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Old 11-27-2011, 11:22 AM   #1
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From Motorhome to 5th Wheel for Fulltiming

Own motorhome most of my life, but I am now switching to 5th Wheel for fulltiming, new to 5th Wheeler :I have purchased the Pickup, a Ford 2012 F-250 Heavy Duty We now need to purchased the 5th Wheel, any good suggestion for Fulltiming and around a 60K Budget. Thanks for your help
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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Personally I think you started off wrong. If you're looking at a good full time rig it's gonna be heavy and you'll quickly be over the limit of that F250. In my opinion I would have gone with a 350 or 3500 Dually to be able to handle the weight of a majority of Rigs. Once loaded for full time living, pin weight can quickly exceed 3000 lbs and most of us still carry other things in the bed of the TV, tool boxes, generators, fuel, etc, plus a few hundred pounds for the hitch. We have a Keystone Montana, and there are lots of folks on the Montana Owners Forum who are full timing in theirs. We're not officially full timers, but we are long timers, spending approx 8 months in our unit. Lots of the folks like the Mobile Suites for full time, BUT they are very heavy (sign of their heavy duty construction). Best you can do at this point is run the numbers for you TV and try and match them up with a 5er. Remember all the number you'll see for unit will be dry/empty weights, so work with the gross and what ever they list for pin weight, I would add 700 to 1000 Lbs to that number for a ready to live in figure. Good luck on your search.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:17 PM   #3
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Fulltime rigs are generally big and heavy. A 3/4 ton truck is limited on GAWR and GVWR so it will limit the trailer you can pull. You need to read the foot notes on the trailer tow rating...it will have some to the effect that says it will pull a 16000# trailer....foot note...But GVWR and GAWR. Also, the trailer tow rating is based on a base model truck, no cargo, no passengers and no accessories.

Typically a 5er will have a pin weight around 20% of the trailer GVWR. So a 16,000# 5er will have a 3200# pin weight. You need to start with the weight of your truck, ready to tow, full fuel, hitch, passengers and normal cargo.

GVWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer pin weight.

GCWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer weight.

You cannot go by the brochure hype.

Sorry for the let down, but I would have started with a F350 DRW for full timing.

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Old 11-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #4
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You have gotten some excellent advice from the first two posters. It's a common misperception that a "heavy duty" 3/4 ton can do the job, which is not true. The tow ratings (what they will 'pull') between the 3/4 tons and duallys are close, but the key difference is that the dually can handle the heavy pin weight of a big 5th wheel.

If you keep that truck, you'll have to go small with a 5th wheel.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:31 PM   #5
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaster 22 View Post
You have gotten some excellent advice from the first two posters. It's a common misperception that a "heavy duty" 3/4 ton can do the job, which is not true. The tow ratings (what they will 'pull') between the 3/4 tons and duallys are close, but the key difference is that the dually can handle the heavy pin weight of a big 5th wheel.

If you keep that truck, you'll have to go small with a 5th wheel.
Thank you all for the advice and I agree with all 3 of you, I just forgot to mentionned that we are looking for a smaller size 5th Wheel, we just spend a full year fulltiming in a 28 ft Winnebago with no slide out, so anything a little bigger will be great for us , Also we do very little travelling 6 months North and 6 months South (Dauphin Island) so all together maybe 10 to 12 days on the road.
We are looking for a 35 ft or less. Maximum size that I can put on my summer lot.
Looking at my truck spec:
Max load on Pin = 3,380 lbs
Towing capacity with 5th Wheel = 14,900 lbs
Thank you All
Mike
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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A couple of things to keep in mind in addition to the tow ratings, some states, I.e. California for one, requires you to get an endorsement (-41) for a 5th wheel with a GVWR of 10000 to 15000 lbs, and a non-commercial class A if the GVWR is over 15001 lbs. the second thing to look for is the warranty for full time living, there are several coaches the now have that rating, the Bighorn and the Landmark from Heartland are 2 that I know of. Heartland just recently added this rating. For the price you are looking at, the bighorn will have several models in the price range. If you are looking for a good discount, you can try RVSforLess in Knoxville, TN, they will have about the best price of anyone around. Their website is Fifth Wheels For Sale at RV's For Less, a Tennessee RV dealer - Where The Name Says It All! (Knoxville, Tennessee).

We just did the change from a 5th wheel to a motorhome a couple of years ago.

