older 5th wheel and new F-150 ? - CamperCommunity Forums

Join Now!

Go Back   CamperCommunity Forums > Recreational Vehicles > RV / Camper Discussions

older 5th wheel and new F-150 ?

CamperCommunity.com is the premier Camper Community Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:39 AM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 54
Question older 5th wheel and new F-150 ?

I am looking to buy a used 5th wheel and cannot find any info on my question. can I tow an older 5th wheel with a 2011 Ford F-150 due to the bed being higher on the newer trucks ?

my fear is buying a 5th wheel and cannot tow it because the bed will hit the camper as I have noticed newer campers have a longer extension than older ones.

my truck is a 2011 F-150 extended cab 4x4 with a 5.0 not the 4 door super crew. I only want to spend around 10,000 for a camper as I cannot see paying 30 or 40 for one when I can buy land and build a cabin for that much.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 08-14-2011, 12:21 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

It's all about the fifth wheel tow rating and the weight ratings of the fifth wheel.

Adjustments and spacers can be done to fix the ride height of a new or old truck, the hitch, the hitch head, or the trailer, even the truck or trailer suspension, but you can't fix the weight ratings!

If you have customized your truck and added larger diameter wheels or tires, then you might have trouble with any fifth wheel trailer. There are only so many adjustments that can be made.

Can you also provide the actual rear axle differential ratio, the length of the bed and whether it's 4x2 or 4x4 and any ride modifications (height wise) so we can help you know what you will be looking for in a fifth wheel? There is almost 2,000 lbs difference depending how else your truck is equipped. So far we know you have a 2011 Ford F-150 Supercab with the 5.0 V8 gas engine but need more info to complete the job.

Your owners manual, invoice or door pillar should include this information, but it's not unusual to not have it or find it.

You'll need to know the actual weight of your truck too. Weigh the front axle, both axles, and the rear axle, with just you and fluids topped off and we can start with the curb weight. Subtract this from the GVWR and then you'll know the cargo carrying capacity - passengers, gear and the hitch hardware. DO NOT go by the book on this one. Options, accessories, gear you carry will make a huge difference and this won't be accurate.

Then we'll have to estimate the pin weight and then you'll know how much weight your truck is towing.

You have a good plan, but you'll need to learn how all these weights measure out and affect things. This is the critical part.

Note: It's not about how the truck can tow. It's about how the truck can tow within its limits for safety. If you are not within limits, you are liable for any and all mishaps no matter who's at fault, because you should NOT have been on the road. Lawyers get rich on this "negligence" and "ignorance" has never been a valid excuse.



__________________
Art
Murrieta, CA

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

Last edited by artmart; 08-14-2011 at 01:11 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-14-2011, 03:26 PM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 54
Default

Thanks artmart, I guess I worded it wrong.

as a truck driver I know about weight limits and such.

anyway my question was with the depth of the bed of newer F-150 pickups in relation to the clearance of the camper body of older 5th wheel campers.

my concern is that the clearance from the bed to the camper body would be too close.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:11 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

My apologies. I understand now.... this is easier to fix than weight problems. What you are looking for is what's called "bed clearance". It is the recommended overhang of the fifth wheel distance from the highest part of the bed (usually the tailgate and corners). It is recommended this is a minimum of 6". This supposedly provides the minimum of clearance when approaching dips and bumps like driveways or some campsites and allows that contact is prevented if this distance is maintained. I have 7 1/2" of clearance myself even when I inflate my air bags and raise the rear end of the tow vehicle.

There are several ways to solve this.

1. For whatever reason the big three have tried to make their trucks look beefier by making them sit higher. There was a year of Ford 3/4 & 1 tons where the way they did this is by putting extra or thicker spacers in the leaf spring packs. This allowed for less sag so the truck didn't look like it bottomed out when a load was put on the rear of the truck. There were Ford notices that they were allowing their dealers to remove these spacers or using thinner ones (for example, from 4 inch to 2 inch or similar) when owners complained they did not have the necessary "bed clearance" for their fifth wheels in these cases. But then too many owners were having Ford service technicians do all this expensive work and it was costing Ford a fortune. They pulled the notices and if an owner wants this done they now, they have to pay for it.

