What do we need to tow 5'er?

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SurvivorSeals

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Dec 2, 2005
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Hubby and I having "discussions" as to what minimum truck requirements are needed to tow a 37 ft  5th wheel with a GAWR 14,000 lbs and GVWR of 15,500 lbs.  Will not be doing any mountain climbing, but will need to some minor hills.  Would appreciate any recommendations from you experienced towers.
 

Carl L

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With those specifications you will want the heaviest duty light truck (pickup) you can find.  We like to recommend a 10% head room on tow ratings generally -- and 15-20% if you are going to tow in the Pacific or Mountain West of North America.  By the time you get ready to lay out the money for such a light truck, you may want to consider a medium duty truck.

Anyway peruse the ratings in the Trailer Life tables at http://www.trailerlife.com/output.cfm?id=42175
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I second what Carl says - you are talking a big tow load and need a really robust truck. Something like an F450 or 550  the Chevy Kodiak 4500 or 5500 would be a good choice.

If you aren't familiar with the term Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), look in the RV Glossary on the rvforum.net home page. You will need a truck with a GCWR in the 26000 lb range.
 

2006F350

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I pull essentially the same as what you are looking at. I have an F-350 Crew Cab Dual Rear wheel truck. It's equipped with the tow command (extension mirrors and integrated trailer brake controller), the camper package which add heaver suspension, and the tow boss package (4:30 LS rear end and a few other goodies). My GVW on the truck is 13,000 LBS with a GCWR or 26,000. I had considered an F450, but the additional cost didn't really justify the gain of 3,000Lbs on the GCWR for me, especially since it also my daily driver. The truck also had the 6.0L PowerStroke and the 5R100 Torque Shift Auto Trans.

Good luck in what ever you go with, but go with something with a 26,000 GCWR or better and what ever choice, get a diesel. Don't even consider a gasser V8, the V10's gassers have the oomph, but they drink gas like it going out of style. I didn't plan on hills either, but when I started pulling the trailer, all of a sudden, there were hils all over the place that I hadn't noticed before.

Larry
 

Carl L

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I didn't plan on hills either, but when I started pulling the trailer, all of a sudden, there were hils all over the place that I hadn't noticed before.

You found that out too?!? ?Aint that just a devil.? ?;D? 

And when you try pulling one of those long, long, high altitude,  6-7% passes in the West, like Lookout, Cajon, Siskyu, Grapevine, or Towne you discover that you have only one gear - first.

 

rufnit

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Have to agree with the others. The only pickup that will keep you within ratings is the Ford with the Tow Boss. 15,500 would max you out or put you over on any other 3500. MDT would be best. Ours is 14,200 with a little room to spare on GCWR and GVWR and tows well but I wouldn't want any more trailer than this with this truck.
 

waterdog

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Rufnit, we are shopping right now for a tow vehicle and a  32ft 5th Wheel.  We looked today at the 2006 Dodge 3500 Ram QuadCab diesel 4X4.  Probably a lot like yours.  Could you please tell us what is the maximum towing capacity for your 2005 Dodge 3500 diesel?  And we also have to make a decision about manual v.s. automatic trannsmission and would appreciate your input on that question...and any other issues you may have encountered?  Advice from hands-on experience is invaluable.

(We have decided that our current pickup..a 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel 4X4 with a 3:54 rear end is not sufficient to meet our needs.)

Many thanks.
 

tbax46

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Fairfield, Tex.
  Looks like you have pretty good sized trailer.  I have a 13k trailer and pull it with a F-350, V-10, 4.30.  I don't have any problems and my mileage isn't that bad.  I get 8.3-9.3 loaded, depending on the wind.  However, if I went to a heavier trailer, I would go up to a F-450 or the Chevy and Dodge equivilant.
 

Carl L

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waterdog said:
?Could you please tell us what is the maximum towing capacity for your 2005 Dodge 3500 diesel?? And we also have to make a decision about manual v.s. automatic trannsmission and would appreciate your input on that question...

Pardon me for jumping in here, but Dodge has an excellent towing-capacities site at? http://www-5.dodge.com/vehsuite/TowingGuide.jsp
They should answer most of your questions.? ?The manual and the 4-speed auto seem to be close to each other in capacities.? Anyway go see by clicking on the URL I gave. 
 

rufnit

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waterdog, Dodge says the towing capacity is 16,000. However that is to be taken with a grain of salt. The Gross Combined Weight Rating for my truck with the 4.10 is 23,000. Thats the weight of the truck (with fuel, passengers etc) and the trailer. My truck with 1/2 tank of fuel and only me in it weighs 7500, with the wife, dog and full tank probably 8000. So now I only have 15,000 lbs to work with, not 16,000 like Dodge says. You said you are shopping for a 4X4, this will lower your available tow capacity a little bit because of the extra weight of the transfer case and front differential so you need to take that into account. As for the transmission, a manual is always better for pulling and longevity, however, I'm old and don't like to shift anymore. The 48RE seems to be a good transmission, although time will tell as I only have 19,000 miles on the truck. Overall as far as my opinion goes, the Dodge (Cummins) is a workhorse and pulls our trailer easily. It rarely shifts out of overdrive even in the hills of TN where I live. Hope all this answered your questions.

Carl, thanks for the link, I knew there was a website with that info but wasn't sure exactly where I saw it.
 

Carl L

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Dodge says the towing capacity is 16,000. However that is to be taken with a grain of salt

Just for the info, that grain of salt is usually taken here to be 10% for towing Great Plains east, and 15-20% for towing in the Mountain and Pacific West.? ?Add those factors to the trailers GVWR when making the comparison with the tow rating or GCWR of the tow vehicle.
 

Bill_Frisbee

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I am running a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500, Cummins Diesel, SRW, auto, 4X4, tow package, etc. The specs on the 2005 show a tow capacity of 13,950. For the 2006 version of the same vehicle, the tow capacity is 13,800. Both have the same GVWR of 9,900 lbs. The vehicle weight of my truck is 3,490 kgs (7,678 lbs) with a full tank of fuel, SuperGlide hitch, and myself. When I add my wife, clothes, etc and the 5er's pin weight of approximately 2,000 lbs, I am right at the truck's GVWR of 9,900. I am hauling a 5er with a GVWR of 13,960 lbs.

Clearly, I am pushing the limits for this truck and would be extremely reluctant to go to a bigger 5er without moving up to a bigger TV as well. There is no question that the Cummins will pull this load. I am not sure how the auto-tranny is going to hold up but so far, so good.

In my opinion, and as others on this Forum have pounded into my head on more than one occasion, the question which should be first in the minds of people looking to buy a new truck is not whether the truck can pull the load (most of the new diesels will do that with no problem) but whether the truck can properly CONTROL the load.

Bill
 
 

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