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Old 06-30-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
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F150 Fx pulling a fifth wheel

My wife and I are looking to upgrade from a TT to a fifth wheel. I have a 2010 Ford F150 FX 2 wheel drive short box with towing package and extra transmission and radiator cooling system. The dealer says I can pull a fifth wheel that they sale which is made by Jayco and addition because the pin sets on the back axle that I could actually go a little heavier than I would on a TT. My comfort zone with a TT dry is no more than 5500# I did a quick look at one while picking up a part and on some models dry weight was around 5500# plus. I know dealers will tell you anything to sell you a rv which is sad because it not only could be dangerous but putting reputations on the line. Just need some honest feedback.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:24 PM   #2
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I understand where you're coming from.

I have a F250 diesel crewcab, and it's just short of having the guts to handle a full size fifth wheel like a Big Horn or Cedar Creek.

Grand Design has a line of fifth wheels that would do great with my truck.

They just came out with a model 27RL 8000 lb. fifth wheel with a tongue weight of 1600 lbs. that might work for your 1/2 ton. You might have to add an air suspension on the rear to level it, however.

See: Reflection Fifth-Wheel Specifications | Grand Design RV

Your other option would be to trade for a heavier duty truck--3/4 ton or 1 ton with dual rear wheel.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:38 PM   #3
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What can I tow. Is perhaps the most common question asked here in the forums , probably three times a day at this time of year. You are correct to be leery of salesmen. Doing you own number crunching may seem daunting , but in the end worth it.
If you go to the " towing and tow vehicle forum" from the RV forums drop box and if you haven't already read the post "Tow vehicle sizing & Weight calculating " it's one of the top 5 or so.
After decide on a allowable weight for your truck , check out the floor plans with your wife, if she can't live with the floor plan , or loves a heaver trailer, your in a box , time to upgrade the truck.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:54 PM   #4
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The problem with towing more than your TV is rated for is that if you ever have an accident while towing over "the numbers", your insurance company may balk at paying the claim. Also, if there's a lawsuit involved, the courts may determine you "could have prevented the accident if you weren't overloaded". We live in a litigious society where people will sue at the drop of a hat and will look for any way to win a lawsuit. Get a truck that is rated to tow what you end up buying....
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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Find out the Pin Weight of the trailer. Then also make sure that you have a tow package on the truck. This will allow the tranny to run cooler and might have better and bigger brakes. Remember the load capacity of the truck is the all the cargo, including all passengers, fuel and the pin weight of your trailer.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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Most of the Jayco Eagle HT line will be too much for your truck. By HT, they mean the F150 with Max Tow and HD Payload options which are usually special order. I went with a Cougar High Country because the pin weight is a couple hundred pound lighter than a Jayco with the same floor plan and I am still 500 lbs over the rear axle GAWR because I don't have the HD payload option. I will PM you a link to a great forum discussion on F150 fifth wheeling.

For your truck, you will need to find a fiver with dry weights under 6500 and pin weight of 1000 or less to even consider it. Loading added 250 lbs to my pin and 1500 lbs to my gross. Figure 100 lbs for a Reese 16K hitch and don't even think about a 300 lb Pullrite Superglide.

Since you have the short box (5.5'?), you will probably need a Reese Sidewinder pin box like I use to prevent any problems with cab contact while turning. Also make sure you get a fiver with the bottom front corners cut away as they are better for short box towing.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:37 AM   #7
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Read the towing specs for your truck, get them from ford if you don't have them. What the salesman is telling you is not true and he doesn't care since having an adequate tow vehicle is legally your responsibility, all he wants is your money.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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I'm not sure what the specs are for your 5.4, but i can tell you that my 5.0L with TT package pulls my 27' 5er nicely. My dry weight is 7100lbs, pin is a little heavier than i'd like, but isnt too bad. I'm running a set of Airlift 5000 at the back with 10psi unloaded and it sits flush. Good luck with your purchase. It's so much better/easier to tow a 5er than a TT
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #9
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You need to look at the payload sticker on the door of the truck. Subtract everything going in the truck except for the 5'ers pin weight. That's what you have left for pin weight.

5th wheel pin weights are 15-25% of the trailers weight. I.E, 5'er @7000lbs=1400lbs for the pin. Very few 5'ers put there that you could tow with that F150.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:12 AM   #10
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I do not know what cab, rear or engine is in your pickup.
Open Range has a line that is their light 5th wheel with a pin weight of ~12% and a gross of 8800 pounds.
I have been in them but never pulled one.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the advise. There is defiantly a lot of info from you guys to digest. I'm only a 2 year camper and still have a little bit of a hard time comprehending on those numbers.
I may have asked this already and if I did forgive me.
If I can pull a TT at 5500# dry and of course with all necessary supplies, full tank of gas, and my wife and I. I'm guessing total weight of truck and trailer combined no more than 7000#. Can't I pull a 5er with same total weight?
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #12
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John, you wrote " truck and trailer combined weight 7,000.
Did you mean cargo and trailer combined weight 7000 ?
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #13
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Sorry Skip. Yes trailer and cargo. I was also figuring in payload on my truck with wife and I and full tank of gas not exceeding 7000#. Max trailer load with cargo at most 6500#.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:54 PM   #14
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Differences between balance of a TT and a 5er can get real touchy.
TT puts 12>15 % of it's loaded weight on the hitch, where a 5er handles best with 15>20%.
You need to weigh your truck , full tank of fuel, you and the DW. Get front & rear axle weights and compare them to your GAWR for each axle to get the best idea of what kind of weight you can add.
You also need to consider any trailer hitch insert and sway bars into the calculation for a TT's tongue weight, and the entire weight of the 5th wheel hitch; Usually around 150#; on the pin weight.
I'm assuming your truck is already equipped with a class 4 for a trailer being tow pkg. and all.
Believe me the more you get into these numbers the more you will begin to understand the issues your facing. But you're doing the right thing by asking the questions & trying to stay safe and legal.
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