View Full Version : Greetings

01-14-2018, 04:32 PM
This appears to be a good resource. Iím actually not an owner yet, but very close. I am trying to narrow my list and make good decisions. I plan to mostly travel with my wife and son. My son is a special needs kid that is 16 years old. I want to travel, explore, relax, and enjoy.

I bought a GMC 2500HD Denali for towing. Iím trying to test and research which 5th wheel is best for my family. I hope to find honest answers to questions and benefit from experienced owners.

Geaux Saints!!

01-14-2018, 05:49 PM
Good to have you here. Do some pre-planning for the purchase by getting the truck weighed--you will be especially interested in the weight on the rear axle as you would have the truck loaded to tow. This means wife/kid/dog/gear/hitch will take away available rear axle capacity. Then consider what the rear axle maximum for your truck is--should be somewhat less than 7500lbs.
So, armed with what the truck axle will carry, less what is already on it not towing, will give you the max amount of pin weight your fifth wheel can have.
You will have to be careful of what the dealers say you can tow--a 3/4 ton runs out of rear axle capacity pretty quick.
Have fun--being out with the family is a great way to be together.

01-15-2018, 08:14 AM
I'm afraid you have done what is most common in this business which is getting the cart before the horse. Better that you should have picked out the RV that is suitable to your needs and then shopped for a tow vehicle. Could I bother you to take a picture of the yellow sticker inside the door jam on your Denali and post it here? With that info we can help you make important decisions on what you could safely tow.

01-15-2018, 08:23 AM
Or, possibly, the horse before the cart.....I agree.

01-15-2018, 09:44 PM
Ok. Fortunately I bought the vehicle from a dealership owned by my friend and have not taken delivery. I called him and told him that it may not be the right vehicle to haul the 5th wheel that I am thinking of purchasing. He was glad to put it on hold. I do not have the yellow sticker photo from the truck but here is the weight info from the fifth wheel. Can you give me direction based on this info? Is the 2500HD diesel a decent match? Also, when looking at hitches, what so I need to ask or look for when ready? I’m sure I will make so mistakes along the way. Just would like to minimize them.

GVWR 15500
Hitch Weight 2474
UVW 12962
CCC 2538
Fresh Water 50 gal
Gray Water 134 gal
Black Water 52 gal

Any help is appreciated.

01-16-2018, 06:15 AM
WhoDat, your 2500 isn't even close, so let's rule that out. The pin weight of your 5v'er is about 2500 pounds plus what you and Momma put in the front of the RV (Bedroom area?) plus what you put in the basement. That will be conservatively 500 more pounds. I know that doesn't seem right, but in the real world it will probably be heavier.
Now let's load up your new truck. #1 son, Momma, Dad and "Gumbo" the family dog will put about 500 pounds in first. 26 gallons of diesel fuel and a nice slider hitch and that's another 400 pounds. If we add up the weight in the bed of your new wheels you are in excess of 3900 pounds. At this weight you have moved in dually territory.
Keep in mind that I am not telling you that you are only going to be happy and only be able to pull your beast with a dually. But I am going to say that hands down a 3/4 ton pickup is NOT what will make you happy. You are in need of a 3500 SRW at a bare minimum. I might also add that the Denali just like Ford's Platinum is the heaviest of GM's pickups. Those little add-on play-pretties add up in a hurry.
You certainly WILL run into owners who pull your rig with a 3/4 ton. They are just wrong.

01-16-2018, 07:56 AM
Small item to keep in mind: the rear axle limit, no matter what the rating is, will always be the capacity of the 2 rear tires on a SRW truck--and that is normally around 7500 lbs.
Also: to estimate the potential pin (hitch) weight, industry norm is 20% of the GVWR--in your case, this would be 3100lbs--this is why it is important to know BOTH the rating of the rear axle (RAWR) and the actual weight without the trailer on it.
Yes, you would be better served with a 3500/350 SRW pickup to help expand your choices of available fivers.
Another item to consider: the various tank volumes you list at 50/134/52 gal---if you were ever to need to travel with the tanks full that could add almost 2000lbs to the weight of the fiver.
As Jim said, lots of people pull such units with 3/4T trucks--just not a great or safe idea.
Have you seen, or looked at, the following GM publication?


01-16-2018, 10:40 AM
Thank you. This is the reason that I looked into this forum. I want to minimize mistakes and gain wisdom. My friend who owns the Chevy/GMC dealership doesn’t have anything on his lot but is searching for me now. I am searching also. When I find the vehicle I will feel much better moving forward. You are correct Notanlines (interesting handle btw). I passed through a very nice rv park on the way to work this morning and observed at least a dozen people hauling units around the same size or even larger than the one I am looking at purchasing with 2500 and 250 model trucks. I seemed to be the norm.

