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Old 11-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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2013 Ford F150

Am new to all this, so need some advice. I recently purchased the new 2013 Ford F150 with 5.0 V8. It has towing package, sway control and trailer brakes. I am looking to buy a travel trailer that is 30' and the weight is 6500 lbs. The truck manual says it can tow up to 8100 lbs. The travel trailer salesman says the truck can handle this trailer, but some friends say it can't. I don't want to buy a trailer that the truck can't tow comfortably. Any one have any words of wisdom?
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LaTravel59 View Post
Am new to all this, so need some advice. I recently purchased the new 2013 Ford F150 with 5.0 V8. It has towing package, sway control and trailer brakes. I am looking to buy a travel trailer that is 30' and the weight is 6500 lbs. The truck manual says it can tow up to 8100 lbs. The travel trailer salesman says the truck can handle this trailer, but some friends say it can't. I don't want to buy a trailer that the truck can't tow comfortably. Any one have any words of wisdom?
What does the yellow sticker on the drivers door say for payload. How many people are riding in your truck?
Also is the 6500lbs dry weight? If so then no you can't tow it.
Too much TT IMO. 6500lbs dry will be 7500lbs easy. That equates to 900lbs or so on the hitch. Add up everything you plan on putting in the truck and subtract that from your trucks payload rating. That's whats left for tongue weight.
With a 30' TT you'll need a good sway control WD setup like an Equalizer or Reese DC.
IMO you will probably be over the trucks GVW and GCWR.

Looking at Fords towing guide the only truck with your config is a 4x2 Scab 5.0 3.31 with a 13,500 GCVWR.
With a 7000lb+ TT and your truck loaded up you will more than likely be over the 13,500lbs.
I think your friends are pretty smart.

Most ,not all RV sales people aren't there to help, but to make a sale. There are some that will steer you straight. Being a newbie is rough, as the bad sales people will take advantage of you.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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I had a 2011 F-150 5.0 litre engine and I towed a 5,500 lb trailer. Great truck with a great engine/transmission combo. My old trailer was 26 feet long. The truck knew it was back there but I would describe towing as being semi-comfortable. This trailer did not have an aerodynamic front end.

It is obvious that the smaller the trailer the easier it is to tow. I would look for a trailer with an aerodynamic front end. For example you can tow an Airstream, Keystone Vantage, or Evergreen Element trailer easier than a one with a square front end.

To me, a 30' trailer is a bit much for a 1/2 ton truck. The truck/trailer will be pushed around some when semi-trucks pass.

I would try to stay around 6,000 lbs and under 30'. Also get a good trailer sway/weight distribution hitch.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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Personally I think your pushing the window. A salesman will tell you anything to sell you something. My experience is from my neighbor who had the same truck you're talking about pulling a 28' trailer (I can't remember the name of it) but it was a light duty trailer as far as weight. Loaded and with the family aboard they had handling problems and didn't feel comfortable driving it even 55 miles per hour. I think I would at least look at F250. JMHO
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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If stated trailer weight is 6500 lbs. dry / unloaded. you will easily add 1000 lbs. of stuff. Now if your traveling with kids you can added onto that.

In general I travel light...but stuff like: tools, full propane tanks, extra power cords, ax, hammers, brooms, firewood, canned food, beverages, clothes, jackets, extra shoes & boots, chairs, water, bikes, extra grill, pot & pans...it all adds up.

Trust me...when you move "stuff" from one trailer to a new RV trailer..you say to yourself "where does all this stuff come from"?
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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The 8100# tow rating is based on a base model truck, no cargo, very little fuel, no accessories and a very thin 150# driver. The manufactures uses this truck so he will have a very low curb weight.

GCWR - curb weight = max loaded trailer rating.

For every pound you add beyond the theoretical curb weight, you reduce the tow rating by the same amount.

Next is the payload capacity of a 1/2 ton truck is pretty low and it has to carry all of the cargo, passengers and hitch weight.

GVWR - loaded curb weight = max trailer hitch weight.

Your loaded truck is loaded as for travel, full fuel, all passengers, cargo and the hitch.

