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Old 09-01-2011, 05:19 PM   #1
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Wt calculations and 5th Wheel Choice

Wish I had found this group before I bought my truck. I spent several months researching Ford brochures and RV brochures. Made my calculations and then went looking for a good deal in both. Found my truck first - 2005 Ford F250 Super Duty Turbo Diesel with only 38k on it. By Ford - Tow capacity was 15,900lbs. Went looking for my 5th Wheel - got lucky - to slow to make up my mind and missed the deal of the century... Lucky why? I would have been over my limits on hitch weights... None of the brochures talk about cargo capacity compared to the way the vehicle is equipped or hitch weight depends on the equipped 5th wheel and configuration...

I have done some new calculations and some more 5th wheel searching and below is what I have come up with. Before I go out and drop a few grand can someone tell me I am thinking and calculation right this time. I do not have to worry about my axle weights and I have weighed my truck loaded and empty in two configurations and know I will not come near the GCWR or either the front or rear axle limits - unless I go over my hitch weight calculations.

This is what I have come up with for my truck:

Cargo Capacity - 2788 (3,000 for my truck, but a lot of accessories)
2 People 320
Snacks / Gear 84
5th Whl Adptr 168
26 gals Fuel 208

Allowable Hitch Wt - 2008 lbs

5th Wheels we like with hitch weights and allowances:

Hitch Rem 80% 90%
2008 Denali 1,618 390 488 433
2007 Sydney 1,564 444 555 493
2009 Sundance 1,602 406 508 451
2008 Cougar 1,565 443 554 492
2007 Canyon Trl 1,645 363 454 403

Explanation of my calculations:

Hitch is Dry Hitch Wt from 5th Wheel - some are from brochures and some are after actually having the 5th Wheel at the RV center weighed.
Rem - is the remaining Cargo Weight - after subtracting the hitch wt.
80% assumes that 80% of the weight that is loaded in the front of the trailer will add to the hitch and 90% assumes that 90% of the load will be added to the hitch.
It is assumed that what is loaded on the rear of the 5th wheel does little to the hitch weight.

Does this math make sense? Does it work?

Other things I have taken into consideration. Two of these 5th wheels have rear carriers on them and if I am getting tight on hitch weight then what I would store in the front cargo areas can be carried on the rear of the trailer during transport and then moved back during the camping period to lock the stuff up - this should lessen a couple of hundred pounds up front. I have several water tight sealed containers and they fit perfectly into these cargo areas and I plan on using them either way...

Last question - any comments on the 5th wheels on my list?
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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All those numbers make my head hurt....
But looking at the 5vers of your choice; I think you should be just fine with a 250.
I know I would feel comfortable with that setup. That's my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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Thanks

Sorry for all of the numbers, but trust me I tried my best to only put the numbers that I thought counted. I developed an entire spreadsheet for all calculations that I learned from this group and links that yall provided.

I got the 250 for such a good deal due it was hard to turn down, but if I had found this group first I would have gone with a 350 with what I know now - to late now so I have to find the best 5th wheel with what I have to work with.

Do you have a suggestion of a best choice from my list? We are favoring the Denali and the Cougar for insulation and floorplans...

Again Thanks
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:51 PM   #4
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Look at the GVWR of the trailer and figure an average of 20% of that on the hitch. The advertised dry weight can be hundreds of pounds lighter then it actually is.

Example is my rig.

Advertised dry weight: 8220
Actual weight as delivered from the dealer: 8800
GVWR: 12300
Advertised pin weight: 1917
Actual pin weight as delivered: 2020
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #5
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You can extrapolate the dry pin weight to fully-loaded pin weight. Calculate the pin weight percentage using the mfgrs. listed dry weight and listed pin weight. Then multiply the GVWR of the 5er by that percentage. It is not absolutely accurate, but close enough for our use. Sounds like you have a good grasp on what you need to do, and you know before you buy; some only find out after they have bought both units.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:45 AM   #6
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Thanks

Two of the 5th wheel hitch weights were from the actual trailers. The dealer's had scales and I got them to weigh them for me as part of the sales process. I will not buy the 5th wheel without the pin being weighed since I now know this seems to be my weakness with the truck I own.

I know I will not come close to the gross weights, and if I had not found this group I would have been on the list of buying and then learning - so the thanks go to yall - even before I joined this group. I have read all through this group over the last several months and joined so I could ask specific questions.

I am focusing on the cargo/hitch weight. One last question.

How much does weight added to the front of the trailer add to the hitch/pin. In my example I was assuming 80 - 90% of what we added to the front would end up on the pin - Is this a practical way of looking at it.

If I have to - I will take my front cargo and weigh the trailer empty and then with my cargo to find out at the dealer before I buy.

Just trying to stay safe...
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:51 AM   #7
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I think you need to consider that a loaded, ready to travel 5ver is going to weigh more that the dry weight and take this into account. My empty 5ver advertised weigh is 7810# but when loaded and ready to travel, it weighs 11,880#
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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As noted before, the actual tow capacity is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow.
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semiretired View Post
I know I will not come close to the gross weights.
You might be surprised I travel single and consider myself to be loaded light. My supplies fully loaded for a 2 week trip is over 2000 lbs. Weight distribution depends on the floor plan. A rear kitchen model will have a lot more weight loaded in the rear of the rig compared to a rear living room model. Also take into consideration where your tanks are located.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:13 PM   #10
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I would not make a fiver decision based on pin weight vs. GVWR. The truck is out of warranty and in some states, you can register the truck for a weight higher than the manufacturer's GVWR. Since the pin weight is 99% on the rear axle, staying under the rear GAWR is the most critical issue. On most SRW diesel pickups, tires are the limiting factor for GAWR and that is what a LEO will check for compliance.

Don't put too much stock in published R-values, each brand uses their own method. Can't comment on floorplans vs. your needs, but the Sundance is probably the best choice, Sydney probably the worst. But a lot depends on how they are equiped, 15" or 16" tires, 30 amp or 50 amp service, many other items and of course interior and exterior condition.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:08 PM   #11
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Are you sure about that tow rating? A 15,900 tow capacity for a 2005 F250 sounds high to me. My 2010 F350 SRW is rated at 14,500 tow capacity; considering the towing and weight competition going on between the big 3 on heavy duty pickup trucks I wouldn't think Ford has lowered the tow ratings in the last 5 years. Mine is a V10 instead of a diesel but the tow ratings are the same for both in a SRW configuration I believe.

Mike
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:49 PM   #12
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The Sundance is one of the ones that the dealer weighed the hitch for me and would give me about 500lbs for cargo up front of the 5th wheel.

The Cougar gives me the most allowance with almost 600 and had a rear kitchen with the bottles being behind the axle also.

They and the Denali were my top choices... The Denali for the insulation factor. It was 97 degrees out when we walked into it and the temp was not being carried into the RV.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Muncie_6spd View Post
Are you sure about that tow rating? A 15,900 tow capacity for a 2005 F250 sounds high to me. My 2010 F350 SRW is rated at 14,500 tow capacity; considering the towing and weight competition going on between the big 3 on heavy duty pickup trucks I wouldn't think Ford has lowered the tow ratings in the last 5 years. Mine is a V10 instead of a diesel but the tow ratings are the same for both in a SRW configuration I believe.

Mike
I got the tow rating from the Ford Fleet 2005 Towing Guide. During my earlier research I found 4 different ratings - this was the lowest one so it is the one I went with.

The V-10 that you have has a 14,400 rating 4x2 and 13,900 for a 4x4 - Must be a heavy engine???
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