Good luck with your search.

Dennis
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:02 PM   #7
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I suggest you look at the Cedar Creek 5er lineup. Our 2002 36' weighs just under 13,000 lbs loaded the way we travel. That was a big factor when we were looking. The Cedar Creeks at that time had an aluminum frame and was at least 2000 lbs lighter than the same size in other brands. Not sure if that's still true but worth looking into! Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:40 PM   #8
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Mike, remember that the payload and tow rating are for a base truck. For every pound you add to this theoretical base model truck, you reduce the payload and towing capacity by the same amount. So, the only way to know fro sure is to weigh your truck and add 150# for the 5er hitch. Then use the formulas I provided to make sure you are within tow ratings. Also check the rear axle loading and see how much room you have there.

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Old 11-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROMANICHEL
Own motorhome most of my life, but I am now switching to 5th Wheel for fulltiming, new to 5th Wheeler :I have purchased the Pickup, a Ford 2012 F-250 Heavy Duty We now need to purchased the 5th Wheel, any good suggestion for Fulltiming and around a 60K Budget. Thanks for your help
We have a Excel 5th wheel and it is four season, easy to cool and heat thermal pane windows and Fiberglas roof. It will belittle over your budget, but may worth the extra in long run. The company stands behind their product and are wonderful to work with.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ROMANICHEL View Post
Thank you all for the advice and I agree with all 3 of you, I just forgot to mentionned that we are looking for a smaller size 5th Wheel, we just spend a full year fulltiming in a 28 ft Winnebago with no slide out, so anything a little bigger will be great for us , Also we do very little travelling 6 months North and 6 months South (Dauphin Island) so all together maybe 10 to 12 days on the road.
We are looking for a 35 ft or less. Maximum size that I can put on my summer lot.
Looking at my truck spec:
Max load on Pin = 3,380 lbs
Towing capacity with 5th Wheel = 14,900 lbs
Thank you All
Mike
Where did the "max load on pin 3380" come from? To verifiy all the weight you can put in the truck, check the Tire and Loading Information sticker on the driver's side of the frame. It will give you the maximum total weight you can put in the truck to the nearest pound.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #11
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You may also want to check out the NuWa HitchHiker LS Series fifth wheels. Some of their smaller models may be within the range of your truck. NuWa has been building fifth wheels for many years and is known for its well built and reliable rigs. We've had ours for almost four years and are very satisfied.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jminyard View Post
I suggest you look at the Cedar Creek 5er lineup. Our 2002 36' weighs just under 13,000 lbs loaded the way we travel. That was a big factor when we were looking. The Cedar Creeks at that time had an aluminum frame and was at least 2000 lbs lighter than the same size in other brands. Not sure if that's still true but worth looking into! Good luck!
x2 on a cedar creek 26rlts
we had a 2006 model, great rig...we ran right at the max weight on it all the time, 11900 on the axles and 2700 on the pin

but i pulled it with a 350 dually crew cab towboss ford
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:13 PM   #13
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We have been living in a Big Country 1500RL for the past 3 years and are very satisfied with the performance. Its a 2009 model and we feel its the best compared to the 2012 layout. We have done over 12K miles with the unit in tow behind the F250 and its been a dream to tow. The noze and low frame front end makes the Heartland trailer easy to tow and the BC is the only model I would tow with my F250 as the Big Horn and Landmarks are much heavier models.

For full timing I would choose a full profile unit that the truck can pull and lenght is only empty air space, but loading has to be closely watched, we do have the wash/dryer unit and not the washer and dryer as 2 units are heavier and the mid location of the W/D makes it load the truck much less. Montana 3400RL is similar layout but with only 6K axles that is a pita for tire dependability.

Some others are lighter with cable operated slide system that I am not sure will be very dependible, if full timing use the units with hydraulic slide system as I have seen many discouraged owners of motor driven slide operation owners.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:06 AM   #14
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Towed a Jayco Designer w/ F250

I towed easily a Jayco Designer series with my F250. I have now switch to a bigger 5th Wheel and a F350 Dually. I do like the stability I get with the dual rear wheels. But we made many trips to NC and Maine from NJ with the F250 even survive 2 blow outs on the trailer at 65 mph without issue. I agree with many of the answer above but many manufacturers are making excellent 5th wheels that your 3/4 ton can pull. Jayco is one of my preferred rigs but there are many other that are just as good.
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