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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are looking at 5th wheel toyhaulers; and learning alot!

First of all, I tell the dealers that I want one that is under 11,0000lbs. What do the show us? Tri-axle, 40ft'ers, ya right.

Our truck is a '10 Dodge Cummins, Quad cab, short bed, 3/4ton. What would be a good/excellent 5th wheel hitch?

In another thread on this site, it was mentioned that a short bed should have a slider type hitch? (no, I will not be insulted if my truck is bashed, like that same thread). I don't trust the dealers to give anything close to the right info.

I should also mention that I know that I will be overloaded, because I got the manual transmission and its only rated 9600 gvwr.

Jim
 

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i wouldn't stress out about the brand, just make sure it rated for well over the weight of the trailer you get (Reece is a good brand that you can find most anywhere)

you may or may not need a slider (depends on the shape of the front of the fiver) but a slider will add a lot of weight. some of the guys that use sliders can give you better info than me on them. i use a Sidewinder to keep from hitting my cab. it works great, is lighter and cheaper then a sliding hitch. if you want info on it just Google "Reece Sidewinder fifth wheel hitch", there are also some videos of it on Youtube.

good luck and welcome to the forum:10220:
 

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and yea, the dealers will tell you all kinds of crap. last time i shopped for a camper, i finally had to tell the sales man that if he showed me one more camper that was over the weight that i had said was the most i wanted, i would leave right then. he finally got the idea.
 

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There are several features that start adding to the cost as you consider them....

You'll need a hitch that's rated a little beyond the GVWR. Your GVWR is very light for a toy hauler, but hopefully you can find a trailer with a lightweight pin (calculate 20% to 25% of the GTWR for the pin weight. Being overweight anywhere is going to be hard on your transmission, real hard. With certain year Fords an F-250 (3/4 ton) can be upgraded to an F-350 (1 ton) in order to legally increase the GVWR. This also requires larger tires that can carry the new weight, too. Between these two models these are the only differences for the same other characteristics (differential, motor, trans, brakes, shocks, driveshaft, u-joints, etc.) Maybe you can do the same with your truck - but you really have to look into this closely that you catch every required difference.

Okay to get back on topic...

1. You need to check the "5th wheel tow rating" for your truck and get a hitch rated a little higher than that.
2. If you have a short bed, get the slider type. If you don't have one, you'll look like many of the other short beds that have had the backs of their cabs modified.
3. Decide if you want it removable. Then pick one that fits together in pieces so it's lighter when you remove its pieces from your truck bed, unless you are built like the Hulk and can lift the whole thing off.
4. Decide if you want a flat bed if it's removable, then look for one that when removed leaves a flat bed, or you'll have bed rails to work around. The better type has rails underneath the truck bed that the hitch head drops down onto and leaves your truck bed completely flat and usable for when you are not towing and the hitch is removed.
5. Airbag or other cushioning helps the ride feel better, less bounce but this hardware can add some weight.

The features you pick will increase the cost. They will also increase the weight. Don't forget to add the hitch and hardware into your weight calculations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not much that I can do for the low GVWR. Dodge rated the manuals real low, but if I had the automatic, it would be 2k higher. This is my third Cummins, '91 manual, 2wd, and a '99 automatic, 4wd. With the manual we never had any trouble, even towing as much as we did overloaded by 2k. However, the automatic; $6000 later for one rebuild. The new autos '07 and newer are proving to bullet proof, but I was still gun shy about them.

Thank you for the info on the hitches, I will look at the Sidewinder. Also, today we passed another dealer that had several toyhaulers out by the road. Being Easter, they weren't open, so we will have to go back and check them out.

Jim
 

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The Sidewinder is a good start and a good brand.

About the tow rating. If you ask a dealer for an 11,000 lb trailer they are going to show you a trailer that weighs 11,000lbs at their dealership. You need to ask for a trailer with a GTWR of 11,000lbs. For the truck this means the truck will carry about (18-25%) of the GTWR on the pin or 1,980 to 2750 lbs. If you weigh your truck with a full tank of gas and with only you inside you will get the UW (unladen, aka curb weight) of your truck (let's assume 7,400 lbs). This means you have a ccc (Cargo carrying capacity, aka cargo weight rating) of 2,400 lbs. If you load your trailer so that it carries over the wheels and the rear of the trailer, there is a good chance you won't be overweight. Don't forget to factor in the wife, kids, their stuff and anything else you might have in the truck bed including the hitch and it's hardware.

You should not wish to be overweight with any of the ratings. Even though you have done this in the past doesn't mean you might not have a weight rated problem in the future. In you are ever involved in an accident a good lawyer will get in in trouble and if you are found to be overweight, there is an excellent chance your insurance does NOT have to cover you!!! Are you feeling lucky?

Besides the Cummins motor, there are many other factors for a truck's weight ratings. Do not ignore these just because you have a Cummins. There's the trans, drive shaft, differential, axles, wheels, tires, bearings, shocks brakes, leafsprings, etc. etc. etc. You do NOT know what is the weak point for a truck. For example, getting larger wheels and tires, or installing an automatic trans might not be it and unless you are an expert Dodge parts person you may never know any more than a Dodge parts person.

All in all, if you stick to an 11,000 lb GTWR for the fifth wheel, you might just make it and not be overweight - a lot of us other people driving down the road around you would appreciate it. The proof will be in the estimates and then actually weighing your rig.

I'll be fine with you wanting to do whatever you feel like doing, but if you involve someone else in a mishap, rest assured that other person WILL NOT feel the same way and neither will their lawyer.

Good luck to you.
 
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