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Old 10-01-2010, 04:34 PM   #1
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Question 5th Wheel or Trailer- what to buy?

We have the new truck. ( 2010 Ford Pick Up with MAX TOW. 1/2 Ton. .... according to Ford, we can have a total weight of 11000 lbs. ). We are asking for advice as to what to buy. 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer. We live in Washington State and are ready to buy soon. We want to travel around the US. Stopping here and there for a few weeks at a time. What do you suggest? Thank you.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cheryle View Post
We have the new truck. ( 2010 Ford Pick Up with MAX TOW. 1/2 Ton. .... according to Ford, we can have a total weight of 11000 lbs. ). We are asking for advice as to what to buy. 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer. We live in Washington State and are ready to buy soon. We want to travel around the US. Stopping here and there for a few weeks at a time. What do you suggest? Thank you.
I would be carefull hauling anything over 5,000 lbs. 1/2 ton Ford F-150. So if that is what you have I would not listen to what Ford is telling you. For that much weight you need at least a F-250. Please do your home work before jumping into anything.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:15 PM   #3
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I would be carefull hauling anything over 5,000 lbs. 1/2 ton Ford F-150. So if that is what you have I would not listen to what Ford is telling you. For that much weight you need at least a F-250. Please do your home work before jumping into anything.

I very much agree with the statement above. All that said, I would only consider a 5th wheel. I will never go back to a tag along. 5th wheel road manners are so much better then a trailer and there is no need for anti sway bars or load equalizing hitches. As stated above though, a 1/2 ton truck is really not the tow vehicle if you are looking at a large 5th wheel or trailer.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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The payload capacity on any 1/2 ton truck will limit you to very small 5ers...maybe 24' max. You can pull a larger travel trailer due to the hitch weight being 1/2 of a 5ers pin weight.

Check out this site to get a better handle on the towing limits. There is a spread sheet at the bottom to help with the calculations.

I think it is crazy the way the manufactures have pushed the 1/2 ton weight so high. The trucks generally will not do well towing more than a 26' trailer...it gets to be a case of the tail wagging the dog.

How long are the trips you plan. Being in Washington state you will see some hills.

Plan to get LT series tires in case it has P series. Add an additional large external transmission oil cooler. Heat kills the transmission.

Welcome to iRV2.

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Old 10-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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And don't forget the ERS, as you will probably be using it if you stay with the 1/2 ton.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
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Everybody is telling you the truth about watching your weight.
Saying that I have towed a fifth wheel Komfort 23' FS since 2005 with a 1/2 ton GMC 1500.
I am 300 lbs under my max when fully loaded for the road.
My cap says 6800 lbs.
We have towed all over the USA and have been up into the Canadian Rockies.
Yes I get down to 45 mph on long uphills, but I get there!
The newer half tons have bigger engines with more power
Good Luck & Drive Safe!
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cheryle View Post
We have the new truck. ( 2010 Ford Pick Up with MAX TOW. 1/2 Ton. .... according to Ford, we can have a total weight of 11000 lbs. ). We are asking for advice as to what to buy. 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer. We live in Washington State and are ready to buy soon. We want to travel around the US. Stopping here and there for a few weeks at a time. What do you suggest? Thank you.
I say if short trips around vacation time off, then a TT is less bother to get back out of when home, just unhook, also if you are towing some kids or what not then the truck bed is needed for storage and forget a camper shell. Also no huge hitch in the bed while camping. BUT, full time or just regular every few weeks then the 5th is a safer bet.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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OK folks....my wife asked the original question...........here are the real world figures on our truck as rated by Ford. It has the max tow package which is rated at a capability of 11,200 total towing pounds. The GVW for the truck alone is 7700 pounds with the max carrying capacity being 1754 pounds (excluding everything else behind us).

We are looking at a Jayco 31 RKS with a UVW of 7,300 pounds and a tongue weight of 980 pounds. If we put another 1,000 pounds of gear in the trailer, then it looks to me that we are still well within the rated capacities of this truck.
With an excellent equalizer hitch, I am thinking that this is a package that we could easily live with................opinions on this combo still welcome though!
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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Cheryle, the UVW is not the number to be using. It will probably be closer to 8300# on a 31' 5er when loaded or more. Your pin weight will probably be closer to 1600# or more which will put you over on the payload. The 1754# payload capacity is based on a 150# driver, no cargo, no options and no hitch (typical 5er hitch will run about 200#).

