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Author Topic: Best truck to tow 5th wheel  (Read 6615 times)

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« on: March 03, 2013, 05:53:03 AM »
Good Day to ALL.

This is my first time in this forum and I am glad a friend of mine found this site. I have never been in, owned, or operated an RV; however, a coworker has influenced me in RVing. I have been researching all kinds of data from the prime mover to the trailer. I have an idea of what I would like but no experience with the kind of research I know it is going to require. I have thousands of questions and not enough time to list them. I am hoping this forum will be able to assist me with the education/experience/knowledge needed in order to enable my family and I to be smarter today than yesterday about an investment that will surely be long lasting.

Mahalo!

r/

Reggie

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 08:36:40 AM »
Hi Reggie and welcome to the RV Forum.  We help newcomers all the time, so look around, especially in the forum Library, and feel free to ask questions.

It is important to have a clear understanding of how you intend to use an RV, as there are many options and choices. The number of people onboard, frequency of travel, preferred locations, budget, lifestyle, and personal wants & needs all weigh heavily in your decisions. 

Your are shopping for a house, not a car, plus it is a very small house that will involve making tradeoffs among conflicting needs. My first suggestion is to look at as many different RVs as you can to get ideas about what variations are available and how you like (or hate) each of them. Then start building a priority list of features you must have, want, or wish to avoid.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tom

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 10:07:45 AM »
Aloha kakahiaka Reggie, and mahalo for your service to our country. In addition to browsing our forum and asking questions, be sure to browse our Library, Resources for Rvers, and Glossary of RV terms (buttons in the toolbar above).
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 10:09:17 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 03:47:06 AM »
and roger. I found that the library had too much information and because one only knows what they know, I realized I knew nothing. Where do I start? Lets see. I don't have any needs with reference to RVing. However, I do really want one. Vacationing, different scenery, "another first", and perhaps the biggest reason, making up for time lost with the Queen of my world. In the last 13 years, I can actually say the longest I spent with my wife was 11 months. That is a life time based on today's environment and something I miss. US Army for 27 and after retirement, another four as a contractor. I own a 2008 F-350. However, after reading much of the tow guide materials, the trailer I want is too big for my truck. I am looking at purchasing a 2013 Ford Truck F-450 Super Duty Crew Cab DRW 4WD XL. The trailer I am looking at is from Forest River. 376 BHOK, 346 RET, or the 35 ROK. I cannot complete my research via the internet because I have been unsuccessful in finding out the front GAWR and the rear GAWR for the truck. I have most of what I need and based on where I am at with researching the prime mover with the trailer, I can only assume that the new truck will be a fit for the trailer. The tow limit with a fifth wheel is 24,400.

Tom

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 08:45:18 AM »
Quote from: USArmyRET_RKSmith
.... I have been unsuccessful in finding out the front GAWR and the rear GAWR for the truck.

Does this Ford super duty truck chassis specs page help?
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 08:03:34 AM »
Absolutely and Mahalo nui loa!

Here is another question. Can it be assumed that when Ford lists Maximum Payload Weight Ratings that this means Cargo Capacity?
Addtionally, Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight Rating implies GVWR for the trailer?

I have put some data together on an excel spreadsheet and was wondering if someone can help me make sense of all the data. I have chosen 10 models of an RV and want to use the truck data to ensure the F-450 is the right truck to pull it. If you cannot understand the data, do you have something that I can use to help me with determining the data.

BLU: I need to ensure my prime mover is the right one before purchasing a different one. Thanks for your help Tom.

r/

Reggie

Tom

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 08:28:11 AM »
You're welcome Reggie. One of our truck/towing experts will be along shortly.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 04:26:45 PM »
Cargo can be anything carried in/on the truck, including passengers and gear in the cab.  It's not just the weight in the truck bed, so Max Payload is essentially the difference between the truck curb weight and truck GVWR.  Ford also notes that the Max Payload shown on the tire sticker on the door post does NOT include any dealer-installed accessories, whether Ford or aftermarket.

Ford has some tips on Max Payload  HERE.

Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight is just what it says. If you knew the actual loaded trailer weight (i.e. just came from a scale), you would use that number,but if you don't know the actual weight you should assume the trailer GVWR is the actual. At least until you can prove otherwise.

