Fifth Wheel for F150 SuperCrew with 5.5 ft bed

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mcisneros

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I own a 2002 F150 SuperCrew with a 5.5 ft bed and a 5.4 liter engine.  I have found a 23 ft 5th wheeler that weighs 5500 lbs (K-Z Jay 23JFS).  Is it safe to pull this weight with this truck or do I need a bigger truck/engine.  Any comments/suggestion will be appreciated.  This will be my first RV purchase so I need lots of help in deciding what to purchase.
 

Carl L

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It will be close We need to know a bit more about your truck. 

Specifically:

1.  Is is 4WD or 2WD?

2.  What is the axle ratio?

You can do your own research at trailerlife.com in the Tech section, Tow ratings.  If you do, use the GVWR of the trailer and add 5%,  15% if you will tow in the mountain West, for a safety factor.

Beyond that, the short bed is going to raise concerns about interference with the cab in tight turns.  Depending on the trailer, that may require a sliding hitch.

 

mcisneros

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Thank you Carl,
      1. The  truck is 2WD with 3.55 gear ratio.
      2. I am looking at  12k SuperGlide by Pullrite , they say it is made for the shorter 5.5 ft. beds, it is the only one I have found.


     

    Thanks agian.
    Marcos Cisneros    Houston,Texas
 
    New want to  RVer that has alot to learn.
 

Carl L

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mcisneros said:
Thank you Carl,
? ? ? 1. The? truck is 2WD with 3.55 gear ratio.
? ? ? 2. I am looking at? 12k SuperGlide by Pullrite , they say it is made for the shorter 5.5 ft. beds, it is the only one I have found.


?

? ? Thanks agian.
? ? Marcos Cisneros? ? Houston,Texas
?
? ? New want to? RVer that has alot to learn.


OK, Trailer Life's table for 2002? says the thing can pull 8000 lbs.? ?Your chosen trailer weighs in at 5500 lbs.? ?Adding 15% to that for mountain west and you get 6325 lbs.? You should be just fine, EXCEPT for the following note I find in the TL ratings:

*Note: While the F-150 SuperCrew is capable of towing up to 8,000 lbs and the box
will accept a fifth-wheel hitch, current fifth-wheel trailer designs are not compatible
with SuperCrew. Any questions should be referred to the trailer dealer/manufacturer.


That says to me that you need to be really careful in selecting the 5W trailer for your truck.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The truck bed is awful short for towing a fifth wheel. Even a standard short bed (6 ft) can be a problem with some trailer models, requiring a sliding hitch for backing-up.  The Pullrite may do the job, but be very cautious while backing until you are very sure (moving forward is no problem). The potential problem in backing is that the front of the trailer can hit the cab of the truck in sharp turns, such as maneuvering into a campsite from a narrow campground road.

Your truck also has a relatively short wheelbase compared to the trailer - the tail is much larger than the dog.  Be prepared for  a tendency for the trailer to push the truck around in cross winds or when being passed by a semi.  This is much less a problem with a fifth wheel than it would be with a travel trailer, but it is still something to watch out for.

If you plan to do much trailering, I would be on the look-out for an upgraded truck, either a full-length  F150 or better yet a Superduty 250.
 

Carl L

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You know, now that I think about it, if you want to keep the truck, you are barking up the wrong tree with 5W.  Ron's comment combined with the Trailer Life caution strongly indicates that a fiver would be a mistake.

Consider going to a conventionally hitched travel trailer.  The limit of 8000 lbs will permit a pretty good TT.  My 23' Prowler light weight scales in at 4650lbs and is very comfortable for two adults and a dawg.

The stability picture for TTs is way overblown.    Properly set up, a TT is a stable easy tow, even with crosswinds and it tracks a turn a lot better than a fiver.  They generally present a lower transverse section to a cross wind than a 5er.  The way you properly set up a TT is to buy a good weight distributing hitch system together with a good anti-sway provision.  I have run the Reese Class IV Dual Cam system for 16 years on two TTs and a big boat trailer.  My current rig, a 1995 Bronco pulling a 23 footer, is thoronghly stable and quite comfortable to drive.  Hell, my wife likes driving the rig -- a real blessing for a lazy husband.  ;D

I am from Los Angeles.  To go anywhere, I have to climb mountains or go thru Banning Pass, one of the windiest areas in the country -- it's a maze of windmills.  The rig has handled 25 knot cross winds and beaucoup semis with no more trouble than any highsided vehicles under those conditions.

Good TT hitches include the Drawtites, Reeses, and Hensleys.  You will pay a few bucks for them, but then 5er hitch plates are not free either.
 

mcisneros

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Thanks Carl  &  Gary,
  You have been very helpfull, all this very new to me, I have had to do allot of research.
    When you say full length bed, is the 8 foot bed or will a 6.5 foot bed do, the wife might have problems getting used to a truck that long.


