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Old 02-21-2015, 04:57 PM   #1
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the dreaded upgrade questions

After a few happy years with our Mini-Lite, and a loooong trip to Millersberg to get some structural repairs done last fall, we think it's time to move on. Thinking of a Rockwood Signature UltaLite 5er. The model we're looking at is the 8280WS. A couple of questions come to mind, such as:
1. it says it is 1/2 ton towable. We have a Ram 1500 5.7. With a gear upgrade to a 3.92 the book says it will haul 10,300# with a payload of just shy of 1600# with the 20" tires. So, realistically, is this doable. The trailer is 9500 GVWR.
2. Also, with a pin weight of around 1100#(dry) I expect to need a set of air bags to stabilize the coil springs while trying to stay somewhere near the max payload of the TV.
3. suggestions as to a good slider hitch as the Ram is a short box.
Those are the three big questions, but feel free to forward any advice, other than ranting that the only way is with a bigger truck. Thanks in advance.

Steve & Millie
2011 RAM 1500 Quad Cab 2wd Hemi 3:55 gear
Rockwood Ultra-Lite 2604WS
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Old 02-22-2015, 12:25 PM   #2
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I would run airbags on any TV for my preference.

Some dodge don't come with fold out mirrors but you will want them with a fifth wheel.

I use a Reese slider. Sure there are better ones but mine was free as a friend went to gooseneck.

I would want air ride hitch on the camper too. If pulling very much.

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Old 02-22-2015, 12:55 PM   #3
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Do you have a scale near you that you could weigh your truck? If so I would go weigh it with a full tank of gas and all occupants, pets and gear that will be in it when towk g. You want to get the front and rear axles weighed separately. Take the weight of the rear axle and subtract it from the gross RAWR to see how much pin weight your rear axle can really handle. Take the total weight of your truck and subtract it from the gcwr to get your adjusted towing capacity. Take the total weight of your truck and subtract it from its gvwr to get your available payload. These numbers will be more realistic for you. Now realize your fifth wheel hitch will eat up about 150 lbs of payload as well.

Now looking at the trailer. According to the specs I found online.... it has a dry weight of 7513 and a gvwr of 9050 lbs. That is only 1500 lbs of cargo capacity so given averages, you will be around 8500-9000 lbs loaded weight. Let's go with the lower number of 8500 lbs. Typically you want pin weight of around 20-25% of loaded trailer weight. 20% of 8500 is 1700 lbs. Based on your payload numbers above, Your will be overloaded with this trailer and truck combo. So no I do not think it is doable.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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Since you don't want the recommendations of a bigger truck don't they make the same size truck in a 3/4 ton seriously be sure your not going to overload that thing if you do pull the trigger. I use a one ton for a reason. Don't guess on how much you will carry get some totes put everything in them and weigh them separately or in the truck after weighing it, takes out the guess work.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Check before you buy a slider. if your trailer front end is designed for 90 deg turning you may not need it on a 6.5 ft box. I bought a superglide and it sure takes the worry out but I am not sure I ever really needed it with my new fifth wheel.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #6
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I like you am looking at a 1/2 ton 5r. I have an F150 max tow EB but my concern is the payload. Mine on the sticker is 1708 but when I figure all the variables I don't see how I can do it and stay at or under payload. I sure would like to have one though. I'm at payload with my current trailer and don't really feel comfortable with it. It's only 5 months old and I'm going to sell it for a lighter trailer.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:37 PM   #7
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I think you will be over your numbers on what the truck is rated to haul. I think your truck will struggle with the weight. Just my opinion I would rather haul the 5er then some of the 6500pd 34ft trailers though.

Air bags will be a must and not a maybe.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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I've got the same TV as you. I put the TLC with remote control air bags on mine. I would highly recommend getting it. As for your camper imha your overloaded. There are a few 5rs out there built for 1/2 ton. Hope this helps.

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Old 02-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #9
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That is the sister to the Flagstaff 8528RKWS that we have. The listed pin wt is 1159 and is well within your capacity. When I drop ours loaded on the truck, it drops the rear approx. 1"-1-1/2" which I get back by adding 45# air to the airbags. Even without the air bags, I am still not down on the factory overload springs. I do have LR E tires on the truck. I don't think you will have any problems whatsoever regardless of what the wt police say. I've towed ours with a 3.23 rear end over 40,000 miles in all the mountains east of the Mississippi with no problems. I don't and can't run 55-65 up the mountains, but neither can the semis.

If you have coil springs in the rear, I would definitely get air bags and some good aftermarket shocks. LT LR E tires are also needed.

You don't need a slider as the 5er has the Sidewinder pinbox as I run a full bed hard tonneau cover while pulling ours.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:11 PM   #10
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I had an 2008 ram QC with the Hemi and towed our wildcat 5er with it for a few years. I never had a need for a slider hitch. Just watch what you're doing. The closest I would come was backing into the driveway at home and never had any trouble. The sliding hitch is going to add weight that is going to take away from the payload you have available. Yes to airbags. They're not going to add to your weight capacity but they'll make the ride much more stable. They are easy to install and you don't need an onboard compressor if you don't want it. Just air them up when you leave home. You can either get slip on towing mirrors but the factory folding tow mirrors that dodge has are awesome and you should get them. I've had both. That hemi will pull just fine, we pulled from SD to TN with a BBQ pit behind the 5er and there are some big hills in MO! Where the Hemi sucks is a strong crosswind, for that I love the Cummins but on a nice day I could pull at 60 and get 11 mpg with that Hemi. The change for us was the want for a full crew cab without the really short box. You're probably going to be over weight once you're all loaded up and I was too. Take a look around, a lot of people are.

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