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Old 05-14-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
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Fifth Wheel towing with Half Ton

I have a GMC Sierra half ton truck and I'm looking at the Jayco Eagle HT Fifth Wheels. I"m curious if anyone on here has experience towing a fifth wheel with a HT truck and what sort of fuel economy you get....in addition to how it tows, etc.

Thanks.

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Old 05-14-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

And welcome to a topic that's a virtual hornets nest.
There are TONS of posts about towing 5th wheels with 1/2 tons. No doubt your question will unleash an avalanche of replies. But before that happens, please spend a few minutes with the 'search' function and have a look.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:59 PM   #3
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We were going to buy a 28.5rsts to tow behind our Chevy 1/2 ton. Even though the dealer said ďno problemĒ, the hitch weight was right to the max listed for the truck. If I by chance was over weight and got in an accident, insurance may not cover it.

I traded it up for a 2500 and bought the 291rsts. Bigger brakes, better towing transmission, larger fuel capacity and Iím way under my maximum capacities. Iím very happy I didnít go 1/2 ton. Only downside, it costs a lot more money.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:27 PM   #4
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We were going to buy a 28.5rsts to tow behind our Chevy 1/2 ton. Even though the dealer said ďno problemĒ, the hitch weight was right to the max listed for the truck. If I by chance was over weight and got in an accident, insurance may not cover it.

I traded it up for a 2500 and bought the 291rsts. Bigger brakes, better towing transmission, larger fuel capacity and Iím way under my maximum capacities. Iím very happy I didnít go 1/2 ton. Only downside, it costs a lot more money.
Not necessarily if you go with a gas motor 3/4T truck. They're really not all that much more money than their 1/2T brethren.

As far as towing a fifth wheel with a 1/2T, as OP asked, There are 1/2T trucks out there that can do it. And even some that can do it fairly well. At the end of the day, you need to look at the weights (the real weights) and determine if your equipment has the capacity to handle those weights. Then determine how close you are to those capacities and whether you are comfortable being there. I can tell you in my own experience, I was not comfortable on the margin. And yes, it was a little expensive to get out of my 1/2 and step into a 3/4T, but it was worth it for me to do that.

Technically, the numbers may work, but I'm an 80% guy: I don't like to push anything beyond 80% of its rated capacity.

Oh, and NEVER listen to a dealer about what you can/can't tow. They have no liability for what happens to you or your equipment after you leave their lot, so many of them will tell you whatever it takes to make the sale. In my experience, there are few salespeople who will take the time to actually look at your vehicle and run the numbers; that's totally on the buyer to do.

Out of curiosity, what year is your Chevy?

Mine was a 2012 GMC Sierra 1500, crew cab, 2WD, and my payload was somewhere around 1500 lbs IIRC? But modern trucks generally have much higher payload ratings. Some of them even approach what would have been 3/4T territory even only a few years ago.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:05 PM   #5
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Use the search feature, this is discussed all the time. FWIW I wouldnt do it. You will be over weight 99% of the time which is unsafe and may have other consequences if you get into a accident.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:24 PM   #6
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As stated above I wonít beat a dead horse, as for your fuel economy you better know where all the gas stations are, if you got 8 Iíd be impressed.

I just got back from a pull to Alabama and my buddy was right behind me with a 28í bumper pull 1/2 ton, we would stop for gas and Iíd get 50 bucks of diesel and heíd get 75 of gas.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:30 PM   #7
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I ended up getting a 2017 Chevy 2500 Duramax. Very happy. The Allison transmission in towing mode handles my steep passes in the Rockies and I hardly touch my brakes.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:37 PM   #8
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I have a 2015 crew cab 4x4 GMC Sierra 1500. I currently have a Jayco 23b Jay Feather and get like 8 MPG.


QUOTE=Camper_bob;754858]Not necessarily if you go with a gas motor 3/4T truck. They're really not all that much more money than their 1/2T brethren.

As far as towing a fifth wheel with a 1/2T, as OP asked, There are 1/2T trucks out there that can do it. And even some that can do it fairly well. At the end of the day, you need to look at the weights (the real weights) and determine if your equipment has the capacity to handle those weights. Then determine how close you are to those capacities and whether you are comfortable being there. I can tell you in my own experience, I was not comfortable on the margin. And yes, it was a little expensive to get out of my 1/2 and step into a 3/4T, but it was worth it for me to do that.

Technically, the numbers may work, but I'm an 80% guy: I don't like to push anything beyond 80% of its rated capacity.

Oh, and NEVER listen to a dealer about what you can/can't tow. They have no liability for what happens to you or your equipment after you leave their lot, so many of them will tell you whatever it takes to make the sale. In my experience, there are few salespeople who will take the time to actually look at your vehicle and run the numbers; that's totally on the buyer to do.

Out of curiosity, what year is your Chevy?

Mine was a 2012 GMC Sierra 1500, crew cab, 2WD, and my payload was somewhere around 1500 lbs IIRC? But modern trucks generally have much higher payload ratings. Some of them even approach what would have been 3/4T territory even only a few years ago.[/QUOTE]
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:23 PM   #9
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Can a 1/2 ton truck tow a 5th wheel? It depends on what 1/2 ton truck you're talking about and what 5th wheel. My guess is the limiting factor is going to be payload. Can the truck payload accommodate the pin weight, passengers and gear you will carry in the truck and give you a little margin for error? In a lot of scenarios you'll exceed the maximum payload before you reach the maximum tow rating of the truck.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:53 PM   #10
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I meant a couple last week that have a Chevy 1/2 that two a H/T 5th wheel, I think it was the 26.5 rsts.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bradfitz76 View Post
I have a 2015 crew cab 4x4 GMC Sierra 1500. I currently have a Jayco 23b Jay Feather and get like 8 MPG.
Does it happen to say in the Owner's Manual that the 1500s are not designed to tow a 5th wheel?
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradfitz76 View Post
I have a 2015 crew cab 4x4 GMC Sierra 1500. I currently have a Jayco 23b Jay Feather and get like 8 MPG.


