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What Truck Will Tow a 15,500 lb. 5th Wheel Trailer?

by Lisa Harris
(Tallahassee, FL, )

Can I tow a 15,500 lb. 5th wheel with a Ford 350 diesel or do I need to get a F450? Are there any other truck choices or is Ford the only one to tow with?

I went to a Ford dealership and one salesman said I could tow with a F350 that could pull a max of 15,200 lbs. and another salesman said I'd need to buy a F450 because my 5th wheel is 300 lbs. over the weight limit of the F350.

I'll be driving from Florida to Alaska and want to be able to go up and down hills. My hitch on the truck is 16K. I sure hope this is OK.

ANSWER: Greetings Lisa thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I am going to assume that the 5th Wheel weight of 15,500 lbs is the weight of the trailer fully loaded, not just the empty weight of the 5th wheel. If this is the case your 16,000 lb. rated 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch should be fine.

Now to your questions on tow vehicles. All of the information I am about to give you is based on the manufacturers towing capacities for the current model year.

Based on Ford's ratings a properly equipped Ford F-350 has a maximum towing capacity of 15,000 lbs. A properly equipped Ford F-450 has a maximum towing capacity of 16,000 lbs. So based on your trailer weight a Ford F-350 will not do the job.

Here are some other trucks that you can consider for towing your 5th Wheel. A properly equipped Dodge Ram 3500 pickup can tow up to 17,000 lbs. A Properly equipped GMC 3500HD pickup can tow a maximum weight of 16,500 lbs.

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Even if you get one of the trucks mentioned above do not get your hopes up that you will be able to speed up or down hills. You are going to pulling quite a load and depending how much weight you put in the truck, you could be spending some time in the slow lane when climbing steeper hills.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

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Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for What Truck Will Tow a 15,500 lb. 5th Wheel Trailer?

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help me
by: Anonymous

i have 99 fifth wheel toy hauler that's 13,300lb dry i put my motorcycle in it and plus my gear i don't think i max out over 15.000 im just trying to find a older truck that will get me on the road and that have no problem pulling big hills i would like to stay with a 3/4 ton 4 door long bed from 1999 to 2004 is there such a truck out there.

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WOW
by: Anonymous

I must be killing my truck then. ok, here goes.
Keystone Alpine 3500RE weighing in at 15800lb last time I had it on the scale. Last trip was from Myrtle Beach SC to Evansville IN. My Wonderful and flawless 1999 Ford F350 with 7.4 and a 6 speed man tranny. I was passing cars going up mount Eagle because they were on MY WAY. I don't know what that say for a truck but she doesn't even feel a thing with my 5th wheel on board. So, If you were to ask me, Yes, I would go to Alaska in my rig tomorrow.

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Ford 6.4 diesel
by: Anonymous

Stay away from any Ford that has the 6.4 diesel engine in it. They're more trouble than they're worth.

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Question on 2008 ford f-350 duely
by: Anonymous

I want to buy a 2008 Ford F-350 6.4L duely with 84000 miles, but I am concerned if anybody has any had issues with that year and/or engine? I need to tow a 18000 fifth wheel with the truck. Thank you

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Tow Capacity
by: Bob

I own a 2012 Raptor Velocity with a dry weight of 14,400. When I carry my toy in the back it will be 15,750 plus. I use a 2011 Dodge 3500 single axle to pull it. It goes down to about 50 on steep hills. I put air bags on to handle some slouch and now it sits perfectly straight I hear a lot of conflicting reports about towing capacity. As long as the truck holds together I am happy.

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Bad information on weight capacity
by: r tenny

The figures you gave to the person inquiring about a Ford F350 or 450 to tow his 5th wheel are wrong. Your numbers covered the reciever hitch limits on both trucks. Not the fifth wheel limits.
To know the 5th wheel towing capacity you need to know the Gross Combined Vehicle Wieght Rating. The GCVWR.
These ratings on one ton pickups are usually in the mid to high 20000 pound range. They are derived by adding the curb weight of the towing truck and the wieght of the 5th wheel.
There are charts available on line for each manufacturers vehicles.

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truck for pulling 5th wheel rv
by: Anonymous

hello, i own a 2007 37 ft 4 slide 5th wheel . i just recently pulled her on cat scales at a truck stop and my trailer weighed out at approx.14,800lbs. my truck weighed at 11,640lbs. the truck is a 2004 dodge ram 3500 4x4 with 5.9 ltr cummins turbo diesel, automatic. aftermarket intake manifold ,edge ez controller. i work on the road all year and have pulled this trailer approx. 2500 miles and this truck has no problem pulling and handling the load .of course i also have electric brake controller on truck for breaking rv. it will pull 65++ mph. i believe if your truck in question is in good mechanical condition ,proper tune,suspension,brakes,ect.you should have no problem pulling your trailer.also the trailerweight does not put my truck on overloads, have approx 3/4 inch b 4 on them . i hope i have been helpful in your decision.

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Opinions From Everything About RVing Facebook Fan Page
by: Anonymous

Note From RVing Al: Below are some comments about this topic that were left on the Everything About RVing Facebook Fan Page.

Susan Baron said: Dodge 3500 is the way to go. We have 2009 Raptor Velocity, about 12000 empty, about 14000 to 15000 when filled. The neat thing about the new dodge 3500, is going down hills. with the gadget on it, it will actually seem like its walking down the hill. We have truly enjoyed traveling in ours.

Skip Rinker said: GMC 3500 dually Diesel only way to go.....


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Tow Vehicle
by: Anonymous

Based on the current Trailer Life Towing Guide, there are many variables that affect the towing capacity of any model truck. Such variables are automatic or standard transmission, gear ratio ,style of truck (standard cab, ext cab crew cab), single or dual rear well drive and 2 or 4 well drive.

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