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What is Correct Pin Weight for a 5th Wheel Trailer

Question:

I have a 5th wheel RV that weighs 9,730 lbs from the factory. I am looking at purchasing a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD LT Crew Cab Long Bed 4x4. What would the correct tongue weight? Thanks!

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Expert Reply:

I checked the 2004 Chevy online towing guide and the 2004 Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab long bed 4x4 can tow up to 15,200-lbs if it has the 8.1L V8. The 6.0 V can tow 9700-lbs. You'll want to confirm the exact power train setup of this truck you are considering to ensure it will have the capacity you need.

A 5th wheel trailer's pin weight (which is similar to tongue weight on a bumper-pull trailer) should be in the range of 20 to 25% of the 5th wheel's gross weight (GTW). This amount of pin weight will help the trailer track well behind the tow vehicle and also reduce the chance for trailer sway. If any trailer is too heavy at the rear it can tend to start swaying, sort of like the pendulum on a clock.

If your trailer dry weight is 9730-lbs then most likely it will have a rated GVWR (maximum weight when loaded) of around 11,500- to 12,000-lbs. If the GVWR is 11,500-lbs then the likely pin weight at the hitch will be 2300 to 2800-lbs.

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