Sold my house, retiring, juggling how to get the RV clear across the country!

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campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
Hello all,
I am in a situation that I am certain others have faced before me, so hope to find some of you in here! I don't have anyone to bounce ideas off in my circle of friends/family who ever faced a similar situation as mine, so here I am asking you :)
My house is sold, I am packing out everything as fast as I can into storage. I have two weeks to get out starting tomorrow.
I have a teenager, three dogs, and two parakeets in tow.
I am still working and can (and will asap) retire any day at this point; my shift is 4/10 Mon-Thu and I'm off by 3:30 so have early evenings to pack and scheme/plot my escape. I'm on the wrong coast.
I already have my tow vehicle: Ford F 150 3.5l V6 Ecoboost electric 10 speed auto w/tow mode, max tow package (11000lbs), 7050# GVWR, 157 wheel base.

My plan is to purchase a tow-behind travel trailer that has the rear bunk floor plan and the front bedroom. This floor plan is perfect for us. We'll live it in it for a year or maybe longer, traveling around Texas, the deep south including Florida and the Keys, and perhaps up the east coast as far as Montreal CA.

I am currently eyeing a 2017 Heartland Pioneer DS310. I need to figure out exactly if this trailer is within my tow vehicle's limitations.

I now realize I will be traveling 1000 miles across country to shave an easy $10k off the purchase price of the right RV for us, so I have a decision to make. I am leaning towards the choice of retiring a day or two prior to driving away to go buy the RV and be free of time constraints.

I need to find the right WDH prior to getting the RV. Are there different specs for these?

I have experience towing RVs with a fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches as well as livestock trailers as long as 15 feet, but no experience with this WDH/travel trailer set up!

Should I get a tonneau cover installed on my pick up, stuff all the items into the bed of the truck that we'll need to live with in the RV, so I have it all once I get it, or drive all the way back to the wrong coast to get it? I don't like the latter idea but I don't know if everything will fit in my bed. I already have a 4000w generator dual fuel w the 5 gal propane tank so that will take up room.

I greatly look forward to hearing from all of you who have faced this situation before.
--Campkitty
 

Gizmo100

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Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,025
I have the same F-150 and I don't recommend that long of a trailer.
We have a 2017 Heartland Trail Runner @ 24 ft. I might consider up to 28 ft. But only if I can get the weight(s) to work safely.
 

campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
Not all F-150 are equal. I take it that the info I included (Ford F 150 3.5l V6 Ecoboost electric 10 speed auto w/tow mode, max tow package (11000lbs), 7050# GVWR, 157 wheel base) is not enough information or? I will grab the pics of the door jam stickers and post them in here a little later on along with the sheet. It's a 2017 supercrew. It's a big dang truck. Is there a formula to determine the length of trailer limit based on the tow vehicles wheel base or something to figure it out using specs?
 
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ziplock

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Posts
1,644
My house is sold, I am packing out everything as fast as I can into storage. I have two weeks to get out starting tomorrow.
I have a teenager, three dogs, and two parakeets in tow.

I just chewed off all 10 fingernails reading your post. hahha

Wow, have you been pondering all this for awhile, or is this a fresh plan just started in January 2022?

Good luck to you! Is your teenager still in school?
 

SpencerPJ

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Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
3,973
Location
Midwest
I don't blame you for wanting to leave the left coast, I like your ambition, but as others have stated, our 1/2 ton trucks only do so much. 25-28 feet seems to max them out, and it takes careful planning and understanding to make even that work. Seems there is an urgency to leave, without judgement I highly encourage you to rethink the RV escape plan, it certainly costs more than many / most can imagine. Lots of employment opportunities in (I can speak for the Midwest). You might evacuate with a plan, and then get your big plan put together a bit better. Be carful, RV salespeople often say things not true to make a sale and you could be out everything.
 

campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
I just chewed off all 10 fingernails reading your post. hahha

Wow, have you been pondering all this for awhile, or is this a fresh plan just started in January 2022?

Good luck to you! Is your teenager still in school?

I just chewed off all 10 fingernails reading your post. hahha

Wow, have you been pondering all this for awhile, or is this a fresh plan just started in January 2022?

