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Old 03-24-2009, 08:07 AM   #1
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Buying a 5th Wheel

I am in the market for my first 5th wheel. I have a Ford F-150 King Ranch. Could someone tell me if they think this trailer on Craig's List would be too large for my truck? There are a lot of pictures of the trailer on the link in the posting including the spec sheet on the last picture.

http://easttexas.craigslist.org/sear...min&maxAsk=max
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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I could not see the weights on the spec sheet.

That appears to be a lot of 5er for a 1/2 ton truck. You need to tell us what engine and rear axle you have on the truck.

From that you need to determine the GCWR for your specific truck cab, engine and axle rating. Next get the GVWR from the door jam sticker. Now you need to weigh your truck and get a total weight and front and rear axle weights. You need to have the truck loaded with cargo and passengers like for a trip and full fuel. Add 150# fr the 5er hitch.

GCWR - loaded truck = maximum loaded trailer weight.

GVWR - loaded truck = maximum loaded trailer pin weight.

Ignore the brochure dry weights as the those do not include any item listed as an option in the brochure.

The biggest problem with a 1/2 ton truck and a 5er is the pin weight. Your pin weight will be close to 20% of the trailer GVWR once you have it loaded. A 1/2 will reach the GVWR limit well before it reaches the GCWR limit, so you can typically pull a larger travel trailer than a 5er.

Visit THIS SITE for a over view of the towing process.

ken
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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Personally I would not suggest or recommend a fiver with any 1/2 ton truck. Yes, there are folks that do it, but in all likely hood they have never towed with a properly set up truck/trailer combination to actually feel the difference. 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's are really suited for people haulers and small travel trailers up to about 22/23 feet in actual length. More than that and there is simply too much weight.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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More Info

Thanks for the info.

WOW! This is way more complicated than I expected. I have attached a blow up of the trailer specs.It says that the trailer GVWR is 9119 and the UVW is 7171.


The truck engine is a 5.4L V8
Rear axel ratio 3.75
Max trailer weight from owners manual 8900 lbs.
Weight on door tag -- 3450 front -- 3850- rear. Whatever that means.

Let me know if that clarifies anything.

RM
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #5
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Bottom line the pin weight will be around 1800 pounds. 20% of the trailers GVWR. So if you still think that it might/will handle the load, go out and load 1800 pounds into the bed of the truck, then go load the family and everything else you think you might have with you when camping and go to the scales. There will be your answer.
The weights you posted for front/rear are the max that the manufacturer says you should have per axle.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
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We have know a few people pulling small 5ers with 5.4L, 1/2 ton trucks and they were pretty much at limits with a 22' to 23' 5er. The suspension and tires on the 1/2 ton truck is pretty much the limiter. If you are OK on the weights, once you work this out, you should consider replacing the P series tires on the truck with LT tires. They have a stiffer side wall and can take the load a bit better. You will also want to get some HD shocks.

Lots of folks pull trailers with 1/2 ton vehicles, but you have to stay within the vehicle limits. Be very cautious of any trailer that advertises that it is 1/2 ton towable. When you work out the weights, sure it can be towed by a 1/2 ton truck....provided that it is the base model (lightest weight), only a 154# driver and the trailer is empty and does not include any options.

Just be very careful of the dealers and basically you can forget anything they will tell you. It it easy enough to get the Ford Towing Guide from a dealer and study it yourself and learn what the terms mean. Also read ALL of the foot notes associated with any ratings.

Some people towing larger trailers with 1/2 ton trucks are very passionate about their ability to tow and have never bothered to even look at the weight ratings. Unless they can provide real weight data and show they are within ratings, I dismiss all of their comments. There is a world of difference between towing maxed out vs a properly matched rig.

A lot of us have been the route of the smaller tow vehicle and a larger trailer and learned from our experiences before the INTERNET offered so much access to information. Problem with the INTERNET is sorting out the BS from the truth.

Have fun shopping.

Ken
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #7
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As these guys said, 5th wheels put up to 20% of their weight on the hitch. Add the weight of the hitch assembly, and the tools, people and camping stuff you will have in the truck, and I think you will be way over the rear axle weight rating of the pickup.

People run RV's overloaded all the time, but if you were to upgrade to a 3/4 ton, or even 1 ton SRW truck I think you would find the driving experience more stable and enjoyable, the useful life of the tow vehicle would be much better, and the setup would respond better to emergencies.

With a 1/2 ton, a tow trailer will give you more useable RV without exceeding weight ratings.

Also in today's economy I think you can likely do better, price wise, than the link you provided...
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:00 PM   #8
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Looking at the 2009 tow ratings for an F-150 4x4, SuperCrew, Std. Bed, 5.4L, 6 Speed Auto, and 3:73 rear your max tow rating is either 9,700# or 11,200# depending on whether you have the tow package or not (higher rating being with the tow package). I took liberty at assuming the SuperCrew and Std. Bed.

There are 5ers that are light enough, and assuming the owner does not overload the 5er, can be towed by an F-150. Will it be a relaxing ride is another story for another day. Rest assured you will be mentaly drained at the end of the day.

There is one other piece of data needed from your door jamb sticker. That is the GVW and GCW Ratings for your truck. Those numbers should be at the top of the sticker. Then weigh your truck with all occupants in it and a full tank of fuel. For safety sake add 150# for a hitch. Subtract the wieght of the truck (including the hitch) and subtrat it from the GVWR. That is the maximum pin weight you can put on your truck. Someone mentioned above that the pin weight would be around 1900# (20% of the trailer GVWR). In my opinion 20% is conservative. I use 25% which would make your the pin weight around 2.275#. I believe you will see that the pin weight will certainly exceed the GVWR of your truck even though it may be within the GCWR. That is the danger with 1/2 and 3/4 ton tucks. The GVWR is generally exceeded long before GCWR.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:07 PM   #9
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I would definately agree with Ken. We purchased an Ultra lite T/T and towed it OK with a 1/2 ton however; it tows much better and gets about the same gas mileage with a 3/4 ton. As Ken once told us you never have too much truck. In the event of a sudden stop the 3/4 ton would definately work better It's not just the towing, it's the ability to stop more effectively. In looking at the pictures you attached, the tow vehicle appears to be a 3/4 ton diesel, you might want to ask the seller what type of truck he towed it with.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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I know Trail Light makes a fifth wheel that can be towed with a 1/2 ton pickup. I had Trail Light TT 30 ft and towed it with a 1/2 GMC and it did well with it. The only problem I had with it as I am a big guy the shower was too small and my head was in the vent when showering. I had no problems with the Trail Lite but did not keep it long, a little over a year.
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