Originally Posted by TwoDog
But do I need special brakes on the toy hauler to work with that? I hear terms like Hydraulic and Electric-over-hydraulic...what is the standard?
Standard trailer brake system on an RV trailer is electric magnets pushing on drum brake shoes. For that you need an electric brake controller in the cab.
There are three basic types of electric brake controllers.
 timed. You set the time delay between pressing the brake pedal and the brakes engaging. You also set the "gain", or how much the brakes come on. The heavier the trailer, the more gain you need. I used one of those for over 10 years dragging an 8,000-pound 5er about 100,000 miles.
 proportional. That just means the gain is proportional = i.e., the harder to press on the brake pedal, the more braking force you will get from the trailer brakes.
 integrated. The timing and gain are both controlled by the computer in the tow vehicle, so the trailer brakes are integrated with the brakes on the tow vehicle. In a Ford, that computer is called the powertrain control module (PCM).
Everything I am looking at has the factory brake controller, but is that a proportional controller? Because I am not adverse to upgrading that.
On a Ford, the integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) is better than any aftermarket proportional brake controller. I don't know about the other brands.
Also...can I do an axle flip on a trailer this big?
I'll bet you already know that you don't literally flip the axle. Instead you move the spring perches from under the axle to over the axle.
How to raise the trailer on its suspension depends on the trailer suspension. If it has ordinary leaf springs, then yes, you can move the spring shackle perches from under the axle tube to over the axle tube and gain 4' to 5" of pin height. If your trailer has torsion axles, then you will need to use a kit that will raise the trailer over the axles. For Dexter TorFlex axles, here is that kit:
Note there is more than one kit available. So get the one that matches your axle.
Change gears. There are several types of trailer braking systems.
2] Hydraulic drum or disk, with electric over hydraulic controller
3] Hydraulic drum or disk, with vacuum over hydraulic controller
4] Hydraulic drum or disk, with air over hydraulic controller
Each type requires its own brake controller. Electric magnetic brakes we've covered. High-end trailers might have drum or disk hydraulic brakes controlled with electric, vacuum or air controller.
If you buy a used toy hauler, you definitely need to know which braking system it uses, so you can obtain the correct brake controller for that trailer. An F-450 with ITBC can handle either electric or electric over hydraulic brakes.
Can someone explain to me the advantage of a "Hauler Bed" vs a Regular pickup bed? Is it just about ease of hooking up the 5th wheel or is there another benefit? Seems to me I would lose the ability to back stuff into the bed around the 5th wheel hitch, if I went with the hauler body...but with a short stake bed maybe I could do the same thing?
I don't know...hauler...flatbed...pickup bed?
In the good old days before the 2008 F-450 pickup was produced, if you wanted an F-450 or heavier-duty towing truck, you had to buy a chassis-cab truck and add a bed. You could add a flat bed, or a low-profile service body such as the Knapheid Westerner Storage body
or you could get fancy and add a hauler bed, such as the Western Hauler.
WESTERN HAULER - FORD TRUCKS
A plain ole flat bed can be made functional by adding storage boxes under and on the bed. The Knapheid Westerner is the most practical of the various options and at a reasonable price. The only advantage of a well-designed hauler bed is it's as cute as a puppy. But the hauler beds cost more, so you pays your money and you takes your choice.
But with the advent of the F-450 pickup, most of us can use the pickup bed and not have to install a custom bed for towing. For a few years, the F-450 pickup was nothing more than an F-350 DRW pickup with a different rear axle, but the new F-450s have returned to be a "real" F-450. If you want a 2010 thru 2013 F-450, then realize that it's not a real F-450. It has the tow rating of an F-450, but the same payload capacity as the F-350 DRW. If you want a real F-450 you have to begin with a chassis cab truck and add a custom body.