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What is Meant by 16K Gross Towing Weight Rating on Curt 5th Wheel Hitch # C16115

Question:

What is meant by 16,000 total weight I have a 99 39 foot wildwood 5th wheel will this hitch be ok

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Expert Reply:

The Curt E16 5th Wheel Hitch that you referenced, part # C16115, is rated for 5th wheel trailers up to 16,000-lbs gross towing weight. Gross towing weight means the trailer weight plus the weight of all loaded water, propane, supplies and equipment - everything.

The weight of your 39-foot Forest River Wildwood 5th wheel will depend on the exact model and how it is equipped. For example, Wildwood model 33BHOK has a shipping weight of about 9100-lbs but its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) will be higher and will depend on how it is equipped. Your trailer will have a safety/warning sticker (usually on the pin box or on the front-facing surface under the overhang) that indicates its specifications, including its GVWR, which is the most the trailer can safely weigh when fully loaded for the road.

Naturally you should never exceed the trailer GVWR and you will want to select a hitch based on that figure.
It is a good practice to choose a hitch that has some excess capacity beyond what your trailer requires. In other words, if your trailer GVWR is 16,000-lbs then you would do well to select a hitch rated at 18K or higher, just to provide a margin of safety.

Once you know the hitch gross towing capacity you need for your particular Wildwood trailer you can choose a hitch and installation kit based on your specific tow vehicle. The options for installing your hitch will depend on the specifics of the tow vehicle. There are universal-type kits that cost less but require more drilling and time to install; there are also custom bracket kits that use vehicle-specific under-bed brackets to mount the hitch base rails. These cost more but are much simpler to install.

There are both fixed and sliding 5th wheel hitches; the Curt # C16115 is a fixed hitch. Sliding types are called for when the truck has a short bed that does not allow enough turning clearance for the trailer. One example of a sliding hitch is the ProSeries # PS30121. There is another option in such cases, a replacement trailer pin box called a Sidewinder, that offers even more clearance.

In the meantime I have linked two articles on 5th wheel hitches and Sidewinders that might be useful to you. I also included a link to our main page for 5th wheel hitches where you can enter you vehicle information to see hitch and installation options. If you wish to advise your trailer gross weight rating and the year/make/model/version/bed length for your truck I will be glad to make specific recommendations.

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