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Author Topic: The Truth about Towing Limits  (Read 1191 times)

iheartvols

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The Truth about Towing Limits
« on: August 06, 2017, 12:11:29 PM »
I'm a one year travel trailer owner and we're thinking of upgrading to a 5th wheel.  In order to do so we'll have to trade our SUV for a pickup. The 5th wheel we're looking at has a dry weight of 9,500 lbs and the towing capacity of the Ford F-150 with the V6 ecoboost engine we're considering is rated at 12,400 lbs. The guy at the Ford dealership insists I'll need an F-250 but I don't want a truck that big as an everyday vehicle.

Any advice/opinions?

SeilerBird

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 12:19:50 PM »
I doubt an F-250 would be a big enough truck. You might want to consider a class A and a small toad.
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2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 12:34:20 PM »
you need to be looking at the trailer's GVW (gross vehicle weight) NOT the dry weight. Dry weight is the weight as it left the factory with installed standard equipment but nothing else, I.E., no water, propane, etc. The GVW is max weight the trailer can handle including all fuel, water, food, clothes, installed extras, dishes, etc., etc., etc. A bigger truck is probably going to be a given. DON'T let the RV dealer or the truck dealer talk you into a smaller truck. Go big. Do some research on this forum to get expert help from people who have been there, done that.    Also, I'm a believer in the old axiom when it comes to vehicles....There is no substitute for CUBIC inches.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 12:36:58 PM by 2kGeorgieBoy »
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tonyshell

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 12:39:26 PM »
Dont forget the 20% hitch weight.  Likely the F150 has the payload, some 3/4 tons don't either.  Run the numbers, dont fudge, your safety and others.
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iheartvols

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 12:41:19 PM »
Here are the trailer specs:

Dry Weight
9,855 lbs.
Payload Capacity
1,961 lbs.
GVWR
11,875 lbs.
Hitch Weight
1,715 lbs.

FastEagle

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 02:03:15 PM »
Here are the trailer specs:

Dry Weight
9,855 lbs.
Payload Capacity
1,961 lbs.
GVWR
11,875 lbs.
Hitch Weight
1,715 lbs.

 (:(
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 03:28:28 PM by scottydl »
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xrated

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 02:29:01 PM »
The published hitch weight is also a dry weight, and is not realistic for real world numbers.  Your trailer GVWR is 11,875.  You need to multiply that number times 20% and that will be your approx. 5th wheel pin weight......2375 lbs.  Now add the 5ver hitch in the bed....another 175 lbs or so, add in all your passengers, cargo, tools, BBQ grill, anything and everything that either goes in the truck or in the bed of the truck.  Just the pin weight and the hitch are going to put you at  2550 lbs.  Does the F150 have that kind of payload capacity.....does the F250 even have that kind of payload capacity.  The F150...very doubtful.....the F250....possible, but definitely not with the 6.7 diesel, crew cab, 4x4, Lariat!  To even get close to the amount of payload that you would need (probably approaching 3000 lbs or more), you could very well be in the 1 Ton SRW truck range unless you got a really stripped down F250 with a gas motor, 2 wheel drive, and an XL package (work truck). 

And, as a reminder, it's never OK to go over any ONE of the weight capacity ratings....GVWR, GCWR, RAWR, FAWR, Towing capacity rating.  Every single one of the truck manufacturers will clearly state to NEVER exceed any of the weight ratings.  Sorry for the bad news (opinion from someone that learned the lesson the hard way), but you need a larger truck than a F150, and most likely, bigger than a F250....unless you do like I was talking about above.....gas, 2WD, etc.
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OutdoorFT

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 02:29:43 PM »
That 5th wheel, with that dry weight, would probably maxing out my F350 when loaded, let alone an f150
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NoOneSpecial

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 02:40:45 PM »
No way an F150 is going to be able to tow that.  No way.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 03:00:20 PM by Sun2Retire »

scottydl

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 03:38:29 PM »
Search the term "Ecoboost" on this forum, and you'll read of several instances where trailer owners have been assured (or assumed) that their new V6 Ford would pull a big trailer.  Only to find out later that it was quite a white-knuckle, hair-raising experience.  The pulling capacity of 12k# is only one part of workable towing.  3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks also have heavier duty suspension, cooling, transmission, and tires (just to name a few upgrades) that improve the towing process.  COULD you tow it (a large trailer)?  Maybe.  Would you enjoy it?  Not likely.

