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Old 10-18-2017, 11:56 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle questions

We are asking any and all 5th wheel people about the best tow vehicle for the 5th wheel of my choice. We are wanting to purchase a Flagstaff Super Lite 526RLWS that has an empty weight of 7550# and a pin weight of 1410#. We are looking at a few pick-up trucks to tow with and need some advice. We will be 6 months parked in Florida and then travelling for 6 months between Florida to Virginia and back for the other 6 months.
We are looking at 1-Silverado LTZ 1500 with max tow package, 5.3L V8, 3.73 diff. with tow capacity of 11,100#.
2-Ram Laramie 1500 with 5.7L V8, 3.92 diff. with tow capacity of 10,300#.
We have also considered 2500 series in each make but the costs might not work for us and we were hoping someone would be able to tell us if the 1500's would work for us. We are not fans of the diesel engines because of cost, DEF fluid and previous experience with them.
We look forward to all constructive assistance in our quest to go permanent 5th wheelers.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:12 PM   #2
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Your question will start a huge discussion. I have towed with both 1/2 and 3/4 ton. Fivers were 25', 29', 31', and 35'. Dry weights went from 7000 to 10k. If I had to do it over again, I would of started with a 3/4 ton. Period. Even for the 7k. The half ton will always struggle and be at it's upper capacity range. The 3/4 ton will give you a much more pleasurable traveling experience.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:24 PM   #3
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What are the payload capacities on those trucks?
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:37 PM   #4
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T11ravis, The payload for the Silverado is about 2240 and the Ram is about 1800 I believe. I am not really very confident in the Ram numbers as they are close to max and the Silverado seems to have enough room to work with.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:39 PM   #5
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Payload are the numbers to consider. My Ram Express 1500 with payload of 1780# comes out 400# over the rear axle GVW spec pulling my 7500# 5th wheel with a dry pin weight of 1380#. I did upgrade to LT rated tires and added airbags to the coil springs.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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So add in the cost of 'upgrades' to the half ton to assist the towing, but still be at the max capacities. Bet you will be right at the 3/4 ton price, which you don't have to modify. To me it's a no-brainer.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:16 PM   #7
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I'm by no means part of what is called the "weight police" here on the forums, but neither of those trucks will handle the weight of that rig. Neither of them will have anywhere near that payload rating you're looking at unless they are bare bones models with zero options. The only half ton that I'd consider towing that fifth wheel with is the Ford F150 with the Heavy Duty Payload option. I'd highly recommend the 3.5L Ecoboost engine as well. It'll get MUCH better mileage than any 3/4 ton gasser( and it pulls much better to boot) and you avoid the complex emissions systems and much higher repair costs when out of warranty that today's diesels have.

Edit: Just noticed you are looking at an LTZ and a Laramie. Are you looking at the actual payload posted on the door or the brochure weight? I've never seen a 1500 GM or Ram with payload numbers even remotely close to what you are posting.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:21 PM   #8
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2240# on the Chebby? Where are you getting that number? Maybe a stripper, reg cab, long box 2wd. The 1800# on the Ram sounds decent for a middle line truck.

I had a 5.3 2003 Silverado. Towed a 3000lb boat or a couple snowmobiles without issue. A big camper?, it'll suck (and not just the fuel).

My 2500 CTD is 2375#. DEF is cheap, I use 2 or 3 gallons in a summer, NBD. For me, zero maintenace other than oil and filters.

1400# pin weight is, in my opinion, at the high max end for 1/2ton towable. It'll tow it no doubt. Safely? margin for error while driving?

