I need some advice from experienced 5th wheel towers -NEWBIE-

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markseelbach

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I now have a 2003 4x4 Ford Crewcab F-250 6.0 Diesel / 3.73 rear end.
I am considering a Forest River 5th wheel 8610# dry weight - 11,610# gross. 1460# pin weight.
What do you think about this combination as far as ability to tow in the mountains in Colorado??
I have the 5 speed auto that down shifts when I brake in the tow-haul mode.
I have only had a pop-up RV up till now.
A lot of people are pulling heavier pin weights with an F-250. I would like to go to a front bedroom slide but I can't find one in the "right" floor plan without going up on pin weight to 1900/2000#s.
Does anyone have experience with those higher pin weights on a truck like mine?
Should I stick with the Forest River without the bed room slide?
I am new to the forum.
 

Carl L

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Your truck with its 4wd, crew cab, and 6.0L turbo has a tow rating reported in 2003 Trailer Life tables of 12,700 lbs for 5th wheel towing.  Allowing 10% safety factor for the long steep grades of the west and the trucks age, you should not pull a trailer with a GVWR of  11,430 lbs.  You are reporting a GVWR of 11,610 lbs for your prospective trailer. 

You are already a bit over the limit in my opinion, you, sure as shootin' dont want to go any heavier.  If anything you want to go a bit lighter.
 

Ron

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That wasn't even considering the 20% factor for pulling in the mountains.  A 5er with a GVWR of 11,430 is too much for a F250 IMHO.
 

Carl L

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Ron said:
That wasn't even considering the 20% factor for pulling in the mountains.? A 5er with a GVWR of 11,430 is too much for a F250 IMHO.

My bad.  However, it was a turbo, no?
 

woodartist

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I have a 7.3 diesel ( F-250HD) and it was a tough pull through the large mountains of WY and Colorado. Colorado is the thoughest at the 14,000+ level with the steep grades. We didn't have a problem but I could see a prolem with less towing power....oh, 4:10 rear.
 

markseelbach

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I didn't understand the comment about the age of the truck. It is a 2003.
Note this 5th wheel has 3000# carrying capacity. It would be unlikely that we put over 1000-1500# of stuff in it. Gross weight should stay at 9,500 to 10,000#.
 

Carl L

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I didn't understand the comment about the age of the truck. It is a 2003.
You are not planning on using it for a few years?  In any case, the 10% is a safety factor.  Everyone thinks that tow rating is all about getting up the hill.  However, getting down, in one piece, is a problem too -- there brakes loom as important -- especially with a diesel.  Brakes get old real fast in places like CO or UT.

Note this 5th wheel has 3000# carrying capacity. It would be unlikely that we put over 1000-1500# of stuff in it. Gross weight should stay at 9,500 to 10,000#.

A lot of folks say that, and a lot of folks don't.  Lord knows I don't and I have a liddle bitty trailer. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I now have a 2003 4x4 Ford Crewcab F-250 6.0 Diesel / 3.73 rear end.
I am considering a Forest River 5th wheel 8610# dry weight - 11,610# gross. 1460# pin weight.
What do you think about this combination as far as ability to tow in the mountains in Colorado??

Some years ago I pulled an 11,000 lb fifth wheel through that area with a new 1999 F250 Extended cab 7.3L Powerstroke 3.73 axle. And that only had the 4 speed 4R100 tranny. No problem climbing the hills.  Going down them was another story - definitely wished I had a good an exhaust brake with that load. I wouldn't go any higher in weight, though.

I don't worry about a diesel pick-up pulling its rated load, but remember that the trucks brakes are designed only for the truck GVWR and that trailer brakes often are not all that great.
 

markseelbach

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Some people who have pulled with the new 5 speed - 6.0 diesel setup tell me the EGR valve -compression hold back - set up works like an exhaust brake and they have no problem. The tow haul is set up to use engine braking and downshift when you hit the brakes. Does anyone have any experience they can share on this?

I notice the fellow talking about the 2003 brakes being old is towing with a 11 year old vehicle @ max. rated tow weight???? What gives????
 

Carl L

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I notice the fellow talking about the 2003 brakes being old is towing with a 11 year old vehicle @ max. rated tow weight? What gives?

