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Old 10-19-2014, 08:43 PM   #1
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Ford F-350 6.7 V8 Diesel 4WD SRW Crew Cab & Long Bed and Towing Capacity

Forgive the long-winded post, but we are desperate to get some solid answers!

We just purchased our 2014 tow vehicle in May. We want to buy a 5th Wheel and go full-time RVing in about a year’s time. (Yes, I know, we should have done the purchasing the other way around…but, alas, we didn’t – so we’re stuck)

The Towing Capacity posted by Ford says we can tow a loaded trailer at a weight of 15,900 lbs . Boy, did we get a rude awakening when reading the Trailer Life Towing Guide and using some of the on-line calculators. We are actually angry that Ford would so blatantly misinform its customers!

Even the calculators and Trailer Life have different recommended tow weights … one says 9000 lbs and another says about 11,000 lbs. You can’t get a decent full-time rig with “all-season” features even close to that weight.

We are at our wits end and don’t know what to do – Just purchased the truck in May, so trading it in is not an affordable option. Anybody know something we don’t and have options to suggest?

We realize that the rear-axle load is the most critical part of the weight limits ….
QUESTIONS:
We’ve been told that we can put air bags in rear wheel wells to help overcome any sagging issues.
What about drum brakes vs disk brakes on the trailer? Is one better than the other as far as stopping capabilities?
Are wider tires an important factor in stopping?
What is the most critical factor in determining towing capacity? If stopping is the most critical factor then disk brakes on trailer should be a factor in determining the weight of 5vr that one can pull, correct?
Ford has the built in engine brake …Is adding after-market Jake Brake to this Ford F350 effective?

In other words, are there other considerations and options that would increase our towing capacity?
Here are our numbers:
GCWR 23,500
GVWR 11,500
GAWR-Front 6,000 actual: 5200 weighed on scale
GAWR-Rear 7,000 actual: 3820 weighed on scale
GVW 9,020 Weighed at scale with passengers, fuel, & cargo (but no 5th wheel hitch)
Max Tow Rating 15,900

Here are our calculations for a 14,500 lb loaded 5th Wheel:
GCWR 23,500
- GVWR 11,500
12,000 3,900 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)

GCWR 23,500
-GVW 9,020 Actual truck weight GVW
14,480 1420 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)

Pin wt. for
14,500 lb 5ver x 20% = 2900 lbs

2,900
Pin Wt for trailer adds 2900 lbs to back of truck
+ 9,020 Truck Wt
11,920
420 lbs OVER truck's GVWR of 11,500 lbs

and just 312 lbs UNDER rear-axle limit of 7000 lbs
2900 + 3788= 6688 pin Wt + rear axle wt
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:14 PM   #2
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Been there, done that, pulled 18000 lb Raptor w the same truck. It did very well w the only mod of Timbren axle snubbers to level out the truck. Then we just had to trade for a Cyclone 44ft loaded to 20000lbs. After a couple white knuckle trips, high wind and 75 mph traffic, semi's blowing us around etc, we decided that we needed more truck. Now have a 2013 Ford F-350 DWR, and we do not regret it one bit.
My best advice, trade that truck now, don't spend another dime on your present TV. Then you can pull about any 5er up to
20000lbs w/ confidence. You will find that there is no substitute for a dually for adequate handling.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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Sorry you've fallen into this trap.
There is no way to safely increase the rated towing capacity of your truck.
Adding air bags to the rear, will help it look better by reducing sag. That's all. Once you hit GAWR , tire capacity is the next limit, springs , frame etc., you overload the whole package
Engine cooling and transmission capacity are the main limits, as well as braking, capacity. Wide tires can actually skid sooner than narrow ones, by reducing the pounds per square inch at the contact point on the road, reducing grip.
You can't stack exhaust brake capability. If the truck is equipped with, a variable turbo, that's what your stuck with.
For max towing capacity, the truck is only allowed a 145 lb. driver nothing else.
Frustrating, you bet , but the vehicle manufacturers are allowed to get away with it.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcuddeback View Post
Here are our numbers:
GCWR 23,500
GVWR 11,500
GVW 9,020 Weighed at scale with passengers, fuel, & cargo (but no 5th wheel hitch)
Max Tow Rating 15,900
That's an SRW pickup. No, you cannot tow anywhere near 14,500 pounds with an SRW pickup without exceeding the GVWR of your pickup.

Quote:
Here are our calculations for a 14,500 lb loaded 5th Wheel:
GCWR 23,500 - GVWR 11,500 = 12,000
3,900 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)
Your methodology is flawed, but you got the right answer. Around 12,000 pounds is the max weight of any 5er you want to tow with an F-350 SRW pickup.

Quote:
GCWR 23,500 - GVW 9,020 Actual truck weight = 14,480
1420 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)
The 15,900 is the maximum tow rating that you can achieve only if you meet some nearly impossible conditions. 23,500 GCWR minus 15,900 tow rating = 7,600 pounds maximum your wet and loaded truck could weigh before you tied onto the trailer. But your truck weighs 9,020 plus the weight of the 5er hitch or around 9,200 pounds. 23,500 minus 9,200 actual truck weight leaves you with a realistic tow rating of 14,300.