Experienced trailer users know that trailer weight has a way of growing over time, so they always assume the trailer weighs close to the GVWR. That way you stay on the safe side.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 04:31:16 PM »
In your spreadsheet, note that the pin weights shown are for the trailer as shipped from the factory, i.e. dry and empty of your gear. It will increase substantially when you load the trailer. You should assume it will be 20-25% of the actual loaded weight of the trailer.

Shipping weight is what we call dry weight - no fluids or propane onboard. You always have at least some water (e.g. the contents of the water heater) and some propane.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 04:58:08 PM »
Gary,

I appreciate the quick response. I understand fully about the shipping weight. Of course having never RV'd before, I have no clue about what equipment will be needed or added, at least not yet. I will definitely use the public scale once I am in a position to do so to ensure the safety of not only my family but others as well.

I need to look at the definition of truck Curb Weight. I can only assume that it is the weight of everything else other than the truck GVWR.

I have not been able to find a chart which makes it easier to determine towing data. I have read several tow guides and understand most of the data on my spreadsheet but it is still a lot of information. I intend to create a chart which simply enables entries as determined after weighing to ensure I am below standards according to the specs of both the vehicle and the trailer. My suspicion is that this kind of chart has already been developed.

r/

Reggie

joelmyer

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 05:59:32 PM »
Wow Reggie, I went through just what you are doing 9+ years ago.  Based on that experience, here is the advice I gave a coworker:

Add 1200 lbs to the published curb weight of the truck to account for more than a 150 lb driver, full tank of fuel, bed liner, hitch, tool box and other assorted stuff.  My truck published curb weight was 7111.  Scale weight ready to hook up was 8280.

Subtract the adjusted curb weigh from the GVWR.  That's your more real towing capacity.

Now look at the Trailer GVWR and the dry weight plus 2000 pounds.  Some trailers have a lot of cargo capacity, some not so much.  2000 lbs is a guess for options, fluids and stuff.  If your trailer doesn't have 2000 lbs cargo capacity you might want to think about another trailer.  My trailer was 7331, I think it weighed 9000 at some point.

Now compare the real towing capacity to your estimate for the real weight.

What you can't know until you get your truck ready to roll is the rear axle capacity.  You know the GAWR Rear but you don't know how much weight is already on the rear axle before you hook up.

I'm going to attach my spread sheet.  The conclusion is the conclusion you've already reached: You can't tow the trailer of your wife's dreams with a one ton truck.


Good luck.

Joel
Army Retired
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 08:17:31 PM »
Joel,

Thanks brother. Let me take a close look at what you attached. I will surely get back to you. Perhaps it will also take me 9+ years to obtain the knowledge you have today.

r/

Reggie

donn

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 10:30:27 PM »
No matter what, stick with a smaller lower cost used unit as your first purchase.  There is about a 50/50 chance your first purchase will not be your last.  There is also about a 50% chance you will actually hate the RV lifestyle and either sell or park it and never use it again.  Either way to keep your losses at a minimum buying used is the best advise I can offer.

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 01:29:56 AM »
and roger. I will consider your advise when I chat with the wife about this. She has no clue what I am doing at this time.

r/

Reggie

joelmyer

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 05:13:54 AM »
Good advice from Don.

You said you own a Ford 350.  And you can put it on the scales, it probably has everything you need except a hitch.

Work the problem the other way - find a trailer you can tow with that. Try that for a few years.

Joel

Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 06:50:21 AM »
and roger.

I am currently in the process of buying a 2013 F-450 Lariat with all the bells and whistles for the sole purpose of being used as the prime mover for the trailer. The F-350 will not be able to handle the weight. I have a 12" lift and the tailgate would be too high for the Fifth Wheel based on specifications of 57" (I cannot recall where I read this). Of the trailers I have researched, Peterson Inc. and Forest River are my two choices. Once she chooses a model, we will go see it regardless where it is at. We will list out all the advantages and disadvantages as we always do before we ever get to this point. Between she and I, she is the one with the level head.

I will definitely tell her what recommendations I have been given using this forum and then let it go from there.

Thanks!

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2013, 08:42:21 AM »
Curb weight is the vehicle as it comes from the factory, with all the fluids necessary for operation (includes a full tank of fuel) but no driver or cargo. Bedliners, tool boxes, etc. are aftermarket add-ons and not included in curb weight.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

USArmyRET_RKSmith

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Re: Best truck to tow 5th wheel
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2013, 10:10:26 AM »
Thanks for the definition Gary.