Good luck to you! Is your teenager still in school?
Thanks for the well wishes; no no not rushing out the door without thought; this plan has been in motion since last September. Kiddo is homeschooled. I'll have plenty of income with two pensions and plenty of cash on hand. No way is a J.O.B. in my future.

If I bought the wrong truck I will have to adjust the RV size accordingly to be safe.

I am pondering why the GVWR on the door sticker is 7050 yet the VIN and Ford confirms the truck has the max tow package at 11,000 lbs and it's on the sheet. In reading guides on towing, these appear to be conflicting each other, or am I missing it?

My brain is wide open to learning...teach me oh road warriors :)
 

campkitty

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Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
I don't blame you for wanting to leave the left coast, I like your ambition, but as others have stated, our 1/2 ton trucks only do so much. 25-28 feet seems to max them out, and it takes careful planning and understanding to make even that work. Seems there is an urgency to leave, without judgement I highly encourage you to rethink the RV escape plan, it certainly costs more than many / most can imagine. Lots of employment opportunities in (I can speak for the Midwest). You might evacuate with a plan, and then get your big plan put together a bit better. Be carful, RV salespeople often say things not true to make a sale and you could be out everything.
Plan has been in motion since last September, house is nearly empty already. I am so glad it sold because interest rates are going up up up and buyers will be less less less. Whew out in the nick of time!
I'm not going to be job hunting no thank you all good here ;)
28 feet...okay I can check out what floor plans are out there. That may be a tight fit.
I'm not going off of what any sales people say--They just want a sale and don't give a rip about what happens after. I am looking at the towing capacity of the truck and reading guides on towing published online. There is conflicting information so I am here to learn from you guys (the experts in my opinion).
The urgency to leave is to be driving off on the 11th to go buy my house on wheels because we'll be homeless LOL. I'm okay with staying in a few hotels on the way, but right now I am very confused about what trailer size I can tow.
I bought a truck with all the extreme towing add ons and I thought* that would give me more options to buy a trailer with a roomy floor plan....should I say oops then?
 

ziplock

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Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Posts
1,644
My brain is wide open to learning.
I'm sure many people will show up with the towing talk.

Stick up those door specs in a picture and a link to the camper you want, and these guys will tell you.

We don't tow. We just drive a simple motorhome.

This is a very exciting time for you and your teenager!
 

campkitty

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Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
I have the same F-150 and I don't recommend that long of a trailer.
We have a 2017 Heartland Trail Runner @ 24 ft. I might consider up to 28 ft. But only if I can get the weight(s) to work safely.
Did you get the max towing package with yours? I will attach my sheet & door jam sticker here. I would love to pick your brain ;)
 

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campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
I'm sure many people will show up with the towing talk.

Stick up those door specs in a picture and a link to the camper you want, and these guys will tell you.

We don't tow. We just drive a simple motorhome.

This is a very exciting time for you and your teenager!
Thank you, I just stuck up the door jam sticker and the sheet for my tow vehicle. I hope these guys can clear up my very confused head. The numbers seem to conflict.
I just need a camper with the bedroom in the front and the bunk house "bedroom" in the back for my teenager to have space/privacy. I don't have any brand loyalty - just floor plan loyalty LOL
 

Kirk

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Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
2,470
Location
Full-time , Escapee
I am very confused about what trailer size I can tow.
I bought a truck with all the extreme towing add ons and I thought* that would give me more options to buy a trailer with a roomy floor plan..
You need to understand that what you can tow with good handling and safely is not just a factor of weights. Those maximum weights are base on working uses where they are towing a flatbed or cargo trailer and they are maximums and not intended to be ideal for good handling and constant use. Most experienced RV owners agree that it is best to go no higher than 80% of the maximum tow rating. Maximums are not designed to be used in bad weather which is inevitable to happen at least occasionally. Also, an RV has a large frontal area that creates a huge wind-drag and big flat sides that a sidewind or a passing truck will use to push you all over the road.

The weights that you need to consider are those on that door card as that is a federal highway department required listing. The 7050# the maximum that your truck can safely carry in it's wheels. That means everything that put into the truck, all people riding in it, a full tank of fuel, and even the tongue weight of anything that you tow behind it. You can find a pretty good towing weight calculator here supplied by Changin Gears.

