View Full Version : Can I tow with a 1/2 ton truck?

08-25-2009, 07:58 AM
We are looking at purchasing a North Trail 24RL or 26RK fifth wheel. The 24RL has an empty weight of 6610 lbs. with GVWR of 11,300 lbs. The 26RK empty weight is 6792 with GVWR of 11,430 lbs. We have a 2009 Toyota Tundra 4 door with standard bed and towing package. It has a 5.7 litre engine and can tow 10,600 lbs. We plan on adding lift bags to the truck. We should never reach the max GVWR weight on either of these models. Is this big enough to tow one of these fifth wheels confortably?

08-25-2009, 09:25 AM
The two North Trail 5th Wheels in question have weight ratings (link to specs (http://heartlandrvs.com/product.html?id=7&name=North+Trail&type=Ultra+Lightweights&section=specifications)), not including options, your stuff, water, propane, battery etc. as follows:

GVWR: 11,176
Dry Weight: 6,299
Hitch Weight: 1,125

GVWR: 11,176
Dry Weight: 6,600
Hitch Weight: 1,150

So from a weight perspective, they are similar.

If you were to option and load to the max GVWR of either units, you;d be about 575 pounds over the truck's tow rating.

You will want to consider several things:

The hitch or pin weight listed will climb as you load your stuff, propane and batteries to the front of the coach. Depending on what the final hitch weight is, will you be under or over the GAWR of the truck. If the GAWR for your truck is not listed, look for the cargo carrying capacity (what you can load in the bed).
Will you be under or over the GCVWR of the truck. This is how much the truck and trailer can weigh and is likely tied to the power and braking capability of the truck.
Can you option and load less than the GVWR of the unit? If you can weigh in under your truck's tow rating of 10,600, it could be viable.

Not trying to scare you off with all these points, just trying to open your eyes to all the things one must consider before making the RV purchase - which is really your goal anyway.

Break out the truck's owners manual, look at the Toyota web site, check out tundrasolutions.com and gather as much info as you can.

Best of luck to you and we hope you become a Heartland owner soon.


08-26-2009, 10:20 AM
You can look at maximum tow ratings all day long, but the max is only rated with an empty truck with only the driver in the truck - no passengers or cargo. Be real concerned with payload. You may find your payload to be in the 1,200 pound range on your truck, but after loading up the typical front storage trailer, adding propane, and adding a battery, your tounge weight may very well double to close to 800-900 pounds. Then, add a few passengers and some gear to your truck, and the 1200 pound payload is well exceeded. Also, most Class IV receivers are only good for 800 pounds, so you have to go with weight distriution to meet a 1200 pound maximum tongue weight. Read your tow section in your owners manual, and look at your tow guide. Don't be scared, just educated.

08-26-2009, 02:24 PM
We are towing our North Trail 24 RL with an 02 GMC 1/2 ton with a 5.3 L motor. Haven't had a problem so far. Would like to have the 6.0, its just not in the budget right now.

08-26-2009, 09:58 PM
My fifth wheel is 26ft 6,600 dry I pull it fine with my 1500 z71. I'm not going out every weekend or driving thousands of miles though. I'm a "in state camper" now so if I did major traveling I would opt for a bigger truck.