fifth wheel campers for half ton trucks

If you’re looking forward to road tripping with a truck and a fifth wheel, you have a lot of options to choose from! Both trucks and fifth wheels come in all shapes, sizes, formats, and weights. If you’ve got a half-ton truck though, your fifth wheel selection process is going to involve a few more factors.

The title “Half-Ton Truck” is a bit of a misnomer actually. The name suggests that these vehicles can only pull 1,000 pounds of weight, while their actual weight range is usually somewhere between 1,100 and 1,900 lbs.

Trucks that are referred to as half-ton are defined as such because of their maximum payload, or the combined amount of weight that can safely be carried in the truck’s cab and bed. Many trucks can tow heavy loads, but their payload comes into play when things like hitches and extra cargo factor into the mix.

It’s lucky that half-ton trucks can manage more than 1,000 lbs. in their payloads because even the lightest fifth wheel hitches weigh more than that.

This smaller payload measurement can limit the fifth wheels models that half-ton trucks can pull because many fifth wheels have hitch weights that exceed the payload of half-ton trucks.

But don’t give up hope just yet! There are still some fifth wheels that can be towed by half-ton trucks. You just have to be extra careful when you calculate the weight limitations of your truck and any potential fifth wheels.

Half-Ton Towable Fifth Wheels

Below is a chart and description of some of the best half-ton towable fifth wheels. Make sure that you know the payload of your truck before consulting this list because all of the fifth wheels listed require a truck payload that falls within a range of at least 1,100-1,500 lbs.

Fifth Wheel Gross Vehicle Weight Unladen Vehicle Weight Hitch Weight
Flagstaff Super Lite 524LWS 9,165 lbs. 7,149 lbs. 1,165 lbs.
Rockwood Ultra Lite 2441WS 9,165 lbs. 7,149 lbs. 1,165 lbs.
Durango Half Ton D250RES 9,000 lbs. 7,260 lbs. 1,380 lbs.
Wildcat Maxx 272RLX 11,590 lbs. 8,533 lbs. 1,430 lbs.
Highland Ultra Lite UF2804RK 9,900 lbs. 7,360 lbs. 1,100 lbs.
Jayco Eagle HT 25.5 REOK 9,995 lbs. 7,700 lbs. 1,375 lbs.
Cougar 27SGS 10,290 lbs. 8,046 lbs. 1,495 lbs.
Starcraft Telluride 251 RES 9,995 lbs. 7,360 lbs. 1,215 lbs.
Reflection 150 230RL 9,495 lbs. 6,945 lbs. 1,195 lbs.
Palomino Puma 255RKS 8,800 lbs. 6,754 lbs. 1,102 lbs.

These numbers are all well and good, but what can you expect from models like this? Some people might think that half-ton towable fifth wheels must skimp on quality and comfort. But this couldn’t be father from the truth!

Let’s look a little deeper into some of the benefits and amenities of these fifth wheels.

Flagstaff Super Lite 524LWS

  • Fresh water: 60 gallons
  • Gray water: 45 gallons
  • Black water: 45 gallons

This is a fifth wheel that maximizes it’s space fully and includes several benefits that owners will enjoy! The main living space incorporates a slide-out that holds a spacious dinette with wrap around benches. Buyers also have the choice of switching out the dinette with a free-standing table or a set of theater seats.

This slide-out is carpeted, as is the master bedroom toward the front of the floor plan. This adds a little touch of luxury to space and is perfect for cold weather campers! The bedroom also has multiple wardrobes and closets to maximize storage space.

In addition to the built-in kitchen in the living area, this model also offers a gas grill along the exterior of the unit. This makes it equally easy to cook inside or outside.

The bathroom in this model has a curved shower along one corner, which creates a larger space for the user while minimizing intrusions into the rest of the room.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Rockwood Ultra Lite 2441WS

  • Fresh water: 60 gallons
  • Gray water: 45 gallons
  • Black water: 45 gallons

This fifth wheel doesn’t skimp on entertainment and elbow room. Despite the limited footprint of trailers, this one offers a large open area in the center of the living space.

