Averting a disaster...

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Gonecampin

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Posts
21
Location
Idaho
Hello all! As we get close to the camping season, I am diving into a truck trailer set up head first. In other words, My wife and I have been wanting to go camping a lot more over the last few years and are finally in a good spot to do so (both financially and time wise). So here is my question:

Within the next three weeks I am going to be purchasing a brand new truck and travel trailer. I am "almost" sold on the 2019 F150 with a 3.5L V6 Eco boost. Two reasons for doing so: It will be our primary vehicle, needs to be 4x4 due to living in the Rockies AND the tow capacity is excellent. So, since I know what truck I am going to be getting, the dilemma is with the trailer. Here is my dilemma... I have three kids and so will be getting a trailer with a Bunk House and something that is large enough to accommodate a family of 5. I am in the market for something $25K or less. I know, it gives me a whole lot of options. What I need to know is how long should I go? Doing a brief check, after finding the "ideal" trailer, 2019 Jayco Jay Flight 31QBDS and combining it with the truck, I am looking at a total length of 49'. Is that too long? I want to camp at places like Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park (in Canada), etc. What I do NOT want is to get a rig and find that I am too long to reasonably fit in most of the spaces.

Any advice from those of you that have or have had long rigs, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Link to the Trailer I am looking at: https://www.rnrrv.com/rv/2019-Jayco-Jay-Flight-31QBDS-21016
Link to the specs on the truck: https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/models/f150-xlt/

 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,703
Location
Virginia
The 2019 Jayco Jay Flight 31QBDS has a dry weight of 7,840 lbs and a gross weight of 10,250 lbs. That weight is likely too much for the typical 1/2 ton pickup to tow.

The greatest limiting factor in using a 1/2 ton pickup is the payload (cargo) capacity of the truck. At a minimum, the tongue weight will add 1,025 lbs plus an additional 100 lbs for the weight distribution & sway control hitch for a total of 1,125 lbs. Then you add the weight of the passengers and other stuff carried and often exceed the vehicle's rated cargo capacity. Also,the height of the front the trailer has significant wind resistance and the large side of the trailer acts like a large sail. The general rule of thumb is not tow a trailer that weighs more than 80% of the tow vehicle's rated towing capacity. So, if the pickup is rated to tow a gross weight of 10,000 lbs, you should not tow a trailer with a gross weight of  more than 8,000 lbs.

A lot depends on the package you order with the truck. One package is called the Heavy Duty Payload Package (HDPP) which may have a high enough payload capacity to tow the 31 foot Jayco. However, that is a very long trailer to tow with a light 1/2 ton pickup. Passing semis and light cross winds may push you around a lot and not be a pleasant towing experience. You need to know before you purchase what the payload and towing capacity of the "specific" truck you want to purchase. Each "individual" truck will have different capacities. You need to check the white and yellow labels on the door of the truck you want to purchase. Don't believe what any car or RV salesman tells you the truck can safely tow. Get the numbers ONLY from the driver's door stickers.

Once you have that information, you may find that an F250 is required to safely tow such a long and heavy trailer.

 

Dreamsend

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Posts
614
Gonecampin said:
I have three kids and so will be getting a trailer with a Bunk House and something that is large enough to accommodate a family of 5.  . . . . I am looking at a total length of 49'. Is that too long? I want to camp at places like Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park (in Canada), etc. What I do NOT want is to get a rig and find that I am too long to reasonably fit in most of the spaces.

