Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

Discussion in 'Towables' started by Bart19, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Bart19

    Bart19 New Member

    I have purchased a 30 foot Fleetwood Prowler 5th Wheel and I took it for a test drive today. My Toyota Tundra is rated to tow upto 10,400 lbs and has 381 hp. The 5th wheel weighs around 7,000 lbs. with a tongue weight of 1422lbs. I had been told that the tongue weight was not a problem for the Tundra since it has a payload of 1680lbs. But, from the looks of the bed being pushed down with the 5th wheel hooked up to it has me wondering if I should get a bigger truck. Also, the truck had a tough time on some hills and had a tough time going 65.

    Would heavy duty shocks and airbags be enough to keep the truckbed level. I thought that the 381 hp would be enough to tow the 5th but now I am wondering.

    I would appreciate everyone's opinions and suggestions.

    Bart
     
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    I don't know Bart. :( I just can't bring myself to believe some of the tow ratings on the newer 1/2 ton trucks. I guess they can tow it but the :question: is, will we be satisifed with the performance? You might need to weigh the 5th wheel to see if the weight is 7000 lb. Sounds a little low for a 30 footer. Air shocks would help or you might install helper springs to level the unit. Keep us posted
     
  3. Bart19

    Bart19 New Member

    RE: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Thanks Nash. I towed the trailer yesterday and used the tow/haul switch in it. It pulled much better and kept the rpm's down. Also, I am just getting used to pulling a trailer since I haven't done this before. I also read about the Tundra on a another website for pickup's and found that I was okay with what I am pulling. I do think you are right about the weight of the Prowler...7,000lbs sounds a little lite for a 30 foot fifth wheel.

    I will take some trips this spring and see how things are working. I may put in the heavier shocks, springs or air bags to lift the backend a little. The hitch pushes the bed down 1.5 inches...not bad.

    I am an absolute amateur at this so I have aways to go and I appreciate this website for all the advise you can get here.

    Bart19
     
  4. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Since this is your first tow you really don't have a baseline to compare to. If you have friends that have a simular rig and a bigger truck go for a ride and compare. Just think you have 4500# tow rig and you have just loaded 7000 plus more pounds on, it ain't going to be a race car. If it stays at highway speeds without feeling sluggish and makes it up the big hills at or better than the 18 wheelers loaded your ok.

    LEN
     
  5. Bart19

    Bart19 New Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Well....after tons of research I bought a Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD with 6.6L 8 cyl diesel. This solves any questions or doubts about having the power or payload capacity for my (formerly) Toyota Tundra. I got on the Toyota website where you can ask "an expert" and said don't tow the size 5th wheel that I have. The warranties would be voided, if you have an accident and your insurance company finds that were just a little overweight, they won't pay. The Toyota rep also said a 3/4 ton would be better for stopping the 5th wheel since the 3/4 ton has heavier brakes and just overall bigger truck to stop the trailer. The Chevy engine will help stop the truck and trailer since when you tap the brake the engine downshifts to assist the brakes. Chevy is having a great sale...wonder why...and I got it at a great price. So now we are set for spring and off we go. Thanks to all for your advice. I will be on rv usa for the tips on traveling and probably more questions for the experts.

    Bart19
     
  6. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Well Bart good to see you solved your tow problem :) . The Toyotas seem to not be living up to their tow billing. Jcpeck in the other forum is having similar problems with a 25 footer and just 800 lbs of tongue weight.
     
  7. Bart19

    Bart19 New Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    If you are shopping for a truck you have to really know the numbers since the salespeople sure don't. I had four, Ford salespeople push the F150 really hard even though I wanted to test drive and look at the F250, extended cab with a diesel engine. "They" wanted to save me money and the 2009 F150 has an increased payload and I could pull my 5th wheel with it. They didn't know, or didn't care that the only truck with the increased payload is the regular cab with an eight foot bed. The other models had the same payload and the same gas engine. I never did test drive a F250 since all they talked about was the 150.

    So, I am the happy owner of a Chevrolet extended cab, 3/4 ton with a diesel engine. The Chevy people were great to work with.
     
  8. esanicki

    esanicki New Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Hello...new to RVUSA, but thought I might contribute to this thread.

    I purchased a Tundra (it came tricked out with every accessory except the nail polish dryer and shoe buffer!) to match my last travel trailer, a 27 foot "lite" variety. Just hooked it up, adjusted the tongue height for level, and took off across country. Worked great "right out of the box." However, as so often happens, several months of travel pointed to all the storage and counter space shortcomings of this size RV. So, we upgraded to a 31 footer with a dry weight of 8000 pounds. Our only problem was the rear "squat" the Tundra developed from the approximately 1000 pound tongue weight. A pair of Firestone air springs fixed that right up. We've been very careful about the load we add because of the above mentioned insurance issues, but we've hauled the new box across country twice now without problem and without the transmission temp guage moving a bit.

    We love the truck and enjoy the ride when towing. Hope this helps.
     
  9. Steve H

    Steve H Senior Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup



    Congratulations on your purchase! You will be very happy with the way your new truck tows your 5ver! Our 5th Wheel issimilar toyoursand the truck tows like there is nothing behind it. Living here in the northwest corner of WA, we often travel the North Cascades Highway. The Chevy is very comfortable.

    Happy Camping!
     
  10. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Hey Bart 19, I seriuosly doubt the 30 foot 5th wheel weighs 7000 lbs. My little 30 foot HitchHiker weighs 13,000 lbs loaded. I thought it would weigh about 12,000 lbs loaded, but when I weighed it this summer I was susprised to find it 1,000 lbs more than I thought. It weighs 10,000 lbs dry/empty. The Chevy diesel sounds like the right choice to tow it. :)
     
  11. Bart19

    Bart19 New Member

    RE: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    I sure hope our Prowler 5er doesn't weigh 10,000 lbs but I have had several people tell me that the manufactors come up short on the "actual" weights of their trailers. I plan on weighing this spring to see what it really weighs. When I looked at their sales brochures, they listed the 30 ft TT as 5200-5800 lbs and the 5ers were only another 1,200 lbs or so. I was skeptical of that. The GVWR on the trucks really isn't any more accurate. They figure the driver as 150lbs, and say the payload is 1650 lbs. But, when you start reading the manuels, they deduct for offroad accessories, tow package and anything else that is aftermarket products, so the payload on the Tundra that I had was actually only 1475lbs so I would have been very overloaded when I packed every thing into the vehicles and got ready to hit the road. The front page of the Toyota manuel says that the "Tundra is primarily a passenger and LIGHT cargo vehicle" and be sure to thoroughly read all of the regulations before hauling or towing anything. Just to be really safe, most people should buy a 3/4 ton to pull most campers unless they are "positive" their campers are accurately weighed.
     
  12. Steve H

    Steve H Senior Member

    RE: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Just as a means of comparison...Our Springdale 279 has an advertised empty of 6830 lbs. Loaded and ready for camping it weighs in at 8580 lbs. That's 7160 lbs on the trailer axles and 1420 lbs on the pin.
     
  13. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Tongue Weight & half ton pickup

    Shame that the weights are not accurate but what do they care as long as it's sold :angry:
     

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