White knuckle in a 1/2, pass. Leisurely drive in a 3/4, yes please.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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3/4 and be done
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:35 PM   #10
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Think about the future, will you upgrade to a larger trailer in the future? buy a 3/4 ton now and don't worry about it.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:38 PM   #11
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A 3/4 ton 4x4 crew diesel in either of those trims he has listed will be at or over on payload, by the way. They'll have around 2K payload at the most- likely just shy of it. With a FW hitch and 2 people, even if he manages to keep the pin weight at the 1410 (will probably be closer to 1600ish when loaded, though). The F150 with HD payload will actually typically have a payload in the 2300-2400 range, and I'm talking actual payload, not a brochure rating. BTW, I just went to chevrolet.com and the MAX payload on a 2WD double cab is 2250 and that's a base model. I think 1700-1800 is most likely where it will be on the GM on an LTZ. The Ram I bet will be in the 1200-1300 range on a Laramie.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:39 PM   #12
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As the others have posted check the CCC # on the drivers door frame ! Those #'s you posted do seem high !
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:47 PM   #13
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I'll also add, FWIW:

I've gone from a 2011 F250 6.7PSD to a 2013 F150 3.5 Ecoboost to a 2015 F250 6.7 PSD and now back to a 2018 F150 3.5 Ecoboost. So I've had a little experience and compared both in MANY different towing situations and at varying loads. My personal stance is that I absolutely do NOT want a new diesel unless I absolutely NEED it. You'll notice that I've never gone the 3/4 gasser route. Much worse mileage and much less power compared to the 3.5 Ecoboost just never has appealed to me. I've also come to the conclusion that trying to purchase a truck for possible needs more than a year or two out has been futile as well. I'd never recommend getting anything other than what works best for right now unless you are reasonably certain you'll be upgrading your FW in the next couple of years. Obviously, others see it differently- this is just my .02.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dustman_stx View Post
A 3/4 ton 4x4 crew diesel in either of those trims he has listed will be at or over on payload, by the way. They'll have around 2K payload at the most- likely just shy of it. With a FW hitch and 2 people, even if he manages to keep the pin weight at the 1410 (will probably be closer to 1600ish when loaded, though). The F150 with HD payload will actually typically have a payload in the 2300-2400 range, and I'm talking actual payload, not a brochure rating. BTW, I just went to chevrolet.com and the MAX payload on a 2WD double cab is 2250 and that's a base model. I think 1700-1800 is most likely where it will be on the GM on an LTZ. The Ram I bet will be in the 1200-1300 range on a Laramie.
My Chevy 2500 ccc is 2500 lbs. My silverado LT had 1600 for some comparing some numbers. Both were short bed and 4x4.. So I agree do not use the web as the base, get the real numbers.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:10 PM   #15
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My Chevy 2500 ccc is 2500 lbs. My silverado LT had 1600 for some comparing some numbers. Both were short bed and 4x4.. So I agree do not use the web as the base, get the real numbers.
What cab configuration? My 2015 F250 SCrew 6.7PSD 4x4 XLT short bed with not a lot of options had around 2050 payload. Both are limited to a 10K GVWR- can't imagine a Chevy in the same configuration would be 500 pounds less.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:16 PM   #16
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You can see my TV in my signature. It has a cargo capacity of 2490lbs. I've got crew cab with 6' 6" bed.

Get the diesel if you can afford it. Its' well worth it.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:10 PM   #17
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You can see my TV in my signature. It has a cargo capacity of 2490lbs. I've got crew cab with 6' 6" bed.

Get the diesel if you can afford it. Its' well worth it.
You've got pretty much exactly what I had except yours is an upper trim level. That means the Chevy is ~500+ pounds lighter than the Ford????

Edit: Maybe not- is yours 4WD or 2?
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:18 PM   #18
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Sorry thought I said, which I did not, both crew cabs.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:20 PM   #19
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I'll skip the back and forth on this... You need an F450 diesel dually to tow anything from a yard trailer to a 40' fifth wheel. Hahahaha
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:21 PM   #20
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I'll skip the back and forth on this... You need an F450 diesel dually to tow anything from a yard trailer to a 40' fifth wheel. Hahahaha
No you're still not good enough yet... Need a medium duty semi hauling a smart car to be sure you have enough truck!
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