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Old 06-21-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
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Towing question

We have a 2009 Ford F350 Super Duty King Ranch single rear wheel with a GCWR of 23000.
Can we handle a good quality 5th wheel or do we have to get a tow trailer?
Can anyone help with this. We are new to towing.
Richard
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:00 PM   #2
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Best thing is to look around until you find the floor plan you both like and will be comfortable for extended stays. Not everywhere you travel will be filled with sunshine and pleasant weather. Some places have rain and other things that make you stay inside.

You want to be comfortable with the chairs, cooking and eating areas, location and size of TV, size of shower (bathtub), size of bed.

You will be limited in the size you can pull with a 250. It is a great truck but it does have limits. It is better to have a little bit too much truck than not quite enough. After all you will be carrying at least two precious cargos.

As suggested weigh your truck with full fuel, you and the DW and anything you think you may carry. Get the total weight and the weight on the back axle. Add about 300 lb for the weight of the 5 wheel to the weight of the truck and the back axle.

1) Subtract the weight of your truck + 5 wheel from the GVWR (on the door sticker) of your truck.

2) Subtract the weight of your back axle + 5 wheel from the GAWR - rear (on the door sticker).

Take the lesser amount of either 1 or 2 and divide that number by 0.25. Pin weights for 5ers range from 15 to 25 percent. I used the heaviest so you may want to reduce that to .22. However I would not go less than 20%. The number you will get will give you an approximate weight that would be the highest you should look at.

If you can find the GCWR for your truck you can compare that to the weight of your truck plus approximate weight or simply take the GCWR and delete the weight of your truck from it. Do not forget to add weight for the 5 wheel you will have to include.

Adding larger tires or air bags will not change the GAWR-rear of your truck.

Personally I am prefer a 5er for several reasons. TT include the hitch length so for the same length trailer I get more living space as well as the towing characteristics. Plus all of the benefits listed by previous posts.

Still a TT could be considered if you find the one you like.

Found the following link that may save some manual calculations.

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-fw.shtml
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racemosa View Post
We have a 2009 Ford F350 Super Duty King Ranch single rear wheel with a GCWR of 23000.
Can we handle a good quality 5th wheel or do we have to get a tow trailer?
Can anyone help with this. We are new to towing.
Richard
You are best to start your own thread.
That said engine also matters. The 2010 V-10 I had was good for 14k 5er but the hills in NE PA made me switch tow vehicles, so where you are and where you are going also matters. Size matters a good 28' is very different than a good 40'.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racemosa View Post
We have a 2009 Ford F350 Super Duty King Ranch single rear wheel with a GCWR of 23000.
Can we handle a good quality 5th wheel or do we have to get a tow trailer?
Can anyone help with this. We are new to towing.
Richard
Richard - see post 18. You have the GCVW so weigh up your truck, add the weight of an appropriate 5 wheel hitch and do the calculations.

I would not discount a 5er at all. You have a higher hitch (pin) weight with a 5er but you get three feet more living space. Therefore a shorter 5er will still be the same as a longer TT.

Pick a floor plan that suits you.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:27 PM   #5
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You will probably be OK with a number of 5ers. Take your truck to the scales (easiest is a truck stop) and fill it with fuel. Take your passengers and load gear into the bed that you would take. (Gear in the bed is a totally different conversation, but limited yourself to what will fit between the hitch and the cab.) You most likely don't have a 5th wheel hitch yet, so add about 125# for that. Once you know the weight of the truck, you can subtract that from the GVWR of your truck. You will then know what pin weight you can handle. Since you don't know what your trailer will actually weigh it is sound advice to use the trailers GVWR. When looking at 5ers, use 18-20% of the GVWR of the trailer to calculate the rough pin weight. Forget the numbers the manufacturer supplies for pin weight because that is for an empty trailer and I'm sure you are going to want to pack some stuff into your trailer. And Unloaded Trailer Weight is totally useless so don't even think about that number.

Then next step is GCWR which is much easier. Weight of your truck + GVWR of the trailer should be less than the GCWR of the truck.

Weighing should only cost your around 7 bucks. This takes the guessing out of the equation.

The comments about floorplan being comfortable for you is very good advice. Once you see one that peaks your interest, try to find a unit to see in person. Sometimes things look good on paper, but don't work in real life.

Now I am sure someone is going to come along and criticize what I say and accuse me of being a member of the weight police. I will admit to that now. I believe in staying within tow ratings.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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There are probably a lot of good quality 5ers you can tow. I agree, get your truck weighed with full fuel and all the stuff you carry like tools, big dog, wife etc. That way you know for sure how much more your truck can carry. I agree that 125lbs. is a good number to add for the hitch.

There are 32' and 34' 5th wheels built by NuWa and Excel with 3 slides which really opens up your living space.

