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Old 03-27-2014, 03:32 PM   #1
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F250 Diesel owners - What 5th wheel do you have?

I am researching tow vehicles and 5th wheels to full time in when I retire in a about 5 years. I want to buy the truck before I retire, so it's paid for, I know I shouldn't but that's what I'm planning on doing.

Looking at an F250 diesel: 2014 6.7L 4 Valve Power Stroke V8 8' foot bed, Super Cab.

As far as the 5th wheel I am thinking I just need something around the 30' to 34' range. It is only me so not going to have a bunch of people in the truck or 5th wheel. Also, not planning on traveling all the time. Just finding a spot and staying 2 to 3 months, then moving again. I live in Florida and will stay in the state. I have read countless threads about GVWR, GCWR, pin weight, dry weight, etc., etc., etc. and still can't figure it out. Math is not my strong point.......LOL!

My question is - if you tow with an F250 diesel what kind of 5th wheel do you have and what is the length and weight of it? Just trying to figure out what fits with the F250.

Thank you.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:50 PM   #2
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Well what F250? Year, cab and bed length, and rear differential all affect the towing capacity.

Why not look at an F350?
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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Any 5th wheel trail that can be towed by a 2500HD truck (3/4) is not stout enough for full timing in my humble opinion. The everyday wear and tear that the 5er will be submitted to would require a heavier trailer than a 3/4 ton truck could tow adequately.

Since you are now looking and planning for the future I would consider a 1 ton single wheel pick-up truck such as the new 3500 2013.5 Ram Cummins trucks with the AISIN 6speed auto rated to tow a 17,380 LB trailer.

I would also look at an Arctic Fox 5th wheel made by North Woods Mfg Co. These have been will received by the end users and the frames are made in house to North Woods Mfg requirements. This would be a perfect unit without all of the glitz that some of the larger 5th wheels offer for full time use.

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Old 03-27-2014, 04:01 PM   #4
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Looking at an F250 diesel: 2014 6.7L 4 Valve Power Stroke V8 8' foot bed, Super Cab.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:34 PM   #5
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I tow a 39 ft Big Country by Heartland. I had the truck before the unit and towed a 33 ft unit for 2 years before. The same unit was towed with a GM 2500 for 9 years before.

The F250 has been great with the new trailer and the trailer is much easier on fuel to tow. Feel the weight in the hills. The rear springs were already boosted when I bought the truck 9 years ago. Had to drop the rear to suit the previous unit.
But back to normal with the Heartland unit.
If I would buy new I would possibly buy the F350 although it has the same spring pack and I would add some support back there. The springs ride on the overload when loaded with the RV and it rides rougher and needs stability.
The supercab(extended cab) cannot be found with the F350 SRW so the choice of 4 doors was not for me.
Also the F350 4 x 4 for me was way to high at the box but it could be lowered with reinforced springs preventing the rear dropping to low for shaft alignment.
For me the F250 was available and set up right.
Do your own researcher and don't skimp on the RV and have fun.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Looking at an F250 diesel: 2014 6.7L 4 Valve Power Stroke V8 8' foot bed, Super Cab.
If your looking to buy a new truck, consider the 2015 F350 Superduty. Most HP and torque and the option is at the same price as any other standard diesel option compared to the competitors.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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One of the easiest things you can do, to avoid the math, would be to visit dealers and look for the kind of truck you want. Look at those with the same model and options you want (or as close as you can). Open the driver door and write down the various capacities. Be sure to look at both stickers.

Then you will have a much better idea of what your truck will haul. You will find the actual capacities are less than in the books because the books don't account for options. And a diesel is one heavy option.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:39 PM   #8
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Back to your original question, if you are looking at fifth wheels suitable for an F-250, there are quite a few options out there. They even make some super light weight fifth wheels that are touted as 1/2-ton compatible, but I wouldn't really want to go that route. I have pulled goose-neck horse trailers up to 6500# with a 1500, and it pulled and handled ok, but the braking capability had a lot to be desired.

The newer F-250's have softer leaf springs, 3-spring-pack now, so if you are going to stick with the F-250, then make sure you order it with factory overload springs and then you will still need to upgrade the suspension. Either air bags or SuperSprings, I went with SuperSprings because they also reduce sway.

