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Author Topic: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton  (Read 1381 times)

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Offline ozarkgem

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pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« on: March 18, 2017, 09:16:50 pm »
I was thinking of getting a Dodge(don't start a brand debate) 1500 4x4 with a hemi and using it to pull a small 5th wheel camper with. What kind of gas mileage should I expect. One of the Dodge's with the 8 speed auto tranny. Anyone have any experience with this setup. I am selling out and will no longer need a 3/4 ton.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline Magicman

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 09:48:10 pm »
How small is "small"?  What is the total weight and tongue weight?  Does it have operational electric brakes?

Your gas mileage will probably be less than 10 no matter what it is due to wind resistance and weight.
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Online coxy

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 05:31:44 am »
i use to pull a 24ft one with a 06 gmc1/2 some times i thought i was going to have to put it in low range going up hill it was gutless i moved a 40fter about 15miles down the road with it  one time never again good thing there was no up hill one little down hill grade and thought i was going to die the truck just wasn't heavy enough

Offline breederman

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 06:23:13 am »
You will have to do the math. May be over rear axel weight ?
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 07:23:08 am »
There are plenty of 5th wheels light enough for 1/2 tons. Thinking 24-26 ft. MM it will have to have brakes. Won't buy one without them. I know the wind resistance will be the killer. Didn't know if I was looking at 5 mpg or maybe 10.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline red

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 08:39:58 am »
It's all about gears. If you need to climb hills then you need something like 3:73 rear axle. If you are mostly highway then look for overdrive. A factory tow package is a good start. But for big brakes and heavier tie rods a 3/4 ton is recommended.
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Offline gspren

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 08:52:30 am »
   I've towed 5th wheel & conventional campers coast to coast and the few 1/2 ton trucks I've seen towing 5th wheels were over loaded. If your just towing local with no mountains you can get away with some over loading but when going down a twisty mountain road at speed you need a stiffer suspension for safety.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 08:57:23 am »
Jim, we bought the 219 from LINK which has a pin weight of 500 lbs and a total weight of 4,000.  The 199 is slightly smaller with a pin weight of 500 lbs and a total weight of 3,400 lbs.  Allen Camper Mfg.

That is what we were in at Larry's place last year.  A ton pickup would handle either and the fuel mileage would probably be somewhere ~8 mpg.  Gary added some valuable information above.

(If you are looking "new", PM me for additional information about Allen Mfg.)
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 12:01:47 pm »
With a fifth wheel you need to be concerned with pin weight. Figure on 20% of the GVW, empty weight is meaningless for your purposes. Now add 200 lb for the hitch, throw in the family, dog, propane grill and all the other necessities. You will reach the payload capacity of any 1500 in a hurry. Our 25' no frills Fleetwood gross rating is 5600 lb which is right on the edge of 1500 territory, we pull it with a 2500 ctd which is overkill but we like it that way.
We made the mistake of trying to pull our first one with an under sized truck. The specs indicated we were within limits but it was not a pleasant experience. Got passed by a fat kid on a bicycle climbing Coquihalla Pass and the trip down was a white knuckle ride.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 12:51:06 pm »
A buddy of mine has a new dodge 4x4 with a 5.7 in it, he also has a small 6x10 box trailer he tower to Florida his average mpg was 9. He used to have a 2500 with the same motor and it would get 12 mpg towing or not.
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 05:27:13 pm »
I know a 3/4 ton would be better. If I was going to do a lot of pulling I would get an F550 or a small Freightliner. Just wanted to make a couple of trips without having to buy a 3/4 ton come back and lose money selling it and then by the 1/2 ton. I will have no need for a 3/4 once I am sold out.
   Interesting take on some of your experiences. Maybe a class c motor home.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 06:11:05 pm »
If only for a couple trips why not rent an RV ???
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Offline Magicman

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 07:13:39 pm »
Maybe a class c motor home. 
Been there and there is nothing wrong with that decision, but it is another vehicle to maintain.  Last year I gave our '90 Coachmen E350 with less than 90k miles to my Grandson.  He had plans but his oil patch job played out so now it sits.  :-\
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Offline celliott

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 08:12:25 pm »
I know Ford sells an F150 with a heavy duty high GVWR package. It's different than other models, more than just a tow package. Higher axle ratio, heavier brakes, 7 lug wheels with LT tires, etc. Maybe Dodge sells a similar "heavy 1\2 ton" package.

I would not expect anything more than 10-12 mpg. I pulled a big bumper pull camper with my F150, ecoboost engine, and it had plenty of power on the interstate but man did it suck the fuel. 11mpg, unloaded I can get reasonable mileage with that truck.
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 07:06:22 am »
Maybe a class c motor home. 
Been there and there is nothing wrong with that decision, but it is another vehicle to maintain.  Last year I gave our '90 Coachmen E350 with less than 90k miles to my Grandson.  He had plans but his oil patch job played out so now it sits.  :-\
I had several motor homes and liked the class c the best . easy to get around in. Even
had a 40' bus conversion.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline ozarkgem

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 07:13:08 am »
If only for a couple trips why not rent an RV ???
$5850.00  for rent  3240.00 for mileage . I'll pass.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline red

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 07:44:18 am »
Maybe rent a HD pickup truck ?
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline Woodhauler

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 07:50:40 am »
Maybe rent a HD pickup truck ?
Maybe they wouldn't like you mounting 5th wheel hook up in rented truck ??? ???
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Offline Corley5

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 08:20:05 am »
Having the appropriate equipment makes the experience much more enjoyable.
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Offline Woodhauler

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Re: pulling a fith wheel camper with a 1/2 ton
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 08:34:13 am »
I have towed my 28 ft 5th wheel camper with a 1/2 ton since 2011. It has a tow package. All I added was airbags on rear of pickup. Plenty of power and handled good. Got 10mpg on average.
2013 westernstar tri-axle with 2015 rotobec elite 80 loader!Sold 2000 westernstar tractor with stairs air ride trailer and a 1985 huskybrute 175 T/L loader!