Tow Rig Question

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Texan245

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Posts
12
Location
Just west of Texarkana, on the Texas side!
Okay, I'll admit that I got the horse before the cart.  Earlier this year I bought a 2019 Lariat F150.  About three months later, my wife got the TT bug in the worst kind of way.  We searched high and low and settled on a 30' Hemisphere by FR that is two years old and in immaculate condition.  Immediately I installed air-bags on the Ford.  That was a huge help.  Now I'm looking at a suspension upgrade.  Specifically adding a rear anti-sway bar.  Helwig makes a kit I can get and install and I've read numerous comments from other (non-RV) sites that it helped with trailering considerably.

I know....I should've bought a F250, but the TT wasn't on my radar at that time.  I have trailers - bass boat, utility and smoker trailers - so I'm used to trailering, but I wasn't prepared for the swag of a high profile TT.  I have the leveling hitch and the anti-sway bar that goes along with it, but sometimes I get a little more swag than I'm comfortable with.  Hence the suspension upgrades.

Any thoughts?  Anyone done this?  Truck and trailer weighed 13,300 on CAT scales when I was transferring the title from another state to mine.  I know I'm pushing the weight limit on the truck but it'll have to make it 'till I get right before I can trade it on a F250 or larger.  Long term plans are to upgrade to a fifth wheel in five years so it'll likely be a F350.

As for my traveling, I usually don't go more than 100 miles away from the house.  Two to three hours max on Interstate grade highways 'till near destination.  I live in East Texas so we really aren't considered mountainous, although there are some steep grades in Arkansas I'm likely to pull.

Anyway, TIA for thoughts and/or suggestions on my suspension upgrade options.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,141
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Looks like a supercrew short bed, per your avatar photo. Depending on the engine and rear axle, you may be within the tow ratings or not. Most of the V8 and diesel configurations are probably borderline ok.

Not quite sure what you mean by SWAG, but if the trailer tends to sway your primary problem is trailer balance, i.e. insufficient tongue weight. You must have at least 10% of the loaded trailer weight on the hitch, and 12% or more further improves towing manners.  Get the rig weighed, axle by axle and with/without hitched up.  Of course, the truck needs to be able to handle that weight, plus whatever passengers and gear are in the truck. That's the main drawback of the F150 class when towing recreational trailers.

If the F150 doesn't have LT tires, get some. Many 150's come with P (passenger car) tires and they have less stiff sidewalls. Light Truck tire handle trailer better.
The spring bars on the weight distributing hitch are there for weight management rather than sway. A few hitch brands also build in some sway inhibiting, but the primary function is weight-shifting.
 

steveblonde

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
4,421
Location
calgary alberta
the pin weight on that trailer is going to be close to 1000Lbs your cargo capacity on that truck will be in the neighbourhood of 1400lbs - you are at the very least maxing out that truck in the worst way i will be curious to see how long the rear brakes last on that truck - my guess maybe 2 or 3 months lol
 

SpencerPJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
4,031
Location
Midwest
Ernie n Tara said:
Don't spend too much money before you accept reality and trade up! ;D

Ernie

X2, please keep us posted.  Most if us will say you are crazy to even attempt what you are attempting.  We'd love feedback after several adventures and let us know if the F150 really can handle that trailer.  I for one, say that 25' max on any 1/2 ton, unless special HDPP package etc.  Everything is fine until that windy day.

Curios what your Payload is?  Yellow Sticker in door, might say carry capacity = ____ lbs.
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,703
Location
Virginia
You're not the first one to get into your situation. It almost happened to me. Since you are not in a position to get a better tow vehicle, here's my suggestions in addition to the good advice of the above posters. Keeping your speed down will be a big help in avoiding being pushed excessively by light wind and passing tractor trailers. Seriously, at Interstate speeds, a stiff wind may blow you near or into the ditch which is not a pretty sight. So, traveling on secondary highways rather than Interstates is a very good idea and will be less of a white knuckle experience. Most of your trips are 100 miles or less, so it won't take much extra time. Plus you can see more variety on those highways. Also, you can try boosting your trailer brake controller up a little to better help with braking.

Best wishes for fun times with your RV.
 

grashley

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,591
Location
Western Kentucky
Ernie n Tara said:
Don't spend too much money before you accept reality and trade up! ;D

Ernie
X3

Check the yellow placard that states the maximum weight of passengers and cargo shall not exceed XXXX lbs.  Now add up the 1000# (or more) hitch wt, 80# for the WD hitch, total weight of all passengers and other cargo.  Compare the two.

NOTHING you do to the truck will change that max payload number.  Some things like air bags and better tires will help handle the overloaded truck, but it is still overloaded.

As Gary said, a hitch wt of 10% MINIMUM of the loaded TT weight is critical to sway control.

I agree with IBT.  Keep your speed under 60 mph regardless of the speed limit.  It will make a difference.
 

edjunior

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
2,698
Location
Roman Forest, TX.
Welcome.  Yeah, looks like you learned the hard way.  Hopefully you can work a deal to get a better suited truck.  I assume you are also in on the trailer a bit too much to maybe find a bit smaller/lighter trailer?  Either way, you're going to be pushing it.  As far as the SWAG (or Sway), I think Gary hit it.  Check the weight distribution of your load.  Also, you can try to cut down on the weight you carry.  Are you carrying stuff in the tanks (grey, black, fresh water)?  Are there things you are bringing you can do without?  Check this and see if you can help yourself out there.  Otherwise, hopefully things will work out for you on either the trailer or truck.

I was  just out in East Texas the last few days.  Driving up 59/69/259 between Houston and Gladewater can challenge even my 6.7L with my 5th wheel.  To be sure, there are no mountains, but the constant up and down of these hills, and some decent enough to pull down a couple of gears, it all adds up.  Anyway, good luck, and welcome again.  Hope to see you down the road!
 
Top Bottom