Who is better qualified?  First of all, the trailer I tow is nowhere near max.  Its scaled weight, ready for travel, bar a half tank of water (160#), is 4650 lbs.    The tow rating of the 1995 Bronco was 6600 lbs for the 5.0L V8 which I have.  I used a 20% safety factor -- 80% of 6600 is 5280 lbs.  I follow my own advice.  I tow in the mountain and Pacific West.

Brakes?  The truck has 88,000 on it.  My brakes are inspected prior to each towing season.  They were completely overhauled at 40,000 miles and have been repadded since.  My transmission is power-drained annually and I change oil and lube on a Ford severe usage schedule every 3000 miles or 3 months.  The tires are LT 31x10.50x15R BFG TAs which are kept at 50 psi for towing.  I am on my second set of those.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Some people who have pulled with the new 5 speed - 6.0 diesel setup tell me the EGR valve -compression hold back - set up works like an exhaust brake and they have no problem. The tow haul is set up to use engine braking and downshift when you hit the brakes. Does anyone have any experience they can share on this?

No personal experience but from what Ford owning friends have told me, it works pretty well. So does a similar feature on the Chevy/GMC.  On my 1999 F250 diesel I had an analogous aftermarket item that closed an air valve in the turbo waste gate which created up to about 24 psi of back pressure. It worked pretty well too, but on multi-mile, 6-10% downgrades a "real" exhaust brake with greater retard capability is a big plus.
 

GaryB

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RV Roamer said:
Some years ago I pulled an 11,000 lb fifth wheel through that area with a new 1999 F250 Extended cab 7.3L Powerstroke 3.73 axle. And that only had the 4 speed 4R100 tranny. No problem climbing the hills.? Going down them was another story - definitely wished I had a good an exhaust brake with that load. I wouldn't go any higher in weight, though.

Along those lines, how much would disc brakes (instead of drum brakes) help in that situation?  The NuWa 5er I'm looking at offers disc brakes with actuator as a $2360 option.  I'm wondering if they are really worth it.

Gary
 

2006F350

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I have a 2006 F350 with the 6.0L Diesel and tow a 14000 Lb Everest 5W. Comming over the Cumberland (between Nashville and Knoxville - 6% grade). With the transmission in Tow/Haul, the engine engine had no problem holding it back to 55MPH. Had to apply light brake pressure a few times (key word - light). Extremely satisfied with the whole process once I realized the truck pretty much knew what had to be done, and when while going down hill.

Larry

 

sierramann

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we have a 2006 forest river sierra and love the trailer. no bedroom pullout. don't miss it. as far as towing....... i have a 1995 gmc 2500 two wheel drive that is in mint condition. 5.7 litre gas engine. 3.73 rear end. we've had no problem what-so-ever towing with this truck.i've towed smalled rigs for many years and i've always found that common sense and caution comes into play alot.
just remember what you are towing behind you. my old truck has brand new brakes all around, transmission power flushed every year. love to have a diesel...... maybe next year......
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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how much would disc brakes (instead of drum brakes) help in that situation?  The NuWa 5er I'm looking at offers disc brakes with actuator as a $2360 option.  I'm wondering if they are really worth it.

There are two general problems with most trailer brakes: (1) they are typically undersized for the weight of the trailer and (2) electric brakes just don't generate as much braking force as hydraulic or air brakes.

If the disc brake option is a hydraulic system with an electric pump, rather than electro-magneticly operated like the drums, I would seriously consider it.  Get shock absorbers too, if that is an option. Your possessions will thank you. [Few trailers have shocks as standard equipment.]
 

Mike Goad

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My 2006 GMC is a 6.6l duromax with a 6 speed Allison transmission.  A couple of weeks ago, I specifically went down the east side of Petit Jean Mountain on the way home to check out the transmission braking and downshifting in tow-haul mode. 

Going down, I only had to use a very light touch on the brakes to keep from going too fast for the hairpin curves. 

Our Bighorn dry weight is 10,250 and we've not put much in it yet.  We are buying light and limiting what we load in the trailer.

One thing, too....  :mad: I don't know if the trailer brakes were set up properly.  Like a dummy, I had not read the material on here about brake controllers before we jumped into going on shakedown trips.  I know better know and have read the instructions for the brake controllers over several times and they are stowed in the cab of the truck so that I can go over them again when we're getting started on our next trip.
 
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