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Old 02-04-2016, 09:21 AM   #1
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Your truck thoughts

After travelling everywhere in our class B these last few years we have decided to do the snowbird life in a fifth wheel. Our plan is to be in Alaska in the summer and warmer weather in the winter, wherever that is at the time. Head to AK in early/mid May and then leave mid Sept for AZ or TX or ?. We only plan to move about 4-6 times per year while we are in the lower 48 with all of our moves on the western side ( no offense to the east side).

The 5er we have decided on is an Arctic Fox 27-5L. It is 30' long with a GVW of 13400, with a dry weight of 9600 lbs I don't see us having 3K of cargo weight, but you never know!

My thoughts on the truck... Gasser, one ton, single rear wheel, short bed, 4x4 with a super cab.

I understand the gas vs diesel towing ability and if we were moving a lot we would upgrade to diesel. We would like a little bit more nimble truck for in town use, hence the short bed and the SRW. We don't need a crew cab for our stuff and the 4x4 is without question.

We (I) are looking for your thoughts on this plan of attack.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:28 AM   #2
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You WILL regret a gasser at that weight.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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You WILL regret a gasser at that weight.
Agreed. If you are looking at Gassers though, they are all great trucks. Most of the differences you will see between a 3/4 ton and a 1 ton SRW pickup will be a slight difference in rear suspension. I suggest you test drive them all and get what you feel most comfortable driving. Gas will do fine, but you will be punished when going up hill and with MPGs.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:55 AM   #4
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The 5er we have decided on is an Arctic Fox 27-5L. It is 30' long with a GVW of 13400, with a dry weight of 9600 lbs I don't see us having 3K of cargo weight, but you never know!
Excellent choice for a full-timer.

Educated guess: you will haul every pound of the 3k cargo capacity, because you'll be full-timing and have to haul everything you own with you.

Recommendations:

1. Pay careful attention to the wheel bearings of the trailer. Repack the wheel bearings by hand every time before you begin the trips to Alaska. "By hand" means it's okay to use a wheel bearing packer tool, but not just a grease gun.

2. Don't skrimp on using the CAT scale. Weigh the rig often when wet and loaded for a long trek. Be sure the weight on the trailer axles do not exceed the GAWR of the trailer axles. Be sure the weight on the two axles of the tow vehicles do not exceed the GVWR of the truck.

3. Trailer tires are important. Be sure you carry a serviceable spare tire and wheel, and I'd also haul an extra trailer tire. The Alcan highway can be murder on tires.

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My thoughts on the truck... Gasser, one ton, single rear wheel, short bed, 4x4 with a super cab.
Nobody makes that truck with enough payload capacity to haul that trailer without overloading the SRW chassis. So plan on being overloaded.

Gasser you will probably regret. With proper maintenance, they last about half as long as a diesel. MPG is worse than awful when towing a 13k trailer. Assuming you don't want to be overloaded, then the SRW will not be quite enough truck for your needs.

2016 Ford F-350 SRW SuperCab 4x4 shorty gasser has GVWR of 11,100 pounds. 13k 5er will have minimum pin weight of 2,210 (17% of gross trailer weight) and could have as much as as 2,600 pin weight. Add 300 pounds for a sliding 5er hitch and your total hitch weight will be 2,500 to 2900 pounds. So estimate it at 2,700 pounds. 11,100 GVWR minus 2,700 pounds hitch weight leaves 8,400 pounds for the max weight of the wet and loaded truck before you tie onto the trailer. So if you don't want to overload either the truck or trailer, then you cannot haul much weight in the truck other than DW and hitch weight and a few tools and a jack. That doesn't sound like a good plan for a full-timer.

Same truck has GCWR of 22,000 and tow rating of 15,100. The tow rating is overstated because it assumes absolutely nothing in the truck but a skinny driver to result in a wet and loaded truck grossing not more than 6,900 pounds. And your truck is going to weigh a lot more than 6,900 pounds when wet and loaded for towing. So a 13k RV trailer is going to put you right at the max pulling limit of your truck.

