What Size 5th Wheel For What Size Truck

By Nicholas Bourgeois

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Choosing the right size fifth wheel for your truck can seem impossible – but with the proper guidance, it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, understanding weight ratings and recommended truck sizes is critical to successfully navigating the world of fifth-wheel tow trucks.

But more than just weight ratings are involved in finding the right match between your 5th wheel and truck!

This writing will discuss all the factors you need to consider when searching for what size 5th wheel for what size truck, from basic knowledge of weights and sizes to beyond-the-basics advice on other essential components like hitch types, brakes, safety features, and more.

With our help, you’ll be able to hit the road confidently, knowing that you’ve chosen your perfect 5th-wheel tow vehicle!

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right size fifth wheel for your truck is essential to ensure safety and stability while towing.
  • Understanding weight ratings such as GVWR, GAWR, and Payload Capacity is crucial in determining the appropriate truck size for towing a 5th wheel.
  • Half-ton pickups can tow up to 7,000 pounds, three-quarter-ton pickups up to 10,000 pounds, and one-ton pickups can tow 20,000 pounds or more.
  • Factors to consider when selecting a truck include engine size, transmission type, brakes, suspension, and auxiliary components.

Understanding 5th wheel weight ratings

When selecting a truck for towing a 5th wheel, it is necessary to understand the associated weight ratings. It includes Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR), and Payload Capacity.

  • GVWR is the maximum total weight of the vehicle, including cargo, occupants, fuel, and any other items that may add to its overall weight.
  • GAWR is the maximum allowable axle loading capacity for each axle on the vehicle.
  • Payload Capacity is the weight that can be safely carried in or on a vehicle without exceeding its rating limits.

These ratings can use to determine the size 5th wheel that a truck can tow. For example, if a vehicle has a GVWR of 10,000 lbs and a payload capacity of 2000 lbs, it should be able to safely tow up to 8000 lbs when properly equipped with trailer brakes.

It is essential to consider all these ratings when choosing an appropriate truck for towing the 5th wheel. Exceeding any one or more of these ratings will cause instability while driving and potentially put lives at risk.

Recommended what size 5th wheel for what size truck

Half-ton pickups are suitable for trailers weighing up to around 7,000 pounds.
Half-ton pickups are suitable for trailers weighing up to around 7,000 pounds – source by Big Truck Big RV

The recommended capacity of a pickup truck for towing a fifth-wheel trailer depends on the trailer’s weight.

Half-ton pickups are suitable for trailers weighing up to around 7,000 pounds.

Three-quarter-ton pickups can tow 5th wheels up to 10,000 pounds.

For heavier 5th wheels, one-ton pickups are best suited as they have the power to pull 5th wheels that weigh up to 20,000 pounds or more.

Therefore it is essential to consider the weight of the 5th wheel before selecting an appropriate-sized pickup truck.

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Beyond the Basics: Other Key Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing Your 5th Wheel Towing Truck!

Consider adding suspension systems
Consider adding suspension systems

Choosing a suitable truck for towing a 5th-wheel trailer is not simply about capacity but also involves considering other essential characteristics. The vehicle’s engine size should be ideal for the trailer’s total weight and additional cargo. It’s necessary to consider transmission types as some may provide better fuel efficiency than others. Brakes, suspension, and auxiliary components are all essential aspects that should consider for safety reasons. Moreover, looking for comfort features such as adjustable seats, air conditioning, and ample legroom when driving long distances is advisable.

To ensure a comfortable and safe ride:

  1. Choose an engine with sufficient power to tow your 5th-wheel trailer safely;
  2. Invest in the correct type of transmission;
  3. Ensure brakes are suitable for heavy loads;
  4. Consider adding suspension systems or auxiliary components depending on the terrain you plan on traveling over regularly.

Read more: how to measure wheel base on a truck

Hit the Road with Confidence: Our Top Trucks Recommendations for Towing 5th Wheels

When properly equipped, the Ford F-350 Super Duty can tow up to 20,000 pounds - source by CTech-review
When properly equipped, the Ford F-350 Super Duty can tow up to 20,000 pounds – source by CTech-review

Our top truck recommendations provide an excellent starting point for those looking for a reliable towing vehicle that can confidently handle a 5th-wheel trailer.

When properly equipped, the Ford F-350 Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, Ram 3500, GMC Sierra 3500HD, and Nissan Titan XD can tow up to 20,000 pounds.

These trucks have plenty of power and torque for the job and stability features such as anti-sway control.

They also have advanced braking systems and optional airbag suspension systems for added safety while on the road.

Each model has benefits and drawbacks depending on your specific needs, but all are suitable for heavy 5th-wheel towing and offer great value.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a 5th wheel?

The cost of a 5th wheel is dependent on many factors such as make, model, condition, and features. The price range can vary significantly from one 5th wheel to another, depending on the quality and features desired. It is essential to research various models to determine which best meets your budget and desired features.

What is the best way to maintain a 5th wheel?

The best approach for maintaining a 5th wheel is to regularly inspect the trailer for any visible signs of damage, including rust or corrosion. Regularly lubricating moving parts and checking all connections will help ensure proper operation and safety.

How long can a 5th wheel last?

The longevity of a fifth wheel largely depends on the quality and frequency of maintenance. Regular inspections, cleaning, and appropriate repairs can significantly prolong a fifth wheel’s life. Proper usage and care are also essential for ensuring its longevity.

How much space does a 5th wheel typically have?

The space available in a 5th wheel may vary depending on the size and type. However, these spaces are typically quite spacious. Many models offer ample room for relaxing, cooking, and even sleeping. Additionally, larger 5th wheels can be outfitted with amenities like bathrooms or outdoor kitchens to maximize their useable floor space.

What safety features should I look for in a 5th wheel?

When considering a 5th wheel, looking for safety features such as breakaway systems, hitch locks, and anti-sway technology is essential. Additionally, ensure that the windows are shatterproof and all doors have secure locking mechanisms. Finally, consider the construction material for increased durability and longevity.


Safety and performance should always be the top priority when choosing a truck to tow a 5th wheel. The right vehicle and trailer combination, from weight ratings to road conditions, is essential for a successful adventure.

To successfully navigate any journey, it is essential to consider all factors that go into picking the perfect truck-trailer combo. Assembling this pairing can be compared to putting together a jigsaw puzzle; each piece must fit the whole picture correctly.

With the proper research and preparation, you can have peace of mind knowing what size 5th wheel for what size truck. Your 5th wheel will be safely towed wherever your wanderlust takes you!

Nicholas Bourgeois is a lifelong pickup truck enthusiast with a passion for sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. From a young age, Nicholas has been fascinated by the versatility and reliability of pickup trucks, and has made it his mission to learn everything there is to know about these amazing vehicles. Through his pickup truck blog, Nicholas shares his insights and tips with fellow enthusiasts, offering advice on everything from maintenance and modifications to buying and selling pickup trucks. With a focus on providing accurate and up-to-date information, Nicholas is committed to helping others discover the joys of pickup truck ownership. Whether you're a seasoned pickup truck fan or just starting out, Nicholas welcomes you to his community, and invites you to join him on his journey of discovery and exploration of these amazing vehicles.

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