I'll echo too that the dry/empty weight of a trailer is a near-useless number.  That might not even include some features/options/equipment that are installed later by the dealer.  And obviously doesn't include any of your "stuff" which can easily reach 1-2k# depending on your usage and packing habits.  xrated broke down some of the typical added weight that you have to consider.  I'd be surprised if that loaded 5er weighs less than 11k# and might easily be 12k# with everything considered.

Surprisingly I agree with the salesperson you talked to (which is rare!), and I cannot imagine your truck hauling a fifth wheel in a safe and stable manner.  As Tom S. mentioned, there have been a fair number of F-250 (3/4 ton) truck owners that have found THEY are teetering on the edge of their truck's limits when towing a fifth wheel.  The RV sales term "half ton towable!" that you see on many trailer ads is pretty misleading, for all the reasons mentioned here.
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Gods Country

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 04:25:52 PM »
Here are the trailer specs:

Dry Weight
9,855 lbs.
Payload Capacity
1,961 lbs.
GVWR
11,875 lbs.
Hitch Weight
1,715 lbs.

That hitch weight is based on the dry weight.  Your trailer will be a lot closer to 12k than 10k.  Which places your hitch weight more like 2,300 not 1,700.  Add the passenger weight and everything else that you put in the truck you will be looking at a payload over 3,000.  Even at 1,700 your not going to find a 1/2 ton truck that can safely tow that monster.  A f250 is the minimum that you will need, and there won't be many that will fit the bill.
My F250 technically can haul it with a 3,300 pound payload, but it's a basic work truck with little frills and a standard cab.  I still don't think I would be comfortable hauling it without a V10 or diesel. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 04:27:21 PM by Sun2Retire »

iheartvols

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 04:51:11 PM »
Thanks for all the responses...very informative.

With that being said, is 9500 lbs considered "heavy" for a 32 foot 5th wheel bunk house?

John From Detroit

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 04:58:07 PM »
TORQUE is what gets you going.. HP gets you up to speed... Once it's rolling you need only a fraction of the HP you need to get up to speed.. But as others have said that is only a fraction of the situation

Oh listen to a locomotive (Diesel/Lectric type) WHen they start out they ramp up those big diesel's to the red line to generate enough electricty to turn those big electric motors that power it but once they get up to speed.  they back 'em down cause they don't need that much power any more.

But if the Truck/vehicle's suspension is not up to the load if brakes and steering are not up to load.. Your underware will need frequent changing as it turns brown and smelly.. IF YOU LIVE.

These ads where they show a small truck pulling like a Boing 747 or a boat the size of the Queen Mary.....  I think those companies should be sent to prison for endangering everyone.

YEs the truck can do it, at like 2 MPH on a closed track.
 
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clockdrfla

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 06:42:03 PM »
You might buy the 5er first then buy a truck. 

FastEagle

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 09:21:05 PM »
The published hitch weight is also a dry weight, and is not realistic for real world numbers. 

The manufacturer's hitch/pin weight is a mandatory requirement. Here is how the standard reads: On RV trailers, the sum of the GAWRs of all axles on the vehicle plus the vehicle manufacturer's recommended tongue weight must not be less than the GVWR. If tongue weight is specified as a range, the minimum value must be used.
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scottydl

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 09:23:37 PM »
With that being said, is 9500 lbs considered "heavy" for a 32 foot 5th wheel bunk house?

Standard I'd say.  Pretty light actually, probably without a lot of quality upgrades (because those "cost" weight).  9500# is about what my 32' bunkhouse travel trailer weighs when loaded.  It's around 8000# empty, just for comparison.  5ers generally run a bit heavier than TT's, as they are taller with more "materials" weight (aside from other feature differences).

What TT do you currently have that is turning your preference toward a 5er?
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iheartvols

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2017, 07:26:30 AM »
Standard I'd say.  Pretty light actually, probably without a lot of quality upgrades (because those "cost" weight).  9500# is about what my 32' bunkhouse travel trailer weighs when loaded.  It's around 8000# empty, just for comparison.  5ers generally run a bit heavier than TT's, as they are taller with more "materials" weight (aside from other feature differences).

