Guide to Choosing the Best Truck for 5th-Wheel Towing


Truck with Fifth Wheel

You dream of hitting the open highway with your fifth-wheel trailer in tow, but before you can embark on your outdoor adventures, you have to figure out the best way to get where you're going. If you want to jump straight to the top of the line with an all-powerful, up-for-anything truck, then a 1-ton dually with an 8-foot bed and diesel engine will certainly hit all the right marks. However, just because one truck type is up for anything doesn't mean it's one size fits all. Factors like daily driving comfort, cab size, and up-front costs are worth considering as well.


Truck options are as many and varied as the people who use them, but this straightforward guide will help break down the most important specs to consider, which features you need, and which ones you can't live without.


You can also check out our comparison of the top 2017 and 2018 trucks to discover which truck has the highest towing capacity, which has the most powerful engine, and which received the most accolades in the industry.



5 Things to Think About Before You Buy:


  1. Bed Length
  2. Gas vs. Diesel
  3. Payload Capacity
  4. Dually vs. SRW
  5. 5th-Wheel Packages




1. Do I Need a Short-Bed or Long-Bed Truck for a 5th Wheel?


With the rising popularity of Quad Cabs, Mega Cabs, and SuperCrew Cabs, many truck bed lengths have decreased from the standard 8 feet. However, when purchasing a truck intended for towing a fifth-wheel camper, you should be aware that your truck bed length will affect both the cost of your hitch setup and the simplicity of your towing experience once you're on the road.


Long Beds - 8 ft.
Long Bed Truck

Pros

  • Best turning clearance
  • Most convenient for towing
  • Best traction/reduced sway
  • Most cost-effective setup

Cons

  • Large for a daily driver
Long Beds - 8 ft.
Long Bed Truck

Pros

  • Best turning clearance
  • Most convenient for towing
  • Best traction/reduced sway
  • Most cost-effective setup

Cons

  • Large for a daily driver
Short Beds - Under 8 ft.
6-Foot Truck

Pros

  • Easy to park & maneuver when not towing
  • Often include large cab
  • Excellent daily driver

Cons

  • Reduced turning clearance
  • Less convenient for towing
  • Less traction
  • Less cost-effective setup
Short Beds - Under 8 ft.
6-Foot Truck

Pros

  • Easy to park & maneuver when not towing
  • Often include large cab
  • Excellent daily driver

Cons

  • Reduced turning clearance
  • Less convenient for towing
  • Less traction
  • Less cost-effective setup
Shorter Beds - Under 6 ft.
5-Foot Truck

Pros

  • Lightweight and easiest to maneuever when not towing
  • Often include large cab
  • Excellent daily driver

Cons

  • Highly reduced turning clearance
  • Least convenient for towing
  • Least traction
  • Least cost-effective setup
Shorter Beds - Under 6 ft.
5-Foot Truck

Pros

  • Lightweight and easiest to maneuever when not towing
  • Often include large cab
  • Excellent daily driver

Cons

  • Highly reduced turning clearance
  • Least convenient for towing
  • Least traction
  • Least cost-effective setup


Which Hitch Do I Need?


Short Bed Truck

Long-Bed Trucks: 8 Feet


An 8-foot bed, also referred to as a long bed, is ideal for towing a fifth-wheel trailer. Fifth-wheel hitches must remain in front of a truck's rear axle, so the camper sits close to the cab. This can cause clearance issues on shorter trucks, as the trailer will strike the cab during sharp turns if the proper towing equipment is not used. However, an 8-foot bed provides plenty of clearance for making sharp turns with no special hitches or pin boxes needed.


Fixed Hitch
Fixed Hitch

Which hitch do I need?


If you choose a long-bed truck, you can purchase a fixed hitch to tow your camper. Fixed hitches are generally more cost-effective than the sliding hitches required for short-bed trucks (often by several hundred dollars) in addition to being more convenient. Once it's installed, you don't have to worry about adjusting the hitch for turns or acheiving cab clearance. Fixed hitches are available with above-bed and below-bed rails.


Shop Fixed Hitches


Short Bed Truck

Short-Bed Trucks: Under 8 Feet


If you want to tow a fifth wheel, but the truck of your dreams turns out to have a bed shorter than 8 feet long, don't despair—you can have your cake and eat it, too (preferably while sitting in your fifth-wheel trailer in the camping location of your choice). Although truck beds under 8 feet run into clearance issues due to the camper being so close to the cab, there are hitches available that give you the option of towing with a short-bed truck.


Sliding Hitch Clearance
Short-bed trucks cause clearance issues on sharp turns, though this issue can be avoided with a sliding hitch or Sidewinder.

Which hitch do I need?


While fixed hitches aren't usually a viable option for short beds, sliding hitches are designed to work with beds shorter than 8 feet long. Sliding hitches provide greater turning clearance by sliding backward toward the truck tailgate during sharp turns, thus increasing the distance between the cab and the trailer.



Sliding Hitch
Sliding Hitch

There are two types of sliding hitches: manual and automatic. Manual sliding hitches must be physically adjusted from the "locked" to the "turn" position, so you will have to pull over and exit your vehicle each time you make a sharp turn. Automatic sliding hitches self-adjust during turns, allowing you to circumvent this pesky process, albeit at a higher price point. With an automatic sliding hitch, you never have to exit your vehicle to make a turn—the hitch slides smoothly toward the tailgate when you turn and back toward the cab when you straighten out.


Shop Sliding Hitches




Truck Bed - Under 6 Feet

Even Shorter-Bed Trucks: Under 6 Feet


With truck beds under 6 feet long, even sliding hitches don't provide enough clearance to make sharp turns. Instead, you'll need to use a Sidewinder pin box replacement (or the OEM version, the Revolution). With Sidewinders and Revolutions, the pivot point is located 22 inches behind the king pin, close to the tailgate, creating much more space in between the truck cab and trailer on sharp turns.


Truck with Fifth Wheel and Sidewinder
A truck pulls a 5th-wheel trailer with a Sidewinder

Sidewinders are pin box specific, so you will need your current pin box model number in order to find the correct replacement box. If you know your pin box model number, you can select it to see Sidewinder options that will fit. If you don't know your pin box model number and can't locate it on the pin box, you can measure to find the correct replacement.


Sidewinder and Fixed Hitch
Sidewinder and Fixed Hitch

Which hitch do I need?


Fixed hitches are highly recommended with Sidewinder and Revolution pin boxes. You will also need a wedge to prevent the king pin from rotating in your hitch. If you use a sliding hitch with a Sidewinder or Revolution, the hitch should always be kept in the "locked" position. Certain hitches are incompatible with Sidewinder and Revolution pin boxes.

