Towing 287RL fifth-wheel with 1/2 ton Silverado Z71 with 410 gears


Well-known member
At the moment we are towing a 21FBS NorthTrail TT, but are coinsidering up-grading to a Heartland Sundance Xlt 287RL Fifth-wheel (Ultra-Lite) My 2004 Extended Cab, w/8 foot box, Silverado, is fully loaded, Trailer Package, 4WD Z71, 410 gears, etc. I also installed Hellwig Air Springs..My truck is rated at 14,000 lbs GCWR..GVWR of fifth wheel is 11,600, Rated dry weight of 7,180. and Hitch weight of 1,440 lbs. Would like to buy another 3/4 ton truck. BUT my 2004 Silverado only has 2700 miles....(Yes that's right 2,700 miles) So that's why I am considering this...
Of Course... the RV dealer saids it's a 1/2 ton towable fifth wheel and my truck will handle it. What are your recommendations?????????????? Should I even consider this up grade?? Any Info would greatly be appreciated...


Hello CamperJohn, Although the 287RL is a 1/2 ton series product, it is really stretching the limits of most 1/2 ton truck. There is no doubt you would be overloaded on the rear axle and will top the maximum GVWR of your vehicle. So it really depends on your comfort level with running overloaded. You would have to be patient climbing hills. I own the 28BH North Trail fifth Wheel, which is a similar model in the North Trail line to the 287RL Sundance. Although "dry weight" is announced at 6500lbs and "dry pin weight" at 1180lbs, it really weight (empty with propane full) 7656lbs and the (empty with propane full) pin weight is 1496bs. If you add the camping gear in it, loaded for a family of 4, mine weight 8100lbs and the pin weight is around 1600lbs. This translate to a total of Truck (approx 5650lbs with air spring)+ Hitch (approx 300lbs) + RV (8100) of 14000lbs. That doesn't leave much room on the GVWR as the Silverado is rated for 14K. On the rear axles, Truck (2340lbs) + Hitch (300lbs) + Pin (1600lbs) will put you up to 4240lbs. This is approximately 250lbs above your limit of approx 4000lbs. Front axles should be fine. As the rear axle limit is also related to the tire rating, you could consider a tire upgrades. The 2004 silverado comes equiped with 245/70R17 (Usually firestone Transforce AT but it varies) load range C tire rated for 2205lbs at 50PSI . The 245/70R17 load range E (The Firestone Transforce HT) is rated for 3000lbs at 80PSI. Make sure your stock rims can handle the 80PSI, a load range E tire inflated to 50PSI is no better then a load range C tire inflated at 50PSI. Good luck! S.


Hi sferreira,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and Family. We hope you enjoy the forum and if you have questions, just ask.

Looks like you did a lot of research on weights for your answer.


Jim M


Well-known member
Looks like I be looking for another truck.......

Well just as I suspected............... My Silverado just won't cut the mustard.... So we shall be keeping our NorthTrail 21FBS for awhile.
We did look at a Ford F-250 Diesel, 4DR, w short box, the other day... But I think we shall wait till we find a F-350 SuperCab W/8 foot box. I like the extended cab set up w/long bed for fifth-wheel towing.

Thank you for the Excellent Information... The Fifth-wheel dealers just don't know the fact's..... THEY all said it will pull it ok...But I already had my doubts....:eek:

Thanks Agian
John & Nancy Latham


Good Day Camperjohn,

Don't let a long bed be a deciding factor. With the turning nose of the Heartland 5er's a short bed will work great. I questioned this for so long and never got clear answers. I have a 2007 Dodge SWB 4 door Cummins, shortest shortbed in the industry.... made me worry when we decided to get a fifth wheel. I really thought that I was going to have to get one of these high $$$$ slider hitched. Not so. I set my truck up with the B and W tourn over gooseneck hitch and a B and W fifth wheel companion adaptor. Total Hitch and adaptor price $899 There is just the right amount of adjustment with the companion hitch that it fits perfect. I would have never dreamed it would have been so perfect. So if you are looking at a ford rest assured the same setup will give you plenty of room.

Happy Camping!