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New member
Jun 24, 2021
Washington state
My husband and I are brand new. Really starting to worry about all the unknowns. He has a F 150. i want a cougar half ton. I have tried to do all the calculations, but not sure they’re right. I’m also looking to learn how to drive this myself. Where would I find someone to teach me?

Larry N.

Well-known member
May 26, 2010
Westminster, Colorado
In spite of the hype about "half ton" you might not be able to tow even the smallest one of these safely. Being a fifth wheel there will be 20%-25% of the total trailer weight on the pin in the truck bed. The lightest of these, the 22MLS, has a shipping weight (dry weight) of 5,731 lbs, with a 1469 lb "carrying capacity." That's a 7200 lb max weight (which needs to be the point of comparison), and with 20% of that being 1440 lbs, that's probably at or over the max payload on your F-150. Add people, baggage, whatever you carry in the truck and your truck is likely overloaded. Chances are good that your rear axle, in and of itself, is also overloaded.

So even if you manage to squeak by just under the wire, I still suspect you wouldn't like the performance or the handling.

Driving the pickup is, of course, pretty easy, mostly like a car, and towing a trailer isn't difficult, but backing and cornering takes practice (a large, empty parking lot would be a good place for practice), and you do need to learn about height and width clearance, as well as where the trailer tracks behind the pickup so that you can make it around corners without running over the curb or hitting objects with the side of the trailer.

If you want that trailer (even the smallest of them), you'll really want an F-250 or larger. If you stay with the F-150 you really should forget the 5th wheel and go to a travel trailer (some call them bumper pull, but they're not, really), watching the weight carefully. Even there, the 10-15% of trailer eight (at least 12% recommended) will add to the payload on the truck.

So load the pickup with everyone who'll be traveling with you, full fuel and all the tools, baggage and whatever else, and go to a scale (the CAT scales at truck stops are one good way) and get weighed AT LEAST by axle, and wheel by wheel if possible.

Then you'll know how much capacity the truck has (compare with the yellow sticker on your doorpost) and can make informed choices about trailers -- use GVWR (max allowable weight) -- and ensure that you don't overload the truck.

Also, don't trust sales people to guide you in this, since their main task is to sell the trailer, not to give accurate advice, and they often don't know any better anyway.

P.S. You'll also need to add trailer hitch (or fifth wheel hitch) weight (perhaps 100-200 lbs) to the load the truck is carrying before putting a trailer on it.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
At our Silver Springs FL home
You can forget a 5W with that F150, so focus on the Cougar Half Ton travel trailers. At 7200 lbs for the lightest, you are probably near max what your F150 can tow safely. The exact tow & cargo capacity for the truck needs to be determined upfront, but few can manage more than 7000-7500 lbs and many are less. Both tow rating and cargo capacity need to be considered and many F150's are limited on cargo (which is why a 5W is out).


Well-known member
Oct 30, 2005
Full-time , Escapee
With an F150 you would be wiser to look at hybrid trailers and pop-up trailers as they weigh much less and will be fare better to tow with the F150. There are ultra-lite travel trailers that you can safely pull but those will be in 20'and shorter range and only in the ultra-lite versions. I would plan to stay with something in the 5000# or under to be safe. There are RV driving schools that can teach you, but you may need to go where one of them is.
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