Enough Truck

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New member
Nov 8, 2006
Hi all, a newbie here:

We need help.? We have a 2004 Ford F150 super cab 5.4 liter V8, with towing package.? Also has 355 rear axel ratio.? We are looking to buy a 2007 Jayco 28.5 rear living room 5th wheel.? It has unloaded vw of 7300 lbs, dry hitch weight of 1495 lbs, and GVWR is 9200 lbs.? The dealer says we can handle this RV OK.? We live in Kentucky and want to visit the western half of the country.? Do you think we have enough truck to do the job?? We are considering changing the rear to a 373ar.? Any help you can give us is greatly appreciated.

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
Do you think we have enough truck to do the job?

The short answer is no.

The Trailer Life tables give your rig a rating of 8,500 lbs (8300 if 4wd).  If you plan to tow in the mountain and Pacific west, the maximum GVWR of the trailer you buy should not exceed 6800 lbs. (6640 if 4wd).  Changing the rear end will not make that much difference.  You would only pick up about 800 lbs of trailer GVWR.

In addition to the GVWR and tow ratings, another number is of interest with the F150 class of trucks and 5th wheels.  The gross rear axle rating of the truck compared with the pin/hitch weight of the traier which should be 15-25% of GVWR.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
At my Silver Springs FL home
I agree fully with Carl - your F150 is inadequate for safe & happy towing of that trailer. In fact, you would almost surely exceed the max weight ratings as well, both GVWR and GCWR. That would leave you in an awkward legal position if you were involved in an accident while towing, since you had exceeded the stated limits of the tow vehicle.

For towing in mountainous areas you need an engine with substantial reserve power and a 5.4L does not fill the bill. Especially with a 3.55 rear axle and a basic 4 speed transmission. It will even struggle on some Eastern grades, but they are mostly shorter than Western grades and thus the agony is over sooner. 

The trailer you are considering will easily weigh 9000 lbs or more when loaded for travel, especially on extended trips. That means it is going to put something like 1800-2300 lbs of weight on the back of the truck, which will certainly exceed the payload carrying capacity of an F150 and also the rear axle GAWR and the vehicle GVWR. 

You really want a 3/4 ton (or even a 1 ton) for towing a trailer of this size, preferably one with a big block gas engine (the V10) or a diesel. A five speed automatic transmission and 4.10 rear axle is also a big plus. Then it will eat up the miles effortlessly, whether uphill or down, straight or curvy, and you won't suffer from "white knuckles" on the steering wheel or the frustration of crawling up multi-mile long grades, with engine screaming and the temperature gauge hovering near the red.


Moderator Emeritus
Jan 29, 2005
Home is where we park it
Welcome to the RV Forum .  Please look around the forum,  join in on any of the on going discussions, start new discussions, or ask questions. 

I have to agree with Carl and Gary, your F150 is not capable of towing that trailer legally or safely.  I would strongly recommend not even trying.

Having said that the odds are the dealership or salesman will tell you no problem but then their safety will not be in jepardy either.  You can't believe many salesmen.

Thanks for joining us.

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2005
Davison Michigan
Tim Taylor would say "There is never enough trucki"

Personally.  I used to have some very small (2,000 lbs max) trailers, they can be towed with next to anything.

However if I had a real RV type trailer as opposed to a little "Camper" I'd want at least an F-350 or Chevy 30
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