Advise on Fifthwheel for new RVers

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motocross

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
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1
We need advise on purchasing a new fifth-wheel.  We are new to this and are looking at getting a toy-hauler - to use to haul motorcycles to our son's motocross races and to use on family vacations.  We are looking at a Dutchmen Victory Lane 36SRV.  First question -  the sales people assure us that the truck we have can haul the RV.  We have a 1999 Ford F250, Crew Cab, Short Wheel Base, 7.3 Power Stroke, 373 gear ratio, Automatic tranny, upgraded torque converter to a pro locker with large cooler.  The RV has an unloaded vehicle weight of 11,808 and a GVWR of 15,500.  Can our truck handle this 5th wheel??  Next question - the price we have is about 19% off the MSRP.  Is this good/bad/average?  Final question is any advise/suggestions on purchasing/using/towing rvs?  Sorry this has so many questions - but responses to any are appreciated.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
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Feb 2, 2005
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74,380
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At our Silver Springs FL home
motocross,
Rukle #1: the salesman is ignorant, lying or both.  Don't trust anything he says.

A trailer that large/heavy is really stretching the max for your truck.  You need to find out its GCWR, but I'm thinking it is 20,000 lbs.  Since the truck likely weighs at least 7000 plus another 700 or so for passengers, gear, hitch, etc., that leaves about 13,000 for the trailer.  That's substantially less than the trailer GVWR and I'll bet you will have  it loaded close to the max.  I'll also bet you will exceed the rear axle GAWR on the truck by a hefty amount.

With your trucks enhanced drivetrain, maybe it will stand up to the wear and tear, but remember that the brakes are intended only for the truck's GVWR.  You better have great trailer brakes!

As for the 19% discount, that  is decent but not outstanding.
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
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Jan 29, 2005
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18,082
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Home is where we park it
Rule nbr 2.  Don't believe most anything the salesman says.  Salesman are inclined to tell you anything to make the sale.  After all what do they care if you have major problems as long as you bought their product.  Always check out the weight limits yourself or come here with all the figures and one of the framily will probably be able to give you some real straight answers.  Gary has already provided some excellent advice.

 

Carl L

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Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
We have a 1999 Ford F250, Crew Cab, Short Wheel Base, 7.3 Power Stroke, 373 gear ratio, Automatic tranny, upgraded torque converter to a pro locker with large cooler.? The RV has an unloaded vehicle weight of 11,808 and a GVWR of 15,500.? Can our truck handle this 5th wheel??

Trailer Life's 1999 tow rating tables give a tow rating of 13,500# for that vehicle.? Therefore, the short answer is no.? ?

For the long answer, take your unloaded vehicle weight of 11,808# and add 1500# of gear and toys + 400# of water and you get a minimal trailer weight of 13,708#, already you are 208# over the truck's tow rating. ? ?But you have a 6 year old truck, so that 13,500# tow rating is perhaps a bit generous.? ?Reduce it by 10%, and you have a rating of 12,150# putting you 1558# overweight.? ?However, if you want to haul that thing over the passes in the mountain west, maybe you want a 20% overhead or a tow limit of 10,800# putting you overweight by 2908#.

Get a bigger truck or a smaller trailer.
 

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