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Old 08-27-2023, 06:30 AM   #1
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Can I tow this?

New member here. We are close to buying our first 5th wheel, upgrading from a small TT. Just bought a 2023 F-250 gas 7.3 liter V8. Had settled on a Grand Design 270BN (30í) that my truck would handle just fine. Long story short, the local dealer canít get one brought in from another store like he thought so heís trying to upsell me to a much larger Alliance 33RKS and heís got my wife all excited. Iím concerned about payload. The GCWR is well within limits. However my payload is 3493. This advertised pin weight is 2180, the hitch I want is 267, passenger, gas, and truck cargo is probably 995 making actual payload at 3442. Seems like that is pushing it, and Iím also concerned that this 11,000 lb rig is going to be difficult in the mountains since I donít have a diesel. Hoping the experts here can tell me if Iím right to be concerned.

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Old 08-27-2023, 05:33 PM   #2
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The pin weight of that RV is empty, leaving the assembly line. 21-23% of the gross weight (14k) which it will be after a complete year of camping will be 3100 pounds. Sorry, but those are REAL numbers. Smaller RV or a 3500/350 is necessary.

Jim and DW 50 years Brenda
2018 40rssa and 2021 Jayco Eagle 40'
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Old 08-27-2023, 06:00 PM   #3
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Yep bout what I figured. Thanks.
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Old 09-03-2023, 09:19 PM   #4
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250 & 350 are the same just different springs & possibly tires. If you're within the tire ratings don't worry.
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Old 09-04-2023, 06:21 PM   #5
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It is important that the truck/trailer buyer understand a few basic facts and realities about the marketing of tow vehicles and trailers.
1. The marketing of tow vehicles is extremely competitive, so the manufacturers advertise the numbers that make them look their best. So, the advertised numbers are based on trucks optimized to have the highest possible rating, such as a basic no-frills 2-door, 2 WD, short bed truck with the largest and most capable engine/transmission package. However, most folks buy an upmarket model with 4-doors, 4WD that weighs considerably more, and hence has a significantly lower real-world rating.
2. It used to be true that ĺ-ton trucks and 1-ton trucks were essentially identical except for spring rates. That is no longer true. In the race for max tow ratings, the manufacturers have made significant changes to their 1-ton trucks. For example, we used to have a 2010 Ram 3500 Laramie crew cab, long bed, Cummins 6.7L HO, 4WD. Four years ago, we traded it for a 2019 Ram 3500 Laramie crew cab, long bed, Cummins 6.7L HO, 4WD truck. Notice how the only difference in that description is 2010 vs. 2019? Well, our 2010 truck had a 10,100# GVWR and a 13,800# trailer rating. Our 2019 truck has a 12,300# GVWR and a 24,870# trailer rating – a huge difference. A friend’s Ram 2500 has a tow rating of barely half of ours.
3. While trucks are marketed using the highest numbers possible, trailers are pretty much the opposite – smallest numbers possible. For example, the brochure on our Carriage Cameo lists the following:
Approx Exterior Length 32’ 11”
Approx Exterior Width 96”
Approx Exterior Height with AC 12’ 8”
Approx Dry Axle Weight (lb)* 8,300
Approx Hitch Weight (lb)* 2,230
Approx Total Dry Weight (lb)* 10,530
Approx Average Load Capacity (lb)* 3,700
Black/Gray Holding Tank Capacity 55/55 Gal.
Nowhere are the real-world numbers clearly published in the brochure. Instead, we need to calculate the real-world weight of the trailer as well as the pin weight, or we can look at the VIN sticker on the coach to find the GVWR of 14,230#. If we add the Load Capacity to the Dry Weight we get the 14,230# GVWR. Since Pin Weight is in the 21-25% range, we can estimate the pin weight of the loaded trailer to be 2988# to 3,558#; both considerably more than the brochure’s 2,230# Hitch Weight.

That’s not all. The typical RV model name suggests that the unit is shorter than it’s actual length; usually by several feet. What appears to be a 34’ 5th wheel is probably 37’ long. I’ve been told by RV sales folks that this is done to prevent the wife from getting scared about the RV being too big, while simultaneously entertaining her with the space and attraction of the larger RV. Of course us guys don’t get suckered like that. Wrong!