What TT do you currently have that is turning your preference toward a 5er?

It's a keystone Laredo 29BHS. We love the trailer but I'm 6'-4" and would like something with more headroom and a bigger bunk area. This is our first RV so we bought a bit of a project until we knew for sure camping was for us.

scottydl

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2017, 08:30:02 AM »
That makes perfect sense, and at 6'4" I can imagine that headroom is certainly an issue!  I'm 5'8" (5'9" on a tall day ;)) and even I have considered our TT ceilings to be lower than what I was used to in our first Class A motorhome.

Unfortunately, I think it's fair to say that your current truck will not be up to the task of hauling the bunkhouse-style 5er you are wanting.
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AStravelers

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2017, 09:47:11 AM »
Thanks for all the responses...very informative.

With that being said, is 9500 lbs considered "heavy" for a 32 foot 5th wheel bunk house?
As other have stated earlier, it is not the 9500 pounds of "dry weight" you need to be concerned about, it is the GVWR and the hitch weight you need to be aware of.  Then be sure you have enough truck to haul your gear and passengers as well as the trailer. 

Also it is not "will the truck pull the trailer".  It is will the truck safely handle the weight and be able to stop when you need to.  After all a few years ago a Toyota Tundra "pulled" the Space Shuttle for a ways on the streets of LA. 
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KandT

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2017, 02:01:55 PM »
The other thing to consider from an engine standpoint is that they are not putting those V6's with lots of torque and HP in their e450's or F53's yet.  I believe the eco boosts are rated for more hp and torque than their V10 so why not put it in the moho's??  Probably because they aren't confident they will pull all day everyday like the v10 will.  Just a guess though.
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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2017, 07:42:17 PM »
The other thing to consider from an engine standpoint is that they are not putting those V6's with lots of torque and HP in their e450's or F53's yet.  I believe the eco boosts are rated for more hp and torque than their V10 so why not put it in the moho's??  Probably because they aren't confident they will pull all day everyday like the v10 will.  Just a guess though.

Research all the Ecoboost problems and one can fairly deduce why they don't. And, you're on the right trail, sir.

KandT

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2017, 08:03:06 PM »
Research all the Ecoboost problems and one can fairly deduce why they don't. And, you're on the right trail, sir.

Next time you are out count the number of f150's you see and the number with anything over a 2X4 in them.  I had one and they are fantastic trucks - I loved mine.  They just aren't made for pulling that kind of weight - just look at the rear springs.
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grashley

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2017, 08:03:35 PM »
First, thank you for asking.

You need about 3,000# of payload - 2300# pin wt, 200# FW hitch, 500# Passengers and cargo.

A special order F150 XL with regular cab, long bed, High Capacity Payload Package (HCPP) may handle the load, but you will not find one on the lot!

Very few F250 will have this much payload, and they will have very few options or comfort features.

F350 SRW will handle the load.  The truck in my sig has a 3453# payload, and it is very comfortably equipped.

Look used, and you can save a bundle.
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CWSWine

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2017, 01:31:57 PM »
Ford uses a 15% pin weight for rating their towing capacity but in real life a typical rear living room 5er will have a 22 to 24 percent pin weight. What I do is figure what the dry percentage pin weight and since most of the storage in a typical 5er is forward of the axles I add 2 or 3 percent to that number.  I know on 30 day trip we add about 1500 pounds and short trip around 1200 pounds an add that to the dry 5er weight times the percentage I got from above.

I know that my B&W hitch, my wife, me and stuff in the truck comes to about 650 pounds so I subtract that from the yellow sticker.   What is left over has to be greater then the pin weight above. 
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RVRAC

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2017, 08:06:46 PM »
Welcome to the world of RV and this forum.

No way you can handle it with a F150, maybe a F250 but doubtful, a F350SRW will be fine. 
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steveblonde

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Re: The Truth about Towing Limits
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2017, 02:03:22 AM »
Dont be afraid of buying a 3/4 (2500) series or 3500 series truck as a daily driver they are both really comfortable and a pleasure to drive ive done so for years. They can be a little hard on fuel and i drive about 30,000 miles a year so i picked up a little Ford Escape for daily use
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