But that 14,300 tow rating is not your limiter, so forget that number. Your limiter is 11,500 GVWR minus 9,200 truck weight minus everything you will haul in the truck when moving from campsite to campsite gives you max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Remember, full timers must move everything they own when they move. So your truck is probably going to weigh way over 9,200 pounds when wet and loaded for a full-timer's move. Let's call it 9,500. 11,500 GVWR minus 9,500 = 2000 max pin weight. 2000 pounds pin weight is a 5er with 18% pin weight that has a max GVWR of 11,111 pounds.

20% pin weight is common for 5ers with GVWR of 14,500. But your 5er is going to be much smaller, and many of those smaller 5ers have pin weight of around 18% of gross trailer weight.

So my WAG of 12k max trailer weight was overstated by almost 900 pounds in your case. You need to look for a 5er with GVWR of 11,000 pounds if you don't want to be overloaded.

Quote:
We’ve been told that we can put air bags in rear wheel wells to help overcome any sagging issues.
Air bags hide the symptoms of being overloaded by raising the rear end of the truck so your headlights don't blind oncoming drivers at night. But air bags do not add any weight capacity to your tow vehicle.

Quote:
What about drum brakes vs disk brakes on the trailer? Is one better than the other as far as stopping capabilities?
Disk brakes are better (and more expensive), but you don't need them if you have a good exhaust brake on the tow vehicle. Do not overheat the drum brakes when descending steep grades by "riding" the brakes. Gear down and use the exhaust brake so you don't have to use the trailer brakes very much.

Quote:
What is the most critical factor in determining towing capacity?
GVWR of SRW pickups, followed by GCWR. Ford says you should NEVER exceed either the GVWR or GCWR of your tow vehicle. GVWR is the primary determinant of payload capacity for hitch weight, and GCWR is the primary determinant for max trailer weight. Use the one that results in the lightest-weight trailer. In your case GVWR is your limiter.

Quote:
If stopping is the most critical factor then disk brakes on trailer should be a factor in determining the weight of 5vr that one can pull, correct?
Very small factor. Your truck is designed with a good coast brake in the tranny, and along with the built-in exhaust brake in your tranny you shouldn't need to worry about trailer brakes.

Quote:
Ford has the built in engine brake …Is adding after-market Jake Brake to this Ford F350 effective?
No. You cannot add a real Jake Brake to your V8 diesel engine, so Jacobs the Jake Brake folks don't even make one. The obnoxious loud noise made by trucks with engine brakes (Jake brakes) are coming from trucks with straight-six diesel engines
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Old 10-20-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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I have an F250 6.0L Ford diesel and have been towing a 15500lbs gross weight trailer for the past 5 years. Been in all the major highway in Canada and the States as far as California and at no time I feel the Ford is overloaded. Be it power or breaking. Be prepared to feel the weight in the hills an drive properly. I pass all the semis in large and long hills. Not that I need to but I have the sweet spot RPM that I use for climbing and decending the hills. I do have an advantage of not going over the 23500 lbs as directed by Ford. If I had a heavier truck I would have more truck weight with reduced trailering capacity. Thats my experience and do not plan on changing my truck for a long time.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by caissiel View Post
Been in all the major highway in Canada and the States as far as California and at no time I feel the Ford is overloaded.
But your tow vehicle is severely overloaded over the GVWR of the pickup. What does the CAT scale say? If the combined weight on the two truck axles is more than the GVWR of the truck you're overloaded, regardless of how you "feel". FoMoCo says you should never exceed either the GVWR or GCWR of your Ford. Why do you constantly advise others to ignore Ford's weight limits?

Yes, my tow vehicle also "feels" just fine when severely overloaded, but the CAT scale proves that feeling is so much nonsense. If you exceed the GVWR of your truck, you exceed the safe weight capacity of the suspension and brakes of the tow vehicle, and maybe the weight capacity of the rear axle, tires, frame, and other components of your tow vehicle.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
QUESTIONS:
We’ve been told that we can put air bags in rear wheel wells to help overcome any sagging issues.
Correct however the bags can be added anytime. Its possible your trucks may not need them.

Quote:
What about drum brakes vs disk brakes on the trailer? Is one better than the other as far as stopping capabilities?
MO its not that big of a deal. I've towed GN trailer up to 22k GVWR with drum brakes. No issues.

Quote:
Are wider tires an important factor in stopping?
IMO ...no, as wide tires can slip quicker in a wet road condition. Having hauled for a living I'm not a fan of after market wide base tires on a truck and especially a trailer.

Quote:
What is the most critical factor in determining towing capacity? If stopping is the most critical factor then disk brakes on trailer should be a factor in determining the weight of 5vr that one can pull, correct?
I wouldn't say its the most critical but trailers brake sizes are determined by the size of the axle ie;
tandem 7k axles = 14000 lbs of braking performance regardless of type of brakes.

