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Old 02-27-2012, 10:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by EricandAlice View Post
Hubby and I haven't purchased a truck yet, but we have finally decided on the 5th wheel. All of my towing experience was pre 13 years old. His towing experience is limited to Uhauls. Needless to say, we have a lot to learn and we're getting a lot of conflicting information. I consider you guys the experts (and I'm pretty sure that one of the sales guys at a dealer we visited had never towed anything in his life.)

So here are the numbers:
5th wheel GVWR is 16250 (from their brochure)
Hitch: 2700
39 1/2 feet long

Our tow vehicle will also be our family car so in order of preference, we'd like diesel:
250/2500
350/3500 SRW
350/3500 DRW

We don't have a preference as to brand or 2x4 or 4x4. We do however need a crew cab because our large dog will be riding with us. The 5-er has the special 88 degree turning cap (which I believe means a standard six and a half foot bed would not be a problem.) The longer bed (and wheelbase) will make the ride much better IMHO.

After reading several of the forums here I'm worried that we need a dually. Hubby says we don't have to load the trailer to its max 16250. I don't plan to. The point of all this is traveling light, so to speak. But I'd rather be safe than sorry. I don't plan on taking the 5er anywhere near big mountains. Highways are our friend as far as I'm concerned. We will be full timing for several years, if that makes a difference.

When you guys start talking about hitch weights and engine sizes I get confused, but I'm trying to follow along. LOL

So given the above, what would you buy? (Used is fine.) Thanks!
As you can see by our signature, we have a fifth wheel quite similar to the one you have. Rusty is correct: you have to do the math. we recently weighed our rig and found that, although all the weights were OK, our trailer tires needed to be inflated to 80 lbs. vs. the 70 lbs. from the factory. So that's another issue you need to address. Best of luck to you.

Another issue to watch is how the trailer will track through turns. It will track inside of the truck. This is different than towing a car behind a motor home. Watch you mirrors carefully when making turns!
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtandem

Are they crazy? Who knows! Do they have modifications to the one ton dually that helps carry the load? Many add air bags, sway bars, better shocks, overload suspension bumpers and all the mods will help carry the load, not necessarily increase any load carrying capacity, however,

Do those hauling 16-18,000 pound toyhaulers live in them full time or nearly so like you will be doing? Or do they drive 100 miles to the beach or desert and home again once a month? The only thing that matters is what you will be doing with your fifth and truck. Take the fifth's gross weight and use it as your guide for a tow vehicle, thinking you will be at a weight significantly less than that is only false assumptions and even if you really are less than gross it will then give you a little safety cushion. Brochure weights as mentioned before are so underestimated as to be unreliable. In many cases options, batteries, propane and water will add more than 1000 pounds to the brochure weights. And that is before you put anything in the fifth! Then match the truck to the gvwr. As the cowboys of old used to say "you cannot have too much horse".
Lol, I actually had a horse once that was too much horse. At least for what I needed. But I guess spirit doesn't count for much when you're trying to move 25,000 pounds.

Do you guys trust the exit weight stickers that the factory puts on some trailers? If that's accurate I think that'd be helpful.

One gentleman told us to assume 1000 pounds of stuff per adult, 350 for kids and I think he said 100 for pets. Does that sound about right? And would you think those numbers include "liquids" like fresh water? Or propane? I don't see much boon docking in our future but DH does want to try it. The RV has a 107 gallon fresh water tank. That could get heavy in a hurry!
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #17
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So when the manufacturer measures the truck, they essentially do it dry...? I wonder how much the options in say a chevy LTZ package weigh. I suppose the weight of the hitch would be easier to find out. And a hundred fifty pounds of driver?? Yay. My dog will be able to drive. I'm sure he'd hit every McDonalds between here and Maine.

So let's say the truck weighs 10,000 and the trailer is somehow maxed out at 16,250. Above some percentages were mentioned (obviously weighing the trailer and truck would get a more accurate number.) I saw the number of 3,200 for the pin weight.

So am I understanding correctly that I should add the 3200 to the 10,000? And if so, do I subtract the 3200 from the 16,250 trailer weight?

