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5th wheeler & Ford f150

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2011, 04:58 PM
Camper
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Question 5th wheeler & Ford f150

We would like to buy a 5th wheel to take to Florida for the winter. We have looked at some 27 foot lite campers. My truck has a 5.4 engine. They say I can pull it, but my concern is pulling it through the mountains. Does any one pull a 5th wheeler with a 5.4 engine?
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2011, 01:00 AM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 957
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First, who are "they"? If it's a salesman, it's their job to sell a trailer and your job to maintain all the ratings, who do you think will be responsible in the event of a mishap, problem or find you are overweight?

You must first learn all the ratings, and where you currently stand. For a residential fifth wheel you must know its gross ratings and the pin weight of 18% to 25% (NOT 15% like on a horse or utility trailer).

NEVER look at the shipping weight (aka curb weight, unladen weight). This refers to the weight of a trailer when it leaves the factory empty. As soon as you start filling it up it will NO LONGER be empty and probably never will be again.

Even if you are able to maintain all the ratings (if you are overweight on any rating, you are overweight, period?), a tow vehicle like your F150 may struggle even though it can handle the weight. It's not just about the engine, you must consider the transmission, driveshaft, u-joints, differential, axles, spindles, shocks, brakes, springs, suspension parts, wheels and tires, etc. The ratings imply that of all these components have been taken into consideration. You can't just get stronger tires and wheels because that might not be the weak point or add air bags or extra springs and think you increase your weight ratings. There are rare instances when a vehicle's weight ratings can be improved and an F-150 has none and most improvements mean you should have just purchased a more capable vehicle, or stay within your current vehicle.

If things break under normal conditions this is referred to as an accident, but if you are overweight then you are negligent and could be liable if you cause other damage or injury. I have heard one story where it was determined a driver was overweight and an insurance company did not have to cover the accident because of negligence. Check the fine print of your insurance on this one.

If the ratings are proper, then you might still not like the ride. Slow uphills AND downhills (you can't use your brakes or you'll burn them out in some cases), bumpy roads, wind and weather conditions, headwinds when towing, railroads tracks, debris on the road; there are all kinds of situations that can make you uncomfortable even though the weights are fine. If you have to go slower, there's nothing wrong with that as long as you don't become a deterrent to others.

It's difficult to find that fine line between, comfort, tolerance, and cost. Just learn enough to make the best decision for your rig combination to avoid any surprises.

If you need help understanding how to correlate the weight ratings, just ask and many of us can help.
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Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 09-24-2011 at 01:06 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:24 AM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 54
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artmart is right. I was looking to buy a 5th wheel to tow with my 2011 F-150 4x4 supercab with a 5.0 engine, 145 inch wheel base. max payload capacity for my truck is 1680 lbs. add my wife and I plus the dogs and gear, food, fill the tanks and we would be way over weight even with a smaller 5th wheel.

if you have a super crew the camper will hit the cab on turns because the bed is only 5 1/2 ft.

Last edited by PhilnJill; 09-24-2011 at 05:33 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:25 AM
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Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 54
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your best bet is to buy a travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch. let me know the year, 2 or 4wd, gears, and cab size of your truck and I can find the payload and towing capacity of your truck.

Last edited by PhilnJill; 09-24-2011 at 05:36 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2011, 03:12 PM
Camper
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Smile Ford F150 pulling 5th wheel

I have gained a lot of helpful information from this site,ans I appreciate it. I think I am going to trade my truck in for a F250 diesel. I have been looking and I think that is the best way to go. I am sure I will have more questions when we get the 5th wheel.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2011, 08:56 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
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Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 957
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You'll still need to learn the ratings and limitations for your F-250. I upgraded to one of those and eventually got a newer trailer that required an F-350. Fortunately, I was able to properly and legally upgrade my F-250 to F-350 capability, but this isn't always the case.

Those weight ratings, then weighing everything find out where you stand takes some planning and measurement.

Example ratings to know:

Tow Vehicle:

GVWR, CGVWR, FAWR, RAWR, fifth wheel tow rating, travel trailer (bumper) tow rating, wheel and tire ratings.

Trailer:

GTWR (just like GVWR, but T is for trailer), AWRs, pin weight or tongue weight.

Then you'll need to know the actual weights by getting to a scale. With luck the actual weights will be well within the ratings at all points.