The kitchen of this model hugs the walls and corners in a fitted pattern. It doesn’t take up much room, yet manages to offer conveniences such as an optional countertop extension, large refrigerator, a fringe of overhead cabinets, and a pantry space behind the entertainment center.

Speaking of the entertainment center, this fifth wheel offers two TVs throughout its floorplan. As mentioned above, one of these is in front of the pantry and is angled to face the sofa and dinette to increase its visibility. The second TV is situated in the bedroom and faces the queen sized bed.

As an additional perk, both the bedroom and the dinette slide out are carpeted in this unit. This model also offers an exterior gas grill and an awning to provide shade and shelter.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Durango Half Ton D250RES

  • Fresh water: 61 gallons
  • Gray water: 93 gallons
  • Black water: 53 gallons

This fifth wheel model places great importance on comfort and convenience. It’s a perfect model for couples and small groups and it offers a nice amount of open space. The main living space is entirely open, with a couch bed, kitchen counter, and slide-outs ringing the area.

The main living room slide-out contains a dinette, pantry, and refrigerator. These are all quite bulky, so the choice to place them in an isolated area was genius!

The living room also contains an entertainment center and fireplace along the back wall. The back of this fifth wheel also has the fittings for an extra hitch, which can be used to tow an additional vehicle, boat, or small trailer. These little luxuries will go a long way toward creating a comfortable and fun trip!

The bedroom and bathroom are also well designed. The bathroom fits a large linen closet into the floorplan, in addition to the toilet, sink, and shower. The carpeted bedroom has a large queen bed and extra storage space.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Wildcat Maxx 272RLX

  • Fresh water: 87 gallons
  • Gray water: 108 gallons
  • Black water: 54 gallons

The Wildcat Maxx contains a ton of storage space and has a great floorplan for both entertaining and maintaining privacy. It’s segmented into two parts, the master bedroom, and the living room.

The living room has a ton of sitting and entertaining space between its two-person couch, the padded dinette, and the two free standing chairs. An entertainment center is clearly visible from each of these seats as well.

The living room also contains an L-shaped counter and the kitchen. There’s a lot of work space in this area. A large refrigerator and pantry also fit into this section. Overhead cabinets ring this whole room too. The living room is a great place for people to hang out, watch TV, and make food.

The other section of this fifth wheel is a large and luxurious master bedroom. A large curved shower is available in the corner of the bathroom, as well as a floorplan with a lot of breathing room. Fifth wheel bathrooms are often quite tight, but this one has an abundance of open space!

A set of sliding doors connect this bathroom to the bedroom. The large queen bed is book-ended by twin nightstands, and there’s a wardrobe along one wall.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Highland Ultra Lite UF2804RK

  • Fresh water: 51 gallons
  • Gray water: 58 gallons
  • Black water: 29 gallons

The Highland Ultra Lite is a luxury fifth wheel with a simple elegance to its design. There are a lot of mellow colors, natural woods, and granite accents. It feels cozy and modern at the same time!

The back of this fifth wheel contains the kitchen and dining space. A U-shaped counter encloses the kitchen workspace and appliances. This faces a slide-out, which contains a dinette.

Besides, the dinette is a combined fireplace and entertainment center. A two-person theater seat faces this, creating a great setup for couples and friends to sit and enjoy a movie together.

The front of this fifth wheel contains the bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom has two entrances, one from the living room hallway and one from the bedroom. This creates an easily accessible space that doesn’t intrude upon the privacy of the bedroom.

The carpeted bedroom has a large array of overhead cabinets and dressers. This is great for increasing storage space and doesn’t intrude into the floorplan.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Jayco Eagle HT 25.5 REOK

  • Fresh water: 42 gallons
  • Gray water: 32.5 gallons
  • Black water: 32.5 gallons

This fifth wheel offers more space than most, and uses every inch of it beautifully! This model could be a good option for people who want to travel with their families or larger friend groups.

The living room incorporates a large slide-out, which contains both a couch/ hide-a-bed and a four-seater dinette. An entertainment center (with an optional fireplace addition) borders the compact kitchen setup.