Good luck
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:52 PM   #7
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Oh - forgot to mention, it is easy to get your truck weighed at any truck stop with a CAT scale. I paid $10. Take a golf club with you so you can reach the call button so the person in the store can record the weight.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:20 AM   #8
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Racemosa,
Along with the GCWR you need to know the GVWR and the GAWR of the axles. You will find this information on the drivers door jam on the plate along with the tire size and pressure information.
If you have a short bed, and plan on using a slider hitch, I would add 200# for the hitch, regular hitch is 150#. Use 20% of the 5er GVWR for the pin weight. I believe that you will get to your trucks GVWR and rear axle GAWR long before you approach your GCWR.
Frank
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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Please forgive me for not fully understanding. My manual says my GCWR is 23000lb. I do not know the weight of the truck, perhaps 7-8 thousand pounds? It is a 4x4 single wheel. In layman terms what is the safest maximum 5th wheel?
Thank you for considering my request.
I never have had a 5th wheel just wanted to tow with more stability than a trailer.
Richard Cross
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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I checked the door label and here is what it says.
GVWR 11500
Rear GAWR 6900
Front GAWR 6000
Any idea what I can handle for a 5th wheel?
Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:19 PM   #11
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Racemosa,
To stay within your numbers, you really need to go to a set of scales and weigh the front and rear axles of the truck with a full tank of fuel and anything and everyone that would be traveling in the truck, plus 150# for hitch, or 200# if you are going to use a slider hitch (short bed). The total weight of the truck subtracted from the GVWR = the maximum pin weight for the GVWR, or the rear axle weight subtracted from the rear GAWR = the maximum pin weight for the GAWR, which ever of these two numbers is lower is the maximum pin weight that you can have to stay within the specs of your truck. Divide this pin weight by 20% to get the maximum trailer GVWR.
Loaded and ready to go, you will find out that your truck will weigh close to 9000# or higher, so look for your pin weight to be under 3000#(as an estimate from past experience)
As an example, my GM 2wd dually weighs in around 8000# with 30 extra gal of fuel in the auxiliary tank in the bed and 2 people in it, Fords with 4x4 weigh over 1000# more. My trailer GVWR is 16,400#, front =4400#, rear = 6600#, trailer =12,500# that is loaded for long weekend and 30 gal of fresh water, 23,500# total weight.
This gives you an example and our GVWR (mine is 11,400#) is similar, although my rear GAWR is higher due to the duals.
I hope this helps you.
Frank
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racemosa View Post
We have a 2009 Ford F350 Super Duty King Ranch single rear wheel with a GCWR of 23000.
Can we handle a good quality 5th wheel or do we have to get a tow trailer?
Well, first you have to define "handle". My definition is a 5er that will not cause you to exceed any of your truck's weight ratings. Next you have to define "quality 5th wheel". If DW insists on a 38' Excel or Mobil Suites as her definition of quality, then you bought the wrong truck.

Next you must know the wet and loaded weight of your truck before you back up to the 5er. You said F-350 SRW 4x4, but no cab description. So I'll assume a CrewCab. That truck loaded for the road with people, 5er hitch, tools, and other stuff will probably gross around 9,000 pounds before you back up to the 5er.

11,500 GVWR minus 9,000 pounds truck weight leaves 2,500 pounds for max hitch weight (some call it pin weight for a 5er). A 5er with 2,500 pounds wet and loaded pin weight will not be a heavy huge Excel or other luxury 5er with over 20% pin weight. It will probably have around 18% to 20% pin weight. To be conservative, call it 20%. 2,500 pounds pin weight with 20% pin weight is a maximum trailer weight of 12,500 pounds. That's a reasonable mid-size 5er, but certainly not an Excel or Mobil Suites.

12,500 pound wet and loaded 5er towed by a 9,000 pound wet and loaded F-350 SRW is 21,500 pounds gross combined weight, so you'd be in good shape compared to the GCWR of your truck.

23,000 GCWR is not your limiter as to max trailer weight. You'll run out of GVWR long before you reach 23,000 GCWR.

You can fine-tune the above numbers by weighing the wet and loaded truck, but until then remember that the max GVWR of any 5er you want to consider towing with your King Ranch is 12,500 pounds.

With a max er GVWR of 12,500 pounds, what sort of 5er can you consider? How about a 34' Keystone Sprinter #304 FWRKS-WB? FWRKS translates to "fifth wheel rear kitchen with slide". I'm not sure, but I suspect the "WB" indicates with bedroom slide.

I've had a 25' Sprinter for 14 years, and it's plenty of quality for my needs, so I can recommend a Sprinter to others who need a mid-grade smaller 5er. Mine is a 25RKS (rear kitchen with slide). We enjoyed it for about 12 years and around 100,000 miles coast to coast RVing. Darling Daughter moved into it a coupla years ago, and we sold the F-250 diesel and replaced it with an F-150 EcoBoost, so we bought a 19' TT for our camper trailer

Here's the#304 FWRKS-WB floorplan. It has a GVWR of about 12,165, and Sprinter has several 5ers with GVWR less than 12,500 pounds 28' to 34' overall length. So with that 5er you certainly wouldn't be the poor relation in the campground. But you wouldn't have an Excel either.



Link to Sprinter website
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:20 PM   #13
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The way you answer that question is to know what your truck can tow. Read the fifth wheel or trailer towing specs for your truck. Towing Guides | fleet.ford.com . Once you know what your truck can tow then you read the specs for the trailer you want. If your truck can haul the weight of the fifth wheel or travel trailer and can handle the pin weight or tounge weight then that is the fifth wheel or travel trailer your truck is capable of handling. You need to make a decision on what you want, a fifth wheel or travel trailer you are the one that will have to live in it. Go with the facts not personal opinions. You are legally responsible for having an adequate tow vehicle.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:12 PM   #14
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You can type in the year, make and model of your vehicle with this tow finder tool to find out what your options are: Trailer Hitches | Reese, Drawtite, Curt and more
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