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Old 06-15-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
ccorbettjr
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So New don't even have an RV yet!

Hello Everyone,

The DW and I have decided since we can't choose a winter location to get her away from the snow in NJ, we are entering the RV world. Have a brother and s-i-l who have a Georgetown RV and love their travels. We were thinking along the lines of a 5th wheel and have looked at a few over the past month. We just purchased our new Silverado 2500 and could use some words of wisdom from the experienced members (anyone with a RV is more experienced!). We like the 2016 Keystone RV Montana High Country 375FL as we are looking to spend three or four months in it during the winters. This trailer's dry weight of 11,795 is well under our max towing of 14,000 lbs. The only possible issue is the 41'10" length! Any opinions from those towing a 40 foot 5th wheel would be appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
mlh
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I have a HC 323RL. Great unit.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:53 PM   #3
levi
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One particular point to remember when actually shopping for the unit (any unit) is to look for the little yellow sticker with the specific statistics for that specific unit that Montana usually puts somewhere near the entry door. I have found that they vary slightly from Montana's published brochures. Also, you can put a lot of 'stuff' in 40 feet and that all adds up. Then, too, is the dry weight as opposed to the 'wet' weight.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:39 PM   #4
1retired06
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ccorbettjr

Hello Everyone,

The DW and I have decided since we can't choose a winter location to get her away from the snow in NJ, we are entering the RV world. Have a brother and s-i-l who have a Georgetown RV and love their travels. We were thinking along the lines of a 5th wheel and have looked at a few over the past month. We just purchased our new Silverado 2500 and could use some words of wisdom from the experienced members (anyone with a RV is more experienced!). We like the 2016 Keystone RV Montana High Country 375FL as we are looking to spend three or four months in it during the winters. This
trailer's dry weight of 11,795 is well under our max towing of 14,000 lbs. The only possible issue is the 41'10" length! Any opinions from those towing a 40 foot 5th wheel would be appreciated.
Not sure well under the max towing weight is accurate when looking at total load.

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Old 06-15-2015, 03:57 PM   #5
DQDick
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Welcome to the forum! In regard to your question, it you haven't towed something as long as these rigs and you practice some you'll be fine. Using an empty shopping center lot works really well and soon you can get a handle on backing and making wide enough corners. Another factor is that, in my opinion, 5th wheels are easier to handle than tow behinds. With the truck we have we're 57' long from the front bumper of the truck to the back of the rig and we do fine.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Welcome and enjoy this great forum.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:51 PM   #7
ccorbettjr
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Thanks to all for the comments. Looking to buy next spring prior to fall retirement.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:17 PM   #8
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welcome. i assume your truck is a diesel....

buy what you like, if new to rving i'd suggest you look at a little smaller USED trailer for a year or so.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:40 AM   #9
jlb27537
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quote:Originally posted by ccorbettjr

Hello Everyone,

The DW and I have decided since we can't choose a winter location to get her away from the snow in NJ, we are entering the RV world. Have a brother and s-i-l who have a Georgetown RV and love their travels. We were thinking along the lines of a 5th wheel and have looked at a few over the past month. We just purchased our new Silverado 2500 and could use some words of wisdom from the experienced members (anyone with a RV is more experienced!). We like the 2016 Keystone RV Montana High Country 375FL as we are looking to spend three or four months in it during the winters. This trailer's dry weight of 11,795 is well under our max towing of 14,000 lbs. The only possible issue is the 41'10" length! Any opinions from those towing a 40 foot 5th wheel would be appreciated.
Hello Pat and Chuck, Please realize you are doing this backwards. You buy the trailer first and then get enough truck to tow it.

Plan on putting about 1500 lbs per person in the rig if you are going to the south for winter. With a 40' rig, if you have the space, you WILL put something in there. The dry weight is usually wishful thinking. Same for pin weight.

A example is my '14 3150RL The brochure says my pin weight is 2,200lbs. With the second air, W/D clothes, stuff, my actual pin weight is 3,200+ lbs. My trailer GVWR is 14,900 and I am close to 14,500+.

