Ask any snowbird or road-tripper, and they will tell you this: nothing beats a fifth wheel trailer in deputizing a home’s comfort while out on a leisure trip upcountry. Even on paper, the experience is lip-smacking. And that applies to trailers other than recreational vehicles as well.
Perhaps what bars some of us from making fifth wheel trailers our primary means of transport is the fact that we don’t own trucks to tow them. Also because life is more serious than that. Let’s face it guys, how many times in a year’s quarter in your life would a fifth wheel truck and trailer come in handy?
Well, unless it’s for commercial use, you may never be able to justify your senseless splurging. And that’s where 5th wheel trucks rentals come in.
Renting a 5th wheel truck is the best way to enjoy its utility without pointlessly hurting your pocket. There are numerous rental companies out there keen to let you enjoy the services of their fully equipped trucks at a price range you’d be willing to part with.
If you are looking for one, here is a brief guide which homes in on the specific details you’d most likely not remember to check and where to find the best trucks.
Which Model is the Best for You?
The brand most of the times doesn’t really matter as long as the truck satisfies the prerequisites but if you still think it will help you make a more informed decision, here are the most popular models:
- The Ford F150
- The Ford F250
- The Ford F350
- The Dodge Ram 1500
- The Dodge Ram 2500
- The 3500 Dually Chevrolet Pick Up
- The Chevrolet 2500 HD with a Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 engine
If this is the first time you are looking to rent a fifth wheel truck, the aforesaid models make for the undisputed go-to options. Note that some of them may command higher prices than other trucks of the same class and power in most rental catalogues but that’s down to nothing but the hype that comes with the brand names behind them.
If you know a thing or two about trucks, you can straight go for the best bargain.
2 Wheel vs. 4 Wheel Drive Systems
So which one?
On a rough-terrain road – one covered in snow or ice for instance – it would be worthwhile considering renting a four by four truck (to reduce your chances of getting stuck or sliding with a fifth wheel trailer behind you). On tarmac, however, a two-wheel drive would work just fine. In fact, that’s what is recommended for heavier cargo – perhaps to minimize the propulsion and handling inconveniences that come with all wheels spinning. Also, because the pin weight or hitch weight (weight of the trailer exerted on the truck) rests on the rear wheels only.
What you’re planning to tow in your fifth wheel trailer should always be a determining factor when choosing a fifth wheel truck. Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is a common metric apropos this. It is a measure of the maximum weight (the load, the truck bed and the axle itself) the fifth wheel axle can support. In most cases it’s indicated on the axle and can be quite helpful if you already know the weight of the truck bed and the axle.
If you don’t know and can’t estimate these weights, try calculating the Truck Payload Capacity. This is a little complicated and will most likely be provided to you by the rental company. It is the difference between the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the weight of the Truck without any cargo or passengers.
The bigger the difference the better.
Albeit not really crucial once you’ve determined the payload capacity, a bigger truck load rate always translates to a bigger payload capacity. Tires rated at 3,000 lbs. for instance are 400 lbs. better in payload capacity than those rated at 2,800 lbs.
If you can’t calculate or estimate the payload capacity, go for the tires with the highest load rate.
Size of Trailer and Cargo
Unless it’s a recreational vehicle, the weight of whatever you’re going to tow should impact your truck choice. A half-ton pickup truck would be good for a trailer (+ cargo) of around 3500 lbs at maximum. Anything upwards of 5000 lbs needs a 3/4-ton or 1-ton truck. These ones can tow up to 17000 lbs.
Where to Find 5th Wheel Rental Trucks Rentals
Here are some of the most reliable multistate companies: