We picked up a new Scamp
Deluxe 19 ft 5th wheel in fall
of 2013 with most of the options, including the raised axle
. I had bought a new 2013 Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4wd, with the 3.6 liter V6 and 8-spd transmission, 3.21 rear axle
ratio, earlier in the year thinking it was going to be a perfect match the Scamp
we had ordered. Our plan was to spend last summer getting use to the combination, and then spend next summer in Alaska celebrating our retirement. However, the Alaska trip has been postponed because of the scheduled arrival of a new grandchild next summer, which we are happily looking forward to.
Since then we have pulled the Scamp
about 20,000 miles, including trips from Wisconsin to Seattle and another from Wisconsin to Southern Utah. On the road I am averaging 17 mpg, usually driving a couple miles an hour below the posted speed limit for cars. This includes traveling over the Eisenhower pass in the Rockies, which is the highest pass on the interstate system, or so I have been told. The truck towed the trailer without any problems, most of the time using the trailer tow mode. We have spent 67 nights in our trailer so far and have had a great time.
The major problem I ran into was that the trailer scaled heavier than what we were told by Scamp. Your estimate of 3500 lbs for a deluxe loaded with options is about right with (in our case) about 650 lbs of that being on the hitch. That means that with all our necessary gear we are close to the Gross Combination Weight
Rating (GCWR) for that truck and trailer. If I carried all the additional gear I would like to carry, we would exceed the GCWR. If I had bought a truck with a 3.55 rear end, the GCWR would have been 1700 lbs more and we would have had more flexibility as far as additional payload. This truck does not have the trailer tow package.
If I was to do it again, I would investigate the tradeoff between a 3.55 rear end and a hemi on gas mileage and pick one or the other, which would allow us to carry additional gear without having to worry about pushing above the GCWR, or axle weight
I wouldn’t believe anything the dealership tells you about the truck, nor Scamp about the trailer, or what anyone tells you on here, including myself, without investigating it carefully. I would study the manufacturer’s weight
charts for the vehicle I am considering purchasing, and I would give myself some leeway. I would not exceed any of the recommended weights, yes it can be done, yes you might get away with it, but then again you don’t want to open yourself up to litigation in case you get in an accident or have a warranty repair problem. I would also check with Scamp to be sure the truck selected is one that they can attach a hitch to, and verify whether or not it would be best to raise the axle.
We will be coming to the Sebring get together in a few weeks and we will be looking forward to meeting many of you there.