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Old 04-30-2005, 04:41 PM   #1
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We have only rented in the past, and are now ready to spend several months a year on the road.
I am looking at a 2006 Excel 33RSE. per manufacturer 12,520 unloaded vehicle weight; 9,950 weight on axles (14,000combined); max GVWR 17,500.
I am also looking at an F 250 PSD Crew Cab 4x4 6.0 Lariat which the RV dealer tells me is fine to tow the fifth wheel.
Does anyone have experience with this setup?
Does the math work for a good towing experience?
We are new members to this forum and any input or experiences would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2005, 04:41 PM   #2
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We have only rented in the past, and are now ready to spend several months a year on the road.
I am looking at a 2006 Excel 33RSE. per manufacturer 12,520 unloaded vehicle weight; 9,950 weight on axles (14,000combined); max GVWR 17,500.
I am also looking at an F 250 PSD Crew Cab 4x4 6.0 Lariat which the RV dealer tells me is fine to tow the fifth wheel.
Does anyone have experience with this setup?
Does the math work for a good towing experience?
We are new members to this forum and any input or experiences would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2005, 05:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to the group. I think your dealer is stretching the truth by a fair amount.

The Excel is a heavy trailer as demonstrated by the trailer weight. If you are going to be on the road for several months at a time, you will typically be loaded heavy, so use the GVWR when shopping for a tow vehicle. A big 5er will typically have a pin weight that runs 18 to 20% of the GVWR, so you are looking a pin weight of close to 3500# when loaded.

If your truck has a loaded curb weight of 7500# (you and Ma, hitch, tool box and full fuel), add the pin weight of 3500# to this means you have to have a truck with a GVWR or 11,000#. You will also need a truck with a GCWR of at least 25,000#.

With these kind of numbers you should have a F350 dually with the Tow Boss package to get a GCWR of 26,000# and a high enough GVWR to carry the pin weight.

Number one rule of RV and truck shopping....
Never believe the RV (truck) sales person.
Number two rule is RV (truck) sales people lie.

You need to stop by your local Ford dealer and get a copy of the Towing Guide. Read and understand all of the terms about towing/tow ratings and read all of the footnotes.

Don't depend on the dealer to tell you what will work. His job is to sell RV's or trucks and that is all. Most of them do not have much understanding of the tow ratings and a 5th wheel trowing requirements. Their idea of towing is a bass boat up to the lake loaded with an ice chest full of beer. Going on the road in a semi-full time mode is a different ball game than the 2 hour weekend trip to the lake.

Just post any questions in the 5th wheel/TT forum and you will get lots of opinions. Mine tend to be driven by my engineeing mind.

Ken
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:18 PM   #4
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I agree with the above post. You are definitely in the Tow Boss F350 range or even F450 or F550 if you are going to be on the road several months. For example, my F350 CC DRW 4X4 is about as heavy as the F350 gets. With a full tank of fuel, hitch and nothing else, it is weighing in at 8400#. Add that to your 17,500 GVW on the fiver and you are at 25,900# combined weight. The F350 with Tow Boss has a GCW or 26,000#. And I have not even factored in the weight of the people you are carrying. If you don't need the crew cab, an extended cab or regular cab would shave some weight. And you may not load your rig all the way to it's GVW, but you can see how quickly you get overweight. You also cannot always trust the dry weight of the trailer. It is usually heavier than they list as options are added after causing it to be heavier.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:19 AM   #5
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You will need the F350 at least for that weight. Dont get sucked in the weight game with the dealer.
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Old 05-01-2005, 08:48 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input, gentlemen.
The answer is what I was afraid off.
We test drove the F250 and really liked it. Would also have used it for our beach, dog and everyday divearound second car. I haven't driven the 350 so guess we'll have to go try it. My sense is that it is a much more serious truck.
Will also reconsider fifth wheel size and options. What are other high quality lines that might not weigh as much? We could also go smaller if we got the right layout.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:02 AM   #7
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Here is a link to the 2005 Ford towing guide.

