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Old 10-09-2018, 08:33 AM   #1
tow n slow
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New 5th Wheeler

HI Folks, well finally getting serious about living the dream! After being retired 3 years I'm finally going to purchase my 5th wheeler! I've been researching for years and watching videos of you all. I thought I would join this forum to get advise from the real pros.
First thing I did was purchased my tow vehicle. I now have a 2018 RAM 2500 diesel and could not be happier! I selected the RAM based on towing capabilities and that it is more truck that I will ever need based on the size of 5th wheel I plan to buy.
Anyway thanks, and I hope not to pester to much but I will probable seek out your advise in the future!!
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:40 PM   #2
fjr vfr
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What is the payload capacity of your truck? It's posted on the drivers door. A 5th wheel is Not like a bumper pull. Much of it's weight is on the truck.

A few points, the pin weight listed on the trailer is empty weight with no batteries, empty gas bottles, etc. as it left the factory. Expect the real pin weight to be about 20% to 25% more than what is listed.
The weight of the hitch itself, passengers and anything else in the truck are counted as cargo. Most 3/4 ton trucks pulling 5th wheels are at least slightly over their cargo capacity. Most seem to handle it okay since I see so many like that out there.
My Ram 2500 diesel is slightly over it's 5,011 lbs cargo capacity. My pin weight, (weighed on CAT scale) is about 1,800 lbs, but along with the hitch, wife and I and some other items puts us slightly over. Our trailer lists the pin weight as 1375 lbs and gvwr at 10600 lbs. Just bear in mind the tow capacity is the least of your concerns with a 5th wheel. It's the real pin weight and cargo you need to watch for.
Hope you have many happy travels.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:59 AM   #3
Notanlines
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Tow, what fjr said is fairly accurate. 3/4 ton diesels across the board are notoriously low on cargo capacity. Actually, fjr might want to proof-read his "My Ram 2500 diesel is slightly over it's 5,011 lbs cargo capacity" statement and look at his number.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:54 AM   #4
fjr vfr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notanlines View Post
Tow, what fjr said is fairly accurate. 3/4 ton diesels across the board are notoriously low on cargo capacity. Actually, fjr might want to proof-read his "My Ram 2500 diesel is slightly over it's 5,011 lbs cargo capacity" statement and look at his number.



LOL Wow I wish! I meant to write 2,511...I think
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:28 AM   #5
tow n slow
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Well now I’m confused and a little concerned. I feel like I put the cart in front of the horse (excise the pun) I thought I had done my homework on 5th wheel weights and tow vehicle capacities. Based on the weights listed on the size we want to pull around I felt like my 2018 RAM 2500 was going to be more than I would need. This is the first time I have heard the term “pin weight” guess I didn’t do a good job with my research. I was using the advertised GVWR of the RV manufacture and the 2018 Ram 2500 Trailer Towing Chart–SAEJ2807 Compliant Max Trailer Weight of 17,320 lbs. that my truck was rated to tow. BUT now I’m noticing the “Hitch Weight” in the brochures, is “Hitch Weight” the same as “Pin Weight”?
These are the specifications of my 2018 2500 LONGHORN CREW CAB 4X4 (8FT) (DJ7R92)
Engine - 6.7L Cummings Turbo Diesel
Transmission – A6 68RFE
Axle Ratio – 3.42
GVWR – 10,000
Payload – 2,540
Base Weight total – 7,461
Base Weight front – 4,571
Base Weight rear – 2,891
GAWR – front 5,500
GAWR –rear 6,500
GCWR – 25,300 I have no idea what this one is
Max Trailer Weight Rating – 17,320
Is there a simpler way to go about this? I mean based on the specifications of my truck and considering NORMAL weights loaded into both the truck and the 5th wheel is there a range or more important a max 5th wheel rating that I should use while RV shopping?
I was planning on NOT going over 16,000 GVWR of the RV.
Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:34 PM   #6
fjr vfr
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Wow, that's a mouthful. Anything that is Base weight or empty weight, etc. you can forget. The meaningful weights are; GAWR, Payload weight and Loaded hitch weight, which is the same as pin weight. The sticker on the side of the trailer is empty hitch weight. It will be more once you are loaded up to go.

Max tow rating is seldom an issue with a 5th wheel. You will most likely be well under that. As I said, 5th wheels are a different beast than a bumper pull. Most of the ratings are related to bumper pull trailers. BTW, max tow rating is with an empty truck...no cargo or passengers. Everything in the truck deletes from that figure.

Since 20% to 25% of a 5th a wheel's weight is on the trucks rear axle you need to focus on cargo weight and rear axle weight. Remember cargo weight is everything in the bed and truck including you.
Most people towing a 5th wheel with a 3/4 ton truck are at least slightly over their limits. This usually isn't a problem as long as it's not to far over and you are within your axle limits. Airbags, sumo springs, etc. can help keep you level.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:36 PM   #7
elliott-maine
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Airbags, sumo springs,etc do not increase your capacities. With a 16 K 5th wheel, your loaded pin weight will most likely be in the 20 % or more range of the loaded weight of the trailer, depending on your options nd how much water you intend to carry.



Hitch weight and pin weight are essentially the same, but the hitch weight is distributed better with a weight distributing hitch.


Don't mean to rain on you parade, but you need to be careful when you buy you 5th wheel. That being said, your truck will barely feel the trailer when you are towing it.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:34 PM   #8
fjr vfr
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[QUOTE=elliott-maine;25801]Airbags, sumo springs,etc do not increase your capacities.

I didn't say they would increase his capacity. I said they would help keep him level.


As for pin weight, if you had a 16,000 lbs 5th wheel, 20% would make pin weight about 3,200 lbs. What is you payload weight....2,540 lbs? I think you'd be over quite a bit. That's not even counting your other cargo.


Personally if I was in your shoes I'd be looking for a 5th wheel around 10,000 lbs and maybe up close to 12k. That would put you only slightly over and well within your axle limits. Here is a very informative video not specific to 5th wheels, but has a lot of good information.



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Old 10-15-2018, 08:09 PM   #9
elliott-maine
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[QUOTE=fjr vfr;25807][QUOTE=elliott-maine;25801]Airbags, sumo springs,etc do not increase your capacities.

I didn't say they would increase his capacity. I said they would help keep him level.


I'm aware of what you said, but often people think it will. I just wanted to make sure he understood this.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:40 PM   #10
wingnut60
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tow n slow,
Since you have the truck already, you need to go get an actual weight with at least full tank of fuel and all passengers that will travel. Get both axle weights (easy to do on a Cat scale) and you will know what the rear axle is carrying already. Subtract that from the RAWR--(rear axle weight rating) to see what is left for pin weight. No matter what that number is, you should NOT go over the weight capacity of the 2 rear tires--normally somewhere around 7500. Then you will have to have a hitch (+/- 200) so take that off the 7500, and there you have the available weight for the fifth wheel pin to put on the truck.
Normally, the RAWR will be somewhat less than 7500. Your decision to go over the truck rating but should not go over the tire ratings.
You can take a look at 'ultra-light' fifth wheels that might help you out, but keep in mind the pin weight of any fiver will be in the range of 20%+ of the GVWR.
Not a great situation to be in.
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