Look very carefully at the pin weight and overall weight. When I was looking at fifth wheels, I only considered ones with a pin weight under 2000# and a dry weight of 10,000 lbs or under. So that rules out any larger fifth wheels and all toy haulers. My F-250 pulls my 36' fifth wheel fine, and that includes several trips to mountains with 6% grades, which is about the maximum grade on any interstate. Everyone talks about how fast their truck will pull going up a mountain, but the real key is how well it handles descending long grades. I will say, if I was a full-timer on the road constantly or was planning on cross-country hauls, then a 1-ton would be the best bet. Bigger is always better and that's why people keep bringing up F-350's or 3500's. The extra weight and and heavier suspension will make long days in the driver seat a lot less stressful. You indicated in your initial post that you most likely stay in Florida, so if you pick the right fifth wheel, you'll be fine.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:47 AM   #9
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The cost between an F250 and F350 SRW is negligible. Around $700. I would go with the F350 and have a little more payload capacity. Same truck, different springs.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:54 AM   #10
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My F-250 pulls my 36' fifth wheel fine, and that includes several trips to mountains with 6% grades, which is about the maximum grade on any interstate.
Yes the 2011-up F-250 with the Power Stroke Diesel (PSD) drivetrain will pull a mountain. But it won't haul the pin weight of a 36' 5er without being overloaded over the GVWR of the F-250. With the wet and loaded trailer tied on, pop into a truck stop that has a CAT scale, fill up with fuel, then weigh the wet and loaded rig. Add the weights on the front and rear pickup axles and you'll see that you are overloaded over the GVWR of the F-250.

That's why the old-timers continue to insist that you need as a minimum an F-350 SRW to tow a decent-size 5er. And "decent size" means a trailer with a GVWR up to around 12,500 pounds. Heavier that that (probably including your 36-footer) requires a dually if you don't want to be overloaded over the GVWR of your tow vehicle.

The "tow rating" published by all the pickup manufacturers are misleading in that they show the weight you can pull without overheating anything in the drivetrain. But they ignore the hitch weight you can haul without overloading the tow vehicle's suspension and brakes.

And the dry hitch weight in the trailer specs are severely understated for most 5ers. The actual wet and loaded hitch weight will be 17% to 20% of the GVWR of the trailer.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:25 AM   #11
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Please go by Smokey's advice and not consider a SRW 3/4 ton truck. The limiting factor on a 3/4 ton truck is the GVWR and rear GAWR.

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Old 06-12-2014, 08:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rollinthru View Post
I am researching tow vehicles and 5th wheels to full time in when I retire in a about 5 years. I want to buy the truck before I retire, so it's paid for, I know I shouldn't but that's what I'm planning on doing.

Looking at an F250 diesel: 2014 6.7L 4 Valve Power Stroke V8 8' foot bed, Super Cab.

As far as the 5th wheel I am thinking I just need something around the 30' to 34' range. It is only me so not going to have a bunch of people in the truck or 5th wheel. Also, not planning on traveling all the time. Just finding a spot and staying 2 to 3 months, then moving again. I live in Florida and will stay in the state. I have read countless threads about GVWR, GCWR, pin weight, dry weight, etc., etc., etc. and still can't figure it out. Math is not my strong point.......LOL!

My question is - if you tow with an F250 diesel what kind of 5th wheel do you have and what is the length and weight of it? Just trying to figure out what fits with the F250.

Thank you.
The F250 is a wonderful choice. The difference between an F250 and a single rear wheel F350 is almost zero. A beefed up 250 can tow most any 5th wheel. The Mobile suites in the picture weighs about 16,500 lbs depending on liquid in tanks. Truck had air bags, 3400 lb tires and an exhaust brake. plus some performance mods. Towed fine. a little pushy on curvy roads but very managable. Don't need the exhaust brake with the new tow haul trucks.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:07 PM   #13
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Gotta listen to SmokeyWren. Provides the best of advice. Cannot find any fault with his numbers or his logic.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:26 PM   #14
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The newer F-250's have softer leaf springs, 3-spring-pack now, so if you are going to stick with the F-250, then make sure you order it with factory overload springs and then you will still need to upgrade the suspension. Either air bags or SuperSprings, I went with SuperSprings because they also reduce sway.
Ford states clearly in their documentation that adding air bags or extra springs does not change the GAWR (rear).
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