View Full Version : Elkridge 34TSRE and towing

12-18-2016, 08:01 PM
My first thread was about the Elkridge 34TSRE 2014. Thanks for all who contributed to that. We looked at one and my girlfriend will not settle for anything else. It really is nice. We are going to wait to find the exact one but we are looking for a truck.,

This unit weighs 11,400 empty with a hitch weight of maybe 2400. Depending on who we ask, a 2500HD might be good enough but we want a gas truck.

Will say a chevy 2500HD with the 6 liter vortex handle this? Or is a diesel necessary?

12-18-2016, 08:36 PM
You'll want to make your decisions based on GVWR, not the empty weight. After loading with gear, most RVs are closer to their GVWR than to their empty weight. For pin weight, unless you have an actual measurement, you should plan on 20% of GVWR.

The GVWR is around 14,400 and you should expect a pin weight around 2,900 lbs.

In shopping trucks you'll want to consider the 5th wheel towing capacity for the truck as configured, not the "up to" rating in ads. You also need to check the payload capacity of the truck to make sure it will support the expected pin weight along with weight of the hitch, bed liner, bed cover, toolbox, tools, firewood, pets and passengers.

It would be a rare 250/2500 that has a payload in the high 3000s, which is what you should be looking at. You'll probably need a 350/3500.

To pull a 14,400 lb trailer, a gas engine will probably be struggling on hills. Gas engines develop max horsepower at high RPMs, so your engine will be screaming at you on every hill and gas mileage will likely be very poor.

12-18-2016, 10:26 PM
My stepfather pulls a 37 foot fifth wheel with a 2012 Chevy 2500HD with the gas engine and 3.73 gears.

I asked him how much it weighs. He didn't know. That truck with those gears is only rated to tow 9500lbs, it goes up to 13,000lbs with the 4.10 rear end. I guess he doesn't care cause the 2500HD's will have the same chassis, brakes and suspension regardless of gear size. Im guessing the salesman who sold it to him either had no idea what gear ratio and GCVWR was or figured my step dad didn't know. I'm also guessing his camper loaded is around 13,000lbs. Payload on that pickup is 3100lbs.

Most of the driving he does is in relatively flat Minnesota. When he drags it out here to Washington he does complain about the mountains. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the gear size, (as I learned with my Ram 1500 with 3.55's). Then some to do with the gas engine. Says he gets about 10mpg with trailer in tow.

But he's retired and has lots of time to drive slow.

12-18-2016, 10:35 PM
Here's an article from Fifth Wheel Safe Towing (http://fifthwheelst.com/truck_pulls_it_fine.html) that might be helpful.

12-19-2016, 12:58 AM
I have a 2015 Chevy 2500HD gasser with the 6.0L Vortex engine and the 4.10 rear end and pull our 2015 Heartland Prowler P292 around the Rocky Mountains.


Our Prowler weighs just under 9900 pounds loaded and seems to be a perfect fit for the truck.

I get between 6 - 8 mpg when pulling in the mountains.

The trailer you are thinking about might be alright for a 2500HD for short hauls on flat land (must have the 4.10 rear end, though), but I think you would be well over the limit of the 2500HD once you put your stuff in it or even added a little water to the tanks.

I'd go the extra and get a 3500HD to be safe.

My next truck most likely will be a 3500/350 somethingrather dually . . . but that won't be for a few years.

12-19-2016, 01:06 AM
We towed our 2010 ElkRidge 34QSRL with a 2004 GMC 1-ton dually, and it was a great match, although it struggled a bit in the mountains of Colorado -- coolant temp would creep up.

It's always better to have more than enough, than just barely enough or almost enough--- you'll always be stressing about towing if the truck wasn't designed to tow what you're asking it to do.

There are many factors that determine if your truck can safely tow that trailer, and it's all math. You have to learn the calculations and do the math yourself... DO NOT TRUST AN RV DEALER OR TRUCK DEALER TO DO IT FOR YOU. They have no obligation to make sure you're towing safely! They only want your money, so they will say whatever it takes to get you to buy.

Visit www.fifthwheelst.com and learn how to use the calculators to determine your safe tow vehicle.

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12-19-2016, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the responses so far.

Ever mechanic/diesel owner says dont buy a diesel We can't afford an injector replacement or tranny , or at least it would be a very unhappy circumstance. The preference is obviously a diesel 3500.