If you take a picture of your spring pack (axle and all the layers of springs) and email it to me, I'll let you know if you can improve this. You might even be able to do this yourself if so inclined, and the only parts cost is that you will need new and probably resized (shorter) U-bolts since you should NEVER reuse U-bolts. The rest is labor!!!

2. A fifth wheel hitch that sits in the truck bed has several adjustments and some hitches have more adjustability than others. These adjustments can be used to raise the height of the trailer's pin to gain some height.

3. The fifth wheel's pin box will sometimes have adjustments as well and by lowering the pin box to a lower setting will raise the front of the trailer, again, to gain some height.

4. A very severe change is the trailer axles. There are ways to "reverse" the position of the axle and its spring set.

5. If the axles are already at their highest, maybe you can add spacers to raise the trailer while the position of the tires remain the same.

All of these can increase bed clearance.

I hope these will help with your problem. I don't know how to measure to anticipate a problem, and if you buy a used rig, I can see your concern that bed clearance might be an issue for a fifth wheel, but with an F-150, you might not have to worry about it. It might just be that it looks like it might be a problem, but may not.

Good luck. If you want me to take a look at your spring pack, send me a PM and we'll trade emails and check it out.



__________________
Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-15-2011, 10:06 AM
dogbone's Avatar
Addicted Camper
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: north jersey
Posts: 265
Default

I have been thinking about your question for a bit now. In theory this will work to get you close to an answer. Now if I can explain it is a different story.
If you already have a hitch in place: put a 2x4 from rail to rail, with the hitch level measure from the top plate of the hitch to the bottom of the 2x4. Say it's 12".Then measure from the bottom of the trailer to the bottom of the pin plate, not the bottom of pin itself, the plate that rides on the hitch plate. Say this is 18". You will have 6" clearance at that location.

This number, what ever it is, will be the same. What will change is the clearance in front or behind that point. You might have only 4" by the tailgate and 8" in the front, when you hook up. When you crank up your landing gear the trailer weight will come down on the truck lowering it. In a perfect world when the landing gear comes off the ground the clearance will be close to 6" all around. 5 vers are supposed to be towed nearly level. If it is off some adjustments are necessary, as Art described.

If you don't have a hitch in your truck, it's a bit more difficult. You must measure the hitch from the ground/floor to the top of the plate, with the plate level. Measure the distance from the top of the trucks bed to the bottom of the 2x4, like before. Subtract the hitch height from that number. It should give you number like measuring with the hitch installed.
If you are getting the hitch put in at a dealer, they should be able to help you out.

If my theory works, this will give you the clearance at the pivot point of the hitch to the top of the trucks rails. You can change this by lowering/raising the pin or raising/lowering the hitch plate. Example: If you only have 5", you must raise the hitch or lower the pin or both. Remember the 6" min. You still might have to change the location of the springs in the shackles or add spacers, to get everything level. This you won't know til you get hooked up.

I'm on my 3rd 5 ver now. My first one the axles had to be flopped to get the trailer and truck level. There was not enough adjustment on the spring shackles. If this must be done, I would take it to a trailer shop. The new spring perches must be welded and the axles aligned to tow straight. The other two matched up perfect, with the Dodge and Ford. You might get lucky.

I hope the theory works and you can understand my ramblings. If you need to get confused anymore, just drop me a line. I hope it works out for you. Good luck.

