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Old 04-05-2006, 05:13 PM   #1
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I am looking at buying a fifth wheel. I have a 2006 Ford F150 supercab 5.4 liter V8. I am not sure If dealers are leveling with me after reading the discussion boards. Can anyone tell me what weight of Trailer I should look for? I have been looking at cougar 281EFS. The dealer assures me this is within my trucks capabilites. Also is this a good brand to buy?
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:13 PM   #2
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I am looking at buying a fifth wheel. I have a 2006 Ford F150 supercab 5.4 liter V8. I am not sure If dealers are leveling with me after reading the discussion boards. Can anyone tell me what weight of Trailer I should look for? I have been looking at cougar 281EFS. The dealer assures me this is within my trucks capabilites. Also is this a good brand to buy?
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:32 PM   #3
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Welcome to IRV2. Sorry, but I am going to rain on your parade. You will not be the least bit happy with the truck and trailer.

The trailer is way beyond your truck capabilities. The F150 does not have suffucuent GVWR to carry the pin weight of a 5er of that size. A typical 5er will have close to 20 % of the trailer GVWR on the pin when loaded. Look on the door tag of the truck and you will see a GVWR rating. You need to weigh the truck loaded for travel and add 150# for a 5er hitch and with all passengers.

GVWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer pin weight. Do not use the brochure weight as it is based on a dry weight and in a 5er, the major storage will load the pin.

Also check GCVWR.

GCVWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

The dry weight is not a real number and an actual travel weight can be close to 1000# over the dry weight.

Number one rule in RV shopping and truck shopping is to NEVER believe the dealer. His job is to sell a trailer and not worry about your truck. You need to get the Ford towing guide and read all of the foot notes and small print about 5er towing. A 1/2 ton truck will reach GVWR long before you reach GCVWR.

For your truck you are limited to about a 24' long 5er.

Ken
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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Don't get discouraged and keep shopping. There are plenty of campers out there that your truck will handle. The one you picked just isn't one of them. There are a few very small 5th wheels campers designed for 1/2 ton trucks. I've seen a few and honestly, they have a very short ceiling height and look weird. You'd probably be better off looking at Travel Trailers. TT's or bumper pulls. Make DERN sure, you get a weight distribution hitch with one, with a built in sway control. You'll learn about that stuff as you go. Find your trailer first, then ask about it, but don't leave the lot without a WDH.
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
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So this just may be my ignorance but what would happen If I had to big of a trailer? Also any recommendations on trailers? Will I just be better off getting a TT. Will I get more for my money? I looked in the door of my truck and it said 7200 GVW and every place I have been has told me 9900lbs is what I can tow. One dealer actually went throught my owners manual with me and showed me what I could tow. He was a ex FORD Fleet dealer and he also called a dealership and they said the same thing on a speaker phone so I have n reason not to belive that. I have no intetions of dry camping so will that make any diffences in a camper. I am not really all up on all the GVWR and GCVWR all mean to what I can tow. Thanks for the replys I really do appreciate getting honest feedback.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:43 PM   #6
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What will happen is the subject of much conjecture. Possibilites frequently discussed include: not being able to emergency stop the trailer, causing premature failure of engine, brakes, or other TV parts, not being able to control the trailer in adverse weather or road conditions, or not being able to tow at desired speed.

The 9900 lbs is probably the MAX a properly configured F150 could be rated for. I'm doubtful of that though. The 7200 GVW is what your truck was equiped to handle. There could be heavy duty springs, heavy duty axel, higher load range tires, and/or structural reinforcing that you don't have on your truck. Owner's manuals are generic for the model. Not customized to the options on a specific vehicle.

It doesn't matter if you are going to dry camp or have full hookups. The pattern for everyone is; over time you will load your trailer heavier and heavier as you try to take more and more with you.

I would suggest that you not go back to any of those dealers that said you could tow 9900 lbs. They are willing to say anything to make the sale.

GVWR is the total weight you can put on or in the TV. That includes everything from the driver, passengers, cargo in cab, cargo in truck bed, weight of trailer transfered to truck by 5th wheel hitch (pin weight) or ball hitch (tongue weight).

GCVWR is the total loaded weight of the TV plus the total loaded weight of the TT. That number represents the manufacturers statement of the design limits for the vehicle. What the vehicle can pull, manuever, and stop in a safe manner.

