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First purchase coming up


JDeere63

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Hello all! New to the forum and soon to be new to this whole RV thing. Planning to buy a 5er in the next few months. I already have a truck, so that creates the question of how big? TV is an '06 3/4 ton diesel CC with the 6.75' bed. 3.73 gears. I'm looking at trailers with a hitch weight of around 2000# or less, with a loaded weight under 14,000#. Too big? I plan to add air bags and know I'll need a slider hitch. I will upgrade trucks at some point, but probably not for another year or so. Next one will be a dually. We're not going to full time, but want something big enough to stay in comfortably for 2-3 weeks at a time.

My work involves big (farm)equipment and big trucks, so driving it won't be an issue. I guess I could use the Peterbilt and size wouldn't be an issue! Thanks in advance...this is a great forum!

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You'll need to look up the tow rating and the payload rating for your particular truck (you don't say which brand) and compare it to the ratings on the fiver you're interested in...keeping in mind that the 2,000# hitch weight you quoted is probably the dry hitch weight, not the weight it will be once your fiver is loaded up for a trip. For purposes of looking at possible fivers, consider that the loaded hitch weight will be 20% - 25% of the fiver's GVWR. Sure, you may not load up your fiver to it's maximum (hopefully, never), but you should concentrate on fivers that your truck can easily handle without being over any of its ratings (GVWR, GCWR, front & rear GAWRs)...keeping in mind that these ratings are for a basic truck with no options, no gear, no passengers, a partial tank of fuel, and only one 150# driver.

 

Here's a fifth wheel weight calculator you can use to help you select the right fifth wheel:

 

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-fw.shtml

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It's a Ford. I believe the GCWR is 23,500#. I need to weigh it, but I expect it to be around 6500#.

 

That's a very good idea to get your truck weighed before purchasing the fifth wheel.

 

Load it up like it would be for a trip with a full tank of fuel and all the people/pets/gear that will normally be carried in the truck. If you don't yet have a fifth wheel hitch, add 300# to whatever weight you get for your truck (I don't know how much a slider hitch weighs, but this should get you in the ball park).

 

Once you have the loaded weight of the truck, subtract the weight from the truck's GCWR...this will give you the MAXIMUM *loaded* weight of any fifth wheel you should be towing. Then subtract the truck's weight from its GVWR...this will give you the MAXIMUM hitch weight the truck should handle (as mentioned above, consider 20% to 25% of the fiver's GVWR as the loaded hitch weight for this exercise). You, of course, don't want to be towing at your truck's maximum capacity. Most people recommend around 80% of capacity for a comfortable ride (i.e., not white knuckle).

 

Also, use the weight calculator to which I gave the URL, above and compare the results from the math you did after weighing the truck. It will give you a smaller number than the math you did in the above step because it will calculate the safety margin (assuming you put 20% in the box as recommended) which the above exercise does not do.

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Weighed the truck with it loaded very similar to how I believe we would travel. The only thing I'm not sure about is hitch weight. It has a B&W turnover gooseneck hitch, so I'm looking at going with their Companion slider. I'd be interested in pros/cons on them if anybody has an opinion. Adding another 250# for that, I think the truck will be around 8200# with about a 60/40 split frt/rr. I used the calculator, but not having a specific trailer picked out, it's still a moving target. I didn't mention that I'm looking at used NuWa stuff right now. I live about an hour and a half from Chanute, Ks and I like the thought of having service that close. The units that go thru the PDI shop should hopefully be road ready. I may pay a little extra, but being my first purchase, there's some peace of mind in buying from a servicing dealer.

Thanks again folks.

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It has a B&W turnover gooseneck hitch, so I'm looking at going with their Companion slider. I'd be interested in pros/cons on them if anybody has an opinion.

 

We had the *regular* B&W Companion hitch rather than the slider (we had a long-bed truck). We really liked the hitch and if we ever went back to a fifth wheel, we probably buy one again. If their slider hitch is anything like their regular hitch, it would be good. The only thing...is it an automatic slider? I'm not sure I'd want to fool around with one where I had to get out to unlatch the slider each time I wanted to use it and then latch it back up again, but that's just me.

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