Ford 2005 Towing Guide

It clearly spells out towing limits and requirements for each Ford vehicle. It's gospel compaired to a salesmans claims.
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:28 AM   #8
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Permitbear, problem is high end ususally means heavier due to the nicer finish. For a F250, you will ned to pretty much look at 32' and down. The new F250 has a higher GVWR and you might be able to look at a bit larger trailers.

Some nice trailers that are a bit lighter in weight are the Sunnybrooks. Some of the smaller Hitchhiker II series might work as well. The Titanium line is lighter in weight, but when we looked at them, I was not very impressed withthe fit and finish. Maybe they have improved in the past couple of years.

Generally if you plan to do full-time or part time, you are going to want a one ton dually. One for the weight carrying capacity plus the stability of the wider wheelbase in the rear.

I have a 1 ton dually that is driven for daily purposes. It is a crewcab, long bed and is not really a problem. The long wheelbase is more of a problem than the wide rear end. I park a bit father out in the lot, and forgo the use of some drive through windows.

Seriously go and drive a one ton dually. They are not nearly as bad as some folks make them out to be. My wife drives ours as well as her little sports car.

Ken
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:36 AM   #9
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If you do decide to go with a smaller fiver, still consider an F350 in the SRW. The F350 SRW has a much higher GVW to allow for greater pin weights and still drives like an F250. As for the dually, I drive my crew cab longbed dually as a daily driver. While it is more difficult to manuever due to the length, the dual wheels don't seem to make that big of a difference in drivability. Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:25 PM   #10
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Dual wheels have plenty of disadvantages in other areas though. Many parking lot spaces will not accomdate the extra width. Forget most drive through restaurants and banks. Drive through car washes are out too. Heck, I can't even park a dually in my driveway and get a car in on the other side. I would have to park in the street.

All that said, my next truck will be a dually. I just try to be realistic and remember that there are both advantages and disadvantages to each option. Nothing is ever perfect.

As far as dealer's recommending what you can tow with what vehicle. They don't even care if it will work. As long as it makes it off of the lot, it was good enough for them. This weekend, I heard a salesman tell a Ford Explorer owner that he could tow a 25' TT with the right hitch. Glad I'm not buying from that dealer.
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:39 AM   #11
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by thecatsfan:
Dual wheels have plenty of disadvantages in other areas though.
QUOTE]

No doubt there are some sacrifices with the dually. When I drove a shortbed Dodge 2500 I never opted for the wife's minivan. With the new truck, I love it, but if it's just a quick trip somewhere, I may take the van just to get in and out a bit faster.
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:26 AM   #12
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a lot is said about power, etc. but not much is said about stopping one of these large 5th wheel trailers, or safely going down mountain passes. Be carefull in your looking for tow vehicles and trailer combo's ---- don't have a white knuckle ride down any mountain or have a trailer push you into an intersection. Don't trust tow guides either -- just read the fine print as all ratings are based on full application of trailer brakes as needed and that just does not happen. You might have 12 volts from the brake controller, but at the brakes themselves the voltage is a lot lower due to small wire size/voltage drop ---

Be safe.

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Old 05-06-2005, 06:57 AM   #13
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From what I gather, you either need to look into a lighter trailer or bigger truck. I played the game, and after 3 trailers and 3 trucks I still wish I had a bigger truck. Some good advice has been given. You don't want to have 'white knuckle' driving experiences when you are on a trip.

My setup is a '01 Dodge 2500 Cummins, pulling a Terry 365FLTS. The whole rig weighs 18,500lbs. On long trips I certainly wish I had the 3500 dually.
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Old 05-06-2005, 04:35 PM   #14
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permitbear,

For the trailer you describe, you really need a F450. Yes the F350 will pull it, but for that much weight you need more truck.

Definately DO NOT go with a F250!!!!!!! That much wieght you need larger brakes, suspension, drive train, tires, oil coolers, radiator, ect...
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