Pin weight is something that none of the dealers (rv or truck) have discussed with us even though we ask a lot of questions. I want to make sure I'm asking the right questions and able to do my own math. We've met some really nice guys (and that one girl) but I can't help but feel like they'd sell us anything if they could convince us to buy, regardless of whether it'd be the safe/smart choice.
Pin weight is the direct hitch weight that the truck will carry, not tow. As an example, if your truck weighs 8000 pounds empty and has a gross weight of 12,000 there is 4000 pounds of payload available for everything in the truck including diesel, people, tools, bicycles, bbq, generator, dogs, and the pin weight and fifth hitch. Obviously the pin weight is a HUGE consideration when selecting the truck as it is the largest single item comprising the truck's payload. If the payload is 4000 pounds for everything and 3200 pounds of it are the pin (plus another 150-200 for the hitch) there is not much available payload for everything else. That is perhaps why so many dealers simply sidestep the pin weight issue. And why so many feel that the dually is necessary for towing heavy.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by EricandAlice View Post
Lol, I actually had a horse once that was too much horse. At least for what I needed. But I guess spirit doesn't count for much when you're trying to move 25,000 pounds.

Do you guys trust the exit weight stickers that the factory puts on some trailers? If that's accurate I think that'd be helpful.

One gentleman told us to assume 1000 pounds of stuff per adult, 350 for kids and I think he said 100 for pets. Does that sound about right? And would you think those numbers include "liquids" like fresh water? Or propane? I don't see much boon docking in our future but DH does want to try it. The RV has a 107 gallon fresh water tank. That could get heavy in a hurry!
A good rule of thumb is to figure about 30 pounds for each battery, about 60 pounds for two full propane tanks, and 8.3 pounds for each gallon of water. A 107 gallon water tank would add 890 pounds to the dry weight of the fifth.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:20 PM   #19
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One thing to remember about tow ratings. The tow ratings for 5th wheels are based on an empty truck, they ignore the fact that you'll have about 20% of the RV's weight in the bed as pin weight.

Here is a simple formula that will give you the true tow capacity of a trucK with a 5th wheel:

Truck's GCWR minus the weight of the truck when ready to tow (include everything in the truck, pin weight, people, tools, cargo, coolers...everything) = tow capacity. Having said that, remember when you compare that number to your RV's weight to subtract the pin weight that is in the bed of the truck...or you'll be counting that weight twice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by EricandAlice View Post
So when the manufacturer measures the truck, they essentially do it dry...? I wonder how much the options in say a chevy LTZ package weigh. I suppose the weight of the hitch would be easier to find out. And a hundred fifty pounds of driver?? Yay. My dog will be able to drive. I'm sure he'd hit every McDonalds between here and Maine.

So let's say the truck weighs 10,000 and the trailer is somehow maxed out at 16,250. Above some percentages were mentioned (obviously weighing the trailer and truck would get a more accurate number.) I saw the number of 3,200 for the pin weight.

So am I understanding correctly that I should add the 3200 to the 10,000? And if so, do I subtract the 3200 from the 16,250 trailer weight?

Pin weight is something that none of the dealers (rv or truck) have discussed with us even though we ask a lot of questions. I want to make sure I'm asking the right questions and able to do my own math. We've met some really nice guys (and that one girl) but I can't help but feel like they'd sell us anything if they could convince us to buy, regardless of whether it'd be the safe/smart choice.
OK, here it is again.
A 1 ton 4X2 crew cab dually should scale ready to camp. Meaning two people and the dog, hitch and some fire wood, tools etc in the vicinity of 8000 pounds. Give or take a couple hundred pounds. For example, my Dodge 4X2 quad cab dually scales at 8000 pounds ready to camp. Add 3200 for the pin weight. That will bring the truck hitched to the trailer at around 11,200 pounds. BTW my trucks GVWR is 11,500 and my pin is around 3300. The remainder of the 16,000 pounds of trailer weight will be on the trailers axles. Hopefully evenly divided.
couple things to look at on a trailer of that size/weight. Tires. Most manufacturers will put some really cheap ST tires under the fiver and from reading on the RV forums there is nothing but problems with them. Many people are upgrading to 17.5 inch tire and wheel packages. Of course that is another 3K, but is peace of mind. Another thing to be careful of is axle ratings. Some manufacturers are putting bare minimum axles under their trailers. Meaning you could be getting 6K or 7K axles. On a trailer of this size I would not accept anything less than 17.5 inch tires/wheels and 7K axles with disc brakes.
EricandAlice wrote"
Thanks! That was very helpful. Anyone want to volunteer to break the news to my husband?

Just out of curiosity... When you say pin weight, do you mean the downward weight into the bed of the truck? Does that have anything to do with the truck's payload capacity? Or do I have my terms mixed up...again?"

Sure, send him over tonight when he gets home and we will be glad to explain the facts of life to him.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #21
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GVWR = gross vehicle weight rating, or the maximum weight that can be on the truck tires without being overloaded.

