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Old 07-07-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
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Newbie with a 5th wheeler

I have a 2012 Keystone Raptor 5th wheel 300MP. Tow vehicle is 2010 Ford F250 Diesel with a shortbed. Reese 20k 5th wheel hitch with slides. I have calculated the weight of the truck to be about 7500 pounds with me and the family riding in it. The 5th wheel with everything in it is around 14,500 pounds. When I hooked everything up the truck squatted down in back about 4 inches. I installed a set of Air Lift Air Handler 5000 air bags. Now when I tow there is a good deal of bounce coming from the trailer. I am using 35 pounds of pressure in the air bags. Not sure if this is too much or not enough. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I can set a preset on the air bags once I get the number that works the best. Any other input on helping out a newbie would be great!

Thanks,

Troy
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troyrice76 View Post
I have a 2012 Keystone Raptor 5th wheel 300MP. Tow vehicle is 2010 Ford F250 Diesel with a shortbed. Reese 20k 5th wheel hitch with slides. I have calculated the weight of the truck to be about 7500 pounds with me and the family riding in it. The 5th wheel with everything in it is around 14,500 pounds. When I hooked everything up the truck squatted down in back about 4 inches. I installed a set of Air Lift Air Handler 5000 air bags. Now when I tow there is a good deal of bounce coming from the trailer. I am using 35 pounds of pressure in the air bags. Not sure if this is too much or not enough. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I can set a preset on the air bags once I get the number that works the best. Any other input on helping out a newbie would be great!

Thanks,

Troy
We have a 5'er (about 14,000lbs & F250 Ford Super Duty diesel) have Firestone airbags on my F250 Super Duty with short bed and put about 15-18 psi in bags. Check distance from ground to bumper of truck (no air in bags and no 5'er attached). Put 15 psi in bags, hook up rv and check distance from ground to bumper again. Truck should not lower down very much. My Firestone bag instructions said 5psi for every 500lbs of pin (tongue) weight. If 15psi isn't enough, try different psi. I believe your truck loaded will weigh more than 7500.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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Just had my truck weighed at the city dump, they charge you by the difference of weight in and weight out. 2010 F-250 Super Duty Diesel extended cab 4x4 with Reese 16k Slider Hitch, full fuel and two of us aboard, 8004lbs. I was surprised by that.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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You have a truck that is not equipped to tow that much weight. You need at least a 350 or 3500 truck. Your 250 has too light of a suspension and inadequet brakes.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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You have a truck that is not equipped to tow that much weight. You need at least a 350 or 3500 truck. Your 250 has too light of a suspension and inadequet brakes.
Yep. You either have too much trailer or too little truck. A 3/4 ton truck cannot handle the heavy (loaded) pin weight of these big 5th wheels and remain within specs.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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My truck is rated to carry 23,000 pounds. I am within those specs. There is not much difference from an F350 to the F250 other than the rear springs. Not sure where you are coming from. I see more SRW then DRW towing 5th wheels when traveling, I can't believe they are all wrong to do so.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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My truck is rated to carry 23,000 pounds.
I sincerely doubt that. IF, however, your truck has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 23,000 lbs (I frankly don't know what Ford rates its F-250 at in terms of GCWR), then the 23,000 lbs is the maximum allowable combined weight of the truck and whatever it is towing - a totally different matter than the truck CARRYING 23,000 lbs.

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Old 07-07-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by troyrice76 View Post
My truck is rated to carry 23,000 pounds.
Could that be the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating, i.e. loaded truck+loaded RV) instead of the truck's 5th wheel towing capacity?

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(On edit: looks like Rusty & I are on the same page. )
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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Just had my truck weighed at the city dump, they charge you by the difference of weight in and weight out. 2010 F-250 Super Duty Diesel extended cab 4x4 with Reese 16k Slider Hitch, full fuel and two of us aboard, 8004lbs.
This gets to the heart of the matter. Even if your truck (that is, the OP's truck) is indeed rated for a 23,000 lb GCWR, your actual gross combined weight (GCW) would be approaching that figure -> 8000 lbs truck weight + 14,500 lbs 5th wheel weight = 22,500 lbs.

The problem for a SRW truck is that a 5th wheel transfers up to 20% or more of its laden weight to the truck as pin weight. In your case, the weight borne by the truck would be 8000 lbs + (20% x 14,500 lbs) = 8000 lbs + 2900 lbs = 10,900 lbs. How does this compare with your truck's GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) that can be found on the driver's door jamb?

The primary advantage of a dually is that it can CARRY more than a SRW truck due to its higher GVWR - a capability that is needed with the pin weight transferred to the truck by heavy 5th wheels. Typically, a SRW truck will exceed its GVWR before it reaches its GCWR when towing a 5th wheel.

Rusty
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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Gotcha. So that really means neither a 250 or 350 SRW I really need to look at DRW. Not really what I wanted to hear. With that being said I really do not have the luxury of getting another truck. Are there things I can do to make what I have safer. I have looked at upgrading my brakes. I really thought I had done my research on this. I definitely understand the Pin Weight, and see how that affects the load of the truck. My truck GVWR is 10K so with the weight of the truck, fuel, and the family it looks like my pin weight would be over by 175 pounds to 900 pounds according to the Ford towing guide for the 2010 F250 truck.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #11
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Well, the air bags help the spring rate, but if you're experiencing bouncing at the rear of the truck, you're probably going to have to look at the shocks - specifically, something with more rebound damping since you're trying to damp more mass while running a stiffer spring rate (with the airbags) than the factory shocks were designed for.

On a previous truck, I went with the Rancho 9000s. These are now 9-position adjustable shocks, but the earlier ones I used were 5-position adjustable. I ran with settings of 3 front & 2 rear empty for decent ride quality but dialed them up to 4 front & 5 rear for towing. These settings snubbed the bouncing of the truck's rear quite nicely when towing the 5th wheel, but the truck rode like a lumber wagon when I unhitched the trailer. That was the advantage of the adjustable shocks - with the large variances in weight, the shocks could be set for the specific conditions the truck was operating under.

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Old 07-07-2011, 08:23 PM   #12
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Great I will look into the shocks. Should I be concerned for safety with it only being a 3/4 ton??
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #13
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My truck is rated to carry 23,000 pounds. I am within those specs. There is not much difference from an F350 to the F250 other than the rear springs. Not sure where you are coming from. I see more SRW then DRW towing 5th wheels when traveling, I can't believe they are all wrong to do so.
Agree with cutrell01 on that much air pressure in the bags. The bags are so tight they have little compression/rebound.
Agree with your point the trucks springs are different than the F350 however wheels and tires are the biggest difference from a safety standpoint. Some F250's carry a 10000 GVWR as do some F350's. however going over the trucks RAWR/tire/wheel weights is your biggest safety concern.

Your F250 has a 6100 RAWR and comes OEM with 17" wheels and 3195 lb capacity tires. Not sure if your truck has the optioned 18" or 20" higher rated tires and wheels but........
The F350 has a 7000 RAWR and has 18"/20" wheels and tires rated up to 3600 lbs.
Brakes specs per Fords Body Builders guide are the same for the F250 and the F350.
I would suggest weighing your trucks front and rear axles separately that way you will know if your exceeding your current RAWR wheel/tire ratings.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #14
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I do have the 20" wheels on my truck. They came with the Lariat package.
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