I have to echo the first response.  To be safe and comfortable, you need more truck or less trailer.  At least an F250 with 3.73 axle ratio or a trailer that's less than ~ 7,000 GVWR.  It sounds like you're planning on lots of mountain driving, and should realize that you're going to loose 3% of your engine power (with the 3.5 EB) for every 1,000 feet of elevation above 1,000.  So even at 6,000 feet elevation for example, you've lost nearly 20% of towing power - that alone kills your truck and trailer match-up.  Can you PULL it, probably.  Can you safely control your set-up in wind, on downhills, curves, passing semis, groovy highways?  Likely not in many situations.  I encourage you to really scrutinize every weight/capacity number on the truck, trailer and combination thereof AND plan to have at least a 10% excess capacity in the numbers.  This includes GVWR of each, the GCVWR, your truck payload, and the individual truck axle ratings.  Please, please, don't listen to an RV dealership that will tell you "sure, you can tow this trailer easy!!"

As to your original question about length -- My experience would indicate that you're NOT going to "reasonably fit in most of the spaces".  I tow a 31.5 foot trailer with a 20 foot F250 and find that I am severely limited in many cases.  You specifically mention national parks, most of which have old campgrounds that were set up for tent camping, have sharp curves, narrow roads and lots of trees.  Will there be some spaces at some parks - yes there will be, but will they be available for when you want them??  Likely, you;ll need to make reservations 6 mos. ahead when a large enough site become available to reserve. You really can't/shouldn't generalize about the national parks (national monuments, national preserves, etc.) - some are going to have more spaces than others for long set-ups.  I also find that many National Forest campgrounds have trailer limits of 16 feet, or 22 feet.  So, if I read your "intent" correctly, I don't think it will be easy to simply show up at the parks you mention, and expect to find a spot for your trailer AND your truck.

One thing you can do is research the specific campground capabilities you're interested in.  Go to the HOME page of the park, find the camping information links, and click on the RESERVE links.  This will take you to recreation.gov or reservation.gov for the campgrounds in that park and you can look and see what the limits are and how many spaces of the size you need are available, etc.  Again, generalizing is not helpful in these circumstances.  It will also depend on what time of year you're traveling.  Summer will be most difficult.

With that said, you don't indicate if you're looking for utility hook-ups, but there are many other camping opportunities outside of national parks - these include BLM land, national forests, state and county parks, and private campgrounds, which in general, can accommodate longer units.  Some will be developed campgrounds some will be more primitive, some will have showers and toilets, some will have water, some won't.  There is a lot of variation.  But, you don't need to limit your camping to the national parks per se is the point.

Keep planning and gathering specific information about your set-up and how you think you'd like to camp.  No matter what your needs or desires, you'll be able to come up the equipment and plans to achieve them.

 

Gizmo100

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,029
As much as I love our Ford truck...I think you are asking too much of the truck.

Bottom line....You will be disappointed in the setup because you are overloading the truck. Pulling the trailer will be a white knuckle stressful driving event instead of vacation time. If you love the trailer then step up to the F250 or shop for something a little smaller.
 

Roy M

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Posts
1,400
Location
southern British Columbia
We started out with a trailer that we should have been able to pull according to the specs. It miight have worked in the flatlands with a light tailwind but was a white knuckle experience in the mountains. You are putting the cart before the horse, select the trailer you want then a truck with some reserve capacity to pull it.
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
7,315
Location
Scotland
We picked our trailer first and then got the truck.  We got advice here and looked at a lot of 2500 trucks before we got one with the right payload.  We did go for the Laramie which tends to have a bit less payload I think.

We really love it and it does a great job pulling our trailer which has a GVWR of 10,500lbs but we reckon it is just under 9,000lbs.

Not sure where you are located but we got a great deal in Idaho at Dennis Dillon, thousands of dollars cheaper than any others we saw in Nevada or California.

Please do your homework and get the right fit so that you and your family are safe, that is the most important thing.

 

SarniaTricia

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Posts
180
Location
Amherstburg, Ontario
Lots of great advice here....
We recently purchase a Jayco 21QB 2017 flight... although I've only used it once, I am a bit in love with the layout... however, not a great layout for a family of five!!
I was looking on the Jayco site and maybe the X22N might be a better fit for your family?

