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Old 02-06-2008, 06:44 AM   #1
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I think I have broken all the rules in towing a 5th wheel, let me explain I just purchased a 1994 35"Teton grand with 3 slides in San Diego Cal. and towed it back home to Prescott AZ.with a 1976 ford F-250 with a stock 360 gas engine,trip was about about 400 miles, I asure you I broke no speeding laws,pulled the grade out of San diego at about 30 MPH,rest of trip was around 60 MPH,Now my question is how do I figure out what my tow rateing is for truck and what is pin weight of trailer and also total trailer weight,would a set of airbags be a good start?and up the horsepower of the motor,or just a bigger motor? Thanks for any and all help,Oh selling the truck is not an option
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:44 AM   #2
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I think I have broken all the rules in towing a 5th wheel, let me explain I just purchased a 1994 35"Teton grand with 3 slides in San Diego Cal. and towed it back home to Prescott AZ.with a 1976 ford F-250 with a stock 360 gas engine,trip was about about 400 miles, I asure you I broke no speeding laws,pulled the grade out of San diego at about 30 MPH,rest of trip was around 60 MPH,Now my question is how do I figure out what my tow rateing is for truck and what is pin weight of trailer and also total trailer weight,would a set of airbags be a good start?and up the horsepower of the motor,or just a bigger motor? Thanks for any and all help,Oh selling the truck is not an option
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:24 AM   #3
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Second part is easy. Look for a sticker either on the outside of the trailer at the left front corner or inside one of the kitchen cabinets. This will tell you the trailers GVWR. This number is very important. 20% of the trailers GVWR is generally accepted as the pin weight for that trailer.
The first part is a lot harder.Taking into account the age, motor size, and it being a 3/4 ton truck, I would guess that the truck has a GVWR or around 8000 pounds.
No matter what, you were seriously overloaded just getting the trailer that far. Personally I would look for a good used 1 ton dually or bigger truck to pull a Teton. They are known for being very heavy trailers. That model probably is in the range of 18,000 GVWR
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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Thanks Don for the info,you were correct the sticker was on corner of Trailer GVWR is 15000 lbs, now if I figure 20% for pin weight I get 3000 lbs ,now the truck is rated at GVWR 7000 lbs.
Now what can I deduce from this info....sorry this is all so new to me,I appreciate your help
Thanks again Ray
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:18 AM   #5
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No problems, I wish that everyone would listen to the advise here. I dod not the first time through and wound up with a real mess if you know what I mean.
OK, you truck has a GVWR rating of 7000 pounds. What that means is that when it left the factory the manufacturer certified to the Federal Government that the truck would preforn as advertised up to that number. It does not mean that you cannot load more onto it, but in case of an accident it then falls squarely on your head. You will find a lot of posts on other forums that tell people it is OK to tow right up to the axle ratings or some other nonsense. Ultimately it is YOUR decision and YOUR responsibility. Lets assume for this discussion that you are going to stick to the manufacturers GVWR numbers. What you now need to do is load the truck up just like you would if you were going camping and make a trip to the local scales. Weigh the front and rear axles seperately and then get a total truck weight. Subtract this number from the GVWR number of 7000 pounds and you will see exactly what you have left over for load (pin weight).
That is all there is to it!
Now as a suggestion with a 3000 pin weight, IMHO that puts you smack dab in the middle of dually territory. For instance, my Dodge dually has a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 23000 pounds. If my truck alone in ready to camp configuration weighs 7500 pounds then I have only 15,500 pounds left over for a fifth wheel before I exceed the GCWR for this truck.
Hope this helps you and welcome to the forum. Any more questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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Raven1941
I am sure you will be over your GCVWR. I will bet your PU will weigh at least 5K empty and no people in it. That with 15K for trailer is 20K. I am sure a 1976 3/4t PU will have less than 18K GCVWR. I am guessing your brought your trailer home empty so it will be a lot heavier when you get ready to travel. It's my opinion any 3 axle 5er needs a dually and more than 1T is better. It's not the power that will get you in trouble, it will be controling it in a quick lane change, a hard side wind or stopping it and maintaining control, etc.
I'm sorry to rain on your parade but it is better to know now than when you are out of control.
Good Luck
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #7
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The best advise I can offer is...

Have alot of fun shopping for your new truck! Go for a dually diesel for the ultimate in towing pleasure.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:05 AM   #8
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Hey,Thanks for all the good ideas and to Don for explaining in easy to understand lanquage how to make sence of it all I am a firm believer in learning from them who have been there,rather than trial and error on my own,so all of you who gave advice I thank you for saving me untold troubles,let alone the safety issues
By the way this is a really great forum.
Oh and CD you didnt rain on my parade You just took the time to help a fellow RVer.....Thanks Raven
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:18 PM   #9
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Raven1941,

I have a little more info that may help you gauge what you need to do. I could not find any specifics on a '76 but I do know what my '99 was rated for. At the time the '99 was built it was the highest tow rating for an F-250 ever built.

It had a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 8800 lbs, a rear axle rating, GAWR (gross axle weight rating) of 5246 lbs and a GCWR (gross combined weight rating) of 20,000lbs. And an advertised 5th wheel tow rating of 13,100 lbs.

My trailer weighed just at 12,000 pounds. When I got on the scale with the truck, trailer and all people and "stuff" my total weight was 20,065 lbs. I was max'd out with a 12k lb trailer and two people! I always had to have all my tanks empty, pack as little as possible and not carry anything extra like firewood or "toys".

And as mentioned earlier, it is not the pullin' it's the stoppin' that counts. One time I had just pulled through a driving rain and came onto a light that change to red. I hit the brakes but I didn't really slow as I was accustomed to. Before I knew it, while standing two-footed on the brake, I was in the middle of the intersection. The trailer brakes had gotten wet on the trailer and didn't do much to help. I was lucky that heavy trailer didn't get me sideways.

If you really can't get a new truck (there is literally nothing you can do to get your existing truck's capability up to pulling that Teton), then how about trading the Teton for a lighter weight model?
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:30 AM   #10
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Jperry....Looks like I have to get a dually......I guess a set of heavy duty airbags will not help?....I am not using the trailer to travel with,Just want to be sure that if I needed to pull it from one park to the next if the need arose that I can do it safely....Thanks for your info......Raven
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #11
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Airbag answer;
Airbags will not do anything to help or change the weight ratings of the truck. Airbags only change the ride height of the rear end. The weight rating is always what the weakest part can handle.... tire rating, axle rating, spring rating, bearings, brakes, transmission, ect.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:03 PM   #12
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Thanks Robert,that settles it then I have to get a Dually,
Raven
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