Buying a truck for a tow vehicle and buying a truck to go to the grocery store is 2 different animals. Hopefully you bought a truck with the correct rear end ratio to pull what you are considering. The tow rating of 14,000lbs is kinda low for a 2500 truck. Makes me think you bought a 6.0 gas truck with a 3.32 rear axle which is a grocery getter.

Before any of us can give you some real world feedback, we need to know exactly what tow vehicle you actually have, engine, axle ratio, and GVWR and GAWR of the truck and it's actual weight, IE go weigh your truck, full of fuel, normal amount of people and gear. Add 200lbs for 5th wheel hitch if it is not already installed.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Jim
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:16 PM   #10
sambam
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What Jim said, and you can pretty much throw the "dry" weight figures out the window. My guess is you will be at or near max GVW. Outside of the full-timers here, I'd venture to say most of us leave a little wiggle room between our GVW's and actual weights. Welcome to the forum, a Montana would be a good choice..and please, tell us more about your tow rig.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:54 PM   #11
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With a 3/4 T, hopefully Diesel, it's going to be the payload, not the towing capacity that will be your 1st limiting factor. You may be looking at Air Bags or Timbrens as your first upgrade. You did say "our new 2500" so hopefully that means it's a '14 or '15 model and not a "new to you" older used model as the more recent model years have significantly improved their towing and payload capacities.
1st thing to learn is not to trust either the truck or RV salesman when they tell you what you can tow. They lie like a rug to make the sale. Had an RV salesman tell me my 2008 Ram 2500, CTD was enough truck to pull a 5th wheel in their lot even though the pin weight put the rear end almost down to the axle. Coming to this sites and others is a great place to get real info. You will still get differing views as everyone's comfort level is different when towing but with enough feedback you will begin to gain a comfort level.
We went thru 3 trailers and 3 trucks, bigger each time, till we got it right. RVing is not a cheap undertaking. Rather than blowing your budget on a big new 5th wheel 1st time out you may want to consider a smaller used unit, well within your trucks capabilities. Use it for a few years and then decide what you really need and what truck you need to pull it. If your spending 3-6 months in it having more room is nice although, as we found out during our first snowbird trip this past winter, we really weren't in the trailer that much.
As mentioned earlier get your trucks capacity numbers and post them here, including your trucks actual axle weights (get to a scale). That will open the floodgates with feedback. When figuring out how much your going to be pulling use the trailers gross weight rating not the dry weight as you will be closer to the gross than the dry once loaded up. To figure out your pin weight take 20% of the Gross weight rating and you should be pretty close.
When my DW and I started this RVing journey 5 years ago, in preparation for retirement, I knew nothing and had never towed anything larger than a tent trailer. I have learned so much from our experiences and from this and other sites.
Have fun and enjoy the ride, literally and figuratively.
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:33 PM   #12
jlb27537
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What Bruce said, BTY, we have been doing this since '93, so I feel I have a pretty good grip on the issues at hand.

Jim
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:02 PM   #13
ccorbettjr
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Will get to a scale this weekend meanwhile, here are the standard numbers for the truck: Torque 380 lbs.-ft. @ 4,200 rpm, Weighs 6,355 lbs., Front axle weight is 3,685 lbs., rear 2,670 lbs. Max Payload is 3,120 lbs. Towing capacity is 13,000 lbs., GCWR is 20,500 lbs., 5th-wheel towing capacity is 14,200 lbs. Door sticker: GVWR 9500, GAWR FRT 5200, GAWR RR 6200
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:23 PM   #14
jlb27537
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quote:Originally posted by ccorbettjr

Will get to a scale this weekend meanwhile, here are the standard numbers for the truck: Torque 380 lbs.-ft. @ 4,200 rpm, Weighs 6,355 lbs., Front axle weight is 3,685 lbs., rear 2,670 lbs. Max Payload is 3,120 lbs. Towing capacity is 13,000 lbs., GCWR is 20,500 lbs., 5th-wheel towing capacity is 14,200 lbs. Door sticker: GVWR 9500, GAWR FRT 5200, GAWR RR 6200
Pat, going to make this real simple. Montana does NOT make a trailer you can tow with your truck.