A refrigerator, oven, stove, and microwave are all gathered in one location, creating a one-stop shop! A small, curved countertop contains the kitchen sink and some workspace.

The front of this unit contains the bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom has two doors, one from the hallway and one from the bedroom. A large linen closet is situated inside, as well as a corner shower, toilet, sink, and overhead cabinets.

The bedroom has a large queen bed in the center, and a surrounding ring of wardrobes, closets, dressers, overhead cabinets, and nightstands. This bedroom is ideal for people who like to pack a lot of gear and need space to store it all! You’ll never wish for more storage space in this fifth wheel.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Cougar 27SGS

  • Fresh water: 60 gallons
  • Gray water: 60 gallons
  • Black water: 30 gallons

The Cougar 27SGS offers a lot of space for relaxing and sleeping. This makes it a great fit for people who travel in larger groups. The living room has a tri-fold sofa that can fold down into an additional bed. The back wall also offers a pair of recliners, which can be used as extra sleeping space if necessary!

Slide-outs increase the size of the living room and contain the entertainment center, fireplace, refrigerator, and other kitchen appliances. A large L-shaped counter creates a nice amount of work space for preparing and serving food!

The bathroom of this fifth wheel contains a large shower along one wall and a linen closet next to the sink. A small set of overhead cabinets sit above the sink as well.

The bedroom contains a queen sized bed, and three wardrobes of varying sizes. Overhead storage over the bed completes the package!

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Starcraft Telluride 251 RES

  • Fresh water: 51 gallons
  • Gray water: 58 gallons
  • Black water: 29 gallons

The Starcraft Telluride fifth wheel offers wood accents and natural color palettes. This can make space feel more inviting and cozy!

The main living space has a large open space in the middle of the room. One wall contains the kitchen appliances, countertop, pantry, and entertainment center. An outdoor gas grill supplements the kitchen equipment.

The other wall in the living room is a large slide-out that contains a two-person theater seat and a dinette. Cabinets fill the back wall of the fifth wheel, and overhead cabinets ring the top of the kitchen.

The bathroom has a door leading from the hallway, and a sliding door connecting it to the bedroom. A fitted sink and shower line the walls and create open space in the middle.

The bedroom is packed with storage space along the walls and above the queen-sized bed. There are also twin nightstands on either side of the bed and a TV on the far wall.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Reflection 150 230RL

  • Fresh water: 52 gallons
  • Gray water: 71 gallons
  • Black water: 39 gallons

The Reflection 150 is a fifth wheel with a lot of open space built into its design. It also has a big emphasis on natural light with a ton of windows and even skylights!

The back of this model has a pair of theater seats that face the angled entertainment center. A large slide-out along one wall contains a large U-shaped dinette and a refrigerator.

One corner of the living space holds the kitchen. The counter hugs the wall so that it doesn’t intrude into the open space of the living room. A collection of kitchen appliances, an optional countertop extension, and overhead cabinets complete the setup.

A small hallway leads to the bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom is large and has a shower that’s lit by an overhead skylight. A sink and vanity line one wall of the bathroom, giving everyone plenty of space to get ready in the mornings.

The bedroom is carpeted and contains a large queen sized bed. A large set of cabinets line the wall behind the bed.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Palomino Puma 255RKS

  • Fresh water: 51 gallons
  • Gray water: 70 gallons
  • Black water: 35 gallons

The Palomino Puma fifth wheel has a simple and classic design. Everything is easy to access and use. It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, but it doesn’t need them to be a great fifth wheel!

This model sports a rear kitchen design. The back wall contains a curved counter that creates a lot of workspace for the kitchen. A set of appliances fill one end, while a refrigerator sits at the other end. Overhead cabinets surround the walls above the counter.

A sofa along one wall faces a slide-out dinette on the opposite wall. This combination creates a nice amount of space for sitting and relaxing in the living room. An entertainment center and additional cabinets sit on the wall between the two.

A small hallway bridges the living room to the bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom contains a shower, toilet, and sink, while the other side of the hallway leads to a linen closet and a large wardrobe.

