Help!! Anyone else have a 2006 Ford F350 FX4 for 5th wheel towing???

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newcamper

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Mar 6, 2006
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We just purchased our first truck in preparation for getting our first fifth wheel rv.  We got a 2006 Ford FX4 F350 SRW CC 6.0.  We put down a deposit on a Sunnybrook rv that was in a dealer's inventory.  We were about to take delivery when the dealer and their service department told us that our truck was too high to pull a fifth wheel.  Any brand, not just sunnybrook. 

I am still in shock.  As far as the truck goes, we are talking about a huge $$$$ mistake.  We assumed this would do the job.  We didnt know there would be a height issue.  This truck is the same height as all Ford 4x4's for 2005 and 2006.  They are higher than 2004 and older.  We have modified nothing and took delivery as is, from the factory. 

The truck bed rail height is 58" from the ground to the top of the rail on the side in front of the wheel.  Its 60" in the back, but since the gate would be down, I think 58" would be the number of concern.  This dealer told me today that ALL fifth wheel trailers, not just the one we ordered, are 58" from the ground to the bottom of the front of the RV. 

We were told that even with raising hitches, pin boxes, etc., we still would not get enough clearance to pull any 5th wheels.  Are these people pulling our leg???  They want to sell us a regular travel trailer.

Could it be that Ford is selling their new 4wheel drive 1 ton trucks to cater to the commercial market only?  That no one can pull a fifth wheel even though their brochure advertises the specs for it? 

If it can't pull a fifth wheel, I know I have a legal issue with Ford and so will a lot of other people.  If it can, can somebody out there more knowledgeable than me or my dealer help set me straight and calm me down??

Thanks so much!
 

BruceinFL

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This is not an unusual problem with FWD trucks. Most of the height problems are solved by rotating the axles of the trailer. Ask your RV dealer about doing that.
 

Carl L

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I fear you have bought yourself a truck.? ?Unless the brochure says specifically that it will take fifth wheel trailers you would not have much of leg to stand on.? Trailers alone will not work for you -- Ford's answer would be that the truck can easily pull a conventional ball and coupler travel trailer or a goose neck trailer that agricultural haulers use.? ?And they would be right.? ?But as the old saying goes, that is free advice and worth every cent of its cost.? ?

I would recommend exploring the axle flip that Bruce mentions.? ?Talk with the dealer's service manager about the feasibility of that.? If it is possible, determine whether the flip will give enough extra height allow a the pin to mate with the trucks hitch mechanism.

If that doesn't work and if you already own the truck but do not yet own the trailer,? you may want to consider going to a travel trailer with a Class 4? or 5 weight distributing? hitch system with a good anti-sway feature.? ?.? Your rig can pull a really fine TT and 4WD bed height is not a problem.? I know that this is not where your heart is, but it may be where your pocket book is.

 

caltex

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I assume that the problem is the clearance between the sides of the pickup bed and the fifth wheel? Of course, depending on what other use you have for the truck, you could always replace the bed with a custom unit, eliminating the extra high sides.  Then you could pull almost all, if not all, fifth wheelers.
 

newcamper

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Mar 6, 2006
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Thanks to all of you for your input!  I guess we will have to talk to a more experienced service department than the one that we were dealing with.  I dont think they have ever flipped axles.  By the way, Ford's brochure is very specific with an entire section on specs for this truck pulling a fifth wheel trailer.  That being said, we must be looking at the wrong brand trailer because they must come in different heights! 

Worst case scenario, we would have to switch our thinking to TT.  *sigh*  And yes, because of my brochure, I would definately raise an issue with Ford.  Even their interactive online towing guide shows complete specs for fifth wheels.  It can pull the largest!  Perhaps they should have also posted a list of acceptable trailer brands that would FIT!!  ??? ???
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Call Ford Customer Service and ask about this.  And write tot hem too, to get your issie on the formal record. Towing fifth wheels and goosenecks (same issue) is a major market segment for them and I doubt if they would just ignore it.  They missed it with the first Superduty 4x4's back in 1999 and subsequently provided a free lowering kit to solve the problem.
 

BruceinFL

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newcamper said:
Thanks to all of you for your input!  I guess we will have to talk to a more experienced service department than the one that we were dealing with.  I dont think they have ever flipped axles.  By the way, Ford's brochure is very specific with an entire section on specs for this truck pulling a fifth wheel trailer.  That being said, we must be looking at the wrong brand trailer because they must come in different heights! 

Worst case scenario, we would have to switch our thinking to TT.  *sigh*  And yes, because of my brochure, I would definately raise an issue with Ford.  Even their interactive online towing guide shows complete specs for fifth wheels.  It can pull the largest!  Perhaps they should have also posted a list of acceptable trailer brands that would FIT!!  ??? ???

Hard to believe an RV dealer has never flipped 5er axles before. Have them contact their tech rep at Sunnybrook to find out how to do it or go to another dealer....or kill the trailer deal. You may end up with the same problem with a trailer (being cattywhampus) since the hitch will also be higher than normal. It's either Ford to lower the truck (maybe they'll do it under warranty if you squawk enough) or get Sunnybrook to flip the axles as part of the Sunnybrook deal.

Either way, although a PITA, it's not an insurmountable problem. Good luck and let us know what transpires.
 

newcamper

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Thanks for the input!  I didnt really know what my options were, but after reading your posts, I decided to take the truck to another dealer.  I wish I had found them first!!!  First of all, their service dept manager physically inspected my truck and said for anyone out there with a brand new truck, any make or model, unless they have altered it, they can safely pull most fifth wheel trailers longer than 30'.  Keystone Cougar may have a problem, but can easily be fixed with axle flipping. 

Most people take delivery on most brands and drive right out without alterations other than pin box and hitch adjusting or trailer height adjusting (without axle flipping). 

I was told that even with the height of my truck, Have fun choosing and the sky's the limit.  It was the best news I had all day.  All the other dealer has is my credit card number.  Thank goodness I wouldnt sign anything until this was straightened out.  Not only is that dealer getting "dumped", but we actually signed the papers and purchased a new Sunnybrook fifth wheel (36 ft) today.    This new dealer has been in business for 36 years and they told me they deal with everything all the time.  What a relief! 

Thanks again for your kind input!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I recall on our 99 Superduty Ford that the clearance over the sides of the box was notably less than our previous Dodge, but it was not a problem. 

I'm not clear on what height your dealer is referring to as the 58" standard height on a fifth wheel.  It seems to me the most that could mean is the front height when the landing gear are adjusted so the trailer is level, and it certainly does not have to be exactly level.  The biggest concern may be the height at the back, when you are hitching up. Lowering the tailgate does not lower the back end of the side rails.

And if the issue is a mere two inches, flipping axles is certainly a viable solution. I'm still not convinced it is necessary, though. I will be interested in what Ford has to say.  Try to get their tech rep to meet/talk directly with the dealer - they have reps in every sales district. Naturally you will want to be present for that conversation, so you can hear both sides of the story.
 

LynneT

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Aug 19, 2005
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Well .... this topic was very interesting to me and had to respond!  I have a 2005 F250 Supercrew Longbed 4x4 ..........

I just looked at the Sunnybrook models this weekend, the 34BWKS Titan LX specifically ..... the last thing on my mind was whether the truck was too high!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess I had better make a call or get interested in another brand!  The salesman asked and saw what we were driving and gave the typical  "NO PROBLEM"! 

:eek:

 

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