Shop Sidewinder Pin Boxes

Shop Wedges


★ Our Recommendation: If that Crew Cab is a must-have, but it comes with a short bed, the good news is that towing a fifth wheel is possible with the proper equipment. However, hitch and pin box upgrades will have a higher out-of-pocket cost and aren't as convenient as fixed hitch setups. For these reasons, trucks with 8-foot beds are the preferred vehicles for towing fifth wheels.




2. Gas vs. Diesel: Which is Best for Towing?


Infographic - Gas vs Diesel

It's no secret that gas tends to cost less at almost every point: gas engines cost less upfront, fuel costs less at the pump, and maintenance costs are generally lower for gas engines.


However, over time, the superior fuel economy of a diesel engine can actually save you money. Diesel engines usually have a greater towing capacity because of their large torque outputs, which makes them ideal for hauling around massive fifth-wheel trailers. Diesel engines also tend to last longer than gas engines.




★ Our Recommendation: Bottom line, if you're going to be towing a hefty fifth-wheel trailer, particularly over long distances, a diesel engine will be beneficial if you can swing the initially higher costs. However, gas engines are also perfectly capable of towing a fifth wheel, so a diesel engine is a recommendation, not a requirement.




3. Payload Capacity: Do I Need a 1/2 Ton, 3/4 Ton, or 1-Ton Truck?


Average Fifth Wheel Weights
Figures are based on average 5th wheel ratings and truck capacities; always check weight rating information on any trailer and truck prior to towing.

You may have come across these weight categories in your truck research, but it's not always clear which truck class you'll need to tow your fifth wheel. If you plan to tow a large trailer, a large tow vehicle is more likely to be up to the challenge for obvious reasons. In most cases you'll want to go with at least a ¾-ton truck like the Ford F-250, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, or Ram 2500, or—even better—a 1-ton truck, which will certainly offer the towing capacity you need. These are heavy-duty trucks like the Ford F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, and Ram 3500. If you tow with a smaller truck, or if you tow a trailer close to your truck's maximum weight capacity, you may need suspension enhancements to help stabilize and level your vehicle.


With these larger vehicles, there will be less strain on the suspension and drivetrain components than with a smaller truck. That said, towing a small fifth wheel with a ½-ton truck like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, or Ram 1500 (to name a few) is not impossible as long as the truck is rated at the sufficient weight capacity for your trailer. Check out our sizing chart to get an idea of which truck type you might need to pull your fifth wheel.


How Much Can I Tow?


The best way to determine if a particular truck will meet your towing needs is to check the sticker on the truck's driver's side door to determine the vehicle's weight specifications and towing capabilities. On the sticker, check for the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is the maximum combined weight of the loaded truck plus the fully loaded trailer. Then, subtract your Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), which is the combined weight of your truck, fuel, passengers, and cargo when your vehicle is loaded and ready for towing. The difference between the GCWR and the GVW is the maximum loaded trailer weight the truck can tow.


Your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)—the maximum amount your loaded vehicle can weigh—will be included on the ratings sticker near the GCWR, so you can use this number to make a conservative estimate of how heavy a trailer you can tow. For the most accurate measurement of your vehicle's weight, load up your truck with all the gear and passengers you plan to take with you while towing and visit a commercial scale.


Infographic - GVWR


★ Our Recommendation: If you're going to be towing a large fifth wheel trailer, or if you know you'll be looking at a fifth-wheel upgrade down the road, a 1-ton truck will allow this and will hold up the best under a sizeable trailer. However, if you plan on sticking with a smaller fifth wheel, a ¾-ton or even a ½-ton truck is likely all you need, provided its weight rating is sufficient.




4. Do I Need a Dually?


Dually Truck
The dual rear wheels on this Ford F-350 result in a higher weight capacity and greater stability, although they may affect daily driving comfort.

In short, the answer is no—you don't necessarily need a dually (dual rear wheel) truck to tow a fifth-wheel trailer, but that doesn't mean you won't want one.


On one hand, single rear wheel trucks enjoy slightly greater fuel efficiency and offer greater visibility than dually trucks. It's also more economical to replace four tires than it is to replace six. Additionally, keep in mind that you won't always be using your truck for towing, so while it's important to choose a truck that can safely and efficiently tow your trailer, it's also important not to overlook everyday driving comfort. It's considerably easier to navigate through a drive-through or pull into a tight parking space with a single rear wheel truck than it is with a larger dually.


On the other hand, a major benefit of dually trucks is that they provide greater stability when towing a large fifth wheel, such as a toy hauler. A dually truck will typically have a higher weight capacity—again, an important consideration when towing something as large as a fifth wheel—and will cause less stress on the vehicle. Also, in the event of a rear tire blowout, you'll have backups already built in. You may not need a dually, but the extra set of wheels will certainly make for a steadier ride that in many cases will be worth the trade-offs, particularly if you plan on frequent towing.



★ Our Recommendation: If you plan on frequently towing a large fifth-wheel trailer, a dually is an excellent choice for a more stable ride. However, if you plan on towing a smaller fifth wheel, or if you'll only be towing your trailer on occasion, then sticking with a single rear wheel truck will provide more day-to-day driving comfort.







5. What Factory Prep Packages and Fifth-Wheel Rails are Available?


Typically, to install a fifth-wheel hitch, you also have to purchase and install hitch rails in your truck bed. However, many manufacturers are now saving you the hassle of purchasing and installing aftermarket rails (or paying to have them installed for you) by offering fifth wheel factory prep packages with their trucks.


There are two types of installation rails: those that install above the truck bed, and those that install below it. Factory prep kits come pre-installed below the bed and are visible as a series of small pucks that sit flush with your truck bed, where the hitch is installed.


Below-Bed Rails Above-Bed Rails

Pictured: an underbed rail system and an above-bed rail system.


Factory Prep Packages


One important thing to note is that these prep kits are custom-designed, so you will need to purchase a hitch compatible with your manufacturer's kit. For instance, this B&W Companion Hitch is custom-designed to work with new Ford Super Duty trucks with the prep package, while this B&W Companion Hitch is compatible with new Ram prep packages. These custom hitches will drop directly into the pucks in your truck bed, making for a quick and painless installation. With a prep package, dropping a hitch into the truck bed takes an average of 30 minutes, compared to the 4 or more hours it usually takes to install a hitch and aftermarket rails on a truck without a prep package.


If you already have a hitch you want to use with your fifth wheel, but the hitch is not compatible with your factory prep kit, you don't have to throw out your perfectly good hitch. Instead, you'll just need an above-bed adapter like this Reese adapter for Ram trucks. Adapters behave like standard, above-bed rails and mount into the factory pucks in your truck bed, allowing you to use a standard, above-bed hitch. Whenever possible, it's best to use a compatible hitch designed for your under-bed rails for the best fit and minimal contact with your truck bed, but adapters are a good solution if you do end up with an incompatible hitch and rail system.


