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Author Topic: Tow vehicle help  (Read 2824 times)

Ian H

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Tow vehicle help
« on: June 27, 2005, 06:28:45 PM »
Our next trip to the states Jan 2006 will probably be done with a fifth wheel and i need ideas on the tow vehicle
The fifth wheel we are looking at is the new Keystone Cambridge 358RLS with a gross weight just under 17000lbs
The tow vehicle will be a new Ford F550 deisel with a pickup rear bed same as a F350
What i need to know is do i go auto box or manual ,4wheel drive or 2 (all sites visited on this trip would not require 4x4)
and with the towing capacity it has do i get involved in axle ratio`s etc
also any extras that may be of use whilst towing a 5er

I want to have an idea before i sorce a dealer (Brandon Ford Florida has been the most helpfull so far) as i want to do the
hard work here before i fly home to the UK
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tow vehicle help
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2005, 08:26:52 AM »
There is no need to go with a manual gear box unless you prefer it. Modern truck automatics (e.g. Allison or Ford 5 speeds) are well able to handle major towing loads and in some respects are superior to a manual.  Take your pick.

You will need the maximum GCWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight) you can get.  The 4.30 axle and big diesel yields a 26,000 lb GCWR but that is not really adeqiaue for the size trailer you are looking at.  The truck is probably going to weigh in over 8500 lbs and with a 17,000 lb trailer you are already at max.  It appears there is an option on the 550 to increase to 30,000 lb GCWR, so you ask the dealer what it takes to get that.

A Ford brochure (http://www.commtruck.ford.com/ctw/default.asp) says that a 550 can handle a fifth wheel up to 24,000 lbs with aftermarkey equipment added.  Study that brochure!!!

When we had a fifth wheel, we used an F350 with a Limited Slip axle and still got stuck a couple times on wet grass, which can be as slippery as ice.  I would go for the 4WD.  But if you stay in the nicer parks, i.e. those with good roads and well-prepped campsites, it should not be necessary.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

BernieD

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Re: Tow vehicle help
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2005, 08:40:45 AM »

What i need to know is do i go auto box or manual ,4wheel drive or 2 (all sites visited on this trip would not require 4x4)


Ian

If you go with a manual transmission and/or 4 wheel drive you will lose towing capacity on the truck. The truck manufacturers usually show a higher towing capacity when equipped with an automatic and the 4x4 adds weight to the package which subtracts from the towing capacity.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Ian H

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Re: Tow vehicle help
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2005, 12:31:42 PM »
Thank for that Gary & Bernie
it seems its going to be the extra towing package ,also i have grown to like auto transmission in the past 5 months so auto box and2 wheel drive it is.
If i can screw Lazydays over the price when the time comes i might even go for a Longhorn leather upgrade
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

 

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