GCWR = gross combined weight rating, or the maximum weight of both the truck and trailer when sitting on a scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricandAlice View Post
5th wheel GVWR is 16250 (from their brochure)!
As others have noted, use the GVWR of the trailer as your probable actual wet and loaded trailer weight when full-timing and moving from one location to another. In your case, we'll use 16,000 as the rounded off trailer weight.

Quote:
So given the above, what would you buy? (Used is fine.) Thanks!

Single rear wheels is out of the question. So get used to the idea of having a dually as a daily driver. But most used duallys are not strong enough either. So you have to dig into the numbers and pick the right dually.

A newer CrewCab diesel dually is going to weigh about 9,000 pounds before you tie onto the trailer. And as a full-timer, you might load more weight into the bed when moving from campground to campground. So keep 9,000 in the back of your mind, but for estimating purposes use 10,000 if you want to be certain to buy enough truck for your needs.

10,000 truck plus 16,000 trailer = 26,000 pounds. So you need a pickup with a GCWR of at least 26,000 pounds. Oops, you just eliminated almost all of the used one ton duallys available.

16,000 trailer times 20 percent = 3200 pounds estimated hitch weight (kingpin or "pin" weight)

I know about Fords, so I'll use Ford in my discussion. Brand bashing isnot allowed on this website, so I won't tell you my opinion of Dogs and trucks made by Government Motors.

If you get a new 2012 F-350 DRW with diesel engine, it has a GCWR of 30,000 pounds and a GVWR of 13,300. Since you require a minimum of 26,000 GCWR, that one is plenty of truck to handle your gross combined weight of 26,000 pounds.

10,000 truck plus 3200 hitch weight = 13,200. Whew! Barely under the 13,300 GVWR of the new F-350 DRW diesel. But still enough truck for your load.

So there's your truck - provided you an afford a new one. New F-350 DRW diesel. 2011 should have identical numbers, so if you can find a used or leftover 2011, that will work too.

But back up to model years 2006 thru 2010, and the numbers change. GVWR is 13,000, so your 13,200 GVW will slightly overload the one ton dually. The standard dually diesel had a GCWR of only 23,500, so that one is out. But for those model years, Ford sold a few special F-350 DRWs with the optional TowBoss pkg, which raised the GCWR to 26,000 pounds but left the GVWR at 13,000. So if you can find one of those rare F-350 DRWs with the Tow Boss pkg, then that would barely meet your needs for GCWR, and be only a smidgen overloaded over the GVWR.

Or if you find a 2008 thru 2010 used F-450 pickup, that will do nicely too. The cab and bed are identical to the F-350 DRW, but the tires, wheels, and brakes are stronger, so the GVWR goes up to 14,500 and the GCWR goes up to as high as 33,000 pounds when "properly equipped" with the high capacity tow pkg.

The 2011-up F-450 pickup has a GCWR way more than you need, but the GVWR is the same 13,300 as the F-350 DRW

Quote:
Just out of curiosity... When you say pin weight, do you mean the downward weight into the bed of the truck?
Yes. The "pin" is short for kingpin, which is the hitch of a fifth wheel trailer. So IOW, pin weight = hitch weight hauled by the truck.

Quote:
Does that have anything to do with the truck's payload capacity? Or do I have my terms mixed up...again?


You're doing good. the truck must have enough unused payload capacity to handle the hitch weight of the trailer without overloading the truck, IOW, without exceeding the GVWR of the truck.
Quote:
Fictitious trailer tow rating? In the 2012 Chevy booklet the crew cab maximum trailer weight for the 3500HD big dually long box 2WD is 22,800. It says the GCWR is 30,500. That's with the Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8/Allison 1000 6-speed. Which part of that is false?
The 22,800 number is fictitious, false, or at best extremely misleading. The GCWR is a good number, determined by chassis engineers, powertrain engineers, cooling experts, and other engineers that know their stuff.

If GCWR is 30,500, and tow rating (maximum trailer weight) is 22,800, then you can use 3rd grade math to see that the truck must weigh only 7,700 pounds. But you can bet your knickers that the wet and loaded truck will weigh a lot more than 7,700 pounds. Remember earlier in this discussion where we noted that an F-350 DRW CrewCab diesel will probaly weigh at least 9,000 pounds? That's a lot more than 7,700. The difference is the normal stuff that will be in every pickup towing a trailer: 5er hitch, driver that weighs more than 150 pounds, other adults, kids, pets, toolbox full of tools, floor jack. (Don't leave home without a floor jack that can raise a trailer tire off the ground in a muddy barrow ditch!) Spare parts and extra fluids such as a fanbelt, oil, antifreeze, ATF, brake fluid, etc.