The best way to find a hitch compatible with your factory prep package is to use our fitguide and select your year, make, model, and vehicle options. From there, you can select above-bed or below-bed rails to filter your options. If you choose below-bed rails, you will be presented with options that fit your OEM prep package. If you select above-bed rails, all of your hitch options will include the rail adapter that will allow you to use the hitch with your OEM prep kit.


Shop Rail Adapters

Above-Bed Rails

Aftermarket Rails


Although purchasing a truck with the factory prep package is more convenient, if you are purchasing a used truck or a truck from an individual rather than a dealership, a prep kit might not be an option. If your truck does not have a factory prep kit, you can still install the rails yourself. Aftermarket options are generally more budget-friendly than factory prep kits, and with the variety of custom-fit options available, you can often still achieve a factory look and feel.


You can choose between above-bed and below-bed rails as well as between custom, semi-custom, and universal install kits. If you prefer to retain full use of your truck bed when the hitch is removed, below-bed rails are the ideal choice. Custom install kits built for your vehicle are always the best option, as they typically require little to no drilling into your truck frame, and they are much easier to install.

Shop 5th-Wheel Hitches

Are fifth-wheel wiring harnesses available?


In-Bed 5th Wheel Wiring Harness

In addition to aftermarket rails, aftermarket fifth-wheel wiring harnesses are available to simplify trailer hookup. These in-bed wiring harnesses will plug into your vehicle's factory wiring and allow you to mount a 7-way connector right in your truck bed. Many also feature 90-degree angled connectors to fit into tight spaces, so they can be installed almost anywhere in the bed. These harnesses are a custom-fit item, so you can use our wiring fitguide to find the right harness for your truck. When you use our fitguide to search for a hitch and rails, you can also find a wiring harness recommendation on the right-hand side of the product list page.


Shop Wiring

★ Our Recommendation: A fifth-wheel hitch can be installed regardless of whether or not the truck has a factory prep package, so if you don't have the option or don't wish to pay for the factory upgrade upfront, you can always find a hitch, installation rails, and wiring harness later on. If you do have the option, however, we highly recommend sparing yourself the time and hassle of purchasing aftermarket rails and installing them yourself.




Related Products




Related Articles


Fifth-Wheel Trailer Hitch Information and Installation Tips

Measuring to Determine the Correct Replacement Pin Box for a 5th-Wheel Trailer

Sidewinder with Rotating Turret for Short Bed Pickups

More 5th Wheel Help Articles

Pickup Truck Cab Styles



Written by: Amber S.


Updated on: 9/21/2018





Questions and Comments about this Article

Gary S.

I have a 2020 Chevrolet silverado 2500hd high country 4×4 crew cab standard bed 6.6 liter gas engine. Curb wt. is 7293, gvwr is10650, gcvwr is 24,000, max payload is 3357, tow capacity is 16620, rgawr is 6600 rear and 4800 front. The 5th wheel I'm thinking about purchasing is the 2021 chaparral 30bhs. It has an unloaded wt. of 9535# and max loaded with. of 11500# and pin wt. of 1553#. Will my truck be able to haul this 5th wheel safely?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If your pickup has a max towing capacity of 16,620 lbs and your trailer has a GVWR of 11,500 lbs then you should have no worries about that difference. I tend to recommend having at least 1,000 lbs more for your tow vehicle just to keep from putting too much stress on it so your over 4,000 lb difference is more than enough.

Rsqswim

Purchased a 5th wheel, Unloaded weight is 12,620. GVWR is 15,500. Dry hitch weight 2,620. Torn between F250 10800# GVMR 160 inch wheelbase 6.7 diesel 3.55 axle, high cap tow package 6 3/4 bed, or a F350 Diesel. I'm willing to add airbags to the F250 for stability if needed. F250 and F350 same transmission, same engine. Which one would you get? Thoughts and why?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

What year are you looking at? I like to recommend getting a truck that has a max towing weight that has maybe 1,000 lbs more than what the trailer is rated for so that your truck won't be under as much stress when you're towing.

Joe G.

Hello, I just bought a reflection 278 BH. it its the 150 1/2 ton towable series and I have a 2016 LTZ 1500 short bed. I am not positive but I have read that the truck can pull 9100#. The camper weighs 8295 dry with a gvwr of 10195. I think my payload is 2130# and the tongue weight of the camper is 1338#. Is this really half ton towable? I did put air bag suspension in my truck also

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If it's advertised as a 1/2 ton towable series then I think what they mean to say is that you can tow it with a 1/2 ton vehicle, but not EVERY 1/2 ton vehicle. If you check out the trailering guide for any specific year you can see that they weight ratings vary between the years, engine size, and axle ratio. You will need to be conscious about how much you load into your trailer so that you aren't overdoing it for your truck.

Ricky H.

I have a 2020 Ram with tow weight of 11600. Would it be safe to tow a 5th wheel of 8500 .

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as that's the GVWR of the trailer and not the dry weight. If the dry weight is 8,500 lbs then you might be pushing the limits of your pickup when the trailer is fully loaded.

Matt B.

Hello. I have a 2029 Chevy 2500hd Duda max LTZ with a GVWR of 10,000 and looking at a 2018 toy hauler with a pin weight of 3000 and dry weight of 12,400. Would I be in my limits on this?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Do you mean 2019 or 2020? Also what is your GCWR (gross carry weight rating) - this can be found on the sticker in your driver's side door jamb.

Kristi

Hello. Brand new to the RV world. We have determined we want a 5th wheel and now need to figure out the truck situation. We prefer a 250/2500. Currently have our eye on a 2017 F-250 Lariat, 4x4, 6.7 diesel, 3.73 axle, 10000 GVWR. Could you help me determine the capacities of 5th wheels we need to consider? I’ve been told that a 10500#, 2300# carrying capacity, 2275# hitch weight is too much for a 3/4 ton to handle. Appreciate your input!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

How much is your truck able to tow? I wasn't able to find the specific specs in the Ford towing guide. If you don't know your trailer tow capacity then you can take the GCWR and subtract the GVWR numbers found on the sticker in your driver's side door jamb. I usually recommend trying to go with a trailer that is at least 500 lbs less than the max trailer tow capacity so that you aren't making your truck work to its max capacity.

Reply from Kristi

@JonG We don’t yet have the truck or the 5th Wheel. We are trying to understand our limits by wanting to stay with a 3/4ton truck and building around that. We prefer Ford f250s, used. The above mentioned truck actually has the 3.55 axle ratio. I misspoke when saying it has the 3.73 axle. We also are looking at a 2017 XLT Diesel 4WD with Snow Plow/Camper package and XLT package and 3.55 axle. It shows a Rear GAWR of 6340lbs and Front GAWR of 5990lbs. I am finding so much conflicting information on payload in particular that I am about to give up. We don’t want a big 5th wheel, the max loaded weight one we are looking at now is 11000lbs. Can we handle that?

