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Old 09-16-2007, 02:29 PM   #1
marknbarb
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Confused

Hello everyone.
I have just joined your Montana owners club, planning on putting down the down payment this week on a new Mountaineer.

I have been sitting here reading for 3 hours and come to the conclusion there are 2 types of campers out there. First are the ones who will only tow by the numbers, and second are the ones that will keep asking and looking until they find the numbers that suit them. I have found both helpful, and want to thank you all.

Now to put my question in the mix, and I am sure I will hear from both of you. And I will thank you up front for your responses.

I have just got back from the Hershey Camper Show. After spending 3-12 hour days walking thru the 26+ acres of RV's, my wife and I have decided on the new Montana Mountaineer 345DBQ. Now the fun part. I have towed everything from small motorcycle trailers to aircraft; to the 28 foot camper we have now. But never a fifth wheel. All I hear is how great they are to tow. Before I put my money down on our dream camper I want to make sure I can tow it.

The brochure isnít out for this camper yet. But the specifications I do have show the camper at 36'3", unloaded weight of 10,960#, and Gross vehicle weight of 14,295#.
I have a few questions that maybe you all can help me with.

1) I have myself, wife and 2 children. Total weight of us all is about 500#'s. (that includes about 100#'s for them to grow the next 3+ years). What weight can I expect to use as the cargo weight of the camper when loaded? I donít believe we will be filling it with 3,135#'s. (I will get my wife to leave to rock collection at home. We also use lightweight plastic plates, and donít carry allot of unnecessary cargo, it is also equipped for a washer/dryer that we donít plan to carry)

2) I am towing with a 2006 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab 4X4, Duramax Diesel, SRW. (Now before you Ford people jump on me, I have had Fords also, and my work delivery truck is a Ford) I have looking in the books, and online, and have come up with conflicting numbers. If I figured the numbers right, I am borderline with my capacities. And with not having a loaded camper handy, I can't quite go to the scales and weigh everything. I know I will hear from some saying the numbers say I can't, and some will say I will have no problems. I have met 3 Montana owners this weekend, all towing with 3/4 ton Fords, and they say they love it, they have no problems and I will be fine. I want to know the opinions of you Montana owners and experienced campers. I canít do both buy a camper, and a new truck. If I am borderline, is there anything I can do to the truck to increase the capacity? (Tires, springs?) From what I read the trucks are the same motor, axles, rear. But then can you believe all you read?

3) Also reading here I have come to another question. When you tow a fifth wheel, do you need to hit the scales? And do the police pick you out and check what you are towing? I donít want to be a target every time we head out.

4) Last are hitches. I have a Draw-Tite Signature Series 24K hitch. Is this a good hitch? Anyone have experience with it?

Now that I am done rambling, I want to thank you all again, and am looking forward to your responses.

Mark, Barbara, Lauren & David
 
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:11 PM   #2
bncinwv
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Welcome to the forum. Forgive me for not answering your main question but I pledged to never give my opinion again regarding TV's, weight, etc.. As to the others, you don't have to hit the scales, and will not be a target for the police checking whether you are towing within specs. With regard to weight, we have the same family size and our carrying capacity is only 2000#, which is beyond comprehension for me ever carrying that much unless you are going to be full-timing. I will say to pay close attention to your tires initially, pressures, speed rating, torque, etc. I can't speak about the hitch, sorry, ours is a Reese 16k. One thing I will say is you will have no trouble with the towability based upon your engine and transmission!!
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:11 PM   #3
SlickWillie
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Marknbarb,

Welcome aboard. Lot's of great info on here. Heck, we even argue a little at times.

We have the 303RLD. Weight ratings on our unit are just a few hundred pounds less than the unit you are considering. Our TV is in my signature. We carry lots of cargo. TV does a great job. In fact, when I took it in for service the service manager wanted to know if I had air bags on it. Never hit the scales. Never intend to. If others want to, that is their choice. Never known of the cops stopping anyone towing a camper for weight check.(plenty of log and pulp trucks here) As far as the hitch, if it is a short bed, I would add a slider (just in case). Hope this helps.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
Countryfolks
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These two threads which you may have already seen, probably say it all on the TV. You will probably have about 1500-2500# in the 5er, stuff adds up faster than you can guess. The load that has the most effect on your planning is what is carried by the truck and what you and yours feel comfortable with.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...ad.php?t=24178

http://montanaadministrator.forumco....D=24178#219068

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Old 09-16-2007, 05:01 PM   #5
Charlie
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I can only add that if you have towed all the things listed you will not have any trouble adapting to a 5th wheel. It will take some adjustment as the turning radius is different than a standard trailer. Once you get the hang of it you will wonder why you have not made the switch before now. I am not familiar with the hitch you mentioned but if your TV has a short box you should seriously consider a slider hitch. Personally my truck has the 8' box and I use a 16K Draw-Tite. As far as the truck, the Chevy will do great. If there is some sag at the back you might want to consider air bags.
I had about a three inch drop, added the air bags to level out the TV and trailer, would not be without them.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
mamashappy
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welcome to the club! and congrats on your Mountaineer! you will love it and it will add so much to your family time together. you will also sail right past the scales ....and it sounds like other club members - with their usual expertise - are providing the answers you need
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:06 AM   #7
richfaa
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I am one of those folks who believe that manufacturers specs are there for a valid reason and should, for the safety of us all, be adhered to.
Rv's are, unless a safety issue is observed, not targeted by any kind of police in regard to weight.We are not commercial vehicles and not subject to the many rules and regs they are. Your truck will pull your camper fine ,It has the power to do that. Pin weight and cargo capacity are the numbers that many of us adhere to and some of us believe are irreverent.You are doing the right thing by doing your research and asking questions, Analyze the data carefully and do what is best for you..
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:54 AM   #8
quarrles
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Welcome and my two pesos are it sounds as if a DRW would make a better TV. Not based on any scientific knowledge whatsoever just that it sounds like a bunch of weight to me. If you have to modify your present TV you need more truck.

