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Old 07-02-2012, 12:31 AM   #1
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Math Learning Disability

I apologize in advance. Numbers intimidate me and, quite simply, my brain is just not hardwired to do basic math though I kick butt in reading, writing and languages. Anyway, would someone please be willing to assist me in figuring out if a particular truck will safely tow my 2000, 30 foot, Damon Challenger Fifth wheel 2500 miles from AZ to NY? Are there special brakes I need on the truck? It previously had a fifth wheel hitch in it.

The truck, if it checks out mechanically, will be a 1986 Ford F250, Long Bed, 4 wheel Drive, 460 V8 (all the info I have on it right now).

As well, I don't have a clue how to 'travel' other than, pull in the slide out . Can I have propane IN the tanks while traveling (though I would rather not). Since I will be stopping along the way at Camp Grounds, I won't need to keep H20 in the holding tank. Anything else?

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome. I'd have to see the numbers to say for sure. But I would not recommend it the older truck don't have the weight ratings that the newer trucks do. So therefore that truck probably will pull the truck fine. But I doubt it will be legal. Yes you will need a electric trailer brake controller in the truck if there is not one in it already. As for the propane if you plan on keeping food in the fridge then you have to have propane to run the fridge. Hope this helps. Find the gross weight of you trailer the GCWR of the truck and the weight of your truck and I can tell you how close you will be to legal.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
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Ford should be able to give you the ratings for your truck, in assorted configurations, The dealer the weight of your trailer (or Damon)

The rule is: IF trailer heavier than truck ratings, GET A BIGGER TRUCK.

Now,, if you want to just "not worry about it" http://www.trail-hauler.com is, I think the URL (Will edit if not)
Home is where I park it!
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by peacenik View Post
... 30 foot, Damon Challenger Fifth wheel ... 1986 Ford F250, Long Bed, 4 wheel Drive, 460 V8
The almost dry and empty 5er wiill probably weigh around 11,000 pounds, with a hitch weight of about 2,000 to 2,200 pounds. Your pickup probably has a GVWR of 8,800 pounds, and will weigh about 7,000 pounds with almost nothing in the truck except you and a full tank of gas. So any hitch weight over about 1,800 pounds means you'll be overloaded over the GVWR of the pickup. You can probably still safely tow that trailer, but you have to spend some on the F-250 first.

Most 5ers towed by F-250s are overloaded, so don't think you will be the only one out there. But don't haul any extra weight. Ship it instead of hauling it if it weighs more than a 6-pack.

You need to add air bags to the rear suspension, and pump them up enough so your truck is not sagging in the back. Add enough air the the suspension to bring the headlights down to level, or else don't drive after sundown. Search on Firestone RideRite to find the good air bags that will fit your truck.

Then realize that your truck is overloaded, so drive slower than usual, and don't tailgate.

Stop at the first truckstop with a CAT scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded rig. Add the weight on the front and rear axles and compare to 8,800 GVWR, so you'll know how much overloaded you are.

Are there special brakes I need on the truck? It previously had a fifth wheel hitch in it.
You must have a trailer brake controller, but the cheapest one should do. It plugs into your truck wiring under the dash. I towed over 100,000 miles with a Drawtite Activator II. Worked fine.
2-8 Brake Electronic Brake Controller by Draw-Tite and Reese - Time Delayed Draw-Tite Brake Controller 5500

Can I have propane IN the tanks while traveling (though I would rather not).
No problem except in some tunnels. Don't go through Baltimore and have to use the long tunnel. Don't use the tunnel to go into Manhatten. Otherwise, just turn off the propane at the tank.

Since I will be stopping along the way at Camp Grounds, I won't need to keep H20 in the holding tank.
We always have about 5 gallons of fresh water in the fresh water tank. Then we can use the pottie when on the road.

Anything else?
Tires. Be certain the trailer tires are pumped up to the max on the sidewall. Also pump up the rear tires on the pickup to the max on the sidewall. Check the torque on the trailer lugnuts before you leave, and check them every morning before you head out.

The 460 engine is a powerful but thirsty workhorse. Expect awful MPG.

Expect tire trouble, especially trailer tire trouble. Be sure you have a good spare for both truck and trailer. Practice by mounting the spare on both the truck and trailer. Any jacks and tools you needed to do the job must be hauled with you.

I hate to be on the road with a trailer and not also have a big floor jack and jack pad with me. Yep, that's added weight, but if you have a trailer flat in the middle of nowhere during a rainstorm, you'll be glad you brought it with you.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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