Reply from Kristi

@JonG Also, forgot to mention the XLT has a GVWR of 9900. Thanks so much for your expertise and guidance!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Kristi Thank you for the extra info! According to the Ford towing guide most of the trucks with the 3.55 axle ratio have a 5th wheel/gooseneck tow rating of at least 14,000 lbs. The only exception being the long bed crew cab 4x4 with the 176" wheelbase. So if you are looking for 5th wheels that have a GVWR of no more than 11,000 lbs you will be just fine. Pin weight can be confusing when you are comparing that to payload and the reason is that the payload will be distributed on top of the truck bed while the pin weight will be placed directly on the frame of your truck. The Ford towing guide says to shoot for a pin weight of 15% of your loaded 5th wheel so that's the number you want to shoot for.

Reply from Kristi

@JonG great! Thanks so much. Now I can rest easy.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Kristi Anytime!

Abb

Bought 2021 keystone avalanche 312rs fifth wheel with 11520 hitch wt, 3480 carrying capacity and 2575 hitch wt. Currently have 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500hd with 3.73 gear ratio. GVW is 9500 lb and I think GCWR is 16000 lb which tells me we need a new truck. Plan to hire to get towed to our seasonal site but wondering what truck we should get if we decide to pull elsewhere. Cannot stand smell of diesel but wonder if that’s the only route we can go. Looks like GM models won’t work although we prefer GM. Also cannot buy dually as garage is not big enough.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If the GVWR of your Avalanche is 15,000 lbs you shouldn't need a diesel, but that also depends on the year of the vehicle you're looking to upgrade to. Newer trucks have higher weight ratings so you could possibly get a 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 SRW and be just fine. If you search online for vehicle manufacturer's towing guides they usually have a good breakdown of the various capacities for any given year.

Greg

I’m looking for the best option for a fifth wheel sliding hitch setup for my 2020 Ram 3500 with Ram boxes. I plan to tow a 36-40 ft Montana fifth wheel. Unfortunately I don’t have the factory prep package for the hitch. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

For your application I recommend using the Reese M5 # RP30928 , the Bed Rails # RP56010-53 , and then the Wedge # RP44FR so that you can install a Sidewinder pin box on the 5th wheel hitch. Normal pin boxes will hit the RamBox setup when turning which is why you need to use a pin box that has a rotating turret instead of the traditional type that rotates at the king pin.

Rob

FINALLY a current, extremely helpful guide. Tow vehicle - 2015 GMC 2500HD 4x4 Crew Cab, Regular box; 4.10 trans; truck is 7200ish# when loaded; GCVR is 20500#. To be safe, I'll go with 85% of that leaving me with 11,305# as an allowable 5th wheel weight. Looking at two 5ers and the decision is coming down to a few hundred pounds difference between them. Alberta, so occasional trips on 6% grade 5er A (preferred) - 11,330 DRY 5er B (close second) - 10,900 DRY similar(ish) pin weights that are within the truck's capacity (2400#) THANK YOU a ton in advance

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Looks like you have done some research here. When I looked up the 2015 GM towing guide it looks like the max amount of weight your vehicle can tow, when it comes to 5th wheel trailering, is 14,000 lbs. Since you're looking at weights of 11,330 lbs and 10,900 lbs you should be good with either one, just be sure that you know dry means when the 5th wheel is unloaded so you'll have to also account for any cargo. Some other things you might consider is suspension enhancement if you don't already have that, and then you'll also need a brake controller. If you don't already have one then I highly recommend the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite because it gives you the option of using proportional braking, or user-control braking (which would be better if you will be towing on a lot of hills). I've attached links to our selections of suspension enhancement and brake controllers that you can check out.

Walt

Can I tow fifth wheel camper that has a GVWR of 16135lbs with a 2020 crew cab 3500gas motor truck?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

It depends on the specific truck. That GVWR sounds like it will be pushing the max weight capacity of the pickup but you'll need to look up a towing guide or look in the owner's manual for specifics.

Richard W.

My truck is 2020 F350 diesel, SRW, 20 in wheels, 4x4 with 12,400 lb GVW. 4700 lb payload. Any issue with towing triple axle toy hauler weighing 16,000 lbs?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as you don't have the 10,000 lbs towing package it looks like you have more than enough weight capacity to tow a 16,000 lb loaded trailer.

Reply from Richard W.

@JonG thank you! My truck has the 12,400 GVW package.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@RichardW I wasn't seeing anything about a package with that rating but you can easily determine how much your truck can handle by looking at the sticker on your driver's side door jamb and subtracting the GVWR number from the GCWR number. What you're left with is the max weight rating that your vehicle can handle.

Abdiel B.

Hello, I’m thinking about buying a 2021 Jayco North Point 377rlbh. Is the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500 HD AT4 SRW enough to tow this?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I could find it looks like that truck package comes with a max weight rating of either 11,350 lbs or 12,100 lbs while the Jayco you mentioned has a dry (unloaded) weight of 14,255 lb - quite a bit over what your truck is capable of. This means you'll either need to look for a truck that is more geared towards towing with a higher weight capacity or a smaller 5th wheel to tow.

Reply from Abdiel B.

@JonG sounds good thank you.

Brendan W.

We just bought a 36bhq 12,000lbs dry. Would you recommend a srw or dually?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I think the "Our Recommendation" tag under the "Do I Need a Dually" point is the best rule of thumb to follow. This is what it says: If you plan on frequently towing a large fifth-wheel trailer, a dually is an excellent choice for a more stable ride. However, if you plan on towing a smaller fifth wheel, or if you'll only be towing your trailer on occasion, then sticking with a single rear wheel truck will provide more day-to-day driving comfort.

Lw

Looking at a Ram 3500 srw, Cummins AT 8’ bed. Plan on getting a 5th wheel toy hauler under 35’ maybe 17000 gvwr. Is this a good match?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

That should be more than enough truck for that trailer but it would be a good thing to verify this with the Ram towing guide or a copy of the owner's manual for the year truck you're looking at. Weight ratings can change from year to year for even the same model truck which is why I can't give a solid answer right off the bat.

Thom Y.