QUOTE=Camper_bob;754858]Not necessarily if you go with a gas motor 3/4T truck. They're really not all that much more money than their 1/2T brethren.

As far as towing a fifth wheel with a 1/2T, as OP asked, There are 1/2T trucks out there that can do it. And even some that can do it fairly well. At the end of the day, you need to look at the weights (the real weights) and determine if your equipment has the capacity to handle those weights. Then determine how close you are to those capacities and whether you are comfortable being there. I can tell you in my own experience, I was not comfortable on the margin. And yes, it was a little expensive to get out of my 1/2 and step into a 3/4T, but it was worth it for me to do that.

Technically, the numbers may work, but I'm an 80% guy: I don't like to push anything beyond 80% of its rated capacity.

Oh, and NEVER listen to a dealer about what you can/can't tow. They have no liability for what happens to you or your equipment after you leave their lot, so many of them will tell you whatever it takes to make the sale. In my experience, there are few salespeople who will take the time to actually look at your vehicle and run the numbers; that's totally on the buyer to do.

Out of curiosity, what year is your Chevy?

Mine was a 2012 GMC Sierra 1500, crew cab, 2WD, and my payload was somewhere around 1500 lbs IIRC? But modern trucks generally have much higher payload ratings. Some of them even approach what would have been 3/4T territory even only a few years ago.
[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't do it with that truck, but again, you'll want run the numbers and see where you come out.

Fuel economy is what it is; just one of the costs to play the game. But I'm betting your tank is pretty small in that truck, so you probably have to make a lot of fuel stops as it is. I know I did. You hook a fiver up, and lose even more fuel economy, and you have to stop even more...
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:05 PM   #13
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Had a 2017 F150 Eco pulling a 28' Rockwood 5er. Once you got to 65 on the Highway and those twin turbos kicked in I was getting 7-8mpg. Not to mentioned be pushed all over the road (some of it felt very unsafe) so we got rid of that set up after 5 months and went with a bigger TV and bigger 5er.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:33 PM   #14
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Had a 2017 F150 Eco pulling a 28' Rockwood 5er. Once you got to 65 on the Highway and those twin turbos kicked in I was getting 7-8mpg. Not to mentioned be pushed all over the road (some of it felt very unsafe) so we got rid of that set up after 5 months and went with a bigger TV and bigger 5er.
It's a story AT LEAST as old as this forum. I went through it, and I've read others go through it more times than I can even count.

Like I said before though, run the numbers. But remember that the numbers don't always tell the whole story, especially if you're "close" to the maximum ratings.

There are some Ford 1/2T out there that if optioned correctly have enough capacity to do it and do it well. I personally don't think you'll be happy towing a fiver with the truck you have though. And if you're going to get a new truck to tow a fiver anyway, you may as well go bigger.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:50 PM   #15
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On a related note, a buddy of mine is in the process of buying a Grand Design fifth wheel at Lazy Days in Florida. As they are completing the deal, the salesman calls and asks for a photo of the weight capacity sticker in my friend’s F250 diesel. Apparently the tongue weight is like 100 pounds over the capacity of the truck.

They would NOT let him pull the fifth wheel off the lot. The solution is they have a guy who will tow the trailer to his home for something like $3 a mile. I guess Lazy Days is trying to be legally responsible, but at least they have a way around that. Lol
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S View Post
On a related note, a buddy of mine is in the process of buying a Grand Design fifth wheel at Lazy Days in Florida. As they are completing the deal, the salesman calls and asks for a photo of the weight capacity sticker in my friendís F250 diesel. Apparently the tongue weight is like 100 pounds over the capacity of the truck.

They would NOT let him pull the fifth wheel off the lot. The solution is they have a guy who will tow the trailer to his home for something like $3 a mile. I guess Lazy Days is trying to be legally responsible, but at least they have a way around that. Lol
Very smart on their part
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:13 PM   #17
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I glad to see that at least one dealer is being responsible for legal towing. Iím guessing they know that if itís overweight and they get into an accident before the grace period is up, the buyers insurance most likely wonít cover the damage and the sellers insurance might still be responsible.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:35 AM   #18
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On a related note, a buddy of mine is in the process of buying a Grand Design fifth wheel at Lazy Days in Florida. As they are completing the deal, the salesman calls and asks for a photo of the weight capacity sticker in my friendís F250 diesel. Apparently the tongue weight is like 100 pounds over the capacity of the truck.

They would NOT let him pull the fifth wheel off the lot. The solution is they have a guy who will tow the trailer to his home for something like $3 a mile. I guess Lazy Days is trying to be legally responsible, but at least they have a way around that. Lol
Are you saying the dry pin weight was over the cargo capacity of the empty truck?
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:50 AM   #19
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Are you saying the dry pin weight was over the cargo capacity of the empty truck?
Yes, by about 100 pounds
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:46 PM   #20
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Hi Brad. We have a Ram 1500 and tow a 2017 Ht 29.5 BHDS. To quote a friend that recently drove with me o. A trip "man, you don't even know it's back there,do ya?"
We have a short bed si we got the Sidewinder hitch and I have Air Lift airbags that I run at 45lbs when pulling.
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