The bedroom holds a queen-sized bed with overhead cabinets lining the back wall. Small closets sit on either end of the bed as well.

For more information on this fifth wheel, as well as information on similar models, visit their website here.

Half-Ton Truck Towing Terms

Before you start looking into fifth wheels, you first need to understand some of the terminology involved. Below is a quick overview of some of the most important specifications for fifth wheel shoppers to look into.

Tow Capacity

This measurement refers to the amount of weight that a truck can safely pull behind it. Trucks are hardy vehicles, so they can usually carry quite a bit of weight before showing signs of struggle.

To make sure that you’re not exceeding your truck’s tow capacity, you need to compare the tow capacity of your truck to the weight of the completely laden fifth wheel (aka, its GVWR). If your fifth wheel is heavier than your truck’s tow capacity can handle, then it’s not safe to haul.

You should be especially careful when dealing with this measurement. Even if your fifth wheel is lighter than your truck’s maximum tow capacity, it can still be risky to tow if you’re too close to the upper limits.

You should usually leave a safety margin between these two measurements. Many people like to keep their trailers at least 15% lighter than the maximum tow capacity.


It can be easy for people to mix up the terms tow capacity and payload. There’s a big and important difference between the two though!

While the tow capacity refers to the amount of weight that a truck can pull behind it, the payload refers to the total amount of weight that a truck can carry in its cab and bed. So a truck might be able to tow 8,000 pounds of weight behind it, but only 1,500 pounds of weight in the cab and bed.

The payload limits are extremely important to keep in mind when you’re dealing with half-ton trucks. Fifth wheel hitches are large and heavy pieces of equipment, so they will take the lion’s share of your payload. Make sure that you plan accordingly to keep the rest of your passengers and cargo under the payload limit.

Hitch Weight

Hitch weight is one of the most important things for half-ton towers to keep an eye on. As mentioned above, these play a huge role in determining whether or not you can pull any given fifth wheel. If the hitch goes over your payload limit, then it’s not safe to tow, period.

Fifth wheel hitches are always going to weigh more than 1,000 so you’ll have a very limited amount of leftover weight to work with. Half-ton truck owners will have to be very careful that they don’t put too much weight in their cab, which can put them over their payload limits.

That being said, you should keep your eyes open for hitches that will leave you a couple of hundred pounds of weight left over. Unfortunately, this means that if your half-ton truck has a small payload, your fifth wheel option pool is even smaller.

You don’t want to push your luck too much in this regard, and picking a fifth wheel with a hitch that’s right at your maximum payload limit is risky business.

Unladen Vehicle Weight (UVW)

This measurement is important to know both for your truck and any fifth wheels that you want to tow. The UVW is basically the curb weight of a vehicle when it is completely empty of passengers, fuel, and any extra cargo.

If your truck is a half-ton, its UVW will be much lower than a large truck that is specifically built for heavy towing.

The UVW of your chosen fifth wheel is important to know as well. They might seem like a safe weight to tow based on this measurement, but once they’re fully loaded with all the equipment and gear you need, they can weigh several thousand pounds more.

Knowing the base measurements is very important to know though. You need to know what you’re working with at a fundamental level so you know how much weight you can safely add and carry in the future.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The GVWR refers to the maximum amount of weight that any vehicle can safely carry while it’s operating. Once a vehicle is weighed down by gear, extra equipment, people, pets, and anything else you might want to bring, it can end up being quite heavy.

You always need to make sure that your vehicles are operating beneath their maximum GVWR measurement. Going over it will put a huge amount of strain on the wheels, engine, and overall structure of your truck, making it unsafe to drive and difficult to maintain.

The same is true for any fifth wheels that you haul. Make sure that their fully loaded weight doesn’t exceed their maximum gross vehicle weight rating. These restrictions are put in place for everyone’s safety! Plus, overloaded fifth wheels and trucks will be difficult to pull and unsafe to maneuver.

To make sure that you’ve measured the weight correctly, it’s best to weigh your truck and fifth wheel before committing to any long trips. We’re all human and we can make mistakes when we measure. It’s better to find out sooner than later in this case.