Have decided on a solitude 380fl 5th for long term 4 season camping. Long story short I’ll only be moving this beast once or maybe twice per year and daily drivability is very important to me. The trailer weighs 14,800 dry and is 41’-6”. Any recommendations?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thanks for all of the info! When looking at the weight of your 5th wheel trailer there are 2 numbers that we want to pay attention to. The dry weight of 14,800 lbs and the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 16,800 lbs. It's always best to choose a vehicle that can tow the GVWR because the dry weight doesn't include any cargo that you're going to have on board. Because of this you're going to need to look at one of the HD trucks like an F-350 or a 3500. Some of the F-250 or 2500 models might have enough towing capacity but that's usually with all of the perks added on. Since you want something that will double as a daily driver I would look at the towing guides for the year of pickups you're wanting and then compare the features and mileage between the manufacturers to see what fits your lifestyle best. It would also be a good idea to hit up some forums and research common problems with the vehicles you're interested in so you can have a good all-around idea of what you're getting yourself into.

Catherine B.

Hi I'm looking to buy RV crusader 974 2020. But I don't know wish truck to buy? If I buy Gmc Sierra 1500 can this truck pull easily my RV? Thanks for your help

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I think you'll be pushing the weight rating but if you can verify the model of your 5th wheel trailer (I wasn't able to locate the 974 number) and what year your GMC is I can try to help you out.

Reply from Catherine B.

@JonG Hi Jong Thank you for responding to me. My RV model crusader 297RSK 2020 . They said the hitch weight 1312lbs. So wish GMC to buy? If Sierra 1500, 2020 can pull up the RV? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@CatherineB Thanks for the update! So it looks like the max amount that trailer can weigh (GVWR) is 11,500 lbs. Since none of the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 models can tow that much I'd go with a 2500 instead. Any version of the 2020 2500 model will have more than enough towing capacity and will give you some wiggle room if you ever decide to upgrade to a bigger 5th wheel.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@CatherineB Thanks for the update! So it looks like the max amount that trailer can weigh (GVWR) is 11,500 lbs. Since none of the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 models can tow that much I'd go with a 2500 instead. Any version of the 2020 2500 model will have more than enough towing capacity and will give you some wiggle room if you ever decide to upgrade to a bigger 5th wheel.

Reply from Catherine B.

@JonG Thanks so much for your help. Happy new year! Wishing you all the best

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@CatherineB No problem! You too!

Mike B.

I have a 16.5 K wet weight 5er with 2.5k K hitch weight. My current Tow Vehicle is a F450, a true workhorse. I'm looking replacing with a 2021 Ram 3500 SRW. I noticed ghat the peg hole spacing is different on the Ram from the Ford. Is there an available adapter that I can drop into the RAM and continue to use the 21K Reese custom hitch, or will I need to look into buying ;( a new hitch to fit the Ram?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Which Reese hitch do you have? If you can let me know the name/model of your hitch I can see if we have a leg kit that is compatible with it and the 2021 Ram 3500 puck system.

Reply from Mike B.

@JonG Thanks Jon. The hitch came with the Ford as a "Ford Custom Accessory". Label says Max Gross Trlr Wgt 26,500 lbs. Max Pin Wgt 6,625 lbs. Part No. FC3J-5B110-AA. SAE J-2638

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@MikeB Thank you for that! That part number is the Reese Elite 5th wheel hitch which is designed to fit the OEM Ford puck system and any truck that has the Reese Elite Underbed Kit installed. Right now Reese doesn't have that underbed kit available for a 2021 Ram 3500 so you will need to use a different 5th wheel hitch. If you really like the Reese Elite then I recommend using the Reese M5 which comes rated for 20K # RP30918 as well as 27K # RP37FR if your truck will be rated that high.

Reply from Mike B.

@JonG Thanks Jon. That's what I was afraid of. Any chance I could sell my Reese ( or trade in) toward a Ram hitch with you guys? I'm not necessarily hooked on the Reese, even though it is a great hitch!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@MikeB Unfortunately we don't have any kind of buy-back system in place. You might try hitting up a buy-sell-trade group or something like that to help offset the cost of your new 5th wheel hitch. What kind of price-point are you looking at in a new hitch and do you have the long or short bed truck? I'd be more than happy to make a recommendation for you!

Mike

I have a 2016 F250 4x4 with 6.7 Diesel and Im looking to buy a 5th wheel and im worried about size of truck. Weight Dry Weight of 5th wheel is 10,585 lbs. Payload Capacity is 2,315 lbs. GVWR 12,900 lbs. and Hitch Weight 2,300 lbs the sticker in my truck says the GVWR of my truck is 10,000 pounds and payload is 1983#. Everyone says my truck can handle this 5th wheel but I have 1 person that says no...im nervous. Im supposed to sign Friday, please help

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

According to the Ford towing guide (https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/), you actually have more than enough capacity. I know that there are a lot of numbers involved with towing, especially when you're trying to do it safely. Your best bet is to always go with what the manufacturer says about your vehicle. Just something to note, the GVWR of your truck is how much it can weigh and the payload is how much load the truck bed can handle. When dealing with towing you're actually going to factor in the GCWR (gross carry weight rating) instead which should be higher, and your pin weight rating can be a little higher because the pin weight of your 5th wheel will be placed directly onto the frame of your truck as opposed to distributed all around the truck bed like what you find with a load of gravel.

Maison R.

I'm new to 5th wheels and towing a trailer in general I bought a 1995 27 ft 5th wheel that has a gvwr of 9598lbs and got a friend to tow it home for me and now I'm looking for a truck setup to tow it with I've been told the f150 3.5L eco boost would be capable of towing them but wasn't 100% if that would be true

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If the F-150 you're talking about is a newer model then that sounds about right but it's always best to check the specs of the truck that you're looking at with the Ford Towing Guide (https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/) to make sure you know exactly what your truck is rated for.

Moosergs

I have 2017 F-350 SDW, desiel. I'm going to buy the Montana 3120 Super Solar which has a dry weight approx. 12,500 lbs. I know my truck will handle the weight, but my concern is that it might sit to high and have to lowered. What do you think?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The best way to determine this is by measuring from the ground to the bed of your truck as well as from the ground to the bottom of the pin box on the Montana (both on level ground of course). Once you find the difference all you need to do is make sure that your 5th wheel hitch has a height adjustment that contains the difference that you found and you'll be good to go. Since it doesn't sound like you have access to the Montana right now, you should be able to contact the dealer and they can get that height for you. Attached is a link to our fit guide for 5th wheel hitch options for your F-350 as well as an answer page that has some photos to help demonstrate what I'm talking about.

Isaac R.

Hi, I have a 5th wheel, 29 ft, 8000 lb dry weight. I'm looking for a car to tow it (thought about F-250). First, do you have any recommendations where I can buy a truck with a hitch? If not, any ideas where I can buy and install the hitch?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

A Ford F-250 would be a great option for that size of 5th wheel trailer. Just be sure to note the GVWR of your trailer (gross vehicle weight rating) and that the year F-250 you look into can handle at least that much - although I always recommend having some extra capacity so that you aren't maxing out your truck. When it comes to purchasing a 5th wheel hitch we have a wide variety here on our site! I'm not sure what dealers would carry them but typically they have a very limited selection and a lot of people I've spoken with feel like they have to settle. I do recommend trying to find a truck with the OEM pucks. It makes installing a 5th wheel hitch easier and it gives you a completely clear bed when you take the hitch out. If you use our fitguide you can see what 5th wheel hitch options are available for the truck that you decide to purchase!