I would suggest looking for shorter trailers with bump-outs and hybrid combinations. This will save you a lot of weight and give you the sleeping/living space you are looking for.

I tow with a Ram 1500 and I didn't feel comfortable towing more then my current trailer.
Unloaded VW 4,385
GVWR 6,500
Hitch weight 490

 

Jeff in Ferndale Wa

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Posts
689
Location
Ferndale, Washington
I can't add to the excellent advice already given, except to say Good for You for asking these questions before spending a lot of money and finding you made some wrong choices.
Most the folks on here know what they are talking about and always give great advice.
 

Pugapooh

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Posts
832
Location
Montgomery Co,MD
Lots of great advice all ready.  Yes,pick a trailer where you can be comfortable.  Think three days of rain.  Or pick one that fits your destinations and learn to love family togetherness.  LoL.

Then find the truck you need to haul it.  Dry weight is useless.  You need to be realistic about how much "stuff" you want to pack in the camper and it's weight.  You also have to factor in the weight of all the people,dogs,etc. riding in the truck.

Come back with any questions before signing anything!
 

edjunior

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
2,697
Location
Roman Forest, TX.
Listen to these people.  Not a one has steered you wrong.  With the payload you are talking about (wife and 3 kids, plus all their gear...oh yeah, and yours), you really are out of the F-150 range.  There is no reason a F-250 can't be a daily driver.  It was for me for many years.  I probably still would  be, but my new truck will not fit in my parking garage at work, so I would have to park in less than desireable places. 

But really, do yourself a favor and do not skimp on the truck.  The Eco-Boost is a great truck, and it has its place.  I just do not believe it is here.  Even if you modified your trailer to work the numbers better, you would still greatly benefit from the F-250.
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,693
do yourself a favor and do not skimp on the truck

Absolutely!  We have seen a few people who took one trip and traded in their truck for a newer one with more power because the original truck barely made it over mountains.  You don't want to be in that group!  :eek:

ArdraF
 

Gonecampin

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Posts
21
Location
Idaho
jackiemac said:
We picked our trailer first and then got the truck.  We got advice here and looked at a lot of 2500 trucks before we got one with the right payload.  We did go for the Laramie which tends to have a bit less payload I think.

We really love it and it does a great job pulling our trailer which has a GVWR of 10,500lbs but we reckon it is just under 9,000lbs.

Not sure where you are located but we got a great deal in Idaho at Dennis Dillon, thousands of dollars cheaper than any others we saw in Nevada or California.

Please do your homework and get the right fit so that you and your family are safe, that is the most important thing.

Appreciate the advice. We actually live in Coeur d'Alene, ID so will look into Dennis Dillon. We currently have a broker that we are working with seeing how I am doing a truck and trailer combo. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

Gonecampin

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Posts
21
Location
Idaho
Jeff in Ferndale Wa said:
I can't add to the excellent advice already given, except to say Good for You for asking these questions before spending a lot of money and finding you made some wrong choices.
Most the folks on here know what they are talking about and always give great advice.

I appreciate that! I am about to spend in the ballpark of 45-65K on a truck trailer combo. I know VERY little about all the weight ratios. I do know that the trailer dealers will have some info but their main objective is to... sell. I want sound advice from some people that have lived the experience of matching a trailer with a truck and some of which have learned from past mistakes that they can pass on to me in hopes of me averting said mistakes.

With all that said, it is still quite overwhelming. Seems like when I have the "ideal" setup, holes get punched in it like Swiss cheese. Absolutely nothing against everyone on here... I know it is all meant to help and point me in the right direction. Its just proving to be a little more stressful than I anticipated. One step at a time though...
 

