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Old 02-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Next purchase

I just bought a 2010 F250 Diesel 6.4L 4x4 3:55 Short bed truck.

I am new to 5th wheel towing and what is safe for my truck.
My wife will not let me buy a 5th wheel until she is comfortable with knowing what the limits are on what we should buy.


I’ve gathered enough the forum that you need my numbers to help me understand what I can tow safely.
Here are my numbers from the door:
GCWR=23000
GVWR=10000
Front GAWR=5600
Rear GAWR=6100

I took the truck to a local truck stop and the scale reads:
Gross weight= 8380 lbs (me & full tank)
Actual Front= 5040
Actual Rear= 3340


I am looking at two 5th wheels:
1st- dry hitch 1987 lbs, GVWR 12,125, 39’ long
2nd – dry hitch 1490 lbs, GVWR 11510, 37’ long.

We are usually no more than 250 miles from home.
I live in the east and don’t plan on any west trips.
I know wet numbers would provide the final answer, but I need to know where to even start looking.


Should I be able to tow both?
I tried to figure out what the numbers say my max ping weight should be and came up with a number like 1300 lbs fully loaded and that doesn't include the bed hitch.


That doesn’t seem right.
Can you help me understand what I should be looking for in hitch weight and total weight loaded of a 5th wheel. Does length come into play for this truck?



Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Besides weight, you might also want to consider length. Many parks have length advisories where you need to be 30' or less.

Most big discussions that I see center around stopping capacity rather than weight restrictions, but for me personally, I wouldnt tow much more than 14k total weight with your truck.

Dry hitch weight of 1500 and 8380 adds to 9830 which is very close to your GVWR of 10,000. If you carry another 1500 lbs loaded it could add another 300 lbs to your hitch weight. Most 5th wheels have most of the storage towards the front, so I think adding at least 15-20% additional pin weight loaded is reasonable. Certainly there can be overlap, but I'd suggest the lighter trailer, and I dont think you will miss the extra 2ft of length, especially for weekend and short trips 250 miles from home, if you are happy with the floor plan.

I'd also consider adding disc brakes to the trailer for extra stopping capacity.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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Here's another formula for your collection...TRUE tow capacity is the truck's GCWR minus the weight of the truck when ready to tow.

The other thing to keep in mind with 3/4 ton trucks is that they are limited by the pin weight they can carry. From your numbers, the TOTAL amount you can put in your truck (pin weight, passengers, tools, extra fuel, cargo, etc) is the GVWR minus the empty weight...10,000 - 8,380 = 1,620.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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The 3/4 ton trucks are limited on 5th wheels by the pin weight. See above post. Be very careful and do not believe a single word the dealer tells you about towing. Pin weight when loaded will typically run close to 20% of the trailer GVWR.

First thing to do is find the trailer you want and then find the truck to tow it.

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Old 02-28-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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LDT truck manufactures gives lots of numbers that carry weight and pull weight such as GVWR/FAWR/RAWR/CCC/GCWR/door placard tire load ratings/etc. They also give tow/haul rating numbers from the owners manual/advertising brochures/Fords body builders advisory guide and so on.

Everyone has their favorite way to figure how much load the truck can safely carry. I prefere using the trucks 6100 RAWR/tire capacities, in your trucks case, from the trucks certification label. Simply subtract your trucks rear axle 3340 lbs from 6100 = 2760 lbs for a max payload on the trucks rear axles/tires. Pin weight adds little if any weight on the trucks front axles so its not a player. Now subtract the 5th wheel hitch of your choice and your left with approx 2400-2500 lbs for a "wet" pin weight. I doubt either of those 5ers will have that much pin weight.

Ford gives your truck a 12500 lb tow rating with the 3.55 axle according to the Ford body builders advisory guide. You will have no issues towing either of the two 5ers you mention IMO.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:49 PM   #6
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Can you tow either fiver? Sure. The question is how comfortable will YOU be towing either of those fivers. Those numbers you cited for the two fivers seems awfully light for the sizes. Are you positive they are not dry or shipping weights? My 35 foot Cedar Creek scales 13,350 pounds ready to camp with a 3000 pound pin weight. Way too much for my D/A. That's why I now tow with a dually. I can arrive at camp rested and ready to enjoy not stressed out from being overloaded. Your truck, your choice. But I would load the truck up like I would go camping and get to the scales for some accurate weights. Then look on the drivers door post for the federally mandated sticker that tells you all you really need to know about how much weight the truck can handle.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #7
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I'm with Don in questioning the GVWR's for the lengths of 5-r's you listed. They do seem very light for the lengths. Can you give us the mfrs, makes & model numbers of the 5-r's you're looking at?

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #8
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Thanks for everyone input!
The truck listed in the beginning of the thread is what I have to work with.
Can't afford to get another one. I am trying to make sure I don't buy a trailer that will ultimately be too big after I stock it up for camping.

NLOVNIT/450DON:
Here are a couple of the models I am looking at:
A Salem Hemisphere 346QBUD

Model 346QBUD
Dry Hitch Weight1,995 lb. (905 kg ) Dry Ship Weight10,205 lb. (4,629 kg ) GVWR12,115 lb. (5,495 kg ) Cargo Carrying Capacity1,891 lb. (858 kg ) Exterior Length39 ft. 7 in. (12.1 m) Exterior HeightTBA (TBA) Exterior Width96 in. (2.4 m) Fresh Water Capacity46 gal. (174 L) Gray Water Capacity64 gal. (242 L) Black Water Capacity64 gal. (242 L) Awning Size18 ft. (5.5 m)
A Wildcat 32QB:
Model 323QB
Dry Hitch Weight1,830 lb. (830 kg ) Dry Ship Weight9,489 lb. (4,304 kg ) GVWR11,990 lb. (5,439 kg ) Cargo Carrying Capacity2,501 lb. (1,134 kg ) Exterior Length34 ft. 9 in. (10.6 m) Exterior Height12 ft. 4 in. (3.8 m) Exterior Width96 in. (2.4 m) Fresh Water Capacity50 gal. (189 L) Gray Water Capacity100 gal. (379 L) Black Water Capacity50 gal. (189 L) Awning Size15 ft. (4.6 m)

We are looking for a bunk model and would like 1.5 baths if possible.
The wife would also like the master bed on a slide to give us more room.