Continuing with our real-world example. . . Carriage Cameo tipped the scales at 13,320# with a pin weight of 3,330# on our first run. That was with no furniture – no sofa, no dining table or chairs, no recliner, no credenza. Yes, that’s the way we bought it. Since then, we have installed a rocker-recliner, power reclining love seat and custom solid cherry dining table & credenza and chairs. OTOH, our Cameo is equipped with an Onan generator, washer drier, and 2nd AC in the bedroom; all of which contribute to the pin weight. We’ll know more about our actual fully loaded weight in a few weeks.
Lastly, I’ll note that few things in life work ideally when loaded to the max. Do you do your best and most graceful work when loaded to the max? Nope, neither to I. Our trucks are no different.

A truck loaded to the max will not handle, accelerate or stop as well as a truck loaded to say 2/3’s of its max rating.

About 5 years ago we bought a 30’ Excel 5-wheel. I drove it home (Pacific Northwest) from New Mexico with our 2010 Ram 3500. The trailer was unloaded, so it weighed an actual 13,060#, 94.6% of the trucks rating. It worked fine on the flat lands, but the truck was clearly struggling in the mountains. By comparison, our 2019 Ram 3500 tows our 13,320# Cameo sooo gracefully & pleasantly because it is only 53.5% of the truck’s rating.

Lastly, in years past the difference between a 3/4-ton pickup and a 1-ton pickup was usually that the 1-ton was a dually. Yes, there were exceptions; we had a 1979 GMC 3200 Longhord SRW. Then about 20 years ago, the SRW 1-ton became popular. For the next decade plus the major differences between the 3/4-ton SRW pickup and a 1-ton SRW pickup was usually spring rates and not much else. Not so much today as the manufacturers have built up the newer SRW trucks to be even more capable than the duallies of the past.
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Old 09-04-2023, 08:43 PM   #6
Dave The AV Guy
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We have a 2007 Carriage Carri-lite, I think it was called a 36 foot, but measures about 38 feet. For many years I towed with a 2005 Ford F250 Diesel. Eventually I learned that I was over the weight limits in three areas; tire capacity, rear axle rating, and the gross combined rating of the truck + trailer. I updated to a 2018 Ram 3500 HD dually. I should have updated years earlier. The Ford would have no issue getting the trailer moving, but as has been noted elsewhere, I also want to stop the rig! In the business I was in hardware and rigging was supposed to have a safety factor of at least 8 times its rating. I have no idea what the safety factor is in truck ratings. I suggest you should look elsewhere for the original trailer model you wanted, or go shopping again for a heavier duty truck.
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Old 09-13-2023, 09:47 AM   #7
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Buy some air springs, and don't worry.

I have a 2021 Ram 2500 Cummins 6.7L towing a 2009 Sierra 5w, bumper to nose is about 29.5 feet long, with a 13,000 GVW, yea it's heavy. But.....

While I haven't weighed the setup, clearly with the B&W 5th wheel hitch, the cooler full of beer and ice and other misc stuff, I am over on the box and pin weight.

The air springs help the load, and overall after 14,000 miles this year, have zero issues in handling and power. It all rides real nice.

yea, take a tape measure with you when shopping. The model numbers have very little to do with the real length.
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Old 09-13-2023, 11:40 AM   #8
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In order to spare some weight, you might look into the Demco Recon fifth wheel hitch. The basic one is a no-frills hitch, but is a darn good one. It separates into 3 pieces for easy removal and the entire thing weighs in at about 80 pounds. Of course, you have to add the weight of the bed rails. Demco makes a stationary fifth wheel hitch (which I have for my 41 foot Montana High Country) and a slider hitch. Both are much lighter in weight than you are considering with yours. Every pound helps.

Check them out:
2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
2014 Chevy Silverado, 3500 Dually, long bed, crew cab
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Old 09-13-2023, 06:26 PM   #9
Dave The AV Guy
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Originally Posted by sourdo View Post
Buy some air springs, and don't worry.
Yeah, but air springs, air bags, are not going to increase the weight carrying capacity of anything. They will only aid in making your rig ride level and maybe a bit more comfortable down the road.

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