Question on aftermarket shocks and intro

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travisstrick

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Joined
Nov 15, 2012
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3
Hi folks, new guy here. I've used and pulled boats and bumper pull campers a fair amount.

My question is, I'm buying a 5th wheel AND I need new shocks on my half ton Chevy. Is there a type of shocks that will improve my trucks towing ability?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

BillB3857

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Jun 8, 2012
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209
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St. Louis Area
First, you should check the towing ability of your truck vs the 5th wheel you are purchasing.  It would have to be a very small/light 5th wheel for a 1/2 ton truck to handle properly.  Most 5th wheels require either a 3/4 or 1 ton truck to pull safely.  There should be a towing guide available for your particular truck and be aware that whatever that tow guide says, it is probably very optimistic. (They tend to exaggerate the capability) I learned that one the hard way with a F0rd 250!
 

travisstrick

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Joined
Nov 15, 2012
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3
Thanks for the advice. I am still trying to get the info from my uncle. I am assuming I will be fine.

I know its a 26ft 1995 Dutchman(5th wheel) with no slide. I have pulled a 28ft Zepplin bumper pull w/slide many times and my truck does fine.

My truck's GVW is 7000 lbs.  Not sure on the 5th wheel yet but the heaviest Dutchman fitting 26ft, 5th wheel, no slide, ect that I do know is 5,??? lbs according to their website.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
No shock can improve your towing capacity, but worn shocks, regardless of brand, will hurt the handling.  Get any decent brand, front and back, and you will be ok..

Helper springs, whether on the shocks or separate air springs, might be a good idea for a 5W tow. A 5W puts 20-25% of its weight directly on the truck rear axle. That's where a half ton comes up short on a 5W. The helper springs don't really increase rated weight capacity, but stiffening up the back end is usually a plus.

That 5000+ weight for the Dutchman is probably dry weight. Loaded weight will be quite a bit more. 25% of, say, 6000 lbs, is 1500 lbs, which is probably as much or more weight than your half ton ever wants to carry. And you still have to add the weight of passengers and gear in the truck.
 

travisstrick

New member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Posts
3
Thanks, Gary. After some more research, I dont think my chevy short bed will handle a 5th wheel. I may have gotten away with the weight but not the turning as it relates to my back glass.

My people live in Tallahassee and Carrabelle, FL(Lanark Village)

Thanks for  your help.
 

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