The weight of the fifth wheel
is always located on a plate attached to the fifth
wheel as well as in the information packet. One
of the most important weights that you need is
the Dry Hitch Weight or the pin weight. This is
the weight that will be carried in the bed of
the truck on the fifth wheel hitch receiver. Not
all Fifth Wheels have this weight located on the
plate attached to the fifth wheel. If this is
the case then you can try and estimate the weight
by finding a comparative Fifth Wheel (length wise)
and check to see if there is a slideout toward
the front of the unit and factor that in with
the comparative unit. The only other way to get
a pin weight is to have it weighed.
Every truck has the maximum towing capacity in
the specs for the vehicle. Keep in mind that shortbed
trucks are fitted differently to long beds as
the turning radius over the bed for the fifth
wheel is limited in a short bed. There are also
certain lengths of shortbed trucks that cannot
pull a fifth wheel due to the bed being to short.
Once you have a pin weight you can find out if
the rear axle will carry the weight. The next
weight is the actual weight of the whole fifth
wheel. This weight is really governed by the ability
of the trucks engine and transmission to pull
that weight safely. An underpowered truck is going
to behave very badly on hills and on being able
to get up to speed when merging onto interstates
or passing other vehicles. This can make driving
an underpowered truck and fifth wheel stressful
especially in mountainous areas. If you have or
are going to purchase a diesel truck you can visit
who offers upgrades that greatly
improve the performance of the fitted truck.
Unless you already own a truck it is better to
choose the fifth wheel and then the truck to pull
it. Since you will be living in the fifth wheel,
you need to ensure that it meets your needs space
wise. One of the benefits of a fifth wheel over
a travel trailer (a trailer pulled by the ball
on the bumper of the vehicle) is that the fifth
wheel is located over the rear axle of the truck,
which makes for a much more stable towing experience.
There is almost no sway when towing a fifth wheel
and no need for any type of sway controls. Because
the hitch is located over the axle, the vehicle
has the ability to tow a much larger trailer,
which means more space in the fifth wheel, more
storage and more capacity for multiple slides.
Below is a link to a tow guide that lists 2014
trucks and their fifth wheel and conventional
trailer towing capacities.
- The tow ratings start
on page 18.
The video below shows the SuperGlide shortbed
solution, which eliminates the need to reposition
the hitch for sharp turns.