Originally Posted by Lori Meyer
Can someone please recommend a truck to pull a 33 ft. 7,600 lb. TT with a 925 lb. hitch weight? We're getting a 2014 Keystone Outback 298RE and we're not sure if a 2500 or F150 would do it.
Lori, you've been around this forum long enough to know better than to even mention dry weights. Nobody tows a dry trailer.
Count on eventually loading the trailer to its GVWR. Maybe not the first trip, but eventually as you gain more RVing experience.
The Keystone Outback 298RE has a GVWR of 9,000 pounds, with a 12.2% dry hitch weight. So it will probably have a wet and loaded hitch weight close to the normal 12.5%, or 1,125 pounds.
So you want a tow vehicle with enough GCWR to tow a 9,000 pound trailer and with enough GVWR to haul at least 1,125 pounds of hitch weight (tongue weight). Plus the receiver hitch on the pickup must be rated for at least 1,125 pounds tongue weight with a weight-distributing (WD) hitch. Most folks don't like to tow right up against the limits, so maybe a bit more GCWR and GVWR than the minimum. If it's my choice, to comfortably tow that trailer I'm going to want a GCWR that can tow at least 10,000 pounds and a GVWR that can handle at least 1,500 pounds of hitch weight.
Add the wet and loaded truck weight to those numbers and you get the specs of the tow vehicle.
Ignore the "tow rating" of any tow vehicle. Those are mythical numbers for selling trucks, but that assume a truck with no options and only a skinny driver as cargo. Instead, use the GCWR minus the realistic weight of a wet and loaded tow vehicle to determine your real-world tow rating. Wet and loaded means full of driver and passengers, pets, gas, tools and jacks, and your WD hitch, and anything you haul in the pickup. Campfire wood?
For an F-150, figure on at least 6,500 pounds wet and loaded truck weight. Add 1,500 pounds hitch weight and that's a minimum GVWR of 8,000 pounds. The only F-150 with that much GVWR is the one with the optional heavy duty payload package with GVWR of 8,200 pounds.
So an F-150 can be special-ordered to meet your requirements. But that's a very special F-150, and you probably won't fined any in stock at any dealer. So plan on ordering a new one to get exactly what you want and need, including the heavy duty payload package. Plan on two months order and ship time to get that special-order F-150. And it might take longer if you order at the end of the 2014 model year and just before the beginning of 2015 production.
The reason dealers don't stock those pickups is because of the weird 7-lug wheels and the stiffer unloaded ride. Most F-150 buyers don't want either the weird wheels or the stiffer ride. If you or DH decide you want custom wheels on your truck, you're probably out of luck because nobody makes aftermarket 7-lug wheels. Also, the HD Payload pkg is not available with a 5.5' shorty bed. A SuperCrew body with the HD Payload pkg requires the 6.5' bed. A SuperCab body requires the 8' bed. And the only engine available is the wonderful little EcoBoost V6 with twin turbos. I love my EcoBoost engine, but some folks are afraid of it and want a more conventional V8.
Add 9,000 pounds to the wet and loaded truck weight and it needs GCWR of at least 15,500 pounds, and if it's my truck it needs GCWR of at least 16,500 pounds. No problem. The F-150 with the HD Payload pkg has GCWR of over 17,000 pounds. (The EcoBoost drivetrain can pull a lot more weight than it can haul the hitch weight without being overloaded.)
Plus the newer F-150s with HD Payload pkg also includes the max tow pkg, which includes the tow mirrors and integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) along with the regular trailer towing pkg of tranny cooler receiver hitch, etc..
So with due dilligence, you can put together an F-150 that will be suitable for towing your 9,000-pound TT. But if you or DH doesn't want the HD Payload pkg, then move on up to an F-250. Any of them will meet your requirements.
Some fans of overloaded tow vehiicles might try to get you to accept an F-150 that has the max tow pkg but not the HD Payload pkg. But the max tow pkg has about 500 pounds less GVWR than one with those weird 7-lug wheels. Yes, dealers stock the ones with max tow without the HD Payload pkg, but those won't meet your requirements. Even with the HD Payload pkg, you must still be conscious of how much weight you haul in the pickup with a 9,000-pound TT. For example, a full-timer that has to haul everything they own when moving from one location to another could easily overload an F-150 with the HD Payload pkg. That's why they make F-250s, F-350s, F-450s and even heavier duty trucks.
Does anyone else make a half-ton pickup with the same or better specs as the F-150 with the HD Payload pkg? I don't know, but I doubt it. If you go with some other brand, be certain it has GVWR of at least 8,000 pounds.