Why is There a Weight Difference Between Fifth Wheel Trailer Pin Weight Capacity and Bed Payload

Question:

I have a 2016 Ram 2500 with the diesel. I have gone to Rams website, put in my VIN and it returned the following information: Max Payload: 2,170 lbs and Max Towing: 16,920 lbs. When I refer to my owners manual, under the section titled Trailer Hitch Type and Maximum Trailer Weight there is a chart. The chart has the following break down: Hitch Type and Max. Trailer Weight/Max. Tongue Weight. My truck has a Class V receiver hitch. On the chart it states CLASS V-2500 MODEL Max Trailer Weight 18,000 lbs / Max Tongue Weight 1,800 lbs. Go one step down on the chart and it says: FIFTH WHEEL - 2500 MODEL Max Trailer Weight 25,000 lbs / Max Tongue Weight 5,000 lbs. So I am planning to use this truck to tow a 5th wheel RV. Which trailer weight/tongue weight is correct? Why would the owners manual have such a higher number for trailer/tongue weight when towing a 5th wheel? I cant find an answer to this question anywhere. Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

This is a really good question, but the difference between the pin weight from a fifth wheel hitch that a truck can handle and the bed's payload is the fact that the payload refers to the weight capacity of the truck's bed which is typically a thinner sheet metal and the fifth wheel hitches actually attach directly to the truck frame which is much thicker. The hitch connects to the rails and the rails uses brackets that attach to the frame rails of the truck.

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Jameson C

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