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  1. #1
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    Default fifth wheel vs travel trailer

    I know that this might be a dumb question but here goes. Does anyone know if you can tow more with a fifth wheel. The reason i ask is i have a friend that lives on a farm and he insists that you can tow more with a fifth wheel then with a standard hitch. I told him that i thought it was the same whether it is a fifth wheel or a travel trailer.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Default

    seems right because then all of your weight is centralized over the axle and will for sure pull 100x better being a fifth wheel. The bumper pull with a lot of weight is a terrible ride. So I would say yea you could pull a lot more with a fifth wheel. Even though at work we have pulled 32,000 on a receiver hitch.....sure that's not recommended but it's possible
    2000 Chevy Silverado 4WD Classic
    2'' lift Torsion Keys and air shocks
    33/12.50 Hankook Dynapro M/T
    3 1/2'' down pipe back 6" Tip
    Dodge Towing Mirrors
    Smoked Tails, Cab Lights, and Side Marker Lights
    1% Rear and Side Window, 20% Front Tint
    American Racing Wheels/ With a custom black paint
    Cold Air Intake
    Edge Performance Chip
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    Black background headlights and parking lights

  3. #3

    Default

    your buddy is right, 5th wheel trailers are almost always used for heavy duty work, and for good reason, mroe capacity, (semis use em for a reason) better weight distribution, better tow quality, and so on. the same load on close to the same trailers (one bumper, one 5th wheel) the 5th wheel will ride nicer, pull easier, and be more stable.

    Alex


    2011 GMC Sierra SLE 5.3 Z71 4X4 Stealth Gray Metallic / 2004 Chevy Impala LS 3.8 Cappuccino

    Tow mirrors - Diablew Tuned - Flowmaster Regular 40 - Ready Lift 2.5' lift - BFG LT A/T K/Os - Carr Light Wing - TruckLite LED lights - Optima Red Top - 50% Front Window Tint - Line-X bedliner - Airaid MIT - Tekonsha P2 - ARS Billet Grill - Fia custom fit seat covers

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice
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    Default

    Ok so maybe the truck can pull more but is it legal. If my truck is rated to pull 9500lbs doesn't that mean that legally no matter which hitch i use i can only pull no more then 9500lbs on the highway.

  5. #5

    Default

    5th wheel with no only allow you to tow a little larger load it will help with sharp turns,I try in rarely tow with my truck, wish I was living in ga so I could drive the dually more often
    2009 chevy 1500 z71 4x4
    2.5 ccm level,2.5 inch rear blocks 305/60/18 coopers stt,Debadged,10 series flow w/dual exit in front or right rear tire, KN CAI, diablo InTune, 18% tint all the way around ,spec-d euro headlights with black housings,winjet smoke LED tail lights,putco LED third brake light smoked, fab fours front bumper with 10k warn winch, RK sports ram air hood
    1965 c10 swb, zz4 350 with the hot cam and fast burn heads and a 780 Holley on top, richmond super street 5 speed,restorod

  6. #6

    Default

    The reason i ask is i have a friend that lives on a farm and he insists that you can tow more with a fifth wheel then with a standard hitch. I told him that i thought it was the same whether it is a fifth wheel or a travel trailer.
    If my truck is rated to pull 9500lbs doesn't that mean that legally no matter which hitch i use i can only pull no more then 9500lbs on the highway.
    I'm beginning to understand the essence of the debate. In part, you are both right.

    Use my Explorer as an example, because I can remember what it's rating are and I can't remember off the top of my head what the Suburban can do. Ford says that, properly equipped with the towing package, the Explorer can tow 9000 lbs. Ford also says that the bumper is rated as a class II hitch, so the bumper can pull 3500 lbs. Actual towing capacity is decided by whatever is the "weakest" link. I don't have a hitch on the Explorer, so my actual tow rating is whatever the bumper rating is, 3500 lbs.

    If I decide I want to increase my towing capacity, I would need a stronger hitch put on. Let's say I decide to put a class IV hitch on (rated to 10,000 lbs). The hitch can now handle 10k lbs, but the truck is still only rated for 9k lbs, so now something else on the truck (be it drivetrain or brakes or suspension or frame or other) has become the weakest link.

    So I'd say you are both right in the right context. If the hitch is the limiting factor, then upgrading the hitch will increase your towing capacity as your friend suggests. However, if the hitch is already rated for more than the truck is rated for, then further upgrading the hitch is not going to increase your towing capacity. As others have noted, it might improve handling while towing, but it won't increase towing capacity.
    '98 K1500 Suburban LS 5.7 L 4L60E NV246 ARB
    '92 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0 L A4LD BW13-54 Trac-loc rear
    "My toys were the greasy cogs and springs and pistons that lay around all over the place, and these, I can promise you, were far more fun to play with than most of the plastic rubbish children are given nowadays." Danny in Roald Dahl's Danny The Champion of the World

  7. #7
    Sr. Apprentice
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    Default

    Thank You the hitch that i have is supposed to be rated for 10,500 so no matter if i try to tow with a fifth wheel or standard hitch i can not tow more then 9500lbs because something else is the limiting factor. like the engine i have the 5.3 i think for me to reach 10,500 i need the 6.

  8. #8

    Default

    There's definitely some confusion going on here. First and foremost: your truck have a maximum trailer weight, GVWR, and GCVWR. These ratings do not change regardless of whether you use a frame mount or a 5th wheel, or even a gooseneck. Period. Now, a 5th wheel or gooseneck will provide a smoother ride to the driver. Also, in general, 5th wheels and goosneck hitches for trucks are typically built to be able to carry 15,000 pounds or more with no problem, but this still does not override the capacity of the truck it's in. I have seen frame mount hitches built to haul 18,000 pounds, but again I stress that this does not increase the weight capacity of the truck. There is also the bumper-mounted ball hitch. A ball that is mounted on a bumper has usually less than 3000 pounds of capacity, do not overload a bumper-mounted ball.
    Christopher

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half



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  9. #9
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    Default

    Ok now I am confused again. I got out the book for my 2011 Silverado which has the 5.3l with 3.42 axle ratio and 6 speed auto transmission. The book says maximum trailer weight is 9500lbs butit also says GCWR is 15000lbs. So if i'm correct the combined weight can not be any more then 15,000lbs.

  10. #10
    Former Member
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    Apr 2012
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    Reading, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmatter View Post
    Ok now I am confused again. I got out the book for my 2011 Silverado which has the 5.3l with 3.42 axle ratio and 6 speed auto transmission. The book says maximum trailer weight is 9500lbs butit also says GCWR is 15000lbs. So if i'm correct the combined weight can not be any more then 15,000lbs.

    Total rig package should not exceed the GCWR, or 15,000 pounds in this case...the trailer itself should not exceed 9,500 pounds. For example, say the truck weighs 4,500 pounds, the trailer cannot exceed 9,500 pounds; that's a total of 14,000 pounds which provides about 1,000 pounds of "wiggle room" for passengers and load in the truck (not the trailer, its already max'd out).

    I was looking at my 2012 OM, and I believe it actually indicates a greater 5th wheel weight rating than a bumper pull for the same truck...must take into account the hitch/weight carrying point?

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