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Old 06-16-2016, 07:55 PM   #1
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How heavy should I go?

Hi All

My wife and I and two kids are going to full time it for awhile. My truck is a 99 Ford f250 with the 7.3 diesel. I have air bags on the rear. Electric trailer brake So many choices in 5th wheels. Was hoping for some advice on the weights I could safely tow. Any thoughts on brands to avoid would be appreciated. This looks like a terrific forum and I'm hoping to learn some useful tips.

Also, if anyone has advice on the membership resorts (thousand trails, coast to coast, etc) feel free to give a rookie some pointers.

Right now we have a 28 foot travel trailer and are thinking about starting out in that. Take our time and make the right decision with such a big investment

Thanks for any help
Jerry
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:14 PM   #2
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I would look at what the payload and tow ratings are for your truck with your factory options. Don't think that the airbags add capacity, they just make the truck ride level. As for 5ver choices, I would start off by figuring out what the max weight I can tow safely then find a floorplan I like in that weight range. Then narrow down manufacturers after that if there are multiples. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:19 AM   #3
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A 28' travel trailer is a little cozy for full timing.

I have the same basic truck with a power programmer and tranny cooler, and we settled on a Grand Design Reflection 323BHS bunk house fifth wheel. It weighs 11K lbs. dry and has a 2K kingpin weight dry. That's about as large of a trailer that the 3/4 ton needs to tow.

I just hope your truck is in really good shape, as reliability is important for full timers.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:58 PM   #4
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I remain unconvinced that membership camping is a good deal. I recommend you do a search for "Thousand Trails" on this site and rv.net. I've stayed free at three Encore/Thousand Trails resorts in the past three weeks and I'm not impressed. I'd have been very displeased had I paid for the sites.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ralphie View Post
I remain unconvinced that membership camping is a good deal. I recommend you do a search for "Thousand Trails" on this site and rv.net. I've stayed free at three Encore/Thousand Trails resorts in the past three weeks and I'm not impressed. I'd have been very displeased had I paid for the sites.

I agree with you and I'm a TT member. The membership park business model has failed.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:43 PM   #6
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A 1999 Ford F250 7.3 with 3.73 Automatic (book numbers)
Regular 4x2 14,100
Regular 4x4 13,600
to a
Crew 4x2 13,500
Crew 4x4 13,100

Check (your search engine here) out Hiller Ford for a pdf of the original guide.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:51 PM   #7
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If you have the want/need for something like TT's.... you can find a membership for $350-$500 from some one who is getting out of RV because of age... and than pay the transfer fee.... that's what I did... I use mine 35-50 nights a year... in areas we like to travel.... used it was a good investment... just my thoughts...
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:57 PM   #8
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You can start a war with that question. I had the same truck and towed a 32 ft cardinal with 3 slides for a few years with no problems. Thee air bags will keep you nice and level. The tow rating for that truck was something crazy like 25,000 less the weight of the truck. That was crazy because the rating was the same for an F350 dually. That would have meant the 250 could handle more than the dully.

Any way on with the story. I bought a Mobile Suites 36 foot very heavy 5er and decided I was going to tow it with the f250 extended cab. So, Iupgraded tires on the truck and away we went. That trailer could easily weigh 16,000 lbs or more. It towed fine and if I was younger or poorer or both I would still be doing it. But the truth is the truck felt like I was being pushed around in some situations like down steep hills or around sharp curves. So I bought a dually and lived happily ever after.

What I learned from the experience is that the limiting factors are your rear tires and your fear or lack of it. The rear axle is where you will carry the most weight. The rating is tire dependent. Read the sidewalls. So, upgrade the tires to meet the needs. The axle isn't going to bend. I upgraded to 19.5 inch tires rated for a lot (can't remember exactly) and that made the ride a lot better.

The other thing I learned is that if you are not a commerical operator no one cares about how much your trailer weighs unless it is obviously unsafe. My experience was pre 2008 so that may have changed in some of the states with too much government. You may hear or read a lot of stuff to the contrary but ask them to quote a jurisdiction. I researched extensively and never found any record of an arrest or ticket.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:59 PM   #9
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I would be more worried about if my insurance would cover me if I was in an accident if I was grossly overloaded. If you don't get into an accident, no you probably won't get into trouble if your rig looks fine. But I would hate to be in a situation where your in an accident and your insurance company weighs everything and finds your over weight and says your on your own. That would be very bad for you and your family. Make sure you go over your insurance policy with a fine tooth comb looking for their outs.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:57 AM   #10
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Perhaps so but I don't think they can drop me after the accident. A woman hit me down in florida and she was double the legal limit for DWI 4 hours after the accident. I'm sure they would have liked to drop her but they paid well.

Besides, I've had this discussion before. When I ask the person to describe to me an accident where I would be at fault if I was over any of the weight ratings, but would not be at fault if I were under I never hear from them again. I sure can't think of one.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:58 PM   #11
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I would rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:52 PM   #12
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Thanks

Good advice from everybody. I appreciate it
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:09 PM   #13
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I don't worry about that. One can never have too much truck.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:59 AM   #14
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Forget advice and personal opinions and get the facts. Contact Ford for the towing specs for your truck configuration.
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