towing question / pros and cons of 5th wheel vs. travel trailer

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

jackman

New member
Joined
Oct 15, 2006
Posts
1
Howdy!!
My wife and I are considering purchasing an RV, but I don't know how much I can safely tow.  I have a 1997 crew cab 4x4 PowerStroke.  Ford will not answer my question directly..."while there are a multitude of items that must be taken into account before one can be assessed a tow rating..." yada yada yada. I just need to know how much I can safely haul with my truck. 

What are the pro's  and cons of 5th wheeling vs. a travel trailer?  By looking at prices of 5th wheels and travel trailers, as well as floor layout plans, it appears you can get more for the money with a travel trailer.  But looks can certainly be deceiving.  What are y'alls experience / preferrance and why?
Thank you so much for your time, wisdom, and knowledge
Jeff Jackman
Houston, Tx
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
jackman.  I can't be of much help to you on 5vers nor TTers cause I love MHs.  But  more info is needed about your TV, 250, 350,?  Size of engine?  GVW and as much info as possible and then Carl and Gary can tell you what your TV is capable of towing. If its a 150 you're in for a rude awakening cause they don't haul much. But these guys know what they are talking about.  Good Luck
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Tow vehicle:? ?5th wheels must be towed by either a pickup or in the heaviest versions a medium duty truck.? ? TTs can be pulled by vans and SUVs as well.?

Stability:? ?TTs require a weight distributing hitch and anti-sway mechanism for proper stability.? ?However, when they are properly so set up they are as stable on the highway as a 5th wheel.? ?All this setup will cost money but 5th wheel hitches do also.

Towing pattern:? ?5th wheels track inside the path of the tow vehicle on turns much like a semi-trailer does.? ?TTs follow the tow vehicle more closely.? ?

Profile:? TTs have a lower profile, better overhead clearance and less longitudinal and transverse cross section.? ?Some 5th wheels have really high forward sections.

Floorplan:? ?TTs have a flat floor plan and what I can see a bit more living space per foot of length.?

Lengths:? 5th wheels dominate the longer lengths, TTs the shorter lengths.? ?30 feet seems to be the approximate dividing point.? ?If you want a really big trailer, you are going to be in the 5th wheels -- and those huge pickups and medium duty trucks like the Volvos, Peterbuilts, et. al.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,964
Location
At my Silver Springs FL home
I have a 1997 crew cab 4x4 PowerStroke.  Ford will not answer my question directly..."while there are a multitude of items that must be taken into account before one can be assessed a tow rating..." yada yada yada. I just need to know how much I can safely haul with my truck.

Sorry to have to tell you but Ford is right.  However, we can help you figure it out. Is your truck an F250 or F350? Long bed or short? And which rear axle does it have (3.55, 3.73 or 4.10)? With hat info we may be able to find the specs for your truck somewhere online.

Also, the rating for your truck should be shown both on your truck (a sticker) and in the the owner's manual. Check the door post and the glove box for a sticker showing GCWR (Gross Combined weight rating) and GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight rating). You might find a Maximum Tow Rating as well. The GCWR may be in the owner manual only.

The best way to get load capacity for towing: take the truck to the scales at a truck stop, send & gravel yard, grain elevator, etc.  Weigh it loaded, full fuel and passengers just like you were going to tow with it. Take that figure and subtract it from the GCVW for your truck. The remaining figure is the load your truck is able to safely tow.

The range of GCWR for that year & model is 16000-20,000 lbs. The unladen weight (driver and fuel onboard) is in the vicinity of 7000-7800 lbs.  Adding a passenger, fifth wheel hitch and some gear increases the truck weight and decreases towing capacity by the same amount. You are therefore looking a possible range of trailer GVWRs of perhaps 8000-12000 lbs. We generally recommend staying under the max to provide a margin for both safety and better perfromance, especialy on older tow vehicles.

If you can get more detailed info on your truck we can narrow the range for you.
 
Top Bottom