If you do go ahead with the 31' 5er on a 1/2 ton truck (I strongly advise against it), you will be looking for a 3/4 ton truck before much longer.

Please visit the site I recommended and work out the numbers and see where you are. You need to start by weighing the truck with normal passenger load, camping cargo that might be in the truck and full fuel. From there work work with the trucks GVWR and GCWR based on your truck cab, engine and axle (from the owners manual).

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Old 10-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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Cheryle, the UVW is not the number to be using. It will probably be closer to 8300# on a 31' 5er when loaded or more. Your pin weight will probably be closer to 1600# or more which will put you over on the payload. The 1754# payload capacity is based on a 150# driver, no cargo, no options and no hitch (typical 5er hitch will run about 200#).

If you do go ahead with the 31' 5er on a 1/2 ton truck (I strongly advise against it), you will be looking for a 3/4 ton truck before much longer.

Ken
The above rig is a TT not a 5er............
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:59 PM   #11
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I apologize, a 31' travel trailer is still a big load for a 1/2 ton truck. There is more to towing than horsepower and weight. You may well be within the weight limits, but you will get to the point of the tail wagging the dog. Just watch your weights and do not expect much in the way of performance.

The side of a 31' trailer is close to 210 square feet of area for the wind to hit. Get a good weight distributing hitch like the Reese Dual Cam HP which includes sway control. Make sure it is set up correctly and take your time.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:08 AM   #12
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My personal opinion is that it really has to do with how much experience you have towing long heavy loads.There are people out there that should not even be driving a tow rig more less have anything hooked to it. and there are people that can handle just about anything. It is for you to deside what you and your TV can handle safely. For someone to tell you that the manufacter of your vehicle is telling you the wrong info is wrong.
TT's are a different breed when it comes to towing than a 5'er is but it can be done and done saftely with a 1/2 ton truck. You just need to do a little homework before you buy. Here is a link to a site of travel trailers that are lite and are built to be pulled with light duty TV's.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/def...source=summary
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:36 AM   #13
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Just remember on thing. You are not the only one on the highway. Putting your family in to harms way is you business but to put other people family in harms way, while you get the point. I hope you have a good repair shop for brakes, transmission, tires, and suspension, ect. The list will go on. What is your GCVW? Also remember the weight of water is 8.33 lbs per gallon now add in food, clothes, bedding, lawn furniture, ect,ect. Why start out with something that is questionable??
Good luck and don't say you have not been warned.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:45 AM   #14
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For someone to tell you that the manufacter of your vehicle is telling you the wrong info is wrong.
Not really. Manufacturers play some real marketing games with their trailer tow ratings. Here are the facts:

1. The trailer tow rating is calculated as the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) minus the curb weight of the tow vehicle. The problem is that the curb weight used by the manufacturers is unrealistic since it is for a base vehicle (no options or accessories) with only a 150 lb driver. Actual laden curb weight of a tow vehicle with driver, passengers, options, accessories, cargo, trailer hitch, etc. will be substantially higher than the manufacturer's curb weight, and every pound of difference between the actual laden curb weight and the manufacturer's curb weight has to be subtracted from the trailer tow rating.

2. The trailer tow rating doesn't take into account the tow vehicle's GVWR. This leads to real problems when someone with a SRW (single rear wheel) truck hitches up to a heavy 5th wheel that transfers 20% or more of its laden weight to the truck as pin weight. In this case, the SRW truck will exceed its GVWR long before it reaches its GCWR or trailer tow rating, but the uninformed consumer will never consider that he/she really needs a dually to pull that heavy 5th wheel because "I'm within my trailer tow rating." The manufacturer's caveat is buried in the fine print with a statement such as "None of the truck's other ratings are to be exceeded when towing."

Rather than using a fictitious manufacturer's trailer tow rating, a prospective customer can stay within the manufacturer's ratings by using the following formulas:

Tow vehicle GCWR - tow vehicle actual laden curb weight = maximum allowable total weight of loaded trailer

Tow vehicle GVWR - tow vehicle actual laden curb weight = maximum allowable pin/hitch weight of loaded trailer

Rusty
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