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A 1/2 ton pickup that could tow a 5er.


DogFather

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As I look through Trailer Life's towing guide I notice no 1/2 ton big 3 truck comes w/4.1 or better rear axle. Toyota Tundra comes with a

4.3 rear axle, but still can't tow that much. You really need about 14K lbs or more, to pull a 5er all around the country.

 

Kinda seems to me, the big 3 wants you to spend the extra money on a 3/4 truck, if you want to tow a 5er. Is there a reason

Chevy can't put a 4.1 rear axle in a Silverado? I also wonder why Toyota's 5.7L V8 w/401 ft-lb torque, is only rated to tow about

11,000 lbs? Despite have a 4.3 rear axle.

 

If I could tow a 5er with a Silverado, or similar truck. I could use that for everyday and still tow a 5er, that I would like to have.

Anyone have any answers or suggestions for me?

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Rear axle ratio is probably the least important consideration in towing capacity. GCVW (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight) being the most important; followed by towing capacity, axle weight ratings, etc.

 

There are small fivers (admittedly very few) that can be towed by 1500 trucks.

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Rear axle ratio is probably the least important consideration in towing capacity. GCVW (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight) being the most important; followed by towing capacity, axle weight ratings, etc.

 

There are small fivers (admittedly very few) that can be towed by 1500 trucks.

Perhaps you would like to share who makes 5ers that can be pulled by a 1500 Truck. I would like to consider that, as a possibility. The problem
with small is that cabin fever sets in after about 2 to 3 weeks. This has been the case when RVing alone, with another person and with my dog.
My dog didn't want to go back in the camper after a while either. In the past, I did have a small RV. Any 5er would be bigger than that I would think.
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Axle gearing has pretty much nothing to do with capacity. You can get low 3s in a one ton. But axle sizing, suspension sizing, and tires will be the larger deciding factors.

 

Today's engineers leave much to be desired, but as a rule of thumb, the so called 1/2 ton pu will ride the full rear weight on the axle shaft between the bearing race and the wheel flange. A proper 3/4 ton and above will have the axle shaft do nothing more than apply torque, and the weight of the rear of the vehicle will be supported by the axle housing which extended in the wheel hub and have 2 bearings running in gear lube. As you may already know, commonly called a "floating axle" design.

 

Back in the ol' days, gm had some brilliant engineers on staff that really brought production efficiency to a new high when they uses the very same frame, suspension mounts, and all other components except the rear axle and front axle ends in the 1/2 and 3/4 ton pu. Many 70s and early 80s 4x4 half tons were converted to 3/4 ton for a very small price. The 1 ton dually was only a 2" frame belly and rear axle from the same set up as the 3/4 ton.

 

I think ford now boasts the largest towing capacity? Something like 9,500 lbs?

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The so called "1/2 ton towables" are generally withing a properly equipped trucks range of weights PROVIDED:

-you have a stripped down truck,

-no passengers, other than one small driver.

-no cargo in the truck.

-no options in the trailer like, A/C, awning, television,

-no personal clothing and food in the trailer.

 

Having a 4.1- or 4.30 axle will increase the amount of weight you can tow, but it will not increase the GVWR or rear axle GAWR. A 5er is heavier on the pin and loads the bed of the truck which is GVW and GAW.

 

WHy not just step up and get a 3/4 ton truck and then no worries on the smaller 5ers.

 

Ken

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The maximum towing weight for the current Chevy 1500 is 9500#. The Ford 150 can go as high as 12,000#.

 

Where the 1/2 ton trucks usually run out of capacity first with fifth wheels is with payload resulting in exceeding the GVWR or the RAWR of the truck. The Chevy has a maximum payload of about 1900# and the Ford about 3000#.

 

The listing of half ton towable fifth wheels linked to only lists the "dry weight" of the trailers. This is pretty useless in selecting a trailer for long term use since you will not tow it empty. The GVWR of the trailer should be used in determining the truck required to tow it. The amount of carrying capacity (difference between the GVWR and the dry weight) is important for long term use. Keep in mind that a fifth wheel will put 20-25% of the weight of the trailer on the truck. A 10,000# fifth wheel will require a truck with 2000-2500# of payload capacity.

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Anyone have any answers or suggestions for me?

 

I think you would find a 5er driving the 1/2 ton more than the other way around.

 

When I was still in a S&B I had my 3/4 ton TV, but only used it when needed. For every day use I had a little sedan. It was cheaper to own a second gas friend daily than to drive even a 1/2 on a daily basis. It's also a much safer strategy than trying to tow beyond your trucks capabilities... for you as well as for others on the road.

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We towed a 25' Terry with '97 Dodge 1500 for a number of years with no issues. The Dodge was a loaded extended cab, leather seats and all the options. With the Terry loaded for travel we were within 500 lbs of the GCVW on the Dodge.

 

Capable? Yes. Comfortable? Not really. No comparison with the comfort of towing with the HDT. Not to mention capability and safety margin.

 

Part of the distinction is are you "camping" or "RV'ing?"

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For a 5th wheel even the 3/4 or 1 ton single rear wheel versions can only handle the smallest of 5th wheels, you really need duallies. I pull a 31ft 12,500# TT with my F250, but I'm limited with a 5th wheel. The pin hitch needed in the bed reduces payload and what's left over after you include passengers , fuel and misc stuff is not enough for the 15 to 25 percent of trailer weight on the pin.

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Rear axle ratio is probably the least important consideration in towing capacity. GCVW (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight) being the most important; followed by towing capacity, axle weight ratings, etc.

 

There are small fivers (admittedly very few) that can be towed by 1500 trucks.

 

 

Check the load carrying capacity of any 1500 pickup - *NOT* what the mfgr rates it to TOW..

 

Even the smallest 5th wheel probably will have a 1,000 pound (dry) pin weight.

That will increase as "things" are added to the 5th wheel - water, propane, your "stuff", etc.

To that, you must add the passengers, fuel, and items yhou carry in the pickup.

 

VERY easy to exceed a 1/2 ton pickup's load carrying capacity.

 

Then look at the weight of the potential 5th wheel -vs- the weight of the pickup.

 

Compare the size of brakes on a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, 1T pickup - from *any* mfgr.

When stopping - will the tail (the 5th) wag the dog (the pickup)?

 

A Toyota briefly towed the Space Shuttle from LAX to it's museum location in L.A. - -

but how well could it - *STOP* - the shuttle, from say....65mph?.. :unsure:

 

Other than internet "Gee Whiz" - when did you ever see the VW bug towing the/a 5th wheel?

 

Design for disaster!.. :rolleyes:

 

~

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