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Old 08-22-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
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Truck / Towing KISS?

I'm so very sorry for asking this question because it usually ends up getting ugly.

I have a 2008 - CariLite 5th Wheel that weighs 17,400 lbs according to the nameplate info. I'm looking for a simple answer (this is where it usually gets out of hand) With a budget of around $15K can someone suggest what size and year Ford or Dodge truck I should be looking for?

In the past I've received charts and calculations that appear to be geared towards those brilliant folks who actually paid attention in school. I, unfortunately, didn't pay attention during math class and must rely on the recommendations of those wiser folks.

So far, I've calculated that I need either a Sherman tank or a 757 to tow this monster. (So much for my math skills)

Please, please, please, keep it very simple (or as simple as it can be) Thanks for understanding!
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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The 17,400# is probably the trailer GVWR or the most it can weigh loaded. It probably weighs empty some 2000# less than that number. But for planning purposes, you need to consider the max number.

The pin weight for the loaded trailer will run some where near 3500#. That will be the number that will give you the biggest problem finding a truck to tow that much trailer. You are pretty much into 1 ton dually (DRW) territory.

A truck will weight 8000 to 9000# when loaded for a trip. so you add the pin weight and you need a truck with a GVWR of (8000 or 9000 plus 3500 =) 11500 to 12500#.

You will see and have people tell you that a single rear wheel (SRW) will do fine with that much trailer, but they are blowing smoke somewhere. Some of the later model 1 ton SRW may have enough GVWR capacity to pull the trailer without being over loaded on the GVWR.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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What Ken said.

Short and sweet, if your tow vehicle is a 2007 thru 2010 Ford that fits your budget, then it needs to be an F-350 with dual rear wheels (DRW), diesel engine and the optional Tow Boss package.

Single rear wheels (SRW) won't handle the hitch weight. Gas engines won't handle the trailer weight. F-350 DRW diesel without the Tow Boss package won't handle the trailer weight.

End of the simple. The remainder of this post assumes you can understand elementary school math.

Assuming you don't want to be overloaded over any of the tow vehicle's weight ratings, then you need a truck with enough GVWR to haul 3,500 pounds worth of hitch weight, plus the weight of people, pets, toolbox with your tools, full tank of fuel, and other cargo in the pickup. That requires a dually. But not just any ole dually. The typical Ford F-350 DRW 4x4 CrewCab before 2005 model year could not haul that much hitch weight without being overloaded.

And you need enough power to pull a 17,400 trailer up normal interstate grades of 6% to 8% without burning up the tow vehicle and without being the slow poke holding up traffic. That requires that your dually have at least 26,000 pounds GCWR

With your budget, let's look at 2007 specs. The normal F-350 DRW has GVWR of 13,000 pounds and GCWR of 23,500 pounds. So your wet and loaded dually could weigh up to 9,500 pounds and still have capacity for 3,500 pounds of hitch weight. But OOPS!, we don't have enough GCWR to pull a 17,400 pound trailer with an 8,000+ pound truck. So we have to find a very special 2007 F-350 dually that has the Tow Boss package, which results in 26,000 pounds GCWR.

26,000 GCWR minus 17,400 max wet and loaded trailer weight = 8,600 pounds max weight of the tow vehicle before we tie onto the trailer. That's possible, but it means you'll have to be extremely conscious of weight in the pickup if you don't want to be overloaded.

Is there a better alternative? Yes, but it's a lot more complicated. Begin with a 2007-up F-450 or F-550 chassis cab with diesel engine, automatic tranny and high capacity towing package. Add an aftermarket tow body or pickup bed and 5er hitch. Now you have 16,000 GVWR and 30,000 GCWR. Plenty of truck to tow that big 5er without worrying about being overloaded. Yes, those special tow vehicles are rare, but Ford made hundreds of them, so with diligence you can probably find one for sale.

How about F-350 duallys before 2007 model year? If it doesn't have the Tow Boss package, then you'll be overloaded. Ford made the Tow Boss package optional beginning in the middle of the 2006 model year. So you may find a late-model 2006 that has it, but not a 2005. And before 2005 model year, you must have an F-450 or F-550 to tow that trailer without being overloaded.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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Simple? Dual wheel, One ton truck with a Diesel.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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I agree with the previous posts and that will be pushing it. My 01 Dodge dually would be badly over loaded. It has a 21.5K GCWR. I towed 27K once and it really felt heavy. I found out what it weighed afterward.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:20 PM   #6
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This Fifth Wheel Weight Calculator will handle all the math, you just need to know, and plug in, the actual weights requested by the calculator.
The other problem is all yours, after making the calculator do its thing. That is, finding that size/capacity truck for $15,000. NADA will give you an idea of which years fall into your price range. Here is a "for instance"; my 2002 Chevrolet, Duramax, crew-cab dually, 4WD is estimated by NADA to be worth between $18,000-$23,000, depending on a variety of factors. Now a hard fact; my truck is at its towing limits towing our 15,500#GVW 5er.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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Jonesey, going to be tough!!

With a $15,000 TV budget, your best bet will be hard to come by.

Not likely to find a 2003 or earlier F350 DRW with a 7.3 for that amount unless it has been beaten to death. Not even sure if the numbers would add up for that.
GM and Dodge tended to have lower GVWR and GCVWR, so likely would be over weight.

That is a lot of 5er, would be a nice tow with a 2013, RAM 3500 CTD!
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #8
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They can be found1999 Ford F350 Lariat Crew Cab 7.3L DIESEL DUALLY 1-Owner. A little more than $15,000 but looks nice.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:44 AM   #9
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They can be found1999 Ford F350 Lariat Crew Cab 7.3L DIESEL DUALLY 1-Owner. A little more than $15,000 but looks nice.
Nice looking truck with less than 100,000 miles. 4X2 will have more payload. Asking price isn't so high that you couldn't get it down very close or below your $15,000 budget.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #10
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You're not likely to find a used Dodge Cummins in reasonable condition that has the GCWR and GVWR needed for a 17.4K 5th wheel for $15K. If you get back in the 2002 or so model years, my 2002 Dodge/Cummins 3500 dually was equipped for maximum GCWR (HO engine/6-speed manual/4.10 rear axle) but only had a GCWR of 21,500 lbs. This would not be enough for a 17.4K 5th wheel as my wet and loaded truck weighed ~7840 lbs.

I seriously doubt that the 1999 Ford has enough GVWR and GCWR either.

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Old 08-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #11
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You can get a Ford with a 6.0L diesel pretty cheap.....
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:37 PM   #12
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The 1999 through 2002 F350 Dually trucks had a GVWR of 11,500# and a GCWR or 20,000# and the Carrilite wil be well beyond the tow ratings.

You need more truck.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:07 PM   #13
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You can get a Ford with a 6.0L diesel pretty cheap.....
The OP only has a $15,000 budget, either a 6.0 under $10,000 and $5,000 to bullet proof, then worry about it the rest of time.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #14
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I think you got your answer. One ton or higher, dually, diesel, and newer since GVWRs keep going up with newer technologies. 15k? Probably not going to happen, but you never know. And diesel maintenance is NOT cheap, at all.
That is a beast of a trailer, but very nice, I'm sure, and I know it's very well built. Do not, DO NOT skimp out on the truck towing it, because you'll be very regretful if they trailer gets damaged from lack of truck.

Another option, might maybe be a medium duty truck, but still the 15k would be hard I think.
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