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  #1  
Old 03-10-2011, 10:05 AM
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Default Towing a 5th wheel with the "mighty hemi"

Could someone shed some light on this subject. I know the tow/haul rating is pretty impressive for these trucks, I am on the fence whether to consider a 5th wheel or not. My truck is equipped with the heavy tow package with 3:92 gears and 17 inch wheels. I have dug up alot of information on 5th wheel hauling and have some concerns, one and probably the most important being the hitch weight. If I understand it correctly, the 5th wheel hitch weight is usually factored as 15 to 20% of the total trailer weight. Ex: 7000lbs x .20= 1400lbs, now if this is accurate, that is eating up a considerable amount of the payload of the truck without the passenger weights, 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog, camping gear, gas for the truck etc. There is the fact that the frame, brakes and suspension are lighter duty compared to a 3/4 ton chassis, suspension or 1 ton for that matter, obviously. I used 7000 lbs as an example because I felt that would comfortably be within what the truck could realistically haul. Then there is the question whether you can mate a 5th wheel up to a crew cab with the short box, seems to be a grey area. Am I out to lunch here or should I just go with a pull behind and be done with it. I would appreciate your feedback!
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:29 PM
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I don't know if I would use the term "impressive". Mabye "par". A Fiver can be done but with a 1/2 ton I would opt for a bumper pull with load levelers and a sway bar. This will help distribute the load over the entire truck verses just over the rear axle which will help tremendously. Now you can concentrate on GCWR verses just payload.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:21 PM
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I agree a bumper pull is a far better option for you. I have a ultra-lite 5er and tow it only with my F-250 because of the payload weight. (loaded i'm lust under 200# pin weight with my 3/4 ton)

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Old 03-10-2011, 03:27 PM
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With the slider 5vr hitch you can tow a fifth wheel. Short bed owners hate tight turns and the front of the trailer smacking the cab. Usually happens when they are backing into a site. I'd talk a bit more with a local RV technician.

You just have to be careful of load ratings for pin weight (5vr hitch) and GVWR of the truck and how much you will be towing, hauling in the truck and how that all adds up to your truck's rated capacity.

But to avoid that slider hitch operation, getting in and out to adjust it, I'd also look at a tow behind.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:40 PM
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Not sure about the size of the 5th wheel you are thinking of (length and weight) but on most new 5th wheels you can turn to about 88 degrees without any issues even with a short box. Not all new 5th wheels, just most decent ones. Pin weight should be probably less than 1,500 to stay safe, and remember that a 5th wheel tows far superior to any other hitch so you can load your cargo into the camper instead of the bed of the truck and allow the trailer to haul it. That said, overall gross trailer weight is going to be 10K or less to be safe which puts you around 2K max pin weight, which is too much. So with all this in mind I'd tend to agree that the 1500 is not really suitable for a 5th wheel. Between brakes, frame, axles and springs, it just does not add up as a good decision. I'd have to agree with BigT and go with a standard trailer with a really good load distribution system and decent electric brakes. Maybe even bag it (air bags in the rear for load leveling)
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:02 PM
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I appreciate the input you guys provided, I think it would be quite limiting for choice, I kind of had that gut feeling, so once again thank you, I'm already looking at pull behind travel trailers.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:10 AM
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A 1500 will do much better with a travel trailer. I have a 6000 lbs travel trailer and my RAM tows it very easily.

Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:06 AM
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Good choice I would still consider placing some airbags in it to help.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:24 PM
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if you have ever pulled both the difference is obvious......5th wheel is far superior for handling,ride,control and safety...a large bumper pull trailer will be harder to control and generally more work for the driver......

and if you dont think 10,450lbs towing cap in a half ton is impressive you are silly......a few years back you couldnt tow that in a 3/4 ton......


but at the end of the day the right truck is the answer........
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:32 PM
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I pull a 33', 7800 LB Outback and the RAM does fine. 5.7 and 3.92 gears. I have the Equal-I-zer weight distribution hitch and bed sag is minimal. Not a single problem so far.

Plenty of trailer for my family of 5 and the dog.

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