Bob
__________________
Bob & Deb
Diesel the black lab
2003 30' Cedar Creek rlbs 5 th wheel
2003 F 350 crew cab srw
6.0 powerstroke
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-15-2011, 01:56 PM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 54
Default

Thank you for the thoughtful replies. I do understand what you said dogbone as I am pretty handy.

my truck does have the factory tow package and considering a 5th hitch is more expensive than I realized I just might go with a TT.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-15-2011, 03:50 PM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mandan ND
Posts: 39
Default

Thats what I did this year switched from a small 5th wheel to larger newer and lighter TT. With the E2 hitch set up tows just as nice as 5 th wheel except that extra bumb you feel on rougher roads. The TT has better floor plans and seem more open since everything is on the same level. We went from a 1999 5th with single slide to a2010 32 ft TT with super slide we did lose some storage space but now have a full truck box, and no more 5th hicth to remove when using the truck another nice option.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-16-2011, 01:33 AM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

Your Ford will have a lower TT rating since the weight is towed at the bumper. A WDH will help the tow but it won't increase the tow rating, plus it is heavier which adds to the weight.

Keep these in mind and you should be okay. A WDH typically has lots of adjustability if you are still concerned about towing a trailer at the level.



__________________
Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-16-2011, 04:47 AM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mandan ND
Posts: 39
Default

A WDH won't increase towing, nothing can be done to increase towing without alterating the vechicle. But their is a difference if WDH is used with a reciever hitch versus bumper hitch. My chevy is rate at 10500 @ 1000 lb tongue weight and vechicle has a 16000lb GCWR these numbers also corespond with the ratings on the receiver. The truck has the 6.0 and 4.11 gears. My main point if a TT is set up properly using a WDH in combination with anti-sway ( E2 Hutch )it can be towed with the same piece of mind of a 5th wheel with the proper set up.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-16-2011, 11:16 AM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

Good example, rksolid. You post brings up a good point, that ALL ratings must be considered when towing. If the truck has a 16,000 lb CGVWR, and the trailer rating is 10,500, this means the truck must weigh 5,500 or less to remain compliant. Only the scales will tell you what the ACTUAL weights are.

For example, my '06 Ford F-250 had a 22,500 lb CGWR. It also has a 15,300 lb fifth wheel tow rating and a 12,500 bumper tow rating (this is the same as an F-350). However, the actual curb weight of my truck is 8,100 lbs and when it's loaded with the fifth wheel hitch, passengers, cargo in the bed and in the cab, the weight jumps to 8,400 lbs. This leaves only 14,100 lbs left over for a fifth wheel (700lbs less than the rating). Fortunately, I own a fifth wheel that has a GVWR of 14,040 and the trailer when loaded only weighs 13,500 but this allows a little more than 500 lbs of black and gray and fresh water, but so far I have been able to dump the tanks prior to hitching up and driving off but if I had too I can tow all this weight to a dump station.

I had a problem I had to fix in that the 20% PIN weight of my fifth wheel put too much weight on the rear axle and my RAWR of 6,100 was over by about 400 lbs. The way I solved this problem is that I purchased larger factory wheels and larger tires with better weight ratings and the extra leaf spring hardware to LEGALLY increase the RAWR to 7,000 lbs (increase of 900 lbs). This only increased the CGWR to 23,000lbs and of course, the trailer weight ratings were the same.

Just more things to remember for the weight battle of our rigs. Not everyone can increase the GVWR but is possible and requires lots of research. I do know air bags won't do it! Don't let any salesman tell you otherwise. A call to the air bag manufacturer and they will say "NO!".



__________________
Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-21-2011, 09:09 AM
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 54
Default

well after some looking around I have found that I am very limited with 5th wheels due to the pin weight so TT it is.

as said better floor plans and such with a TT.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-22-2011, 12:16 AM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971
Default

That is probably true. There are very few small 5ers that can be towed by a 1/2 ton or smaller truck. Even the small 5ers do better with a 3/4 ton truck.

Good luck on your continued search. I hope you tell us what you find!



__________________
Art
Murrieta, CA

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

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:34 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.