Personally, I would not tow a 30' travel trailer with a 1/2 ton truck. You have to have enough truck to handle the trailer safely. 26' is about all, I'd pull with a a1/2 ton truck.

The current crop of 1/2 ton trucks are tuned with a soft suspension and P series passenger car tires for a soft ride.

Once you load up a 1/2 ton with a few passengers and options, the hitch and some fire wood, you will have used up a substantial part of the pay load capacity.

For a 30' trailer, you need to be looking at a 3/4 ton truck in my opinion. Oh, and the "sway control" on the truck is electronic and will not replace a proper hitch mounted sway control.

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Old 11-05-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. Only thing in the truck would be me and 2 small dogs. Probably about 165 lbs. lol. The hitch weight of trailer is 685. I know you can't trust salesmen. They are just trying to sell. Looked at lots of travel trailers and that's the one I liked the best. Guess I'll have to keep looking. I was planning on adding stabilizer bars to trailer also. So many things to think about and it's all confusing to me. Single woman just trying to find something to hit the road with. Recently retired and have always wanted to get a truck and travel trailer and GO! Since I was planning on living in it, wanted something comfortable. Guess I'll have to just have less room.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #8
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You bought the wrong pickup to tow that much trailer without being overloaded. Use dumb old me as your example of what NOT to do:

My F-150 SuperCrew 4x2 with 6.5' bed and EcoBoost power train is rated to tow a TT that weighs up to 8,200 pounds, and it has GVWR of 7,100 pounds. The yellow sticker on the driver's door says I can haul up to 1,366 pounds of people and stuff. I thought I was being conservative when I ordered a TT with GVWR of only 5,600 pounds. The scales show the actual wet and loaded trailer weight on the road of 4,870 pounds, and my tongue weight scale shows actual wet and loaded tongue weight of 650 pounds. But that small TT overloads my F-150 over the GVWR of the pickup. The payload disappeared quickly with a spray-in bedliner and a light-weight camper shell, Darling Wife, two puppydogs, and a toolbox.

In your case, since you already have the tow vehicle, here's my suggestion.

-- Load the pickup with everything that will be in it when on the road towing, including tools and the shank and ball mount from your weight-distributing (WD) hitch, but without a trailer. If you don't have the WD hitch yet, then assume the shank and ball mount weighs 50 pounds.

-- Drive to a truckstop that has a certified automated truck (CAT) scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded pickup.

-- Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded pickup from the GVWR of the pickup. The answer is the maximum hitch weight of any travel trailer (TT) you can tow without being overloaded.

-- TT hitch weight varies from about 12% to 15%. If you don't want to be overloaded, then assume yours will be 15%. So divide the available hitch weight by 15% (0.15) and the answer is the maximum GVWR of any TT you should consider. That's GVWR, not advertised trailer "weight", and certainly not dry trailer weight. If you use GVWR of the trailer in your calculations, then you'll be much less likely to be overloaded in the middle of your third RV trip.

With your actual weights available, you'll probably see that even a trailer GVWR of 6,200 pounds will overload your F-150. And if that 6,200 pounds is the dry weight of the trailer, you'll be severely overloaded.

If you want to be a full-timer RVer, then you'll probably want more trailer than your F-150 can tow without being overloaded. So plan ahead, and next time buy enough truck to tow the trailer you want to live in. For the trailer, begin with a minimum of an Artic Fox, which is a 4-seasons RV lots of full-timers own. The smallest one with a slide has model numbers beginning with 25, so the box is about 25' long inside the trailer. The following one has GVWR of 10,000 pounds, so you need enough truck to haul 1,500 pounds of hitch weight without being overloaded. There are some very special F-150s that can tow that trailer without being overloaded, but you won't find any of those in stock at any dealerships. So plan on at least an F-250 to tow that much trailer.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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Thank you Smokey Wren! You have given very good advice and easy to understand instructions. I know I listened to the salesmen and relied on them too much when I purchased the truck. Live and learn. Next time I'll know better and get a bigger truck and a bigger trailer. )
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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Went and looked at truck specs again. I guess I looked wrong the first time. I have an axle ratio of 3.55 instead of 3.31. That put the maximum loaded trailer weight at 9500 lbs instead of 8100. The GCWR went to 14,900. May still look at something smaller though for a first trailer.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
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That put the maximum loaded trailer weight at 9500 lbs instead of 8100.
The tow rating is a myth. Your limiter is the GVWR of your pickup. So follow the guidelines above to determine the max weight of any TT you can tow without being overloaded.