Quote:
Ford has the built in engine brake …Is adding after-market Jake Brake to this Ford F350 effective?
Ford doesn't use a engine brake for the 6.7 in the LDTs but rather they use the VVT (variable vane turbo technology). The turbo acts as the exhaust brake.
No one makes a engine brake for the 6.7 diesel. Google engine brake vs exhaust brake and you will see there is a big difference.
If you want more exhaust braking performance check out Banks iQ-2 flash that can make more aggressive braking from the turbo. Their may be other tunes on the market in this area.

Quote:
In other words, are there other considerations and options that would increase our towing capacity?
Ford says the truck can tow a 15900 lb trailer. The truck sure won't have any issue pulling a 15900 lb trailer but as you mention it will be limited by the 7000 RAWR.
You have a very heavy 3820 rear unladin. Thats heavier than most DRW trucks. Anyhow ...7000 RAWR minus 3820 leaves your truck with 3180 lb left for a max payload.

Fords published tow rating aren't just for folks that want to pull a 5th wheel camper that may have a 20 percent pin weight. Ford says for GN and 5th wheel trailers. This includes all trailer types ...not just a camper.

Example in one of my 16k equipment trailer that I can load freight or wheeled equipment on the deck so they don't exceed any trucks RAWR/tire load ratings. Thats why we see one ton DRW moving freight with a big GN trailer down the road at 30k-35k gross combined but their still under the trucks RAWR/tire load ratings.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:35 PM   #8
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How manu tome do I have tout say it, my truck is !icenced for 13200 lbs GVWR and the axles and tires can carry thé weight. And in my province it is what is required. Plus thé Springs on thé HD F250 are better then my neighbour's F350 DRW.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:43 PM   #9
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SmokeyWren,
Some people just feel that because they have done it for years that it must be ok. I know that my combination is over the manufacturers GCWR but within all the other weights, I do have more horsepower and torque than factory and I watch the temperatures and EGT's, but I don't advocate that to people that ask the questions about "What is the towing capacity of my truck" I do as you do, tell them how to follow the factory numbers and weight recommendations.
I believe that it is wrong to lead a person that doesn't know any better down the wrong path. Anyways, I m jut saying that I agree with you and will continue to advocate following the correct loading on the TV.
Frank
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:52 PM   #10
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Well i don't know all that tech stuff you guy's know but i heard that 6.7 is a beast.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mike.t View Post
Well i don't know all that tech stuff you guy's know but i heard that 6.7 is a beast.
Yes, the 6.7L drivetrain can pull a mountain without breathing hard. It has gobs of extra power and torque to pull a heavy trailer. That's what the GCWR of the truck tells you.

But with single rear wheels (SRW), it doesn't have the payload capacity to haul the hitch weight of even a small hill without exceeding the GVWR of the pickup. Ford says you should NEVER exceed the GVWR or rGAWR of the tow vehicle. Some folks that prefer to not have enough truck for their load ignore the GVWR and worry only about the rGAWR, because that's the standard for commercial freight-hauling trucks. But on an F-350 SRW, the rGAWR is rated to haul more weight than the GVWR, so you should use the GVWR and not the rGAWR as your limiter.

The CAT scale will tell you the truth. If the combined weight on your front and rear truck axles exceed the GVWR of the truck, you're overloaded.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #12
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Ford F-350 6.7 V* Diesel 4WD SRW Crew Cab, Long Bed

Thank you for all the helpful responses. These are the weight recommendations I compiled from the responses from 5 different sites:
Can you tell I’m OCD and obsessed with numbers?...
11,000 1 recommendation
11,850 1
12,000 3
13,500 1
14,500 1
15,000 2
I’ve averaged that out to about 13,000 lbs.

SO, along with the response averages and my calculation results (Assuming that we won’t max the truck out to its GVWR)
I think we will go out on a limb and shoot for a 5er with a dry weight of 9500-11,000 and/or GVWR under 13,500.
Am I on the right track? I’ll go with the majority answer…
Thanks,
Pam
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:10 PM   #13
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Pam,
Did you state what area's you will be towing in ?
The rules are much more critical if in mountains...

check your private messages for MY opinion
good luck on your decision to upgrade truck or downsize rv expectations !
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:51 PM   #14
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In looking at your numbers in your first post, it looks to me like you can tow a 5th wheel that weighs around 11,500# fully loaded. Your truck loaded, minus the 5th wheel hitch is a little over 9,000#. the tongue weight for an 11,500# loaded trailer will be around 2,300#, which will put you right around your 11,500# GVWR.
Another thing to consider, which I don't believe has been mentioned yet, is the real world weight of what you will be towing. Manufacturers have, at least in the past, been known to be way off in what they say their vehicles weigh and what they actually tip the scales at.
I would hate to see you get surprised again when you weigh whatever you end up buying.
Although its been many years since I had a travel trailer, and have never had a 5th wheel, I'm wondering if a regular TT would work out better for you than a 5th wheel, because of the weight issues.
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