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Discussion Starter #1
I have not made my way on the forum in a bit but I have a question that has probably been answered 100 times on here.
Me and the wife are looking at getting rid of our travel trailer and moving up to a fifth wheel. I have a couple of questions though and was wanting some real life feedback from some LB7 owners.
The trailer we are looking at is a Shasta Phoenix 35BH (39'1" long)
The dry weight as it left the factory is 11,992 with a CCC of 2,002lbs putting total GVWR at 13,966lbs. The pin weight is 1,966lbs. My truck currently weighs in at 7,300lbs.

My questions are am I going to heavy on the truck? Will I be able to pull the trailer comfortably?(will drive through some Texas hill country) Will the LB7 handle the weight ok?
Will I enjoy the Fifth wheel over our current bumper pull?
Feed back on if any of you are towing with a PPE tuner?
I'm looking at putting a B&W turnover and a companion in the bed so I can still have by bed when needed.
I already have air bags, gauges, transgo jr and suncoast converter.
Any Input would be greatly appreciated.
I have a few buddies that have 2013 and 2014's pulling 14-16,000lb tow haulers and are telling me to go ahead it will be fine. But the LB7 and the new diesels are different creatures so just trying to get a feel of real life experiences.
 

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I'm assuming you have the 2500, not a 3500SRW. empty weight 7300 + unloaded pin weight 2000, = 9300 so your already over 2001 GVWR of the truck (9200) before you add the 5th wheel hitch (150lbs??) batteries or propane or anything else to the trailer. I could see your pin weight going to 2500-2800lbs when loaded + the stuff you add into the truck.

Don't know the GVWR of that year SRW 3500 is.

So, yes your going to be over GVWR for the truck. will you be over your rear tire rating??? don't know.

Will it tow it? I tow 10,000 bumper pull with my LLY and it is way more than adequate for power, doubt if that will be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.
I have a 2500HD and LT265/75/16 Michelin LTX rated at 3145lbs per single.
I could always lighten the truck. I carry a lot of extra unneeded weight in the toolbox and cab.
Was just wanting to try something besides a Bumper pull since that's what the last three were.
 

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Your buddies have boxed frames and you do not. Will your truck pull it? No doubt. But you will be at the max and maybe even over. To know for sure, get your truck weighed with it loaded just like it will be when towing (minus the trailer of course) . Then compare that weight to the figures listed on the sticker on the inside of your driver door. Remember, the pin weight you've given is empty. Loaded, it's likely to be around 2,600 lbs. I'm betting with the numbers you listed for the trailer, you'll be over weight. Just using the weight you cited for your truck (unloaded I'm assuming) plus the estimated pin weight above, you're looking at 9,900 GVWR, which is exactly what my 06 SRW 1 ton was rated for. So it now becomes a matter of whether you follow recommendations or not. It's like breaking any other law - you may get away with it for eons. Then again, you may get caught the first trip out. Getting caught by a states' police force is one thing. Getting sued by someone you hit in an accident and having your insurance telling you to take a walk because you were willfully negligent is quite another.
 

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You may want to back off a bit on the weight. There are some really nice FW out there with dry pin weight coming in at less than 1800 and dry weight of around 9-10k. Keystone Cougar and Sabre Silhouette seem to be lighter on the pin weights.
 

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DOT uses "bridge" formula to figure max weights not the door stickers. If you have good brake's on trailer and truck, tires with enough weight you will be legal. Stay within the axle ratings for your truck and watch your EGT's with that tune and you should be fine.

Would second an exhaust brake.
 

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Bridge Formula Weights- FHWA Freight Management and Operations

Interstate bridge guidelines for weight. Contact your local DOT officer if you don't believe me. I drive commercially and my company has an excellent safety record it won't jeopardize. They routinely load me with 15k lb (19k gvwr) trailers. A rough rule of thumb for a 3/4 duramaxes is 26,000 CGVWR minus tow vehicle (stated) Gvwr (9200 in our case), which equals 16,800 lbs actual trailer weight. I personally draw the line at 15,800lbs because I don't want to chance being over on my tires. That is about the limit I feel comfortable with the way my truck is set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does anyone have any regrets going from a travel trailer to a fifth wheel?
Still looking and deciding, just wondering about pulling and parking vs our current travel trailer.
 

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They park and pull a lot different than a tow behind. Pull is hands down better. Parking, once you get used to the different reaction that is a non-issue.

Towing at or above limits of the tow vehicle is not worth the stress, mentally on the driver or functionally on the tow vehicle. A lot of camper salesmen will say you can pull an oversized camper with an undersized truck to make a sale unfortunatly.
 

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Does anyone have any regrets going from a travel trailer to a fifth wheel?
Still looking and deciding, just wondering about pulling and parking vs our current travel trailer.
Fifth wheels are hands down better. Ride, handling, and ease of hookup are all better.
 

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DOT uses "bridge" formula to figure max weights not the door stickers. If you have good brake's on trailer and truck, tires with enough weight you will be legal. Stay within the axle ratings for your truck and watch your EGT's with that tune and you should be fine.

Would second an exhaust brake.
This is what you need to know when it comes to the legal issues of pulling a trailer. With a single rear wheel vehicle just make sure you are not over on rear tire ratings. Up to this weight tow as much as you feel comfortable putting behind your truck. Listen to those that tow heavy, not the Internet know it all's who regurgitate the same nonsense over and over. That being said, being conservative with weights and diligent with maintenance makes for an enjoyable towing experience.
 

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The maximum trailer weight is not as critical as the ACTUAL weight you will have on each individual axle. Usually the tire ratings limit the weight you can put on each axle.

Keep in mind that the more weight you have on the pin, the more stable the trailer will pull..... but it is easy to over load your truck drive tires by this method.

My picture shows a trailer on my '05 2500HD. That trailer has a gross of 13,800 on the decal. It has two 6,000 lbs axles & tires for a total of 12,000. So..... 1800 on the hitch. Actual loaded, rigged and ready, the truck is 4200 front, 6100 drives, about 11,000 on the trailer. Pin is estimated at about 2600 lbs. So my axles are legal.... just!!!

The pull, just stand on it and go. The drive, experience tells me never let the trailer drive the truck. Avoid any swing or sway. Drive prudently. Enjoy the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all of your honesty and concerns. We are still shopping and looking. The local RV dealer has agreed to let me pull a lighter trailer for my tuck so I can see the difference in a 5th wheel and a bumper pull.
I have had bumper pull travel trailers for about 11 years now so was just wanting to try a 5th wheel.
 

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You'll never go back to a bumper pull once you pull the 5th wheel! Turnpike's comments are spot on.
 

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After getting over the commitment of installing a fifth wheel, you will likely never go back to a tag along trailer. The stability, ride, and handling of a fifth wheel trailer is superior.:HiHi::HiHi::HiHi:
 

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I would like to add my $0.2...

I am the original owner of the rigs in my signature, the wildcat weighs in at 11.5k fully loaded. The truck, even with 335k miles, still pulls great. I need to mention that I love my truck!!!

If you going the 5th wheel route, look at a B&W hitch with companion. This set up gives you a goose-neck hitch plus with the companion a 5th wheel hitch. The companion comes out in two pieces, about 100 #'s each piece. It takes about 15-20 minutes to pull the companion and you are left with no obstructions in the bed.

Good luck with your purchase...

-Mark
 
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