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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we took a little trip - Boston to Alaska and back! Running a '16 2500 with the 6.4L and 4.10 gears. Towing a fifth wheel - height 13'4"

Total miles driven: 13,882 - Miles towing trailer: 12,267
Total gallons used: 1640.4
Avg MPG (calculated) 8.46 (EVIC) 9.0
Fuel Cost: $5802 Avg per gallon: 3.537
Cost per gallon range 2.699 - 5.703 ( corrected for imperial vs US gallons and exchange rate
GCVW around 18,600# - I did get it weighed, but don't have the figures handy.

Great trip!!!
Sheldon
 

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You're driving the same truck as I own. Can I ask what was the GRVW of the 5th wheel you towed? We are looking to buy one and don't want to stress out the truck's engine and buy something too heavy. I can ask a 100 people and get 101 different answers as to what my truck will handle comfortably. And I'm not sure I trust the salesman at an RV dealership. My dealer said I can tow up 15,5000 lbs (?) want as much trailer as reasonable (we'll be living in it for a year or so and traveling), but don't want to be white knuckling and praying at every hill either. Thanks for any info you can share!
 

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I have a Forest River Wildcat 272RLX. It has a gross weight of 12,000#. Even though the brochure says it is less, the pin weight is about 2,000#. In the plains states ( Dakotas, Ohio, Indiana, etc - you know the relatively flat ones - ( I didn't use tow/ haul because I didn't like the way it shifted, I limited it to 5th gear max. - see my other thread about tow / haul) It spent most of the flat country in 5th gear at 70 MPH. Some inclines it would drop back to 4th. Bigger hills would drop to 3rd, but would still keep up to 60 - 70 MPH.

In the Canadian Rockies it would drop into 2nd gear but you could still maintain 45-50. It isn't a diesel, but I was still happy with the result.

Don't feel bad, I don't trust sales people either. Yes, you can tow 15,500# but will you have any margin? I towed with a 1/2 ton within recommended limits and went through 3 transmissions.

There is plenty of cooling, the trans never went above 175 degrees. I did hear the fan clutch lock up a couple of times and it is noisy, but that was the biggest issue.

Oh, BTW, the book says to use 89 gas preferably. Well, I used 87. One tank I accidentally put 85 in, bad mileage, the fan clutch locked up more, won't do that again

Oh, forgot to mention: The pin weight is about 2000#. I have a 2000 watt inverter generator in the pickup with some tools and the hitch. The spec for my rear axle is 6600# and it weighed in at 6400#

There are lots of weights to check that the dealer may not be aware of. Yes you can tow 15,500, but you also must not overload the axles or go beyond the GCVW ( Gross combined vehicle weight). After my issues with the 1/2 ton, I like to have some margin.
 

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I have a Forest River Wildcat 272RLX. It has a gross weight of 12,000#. Even though the brochure says it is less, the pin weight is about 2,000#. In the plains states ( Dakotas, Ohio, Indiana, etc - you know the relatively flat ones - ( I didn't use tow/ haul because I didn't like the way it shifted, I limited it to 5th gear max. - see my other thread about tow / haul) It spent most of the flat country in 5th gear at 70 MPH. Some inclines it would drop back to 4th. Bigger hills would drop to 3rd, but would still keep up to 60 - 70 MPH.

In the Canadian Rockies it would drop into 2nd gear but you could still maintain 45-50. It isn't a diesel, but I was still happy with the result.

Don't feel bad, I don't trust sales people either. Yes, you can tow 15,500# but will you have any margin? I towed with a 1/2 ton within recommended limits and went through 3 transmissions.

There is plenty of cooling, the trans never went above 175 degrees. I did hear the fan clutch lock up a couple of times and it is noisy, but that was the biggest issue.

Oh, BTW, the book says to use 89 gas preferably. Well, I used 87. One tank I accidentally put 85 in, bad mileage, the fan clutch locked up more, won't do that again

Oh, forgot to mention: The pin weight is about 2000#. I have a 2000 watt inverter generator in the pickup with some tools and the hitch. The spec for my rear axle is 6600# and it weighed in at 6400#

There are lots of weights to check that the dealer may not be aware of. Yes you can tow 15,500, but you also must not overload the axles or go beyond the GCVW ( Gross combined vehicle weight). After my issues with the 1/2 ton, I like to have some margin.
Thank you. Good to hear that. The specs you quoted about your truck are right in line with my RAM as well. I now feel comfortable as long as I stay near 11000#'s GRVW of the trailer. Hope to be on the road by early next year enjoying this countries beauty, kickin' back and putting my RAM to work. This is all new for us, but we're learning what we can now and I know we'll learn a lot more as we go. Really looking fwd to this next chapter in life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next chapter is great! While looking for a trailer, make sure you see it when the slides are in. Often a trailer looks great, but when the slides are in you may not be able to access the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. When you stop at Walmart or truck stops you shouldn't put your slides out.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience, the mileage is pretty darn good IMO since my 1500 gets about 9 mpg towing about 7800#.
I agree, make sure you access the bathroom and kitchen with the slides in.
 

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I told my wife about your trip-12,000 miles towing to Alaska. She decided that my next truck will be an HD, and that we will be getting a camper when I retire.


Sounds like an awesome trip!
 

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Next chapter is great! While looking for a trailer, make sure you see it when the slides are in. Often a trailer looks great, but when the slides are in you may not be able to access the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. When you stop at Walmart or truck stops you shouldn't put your slides out.
Excellent advice shelkol!! I wouldn't have thought of that, thank you! I also didn't know you shouldn't put slides out at rest stops, which makes sense actually. So much to learn it's both daunting and exciting. But I've never backed down from a challenge or because something is difficult. In fact those are the things that proved most rewarding in my life. Here's to the next chapter in life!
 
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