You don’t want to push the limits of any of these measurements. They’re set at their maximum capacity and it’s risky to get too close to these breaking points. Also, bear in mind that the age and quality of your half-ton truck can come into play with these weight restrictions.

Older vehicles usually can’t handle the same amounts of weight and strain as newer ones, so try to cut down the pressure on older models as much as possible.

Popular Half Ton Trucks and Their Limits

Half ton trucks have a range of different payloads, tow capacities, and weights. As was mentioned previously, almost every “half ton” truck is capable of handling over 1,000 lbs. of weight.

In order to choose the best fifth wheel for your half-ton, you need to know what your vehicle can handle. Don’t overestimate or underestimate what any given truck can handle. Below is a table of some of the most popular fifth wheels and some basic measurements for them.

Pickup Truck Maximum Towing Capacity Maximum Payload Base Curb Weight
Ford F-150 8,100 lbs. 1,988 lbs. 6,113 lbs.
Chevrolet Silverado 9,800 lbs. 2,113 lbs. 5,630 lbs.
Ram 1500 8,750 lbs. 1,909 lbs. 5,718 lbs.
GMC Sierra 9,800 lbs. 2,133 lbs. 5,630 lbs.
Toyota Tundra 10,500 lbs. 1,915 lbs. 5,860 lbs.

As you can see, half ton trucks are often much hardier than their name implies. Some of them are capable of handling over a ton of weight when they are properly outfitted and cared for. Always be careful to stay within the limits of your chosen tow truck, but give half tons some credit as hardy, reliable vehicles!

Fifth Wheels That Are Advertised as Half-Ton Towable, But Aren’t

Unfortunately, we live in a world that’s often willing to spin the truth to make a buck. This means that there are lots of fifth wheels that may be advertised as being half-ton towable, but they’re really not.

Oftentimes, these fifth wheels might seem okay at face value. But one warning sign is if their measurements are exactly at, or slightly over the maximum weight limits. This would make them technically towable by half-ton trucks, but not realistically once they are loaded with people, cargo, water, and fuel.

Because of this number spinning, you can’t always take the company’s word at face value when you’re shopping for a fifth wheel. Make sure that you always ask for specific measurements and compare them to what you know about your own vehicle.

The chart below will give you some examples of falsely advertised half-ton towable fifth wheels, but it can’t cover everything. Use your own powers of judgment and compare the measurements to ensure that you make choices based on facts, not just advertising claims.

Fifth Wheel Gross Vehicle Weight Unladen Vehicle Weight Hitch Weight
Cougar Half-Ton 29RKS 10,400 lbs. 8,801 lbs. 1,605 lbs.
Cougar Half-Ton 32DBH 11,500 lbs. 9,311 lbs. 1,950 lbs.
Starcraft Telluride 338MBH 11,500 lbs. 9,275 lbs. 1,635 lbs.
Cherokee Arctic Wolf 285DRL4 9,900 lbs. 8,089 lbs. 1,535 lbs.
Coachmen Chaparral LITE 29BH 11,300 lbs. 9,113 lbs. 1,603 lbs.
Cruiser Aire CR 29SI 10,330 lbs. 8,295 lbs. 1,530 lbs.
Sandpiper 372LOK 15,500 lbs. 12,962 lbs. 2,474 lbs.

Now, this list isn’t meant to be insulting to the manufacturers of these vehicles. The fifth wheels listed in this chart are still high-quality products and I can recommend them to people with the towing capacity and payload to handle them.

The problem is that these are advertised as half-ton towable when these can’t realistically be called that. They already have high base weights, and people will definitely need to add at least a little extra weight in terms of water, fuel, and passengers.

When your hitch weight is pushing the upper limits of your payload, that’s risky business. You don’t want to worry about every little piece of gear that you put in your truck for fear of going over the payload. If you have to constantly worry about going over the weight restrictions, then that fifth wheel shouldn’t be classified as half-ton towable.

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Author Anthony Foxx

I am Tony, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I worked as a freelance transportation consultant for Lyft. As an RV development consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, in the Lifestyle edition of Business Finance News.

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