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Old 01-23-2005, 09:13 AM   #1
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Hey Everyone,

I just purchased a Starcraft 5th Wheel and will need a new tow vehicle to pull it. I want to make absolutely sure that I got everything right as it can be pretty confusing what the dealers tell you, what the specs say, etc. So, any help would be much appreciated.

The Starcraft has a GVW of 7700lbs with a GVWR of 11670lbs. The hitch weight (dry) is 1510.

The tow vehicle I am looking at is a F-250 SD, Powerstroke Diesel, automatic, 3.73's, 4x4 Crewcab.

According to Ford, the max 5th wheel trailer weight is 15,400 (which obviously more than sufficient). It says max kingpin weight should be no more than 15% - 25% of total loaded trailer weight.

I currently pull a TT with a 5.4L F-250 (which is not big enough for a 5th wheel). I am not familar with 5th wheels so this is why I am asking.

On a sidenote, you guys all told me not to get the 5.4l about a year ago. I ignored your warnings. Thank God for the A-plan since I'm back on the market.

Thanks for all your help.

Mike
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:13 AM   #2
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Hey Everyone,

I just purchased a Starcraft 5th Wheel and will need a new tow vehicle to pull it. I want to make absolutely sure that I got everything right as it can be pretty confusing what the dealers tell you, what the specs say, etc. So, any help would be much appreciated.

The Starcraft has a GVW of 7700lbs with a GVWR of 11670lbs. The hitch weight (dry) is 1510.

The tow vehicle I am looking at is a F-250 SD, Powerstroke Diesel, automatic, 3.73's, 4x4 Crewcab.

According to Ford, the max 5th wheel trailer weight is 15,400 (which obviously more than sufficient). It says max kingpin weight should be no more than 15% - 25% of total loaded trailer weight.

I currently pull a TT with a 5.4L F-250 (which is not big enough for a 5th wheel). I am not familar with 5th wheels so this is why I am asking.

On a sidenote, you guys all told me not to get the 5.4l about a year ago. I ignored your warnings. Thank God for the A-plan since I'm back on the market.

Thanks for all your help.

Mike
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:33 PM   #3
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Mike,

If you want to remain within all of the manufacturer's ratings, here's a method to do so.

First of all, recognize that the manufacturer's trailer tow rating (TTR) has 2 problems:

1. The TTR is calculated as the truck's GCWR minus the curb weight of a base truck (no options or accessories) with only a 150 lb driver. Obviously, using an unrealistically low truck curb weight yields an unrealistically high TTR.

2. The TTR doesn't factor in the weight placed on the truck by the trailer as hitch or pin weight. This weight counts against the truck's GVWR.

Now, you really need to know the laden curb weight (LCW) of the truck you're considering. That's the actual scale weight with full fuel tanks, driver, passenger, options, accessories (such as the 5th wheel hitch, toolbox, auxiliary fuel tank, etc.) and cargo. Since you don't own the truck, perhaps some of the Ford folks can chip in with some help relating to their truck LCWs. Armed with this information, you can use the following formulas:

Truck GCWR minus truck LCW = maximum allowable total weight of loaded trailer

Truck GVWR minus truck LCW = maximum allowable hitch/pin weight of loaded trailer

Since you're looking at 5th wheels, a conservative approach is to use the trailer's GVWR as its total loaded weight and 20% of its GVWR as its pin weight in the above equations. What you're going to find is that a SRW truck will tend to run out of GVWR before it reaches its GCWR.

Hope this helps.

Rusty
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:24 PM   #4
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Hi Mike,

The simple answer is YES ....

The F250 diesel will handle that trailer and all the things you want to carry in it with no problem..

Just remember not to exceed the manufacturer's recommended weights.. both in the truck and the trailer..

By that, I mean... don't try to carry two or three big motorcycles or a 20 foot speed boat at the same time ...

With the truck and trailer you describe.. you will be safe and legal in the weights category..

best wishes and have fun,
John
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:12 PM   #5
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Thanks to both of you for your replies. I figured I would be good to go, with room to grow, but just wanted to make sure.

I have a buddy who is a Ford mechanic who told me not to go with the 5.4L because the truck was too heavy (as many on this forum said), but at the time, I didn't know better, even with all the advice.

I had a '97 F-150 towing my TT, within limits, but the first time I brought the TT out, the F-150 broke down (mass air flow sensor went out, reducing my top speed by a very considerable amount). In desperation, since I no longer trusted the F-150 (after a white-knuckle drive), I went and got the 5.4L F-250. I mighty fine truck, just not the towing capacity I need.