Gonecampin

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Posts
21
Location
Idaho
:-\ Hmmm, looks like I have some changes to make prior to buying... Here is one option (that my wife really likes). Any feedback would be great:

Trailer
https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2019-white-hawk/31bh/

2019 Jayco Whitehawk 31BH
WEIGHTS
Unloaded Vehicle Weight (lbs) View Definition 7715
Dry Hitch Weight (lbs) View Definition                 790
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs) View Definition 9500
Cargo Carrying Capacity (lbs) View Definition 1785


Truck: (link to the exact truck at a local dealer)

https://www.gusjohnsonford.com/new-Spokane+Valley-2019-Ford-F+150-XLT-1FTEW1E43KKC04448

Specs from the Ford Site:

3.5L EcoBoost F-150 Specs & Info
375 HP & 420 TQ
17 mpg city/ 23 mpg highway / 20 mpg combined
3,180 lbs Payload Rating / 11,300 lbs towing capacity
Direct Fuel Injection
Dual Over Head Camshafts
Maintains 90% peak torque from 1,700 RPM to 5,000 RPM

I have looked at a few comments on the truck portion and whether or not it can handle the size trailer I am looking at. From what I understand the new F-150 3.5L V6 EcoBoost can pull just about the same as the F250 Super Duty. Here is an excert from one of many sites that covers the F-150 EcoBoost: "The 3.5-liter EcoBoost pumps out an impressive 356 hp at 5,000 rpm and 420 lbs.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm on regular fuel. Maximum trailer towing capacity is 11,300 lbs.; same as the 411-hp 6.2-liter currently available in the Super Duty." Hard to believe, I know, however, I have talked to a few people (two that have the truck) that say it is true. Am I missing something? All the stats for both the truck and trailer are listed. Please keep in mind (as per the previous posts) I am VERY new to all of this. So if there are specific numbers that are red flags to you, feel free to point them out.

One thing worth mentioning is that I live in Coeur d'Alene, ID. Yes... a beautiful part of the country. With that said, it is up in the rockies and to get anywhere worth traveling to, I would have to go through the heart of the rockies. In other words, lots of steep climbs, hard turns and high elevations.

A couple commenters have mentioned going with an F-250. Although I would love to... There is an easy $10-20K difference between the 150 and 250. I am at my max with the 150 and a new trailer that will accommodate my family of 5. So if there is any way I can save that 10-20K and still safely (and I emphasize safely) use this setup, I'd much rather go that route.

As always, thank you for your expertise and help with this! I greatly appreciate it as I am not ashamed to say I am brand new with this and want to do it right... the first time.
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,703
Location
Virginia
The numbers on the trailer and tow vehicle look good to me. You'll be under the 80% towing capacity. And, with the large 3,180 payload capacity, you won't be overloaded unless you haul a pile of stuff in the truck. Just remember that the tongue weight needs to be a minimum of 10% of the gross weight of the trailer. Otherwise you'll have a dangerous swaying problem. Myself, I shoot for 13% tongue weight.

At first the math can be a little confusing. I'll make it simple. The trailer tongue and weight distribution/sway control hitch will be about 1,000 lbs of cargo on that truck. So, you'll have 2,180 of cargo capacity left for your family, dogs, tools and other stuff carried in the truck. So, it looks to me like you've got the right combination of trailer and truck.

My sincere compliments for listening to the advice of the experts on the forum. It is obvious that your first priority is the safety of your family.

I suggest you not drive over 65 mph depending on conditions such as a crosswind. Once you have some experience in different driving conditions, you'll know what speed is a safe speed. Just remember that it will take you a lot longer to stop with the load than without it. I hope you and your family have years of enjoyment from your truck and travel trailer. Enjoy!!!
 

grashley

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
Thank you for coming here before purchase!!!

Maybe you misunderstood.  NO F150, except MAYBE  one with the Heavy Duty Payload Package will work for you.  The truck you linked does not have the HDPP.

The claimed tow capacity refers to a truck with NO OPTIONS other than tow package, only TWO 150# passengers and NO CARGO.  It also works best with a flatbed trailer hauling bricks, not a TT.  Those numbers are for advertising purposes ONLY.