So a couple things here. If we went diesel, knowing there are no guarantees, and this is a little about predicting the future, but if you have, say 180,000 miles on it and they replaced the tranny 30k ago, is it likely safe? That is, do these expensive issues, avoiding particular certain diesel years, (Ford 2004 - 2006 6.0 L and so on) relegated to the outlier truck? is this a case of 100,000 trucks are good but the 1000 that are a disaster are the ones you hear about on the net? What is your experience with your own diesel trucks?

Second, we ran into a truck RV combo. The RV was a 35 foot Open Range that looked to be in good shape but it was his truck that was the prize. It was a 2006 Chevy 6.0 Gas. It had some performance chip to push the horsepower to 375. It had a coolant system and a temp gauge for the tranny built in, 113,000 miles, a $3000 hitch that was the auto rail kind? This was built specifically to haul this RV, which was 9,000 lbs empty. It seemed like the much safer way to go though he never used it outside of Florida / Georgia.

We hear that with the increased weight of a 350/3500, the hitch weight isnt much difference. That especially if you enforce the stock 2500 with heavier shocks or about everything but the extra leaf, you should be fine.... Then the only thing left is do you have enough power with that gas engine to pull that RV , considering the 2500 weighs less than the 3500.

Finally, as the first poster mentioned its the GVRW weight you need to consider, but isnt that the weight of the RV with people and belongings in it? In other words the weight the RV can handle once it is disconnected from the truck and people living inside it? When I look at an RV that is 11,400 dry weight, I cant imagine more than 1000 pounds of clothes, cooking utensils etc that would be loaded in.

I realize my thinking is all over the place but I am trying to get a good bead on what is outright unsafe, what will absolutely not work or what will just be a frustrating travel day every 2 weeks offsetting the greater peace of mind of a gas fueled truck.

12-19-2016, 08:14 AM
Finally, as the first poster mentioned its the GVRW weight you need to consider, but isnt that the weight of the RV with people and belongings in it? In other words the weight the RV can handle once it is disconnected from the truck and people living inside it? When I look at an RV that is 11,400 dry weight, I cant imagine more than 1000 pounds of clothes, cooking utensils etc that would be loaded in.

GVWR is the max weight that the trailer is designed for while being towed. It includes all your gear, propane, water in tanks, clothing, pots and pans, games, add-ons, tools, folding chairs, grills, and everything else put in the trailer.

The tendency over time is to put additional things into the RV without removing anything.

Also, manufacturers often have an empty weight spec that's based on a prototype base configuration. It's pretty common for the weight going out the factory door to be 500-1000 lbs higher than the empty weight spec. Then if the dealer adds anything, the weight goes up again. And that's before your stuff goes in.

There's an actual empty weight sticker inside the entry door frame that shows what the trailer weighed at the last station on the factory floor.

When people get their rigs weighed, I doubt anyone is ever surprised by how little they weigh. Most are shocked at how heavy they are.

12-19-2016, 08:26 AM
A full tank of fresh water can weigh anywhere from 700 - 1000 pounds, depending on the size of the tank.

Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon.

12-19-2016, 09:01 AM
Our sticker Dan mentioned, "dry weight" out the door was 11562. Weighed at Goshen, we (2 people) were packed for a 3 week trip - rig weighed 14125 (No water or stuff in tanks.) GVWR on our QSRL was 14348. Our pin weight, which is payload in the bed of the truck, was 3025. We were within specs of our 3500 dually.

So you can see it adds up, and the pin weight like that will put you over on the truck's payload on most, if not all 2500s.

If you are already talking yourself out of a 3500 diesel because of this and that and not considering the safety of a truck that is more than adequate vs something that will be under-suited for the weight, you might need to look at a lighter trailer.

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12-28-2016, 09:32 PM
My 2006 F250 6.0 has a GVWR of 9800 lbs, and a curb weight of 6028 lbs which means the payload capacity is the difference, or 3772 lbs
( that is TOTAL payload including fuel,passengers, stuff). if say personel plus fuel, plus stuff equals 600 lbs, you would have a pin weight
capacity of 3172 lbs. ( my camper max is 15500. so .2 x15500 = 3100 lbs ) which puts me real close to the max ( but we dont max it out ).
Air bags help to level and distribute the load. luv em

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