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Old 11-06-2011, 08:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go6car View Post
... 2012 Ford F350, SW crew cab (3.55 gears - no choice apparently on that now), ...Since I don't have an actual truck for actual weights, how can I best estimate a good, safe weight "zone" for what type of fifth wheel I can safely pull with this truck?
Rusty did an excellent job of explaining the facts of life. I'll second what he posted, and add a bit of detail.

I'll assume the truck is the normal CrewCab 4x4 diesel with dolled-up interior, and shorty bed because today over 80 percent of such pickups are shorties.

GVWR = 11,500
GCWR = 23,500

The wet and loaded truck is going to gross around 8,000 to 8,500 when wet and loaded for the road. Assume 8,500 including 5er hitch if you haul one adult passenger and a toolbox full of tools and extra fluids and "stuff" such as a floor jack in case of a flat on the trailer. With "two other big guys" in the back seat, then you should estimate the weight of the wet and loaded truck at 9,000 pounds.

The GVWR of the truck is the most likely limiter for an SRW pickup. 11,500 minus 9,000 = 2,500 max pin weight (kingpin weight or hitch weight). Most wet and loaded full profile 5ers in the 30' range will have a pin weight of about 17% of total trailer weight (although some will have 20% or more). So assuming 17%, then 2,500 divided by 17 percent = 14,700 pounds. So if GVWR is the limiter, the GVWR of any trailer you consider should not exceed 14,700 pounds.

23,500 GCWR minus 9,000 wet and loaded truck weight = 14,500 pounds. So if GCWR is the limiter, then the GVWR of any trailer you consider should not exceed 14,500 pounds. That's a hair less than the 14,700 limit of the GVWR of the truck.

So that's your answer. 14,500 pounds max trailer weight if you don't want to exceed any of Ford's weight ratings.

But that's MAX trailer weight, with a bunch of assumptions. If you want to be certain of not being overloaded when you first hit the CAT scale, then reduce that by a coupla thousand pounds.

Don't fall into the trap of estimating less cargo in the RV than what the GVWR will allow. Use the GVWR of the trailer as your estimator of trailer weight, and you probably won't be surprized by being overloaded when you pull onto a CAT scale with a wet and loaded rig.

Don't try to compare the axle ratio of the 2012 Ford diesel trucks to Ford trucks with International engines. The 2011-up 6.7 Ford diesel engines are a lot more powerful than the earlier engines, so they can tow the same weights with longer legs. The standard axle ratio in the F-350 SRW with 6.7L diesel engine is 3.31, which should be fine for any GCW up to 23,500 pounds. But order one of the three suspension packages (snowplow, camper, or heavy service) and you get 3.55 ratio, which should be even better than the 3.31 - especially when crossing the Rockies. Shorter legs such as 3.73 or 4.10 are not available from the factory in the SRW pickups.

But it sounds like you'll be cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you really prefer the 16k or heavier 5ers, then buy enough truck to haul it and get the heavier RV. 2012 F-350 DRW has a GCWR of 30,000 pounds and it will weigh around 9,500 with your crew without the trailer. That leaves over 20,000 pounds as your max trailer weight. And that includes the 3.73 axle ratio you seem to hanker after.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:51 AM   #16
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This was very helpful as well!!! Thank you!!!! Now I can use that 9,000 number as my estimate.

I found a Cedar Creek 34R online that I thought may work (based solely on floorplan, full paint and generator option that I'd want), so I took a look at the numbers to see if I can figure out if it would. (Again I'm just trying to run calculations on my own to see if I can understand this - not looking to buy tomorrow or anything):

2012 Cedar Creek 34R
Dry Hitch: 1,760 lb.
Dry Ship: 11,311 lb.
GVWR: 13,760 lb.
CCC: 2,449 lb.
Length: 37 ft. 6 in.
(Fresh water tank is 66 gal)


One thing I still wasn't completely sure of: As far as a "wet hitch" weight to estimate, would that be 17% of the 13,760 (GVWR)? If so, that would be 2,339, correct? And, am I also correct to say that this is where we could potentially get into trouble (as far as truck payload)?

Also, if I add a generator (in the front compartment), I'm assuming I'd also add that weight onto the pin, or do I add that onto the overall trailer weight? Same question for where to add if I filled the fresh water tank (66 gal).

Bottom line is that, like you all said, it looks like with this hypothetical setup, I may be just barely "within the weights" (based on truck being ~9,0000), but definitely at the heavier end in a trailer like this one. Hopefully my newbie math is correct in that assumption.

Thanks again with everyone's patience with all the questions!
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:56 AM   #17
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One thing I still wasn't completely sure of: As far as a "wet hitch" weight to estimate, would that be 17% of the 13,760 (GVWR)? If so, that would be 2,339, correct?
Correct. If the 9,000 pounds wet and loaded truck weight is correct for your tow 2012 F-350 SRW diesel tow vehicle, then your max hitch weight would be 2,500 pounds without exceding the GVWR of the truck. That's a hair over 18 percent hitch weight when the trailer is loaded to the gills. For most 5ers of that size, you should be fine.

Quote:
And, am I also correct to say that this is where we could potentially get into trouble (as far as truck payload)?
Yes, but probably not. Back in the day, big luxury 5ers had a pin weight of 20 percent to as high as 24 percent. One of those would overload your tow vehicle. But with the new 5ers, having a pin weight of more than 18 percent is unlikely. The 2012 Cedar Creek 34R has a dry hitch weight of less than 16 percent of the dry trailer weight. Although you can't take that number to the bank when determing wet and loaded hitch weight percentage, it is a good indicator that the trailer will probably have less than 18 percent hitch weight when wet and loaded for the road.

Quote:
Also, if I add a generator (in the front compartment), I'm assuming I'd also add that weight onto the pin, or do I add that onto the overall trailer weight? Same question for where to add if I filled the fresh water tank (66 gal).
You're getting balled up with minutia. You won't know the answers to all thiose little nitnoid questions until you are loaded up and on the road, then stop at a truckstop with a CAT scale, fill up with fuel, and weigh the wet and loaded rig.

Quote:
Bottom line is that, like you all said, it looks like with this hypothetical setup, I may be just barely "within the weights" (based on truck being ~9,0000), but definitely at the heavier end in a trailer like this one. Hopefully my newbie math is correct in that assumption.
I think you've got it, as far as estimating the numbers to match trailer to tow vehicle.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:29 AM   #18
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Many, many thanks!!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:00 PM   #19
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The first thing you need to do is find the fifth wheel you want. Once you do that you will know the weight of the 5th wheel trailer you will need to pull. Next you look for a truck that is rated to pull a 5th wheel that weighs what your 5th wheel weighs. The pin weight of the 5th wheel is what the payload capacity of the truck will have to handle. The weight you will put in the bed of the truck will tell you how much weight the rear axle needs to handle and determine if you need a dually or not. No sense in spending the extra money on a dually and buying two extra tires if you dont need it. A 1 ton SRW will handle the 5th wheel just as good as a DRW. Get the specs for the truck you are considering. The specs are available from the dealer or manufacturer depending on the age of the truck. Dealers have specs for new trucks if you ask for them. Dont listen to the salesman, look at the specs. Salesmen arent concerned if you can safely tow a trailer.
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