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Old 04-06-2006, 04:59 AM   #7
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towing guide

that site has the most up to date listing for your truck.
but basically
with your supercab 2wd 355 axle you get 8600lbs fiver towing, if its a 4x4 its 8300 lbs, and a GCVWR of 14k
if you have a 3.73 axle 2wd 9500lbs and a 4x4 is 9300ls and gcvwr is 15k
and if you lucked out and got the 4.10 axle your gcvwr is still 15k, but the 2wd moves up to 9500lb of trailer and the 4x4 is 9300lbs
not knowing your truck configuration leaves to many unanswerbles, axle, etc
if you weigh your truck road ready to get your base wt. i bet its more than 5700 lbs
then subtract that from your gross vehicle wt rating , whats left over is what you can add to your truck before you exceed your gross wt. rating.
then take your trucks wt. and subtract it from the gcvwr 14 or 15 k (gross combined vehicle wt. rating) and see whats left over, thats how much traielr you can pull according to manufacters ratings.
does that mean thats all, NO, lots of folks are ovrweight and do just fine, till and accident, then if it someone gets hurt or killed it can get real ugly, for example. if you kill my family because you were overweight and unsafe and plowed through an intersection or flipped , etc, gaurantee i am going to insist on your rig being weighed and inspected, so my shyster/mouthpiece can use it against you to recoup monetary damages.
even if it the accident may or may not have been my or your fault.
yes its sad, but its happening more and more

so , my advice is yes you can add air bags and shocks etc to help you tow better, but they do not increase your tow ratings....
so when you are looking at fivers, go armed with knowledge about REAL life weights and not the salesmans desire to make money and laugh as you drive off overloaded..... who knows he could be liable soon as well

happy hunting, thre are fivers out there you can pull just fine, 9k lbs is an attainable goal, but i would look at fivers with a MAX gross wt of 8k . that leaves you some fudge room. but most importantly weigh your present truck first ( raod ready, moma, kids, and fuel, and gear)so you have an accurate gauge.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:37 AM   #8
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Basically the info is as follows:

GVWR is gross vehicle weight rating. That is the total maximum weight you can place on the two axles. This includes the truck, cargo, passengers and pin or hitch weight from the trailer.

GCWR or GCVWR is gross combined (vehicle) weight rating. This is the toal weight of the truck and trailer (usually 4 axles) including all cargo, passengers, cargo, camping supplies, water, propane and accessories.

The tow rating for the truck is a maximum rating based on a properly equipped truck, but it is a base mocdel, with no options, cargo, hitch and only a 150# driver. So for every pound of cargo, options, hitch and so on you add to this base model truck, you reduce the tow rating by the same amount. So if you add 900# of stuff to the base model truck, the tow rating is reduced by 900#.

Most 5ers will have close to 20% of the trailer GVWR on the pin once you are loaded. So if your trailer has a GVWR of 9000#, you will have close to 1800# on the pin with a 5er. This will be over what a 1/2 ton trick can carry and go over the trucks's GVWR.

A bumper pull trailer will have about 12% on it's GVWR for a hitch weight, so a 9000# TT will have a hitch weight of only 1080# which will probably be within the range of a 1/2 ton truck.

The higher pin weight of a 5er is what will push a 1/2 ton truck over the rated limits. Going over will not immediately fail the truck, but will make it wear out quicker and handle poorly. Air springs, overloads and suck will prop it up, but still not increase the rated capacity.

You really need to get the truck weighed with normal travel cargo and add 150# for the hitch. Now you know where you stand and not looking at numbers based on a stripped model.

The sales person at least knew he had to look up some numbers, but he still does not know how to apply or use the information properly.

Kind of like a service station attendent saying he knows how to refine gasoline.

Happy hunting.
Ken
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:46 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the info. I feel much more confident about what I should be looking for now. I really appreciate the feedback.
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:43 PM   #10
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Keep one very important thing in mind.
A RV saleman's job is to sell RV's. Not to tell you that your tow vehicle is too small to tow that 38 foot triple slide $56,000.00 5th wheel.

There are good RV salefolks around but like auto dealers it is often sell the unit.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:23 PM   #11
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Look at your tires also. I'd be willing to bet, since your probably using your truck as an everyday driver right now, that you've put on P rated tires. P is for passenger car. You probably run them with 35 pounds of air. If this is the case, your looking at a load rating of abpout 1700 pounds per tire. With a truck allready sitting on them, your not going to have much room to add the hitch weight of a camper.

Just another peice of the puzzle.

The easiest thing is to tell your wife that you've got to have one of those new megacab deisels from Dodge, with the 6 speed. Actually, I've been told it's easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask permission, so with that, just go get a new truck now, and apologize to your wife later so you can remove all the stress and wories, knowing your intent was to keep her safe and comfortable as she rides down the road.
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:02 PM   #12
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Well Charliez since I just got the truck 6 months ago I really don't think that is gonna fly. I will just have to settle for a smaller trailer then when the time is right trade in the truck for a bigger one then trade in the RV for a bigger one. I like the asking for forgovness thing though.
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