Per the attached Ford site, the Max Payload for a F150 Super Crew cab is 2030# WITHOUT HDPP  and 2390# WITH HDPP.  This assumes XL trim and no options except Tow package.  Every pound of options on the truck must be counted in that payload, or deducted to see what you can really carry.  My guess is the truck you referenced has a Payload around 1700# - 1800#.

https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/models/f150-xlt/

Here is how dealers talk.
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,90933.0.html

With respect to camper literature, they lie, too.  Ignore the UVW.  It only counts when you tow the new camper home - and it will be too low even then!  Nobody goes camping in an empty camper.  Use the GVWR as a much better estimate of the real TT weight.  Likewise, your real hitch wt MUST be at least 10% of the actual TT weight or it will sway you right into the ditch!  That is 1000# hitch wt, not 790#.

There are several different weight specs which must all be met.  These include front and rear axle weight ratings, GVWR and GCWR.  Max tow ratings are well above what these numbers allow in real life.

The real truth is:  Look at the yellow border placard on the ACTUAL TRUCK of interest to find the Payload for THAT VEHICLE as it left the factory.

EXAMPLE:  Assume a generous 1800# payload for the referenced truck.  It must carry a 1000# hitch wt (or more) (10% of TT GVWR),  80# WD hitch,  5 people (600#??)  Car seats, snacks, kids travel entertainment, all tools, toys, firewood and cargo in the bed, truck topper, etc.  You very quickly exceed the 1800# payload, and the kids will only get bigger!

I think you are right on with the camper you want.  The ugly truth is that a ? ton truck is NOT up to the task of hauling it and your family.
PLEASE BE SAFE!
 

grashley

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
Just for fun, I just "built" a F250 XLT crew cab, reg box, 6.2L gas, 4X4, and other equipment to mirror your F150.  The MSRP came to $49,390.

I hope this page translates well.

https://shop.ford.com/build/superduty/?version=a&adobe_mc_ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ford.com&adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D4F1FCB874708FAC7-077E4636A7F14EDD%7CMCORGID%3DEFD95E09512D2A8E0A490D4D%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1539886610#/config/Config%5B%7CFord%7CSuperDuty%7C2019%7C1%7C1.%7C603A.W2B.160....250.21N.CBB.17V.CRW.YZKAA.4X4.SRW.XLT.76S.874.66L.%5D
 

longhaul

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Posts
562
Specs from the Ford Site:

3.5L EcoBoost F-150 Specs & Info
375 HP & 420 TQ
17 mpg city/ 23 mpg highway / 20 mpg combined
3,180 lbs Payload Rating / 11,300 lbs towing capacity
  You left out the most important numbers for any truck that will be carrying weight and that the trucks FAWR/RAWR and GVWR.
AS Mr IBTripping mentiones in his first post is the F150 HD which comes with a 7850 GVWR and more important 4800 RAWR that will be carrying all the weight in the bed. This truck will have no problems towing a 9k gvwr trailer with the high hp/torque 3.5 EB engine..

Now about the 3150 lb payload number....its a GVWR based payload and can't all be placed in the trucks bed. About the most any F150HD can carry in the bed without exceeding its 4800 rawr is around 2400-2500 lbs. The rest of a GVWR payload will have to be placed over the trucks front axle which isn't possible with a rv trailer.

Other F150 packages are;;
7550 gvrw and smaller 4550 rawr for around 2100-2200 lb in the bed payload..
7050 gvwtr and even smaller 4050 rawr for maybe 1800 lb in the bed payload.
Then the one that has bit many RV'ers in the butz is the 6800 gvwr with tiny 3800 rawr ....and they all may come with Fords "max tow option" which say;
Includes:
? 3.55 Electronic-locking rear-axle
? 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness
? 36 Gallon fuel tank
? Auxiliary transmission oil cooler
? Engine oil cooler
? Class IV trailer hitch receiver
? Pro Trailer Backup Assist with Tailgate LED
? Smart Trailer Tow Connector (standard on LARIAT and higher)
? Integrated Trailer Brake Controller
? Upgraded front stabilizer bar
? Upgraded rear bumper

This has nothing to do with towing max loads or max weights.