Quote:
I understand the gas vs diesel towing ability and if we were moving a lot we would upgrade to diesel.
Diesel would get you a lot more pulling power, but reduce the weight hauling capacity of the already-inadequate SRW pickup. So if you are smart and pay the big bucks for the diesel, then the SRW is out of the question and you'll have to go for a "one-ton dually"

Quote:
We would like a little bit more nimble truck for in town use, hence the short bed and the SRW. We don't need a crew cab for our stuff and the 4x4 is without question.

We (I) are looking for your thoughts on this plan of attack.
For that trailer, my thoughts are don't leave home without a diesel powertrain in a dually chassis. Ford doesn't offer a shorty dually, so you'll have to opt for a different brand if you insist on a shorty dually.

If it were me, I'd opt for the F-350 DRW diesel SuperCab. The overstated tow rating is 19,000 pounds, so plenty for a 13k trailer. GVWR is 14,000 so plenty for the max 2,600 pounds hitch weight you might have, with no concerns about what else you haul in the pickup. Even loaded with a full-timer's stuff, the wet and loaded dually should not get close to the 14k GVWR. 14k minus 2.6k hitch weight leaves over 11k for the max weight of the dually before you tie onto the trailer. But your wet and loaded dually will probably be loaded closer to 10k than 11k.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:11 AM   #5
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New or used truck?
I would look for an older dually with a nice skirted flatbed. Much better rearward visibility, no big rear fenders to worry about and just as easy to park as a regular pickup.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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Seldom does anyone live to regret purchasing a little extra truck.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:44 AM   #7
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We would like a little bit more nimble truck for in town use, hence the short bed and the SRW. We don't need a crew cab for our stuff and the 4x4 is without question.

We (I) are looking for your thoughts on this plan of attack.
We have a 450 crew cab, dual, diesel with the long wheel base.

No question is is not as nimble as some of the half tons but neither is it a huge beast that takes 40 acres to turn around. We drive it to the store, theatre, golf course, etc without too many issues.

Certainly do not get to park by the front doors but have always been able to get to where we needed or wanted to go.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:03 PM   #8
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I agree with the others when they say you will regret A gasser at that weight. Part of the reason to have a diesel is the ability to control your load going down the hills not just going up.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:39 PM   #9
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You WILL regret a gasser at that weight.
From Alaska to So Cal every year not to mention other locations you are going to want the diesel. That weight and frontal area is not going to be fun with a gasser. The 6.4 will do it but this is your full time home you're moving so you want it to be nice and easy. It's not a flat road on that trip so not just up the grade but the exhaust brake on the downhill will be very nice. have fun and enjoy.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:16 PM   #10
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Seldom does anyone live to regret purchasing a little extra truck.
My thoughts actually. lol
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:28 PM   #11
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You guys are killing me here! We feel that the AF 5er is the one for us but the truck idea is a no go. I guess we hear what we don't want to hear sometimes! We have looked at countless fifth wheels and really liked the set up on the 27-5, did we miss any like this? Thank-you all.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:46 PM   #12
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Nice trailer. I would buy a 3500 SRW 3500 LB 4x4 Cummins. The uphill power coupled with the downhill exhaust braking is worth the money. Have fun.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:53 PM   #13
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We have a 450 crew cab, dual, diesel with the long wheel base.

No question is is not as nimble as some of the half tons but neither is it a huge beast that takes 40 acres to turn around. We drive it to the store, theatre, golf course, etc without too many issues.

Certainly do not get to park by the front doors but have always been able to get to where we needed or wanted to go.
I have the same truck, with the commercial wide track front end the turning radius is better than my old F250 ext cab short box. I never was going to own a dually diesel and now I will never be without one.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:41 PM   #14
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It's not that the Ram with the 6.4 won't pull it, it that you are going to be dragging that AF the entire coastline twice a year. You're in no rush and that's a good thing. If you are easy going down and in no rush going up the grades, well it will do it, but not easily. We want you to enjoy the drive and tow that 5th easily.
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