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Old 08-31-2013, 10:00 PM   #15
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Assuming you have neither truck or 5er; make your decision on the 5er first, then buy a truck with more capacity than the GVW and pin weight of the 5er. This Fifth Wheel weight calculator will be quite helpful. Speaking from experience, with a trailer that heavy a SRW=single rear wheel truck will be pushed about in curves and strong side-winds.
Ride is not nearly as important as your families safety.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainchuck View Post
A top contender is a Ford F250, King Ranch model, Diesel, 4X4. The 5th wheel dry weight will likely be approximately 13,000#, hitch weight estimated 3000#.
Dry weights are useless. What is the GVWR of the trailer?

Use the GVWR of the trailer as the estimated wet and loaded weight of the trailer. Use 20 percent of the GVWR of the trailer as the estimated hitch weight of the trailer. If you use those estimated weights, then you have a good chance of not being overloaded in the middle of your third RV trip.

Example: Keystone Montana model 3582RL has a dry weight of 12,803 (almost 13,000 pounds you mentioned) with a GVWR of 15,990. You can expect it to gross in excess of 15,000 pounds when wet and loaded in the middle of your third RV trip.

Expect the wet and loaded hitch weight to be over 3,000 pounds.

So you need a tow vehicle that can tow a 15,000 pound trailer with a hitch weight of over 3,000 pounds without exceeding any of the tow vehicle's weight limits.

Count on a wet and loaded tow vehicle's weight to be over 8,500 pounds before you tie onto the trailer, and it could easily be 9,000 to 10,000 pounds.

So let's use 9,000 as our estimated tow vehicle weight. Add 3000 pounds hitch weight, and our tow vehicle must have a GVWR over 12,000 pounds. Add 15,000 pounds trailer and our tow vehicle must have over 24,000 pounds GCWR. And that's the minimum.

F-250? Nope. Not enough GVWR or GCWR.

F-350 SRW? Nope. Not enough GVWR or GCWR.

New F-350 DRW (dually) with gas engine? Nope. Not enough GCWR.

F-350 DRW (dually) with diesel engine? Yep. 13,000 GVWR is enough to handle the hitch weight. 30,500 GCWR is plenty to handle the gross trailer weight.

Any advantage to moving on up to the F-450 pickup? The big difference is 4.30 axle ratio instead of 3.73. That raises the GCWR to 33,000 pounds, so you have a lot more power/torque cushion for dragging that heavy trailer up mountain passes
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:00 PM   #17
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Don't be fooled thinking a F350 SRW is better then a F250. The spring packs are very similar and it will ride on the overloads and ride like a buckboard. I had to install 2 more ply of springs to smooth the loaded truck. It rides great still unloaded with the 2757018 tires.

But 3000 lbs on the pin is to much for SRW. There are lighter pin load units in the 14000 GVW. I get away with my BC due to W/D is middle not in closet to lighten the pin load.
My friend has a cedar creek with 1700 lbs pin load and 14000 lbs GVWR.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:14 PM   #18
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I tend to agree with posts # 4,5,9,10,11,12,14, and 16
(I didn't notice ONE response in this thread yet where someone said A F250 would work ok)
Go with a bigger DRW truck. It will be much more stable, controllable and therefore easier to drive.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #19
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I would agree that a f-250 is going to be too small for that size of trailer. I have a true "1/2 ton towable trailer" GVWR is under 6000 pounds. With that said I'm so glad that I have a 3/4 ton to tow it. You start putting weight in the vehicle before you hook up to your trailer and you won't have capacity to handle the pin weight. Plus it is better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #20
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I tow with a dually truck. It tows and handles the 5th wheel great. The reason I have a dually is that I observed while at a RV Park. I observed larger 5th wheels were towed with dually trucks. Also the only people using SRW trucks were 1st timers. I figured I saved 7g's by buying the dually 1st instead of buying a 1 ton SRW 1st then trading it on dually.

Can you get back into boating? Boats are a lot easier to tow and a SRW truck can tow a fairly large boat.

For that large of a trailer a dually is the way to go.

Good luck
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:38 PM   #21
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According to Tow Test Review: 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty, Part 1 - PickupTrucks.com News this 2011 (doubt the 13 is any different) only has 1972lb payload because of the 20" tires. The KR really sucks the payload out of the F250. Get a F1350.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:46 PM   #22
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You will see the most adamant people pushing the SRW 3/4 ton trucks are the 3/4 ton truck divers and as noted usually first timers. There is also a large group that buy the short bed 3/4 ton truck because a larger truck won't fit into the garage or the wife refuses to drive a DRW truck. But they feel great safety in numbers knowing that they are not the only ones towing more than the truck was rated for.

My 2012 F350 DRW rides every bit as good as a F250 when unloaded...so that myth is shot. The F250 and F350 SRW do share come components, but the F350 DRW has adequate tires to carry the larger pin weight. Also, if you go to light on the pinweight, you will get porpoising with the truck. Too much pin weight on a truck not rated for the pin load

So listen to the experienced 5th wheel pullers and learn how to do the simple math for your self.

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Old 09-01-2013, 03:43 PM   #23
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Ken - you are full time now? congratulations. 5 years and lovin' every minute of it.


OP - ask around and find what what other folks, that tow 5ers, trucks weigh ready to tow, but solo. That can give you a rough idea of what the truck will weigh. Then use 20% of the 5er GVWR to figure rough pin weight and then use GVWR to determine GCWR of the combo.

I will tell you straight up that my 2012 F-450 ready to tow (fueled, gear, 2 passengers and 1 pooch) weighs in at 9400# (rounded up). That said, I have 3900# available for pin weight and 23,600# for max trailer weight.

Good luck. It really isn't as hard as it seems.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:22 PM   #24
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John, loving the full-time life.

For reference, my 2012 F350 DRW with full fuel, hitch, two pooches, one wife and the tool boxes weights right at 9000# with a GVWR of 13,300# and 30,000# GCWR.

So I can carry a maximum pin weight of 13,300 -9000 = 4300#
and I can tow a trailer with a maximum weight of 30,000 - 9000 = 21000#

The truck is a towing machine.

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Old 09-01-2013, 06:56 PM   #25
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I don't have a fiver (yet), but my choice would be a 350 DRW diesel minimum. 4WD? Don't need it IMO. Are you looking at new or used? (if you mentioned this, I didn't see it)
Happy hunting!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:16 PM   #26
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Enjoy your search.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #27
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Without knowing the OPs situation, I would suggest the 350, dropping the 4x4 and adding the DRW to tow his 5er.
I would never drop the 4X4, not know OP situation. I four season camp never know what the weather will be like, 4X4 gives you that extra margin of safety.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #28
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4 wheel drive only if you need it. Otherwise, it cost more to buy, maintain and operate. Been towing RVs since 1984 and have never needed it.

Ken
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