Light weight campers and fifth wheel

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by genelinh, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. genelinh

    genelinh New Member

    Forgot to add that it is a V8 5.3 liter, 3.62 rear end ratio, extended cab. We have a 2004 Silverado 1500 truck and are looking around to see what kind of fifth wheel or travel trailer that we can pull with this truck - would like to have one slideout. Any suggestions on brand?
     
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Hey genelinh, Welcome to the Forum. I wouldn't recommend anything bigger than a 21 ft trailer. If you have a V-8, you should be able to handle up to 5,000 lbs loaded fairly easy. There are many brands to choose from. Fleetwood manufactures 3 good entry level trailers. Wilderness, Terry and Prowler.

    Aug 19, 2005
    P.S. Disregard the plug for Fleetwood Trailers. I just opened the Sep issue of Highways Magazine and saw a recall for Fleetwood 5th Wheel trailers. Appoximately 500 2004/5 5ver's have missing weld on chasis cross-member that could cause a crash.
     
  3. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Tell us what engine and transmission you have. Is it a 4x4 or not? Is it extended cab? I have a chart from GM and it tells me tow ratings for their trucks. With ALL the information, I can tell you what you can tow. Properly equipped, some 1/2 ton GM trucks can handle up to about 8,500lb. Fill in the blanks and I will look tomorrow and tell you.
    I have a 24' fifth wheel in stock that a lot of 1500's can tow. Tomorrow I will get back to you on the weight. I cannot remember what it is tonight.
     
  4. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    I looked at my GM chart this morning and a 2004, 1500 4x4 with a 5.3 engine and 4:10 rear end can tow a 9,000lb. Fifth Wheel trailer. The same truck with a 3:73 rear end can tow 8,100lb. Anyone can go to a GM dealership, ask for the tow rating booklet and get the same figures. They are different from towing off the rear end compaired to Fifth Wheel.
    My 24' Fifth Wheel I have in stock weighs 6,606lb. This one falls into a lot of 1/2 tons range. It is a rear bay window with a sofa/dinnete slideout.
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    genelinh, remember one thing if you forget everything else. Bigger is better to a dealer :dead: . Not necessarily safer :eek: . You may be able to pull 8500lbs, but beware of the first hill you try to go up.
     
  6. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Like I said, anyone can go get GM, Ford or Dodge towing booklets. I certainly did not write them. They have their engineers who have done a lot of testing. I do not try to second guess them.
    I have one customer towing a 27' with a PROPPERLY equipped 2004, 1500 4x4, with no problems. He also knows he won't cross the Rocky mountiains very fast. In all cases, common sense does prevail.

    PS, I as a "dealer", have told a lot of folks they did not have the truck to tow the trailer they were looking at. Some appreciated my advice, some did not. I do not just "sell trailers". I try to create relationships with my customers, by NOT misleading them, so they will come back in the future.
     
  7. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Grandview Trailer Sales, I find it strange the tow ratings the truck manufactures come out with each year keep increasing as the trailers keep getting bigger, but the trucks never seem to change. Ok the diesel engine can pull more, but the little pickup just can't control these huge trailers. Its time to look at the real world. How safe is it to go up the mountain at 30mph with all the traffic passing you at 70mph, and then come down the other side with a huge trailer pushing you.
    I wasn't trying to single you out. You seem to try to give good information to everyone; however, you do seem to take the high side when it comes to the capability of the pickup to handle a given weight. For instance, you are pushing your 24ft 5W at 6,606 lbs. That would be dry weight and by the time it was loaded and ready for the road we could safely say that would be 8,000lbs, not to mention the loaded weight of the pickup. As I said, the first hill they come to, they will be going 30mph while all the traffic goes by at 70mph. On the other hand if they limited themseves to 5,000lbs as I recommended they would have a built-in safety factor. Of couse everyone wants to go to the campground and stay in a huge trailer as big as the house they left behind. What ever happened to camping. We live fulltime in a 30ft, 2 slide 5ver, and wonder how we dare pull such a huge trailer. By todays standard it's small. The manufactures have a thing about big. Spelled $$$$$$.
    I'll try to stay off your toes as I said you give fair and even handed advice for a dealer :cool: :laugh: :) :clown: .
     
  8. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    D.L.
    All I am stating is what the manufactures are putting in print. I am not trying to mislead anyone. The fellow that started this has not even come back to say how his truck is built. We don't know what his truck can do.

    I also agree with everything you say. Safety factors are my reference to common sense. I would say a lot of 1/2 ton trucks on dealers lots are for price and not fully equipped and the buyer has to know what he is buying and know what he is going to do with the truck. I had a fellow come in last week with a Ford Supercrew 1/2 ton with a 5' bed. He was looking at 30' fifth wheels. He was one of the ones that did not like me telling him could not pull ANY fifth wheel with his truck. Ford states that it cannot and Reese states do not put a hitch in less than a 6' bed.

    Trucks are changing though. Go to "Thedieselpage.com" and they say that the Duramax, by end of the year, will be 360 hp. with 650 torque and have a 6 speed automatic Allison. That is them, NOT ME. We will see what GM actually puts under the hood.(if I don't have that address right, let me know)

    Thanks for saying I give fair advice. I do not claim to be right all the time, but I try. :) That is why I backed off last night and got the weights this morning.
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Keep in mind that manufacturer tow ratings are designed to sell trucks, so (at least in the past) they were a tad misleading. It used to be (and may still be) that tow ratings were for a truck with NO accessories installed, NO cargo, NO passengers, just the base truck, a 150 pound driver and a bit of gas. And that is assuming a 'tow package' which includes both a big transmission cooler and appropriate rear end gears.

    Furthermore, especially for smaller trucks, it is for a trailer, not a fifth wheel. 5ers usually add 10 to 20% of their weight over the rear axel of the truck, which can often cause you to exceed the GAWR of the rear axel. Also, them hitches ain't light either...

    I have (or had) a light Terry 25' 5ver with one manual slide which my 1500 chevy with the old 350 engine was supposed to be able to tow. I figure it was about 6500 pounds loaded for travel. Pretty much towing it home from the dealer told me I needed more truck for it (rear was way down, and pretty sluggish acceleration). The 2500HD is rock steady pulling that weight trailer, but even the bigger 6.0L gas engine struggles getting it up a hill.

    Whatever combination you end up with, before you go out on the same road I am on, please take it to a scale and verify that you haven't exceeded the trucks GVWR and GAWR of both axels, the trailer GVRW, and the trucks GCWR.
     
  10. genelinh

    genelinh New Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Our 1500 Silverado is a V8 5.3 liter, Extended cab, 3.62 ratio rear end - forgot to add that first time. thanks for all the info.
     
  11. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    I thought about what D.L. said yesterday and he is right. What the factorys put into print is the maximum they can get away with.
     
  12. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Light weight campers and fifth wheel

    Scamp makes a fithwheel that can be towed by a Dodge Dakota V-6.
     

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