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Old 10-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
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New 5th Wheel owner asks will 1983 F250 SC LB safely pull a 34ft 5th wheel ?

Hi Everyone.
I have finally answered my question of what to buy. A used 34 ft motor coach or a 34 ft 5th wheel?
I chose a Signature XL 34ft 5th wheel from Thor Industries but now am faced with what pick up truck I can safely tow this trailer with that I can afford?

The 5th wheel has a GVW of 12,400 lbs. Unloaded weight of 10,180 lbs. and the Pin weight is 2,000lbs.
I have never owned a 5th wheel trailer so I desperately need the expert advice of the knowledgeable 5th wheel owners on this forum.

I have found a 1983, 400 ci Ford 250 Super Cab long box with a 9 ft Scamper Camper on it for a very good price. The photos show it to be in excellent shape for the year but I have not traveled the 300 miles to view it yet till I can find if this truck will handle the trailer ow what modifications i would need to make it do so. The 1 ton trucks (gas) I have found all have over 300,000 miles on them for the price range I can afford .

I would appreciate any advice you may give me on the subject.
Thanks. Brian.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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The article,"Before You Buy - It's not rocket science" would be a good place to start. I think it may help you understand what to look for.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abacusblack View Post
Hi Everyone.
I have finally answered my question of what to buy. A used 34 ft motor coach or a 34 ft 5th wheel?
I chose a Signature XL 34ft 5th wheel from Thor Industries but now am faced with what pick up truck I can safely tow this trailer with that I can afford? You should be looking for a dually.

The 5th wheel has a GVW of 12,400 lbs. Unloaded weight of 10,180 lbs. and the Pin weight is 2,000lbs. Is that "advertised" or actual??
I have never owned a 5th wheel trailer so I desperately need the expert advice of the knowledgeable 5th wheel owners on this forum.

I have found a 1983, 400 ci Ford 250 Super Cab long box with a 9 ft Scamper Camper on it for a very good price. The photos show it to be in excellent shape for the year but I have not traveled the 300 miles to view it yet till I can find if this truck will handle the trailer ow what modifications i would need to make it do so. The 1 ton trucks (gas) I have found all have over 300,000 miles on them for the price range I can afford . Truck probably has a GVWR of around 8000 pounds. Since you are from BC I would suggest you look into the towing laws in BC. According to peopel's posts BC law is trucks GVWR and you would be waaayyy oiver that number with that fiver in tow.

I would appreciate any advice you may give me on the subject.
Thanks. Brian.
Get a dually.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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In this forum most answers revolve around you not having enough truck regardless ....I quit asking. You are better off researching your VIN and tow capacity and the wt of your fiver. I love the posts and info but some of those here just have to make you feel like no matter what its never enough. Wish I had their expertise and $. Best wishes, there is nothing that is as great as the right truck and camper ratio.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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The advertised pin weight is an empty weight. A more realistic PW would be 20% of the GVWR. I doubt a truck that old would have the carrying capacity for a 5th wheel of this size.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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I doubt if your truck can tow it safely or even easily. You definitely need more truck.

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Old 10-30-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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There were two vastly different F250s back then.
one had a GVW of 6600 lbs NOT what you need.
the other was the more typical 8600lbs (sometimes called the F250 HD)
If you have the heavier one it might do it.

If mine I'd find a dually rear axle and install it under the 83(if it a 250 HD). easy engough to do.
the front brakes are 99% usally the same betweent a F250HD and a F350 back then.
and on anything towing a 5er I'd get a set of air bags so the suspension can be adjustable.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
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There were two vastly different F250s back then.
one had a GVW of 6600 lbs NOT what you need.
the other was the more typical 8600lbs (sometimes called the F250 HD)
If you have the heavier one it might do it.

If mine I'd find a dually rear axle and install it under the 83(if it a 250 HD). easy engough to do.
the front brakes are 99% usally the same betweent a F250HD and a F350 back then.
and on anything towing a 5er I'd get a set of air bags so the suspension can be adjustable.

Fellas you have to remember the OP is in BC Canada. There the trucks GVWR is the law. There is no way that truck will have sufficient GVWR to haul that fiver in BC.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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I have a 2003 f250 2wd 6.0 3/4 ton and I had to air bag it, it was touching the helper springs. Im about the same weight with a 2003 33ft cardinal. Pulls good jst lil slow on taking off. I would look for a 97-98 f350 w manual trans. They have been pretty good trucks in the past if u can find one thats been taken care of.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadswife View Post
In this forum most answers revolve around you not having enough truck regardless ....I quit asking. You are better off researching your VIN and tow capacity and the wt of your fiver. I love the posts and info but some of those here just have to make you feel like no matter what its never enough. Wish I had their expertise and $. Best wishes, there is nothing that is as great as the right truck and camper ratio.
Most of the people on this forum who take the time to answer questions on subject matter indicated by the OP are qualified to do so from their many years of experiance. If they feel that a posters rig should not/is not qualified to tow a particular rig, they can/will have support documentation to support such advice. There will always be individuals who don't want to hear any answer that is contradictory to what their mindset may be on a particular matter. Ask the question and if enough responders agree and can support their advice then so be it. Anyone asking a question can either agree or go on down the road in their own little world and hope nothing happens directly or indirectly, in this case, because of an overloaded combination. IMHO, there are probably too many rvers on the road today that are operating unsafe combos for a multitude of reasons, the usual one being improper/incorrect research on the unit(s) they have. Kinda like getting the cart before the horse; you buy a stagecoach but own a miniature horse/donkey. Can they pull it; probably; safely, no. Stop it; The choices are, 1:get an appropriate size stagecoach to match your ouller or keep the stagecoach you bought and get something more applicable to pull it with.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:57 PM   #11
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It's best to get the stagecoach first, then you can insure you enough horses to haul it.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadswife View Post
In this forum most answers revolve around you not having enough truck regardless ....I quit asking. You are better off researching your VIN and tow capacity and the wt of your fiver. I love the posts and info but some of those here just have to make you feel like no matter what its never enough. Wish I had their expertise and $. Best wishes, there is nothing that is as great as the right truck and camper ratio.

I typically don't jump in on posts like this because I'm not an expert in this area (or any other for that matter). But, when someone posts a serious question and obviously soliciting serious answers, they are assured to get a variety. There are many on the forums who have "tried and true" experience and are willing to share their opinions when a particular topic is raised.

The key word is "opinions" - everyone has one...and most people like to share them. That's all it is...an opinion. The OP can make up their own mind either to heed or ignore the advice.

I don't think anyone sets out to make anyone "feel no matter what, it's never enough" though. Maybe they are sharing their opinion because of the lessons learned which leads to their expertise and $$ spent on something that turned out to be unsafe on the road or didn't meet their expections for the use intended.

In the case of having a tow vehicle capable of hauling a large rig behind it...I'd much rather have too much vehicle than not enough vehicle. My life (and the life of others on the road) is too valuable to spend my well earned money on something not able to handle the road or the load.

IMHO
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:20 PM   #13
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Nobody has made a comment on the 400ci gas motor. with 12,400# the power is marginal at best, any grades will drag the speed down drastically, let alone a hill. Best advice is bigger truck or at the least more motor.

Frank
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:28 PM   #14
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The 400 u can make plenty of power, if you want to put more into it. But its goin to eat u alive in fuel. Probably 5-6 mpg.
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