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Old 10-12-2018, 07:48 AM   #1
Kato
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Towing a Fiver With GMC NHT 1500 Truck?

Has anyone had experience towing a fiver with a GMC 1500 with the Max trailer package(nht)? This truck has the 6.2L engine, 9.75" Diff, HD suspension and rad etc.. and a payload of just under 2300# Mine is a 2018.



GM publishes numbers (11000# max) for towing a fiver with this truck but then confuses the issue with a note below that says pin weight should be calculated using 15% to 25% of trailer GVWR (which I agree with) but then says a 1500 series truck should limit that wt to 1500# Assuming 25% you'd have to find a 6000# fiver which I doubt even exists!


I know many will say no 1500 series truck should be used to pull a fiver but I wonder if the increased payload of these newer truck and availability of lighter trailers makes it possible?
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:03 PM   #2
fjr vfr
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IMHO, I wouldn't tow a 5th wheel with a 1/2 ton truck, although some do. The semi-floating rear axle on a 1/2 ton truck is not designed for the increased weight. 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks use a full floating rear axle. If you don't know the difference, google it or search it on Youtube.
IMHO, the increased payload of the newer 1/2 ton trucks is really pushing their limits to the limit.
Also bear in mind your payload weight includes anything in the truck including you and your passenger. Don't forget to count the weight of the hitch itself and any cargo. Ad this to the loaded pin weight of the trailer and you will for sure be over your limits.
BTW, 3/4 ton trucks have an 11.5" ring gear in a much beefier differential housing made to hold a lot more weight. Good luck
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:55 AM   #3
Kato
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Originally Posted by fjr vfr View Post
IMHO, I wouldn't tow a 5th wheel with a 1/2 ton truck, although some do. The semi-floating rear axle on a 1/2 ton truck is not designed for the increased weight. 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks use a full floating rear axle. If you don't know the difference, google it or search it on Youtube.
IMHO, the increased payload of the newer 1/2 ton trucks is really pushing their limits to the limit.
Also bear in mind your payload weight includes anything in the truck including you and your passenger. Don't forget to count the weight of the hitch itself and any cargo. Ad this to the loaded pin weight of the trailer and you will for sure be over your limits.
BTW, 3/4 ton trucks have an 11.5" ring gear in a much beefier differential housing made to hold a lot more weight. Good luck

Yeah, Deep down I know you are right. I needed a truck now but won't be able to do any serious towing for a few years so I just couldn't justify the extra cost of a 3/4 ton truck. I knew that would likely mean no 5th wheel but I still prefer them over a TT. I can't believe the size of the fivers I see on the road being towed by 1/2 ton trucks! Perhaps if finances allow I will get a 3/4 ton diesel in 5 years and then I can have my 5th wheel. Thanks for your input.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:09 PM   #4
Hooter56
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I tow our Winnie 25RKS, 8500 GVW with a GMC 1500 Sierra, Z71, tow package and a 5.3 engine.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:11 PM   #5
Whitewolf
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My neighbor pulls his Gulf Stream 5r with his Ford 150. Not a pretty sight. But he and his family goes camping. It can be done.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:44 PM   #6
Kato
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My neighbor pulls his Gulf Stream 5r with his Ford 150. Not a pretty sight. But he and his family goes camping. It can be done.

Yes, I see it out on the road all of the time. I am just not too sure how smart it is. The previous post regarding full float and semi float axles is a good example of why it's not too smart. I know they claim there are 1/2 ton towable fivers but the only way to know for sure is to get on a scale and run all of the numbers. I did that with my last fiver and realized I was over the ratings for the truck I had at the time so I got rid of the trailer.


I could probably get away with it with a very light fiver with my new GM 1500 Max Towing truck but a TT would no doubt be a much more realistic choice. I do prefer fifth wheels though!!!!
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:37 AM   #7
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My neighbor doesn't go very far or very often. Run the numbers and see what you come up with. 5r's are getting lighter all the time.
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:28 AM   #8
Suite Sweets
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Towing a fiver with GMC NHT 1500 truck ?

Kato, I had a look at GMC's towing guide. I interpret GM's comment about the 1500 # as being a guide of what to expect, because of the word "should". For example, if you are pulling a 11000 lb trailer, expect the pin weight to be not less than 1500 # . The guide then goes on to state the maximum should not be exceeded for either the axle (RGAWR) or for the whole vehicle (GVWR).

When manufacturer's establish trailer towing capabilities, they look to the use the vehicle will get in the whole country. Engine size and gearing,, for example, needs to provide acceleration and top speed to please the majority of the customers throughout the country. Probably the people in Colorado have more 'want' for horsepower, than do the people in Florida. Likewise for towing. If the majority of the towing is done on 2 lane winding highways in Colorado, it probably takes a 'beefier' truck to handle the stress, than would towing on the Interstate in New Jersey.

Truckers overload all the time. If they didn't there would not be the presence of weighing scales on highways throughout the country. When truckers decide to overload, they do so as result of having done a cost-benefit analysis. How much more will they be paid for carrying the extra weight vs. how much are they likely to be fined, and what effort (lost time) do they expend for avoiding the scales ?

Do your own cost-benefit analysis.
Consider the roads on which you drive, the value to you of having a 5th wheel vs. a tow behind.

You can eliminate some towing weight by traveling with empty tanks (I used to empty by hot water tank for this reason)
A family typically carries 1500# of 'stuff' with them
Exceeding any rating by 10% is not likely to cause any harm

Take it easy on the highway. You don't need to tow at 65. If you're 10% or 20% overloaded, drop that speed to 50.

Happy Camping
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:24 AM   #9
Mel11
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Simple DO NOT do it
bare minimum 3/4 ton
However much safer with a 1 ton
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:59 PM   #10
Hanr3
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Yes you can tow a 5er with your 1/2 ton and you can find 5ers that meet your weight requirements.

There are 1/2 ton towable 5ers. The challenge is finding one with a pin weight your truck can handle. Figure 20% of campers gross weight rating as your pin weight. This assumes you are maxing out the cargo in the camper. If your carrying less, that frees up pin weight. You have to run the numbers of your gear and carrying capacity on your truck.

You can google 1/2 towable 5th wheels and come up with a variety of options. I bought a KZ 231RK Sportsmen. 7,000 gross weight rating, pin of 1,400 at max cargo. It's 25' long and has all the modern conveniences, a/c, heat, hot water, shower, flush toilet, rood mounted antenna, cable ready, solar ready, LED tv, microwave, electric awning, electric stabilizers (option), outside shower, 1 slide, outside speakers, Artic package, full enclosed and heated under belly, 30K BTU furnace, etc, etc, etc.
KZ just came out with a upscale 1/2 towable line, Durango Half-ton.

Scamp also makes a line of 5ers which are smaller than the 231RK. But are 5th wheels.

Semi-floating and full floating axles is a pointless argument. The axle in the truck is DESIGNED to carry the load the truck is rated to carry. 3/4 and 1 ton trucks have full floaters because they can carry more weight, which means they can raise the carrying capacity without changing anything else. You could drop a full floater in a 1/2ton and raise the carrying capacity too. Off-roaders swap to them for other reasons, and it isn't for carrying capacity.
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