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The GCWR went to 14,900. May still look at something smaller though for a first trailer.
The GCWR indicates only the amount of weight your drivetrain can PULL,and ignores hitch weight and the other weight in the truck that the truck has to CARRY on the truck suspension. But the GCWR is not your limiter - the GVWR is your limiter. You won't be able to gross anywhere close to 9,500 pounds trailer weight, or even 8,100 pounds, before you exceed the GVWR of your F-150.

If you are talking about a grain trailer or other wagon-style trailer with very little hitch weight, then the GCWR minus actual wet and loaded weight of the truck will give you a useable tow rating. But a TT is not a wagon-style trailer so it has several hundred pounds of hitch weight. So you must worry about GVWR and available payload if you don't want to be overloaded.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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Went and looked at truck specs again. I guess I looked wrong the first time. I have an axle ratio of 3.55 instead of 3.31. That put the maximum loaded trailer weight at 9500 lbs instead of 8100. The GCWR went to 14,900. May still look at something smaller though for a first trailer.
We're sort of recently retired newbies too, and have been following many threads to get a bit more "edjumacated". I have a bit of history as a truck/fire truck operator, so have a little head start on this TV/TT weight compatibility stuff, but always have more to learn. Your getting some great advice on ths forum, but must say we love your attitude! No worries about "perhaps a mistake", but willing to grow with the whole experience...that is a terrific perspective.

Still deciding on a TV and trailer combo, but don't have deep pockets to invest in a 40 foot Bells an Whistles 5er...so will make do with 1/2 ton pickup (Ford, GMC/Chevy...or?) and a TT around 24 feet with a max GVWR of not more than 7500lbs. And after trying it for a few years, maybe, just maybe, we'll aim for something a bit bigger...LOL!

Take care and have fun!

Bill and Cindy
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:27 AM   #13
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My friend had a 30ft camper with no slides and towed with a ram 1500 for 10 years.

But it was replaced with a 30ft camper with one main slide and the weight went up. He towed loacaly for the rest of the summer and bought a bigger truck.

Then we compared his TT to my 39ft 5th wheel and the setup lenght was the same bumper to bumper.

he now owns a nice 35ft low profile 5th wheel that can be towed by any 3/4 ton truck.

To bad that there are not more 1/2 ton towable 5th wheels choices. To me if I was going to travel a lot I would opt for a 5th wheel.

Even TTs are getting harder to tow and the word light is used sparingly.

Rockwood makes nice towable trailers and at home and on the road they are all towed with 1/2 tons.
My Max would also be 7500 lbs. Though I see many 10000 lbs unit towed locally with 1/2 tons. A neighbor goes all over America with one.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #14
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We're sort of recently retired newbies too, and have been following many threads to get a bit more "edjumacated". I have a bit of history as a truck/fire truck operator, so have a little head start on this TV/TT weight compatibility stuff, but always have more to learn. Your getting some great advice on ths forum, but must say we love your attitude! No worries about "perhaps a mistake", but willing to grow with the whole experience...that is a terrific perspective. Still deciding on a TV and trailer combo, but don't have deep pockets to invest in a 40 foot Bells an Whistles 5er...so will make do with 1/2 ton pickup (Ford, GMC/Chevy...or?) and a TT around 24 feet with a max GVWR of not more than 7500lbs. And after trying it for a few years, maybe, just maybe, we'll aim for something a bit bigger...LOL! Take care and have fun! Bill and Cindy


Thanks so much for the encouraging words! I am learning a lot from this. At my age, it's no use worrying about the "small" stuff. I agree with you. Can't afford the fifth wheel, so I'm now looking for something under 28' and lighter. I AM going to get this stuff straight and hopefully, soon, I will have my first Camp Host position and I will be off and running. Maybe we will run into each other.
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