Toy Hauler

  • April 27, 2014 9:46 AM PDT
     Well been thinking about getting a toy hauler but still in the question and answer stages of this. This is where I need the experience of the Cycle Fish Family.
    Right now I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT, 1/2 ton, with the 5.7 Hemi, Quad Cab, Long bed (hard cover) class IV hitch and towing package. I really don't want to buy another Truck if posssible. I believe the Gross trailer weight allowable for this model is around 8,000 pounds. I've been told a 5th wheel is the best way to go, and if I go with a hitch hook up do I need to install a sway bar system. How about a transmission cooler?
    Need to know the do's and don'ts of all this. Can you up the Gross weight with a 5th wheel?

    Any and all comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks everyone

    Night Dragon
    • 1855 posts
    April 27, 2014 10:22 AM PDT
    My thoughts are only that I thought the Ram SLT came with the trans cooler. Try this link...
    http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-fw.shtml
  • April 27, 2014 10:25 AM PDT
    A 5th wheel would be the best in living conditions queen bed up, and don't need to move bike in and out to make up a bed in the garage area. A 5th wheel is going to be easier to back up, and manuver (sp?). However, you do lose your bed having the hitch back there. You can pull the plate after use, but the angles are still mounted in the bed. If you do go with a hitch mounted unit, spend the money on a good system and bump up your shocks (maybe with both options!)
    • 1 posts
    April 27, 2014 1:24 PM PDT
    I had a fifth wheel for years, loved it 38 foot cab over. Like they way to towed, the way it moved etc. only tow behind I have is a work trailer. Tows well enough but it is not the weight I had in my 38 foot fifth wheel so to compare the two is sort of like apples and tools. I know not much help but I prefer the way the fifth wheeled handles.Towed the fifth wheel with a one ton. The work trailer with a 3/4 quarters ton. the one ton sucked for MPG. 3/4 ton gets great mileage compared to the one ton. But then again not towing the weight as I use too.
  • April 28, 2014 5:10 AM PDT
    What size toy hauler are you looking at? If your in the market for a smaller one around 20 to 25 feet then I think your truck is fine, but if your looking for a monster size with pushouts etc then no. Your truck can be rigged to haul a bigger trailor with a hitch in the bed but you will still have the 1/2 ton rear end and BRAKES!!. Your motor and tranny are fine for pulling but can you stop the trailer after a long down hill grade. Electric Trailer brakes are standard now but it's nice to know you have the muscle of a 1 ton truck when you need it.
  • April 28, 2014 6:55 AM PDT
    Just want to thank everyone that has responded on this subject. I do have some things to consider and, figure out where we want to go with size.
    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Dragon
  • April 29, 2014 1:55 AM PDT
    Hey, NightDragon, I tow a 5th wheel toy hauler all over the country. It's what my family and I live in so they can be with me on jobs. I would seriously consider the size/weight of the trailer and the country you are going to be hauling it in. Several years ago I had a light Hitchhiker 5th wheel (not a toy hauler), and air bags on a 1/2 ton GMC. It pulled it fine. I decided to upgrade and bought a Denali 5th wheel that the salesman and the literature said was 1/2 ton towable. It was if you were going to haul it to the lake once or twice a year, but to haul it often and in hilly or mountainous terrain would have been risky at best, and extremely hard on the truck. Since I decided I needed a bigger truck , I went ahead and bought a bigger trailer. I now have a 37' Cyclone toy hauler. I like it and I like the way my F-350 pulls it. Keep in mind, that just because your GVWR is a certain amount, and the trailer says it weighs a certain amount, it is hard to judge how much weight you add to it in payload. Put a bike or two in the back, clothes for 4 people, dishes, bedding, tools, food, etc. and you have added a lot of weight.