Please. The above was only meant as a bit of helpful, friendly advice and should not be interpretated as statement of fact. Whew!

again..welcome Q
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:09 AM   #9
marknbarb
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Thank you all for your imput. I think we will be happy being Montana owners.

I wish it was as easy as just getting a new truck. But after purchasing the Montana, I cant find where I put the rest of the money jars in the yard, and the money trees hibernate in the fall. Does anyone know where I can get glue on dually rear end kit? (just kidding). After posting my first post, I found the below survay.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...ad.php?t=24061

It seems like most tow with either Ford or Chevy 2500's. Then I looked at the weights on the Montana's. Seems like all the models are up there in weights. Are there that many out there towing over the allowed number rating on the trucks?

(I am the first to admit I don`t know it all, so if I am off on what I said, feel free to tell me)
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:20 AM   #10
Eagle Man
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quote:Originally posted by marknbarb

Thank you all for your imput. I think we will be happy being Montana owners.

I wish it was as easy as just getting a new truck. But after purchasing the Montana, I cant find where I put the rest of the money jars in the yard, and the money trees hibernate in the fall. Does anyone know where I can get glue on dually rear end kit? (just kidding). After posting my first post, I found the below survay.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...ad.php?t=24061

It seems like most tow with either Ford or Chevy 2500's. Then I looked at the weights on the Montana's. Seems like all the models are up there in weights. Are there that many out there towing over the allowed number rating on the trucks?

(I am the first to admit I don`t know it all, so if I am off on what I said, feel free to tell me)
It's obvious by the manner in which your questions are worded that you know the answers to them. As richfaa said, you need to do your own numbers and then go from there. The addition of airbags and bigger tires may level the truck but will not increase the manufacturer's GVWR. And yes, there are "that many out there towing over the allowed number rating on the truck."

When I did the numbers for my 3400RL, I came up with about 3500 lbs for total weight in the truck to include pin weight, passengers, hitch, and misc stuff in truck, and that equalled dually.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:20 AM   #11
exav8tr
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Marknbarb, If you look at the thread "What do you use to pull your Montana with" you will se some representative numbers. I can't speak for the accuracy of these numbers as one cannot tell if everyone is chiming in. It should give a pretty close approximation of the total picture. It all boils dow to what you feel comfortable with. I do know one thing, I would not listen to what ANY dealer tells you about weights. Education is key and make sure you check your sources.........

Good luck and welcome to the best darned forum on the net........

Phil
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:57 AM   #12
BB_TX
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You don't say what the pin weight is. That is a number you need to look at. Generally the pin weight will be some where near 20% of the total weight. Since you are not full timing, you will probably be around 13,000#. That should be within the published 5th wheel towing capacity of the truck. But that would also put the pin weight (the weight carried in the back of the truck) around 2,600#. So you need to look at that 2,600# plus you and family plus fuel plus the hitch plus what ever other "stuff" you put in the bed of the truck to get an idea of what your total cargo will be and the weight carried on the rear axle (and therefore the tires). Make sure your tires are rated for it. And you may at least need air bags to get the truck up to level.
Looking around a typical campground, it is pretty amazing the size of some of the 5ers being pulled with 250/2500 trucks. Not saying I agree with it, but they seem to do OK. I have read some posts showing data that 350/3500 have larger diameter rear axles, but I don't know.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:13 PM   #13
Eagle Man
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quote:Originally posted by BB_TX

You don't say what the pin weight is. That is a number you need to look at. Generally the pin weight will be some where near 20% of the total weight. Since you are not full timing, you will probably be around 13,000#. That should be within the published 5th wheel towing capacity of the truck. But that would also put the pin weight (the weight carried in the back of the truck) around 2,600#. So you need to look at that 2,600# plus you and family plus fuel plus the hitch plus what ever other "stuff" you put in the bed of the truck to get an idea of what your total cargo will be and the weight carried on the rear axle (and therefore the tires). Make sure your tires are rated for it. And you may at least need air bags to get the truck up to level.
Looking around a typical campground, it is pretty amazing the size of some of the 5ers being pulled with 250/2500 trucks. Not saying I agree with it, but they seem to do OK. I have read some posts showing data that 350/3500 have larger diameter rear axles, but I don't know.
I for one, don't pay much attention to what others are using as TVs (other than to shake my head). Recently saw a 3/4 ton D/A with a 20000 pound GW Doubletree Elite Suites in tow. He's probably a charter member of the "tows fine, never had a problem" crowd, some RV owners are not too bright.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:57 PM   #14
kerry
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Check the factory tow ratings. Also check the payload ratings. An example ; a new Ford F150 will pull 9000#, but it can't handle large 5W's because of pin weight. A one ton truck with a small V-8 might be able to handle the pin weight, but can't pull the weight of a large 5W. Kerry
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