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Old 03-18-2013, 05:08 PM   #15
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There are a good amount of 1/2 ton 5'ers out there with low pin weights. You still need a 1/2 ton with at least a 76-7700 GVW. Most of those have 17-1900 payload ratings. Finding a 5'er with a dry pin around 1100 and enough room isn't really that hard. I was a member of several F150 forums before getting my 2500 Ram and quite a few F150 owners were pulling 5th wheels and were under weights.
But to the OP, smart move on your friends part to get a bigger truck. Takes the guess work out and allows for more variety in the 5'er purchase.

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:33 AM   #16
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5th wheel and 1/2 ton Ford Eco boost

Hi -new here and have been trying to figure out what weight we can pull with our 2011 Ford F150 Ecoboost 145" wheel base, 3.73 axle - has tow package but not the HD tow package. We are looking at small fifth wheels or a new TT with slides. The truck is GVWR 7200, Front GAWR 3750, Rear GAWR 3850, Maximum GCWR 15500, Maximum Trailer Weight 9700. The manual says we can pull 9700 (and so of course does all the RV salesmen!) but I have been reading about dry weight, cargo and hitch weight on this forum (which is great by the way!) and my head is spinning! I used the calculator but don't think I am doing something right because I come up with a 5800 lb camper!! Can someone tell me what dry weight TT or fifth wheel we can pull?

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:11 AM   #17
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letsgo13 - that sounds about right. When I think about 1/2 ton trucks w/o HD towing ability I think 5,000 to 6,000lb towing. I had a 2011 F-150 5.0 litre and towed a 5,200 lb trailer. The truck knew the trailer was back there.

The areodynamics plays a huge part in how something will tow.

You do not want to be 'white knuckled'. A few bad trips will have you buying a bigger truck.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by letsgo13 View Post
Can someone tell me what dry weight TT or fifth wheel we can pull?
A normal Fifth wheel? Forget it. They don't make normal 5ers with a hitch weight so tiny that you can tow it without being overloaded. Maybe one of those itty bitty fiberglass 5ers such as an Escape or Scamp, but they are really small.

You can pull a TT that weighs up to 9700 pounds. But you'll be overloaded over the GVWR of your truck. You have only 7,200 pounds GVWR, and you'll run out of GVWR long before you reach 9700 pounds trailer weight.

And stop thinking in "dry" weights. Nobody tows a dry trailer. If you don't want to be overloaded down the road, then use the GVWR of your trailer as the wet and loaded trailer weight, and assume 15 percent of trailer GVWR for hitch weight.

My 2012 F-150 has 7,100 pounds GVWR and it's a 4x2 so it's lighter than yours. But my TT that weighs only 4,870 pounds when wet and loaded for the road and connected with a weight-distributing hitch overloads my F-150 by 100 pounds over the GVWR. That's with me, Darling Wife, a Border Collie that weighs 40 pounds, a Chihuahua mix that weighs 11 pounds, a toolbox full of tools, and a Leer topper. The topper weighs a coupla hundred pounds, so without the topper I could tow that less-than-5,000 pound trailer without being overloaded.

So in your case, a 5,800 pound [b]wet and loaded[b] TT sounds about right, provided you have nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. But when you load the truck with passenger(s) and tools, the max trailer weight drops dramatically. My guess would be if you have one adult passenger and some tools, you want a TT with a GVWR of around 5,000 pounds. Then if you're careful in what you load into the truck, you won't be overloaded in the middle of your third camping trip.

