What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Paul Young, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Paul Young

    Paul Young New Member

    I am brand new to the RV world. Have enjoyed camping for years, but always outdoors or in a tent. I am 53 now and my wife and I are looking into purchasing a new truck, and a used 5th wheel.
    I have done a fair amount of investigating on the web and talking to folks who have RVs.
    My main concern is what truck to buy?
    Most have told me to go with the old reliable 3/4 ton GM or Dodge.
    But, I am one of those guys who keeps his vehicle forever.
    I do not want to purchase a truck that is cumbersome to drive all over town, and will double as a family vehicle as well. My wife will be driving this thing half the time each day as well. So, comfort and ease of handling are an issue.
    What I like is the Titan, or Tundra. The model I would like to get will have four doors and most likely a short bed. What I am hoping for is that one of these has enough of what it takes to haul a 5th wheel RV.
    Some of the things I have leaned are: A short bed will be cause for a sliding hitch.
    The Titan and Tundra do not have enough power or weight to handle the larger 5th wheel RVs. And that is OK, I will just get a smaller version.
    I do intend on renting a 5th wheel RV after I have purchased the truck to get a feel for things.
    I guess what I am looking for is just some sound advise. If I should purchase one of these trucks, what kind of limitations do you think I will encounter?

    I appreciate you time. Thanks paul
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    Hey Paul, welcome to the forum. The Titan and Tundra are defiantly limited on what they can pull. Remember a loaded 5th wheel will added 2 to 4 K in weight to the dry weight of the RV. People always tend to overload them. I know my loaded weight of my Hitchhiker II, when I actually weighed it, was 1000 lbs more than I estimated and was 1,000 lbs over my 5th wheel recommended capacity.

    So to sum it up, the trucks you are talking about can safely tow about 10,000 lbs. Therefore, you will need to purchase a 5th wheel that doesn't have a dry weight exceeding 7,000 lbs. Don't forget the passengers and misc weight that you will carry around in the truck will also be counted towards the total combined weight. Did I mention climbing hills? The V-8's can't climb hills very well when pulling 10,000 lbs.

    I use my 3/4 ton Dodge Cummins diesel as a drive around town vehicle with tout any problems. It can certainly climb the hills when towing. I don't really think there is much difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton pickup when it comes to driving around town.
  3. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?


    Agree with DL, However given the two choices of pickups I would go with the TOY. Have a friend with each, the TOY is liked and I have been in it and also like it, the Titan is not likes and I didn't like it either and the mileage is near terrible for the size truck. The size of each is as large as chev, ford and dodge. In todays economy if I could afford the difference in $$$ I would find a deal on the chev or dodge. Either will tow a much larger 5ver and the mileage will be much better towing and will be like a SUV when not. With your remark of keeping your rig forever I would lean to the diesel at 100,000 miles your just getting started. If you are like most people you will get a bigger 5th wheel on down the road and the either the chev or dodge will handle the bigger RV. As you see I have omitted the ford(this is personal), I would guess it would do the job and I have been in both older and brand new and seem to be good rigs but just don't seem as solid as the chev or dodge.

  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    Before you choose, you need to at least have an idea of what the different fifth wheel trailers will weigh. Even though you are not shopping, take time to visit a few dealers and check what you see that both of you like. Then make note of the max. GVWR of each one. Small trailers can be fine but very often buyers start looking to larger and heavier trailers after the truck has been purchased. Keep in mind that the key is not how much can you pull, but how much trailer will the truck be able to control, or stop under poor conditions. Travel is not always in the best of weather.

    You are very wise to discuss this and to learn about weights and such before you make the purchase. Far too many fail to do as you are, so I commend you for taking time to do this right!

    Keep safety the first priority as you shop.
  5. BigTS

    BigTS New Member

    RE: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    Hi Paul,
    Do yourself a great big favour. Get the GM or Dodge with a Diesel. My first outing was a 21.5 terry 5th wheel and a Dakota pick up with a v8. It pulled it ok, but I got pushed aroung a bit coming down hills. Next truck was a Ford F150, trailer hauling version. This was much better but still felt a touch light. I now drive a 2005 GM 3/4 4x4 Duramax with an Alison Transmission. I literally don't know the trailer is on. The truck is rated to tow close to 15k lbs. It is by far the nicest vehicle I've ever had. I got the crew cab 4 door, the back seat folds down flat which is a very nice added bonus. The truck is fine around town, and after your wife has driven it a bit, I would bet she likes being up high. (Around town driving is no problem.) I have a short box....Great Truck.

    Don't want to knock Toyota, Wife has a Camry, but the trucks aren't made for anything but a smaller trailer. We just sold our Terry last week and are moving up to a heavier trailer. I have no worries cuz I have the right truck.

    Good luck with your choices and hope to see you on the road sometime.

    Happy Camping from British Columbia, Canada. Come See us for 2010 Olympics. :)
  6. bushman134

    bushman134 New Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    We tow a 40 foot sandpiper fifth wheel. The truck I chose is a Ford F350 diesel. It is a 4 door with a short bed. This truck tows the trailer with ease and is very easy to drive. My wife drives the truck around town with no problems and I tow at highway speeds and hardly know the trailer is there.
  7. krsmitty

    krsmitty Senior Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    Diesel all the way! I started out with a gas and upgraded in 07 to Ram 2500 5.9 TD. Best move I made. Over kill for my 24' TT, but we can up grade a few times without needing a new truck. I use mine as a daily driver also. Great performance and 4-6 more mpg than I received with gas. They are made for towing.
  8. jetboat

    jetboat New Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    the choice of a truck is a catch 22,they all have there good and bad pionts.as for the trailer,what ever layout the boss likes and price,thats the best one.
  9. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    get the best you can afford that will suit you and wife needs and welcome to the forum
  10. d1anaspell

    d1anaspell New Member

    RE: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    you may as well renting, before making the commitment. camperrentalsusa is your rv rental choice for the best deals in motorhome rentals, travel trailer rentals and toyhauler rentals! We offer the widest selection of motorhome rentals in California.
  11. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: What Truck to buy and what 5th wheel?

    Paul it has been 3 months since your post. Have you purchased or rented yet? We need follow ups

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