Thank again.
Marcos Cisneros    Houston, Texas
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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"Full length" refers to the 8 foot bed.  "Short bed" is the 6.5 foot model.

And yes, a crew cab or supercab long bed takes some getting used to - it's a loooonnng truck.  I backed into a few things before I got the hang of it, back when we had one.  Fortunately I was always just creeping and didn't damage anything.
 

mcisneros

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Thanks Carl & Gary,

  I had been looking at trucks for the last six months and decided to buy a new one (2006 Ford F-250 Superduty with a 8 ft. bed. We are now looking for a 25-26 ft. fith wheel and would like to stay in the 6000 to 6500 lb. range any suggestion.

Thank You agian guys.

This is very informative website, have much to learn...
 

Carl L

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mcisneros said:
Thanks Carl & Gary,

? ?I had been looking at trucks for the last six months and decided to buy a new one (2006 Ford F-250 Superduty with a 8 ft. bed. We are now looking for a 25-26 ft. fith wheel and would like to stay in the 6000 to 6500 lb. range any suggestion.

Not really, being I'm TT trash myself.? ?However, there are a batch of 5er owners here.? ? For my part I can only suggest pay attention to mating the tow ratings of the truck to the tralier and allow headspace in the ratings to allow for where you tow as I suggested previously.? ? Other than that I can only repeat my standard mantra about trailers:? ?A tralier is a simple box perched on two or three dead axles? filled with appliances made by the same 3 0r 4 manufacturers and which carry their own guarantees.? ?If the floor plan makes you happy and the qualitiy of construction seems ok, it probably is ok.
(That said, full tijmer use should tighten your criteria.)
 

Thrumpskin

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There is a 5'er compay called titanium that makes trailers for short beds. The portion over the hitch steps up twice and is perfect for short boxes. They are a little more expensive but may be worth it. Also the Cougar line from keystone has curves on the corners of the caps that give a little extra room. A slider hitch will help much when backing in to slots that requires tight turns.
 

OldSoldier

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I have a 2006 Jayco Jay Flight 245RBS (24.5feet) 5'er, brand new. This is Jayco's "1/2 Ton Series.  While Jayco touts that is is designed for 1/2 ton trucks is pushes the 1/2 ton limit pretty tight for my taste.  I have a 2005 2500HD Silverado Crew Cab, 6.0 gasser, 4.10 axel and it pulls this little 5'er exceptionally well with significant safety margins all the way around.  The 5'er weighs about 6000 dry depending on add-ons etc.  Mine with most everything in it weighed 6350 dry.

I just took it into the White Mountains of Arizona, Show Low, from southern AZ and was pleasantly surprised at the performance of the truck and the 5'er together.  If I had a chance, I'd likely go with a diesel but I bought the truck first and the 5'er later on.  On the mountain trip I got nearly 12 mpg evening pulling several 5+ mile 6% grades.

I am an old Army Maintenance Officer and am spring-loaded in the safety first position, so when I went looking for a trailer to match my truck I sword not to exceed 75% of the trucks rated limits.  I got lucky and found a good match and I'm enjoying the hell out of my new set.  And most of all, mama loves it and really enjoys driving it too.

Good Luck in your search.

PS:  I am not involved in any way in the RV business, I"m just a new RV'er.

:)
 

Carl L

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I am an old Army Maintenance Officer and am spring-loaded in the safety first position, so when I went looking for a trailer to match my truck I sword not to exceed 75% of the trucks rated limits.  I got lucky and found a good match and I'm enjoying the hell out of my new set.

We tout a dual standard around here.  If you plan to tow only east of the Rockies, allow 10% head room in your tow ratings.  If you plan to tow in the Rocky Mountain or Pacific Coast West, allow 15-20% headroom.  Furthermore, barring an actual scales weight of the trailer, one should use the trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating as shown on the DOT plate on the trailer.

Your 25% is belt and suspenders.  Being an old bureaucrat myself, I regard belts and suspenders as a wise purchase.  ;D
 

Okotoks Camper

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Thrumpskin said:
There is a 5'er compay called titanium that makes trailers for short beds. The portion over the hitch steps up twice and is perfect for short boxes. They are a little more expensive but may be worth it. Also the Cougar line from keystone has curves on the corners of the caps that give a little extra room. A slider hitch will help much when backing in to slots that requires tight turns.

I'm guessing the company you are referring to is Glendale and the fiver is called the Titanium. Here is the link to their site http://www.glendalerv.com/.

Their smallest fiver is the 24E29 and it weighs 6856 lb dry according to the web site. You can add a bunch to that in real life.

We have a Titanium and love the fiver. It has a stepped design as Thrumpskin mentioned, wherein the pin is five feet back from the front end of the trailer. Hence, in the 24E29 the trailer is 29 feet, but you are only towing 24 feet (give or take a foot). Check it out if you are interested.

Cheers,
John B.
 

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