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I’ve been doing research on moving to an RV lifestyle when I retire (~ 18 months). I pretty much know what RV I’m going to buy, but the truck is still an uncertainty. The things I do know is that it will be a diesel, crew cab and long box….all of those are certainties. So as background, to start, I expect that we will be RVing only during the Ohio winters, but transitioning to full-time based on the first year or two of experiences. To those means, I have developed an extensive list of things we will be taking. I’ve gone as far as to weigh them (or acquire their weight), determine where they will be stored in the RV, and have used some simple engineering force formulas to calculate a realistic payload requirement for the truck. (NOTE: GCWR and GAWR are not at risk. It’s only the truck’s GVWR and Payload that I am concerned about). Knowing that only the Dodge Ram’s Super Duty is SAE J2807 compliant at this time, the only thing I could do is use the manufacturer’s specs when looking at payload ratings. The good news is that with Ford redesigning their Super Duty line in 2017, they and GM have committed to the SAE standards in 2017. That helps me if I buy something new, but not is I buy something used. That said, my calculated payload has a maximum requirement of 3,900 lbs, which eliminated the 2016 Ford SRW which comes in approx. 3,600 lbs. Bummer, because I like the Fords. 2016 Chevy is approx. 4,200 lbs and 2016 Dodge Ram is approx. 4,300 lbs, both are SRWs. Given these are approaching the upper limits of the vehicles, I’ve been contemplating going to a DRW, which I would prefer not to if given a choice. But I need to be realistic too. Anyway, after reading a number of other forums elsewhere on the internet on the subject of “DRW vs SRW”, I’ve determined that it is best that I consult a group of people in similar situations as I am. The forums had good info, but the types of towing varied. As a result, I thought I would come here for the perspective of an experienced audience. So the RV I am interested in is a fifth wheel, has a GVWR of 14,000 lbs and the max. payload required (trailer, passenger, hitch, etc.) will be approx. 3,900 lbs. What are some of the pros and cons between SRW vs DRW when it comes to towing something like this configuration? Also, while I don’t expect it to be my DD (daily driver) in the off season, I do expect to use it some when not towing. As well, when I am towing, I expect we’ll need to use it for getting around; e.g. sight-seeing, grocery shopping, laundry, etc., and I may ask for it to eventually become a full-time towing vehicle. Last point, we expect that boondocking will be our preferred style of accommodations when we do go RVing. Any help would be appreciated.
The family and I have decided to sell the house and hit the road full time until we can find our ideal location to settle back in. We have narrowed our new home down to the Jayco 29.5 FBDS 5th wheel as it seems to be a great balance of durability and function. This RV is classified as a half ton model but I would not consider a half ton for this size RV. The dealer claims that a 3/4 ton will tow this no problem but looking at the Ram 2500 Mega Cab 4x4 with the 6.7 diesel or the Chevy 2500 Crew Cab 4x4 short bed with the Duramax, that leaves very little room for payload. Both trucks have a payload capacity of approximately 2,000 lbs and the RV has a tongue weight of 1,600 lbs, from what I understand this leaves me with only 400 lbs of payload capacity. That leads me to believe that I should be looking at the 1 ton instead of the 3/4 ton but I have a hard time believing that I need to go with a 1 ton for a 1/2 ton series 5th wheel. Any suggestions on 3/4 ton vs 1 ton? Thank you for any help on this.
In my research, I've been obsessing over weight. No, not MY weight (different issue, wrong forum), but weights and weight ratings of 5th wheels and the payload & towing capacity of trucks. I've been doing some math and wanted to run some numbers by the members here to make sure I'm not out in left field. To set expectations, I'm the kind of guy who likes to over-engineer things. I like to design in cushion, or buffer, into things to keep away from problems and stay within safety margins. I don't like to take chances with things that are important to me. This tendency definitely applies in this case. I'd like to keep this as a focused academic discussion. I don't want this to go down the rat-hole of MDT vs HDT; I'm just interested in the trade-offs between towing capacity and payload. For this discussion, let's take the following specs from an example luxury 5th wheel: Shipping Weight: 13140 Carry Capacity: 3745 Hitch: 2885 GVWR: 16885 To make the math a little easier, we'll round up the hitch and GVWR to 3000 & 17000, respectively. This tells me I need a truck that can tow at least 17,000 pounds and has an available payload (after passengers, fuel, etc) of 3,000 pounds. For this discussion, let's consider the following two trucks. They are both crew cab (for personal reasons) DRW models. As configured, their maximum ratings are as follows: TRUCK 1: 5th Wheel Max Trailer Weight: 24000 Max Payload: 6870 Curb Weight: 7800 GCWR: 32100 TRUCK 2: 5th Wheel Max Trailer Weight: 31200 Max Payload: 5300 Curb Weight: 8600 GCWR: 40400 In addition, we'll assume 37.5 gallons of diesel fuel, for a weight of 281.25 pounds, and one adult and two kiddos, which we'll pin at 400 pounds total. That's 682 pounds (rounded up) of payload before we get to the hitch weight of the 5th wheel. For the academic discussion, we now have the basic numbers we need. In my mind, I compare the trucks as follows: TRUCK 1: 5th Wheel Max Trailer Weight: 24000 5th Wheel GVWR: 17000 Delta: 7000 Cushion % (Delta/Max Rating): 29% Max Payload: 6870 5th Wheel Hitch Weight: 3000 Fuel/Passengers: 682 Delta: 3188 Cushion % (Delta/Max): 46% Total Combined Weight Max: 25482 (Trailer Max + passenger/fuel + truck curb weight) GCWR Cushion lbs: 5718 GCWR Cushion %: 18% TRUCK 2: 5th Wheel Max Trailer Weight: 31200 5th Wheel GVWR: 17000 Delta: 14200 Cushion % (Delta/Max Rating): 45% Max Payload: 5300 5th Wheel Hitch Weight: 3000 Fuel/Passengers: 682 Delta: 1618 Cushion % (Delta/Max): 30% Total Combined Weight Max: 25482 (Trailer Max + passenger/fuel + truck curb weight) GCWR Cushion lbs: 14118 GCWR Cushion %: 35% Here are my takeaways from this comparison: Truck 2 has a massive advantage when it comes to towing capacity and GCWR, obviously. However, given the GVWR of the trailer, the trailer isn't quite 55% of the towing capacity of the truck. Even with my conservative, safety-conscious approach, this seems like massive overkill. The trailer is just shy of 71% of the towing capacity of Truck 1, giving a 29% cushion in towing capacity. This seems more than adequate for a cushion. Truck 1, then, has the advantage in payload. At a 46% and 3188 pound cushion, it seems a much better choice than Truck 2's 30% and 1618 pound cushion. This appeals to me because that extra 1570 pounds of Truck 1's payload would allow me to better outfit the truck with more things like auxiliary fuel tanks, tool boxes, beefier 5th Wheel hitch, and so on. From this data, and from my perspective, it would seem that Truck 1 is the better choice. It has a very comfortable towing capacity cushion while offering better payload capacity. What concerns me is that I'm missing something in the towing capacity equation that matters, or that the 29%/7000 pound towing cushion isn't enough for some reason. Am I missing anything?