Reply from Isaac R.

@JonG Thank you so much for your response! GVWR is 10,000 and the car is F-250 XL, 2016. I haven't bought it yet, but it seems to be it. Do you also offer installation for the 5th wheel hitch?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@IsaacR It looks like your truck should have a 12K towing capacity which is more than enough for that trailer. We do perform installs, yes. We are located in Wentzville, MO so that's where you'd need to come for the installation. Otherwise any shop should be able to easily install any kind of bracket system that you might need. If that truck does have the OEM pucks then installing a 5th wheel hitch will be a piece of cake - the hardest part will be lifting the hitch into the truck bed.

Peter B.

I have a 2017 Ram HD 2500 4x4 with 3.73 axel ratio and A666RFE transmission, and 14000 lbs 5th wheel hitch. Am looking at 5th wheel with dry weight of 10,125. My max trailer towing is 12630? First is that a safe weight to tow and if so I can add up to how much cargo to be in the proper range of total weight?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

What is your cab size, bed size, and engine size? Most of the 2017 Ram 2500 pickups with the 3.73 axle ratio and the A6 66RFE transmission will be just under or right at this capacity so we need to verify this stuff ans be sure that we aren't overloading your vehicle.

Mitch S.

We are looking at 2 Redwood 5th Wheels. One is 13,246 dry and we would put 2,000# of cargo in it when traveling. The other is 14,400 dry and we would carry 2,000# cargo in it as well. Looking at 2 trucks. Ford F350 SRW long bed and Ford F350 DRW. Both with a 6.7 Powerstroke and 4x4. We wl be towing for about 6 months next year across the country. I want to know that we are safe on our journey. Thanks so much for any help.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

An F-350 should have enough capacity to tow either of those 5th wheel trailers but it's always a good idea to double check with what Ford says. Here is a link to the Ford towing guide but if you can let me know what year(s) you're looking at I can help you verify if it will be okay or not. I do recommend having some spare weight capacity for your pickup instead of being right at the max capacity. https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/

Reply from Dave D.

@JonG I have a Fifth Wheel with dry weight of 12,650 and a GVWR of 16,000 pounds. I was looking at the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Standard Bed Crew Cab with a GVWR of 11,350 and a GCWR of 27,500. Would this be a safe vehicle to tow with?

Reply from Dave D.

@JonG I may not have provided complete info in my earlier email. I have a Fifth Wheel with a Dry Weight of 12,650 lbs. and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 16,000 lbs. I was looking at a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD 4X4 Turbo Diesel Regular Bed with a Crew Cab. The Chevrolet Towing guide says it has a GVWR if 11,350 lbs. and a GCWR of 27,500 lbs. Is this a safe vehicle to tow this 39 ft. Fifth Wheel?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@DaveD Thank you for the extra info! To determine the max trailer towing capacity you can subtract the GVWR from the GCWR. With the numbers you gave me this means that the truck you're looking at can tow a 5th wheel weighing up to 16,150 lbs. I would try to avoid maxing out your trailer weight if possible simply so that your truck isn't close to it's max tow weight rating and it won't be straining as much.

Reply from David D.

@JonG Thanks so much for your reply. That is what I was expecting but I am new to towing and wanted verification and it is hard to find good advice.

Reply from Mitch S.

Ordered a 2021 F350 DRW Lariat and bought the larger coach. Ready to roll.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@DaveD Anytime!

Kevin L.

I’m looking at a 5th wheel that weighs 9670lbs dry weight. With a maximum trailer weight of 12,995. I have my eye on a 2019 2500HD LTZ 4x4. (Good deal) was wondering if this truck can tow this much weight or should I go for a 2020?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I can see in the 2019 GM towing guide it looks like if your 2500HD has the 4.10 axle ratio then the max towing capacity is about 14K but if you have the 3.73 axle ration then that drops to about the 9.6K mark. So if you have the 4.10 axle ratio you'll be good to go, but if you have the 3.73 then you'll definitely need to find another pickup because the trailer at the dry weight will be too much for your truck.

Francois C.

i have a small fifth wheel 27' 6500lbs that i have to move out from the woods. Would an half-ton do the jobs?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

A half-ton could probably pull that on a normal highway but if you're talking about literally pulling something through woods that has no road (or something like a dirt road) then I'd be a little skeptical about that. If you already have a half-ton truck you'll want to verify that it can tow well over 6,500 lbs.

Bill G.

My 2020 29’ fifth wheel sits to high on the front when hooked up to my 2019 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 pickup. Bed rails are 59” high. RV dealer said it was safe to pull it when it is not level. How can I get it adjusted to pull level? Changed the pin box. On second slider hitch. Nothing works. Dealer not taking responsibility for this.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as your 5th wheel is within a few inches of being level you should be safe, however if it's noticeably unlevel then that is something that you'll want to get taken care of. Since you've tried adjusting your pin box and your 5th wheel hitch but you're still out of level the only other thing to do is to raise the height of your 5th wheel. If your axles are on top of your leaf springs then an over-under conversion kit # K71-384-00 for 2-3/8" axle or # K71-385-00 for 3" axle is what you can use. This will increase the height of your trailer the equivalent of your leaf spring stack height plus the diameter of your axle.

Reply from Bill G.

@JonG: Cougar tech support/Keystone reps made it extremely clear: flip the axles and VOID the warranty! Additionally, my fresh water tank is located at the rear of my 5th wheel. Filled, I’m running with close to 500++ lbs. THAT increase the weight on the two back tires of the coach and causes heat buildup which is not safe by any means. Dealer knew there was a problem with bed rail heights BEFORE he sold the unit to me. I’ve put on different sized tires in an attempt to lower the front to no avail. I’ve played with airbags but no help. Unit is NOTICEABLY un level. . I bought it with the understanding the dealer would fix it. I towed it home February 2020. Parked in my driveway ever sense. Guess it’s time to file formal complaint with Oregon’s Dept of Justice. TKS for your reply.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@BillG Man I'm sorry to hear that, voiding the warranty usually does put the brakes on any kind of modifications. I wonder if they would be okay with a kit like part # LC407131 (for tandem axles) that basically makes your hangers 2" longer so that your trailer is a little taller?

Reply from Bill G.

@JonG: I’ll call them and see if that would be an approved method. What I keep hearing from the factory reps is “if it’s not made by us, you can’t use it.” ?? ????

