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Recommended Pickup Truck Choice for Towing 20K Jayco Pinnacle 5th Wheel


We are looking to purchase a Jayco Pinnacle 5th wheel. 38 ft trailer, 42 ft end to end. Full weight with gear could be near 20,000 pounds I have a lot of gear. In looking at vehickes, the Dodge 350 With largest Cummings diesel pulls over 30,000 lbs. I like the thought of extra power when I need it. Question 1. Is some other vehicle a better fit? Question 2. What bed length is best? I say you can get a slider, but I do want things to be carefree as possible. Dont want to forget and ruin my truck. Question 3. Pluses and mi use of Dually vs single tires in back. I plan to do a fair amount of dry camping where there my be soft soils. I really want to avoid a Dually because I fear its wider stance could make driving on the road and parking more of a hassle, but, if it would be better to get me out of soft soils where no cell phone service exists, Id certainly consider it. Thanks so much in advance for considering my questions.


Expert Reply:

When it comes to towing a large heavy 5th wheel such as a 38-foot Pinnacle weighing close to 20K-lbs, you'll definitely want the torque and "grunt" of a 1-ton diesel truck. Diesels will also last a lot longer than gasoline engines if used under these heavy towing conditions. If you like to keep your trucks a good long time this is surely the way to go. One of my 5th wheeling co-workers swears by the 1-ton Ram diesels.

Dual rear wheels (DRW) trucks will indeed typically have better performance on soft ground, especially when supporting a trailer tongue weight (TW) load of as much as 5000-lbs (easily possible for a heavily-loaded 20K trailer). A dually axle will be stronger than a SRW truck's axle. In your application there are more benefits than drawbacks to going for the dually.

You will also be better off with a long bed. An 8-foot bed will avoid the need for a sliding hitch and spare you the concern of remembering to release/lock it for tight turns and highway driving. You won't have to worry about the trailer overhang suddenly "making friends" with your truck cab.

Let's say you opted for a 2016 Ram 3500 dually with the Cummins and the 8-foot bed with the factory 5th wheel rail kit installed. In this instance you could use the superb B&W Companion OEM 5th Wheel Hitch # BWRVK3600 which would simply drop in to the factory pucks in the bed, without the need for above-bed rails. When you need your bed free for hauling, just swing the hitch's handles to release the hitch from the pucks and pull it right out to have full bed access.

The B&W Companion offers outstanding USA-made quality, including features like 6-inches of front-to-back adjustment (depending on where you mount the pivot arm assembly to the base). It's beefy 1-inch thick dual jaws provide 360-degree king pin contact for less chucking and its polyurethane bushings deliver a rattle-free ride. This hitch offers a 25K rating (6,250-lbs pin weight rating) and is covered by B&W's limited lifetime warranty.

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