For example, I have a 13,500 lb trailer with a 14,040 lb GTWR and it was too much for my F-250 even though it was rated to pull 15,300 lbs of fifth wheel. Because of the trailer there was too much at the rear axle and the gross weight of the tow vehicle.

Also the posted cargo weight is not reliable because I added so many options and accessories to my truck it affected the amount of cargo weight I could carry. For example, air bags, a spray on liner and a bed cover added some weight to the overall truck weight and this lessened by cargo weight by that same amount. Don't forget to consider the weight of the hitch and hardware as these add weight to the rig combination, too.

Good luck with your truck and the trailer you pick for towing and pullinf. Don't get a big fifth wheel like I did and you should fare much better with the F-250.

There's lots to know.
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Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 09-24-2011 at 09:00 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2011, 05:57 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
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the 5th wheeler we are looking at is an ultra lite Sundance XLT 27 foot. Dry wt is 7466, hitch wt 1625, and GVWR is 11,785. I may ask for your help again artmart, when I get more information. Since I am new to this, alot of it is Greek to me.
Thank you .
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2011, 12:06 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 957
Default I think that trailer will still be too heavy...

Here is exactly the problem I was talking about. The Salesfolks will push the Marketing materials that are published to make a sale not stop a sale. The sales people will argue, if you are concerned about weight "well, don't fill it up so much". As soon as you drive off the lot, you'll never be at that 7,466 lb weight. You'll prepare it for recreating and put in bedding, clothing, fill the cabinets with necessities, pots, pans, plates, cups, bowls, DVDs, luggage, tools, blocks, jacks, batteries, A/C, etc., etc. and when will you ever be at that weight again? NEVER. There will be some instances where it's hard to NOT fill up the trailer to keep the weight down, and it's easier to approach the gross weight and if your vehicle cannot support that, you'll be over.

You MUST start with the GVWR of 11,785. This already sounds too high for your vehicle. Then an estimate for the pin weight is from 18% to 25% of the trailer will be carried by the pin and on your truck along with the hitch because of the design of a residential fifth wheel (I'm between 19% and 20%, but it sure isn't 15% but my big truck can support all that). You'll notice the major cargo areas where many of the heavy items are carried are between the front axle and the pin, which adds weight between that area including the pin. When you fill the rig up you MUST then weigh your rig to ensure it's below these weight ratings. Most people carry some water, but the big test is you are at a campsite without a sewer hookup and you know have full gray and black tanks which add weight to the trailer and more to tow to the dump station by your vehicle. Lots to consider and know.

Just remember published numbers are not real life. You can only go by maximum ratings and weigh your truck so you know you are under. Everything else is just numbers to make the sale and they've never been completely at the published numbers for me and my friends and family, so I doubt they'll be right for you either.

I am pretty sure that is too much trailer for your F-150 and I only know the GTWR of 11,785 is probably too high already.

We can get more exact if you look at the door pillar and tell us the ratings from there (GVWR, RAWR, FAWR) and the year of your truck. That will help us look up the rest of the ratings for you and how to learn these. There may be some in the owner's manual too, like tow rating for bumper and fifth wheel and the CGVWR. The rest can be calculated, but these numbers are very important to know. The salesman don't have an obligation to keep you safe. That's your job.
__________________
Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 09-25-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2011, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
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I think we would feel much safer with the F250 Diesel. Do you think that would be better for towing? The truck is a 2006 F250 XLT super cab 4x4 with 8cyl, 6.0 liter with towing package. I am going to look at this truck tomorrow, but I feel this would be much better.
Thank-you
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2011, 02:30 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 957
Default

That truck should handle the load with no problem! Just don't fill up the truck bed too much. Put any extra gear in the trailer behind the axles.

That is the same truck I currently have and would have no problem with the trailer you are looking at. When I got the bigger fifth wheel and compared the numbers to the dealer's specs, all looked good, but in actual weights, I was overloaded on the rear axle by a few hundred pounds and overweight on the Truck's GVWR. I should have had an F-350!!

I was able to upgrade my F-250 to an F-350 and solve my problem legally, but my trailer is much bigger than the one specified and I had to do this. You should have no problem with that truck with that trailer. Look at the door pillar of the truck and you should see:

GVWR: 10,000lbs
FAWR: 5,100 lbs
RAWR: 6,000 lbs

If so, the CGWR is 22,500 and you can support about 2,200 in pin weight, cargo and hitch the family and other stuff.
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Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
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