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Discussion Starter #1
As you can see, I have an LMM 08 2500 GMC. We are looking at 5th wheels, and I know this has come up before, but what can I comfortably tow? We have looked at one 34 footer, a 3400 Keystone, it weighs about 12,600 lbs. dry, with a pin weight of 2140. Also looked at a 33 footer, 11379lbs. dry and pin weight of 2160. Will the truck safely handle the heavier trailer? I know the experiences of others far outweighs what a saleman says, and I know the truck will pull it, just don't know about stopping it and how that much weight will handle. I rather ask and be thought stupid than buy one and BE stupid....
 

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Start by looking at the Tire and Loading Info sticker located on or around the driver side door- that's the max payload of your truck as it came from the factory. Now subtract anything you have added to the truck, including hitch, tools, passengers, etc. from that number. The result will be your actual payload capacity.
Eg. 9200lb GVWR- 6800lb curb= 2,400lb total payload
2,400lb total payload - 3 passengers [450lb]- hitch [175lb]- junk [200lb]= 1575lb actual available payload

When looking at the trailers look more so at the GVWR rather than empty weight when gauging the appropriate truck size. Most likely when you add all of your stuff and fill the tanks (fresh, propane, etc.) the trailer will be close to the GVWR.

Assume 15-25% of that trailer GVWR number will be carried on the pin by the truck. Compare that pin weight to the max payload of the truck and see where you end up.

Eg. 15.6k GVWR x .15= 2340lb pin weight (lighter possibility)
15.6k GVWR x .25= 3900lb pin weight (heavier possibility)

1575lb actual payload << 2340lb or 3900lb pin weight possibilities

Either way you are over the truck GVWR, even 'empty' from the dealer it could be too heavy if you have some people ride along.

Just my $.02
 

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^^ I'm ordering a new enclosed trailer, and I really want a GN; however the issue noted above is why I'm sticking with a tag-a-long with my 2500. If I had a 3500 SRW, it wouldn't be a problem. I'm not planning to buy a new truck anytime soon, so tag-a-long it is (plus a GN is $5k more!).
 

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Legally speaking, Drumaniac3000 is right. Practically speaking, your truck can handle either of those trailers.
 

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Someone else said it best, 3/4 ton pull behind and 1 ton 5er. I had the same question awhile back and ended up with another truck. After doing the math, just not enough room to play with.

How far do you plan on towing and at what speeds? Last thing you want to do is blow out a tire and risk some serious consequences.
 

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Drumaniac3000.... good info and explanation.

I would like to suggest, that from that GVWR sticker on the trailer, you can get other info also. The axle weight limits are also shown there. On a two axle trailer, subtract the axle limits from the GVWR to get the rated pin weight.

Now the challenge..... try to load the trailer so the weights are less than the limits, and spread across the axles and the pin as shown above. If loaded correctly, that pin weight may work on a 2500HD. From my experience, fifth wheel trailers are very easy to load heavy on the pin or front of trailer. FYI, as pictured my unit is not over the GM suggested towing limit of a 2500HD, that being 22,000. But it is over the truck gross at 10,000 on a 9200 rating. That overage is on the truck rear at 6,000 on a 6200 rating. So, not over any axle rating, a matter that has been discussed at length on this form.
 

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I agree also with Drumaniac3000. Legally there is no way your going to do it. With that said I myself tow with similar truck and trailer as you and I'm over GVWR on my truck just like most 3/4 tons. At least I know and understand that I'm over weight on payload and drive accordingly. And I'm never over on any axle ratings.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand what you guys are saying, but I see tons of people at campgrounds towing with 2500 diesels. I will try to do some figuring and see what I come up with. As far as distance, I might go as far as 500 miles, running 60-65MPH.
 

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I would look at a keystone cougar 318 sab dry pin wt is under 1600 LBS. If your looking for a bunkhouse the 293sab also has a dry pin weight of under 1600 lbs. I know everone is going to pipe in and say the actual values will be higher. But if you start out at a low number your chances are better. the 328qbs is also under 1600 lbs.
 

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I understand what you guys are saying, but I see tons of people at campgrounds towing with 2500 diesels.
That's because they believed the BS the salesman told them. I see overloaded 2500's running up and down I-35 all day long. Trust me, if you buy one of those 5'vers, you'll be looking for a bigger truck in the near future. Been there, learned the hard way.......
 

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I understand what you guys are saying, but I see tons of people at campgrounds towing with 2500 diesels. I will try to do some figuring and see what I come up with. As far as distance, I might go as far as 500 miles, running 60-65MPH.
If you understand your weights, realize what you are pulling and pull it safely according to the weights, you will be fine. Your 2500 will easily handle a 12,600 pound camper. Whether or not you will be within the weight ratings of the truck is another thing. I'm unaware if drumaniac3000 was using actual numbers, you should check your truck and use those numbers.