    All of that being said, if you're looking at something you can take a nap in and haul your bike to campgrounds that have shower/bathroom facilities, you can have a small cargo trailer custom built for your needs. If you're interested let me know and I'll send you a link to a trailer manufacturer I recently discovered that has some awesome prices and you can order a trailer the way you want it.
    • Moderator
    • 19025 posts
    April 30, 2014 2:19 AM PDT
    Kenny, I have ZERO personal experience with toy haulers but living in RV parks for the past three years I have seen a lot of tow setups. By far the most popular has been fifth wheel for toy hauling. Everyone I spoke to about it agrees it is easier on the truck and easier to maneuver. As one responder has already said you will loose the complete use of the truck bed because of the fifth wheel mounting. And I believe you mentioned a truck bed hard cover. That will obviously have to be removed while towing. That truck should be completely tow ready, trans cooler and all. Ya might consider making sure the trans runs synthetic fluid. Do an internet search for 'fifth wheel towing', there is lots of info. Also if you are still in touch with Scott (Extreme) I know he has been doing that for years.
    • 467 posts
    May 1, 2014 6:52 AM PDT
    I just bought a new Palamino 35' toy hauler 5th wheel that we had converted by the dealer to a gooseneck setup. Works great. Our horse trailer and car trailer are both gooseneck so we already had a B&W reversible ball set up in our truck and did not want to loose any bed space with a traditional slide in 5th wheel hitch. While my trailer is the lowest in height and shortest in length for 5th wheel toy haulers, I think it is at the top end of your tow weight. Check out RVTrader.com to look over your options! That site was a great help to me in my search.
    • 81 posts
    May 1, 2014 12:51 PM PDT
    Here's my two cents. I am thinking of doing the same thing. I was looking for a toy hauler that my Chevy Colorado could pull. Found a few but they were just too small. I work out of town and would also be spending months at a time living in it. I took the next step and traded trucks for a 3/4 ton. now my options are greater. My suggestion to you is look at manufacturer web sites. There are some that aren't too small and are 1/2 ton towable. They are bumper pull for the most part and, come with a lot of the same features as a 5th wheel.(queen bed kitchen....) Check out Forest River. They have quite a few different models and makes. Good luck with the search.
    • 844 posts
    May 1, 2014 1:37 PM PDT
    Night Dragon I pull all kinds of trailers around on the job and I can tell you that a 5th wheel is definitely easier to handle with the pivot being right over the rear wheels. As for whether you can haul a bigger or heavier 5th wheel vs rear hitch with the same truck, it depends on whether the motor/tranny will handle it. The suspension can handle more weight using a 5th wheel, but it its no less of a strain on the motor/tranny so you will need to make sure they can handle the weight.

    The 5.7 hemi will have no problem and I believe that is a pretty beefy tranny in the 1500 too. Does it have the switch on the dash to go between normal and tow mode? (I know some of the RAMS do, or did)
  • May 2, 2014 2:17 AM PDT
    GoFur wrote...
    Night Dragon I pull all kinds of trailers around on the job and I can tell you that a 5th wheel is definitely easier to handle with the pivot being right over the rear wheels. As for whether you can haul a bigger or heavier 5th wheel vs rear hitch with the same truck, it depends on whether the motor/tranny will handle it. The suspension can handle more weight using a 5th wheel, but it its no less of a strain on the motor/tranny so you will need to make sure they can handle the weight.

    The 5.7 hemi will have no problem and I believe that is a pretty beefy tranny in the 1500 too. Does it have the switch on the dash to go between normal and tow mode? (I know some of the RAMS do, or did)


    The switch you spoke of is actually in the end of the Transmission Stick with a light on the dash to indicate what mode you are in.

    I really appreciate everyones input on this as it is making it easer to decide what's right for me and my truck.

    Thanks again
    Night Dragon

  • November 18, 2015 12:57 AM PST

    • 1161 posts
    November 19, 2015 12:59 PM PST
     I can't beleave I missed this for over year.  I my self am wanting to do the same thing but I'm looking for a truck and trailer and I want the 5th wheel hitch.  I also want to add something like this under the truck between the trailer and truck.
     http://www.discountramps.com/cargo-carriers/c/5110/ />
    It also depends on what your trucks max towing weight is for un modified 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 SLT 4.7L V8 3,700 lbs.  

    Here is some info I found for you Night Dragon.

    What are the Different Hitch Classes?

     Class I

    1. Class I hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 2000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 200 lbs.
    2. A Class I hitch usually has a 1-1/4" square receiver opening.
    3. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch.
    4. Class I hitches usually attach to the bumper, truck pan or vehicle frame.

     Class II

    1. Class II hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs.
    2. A Class II hitch usually has a 1-1/4" square receiver opening.
    3. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch.
    4. Class II hitches usually attach to the bumper or vehicle frame.

     Class III

    1. Class III hitches are weight carrying (WC) and also are weight distributing (WD) depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
    2. Not all Class III hitches are rated to be both. See the specific hitch for that information.
    3. Class III hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 6000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 600 lbs.
    4. Class III hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs.
    5. A Class III hitch usually has a 2" square receiver opening.
    6. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch. To use this class of hitch for weight distribution requires a weight distribution system.
    7. Class III hitches attach to the vehicle frame only.

     Class IV

    1. Class IV hitches are weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) hitches depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
    2. Not all Class IV hitches are rated to be both. See the specific hitch for that information.
    3. Class IV hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs.
    4. Class IV hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 14,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1400 lbs.
    5. A Class IV hitch usually has a 2" square receiver opening.
    6. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch. To use this class of hitch for weight distribution requires a weight distribution system.
    7. Class IV hitches attach to the vehicle frame only.

     Class V

    1. Class V hitches are weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) hitches depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications.
    2. Class V hitches used as weight carrying are rated up to 12,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1200 lbs.
    3. Class V hitches used for weight distributing are rated up to 17,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1700 lbs.
    4. Your ball mount and hitch ball need to both be rated for Class V to safely tow these weight loads. To use this class of hitch for weight distribution requires a weight distribution system.
    5. A Class V hitch has a 2-1/2" square receiver opening.
    6. Class V hitches attach to the vehicle frame only.