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Old 08-09-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
New Camper
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: MD
Posts: 9
newbie choosing a tow vehicle- a matter of size?

We're about to purchase a truck to haul the fifth wheel we hope to buy. In both cases we are looking at used vehicles. We are newbies and want to keep it simple. What is the best sized bed to use a standard fifth wheel hitch? Will 6' do it or do we need 8'? We are looking at 30 ft rvs and hoping to haul into mountainous areas. What kind of suspension and engine size should we seek to keep it easy and safe? I think that we are sold on diesels, but do we need a dually? Any tips on vehicle make, engine type and model? Thanks in advance for your input
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 844
Short response. You don't need a dually for that size of trailer unless it's extraordinarily heavy. 1 ton SRW diesel (350, 3500) best for pin weight capacity and future if you go bigger. If you don't plan on getting a slider hitch, best to go with 8 foot box although I have found I never need to put slider into the maneuver mode because of the new profiles of the trailers. But I also have a 6'9" box and not a 6'6" box which is standard on models other than Ford. All 1 ton diesels on the market in the last 10 to 15 years have sufficient engine size and suspension capacity to tow the size of fifth wheel you are looking for.

May have time for a more detailed response later. But this is a start.
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2011 Ford F350 Lariat FX4 CC 6.7L Turbo Diesel (Heavily Modified)
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 80
Not an easy answer as your search is very broad. I'll try to give you some good pointers....

-Engine type is personal preference. If you do well over 15K per year, diesel is a good option. You can get either in a 2500. 1 ton's are almost all diesel. As stated, you do not need a dually at this time. If you plan to upgrade in the future, consider it an option.

- Most suspension systems in the rear are leaf spring type unless you look at 14'+ Rams. These have a coil over 5-link rear suspension, ride & tow like a dream. Leaf springs are fine, but do ride rougher and are prone to having broken leaf springs.

- Regardless of what you choose, inspect the under carriage carefully. Are any components in need of replacing? How are the shocks? Is the bed and frame in acceptable condition to receive and aftermarket hitch? How is the electrical system?

- Short bed vs. long bed is again personal preference. There are hitch systems for both.

- Try to get something that has an integrated exhaust brake. Not a mandatory item but is well worth having to help in downhill speed control. You'll also need a brake controller.

I am biased towards Ram and a firm believer in diesel power. But that's my preference. At a minimum you need a 2500 that will not leave you stranded.
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