Reply from Bill G.

@JonG: After viewing both links, I can say for sure that the factory reps will never approve this because “cutting, drilling and welding” was already talked about in one of my conversations with them. VOID the warranty. I may be forced to let the warrant expire and then make any necessary modifications.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@BillG Let me know if you find anything additional out and if you'd like any help looking into other products.

Reply from Bill G.

@JonG Many thanks. Appreciate the input. Great site.

Mike B.

Trying to decide between diesel and gas. We would be pulling a 10,000lb gross 5th wheel. Both the gas and diesel 3/4 tons we are looking at are more than capable specs-wise. We plan to take the rig on a coast to coast tour of the US, and shorter local trips too. But when we aren’t towing, the truck will be driven a short distance (10mi) to and from the airport about 4 times a month (I travel extensively for work) I have read that short trips can be bad for Diesel engines. Any recommendation of gas vs diesel given our circumstances? Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Definitely go with the diesel. You should be getting better torque and fuel mileage out of that option, plus diesel typically has a better towing capacity. If you will be going on trips with your 5th wheel on a consistent basis then I don't think the shorter trips to the air port will affect your engine as bad as doing something like driving across town everyday for work would.

Reply from Moosergs

I would always recommend a diesel truck for towing, but one other thing that you might not have considered is get fuel for your truck with the big trailer on it. It is very easy to get diesel using the truck pumps behind the truck stops, verse trying to get into gas pumps. On top of that, you can get a card from several companies to get discounts on diesel.

Jason O.

I have a 2016 Chevy 2500hd LTZ diesel and the previous owner had the eco professionally taken out. Been looking at 5th wheels and I dont want to over do it on my truck. I have farm things I have to do with it. Curious if you had suggestions on what weights on trailers and hitch weights i should stay comfortably within. Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I know that the Eco usually changes towing capacities on a vehicle but I wouldn't be able to give you a solid number since that's a pretty specific modification. I'd try reaching out to you local dealer to get their take on that as they should be able to give you better insight on their end. I would basically just be guessing.

Meredith

Hi! First let me say, thank you so much for your time! I need advice. We are needing to tow a Forest River 5th wheel that has a GVWR of 14,150 and is 43'1" long. The hitch wt is 2150lb. The truck we are looking at is a GMC denali 2500HD turbo diesel with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs (5200 lb frt and 6200 lb rear). Is this truck sufficient to tow our rig? Thank you.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

A GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali should be well equipped to tow a 5th wheel with a GVWR of 14,150 lbs. To double check this you can look up the GM towing guide for whatever year your pickup is or find the GCWR on the sticker inside your driver's door jamb and then subtract 10,000 lbs from that. If you let me know the year of your pickup I can give you a little more of a solid answer.

Arlan H.

We have a 2015 Columbus 340RK fifth wheel. Gross weight 13980 lbs. and hitch weight 1980. I am looking at getting a used truck to pull it and am confused with all the options. I want a Ford 2500 or Dodge 2500, but not find it hard to find one with the 4.10 gear ratio that the charts show I need to pull that heavy of a camper. Most of what I have found have the 3.73 and their tow rating is under 13000. any suggestions?? Thanks,

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

You're going to need to look for a newer model or a larger truck, there really isn't anything else that can be done in all honesty.

Reply from Arlan H.

@JonG Thanks, We just bought a 2019 F250 with the 6.7 turbo diesel. Nice truck with lots of pulling power.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Glad to hear you found something that fits your needs!

Brian H.

You guys are an abundance of info on towing and always have what I want. Just getting started in this 5th wheel world, and don't have the truck or the trailer. We are in need of a newer vehicle and are going with the truck 1st. What I've found in my budget range is a 2013 Ford F350 Dually Diesel with the 5th wheel prep package. The mileage is great on it at 48K, but I have some reservations about it's age. It's not showing any signs of age by the way. Anyone have any thoughts? TIA.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If it's been taken care of really well (which it sounds like it has) and you can look up the history to make sure that it hasn't had anything major done to it then it sounds like a good deal to me. I recommend looking for a 5th wheel trailer with a GVWR that is about 1,000 lbs less than the max 5th wheel towing weight rating for your pickup so that you have some cushion and you won't be pushing your truck to the limits.

John

I purchased a 2008 Keystone Raptor 3712 5TH wheel Toy Hauler - dry weight 12,745 . payload 3,755, hitch weight 2840 Trying to decide between 2 trucks and need some guidance, new to towing. 1. 2005 FORD F350 4X4 SINGLE REAR WHEEL KING RANCH 6.0 DIESEL 2. 2004 CHEVY 3500 LT 4X4 DUALLY 6.6 DIESEL According to everything I'm finding on the net , it does not look like either of these 2 trucks could tow the Raptor, my research is showing me the Ford to only tow 15,000 and about same for Chevy. Is this possible ? Would love some help. Not sure if more info is needed to determine but will be glad to ask any and all questions.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From what I could find the 15,000 lbs towing seems about right. You're either going to need to get a bigger truck or look for a newer model. Newer HD pickups have larger towing capacities so I'd simply look at newer model years of either of those pickups.

Loren H.

Local Ram dealer had a new 2018 3500 SLT long bed diesel sitting on their lot a few months ago that I purchased at a deep discount. Based on my vin# the Mopar owner's site indicates max tow capacity of 17334 and payload of 4344. We are looking to move from a our older bumper tow toy hauler to a 5th wheel toy hauler. We have been looking at a 5th wheel with 12900 dry weight/16900 GWR and hitch weight of 3200. Is my truck adequate to comfortably tow this trailer? I have been hearing from some that say, no problem and others telling me I'm too close to capacity. If all is good, what hitch set up would you recommend?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Since you'll have over 400 lbs wiggle room I think you'll be just fine, but you might want to install some suspension enhancement just to give your truck a little more support (see attached link). For a hitch I recommend the B&W Companion because it's arguably the best 5th wheel hitch on the market, plus it's made right here in the USA! If you have the OEM puck system use part # BWRVK3600 otherwise you need part # BWRVK3500-5W as well as the underbed kit # BWGNRK1314-5W .

Jp

Ji, We just purchased a 2020 Grand Design 303rls fifth wheel, 12,000 GVWR with 1,725lbs hitch weight, for now it's seasonal, but I'm looking at a truck, not a fan of Ford, so GMC and Ram are fine I believe I need a 2500 but there are soooo many trim and model and options...P.S.: never had a truck Thanks

Mark C.

What do you think of the 2018 6.4 Ram 2500 Laramie?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jacob H.

The 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6.4L Hemi is a good choice in my opinion for a tow vehicle. The biggest issue to me would be the low gas mileage that you would get compared to that of a diesel. It will also depend on how big of a camper that you are wanting to tow.