I logged over 70,000 miles pulling a 44' enclosed GN race trailer with living quarters. It weighed around 17,000 and had about 3,000 pounds of pin weight loaded. Truck pulled it like a dream, I could lock the cruise at 80mph all day long if I had wanted to.
 

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Premis..... I like that set up, low profile, length, three axle, all in your favor, and you are using air bags, & etc.

Now to get the RV industry to do the same. The RV makers seem to like the height (wind resistance), fewer axle(s) (cheaper), shorter units (not as stable), less pin weight (broader market), and too much teeter/tooter on the axles . That said, I guess a custom made for a price is the way to go.
 

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Premis..... I like that set up, low profile, length, three axle, all in your favor, and you are using air bags, & etc.

Now to get the RV industry to do the same. The RV makers seem to like the height (wind resistance), fewer axle(s) (cheaper), shorter units (not as stable), less pin weight (broader market), and too much teeter/tooter on the axles . That said, I guess a custom made for a price is the way to go.
I hear ya, my experience is definitely with a different style trailer. Those race trailers (like mine) are definitely heavier because they are built heavier. They are also more utilitarian, they are built to haul heavy stuff (tools, car, supplies, etc) and the living quarters is an after thought, more of a place to crash. Where as the 5th wheel travel trailers are built more for comfort, less for hauling. Those triple axles sure are nice though. I would recommend them on any decent size trailer.

Wind resistance is huge, more of an issue than weight, IMO. I have a 20' tag trailer also, it pulls harder than the GN and gets about 2mpg worse (11mpg vs 9mpg). I attribute all of that to the trailer profile, the wind comes over the cab and slams into the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Premis..... I like that set up, low profile, length, three axle, all in your favor, and you are using air bags, & etc.

Now to get the RV industry to do the same. The RV makers seem to like the height (wind resistance), fewer axle(s) (cheaper), shorter units (not as stable), less pin weight (broader market), and too much teeter/tooter on the axles . That said, I guess a custom made for a price is the way to go.
I think the height is because customers like high ceilings, and if you lower the ground clearance it could cause some problems in campgrounds I've seen. But in my experience the pin weight is generally high on 5th wheels. Anyway, I've towed a lot of stuff in my time, even trucks and busses with a wrecker, so I'm going to try and stay close to the max pin weight, but I'm not going to let a few pounds be a deal breaker.
 

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I think the height is because customers like high ceilings, and if you lower the ground clearance it could cause some problems in campgrounds I've seen. But in my experience the pin weight is generally high on 5th wheels. Anyway, I've towed a lot of stuff in my time, even trucks and busses with a wrecker, so I'm going to try and stay close to the max pin weight, but I'm not going to let a few pounds be a deal breaker.
Just be cognizant of the fact that the pin weights listed are DRY pin weights before they add propane tanks, a/c's and a lot of other accessories. Then load it up for travel, add a 200 pound fifth wheel hitch, and you'll be nowhere close to that listed pin weight. Your 2500 will pull the weight effortlessly, it's that weight sitting on the rear wheels that's gonna kill ya.
 

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I tow this... 40ft Raptor.. just fine.... yes it is a little much for my 2500, but with my suspension upgrades it handles and stops just fine...



Tow it with this...




 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just be cognizant of the fact that the pin weights listed are DRY pin weights before they add propane tanks, a/c's and a lot of other accessories. Then load it up for travel, add a 200 pound fifth wheel hitch, and you'll be nowhere close to that listed pin weight. Your 2500 will pull the weight effortlessly, it's that weight sitting on the rear wheels that's gonna kill ya.
I agree, and I'm going to look at weights very closely before I buy. But I have one question...I know the springs are heavier on a 3500, but doesn't a SRW 3500 have the same wheels and tires a 2500 has, ie. E rated tires?
 

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I agree, and I'm going to look at weights very closely before I buy. But I have one question...I know the springs are heavier on a 3500, but doesn't a SRW 3500 have the same wheels and tires a 2500 has, ie. E rated tires?
I wouldn't bother with a 3500 SRW. I don't believe it offers enough additional benefit. A DRW would be the wisest move.
RE: the Raptor pic above, my best buddy bought the exact same trailer back in 2005 to tow with his 04 LB7 2500 short bed and it scared the **** out of him. Pushed him all over the road. One trip through the Arkansas mountains and he sold it.....
 

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For the weights you are talking- your 3/4 ton is a great match.

Lots and lots of people towing 40 foot toy haulers (15k plus) with 3/4 ton trucks. A 12.5k fifth wheel with 2100# pin weight is a great match for a 3/4 ton truck.
 

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:cool:My Dad used to say" if you can't be good be careful" Lets change that to if you can't be leagal be careful. I had a special order truck a few years a go that GM changed the wheels and tires upgraded the springs and rerated the trucks GVWR. They changed the Rating tag and the tire tag so I guess that was leagal. But if you do it its NOT???. There should be a way of upgrading your truck and get it recirtified. That being said Rickson and others make 19.5 wheels to fit a 2500 and F of G rated tires could bring your RWR up and you will be safe.
 
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