Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-09-2015, 10:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 41
When size matters- Choosing a truck

We're about to purchase a truck to haul the fifth wheel we hope to buy. In both cases we are looking at used vehicles. We are newbies and want to keep it simple. What is the best sized bed to use a standard fifth wheel hitch? Will 6' do it or do we need 8'? We are looking at 30 ft rvs and hoping to haul into mountainous areas. What kind of suspension and engine size should we seek to keep it easy and safe? I think that we are sold on diesels, but do we need a dually? Any tips on vehicle make, engine type and model? Thanks in advance for your input.

pearlbalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
Ford Idaho's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 9,009
My lite is 30 foot long, the 250 does a fine job pulling and stopping.

My hitch.

Works well in a long bed.

In the mountain's a diesel will serve you better.

I suggest a one ton, dually if you plan on a larger trailer at some point.

Much depends on the trailer, some here suggest you buy the trailer first.

2016 F350 6.7L LB CC Reese 28K 2014 Chaparral Lite 266sab
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." 2014 19 days camping 2015 17 days camping201620 days camping
Ford Idaho is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 10:07 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 98
Be careful when I got my first TT (30ft) I bought a used F250 with the 6.0L diesel, at the time I did not know about the problems Ford had with these engines. It ended up costing a lot in repairs while I was on the road. Came home and bought a new F350. It is nice to have a warranty.

Good luck

2015 Siera 377FLIK
2014 Ford F350 KR
Molly the new Chihuahua
Cricket the Chihuahua RIP
Steve & Jojo
stevewise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 10:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
mud yapster's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,193
I'd make sure it had a 6.7L diesel Cummins or Ford engine and an 8 foot bed will be better along with a dually set up.
2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
mud yapster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 10:25 AM   #5
Mddle of the Rd Extremist
MeepMeep's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 464
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
My lite is 30 foot long, the 250 does a fine job pulling and stopping.

My hitch.

Works well in a long bed.

In the mountain's a diesel will serve you better.

I suggest a one ton, dually if you plan on a larger trailer at some point.

Much depends on the trailer, some here suggest you buy the trailer first.
Words to live by....if there's even a REMOTE possibility of trading up the fifth wheel later, get the biggest truck you can afford first. That way it won't matter what size trailer you're pulling (or where you're pulling it)
Dan, Carolyn & The Bandit (1999-2015 RIP...)
MCPO (Retired)
United States Navy ('65 - '87)
2014 Cedar Creek 38FL
2013 RAM 3500 6.7L diesel DRW Crew Cab
"When you get to the fork in the road, take it....."
MeepMeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 12:19 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Owosso, MI
Posts: 27
Love my truck/5er combo.
We have a 36' long Sabre and pull with a short bed (6.5') Chevy 2500 HD Duramax Diesel.
My brother in law and I go back and forth a lot about his Ford Diesel vs. mine, but then he had his head bolts go out on the truck and put a few thousand into it...the ribbing has quieted down a bit!

The only thing about the short bed is I can't jackknife quite as far, but with my rounded front cap on the Sabre I can go almost 90 degrees. I can only think of 1 or 2 times it might have helped to have more, but I've always been able to work it out.

I also have the Hensley, Trailer Saver air hitch in the bed. A bit costly, but it makes a HUGE difference in towing. I like that option rather than one on the pin box, because then I can take it with me when I trade trucks/trailers in the future.

Everybody has their opinions, but I really like my combination...pulls great and averaging 11-13 mpg depending on the situation.

* 2007 Chevy 2500 HD, 6.6 Duramax Diesel, Allison Transmission, Roadmaster Active Suspension on the rear and Bullydog Tuner
* Sabre 32 RCTS 5th Wheel
* Trailer Saver BD3 hitch
Mikehend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 12:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
The_Rhino's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 513
Although a 1 ton diesel dually w/8' bed would provide the most stability, folks have to determine if they have room in the garage for such a beast & other factors, like whether or not the TV is used as someone's daily driver.

Personally, I would not want to spend $30K+ on a nicer (used) diesel TV & then have to leave it out in the weather because it doesn't fit in the garage. Therefore, if I were upgrading to a diesel I would choose a 1 ton diesel SRW w/6.5' bed & match it to a hitch & 5er designed for 6.5' beds... A Ram 3500 SRW w/Cummins TD & Aisin tranny has a payload over 5,000 & tow rating over 25,000. Specs vary depending on year & trim but IMO that'll handle most 5ers on the market except for a few of the largest toy haulers...

From personal experience, I know that Ram honors their 100K mile Powertrain warranty even if you are the 2nd owner & even if the first owner cannot provide maintenance records. In 2013 I bought a used 2011 Ram 2500 for $14K with 85K miles. At 96K miles the Hemi blew during my daily commute & Ram replaced it with a newly rebuilt Hemi, no questions asked. The replacement engine has a fresh 100k mile/3 year warranty. So after that positive experience I am keeping Rams at the top of my list & you can't go wrong with a Ram w/Cummins TD...
2011 RAM 2500 ST Crew Cab 5.7 Hemi
2011 Primetime 3150BHD Touring Edition
Days camped in 2016-36
Days camped in 2015-37; Days camped in 2014-31

The_Rhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 02:02 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 488
Definitely diesel. Dually if you have the room. Duramax/Allison is a good combo.
Harkerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 02:21 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Box Elder, SD (formerly NY)
Posts: 184
You have NOT said one word about weights. All tow vehicles and trailers have weight ratings. More than 50% of RVs are actually OUTSIDE of their legal limits in at least one parameter. You need to determine how much total weight your trailer will be, then add a suitable safety margin (say 20%). You also need to make sure the hitch you'll be using can handle the total weight as well as the tongue weight. Do yourself a HUGE favor. Find and attend an RV Boot Camp. Escapees RV Club runs an excellent one. There are other groups that run RV Boot Camps as well as online resources. The time and money you'll spend on RV Boot Camp will be VERY well spent. Mistakes made with RVs are usually expensive and sometimes dangerous. MOST pick up trucks are operating at the upper end of their capacity (if not beyond). Many RVers are moving to HDTs (Heavy Duty Trucks) to safely haul their trailers. I know you want to get on the road NOW but if you can, resist the urge, get educated and then, start shopping. In the long run, you'll save money and quite possibly, avoid a catastrophic accident.
jkoenig24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 02:52 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Marion, LA
Posts: 214
I have a 2007 GMC HD2500 4x4 Duramax SWB with SuperGlide hitch and pull a Montana 2955. Absolutely no problems with towing this Combo and we've been most everywhere, including an Alaska tow up the ALCAN. If I traded (not likely) the only change I would make is to get a HD3500, not to cure any problem but to just have more cushion, but again, short box and single rear wheels. When you are disconnected you can go anywhere a car can go. Had a couple of duals and that wasn't true of them. I would not part with the SuperGlide hitch. If has saved me a many time.

RubberNail is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:06 PM.