So the tow rating is false, fictitious, or at best misleading. A more accurate tow rating would be 30,500 GCWR minus 9,000 weight of the wet and loaded truck = 21,500. Or for a full timer, 30,500 GCWR minus 10,000 weight of the wet and loaded truck = 20,500. But 22,800 is a joke.

Quote:
So are these folks crazy/ dangerous or did they perhaps order a truck that specially meets their needs?


Most of them are simply ignorant. They relied on a lying or ignorant salesman to match truck and trailer. But some of them really believe that they know more than the engineers who developed the weight rating numbers. The result is a lot of severaly overloaded RV rigs on the road.

Quote:
The RV has a 107 gallon fresh water tank. That could get heavy in a hurry!

Rule 1: Never leave the campground until you have dumped the holding tanks and drained all but a few gallons of fresh water- keep just enough fresh water in the tank to flush the pottie when on the road until you get to the next campground. Yes, water is heavy, whether fresh, grey or black.

If going to a "primative" campsite that does not have water, then fill up with fresh water at the last place it's available before you go off into the boonies.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren

10,000 truck plus 3200 hitch weight = 13,200. Whew! Barely under the 13,300 GVWR of the new F-350 DRW diesel. But still enough truck for your load.

So there's your truck - provided you an afford a new one. New F-350 DRW diesel. 2011 should have identical numbers, so if you can find a used or leftover 2011, that will work too.

But back up to model years 2006 thru 2010, and the numbers change. GVWR is 13,000, so your 13,200 GVW will slightly overload the one ton dually. The standard dually diesel had a GCWR of only 23,500, so that one is out. But for those model years, Ford sold a few special F-350 DRWs with the optional TowBoss pkg, which raised the GCWR to 26,000 pounds but left the GVWR at 13,000. So if you can find one of those rare F-350 DRWs with the Tow Boss pkg, then that would barely meet your needs for GCWR, and be only a smidgen overloaded over the GVWR.

Or if you find a 2008 thru 2010 used F-450 pickup, that will do nicely too. The cab and bed are identical to the F-350 DRW, but the tires, wheels, and brakes are stronger, so the GVWR goes up to 14,500 and the GCWR goes up to as high as 33,000 pounds when "properly equipped" with the high capacity tow pkg.

The 2011-up F-450 pickup has a GCWR way more than you need, but the GVWR is the same 13,300 as the F-350 DRW



Wow, SmokeyWren. What excellent information! I'm going to print that out for the DH so he can catch up.

Right now, I'm looking at a 2010 Chevy 3500 DRW and a few 2008 F-450s. There are a lot more of the 450s around here for some reason. The Chevy is several hundred miles away. I can't seem to find the GCWR on the 2010 Chevy 3500.

I'm not sure anything new is in our price range. We want to be able to enjoy the trip and send home souvineers. and we're opting for a new 5-er. Not sure if that's the smart choice, but it's where we're at at the moment.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #23
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I've been reading up on diesels and mileage and have a question for you truck guys. Okay, a few questions.

Would you hesitate to buy a diesel with 120,000 miles on it? How about 60,000?

Obviously how the previous owner took care of the truck is important. Our last two vehicles were new and our new-to-us truck will be pulling our "house," so how do we determine if the truck was well cared for? What kinds of things should we be looking for and what questions should we ask?

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #24
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I've been reading up on diesels and mileage and have a question for you truck guys. Okay, a few questions.

Would you hesitate to buy a diesel with 120,000 miles on it? How about 60,000?

Obviously how the previous owner took care of the truck is important. Our last two vehicles were new and our new-to-us truck will be pulling our "house," so how do we determine if the truck was well cared for? What kinds of things should we be looking for and what questions should we ask?

Thanks so much!
I think for what you want to tow a diesel is the choice. 60,000 miles on a well maintained diesel is almost nothing as to longevity. For one with 120,000 miles on it I would take my time and make sure all the maintenance has been completed. Many diesels are still under some engine warranty at 60,000 miles, most have no warranty left at 120,000. I would have total comfort with Dodge/Cummins or Chevy's D'max. You might want to do some reading about some of the Ford's diesel issues. Some have great luck with Ford's diesel, some less than stellar luck. If looking at new trucks, the torque is now up to around 800 foot pounds and that makes for a monster tow hauler. It will pull like a locomotive. The Dodge dealers have an interesting video interviewing owners who have exceeded the one million mile milestone with the Cummins engines, not too shabby if you are looking for longevity.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:27 PM   #25
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I am KIND of biased towards Fords--I think your best bet is a used '09 or '10 F450 for what you need. The downside to the Fords is they are usually on the low end of fuel mileage compared to Dodge/GM.