I am tall 6'4" so I am looking for more head room as well.

We will not carry water and most sites will be full hookup. We will be using this as our residence over the summer when we boat on the weekend (can't afford a lake house). I plan to leave the camper at the campground during the week so all I have to do is move it less than 1/4 mile to a site. The Spring and Fall camping will be local and under 250 miles.

The truck's weight might be due to the toys it came with - it has the sun room, 20in rims, etc.

I just don't want to buy too big a 5th wheel.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Awesome! Just what we needed. Stay tuned for more input from our members.

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Old 03-01-2011, 11:12 PM   #10
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Let's do some math using the numbers for these models:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadwith2 View Post
Thanks for everyone input!
The truck listed in the beginning of the thread is what I have to work with.
Can't afford to get another one. I am trying to make sure I don't buy a trailer that will ultimately be too big after I stock it up for camping. You must include the weights of any passengers, pets, camping gear, hitch, etc that you plan to haul in your trucks loaded weight.

NLOVNIT/450DON:
Here are a couple of the models I am looking at:
A Salem Hemisphere 346QBUD

Model 346QBUD
Dry Hitch Weight1,995 lb. (905 kg ) Dry Ship Weight10,205 lb. (4,629 kg ) GVWR12,115 lb. (5,495 kg ) Cargo Carrying Capacity1,891 lb. (858 kg ) Exterior Length39 ft. 7 in. (12.1 m) Exterior HeightTBA (TBA) Exterior Width96 in. (2.4 m) Fresh Water Capacity46 gal. (174 L) Gray Water Capacity64 gal. (242 L) Black Water Capacity64 gal. (242 L) Awning Size18 ft. (5.5 m)
A Wildcat 32QB:
First the Dry Hitch Weight is 1,995#. This is 19.6% of the Dry Ship Weight of 10,205#. Now, mupliply the GVWR-12,115 X 19.5% = 2,362.4# loaded pin weight, assuming you load the trailer evenly. BTW, this trailer has a cargo carrying capacity of 1,010# per the above figures.

Model 323QB
Dry Hitch Weight1,830 lb. (830 kg ) Dry Ship Weight9,489 lb. (4,304 kg ) GVWR11,990 lb. (5,439 kg ) Cargo Carrying Capacity2,501 lb. (1,134 kg ) Exterior Length34 ft. 9 in. (10.6 m) Exterior Height12 ft. 4 in. (3.8 m) Exterior Width96 in. (2.4 m) Fresh Water Capacity50 gal. (189 L) Gray Water Capacity100 gal. (379 L) Black Water Capacity50 gal. (189 L) Awning Size15 ft. (4.6 m) Do the same as above for this trailer.

We are looking for a bunk model and would like 1.5 baths if possible.
The wife would also like the master bed on a slide to give us more room.

I am tall 6'4" so I am looking for more head room as well.

We will not carry water and most sites will be full hookup. We will be using this as our residence over the summer when we boat on the weekend (can't afford a lake house). I plan to leave the camper at the campground during the week so all I have to do is move it less than 1/4 mile to a site. The Spring and Fall camping will be local and under 250 miles.

The truck's weight might be due to the toys it came with - it has the sun room, 20in rims, etc.

I just don't want to buy too big a 5th wheel.
You are a wise man!
This towing weight calculator is quite useful :
http://www.klenger.net/RV_General/To...monstrator.htm
for what you are doing.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #11
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dadwith2...you are getting lots of advice...some good some terrible. The bottom line to all the pin weight questions and what you can carry, can be narrowed down if you look at the Tire and Loading Information sticker on the left side of the frame. Open the doors and you'll see it. It will tell you the maximum cargo (that's EVERYTHING) you can carry in YOUR truck.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooverbill View Post
dadwith2...you are getting lots of advice...some good some terrible. The bottom line to all the pin weight questions and what you can carry, can be narrowed down if you look at the Tire and Loading Information sticker on the left side of the frame. Open the doors and you'll see it. It will tell you the maximum cargo (that's EVERYTHING) you can carry in YOUR truck.
You might qualify the last sentence with " as long as you do not exceed your GVWR."
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
You might qualify the last sentence with " as long as you do not exceed your GVWR."
That's kind of a given, the actual wording on the sticker says, "The weight of the passengers and cargo should never exceed xxxx."

They started putting that sticker on vehicles in late 2004 early 2005. Also, by subtracting it from the GVWR it provides the empty weight of the vehicle.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:38 PM   #14
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The tire loading sticker is a poor number to use for figuring how much pin weight a truck can carry IMO.

The tire placard doesn't take in consideration a heavy 5th wheel hitch or other heavy equipment that may be added. Its possible the trucks rear axle/tires capacity can be exceeded by simply using a tire placard number or any payload number.

I weigh each of my trucks front and rear seperatly. That way I know the exact weight the pin/ball/pintle is puting on the trucks rear axles/tires. Little if any weight is aded to the trucks front axle/tires.

Both of your trailer choices will fit in well with your trucks numbers and capability.
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