Hi guys I am new on here and new to RVing. My wife and I are purchasing a Trail-lite 5th wheel,5260S, with a GVWR of 6050#. We have a 98 Dodge Dakaota Club Cab SWB w/ 5.2 V8. Can anybody tell me if this will be enough truck to tow this? All the books and stuff I have on it says its ok. It has a tow package on it from the factory. The empty weight is about 5000# for the trailer. Just wondering if anybody has towed with this truck before. We love the truck and it has low miles and don't really want to get bigger truck if we can help it.Thanks for your help. John


Senior Member

Hi John,
You first should weigh your Dakota with a full tank of gas and loaded as you would for a trip. Then subtract that weight from your GVWR to find out how much weight you can put in your truck. Be also aware of the axle weight ratings as it is easy to overload them - especially the rear when towing a 5th wheel trailer.
Next, you need to find out the GCWR of your truck. That is the total amount of weight your truck, trailer and all gear and passengers can weigh. You may find out, after doing the above, that your truck will be overloaded. In addition, the 5.2 V8 will be marginal for pulling that kind of weight.
I really think that you should be looking at a 3/4 ton truck for pulling that 5th wheel although your dealer probably will say that you can "pull anything on the lot". Don't go by the trailers empty weight. You will probably be at or very near the GVWR of that trailer by the time you add the propane, batteries, food, clothes, pots & pans, etc. Use the 6050# number for figuring your limits if you cannot actually weigh the trailer.
Here is where you can find a scale near you or many moving companies, landscape companies, grain elevators, etc. may have a scale that you can use also.

Please make sure you do your homework well before you hook up your truck to a 5th wheel trailer. It is very common to overload a pic-up with one and especially a smaller 1/2 ton like the Dakota. (I think it is classified as a 1/2 ton)
Here is a website that may help you in your calculations.

If you do decide to tow with it, I would strongly recommend you get a transmission temp guage and possibly an additional trans cooler if necessary.

Good luck in your purchase and I hope you have a very good RV experience. You are off to a good start by inquiring here. Hopefully others will chime in with their advice.

Thanks to you guys that got back to me about towing with my Dakota. Found out I have the 3.91 rear which is a plus and I am going to a man thats an expert mopar engine tuner to see what he can do and we are going to try it. THANKS, John