Choose the right F150 with a 7850 gvwr and 4800 rawr for a 9k-10k gvwr trailer

 

Gonecampin

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Posts
21
Location
Idaho
Just a little confusion on my part... @RBTripping said "The numbers on the trailer and tow vehicle look good to me." However, @grashley said "NO F150, except MAYBE  one with the Heavy Duty Payload Package will work for you.  The truck you linked does not have the HDPP." If possible, can I get clarification (in layman's terms)?
 

Dreamsend

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Posts
614
Gonecampin said:
I have looked at a few comments on the truck portion and whether or not it can handle the size trailer I am looking at. From what I understand the new F-150 3.5L V6 EcoBoost can pull just about the same as the F250 Super Duty. Here is an excert from one of many sites that covers the F-150 EcoBoost: "The 3.5-liter EcoBoost pumps out an impressive 356 hp at 5,000 rpm and 420 lbs.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm on regular fuel. Maximum trailer towing capacity is 11,300 lbs.; same as the 411-hp 6.2-liter currently available in the Super Duty."

This is simply not true. It sounds like you are quoting one of the auto/truck review sites found on the internet and they are just a bit off.  I went through this exact same exercise as you 2 years ago, stressed over all the numbers, read all I could and ask an insane number of questions here on the forum having never towed anything in my life.  The numbers you quote as "new F-150 3.5L EB" are the same as they were in 2017, including mileage and torque curve -- it is NOT a new truck.  I really, really wanted the 3.5 EB back in 2017, but in the end, it simply was NOT ENOUGH TRUCK to pull the trailer well, so I sacrificed the EB and the better around town gas mileage in order to be safe and un-worried while towing.  I live in my trailer full-time.

A 9500 lb GVWR trailer is simply too big for an F-150 to handle at highway speeds in mountains.  An F-150 is NOT equivalent to an F250 Super Duty as there are differences in suspension, springs and all that other mechanical stuff.  And again, I encourage you to understand that at higher elevations, you loose towing capacity - FORD makes it very, very clear that owners understand this in their truck owner's manuals.  BTW - I was incorrect, the loss is only 2% per 1000 feet.  Still significant when you're at 7-8000 feet however. 

I encourage you to read the towing warnings in the TOWING section of the F-150 or F-250 owners manual by accessing the manuals at the FORD build internet site.  There is a clear chart at the following URL that describes an F150s trailer limits depending on having the Towing Package and the Heavy Duty Payload Package on the truck.  You can match up your wheelbase, cab configuration, axle ratio etc. for F150 trucks you're considering.

http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/vdirsnet/OwnerManual/Home/Content?bookCode=O58053&languageCode=en&marketCode=US&viewTech=IE&chapterTitleSelected=G1644936&subTitleSelected=G1966873&topicHRef=G1966875&div=f&vFilteringEnabled=False&userMarket=USA

Link to the Table of Contents for the F150 2019 owners manual

http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/vdirsnet/OwnerManual/Home/Index?Variantid=6500&languageCode=EN&countryCode=USA&marketCode=US&bookcode=O58053&VIN=&userMarket=USA&div=f

Select the chapter on Towing and read-up.  I think this may be very helpful as it's FORD owner's info - not some internet guru on the web.

And the best of all.  Here is the link to the FORD Towing Manual, which tells it like it is.  I do think this will help make everything clear.

http://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/

And as others have said, thanks for asking your questions up front.  I know what stress and disappointment I went through until I accepted what I needed to do in order to accomplish my goals.  In the end, I'm supremely happy with my set-up and feel safe and comfortable.

Linda


 
Top Bottom