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What truck to buy?

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2011, 06:05 PM
Camper
Camper Type: None
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1
Default What truck to buy?

Hello,
I'm looking to upgrade my pull toy hauler to a fifth wheel toy hauler. The fifth wheel I'm looking at buying is a 2008 Keystone Fuzion 393. The specs that are listed are as such:

Dry Weight
13,140 lbs

Payload Capacity 3,360 lbs

Hitch Weight





2,735 lbs

So my question is what truck do I need to purchase to LEGALLY tow this trailer. I will be loading dirt bikes and a rhino (4x4 golf cart) in the garage. Also i have my wife and three young children. I would like to buy used also.

I'm afraid of buying the wrong truck. Please tell me what I should buy. I'm open to any brand.

Thanks

Nick
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2011, 11:49 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

The number you want to look at is the Gross Vehicle (or Trailer) Weight Rating which is the shipping weight plus the Payload capacity. Adding these together you need a truck that can tow AND support 16,500 lbs. A 3/4 or a 1 ton won't work! And don't believe anyone who tells you having just a big diesel engine will do just fine. There's a lot more to worry about than just the engine. You will need a dually of some kind!

It is near impossible to say what your pin weight is going to be on any trailer. No trailer will be the same because what people put in their trailer and how they pack it are never the same so it's impossible to predict this number. The number they provide is 16.5% of the gross weight. This can be way too low. Most residential and toy haulers with living space over the pin will carry as between 17% to 25% of the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or 2,805 to 4,125 lbs. This weight is carried on the rear axle of the tow vehicle. This is why you'll need a dually. You must also consider the weight of any cargo in the truck bed, the fifth wheel hitch itself and you'll need a pretty beefie hitch to tow 16,500 (figure 1000 or more for extra safety margin). Then if you add passengers all the gear in the truck, full fuel tanks, and all the aftermarket options your truck is now carrying and hopefully you can sense you'll need a pretty big truck.

When shopping for a truck you'll need to know how much the truck weighs (curb weight) and how much you expect it to weigh when loaded up and before you hitch the trailer up. Then you'll need to make sure that the weight of a fully laden truck in towing configuration plus the gross weight of the trailer do not exceed the Combined Gross Vehicle weight rating of a truck.

I'm guessing you'll need a Ford 350 or 450 dually (higher gvwr) or the comparable GMC/Chevy 3500 or 4500 dually or a Dodge 3500 (they don't make a 4500) dually. The older the truck the less capable it is. You are probably also gonna want to include the diesel since the torque of these engines are far superior to gasoline engines for heavy towing. Between you and me, I think the 350 or 3500 duallies will be too weak. Do not rely on the salesperson telling you don't worry about the gross weight. The first time you fill your RV tanks, you'll be at that weight, then have to tow the trailer to the dump station carrying all that weight.

That is a very heavy trailer so get the biggest truck you can. Do not slouch on this. You'll be glad you did. You'll get used to it. You're three biggest problem areas are the rear axle and gross weight of the truck and the combined gross vehicle weights of the truck and trailer. I hope you are able to find a suitable solution.



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Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 10-10-2011 at 11:51 PM..
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2011, 08:33 AM
Addicted Camper
Camper Type: Toy Hauler
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 162
Default Dodge 4500

Art has given you a lot of good advice that hopefully doesn't scare the hell out of you. But he is wrong about Dodge. For the last couple of years Dodge now makes 4500 and 5500 series trucks that are very heavy duty. I pulled our 8.5k bumper pull toy hauler with my 2001 Dodge 2500 diesel and it did pretty well but was close to its capacity of 9350 lbs so now I have a 2004.5 3500 dually that is much more suited with a towing capacity of over 13k. It would be a good idea too to get a 4:10 axle ratio and not a 3:73 or higher for that size 5er IMO. Also I would look at the capacities listed for the tow vehicle AND the 5er and never believe what either the RV or truck salesman says is sufficient for your needs. I have a rule I try to follow that my tow vehicle is 20% over my listed needs. That means my TV is not at it's capacity but rather there is a safety margin especially if out west here where there are many 6% grades to climb and decend. In short you must do your homework to do it right. Hope this helps, Gerry
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2011, 11:25 AM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

Yup, Gerry is right, my comments were based on old information. (Leave it to a Dodge guy to keep this Ford guy straight.) If you do a search for tow ratings you should be able to find many links with tables for tow ratings on all vehicles (Fords, Chevy/GMC or Dodge).

I found a link for 2008 that showed that there are very few 3500/F350 duallies can tow fifth wheels up to 16,500 lbs if properly equipped, but remember Gerry and I agree (along with everyone else "in the know") that you need some margin to be safe (it's not just about legal). However, the big three have 450/4500, 550/5500 or 650/6500 trucks that meet your need.

You might check other years for trucks just to get the idea since you mentioned you would consider used. You'll find older model trucks will have lower tow ratings the farther back you go.

Keep in mind once you satisfy all this, and you find you have some weight left over in the trailer, that over time there's an excellent chance you'll get bigger or more toys to put in the trailer which is why you must plan for worse case.

One additional thing. You'll need to check your state's driver license requirements on what type of license or endorsement you need to get. For example, I can drive my rig legally with a Class C license but I need an RV endorsement, to be legal. Over 15,000 lbs and I would need a different type or endorsement. This is another thing to look into. It's not about the hassle or money, it's about keeping you knowledgeable, aware, legal and safe. If your wife is gonna help you tow, then she'll need the same thing. Look at this as new opportunities. The more you know and do, the more you'll be comfortable with it. When I was 19, I was intimidated by these sizes and weights. But now that I'm WAAAY older and wiser, it's a piece of cake, and wished I hadn't waited so long to have all this fun!

Congratulations on the upcoming RV toy lifestyle, and the rest of us appreciate your desire to keep it safe! We'll do the same.



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Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
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