This question and answer was originally posted at Forum@FTRV.com
I’m looking to buy a 27 ft. fifthwheel that has a GVWR of only 5171 lbs. Can I get away with a 1/2 ton truck w/gas engine? Thanks for any information you can supply.
The answer to your question is yes, or no, and it depends.
Looking at the 2009 towing guide for Chevorlet Silverado 1500’s, just for an example, depending how a truck is equipped, the max tow rating can be 4,800 lbs up to 9,000 lbs.
Much depends on what engine, transmission and differential gear ratio is built into the truck, and also whether the the truck is equipped with a tow package.
Never rely on or accept a salesmen’s word for whether or not a particular truck on the lot is capable of towing your trailer. Only rely on what is printed in the manufacture’s brochures and other information.
Every dealer should have a brochure that provides tow ratings for all it’s current truck models and what is required equipment. And that’s the only thing you should rely on.
If you’re considering a specific truck, you need to look at the specification plate (decal) on the driver-side door pillar. It will tell you the GVRW and tow rating as well as tire pressures and paint numbers, etc. for that truck.
The dealer may be able to use the VIN to look up the specifications and equipment package for the truck as well.
Information on tow ratings for older trucks may be available from the dealer or manufacturer and can often be found online.
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