWR acronym!  I was so confused by so many different weight measures I probably ended up making up a 'new' one!  Anyway, I guess this number wasn't really needed anyway.  Sorry for any confusion I created.

rick
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The Max Gross Trailer Weight (max tow rating) is a number designed to simplify things by doing some of the arithmetic for you.  For a fifth wheel it is basically the GCWR minus the curb weight (unladen vehicle weight), but for a travel trailer it may be less because the tongue weight is positioned in an awkward place (actually behind the vehicle rater than over the rear axle). Generally, though, if a weight distributing hitch is used the TT and 5W ratings will be the same.
 
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