As far as hitches are concerned, I do not understand them at all. I am friends with the guy that is helping me buy the 5th wheel and I trust him. I would however like to know what I am talking about when discussing the hitch. I’ve attempted searching out info but there is so much to filter. It is all “white noise” to someone like me.

Any recommendations or things I can look at that will be helpful like the link that Wingnut60 attached to his post? That pdf is very helpful. I just wonder if there is something about hitches in particular that might expand my knowledge which at the moment feels a mile wide and an inch deep.

God bless you guys and thanks for the help.

01-16-2018, 10:59 AM
Years ago I owned the Weigh-It business where I weighed 5th wheel trailers and trucks along with motorhomes by wheel position. Since I owned a Mobile Suites trailer I seemed to weight a lot of them and printed out the sheet showing all the numbers I had at that time. One thing I found over the years was about 100% of all the MS trailers being towed by a 2500 series truck were over at least one of the magic numbers, GVWR, tire max capacity, axle max rating or a combination of these ratings. Some grossly overloaded, but you don't see these truck littering the highways all broken down with parts snapped off and pieces falling off. Are they overloaded, more than likely yes. Would a larger truck make the towing experiance better/safer probably yes. Did many of these folks after being weighed upgrade the truck, YES. Most anything will move and tow your trailer, it is the stopping part and handeling that is really important for your safety and those around you. I could go on but you get the idea.

01-16-2018, 01:13 PM
There is no industry comparison chart for hitches, but suggest you look at etrailer.com for some info. Also, consider the turnoverball.com for B&W hitches. Trailair is another often seen hitch. The bigger and more elaborate the hitch, the more weight it will add to the vehicle...and take away from available gross and pin weights. About 18-20k rating will be plenty.
Whatever, I would not consider buying a new truck that did not have the factory-installed 'puck' mounts already in the bed---just too much of a hassle to get it done after the purchase. Much cleaner system overall.

01-25-2018, 01:05 PM
Thank you for your insight and help thus far. I have an opportunity to purchase a pre-owned Ram 3500 that is in good shape, clean CARFAX. Included with the vehicle is a hitch and is a Ram M20. It appears to have been well taken care of and the specs look like it will tow the 5th wheel that I am about to purchase.

Are factory hitches as good, better, worse than those I can purchase elsewhere?

Are there any questions that I should be prepared to ask the current owner?

I will appreciate your help.

01-25-2018, 02:41 PM
I think the factory hitch (if it is like a Ford model) is made by Reese and rated for 20k, but Ram may be different than Ford. It should work fine.
Not up on Ram info--but just approach it as you would any other used vehicle.

It IS a dually, right?

01-25-2018, 03:45 PM
Yes. It is a dually. My friend has several GMC, Chevy, Ford, and Ram one tons that all appear in great shape. Both SRW and DRW. Tough decision. All have their own advantages and selling points. He is taking me to auction with him next week to look at some more. I’m itching to get on the road and get some “practice runs” in before the summer. I want to get as used to things as much as possible. Two long trips. One to South Dakota and another to Yellowstone.

01-25-2018, 07:06 PM
WhoDat, just as a side note to this conversation, I just opened our box with a large king cake (strawberry, praline and cream cheese) from Julie Anne's in Shreveport (thank you UPS) and tomorrow morning the meat pies from Louisiana Crawfish Company in Natchitoches will come from FedEx. Dinner for 10 tomorrow evening at our RV. Neighbors from Baton Rouge are doing gumbo and cornbread. I don't suppose I could get you to overnight about 15 pounds of crawfish to south Florida for another get together next week?
Now back to the TV you're shopping for......do you have any idea how many of us wish we were going along with you, Momma and your son on your trips? Just about every one of us.......

01-25-2018, 08:40 PM
Wow, Notanlines. That sounds like a worthy feast. I just polished off a barbecue shrimp poboy but would kill for the meat pies. I lived in Natchitoches when I was younger and had hair. I could get you some flash frozen crawfish tales but the fresh stuff won’t be ready until the earliest March. I go on a crawfish binge after Easter. The prices go down dramatically after lent.
I can’t describe how ready I am to travel. I have been to almost thirty countries but I have barely left the southeastern part of the USA. I’ve dreamed about this for a long time.

02-12-2018, 11:00 PM
I picked up my towing vehicle today. I’ll have to admit it was a surreal moment. I traded a 1/2 ton (I called him Buddy) that is 15 years old. In homage to my old truck I’m naming my new one ton Big Buddy. Supposed to pick up the 5th wheel later this week. Delayed by Mardi Gras. It’s getting real.