My main concern, as I hope is everyone's, is safety. I have a wife (who picked out the 5th wheel) and two small ones, 7 and 4 years old, that love camping, but I also want them to be safe.

So, thus I find myself here posting this message. Thanks to all.

Real quick question on this long message...I suppose a 5th wheel is more suspect to jack-knifing down the highway than a TT with all its additional sway control and such common for TT's. Is there any way to minimize such an occurance besides driving safely?

Mike
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:32 PM   #6
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Once again Mike, If you research these forums on the topic of 5th wheels -vs- travel trailers.. you will find many different opinions...

BUT... most of the people who have had TT's and switched to 5th wheels, has said they would never go back to the TT..

The 5th wheel is easier to hook and un-hook, easier to set up, more actual usable/livable space for the same size units.. more storage space,
AND... most important... it tows a lot better... there is no "white knuckle" experience like with a TT when the winds come up or a big truck or bus passes you at 70 mph..

as for jack knifing,, the 5th wheel is much LESS apt to do so than the TT.. even with the TT fancy hitches..

Of all the RV accidents that involve RV trailers, the travel trailer is the largest contributer.. while the 5th wheels are seldom involved in an accident.

But there again... you will get some folks that will argue with this.. so read all the responses and talk to owners of both styles and then make your decision..

John
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:48 PM   #7
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My fiver is a little smaller than yours but not by much. I have a F250 crew cab and it does a great job with the towing and I think you will get along just fine with the truck you are getting.
I was a little leery of getting the diesel at first, but for towing, I'd never go back to gas. I'm sure you will love the setup.
Jim
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:35 PM   #8
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Please folows RustyJC's advice above and weigh your truck to know where you stand and then make a decision. You will see a lot of folks out there with 3/4 ton trucks pulling 5ers that put them way over the trucks GVWR and or rear axle GAWR.

You can not use the manufacturers tow ratings as they are biased to provide a big number to show how much a stripped and unloaded truck could tow if you had a base model truck and never had a driver over 150#.

Also, do the math yourself and never believe the RV or truck sales person. Their only job is to sell and will have you headed off the lot with the largest trailer on the lot with a Ford Ranger to tow it.

I have seen time and time again when the RV sales person sees you drive up in a diesel, they never look to see it is a 3/4 or a 1 ton. With a diesel I have heard too many times..."With that beast you can pull anything we have on the lot!"

Have fun shopping.

Ken
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Old 01-24-2005, 04:23 AM   #9
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See the link in my sig about RV towing weights.
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Old 01-24-2005, 05:23 AM   #10
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You will find that the truck you specified will weigh around 7200 pounds empty. Add four people (it's a crew cab, right?) and some stuff, and you'll be closing in on 8000 pounds.

The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the F250 is 8800 pounds. That does not leave very much for pin weight.

I recommend an F350. The GVWR of the single rear wheel truck is 9900 pounds. That will give you plenty of capacity to handle the trailer.
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:57 AM   #11
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Thanks all. I believe the new GVWR for the 2005 models is 10,000lbs, but I will definitely be sure to look into the F-350 (and also confirm the 10,000lbs.
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:11 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mdmalone:
Thanks all. I believe the new GVWR for the 2005 models is 10,000 lbs. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>For the F-250??? I thought the previous model SRW F-350 was 9,900 lbs GVWR.

Yes, as you said, check out the GVWRs carefully as this, rather than GCWR or manufacturer's trailer tow rating, is almost always the limiting factor on a SRW truck towing a 5th wheel.

Rusty
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:28 AM   #13
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I've heard that Ford gave the '05's a real boost in the GVWR dept. Heck, my buddies '96 K-3500 dually had a GVWR of 10,000 lbs.

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Old 01-24-2005, 07:52 AM   #14
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OK,
I did some searching. Comparing diesel, 4x4 lwb, extended cabs;

- F250 - 9,800 lbs GVWR
- F350SRW - 11,200 lbs GVWR
- F350DRW - 12,600 lbs GVWR

Complete info at www.motorcraftservice.com/vdirs/camper/2005-truck-camper.pdf

If it were me I'd consider the F-350SRW for future growth if nothing else. 11,200 lbs is a huge figure for a SRW truck. Only 800 lbs less than my dually. I heard the F-350 SRW has 18" wheels.

Dave
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