Finding a Tow Boss model in a 350 will be darn near impossible, plus there is no way to ID one without running the VIN for an option list.

One of the nicest items on a 450 is the turning radius--it will turn inside of any other long bed on the market making backing into tight spaces somewhat easier, not to mention u-turns.

If you do settle on an F450, would suggest that you not consider the '08 models due to radiator issues--but they are a lot more plentiful used than 9s and 10s.

My '09 has just passed 91000 with only a few issues that could have happened to any new truck.

Don't know who said it first, but "You can't have too much truck, but you can have too much trailer..."

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:56 PM   #26
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I am KIND of biased towards Fords--I think your best bet is a used '09 or '10 F450 for what you need. The downside to the Fords is they are usually on the low end of fuel mileage compared to Dodge/GM.

Finding a Tow Boss model in a 350 will be darn near impossible, plus there is no way to ID one without running the VIN for an option list.

One of the nicest items on a 450 is the turning radius--it will turn inside of any other long bed on the market making backing into tight spaces somewhat easier, not to mention u-turns.

If you do settle on an F450, would suggest that you not consider the '08 models due to radiator issues--but they are a lot more plentiful used than 9s and 10s.

My '09 has just passed 91000 with only a few issues that could have happened to any new truck.

Don't know who said it first, but "You can't have too much truck, but you can have too much trailer..."

Joe
Thanks for that! The 08s are indeed more plentiful. It pains me to hear about the radiator issue. I saw a car fax report on one today with two radiator fixes. Haven't seen it mentioned on any of the others I've looked at.

Found the perfect truck today. Was planning on going to see it this week... But it's an 08.

"Finding the truck will be easy" DH said. I'm not finding the search easy. Lol
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:28 PM   #27
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Lets look at some actual weight numbers from GM weight calculator on a '11 3500 SRW and a 3500 DRW. older truck may not have the higher weight ratings.
The weight calculator dispells myth and outdated opinions about a trucks actual weights with options. You sure don't neeed a 4500 truck to pull a med heavy trailer. Your call there though if your into the ovekill.

The 3500 SRW loaded LTZ Dmax 2wd extended cab long bed has 17k tow rating and per GM weight calculator has a 3900 lb payload.

The same LTZ truck configuration 3500 DRW has a 21500 lb tow rating but it can carry a 5700 lb payload per GM weight calculator.
http://http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/NAS...1&divisionID=1

Fords websites weight figures about the same for the F350 SRW and DRW trucks. The RAM 3500 DRW is up in the same capacities but the 3500 SRW Ram is stuck at 6500 RAWR and low GVWR vs 7025/7000 RAWR for the GM and Ford respectively.

I won't BS you and tell you how much the trailer manufactures dry weights will change. Everyone has a opinion on that subject.
Dry weights are very accurite today because of the new fed reg changes in the mid '00s so you can do your own calculation for your situation.

As always get a second opinion from other RV websites such as RV.net or Rvforum.com . There a good chance someone has the same combo and can give you the actuals.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricandAlice View Post
I can't seem to find the GCWR on the 2010 Chevy 3500.
Click on this link to a Chevy 30-page PDF file:
http://www.chevrolet.com/assets/pdf/...ck_Catalog.pdf

Scroll down to the next to last page in the PDF file, then scroll over to the right side of the page to find the 3500 HD pickup with diesel engine.

GCWR:
CrewCab 4x4 diesel = 23,500
CrewCab 4x2 diesel = 22,000

Pretty weak compared to the 2010 Ford diesel dually with the TowBoss pkg, which had 26,000 GCWR. I don't know whether GM offered something similar to the TowBoss pkg, but I doubt it.

For 2008 F-450s, the ones produced during calendar year 2007 were weak sisters compared to those built during "Job 3" in CY 2008. Find any 2008 F-450 built in CY 2008 and the GCWR will be 33,000 pounds with no special packages necessary. (The month/year of assembly is on the door sticker on the doorpost behind the driver's door - the same sticker that includes the VIN, tire info, paint codes, etc.) Here's the pertenant blurb from the 2008 F-450 pickup order guide:

JOB 3 ORDER GUIDE UPDATES Effective on all vehicles built on or after Job 3 (01/02/08 Subject to change)

The High Capacity Trailer Tow Package (535) is no longer available. The standard max GCWR for F-450 PU with automatic transmission is now 33,000 lbs. The standard max GCWR for F-450 PU with manual transmission remains 27,000 lbs.
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