Here is a link to the 2017 Ford towing guide.
 
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campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
You need to understand that what you can tow with good handling and safely is not just a factor of weights. Those maximum weights are base on working uses where they are towing a flatbed or cargo trailer and they are maximums and not intended to be ideal for good handling and constant use. Most experienced RV owners agree that it is best to go no higher than 80% of the maximum tow rating. Maximums are not designed to be used in bad weather which is inevitable to happen at least occasionally. Also, an RV has a large frontal area that creates a huge wind-drag and big flat sides that a sidewind or a passing truck will use to push you all over the road.

The weights that you need to consider are those on that door card as that is a federal highway department required listing. The 7050# the maximum that your truck can safely carry in it's wheels. That means everything that put into the truck, all people riding in it, a full tank of fuel, and even the tongue weight of anything that you tow behind it. You can find a pretty good towing weight calculator here supplied by Changin Gears.
Thank you so much. I will check that out! I remember when towing my fifth wheel RV how the winds felt. I had a 2001 F-250 2WD back then. Was a good truck and never broke--put 213,000 miles on her. This F-150 I have now is just as large and so I thought with all the towing extra add-ons and the Ecoboost that it would be adequate for a tow behind travel trailer 30-something feet but apparently not. I'll get to digging into that calculator.
 

Gizmo100

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Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,025
Pick my brain and all you will find is dust...LOL

Yes I have the max tow package. After looking over your sheet...you have my truck.
It's a great truck, But a 35 ft trailer is just too much (IMHO). I would have to stand by my above statement no more than 28 ft and only if the weights work out.
 

campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
You need to understand that what you can tow with good handling and safely is not just a factor of weights. Those maximum weights are base on working uses where they are towing a flatbed or cargo trailer and they are maximums and not intended to be ideal for good handling and constant use. Most experienced RV owners agree that it is best to go no higher than 80% of the maximum tow rating. Maximums are not designed to be used in bad weather which is inevitable to happen at least occasionally. Also, an RV has a large frontal area that creates a huge wind-drag and big flat sides that a sidewind or a passing truck will use to push you all over the road.

The weights that you need to consider are those on that door card as that is a federal highway department required listing. The 7050# the maximum that your truck can safely carry in it's wheels. That means everything that put into the truck, all people riding in it, a full tank of fuel, and even the tongue weight of anything that you tow behind it. You can find a pretty good towing weight calculator here supplied by Changin Gears.

Here is a link to the 2017 Ford towing guide.
I was keeping to a hitch weight under 800 lbs. Was I on the right track? I'll have to get all the numbers for the calculator tonight cuz I am not with the truck at the moment. Hope I can find all these numbers :-\
 

campkitty

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Posts
51
Location
placerville ca
You need to understand that what you can tow with good handling and safely is not just a factor of weights. Those maximum weights are base on working uses where they are towing a flatbed or cargo trailer and they are maximums and not intended to be ideal for good handling and constant use. Most experienced RV owners agree that it is best to go no higher than 80% of the maximum tow rating. Maximums are not designed to be used in bad weather which is inevitable to happen at least occasionally. Also, an RV has a large frontal area that creates a huge wind-drag and big flat sides that a sidewind or a passing truck will use to push you all over the road.

The weights that you need to consider are those on that door card as that is a federal highway department required listing. The 7050# the maximum that your truck can safely carry in it's wheels. That means everything that put into the truck, all people riding in it, a full tank of fuel, and even the tongue weight of anything that you tow behind it. You can find a pretty good towing weight calculator here supplied by Changin Gears.

Here is a link to the 2017 Ford towing guide.
Thank you for the link to the towing guide. I have that and I also have a hard copy. That's the one my local dealer showed me and even circled the 11,100lb towing capacity for me after I brought it in to have it double checked. It was so pathetic the sales person at the other dealership where I bought it still insisted the truck can tow 13,000 pounds even after I showed her that towing guide LOL - what a joke. Sales people have no soul or what. SMH
 

steveblonde

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
4,393
Location
calgary alberta
Take a picture of the other decal the yellow and white one looks like this
 

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