Fifth wheel towing

Greeting fellow campers

I'm from Minnesota and have been camping 5 years now. I used to pull around a 24' Prowler TT by Fleetwood behind a 94 ½ ton GMC truck with a 350 ci engine.
The trucks GVW was 6200 lbs, and the TT was 5400 lbs.
Most of our travels have been in the states right around Minnesota. (mostly because of the fear of trying to go through the mountains heading west.)
I know when we were going to the Black Hills a couple of years ago, my truck was sweating it. And those hills are nothing compared to the mountians.
I have wanted to head over to the west coast, but after the Black Hills, I decided not to.
Last year I bought a 2001 Chev Silverado 2500HD with the 8.1L Vortec engine. The trucks specs were impressive. 5th towing was rated at a max of 13,800 lbs, and has the Allison 5 speed trans. So this year, I went and bought a Wildcat 30' 5th wheel from Forest River. (I love it) Anyway, this 5th wheel's GVW is 11,200 lbs.
I don't have any problems pulling it, (I've only pulled it around once so far)
But was wondering if you 5th wheel veterans could tell me if you would think I would have problems going through the mountains.
I don't think I would have any problems, but I have heard lots horror stories of people with bigger trucks than mine blowing trannies and engines.
I would welcome any tips, tricks, warnings or anything you guys might have.

Thanks, and happy camping.


C Nash

Senior Member
Fifth wheel towing

You should not have any problems if your truck has all the proper tow packages even though I prefer the dually in the mountains. Be sure your rv brakes are working and use your transmission to gear down when going down the mountains. The Allision trans may do this on its own. I know it has this feature on the Duramax diesel. You may want to install a temp. guage to monitor the temp. of the trans. fluid. Heat is the culprit that kills the trans. If it gets to hot pull over until it gets back in range. The 8.1 should be fine, even though some have complained about piston slap which would not bother me. Take your time and don,t start racing with othe campers to get to the top first and you will be fine. Have fun SEVEN:):):):):):):)more days!!!!

Chelse L. Nash
Fifth wheel towing

While I certainly agree with Mr. Nash above, right down to the piston slap, There is one thing I would consider adding if you intend to do much mountain driving (and I do alot of it) and that would be to add either an exhaust brake or drive line magnetic brake (retarder). Both work well and save considerably on the service brakes. Not to mention what it does for ones piece of mind...Think you have a pretty nice rig, & wishing you many miles with smiles. :) Happy Motoring, Butch - Nancy Lake, Alaska

And what is Mr. Nash going to do in 7 days??? (thats a big grin)
Fifth wheel towing

Hey Chelse.

Only 6 days left to retirement huh? Man, I envy you!
I still have quite a few years left.

How was it we use to say it in the service...SHORT!!!

I wish you the best in your new life, don't disappear from this site.


C Nash

Senior Member
Fifth wheel towing

Drummerman, started the count down 3 year ago (reason for fulltimero3) We had plans to start fulltiming but, right now we are caring for my 102 yr young mother in law so plans are on hold and gives more time to search for that perfect motor home. Be around the board awhile yet, great bunch of folks here no bickering. Son has finally got the race car about ready so will be spending more time with him. Found out today that I have two more days than I thoughtso I'll just take two more sick days mon. and tuesday Now I won,t lose them. Sure want to get up Butch's way. Got to see Alaska. Brother-in-law leaving tomorrow for Alaska. Hope he can miss the storms on his way. Let us know how your truck handles that new trailer. Sounds like a great match. Have fun

Chelse L. Nash