To those considering a 150/1500 class pickup (1/4 ton) or
towing a 5th wheel. Particularly those that have any inkling about eventually trading up to a 5er.
Buy, at the least, a 250/2500 or higher (3/4 ton and up) pickup. Yes, there are many companies out there pushing 1/4 ton towable 5th wheels, but, the fact of the matter is; while possible, the 1/4 tons are "borderline" acceptable for the lightest 5ers made. A reasonably sized 5er (something worth going to a 5er for) is going to need a 3/4 ton to tow. Ask me, I know
If you have any thoughts of maybe going to a 5er, or the very largest bumper pulls; get a 3/4 ton or better, diesel powered. I went from a 6,000 lb, fully loaded, 210WBS (still miss that little darling) to a 12,000 lb Cougar 318SAB. Anything less would have been a pointless "upgrade". A 28' ultralight 5er is no better owning than a 28' or 32' bumper pull...if you go to a 5er, the odds are you are going for space and amenities and those come at a price; weight. A 5th wheel's pin weight runs 18-22% of gross (my pin weight is right at 2100 lbs) and a 1/4 ton, while it may be rated to pull a 5er's weight, will be overloaded on pin weight. A diesel is desirable for its low rpm torque (the part of the load pulling ability that gassers don't like to talk about) and its longevity. My 6.7L turbo Cummins diesel has 800 ft lbs of torque and shouldn't need a rebuild for 250K miles or better. Add an exhaust brake (I have to give the truck gas to make it go downhill on a 6% grade
) and a diesel is a pure load master. I'm hauling 35' (actual length is about the same as a 30' trailer since I have some of the trailer over the truck's bed and no tongue) and 12,000 lbs for the trailer and 9680 lbs for the truck and get 10.5 to 11.5 mpg.
Just a "heads up"... A 150/1500 series 1/4 ton, is a good tow vehicle for a bumper pull TT up to ~30'...a 5er or a heavy 30'+ trailer really needs, at the minimum a 3/4 ton or higher (a 35' 5er toy hauler, for instance, really needs a 1 ton, SRW or DRW). If you are contemplating a new tow vehicle, a pickup truck, and
have any thoughts of a 5th wheel, you should go ahead and bite the bullet and get a 3/4 ton diesel or better.