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Recommended Diesel Motor, Transmission, and Truck for Towing a 5th Wheel Trailer

Question:

Ive talked to other individuals that own fifth wheels. they all seem to have their favorites as power. Cummings is the most popular engine and Ive heard some bad news about certain transmission combinations. Any idea of what combinations work best. Better to go with manual or automatic?

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Expert Reply:

As far as transmissions go it all depends on what you want. An automatic is one less thing to have to think about while you are towing. Plus it is generally smother when shifting unless you are really good at driving a stick while towing. But with a manual, if something were to happen to the transmission the repair costs are generally less than an automatic.

As far as motor/transmission pairing the Allison transmissions are popular, if you prefer a Chevy/GMC. All of the diesel motors have their merits and pitfalls but I have heard very good things about the Duramax and Cummins but not as much for the Powerstroke.

Rams are the most popular tow vehicles so it with a Cummins and the Aisin transmission that is available in some models would be a good combination. For 5th wheel towing a also recommend a long bed which will eliminate any clearance issues when turning.

So if you went with a new 2016 Ram 3500 truck with an 8 foot bed that has the factory 5th wheel prep package then I recommend the B&W hitch # BWRVK3600 rated for 25,000 pounds. It is a direct fit in Rams that have the factory prep package. I have included a link to a video showing an example installation for you.

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