Paul

I have a pretty old BBQ rig, about 40' long. I'm thinking about making it operational after sitting idle for over 12 years. I'm wondering if the hitch on that thing is so outdated it would be unable to match with anything currently on trucks today, or have they remained pretty standard over the years.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Trailer couplers may have changed a bit over the years but the hitch balls they attach to haven't. Unless it's physically worn/damaged, I don't see any reason it couldn't hook up to a modern truck.

Curt

Wondering about Anderson hitches verse a stand style fifth wheel plate pin hitch? I know camper manufactures use a standard pin hitch for a reason. Then Anderson wants to bolt on a ball socket connection. What is the disadvantage of the Anderson hitch? My biggest question is the ball socket connection as safe? And do you loose stability without taking advantage of the standard fifth wheel plate stability and control?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

The Andersen hitches offer a unique benefit of being extremely light (thus easy to remove/mount, etc) but you do indeed lose a lot of that stability that a traditional 5th wheel hitch gives you at the connection point. That isn't to say it's not "safe" (it is), but you won't have quite as smooth a ride and you'll probably notice more noise while towing with the Andersen as opposed to something like the Curt A20 # C16140 , which puts a huge emphasis on its jaw and head design for creating the smoothest ride possible.

Leib

Hi, Im considering purchasing the New Ford 7.3 Gas Crew Cab to tow either a GD Solitude 35ft or Alliance Paradigm 35/37ft 15,000/16500 GVWR The Alliance has a structural modification to allow for 6&3/4ft box which I would prefer in lieu of the 8ft box. Why For the gas mileage, as well as unhitched maneuver plus I would like the 3.55 axle ratio vs 4.30. I also previously owned a ChevyDually. The Ford Super Duty packages upgrades allow similar Towing capacities with Non-Dually vs Dually I would appreciate your opinion, please.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

A higher axle ratio will provide more torque, and thus a higher towing capacity, but will likely have a negative affect on your fuel economy. As long as the truck you're looking at has the capacity to tow those trailers, it's really just a matter of personal preference at this point. I highly recommend talking a lot with the Ford dealer and taking the truck for a couple test drives before making any decisions.

David O.

Looking on getting a 5th wheel I found what I like 310 solitude uvw 12100GVWR 15000I have 2020 high country GVWR 11350GCWR 2750RGAWR 6500CURB WT 8305MAXPAY 3045Can I pull this 5th wheel SAFELY

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I would need a bit more info to determine if your truck is capable of handling that Grand Solitude. Do you have the 1500 or 2500 model? Can you tell me its engine size?

Derek F.

Good day to you all. 5th wheel 41, F350 long box dually in place......hitch question. Do I need or is it wise to have say a Curt 360 pivoting hitch and then also have a Flex Air pin box or is it best to choose 1 or the other? Thanks and stay virus free yall

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Great question. The Curt Q-Series 5th Wheel Hitches like the Q20 # C16530-16017 that feature the 360 head movement are completely compatible with Flex Air Pin Boxes. I think this combo would result in an extremely smooth ride during travel so if it's something you're able to do it's a great idea. If you can tell me what pin box model is currently on the trailer I'd be happy to recommend the right Flex Air model. In the meantime please stay healthy as well!

Reply from Derek F.

Is it safe to have both that pivot and flex? Or is 1 or the other the better way to go.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Pivoting pin boxes like the Reese Sidewinder and OEM Turning Point can't be used with the Curt Q-Series hitches because of the instability they would create at the hitch. The Flex Air isn't a pivoting unit though, and could be used without issue.

Tony H.

What size of Ford truck would I need to safely tow a 41 ft 5th wheel trailer with a empty pin weight of 2700 lbs and empty trailer weight of 13500 lbs and carrying capacity of 3100 lbs.Im between a ford 350 long box single rear wheel with new 7.3 gas or diesel? Or ford 350 long box with dual rear wheel with 7.3 gas or diesel. Towing 1500 miles 4 times a year and using for daily driver the rest of the time. Also best rear end ?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Looking at the towing specs for the new F-350, I think the diesel engine single rear wheel setup would be more than enough to provide a really comfortable towing experience with this size trailer (along with a great truck when are aren't towing). The capacities with this model range from just over 16K to over 22K, depending on various other factors. When shopping for the truck I highly recommend talking to the dealer and telling him exactly what you told me - the type of trailer you're looking to tow, its loaded weight, etc - just to verify that you get a properly equipped truck.

Paul C.

Im new to 5th Wheel trailers. Ive towed travel trailers for 30 years and now upgrading to 5th wheel for retirement. As such Ive been doing as much research as possible for a new truck/5th wheel combo.One thing Im still unsure of is the height of the hitch and how that affects the coach while towed. I want to puchase a new 4x4 truck which will have a higher bed/hitch height than a 2wd. Will this increased height adversly lift the coachs front end and tipping the rear end down towards the road? Will the pin/coupler angle be an issue? Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated. Thx.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Ideally any height difference between the truck and trailer can be remedied by adjusting either the hitch itself or the trailer's pin box. Just about any 5th wheel hitch will have an adjustable height - some more than others. If the bed is high enough to push the trailer nose-high, then you can lower the hitch adjustment to level it out. There are other solutions as well, but it's definitely a good thing to consider during your search. When you've got a truck picked out, maybe take a quick measurement from the ground to the truck bed and use this when talking to trailer dealers about a good match.

Reply from Bill G.

@ChrisR: My fifth wheel is nose high on my 2019 GMC Denali which the bed rails are 59”. RV dealer has put in two slider hitches and changed the pin box. Still sits high in the front. No amount of adjustments on hitches or pin box has leveled it out. Dealer just stopped helping me. I refuse to pull an unleveled fifth wheel!!

Robin S.

Going to purchase a new Raptor fifth wheel toy hauler model 424 43ft. Long weights 15307 dry and 3694 carrying capacity. Hitch weight 3445... We are going to perches a new ford 350 4x4 long box limited diesel of course.Is this a good choice of pickup for this Application

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

From what I could find it looks like the 5th wheel towing capacity of your soon to be F-350 Diesel will be around 20,000 pounds (varying a bit on either side of this number depending on how it's actually equipped). This would be more than sufficient for the new Raptor. Of course I definitely recommend verifying its capacities with the dealer before walking off with the keys. I think this would be a really great truck and trailer combo.

Jesse J.

I have a 2002 F-450. 7.3L 2wd Auto. Single cab with a wheelbase of 141. I also have a 9 hauler body. Would that combination be suitable for pulling a gooseneck trailer? 30 or better? I know the longer the wheel base the better. But i have been searching around and couldnt really find a an answer.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jacob H.

You will just want to make sure your are within the weight capacities of the truck and you will be fine.



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