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Old 09-17-2015, 05:27 PM   #31
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I swam this same lane last year. Since I was going to pick my 5er first and then buy my truck, I focused on the achilles heal for all such decisions...the Payload! Just about any 1/2 ton can pull an Ultralight 5th wheel, they just can't carry the pin weight. Check out any recent 1/2 ton and you'll find Payloads that just barely address the RV brochure payloads. Make it a 4x4, crew cab and the numbers get tighter. Fill your tanks and subtract for the hitch and you're over.

For me, the second limiter was what would fit in my 231" long garage.The garage eliminated the Ram and Ford (Ford was 1" too long on both the 150 and 250). I had to have at least a double cab. The Crew Cabs made the bed 1 foot shorter. So from a length perspective, it had to be GMC/Chevy Double Cab. Next was the payload hunt.

Regardless of 5er brand, I landed on the Ultralights from Open Range, Forest River and Grand Design. No kids for us so no Bunk House plans needed. Looked for the shortest length but wife wanted the pantry so Wildcat's 29ft. checked the boxes. Floor plan makes a huge difference on the pin weight (i.e. payload requirement). More weight to the back, means less weight to the front. I found the Rear Living and Rear Entertainment plans had the lightest pin weight (1500 to 1700#).

I started looking for ways to cut down other weight that goes in the truck bed. Basically, I went with the Andersen Ultimate Aluminum hitch and that saved 150# over the traditional fifth wheel hitches like Curt, Reese, etc.

Conclusion was that all my careful weight and tow games and I ended up with a GMC 2500HD Diesel. I've done the CAT scale thing a few times since buying the rig and as expected, I've got surplus tow capacity BUT..the payload is only just right. Oh well. At least Diesel fuel has dropped to $2.00 a gallon.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:28 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by gjlabree View Post
I tow a 2014 FR 30' Wildcat 5er with my 2007 Toyota Tundra with Firestone ride rite air bags and 10 ply tires. I can climb a 6% grade at 70 mph with more throttle to go. It has been a great tow vehicle. My mpg is 10-11.
I concur withe gilabree. My 08 5.7 Tundra with the tow pkg does about the same milage as his. Air bags and E rated tires a must. Over payload and I know it. The Tundra has pulled two different 5rs over the past 5 years and still going strong.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:37 PM   #33
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Towing guides say 1/2 ton trucks max out about 11K lb, when it comes to towing. Not enough for a 5er. I noticed the Big 3, do not put a 3.92 or 4.10
rear axle in their 1/2 ton PUs. Even some 3/4 ton PUs still only tow about 14K lb, not very much. So, I would really need to buy a full 1 ton truck, to pull a 5th wheel, big enough for 2 people, dog & kitty. I'm thinking at least 30 feet, plus a slide would work for us, to travel around the country. However, that would cost a lot of money. I notice 5th wheels and HD PU trucks have increased in price, quite a bit over the past 7-8 yrs. The Big 3 have no competition. Toyota's Tundra can only tow about 10K lb, and that the most truck you can get from Toyota. Nissan is 9500 lb, so even less. However, the titan can be purchased for less than most other comparable PUs.

New only, the only way I would buy used is like from friends or family. Any other suggestions on a PU truck/5er rig, at least 30 ft long?
My 5er's GVWR is only 8097 pounds and it is a 32 foot trailer I tow it with a Dodge 1500 with a full towing package and 20 inch wheels. It is a 5 speed trany counting OD. I normally lock out OD and on big hills drop it down to the towing range. Just got to push a button on the shifter. Truck has a 5.7L Hemi in it.

Where are you getting your info? I am far from the only one towimg the size you are looking for with a 1500 truck.

It has plenty of room for me and a 70 pound chocolate lab.

Jim
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #34
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I pull a 2015 Wild Cat Max 31' feet over all length, pulling it with a 2013 1/2 ton Dodge Big Horn with HD tow package. Added Air Bags. I've done a total of 6 trips this year and am pleasantly surprised how well it pulls.
The Wild Cat length on the side of the rig says 24ft, I believe that's inside living space.
The gross weight of the trailer is 13k fully loaded, pin weight far below my truck rating.
Be advised it is a 1/2 ton series 5th Wheel.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:29 PM   #35
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They tell me I can't pull a 31' 5er with my 05 Silverado 1500, so I haven't pulled it for 3 + yrs over 40k miles.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:36 PM   #36
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Hmmm... Familiar post....

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: A 1500 Series (1/2 ton) PU truck, for towing a 5th wheel.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:54 PM   #37
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My wife and I have Rockwood 8289WS Signature Ultra Lite 32 foot fifth wheel that weights only 8,000 pounds. I pull it with a 2009 2500 Chevy LTZ short bed extended cab. My tow capacity is 10,000 lbs. We have traveled back and forth from Indiana to Florida three times and have had no issues.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:56 PM   #38
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You can change the suspension and tires on a 1/2 ton, but if they're not the weakest component in the mix it won't change the payload capacity. It will definitely make it more solid though. It did in my case with the addition of an extra leaf spring on each side and LE tires, but I'm fully aware that my payload capacity has not changed.

The OP is talking about a 30' 5th wheel. The MPG and power of a diesel sounds great but you can pull a 30' 5th wheel with a gas engine no problem. So, for the MPG to make any economic difference, you'd want to use it as a hauler regularly and drive a lot of miles to justify the extra expense of the initial purchase. Would be nice though.

Very True statement! I had a F 150 and did change tires, huge difference. The next thing I was going to do was add a leaf to the springs. If OC can tow with his older Chevy with a V8 a Eco is a cake walk with 11,200 lbs. I was close to max weight, over on pin. F 250 came because of a deal, I would still be running the F 150.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:03 PM   #39
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The HD Payload on F150 might come close to handling the weight but test one before you buy because I did and the ride is rougher then my F350.


Hmmmm. My F 250 which can tow and haul the same as F 350 has the same ride. The F 150 has a much smoother ride compared to Super Duty.

For many people a F 150. 1500 or Eco Diesel Ram fits the need for a ultralight Fifth Wheel. For a weekend warrior camping 4 weekends a year, or a week at the lake a F 150 suits just fine. If you are going across the Rockies you need more, that's why I changed it up to a Super Duty Diesel.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:04 PM   #40
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They tell me I can't pull a 31' 5er with my 05 Silverado 1500, so I haven't pulled it for 3 + yrs over 40k miles.
You can not do it. I never saw you back into Goshen with your half ton and fifth wheel. Also the TWOTA was not there either.
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