fifth wheel hitches

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by BEBALLNUT, May 10, 2005.

  1. BEBALLNUT

    BEBALLNUT New Member

    I am new to the fifth wheel camping. i pick up my new fifth wheel in june. i need to get a hitch and am not sure which one to get. my gvwr is 15000. anybody out there who can help?
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    We install Reese and Drawtite products. Their Signature Series are rated at 16,000 and 18,000lb. The 18K head pivots side to side and both have models that slide if you have a short bed truck. The huge advantage to these hitches is that the rails are under the bed of the truck. When you take it out, the bed is clean. The heads of these hitches have a large surface area and the latch wraps around the pin, so it is next to impossible for it to come unhooked accidently.
    Their other hitches have rails on top of the bed floor and they are there all the time. The largest slider is rated at 16k in these models. You can get a higher rated hitch, just not a slider. If you think you need the higher ratings, they make 20K and 22K. I really don't think you need to go that high.
    Good luck with your search.
     
  3. duramax

    duramax New Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    hi i have a 15k slider in my short bed and im pulling a 6,500 pound fifth wheel so if your fifth wheel's weight is at 6,000, 8,000 pound range you should be fine with buying a 15k plus it has like a tongue weight of 3,750 pounds so you should be fine. :)


    2500hd duramax
    05 2500hd duramax/allison
     
  4. Gritz

    Gritz New Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Ok .... now I'm confused. Maybe I'm making this more complicated than I should. I currently have a TT but am thinking of trading up to a 5th Wheel and I'm confused about my 2004 GMC 2500 HD Duramax pickup trailer towing capacity. It's manual says 12,000 lbs towing max trailer weight, but the Alpha salesman showed me a book that lists 16,000 lbs for 5th wheel hookups, but I'm suspicious of anything a salesmans tells me. Then if this is true, then I could go with an Alpha Trailer that lists a GVWR of 16,200 lbs and of course, stay below 16,000 lbs and be within limits? Would I be crowding the safety margin??
     
  5. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Take your truck to a scale and find out the actual weight, loaded with people, gas and gear as you would to travel. Also get the rear axel weight. Make sure the total weight is less than the GVWR and the rear axel weight is less than the GRAW (rear axel weight) listed on the truck (on the driver's door jam usually). If so, subtract the actual weight from the GCWR (combined weight rating - I don't remember if this is on the sticker or not; also try your manual or the TRUCK dealer) to find out the absolute maximum you should try to tow. This will tell you what GVWR trailer you should be looking for. Although you will be 'legal' towing right at your max rating, you may be better off in the long run aiming for a weight that is 20% (or more) less than your max.

    Never trust anything a trailer salesman tells you; to tell if they are lying, see if their mouth is moving :)

    Also don't trust the dry weight claimed by the trailer; it often does not include options added to the trailer. Even if the actual dry weight is within the limits of your truck, how often are you going to tow with no food, no water, no clothes, no bedding and nothing in the sewer tanks?

    One last thing: the trailer and the hitch will add some weight to the truck, so make sure that these weights do not cause the truck to exceed the GVWR or GRAW. A 5ver often has about 10 to 20% of its weight as a 'pin' weight, and I think that travel trailers tend to be under 500 pounds 'hitch' weight, but you will want to verify that as I've never had one.

    FWIW, my GMC 2500 HD with 6.0L gas engine claims to be rated for around 9000 pound trailer and a trailer saleman claims that if I had a diesel engine I'd be good to tow the 13000 pounder he wanted to sell me. Consider the source... All I know is the truck is rock steady with a 6000 pound trailer, but has trouble getting it up a hill.
     
  6. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Hey Gritz, Just remember what you start haulin at 65mph, you also have to stop :dead: . 16000lbs is hard to stop with a little old 3/4 ton pickup :disapprove: .Are you planning on camping/Rv'ing or hauling your house with you wherever you go :bleh: . The salesman wants you to take your house down the road, because he makes a bigger commision on it. Think about what you will feel safe towing :clown: . The big% 5th Wheels should be towed with medium/big haulers. Ford 450/550s or Frieghtliners. Take care travelin :clown: .
     
  7. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Acording to GM's written tow ratings, a 2003 and 2004 2500HD Duramax/Allison will tow 15,700lb. with a fifth wheel set up. I have not seen the rating for 2005, but should be the same or at least close. For disbelievers, go to any GM dealership and ask to see the tow rating brochure. Ford and Dodge have them also. I will agree that the other side of towing is STOPPING. The 2500HD is basicly the same as a 3500 as far as the suspension, brakes, engine, transmission, etc. The same chart tells you that a 3500 will tow 15,400lb. The dually weighs more, so it can pull less, but it will handle more tounge weight. My trailer weighs about 12,000lb. (LOADED) and my truck does just fine, but I do try to give myself plenty of room up front for stopping. Other drivers often make that hard to do.
     
  8. Gritz

    Gritz New Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    By meticulously going over my weights it appears that I could rebalance my load and stay within the GCVWR and GVWR of my pickup (I made a math error on the pickup weight). But in the end I would be almost right at the max combined weight, and this is about 5,500 lbs more than I'm towing now and in my mind I'm thinking this is probably too close to feel safe in defensive driving. As we continue camping I'm going to purposely search out Agfa owners and see how they handle on the road with the rig they tow with, and not take the word of the "salesman". We'll see. And I do appreciate the guidance you all have provided. :laugh:
     
  9. gearhead

    gearhead New Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Good info I too am looking at fifth wheels but have a ford 250 diesel which is rated for 15,000lbs tow capacity with a fifthwheel.Stoping is always the hard part but with surge or electric brakes on trailer you have four wheels to grab
     
  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Remember, the manufacturer claimed tow capacity (at least used to be) with no accessories installed, no cargo and no passengers. Just a 150 pound driver and a bit of gas..
     
  11. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    fifth wheel hitches

    Go light!!!! Fuel is getting expensive.
     

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