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Old 05-09-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
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Location: Midland County, Texas
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Originally Posted by gottular1249 View Post
I have attached (I hope anyway, because I'm not quite sure how to use this system yet), two documents. One is the towing guide that came off of Changing Gears web site that they told me was Ford's data on towing capacity. The other is a scan of my owners manual.
Unless I'm misreading the owners manual, it states that the GCWR for the v10 with the 4.3 rear end is 18,000#'s. HOWEVER, the GCWR that is on the Ford Data page shows 20,000#.
Unusual, but your Owner's Guide is wrong. The one from the Changing Gears website that shows your GCWR is 20,000 pounds is correct. It is a copy of the '99 Ford RV and Trailer Towing Guide. It also agrees with the RV and Trailer Towing Guides for model years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. You apparently have one of the first issues of the '99 Owner's Guide. The error in GCWR was corrected in subsequent editions. I suspect you have an "early" '99 that was assembled in 1998.

So hence my question about why different weight data? Maybe I'm missing something here and would be glad is someone can point out why there are two different GCWR for the same vehicle.
Because of the error in your Owner's Guide. You can use the 18,000 if you prefer, because that will get you further away from the max capabilities of the truck. But the actual GCWR of your truck is 20,000 pounds.

Caveat: The '99.5 diesels assembled in CY 1999 were changed significantly, but their GCWR was not changed. I'm not a gas engine expert by any means, but I don't think the V-10 was changed for the '99.5 models. Ford doesn't even recognize the '99.5 as a separate model. But perhaps the V-10 changed during the '99 model run and the GCWR was increased after your manual was printed but before the RV and Towing Guide was printed?

But it doesn't matter because GCWR is not your limiter as to how much fifth wheel weight you can tow without being overloaded. GVWR is your limiter. You probably can't even tow a 5er that would put your rig at 18,000 GCW before you exceed the GVWR of the F-250.

Now the GVWR is 8800#. I figure by the time you put the hitch in, add a couple of passengers, tools, extras, I'll have the truck up to about 6500#.
I suspect your estimate is way off. Mine was about 8,000, including a spray-in bedliner and aluminum tool chest full of tools and stuff. When you load the truck for a long trip, including driver, passengers, a toolbox full of tools, jacks, extra fluids, a full tank of gas, and a fifth wheel hitch, I'll bet your F-250 will gross over 7,000 pounds before you tie onto the trailer. That leaves 1,800 for max pin weight, which is a 5er that grosses around 10,500 pounds. That's a nice 5er, but certainly not as big as they make.

For example, a new Keystone Cougar "half ton" bunkhouse model 281BHSWE with GVWR of 10,370:

So 10,370 max trailer weight plus 7,000 truck weight = 17,370 GCW. That's less than the 18,000 GCWR max per your Owner's Guide, and will probably put you right at the GVWR of the truck, so that's a good fit.

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:28 AM   #16
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Well as many of people have already said, there should be a course that people take BEFORE they pay their dream home and tow vehicle. It's obvious that my tow vehicle is not up to towing what I want to buy, which is an older unit 32-36 feet in length. almost all of them are 10,000# plus dry weight and a pin wt of at least 1700# empty. Easily would put me over my GVWR. I don't see how I can get by with less then a 1 ton and probably a diesel. Just count me in amongst all those other people who have purchased without knowing all the hard data. Financially, I'm going to have to stick with an older vehicle under $15,000 and still be able to purchase a rig that is the size I'm looking for (plan to try and full time in a couple of years). Does anyone know of a good site where I can get GVWR, GCWR and payload data for various makes of older trucks? The Trailer Life site gives Max tow weights, but doesn't provide the other limiting factors. Thanks to everyone who has added to my education about tow vehicles. Rod

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