To get a better estimate, load the truck with everything that will be in it when towing, including passengers, tools, jacks, and the ball mount for the weight-distributing hitch. Fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded truck. Subtract that weight from the GVWR and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch by 15% and that's the max GVWR of any TT you should consider. (I'll bet it's less than 5,800 pounds.)
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:28 PM   #19
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Letsgo13, look on your drivers side door for your cargo sticker. It will show you what your max payload is. Thats everything that you put in the truck. Since you have only a 7200lb GVWR then it very likely you only have around 13-1400lbs for payload. Add up whos going in the truck and if you take things like firewood, BBQ, bikes, etc. Subtract that from the payload number on the door sticker and thats apr how much you have left for the pin or tongue weight. For estimating purposes lets figure you have 500lbs for cargo in the truck, now you have 900lbs or so left for the TT's tongue weight. Minus 100lbs for the WD you need. Down to 800lbs. A TT thats loaded for camping that would have a 7-800lb tongue weight will weigh around 6000lbs loaded. Now you need to figure you'll take about 1000lbs of stuff in the TT. Thats sorta the average for some folks. Now your at 5000lbs empty for a TT. Don't look at the brochure weights as they are alsways low. Those weights don't include any options that are added. You need to look at the yellow sticker thats on the TT's door or wherever they put it. It's the weight the TT weighs when it rolls out of the plant. You can use the brochure weights but you'll need to add maybe 2-300lbs to them to be safe. It's not rocket science but it takes a little work to figure out. FYI I had a 10 F150 with a 7650 GVWR and a tow rating of 11,100. The most I could tow because of the trucks payload was 7300lbs. I had a canopy and put bikes, firewood, Honda 2000W gen and 2 bikes in the back. My TT's tongue weight was 900lbs+-. My truck had a RAWR of 4050. I was at 4000 on RAWR loaded and ready to go. I also had a cargo rating of 1857lbs. But it got eaten up by the canopy and stuff in the trucks bed. So as you can see payload is the limiting factor on what you can tow, not the tow rating. And most important thing to remember "if a salesmans lips are moving then he's probably lying. Lots of them will say anything to make a sale. Some are just ignorant, some are not.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #20
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Looking at Fords '11 Fleet Service specs shows a 7200 GVWR 3.5 EC with 3750 FAWR and a 3850 RAWR with the other specs you posted has a 2000 lb payload.

Your biggest issue is staying under the trucks RAWR for carrying a 5th wheel trailer as just about all the pin weight sits over the trucks rear axle.

I won't BS you and tell you how much your trucks front and rear axles will weigh as only a actual trip to the scales will determine exact weights.
However (as a example) many F150 owners report around a 2200-2400 lb rear axle weight which leaves approx 1450-1650 for a payload. Now subtract a 5th wheel hitch and other gear and you left with approx 1000-1200 lbs for a wet pin weight. You may have more or less depending on actual weights.

There are 5th wheel trailer out here that fits your F150 capacities. When doing research its best to check with other RV forums also as the F150 is a popular tow vehicle for TT and 5th wheel RV trailers. There are also forums dedicated to the F150 that are another good source of advice.

If you choose to use the trucks GVWR to figure pin loads on the rear axle there has been F150 owners report going over their trucks rear axle/tire load ratings. Check the numbers to your satisfaction.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:18 AM   #21
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Do I have this straight: the manufacturer posts weight limits like GVWR and GAWR and we are to take those numbers as undeniable truth but ignore the "1/2 ton towable" statement by the same manufacturer?
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:33 AM   #22
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Ummm..."1/2 ton towable" is marketing speak designed to push units off the lot, not hard numbers from the engineering and product development group as are GVWR and GAWR.

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Old 03-23-2013, 09:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
Do I have this straight: the manufacturer posts weight limits like GVWR and GAWR and we are to take those numbers as undeniable truth but ignore the "1/2 ton towable" statement by the same manufacturer?
Your going to believe a sales pitch from an RV maker? Or an engineered rating? All 1/2 ton towables are not created equall. All 1/2 ton trucks are not created equall. Which 1/2 ton would be better equiped to tow a 1/2 ton towable 5'er that weighs 6500lbs dry, the 1/2 ton that has a 7200lb GVWR and a tow rating of 7000lbs or the 1/2 ton that has a 7700lb GVWR and a tow rating of 10,000 lbs? The 1/2 ton with the 3.7/3.6 V6 or the 1/2 ton with the 5.0, 3.5EB, 6.2? My son just bought a used Ram 1500 that has the 5.7 Hemi but only has a 1313lb payload rating. Using you view point he can tow any 1/2 ton towable. Numbers don't lie, do your home work.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:33 AM   #24
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I have to say you can tow anything with anything. BUT the reason for not is because you will be OVER the GVW. The truck and 5th wheel combined weight will affect the handling of the tow vehicle and if you are involved in a accident you will (WILL) be responsible for the accident. It is the same as pulling two ball hitches (rv and Boat). If a accident happens you will be responsible for the accident. You can pull a 5th wheel with a ball hitch as your second trailer without fear for being responsible.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #25
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The trailer in my signature has GVW 6900 lbs and is pretty close to that going down the road. I might be tempted to move up to a 7500 lb but that would be about it, and I have the max tow/payload offered in the ecoboost in 2011. The engine has more power than you'd ever need but the rest of the truck is a far cry from the F350 that preceded it. That was by design as we wanted to downsize and get a smoother ride/better fuel economy/manoeuverability, so it was a trade off. I have more than 10,000 miles on this truck/trailer combination, in all conditions and can speak from some experience having towed trailers since 1976....more truck is better for towing.

Ian & Lyn. 2011 white Scab F150 4X4 ecoboost with max trailer pkg...now towing a North Trail 21 FBS .
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