I could go thru the numbers, but it would be a waste of time. A GVWR of 9,500bs and a rear axle GAWR of 6,200 lbs you will be over your axle weight and gross. Basically you bought a grocery getter.

If you are serious about towing a Late model Montana, you will need to sell the truck you have, and buy a tow rig.

As mentioned, look at the GVWR of the trailer, a trailer with a 16K GVWR will weigh that loaded for travel, wet with water, batteries, LP tanks full and your stuff in it.

Now, go buy a used smaller trailer, use your truck for a year or 2. Find what you like, don't like, and then buy the trailer that fits you and a truck to tow it.

Seriously, you do not have enough truck to tow a Montana. I do not care what any RV or dealership salesperson says.

Jim
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:19 PM   #15
sambam
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This certainly isn't the news you wanted to read after buying your truck. It is a nice truck, but it isn't built for the job you intend it for. If you move ahead with your plans, you will soon see what Jim is talking about. The torque rating is anemic for a rig the size of these Montanas. Very few of us pull without diesels. And those that do, have big-block motors. The idea to buy something smaller that is within your truck's capabilities is a good one. Also rv'ing isn't for everyone. This would give you a chance to see how you like it and decide if you want to take the plunge and go for the big rig, with the big truck. White-knuckling down a mountain pass being pushed by the behemoth behind you is no fun and there is no substitute for a big tow-rig.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:52 AM   #16
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I agree with the comments that you do not have enough truck. I had a Dodge 2004 3500 diesel dually towing 16K and it was a little hairy going down big hills. Plus, I was not comfortable driving since I am 6'4" and weigh 280. So I went with what you see below. Is it overkill? Yes. But, the truck only cost me $29, not $60 for a new Dodge. It gets about the same mileage as my Dodge. With 300 gallon tanks, I usually can complete any trip without filling up. It is the same width as the rear of a dually, only a little longer and taller. I am comfortable with air ride seats and cab. I am within the law. And me and my family are safe. Plus, it is fun to drive. Yes, maintenance costs are a little more, but it is worth it compared to all the other advantages. Good luck....
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:37 PM   #17
ccorbettjr
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I believe what you guys are saying about Montana 5th wheels weighing-in around 16,000 lbs. I came to the same conclusion already for any 5th wheel with a weight starting over 12,000 lbs. I have been looking at 5th wheels weighing in around 11,500 - 12,000 lbs. The 2016 Montana High Country 375FL weighs around 11,795 empty. Also looking at other 5th wheels with an 11,500 lbs. empty weight. Have to laugh at the "grocery getter" comments though as the first thing the wife told the salesman when he asked during the test drive about how she liked the ride, "Drives like a truck!" As this truck has to serve a dual purpose (towing and MY vehicle when not towing) a compromise had to be made. Appreciate all the comments from those more experienced than us, after all, that is the real benefit of this forum to newbie's like us.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #18
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Pat, I am sure we all appreciate your feed back. My wife's daily driver is a '11 Honda CRV. My '12 Ram 4Dr 8' box will out drive and out ride her CRV any day of the week. Just like Capt. Joe, size does matter.

We are only here to help, not to judge. Just realize a truck that has the ability to tow does drive and ride different than a Buick or such.

I truly hope you understand the abilities of your 6.0 gas truck and do not try and pull a 16K trailer with it.

Jim
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:44 AM   #19
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Pat and Chuck, we are on our third Montana and our third truck over the last twelve years. We started with a Chevy 2500/Montana 3400 combination. As we became more "familiar" with the subtleties of pin weight, fully loaded weight, scales, etc., we upgraded to a Chevy 3500 and now a Ram 3500. We have gone from a three quarter ton with tow haul to one ton with two speed exhaust brake. I still see many people towing with three quarter ton pick ups. I will say that we never had an issue towing through Colorado and across the plains. But, the one ton is a much safer drive. Trucks hold their value much better than RV's. If I were getting a new 5er, and I was headed into retirement, I'd get the 5er I wanted and trade the truck. Just my two cents. Best of luck.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:54 AM   #20
ccorbettjr
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Thank Ron, appreciate the info.
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